Everton FC: Can FA Cup Glory Salvage Otherwise Dismal Season For Blues?

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIFebruary 25, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19:  Nervous Everton players look whilst the penalty shootout takes place during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON 4th round replay match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on February 19, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

FA Cup success. It's not exactly finishing in the top four of the Premier League or having a good run in the Champions League, but it is something.

With as disappointing a season as Everton has had this year, any success at all has got to be celebrated.

Last weeks victory over Chelsea in penalty kicks at Stamford Bridge has moved the Toffees into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup tournament.

Reading will be the next opponent for Everton, a club that will give the Blues a very solid chance of moving onto the semifinals.

The challenge for manager David Moyes now may not be actually winning the FA Cup, but keeping his team's focus on the Premier League. If too much attention is paid to trying to win a trophy this year, a devastating thing could happen to the club from Liverpool: Relegation (a dirty word around Goodison Park these days).

Midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov seems to understand this dilemma Everton faces. Having FA Cup success, but not having it at the expense of finishing as high as they can in the league.

"The cup run is now a very important part of our season," Bilyaletdinov said mid-week. "It gives us a chance to get to Wembley and we would like to do that, but it is important we don't forget about the Premier League. We need two runs. One in the league and one in the cup."

With Sunderland coming up on the Premier League schedule, Bilyaletdinov put things in perspective.

“It is a great competition (the FA Cup)," he said. "It is the second tournament in England and if you win this cup it makes history and everyone wants to win it. It is important but is second to the league, and we must do well this weekend.”

Despite the new sense of purpose the Blues feel after their win in penalties over Chelsea in the FA Cup last weekend, the cold hard truth is that they are still only three points above the relegation line in the Premier League.

No amount of FA Cup glory—including hoisting the trophy on the Wembley pitch—could erase the devastation that would surely occur if Everton slipped into the bottom three by season's end.

Let's hope they remember that.