Howard, Everton out for legitimacy in FA Cup final against Chelsea
Everton goes into Saturday's FA Cup final as underdogs riding on a high. After claiming the scalps of two "Big Four" teams -- Manchester United and Liverpool -- en route to the final, it clinched fifth place in the Premier League for the second year running.
Can the Toffees add a third Big Four scalp by beating Chelsea? Manager
In Moyes, Everton has a manager with a burgeoning reputation. With a limited budget, he has transformed mid-table also-rans into an established top-six side. No wonder he's the bookmakers' favorite to replace
The FA Cup final is Everton's best chance of major silverware since 1995 and Moyes says this is the best Everton squad he has ever had, one in which the players favor the team over individual talent. That's a good quality, because Everton comes into the final shorthanded. Without their main creative force,
Yet Everton's small squad continues to perform impressively. U.S. national-team keeper
In the other Wembley dugout will be the man in charge of a team full of high-priced players, and a few huge egos.
After the remarkable job the Dutchman has done at Chelsea,
Both teams are talking up their chances of success on Saturday, and both are desperate to win it. The evident tactical know-how of both managers will be tested to the full in what should be a fitting curtain call to the English season and a fitting swan song from English football (for now at least) for Hiddink.
Meanwhile, in Manchester, Team Limey was scouring the adverts in the local newsagent's window. Before deciding that "Honest Jim's Betting Helpline" and "For sale: Millennium Falcon (satellite dish missing)" were both life-enhancing, our beady eyes rested upon "Wanted: World-class midfield, call Old Trafford 0161-868-8000." Buoyed by the chap who sold us the Falcon -- having mistakenly left a one-armed Chewbacca inside -- we imagined making the call to Manchester United.
Team Limey quietly puts the phone down and moves on to beeping like R2-D2 to keep one-armed Chewie company.
Last time around, we looked into
Although Man. United has been more successful than Arsenal in the last four years, many of you point to United's debt-laden balance sheet thanks to the
In a similar vein,
Injuries and squad depth to cover those injuries have been the reason for this season's lack of a title challenge, according to
In our next column, we'll be dusting off our tuxedos for our annual appearance at Castle Limey's end of season awards. Send us your nominations for awards, both serious and -- more importantly -- comical, to the usual address: