FFC columnist Joe Jennings is disappointed about last night's result, however feels the tie is far from over, and has called on all Evertonians to show belief and act as the 12th man at Goodison on Wednesday night.
It had to end at some stage. The flurry of dazzling displays has finally come to an abrupt halt. Is the tie over? I'm not sure, but what I am sure of is this; negativity NEVER breeds winners, positivity gives you a greater chance.
"The bubble has burst, you will be find out, your season is over". All idiotic sentiments, which could be dispelled with ease. Part of being an Evertonian is taking the bumps along the ride, life has never been easy, but would you have it any other way? We will stick by our boys through thick and thin, the team has done us proud this season and has provided us with so many highlights.
Without doubt, it is going to be a mammoth task. The Italians were brilliant, I can acknowledge that. However if any of our players run out onto that hallowed turf with any type of negative thoughts then we will not stand a chance, tie over.
Yes last night was a shambolic performance and experience, yes many will think it's "over" and yes it's going to be tough but we as fans have a duty to be the 12th man. Call me hackneyed, well worn, clichéd, whatever you desire; Goodison Park under the floodlights with the backing of 40,000 fans will be an intimidating arena and one the Italians wont be relishing, of that I am certain.
David Moyes and his squad have less than a week to make adjustments and then a full game at Goodison to apply them. He's improved as a manager and Everton have grown as a club this season, in part because of our European experiences.
Good sides have poor games and learn from them, it really will be a test of our mettle. I feel let down by the players, as well as the manager but next week they have the chance to redeem themselves. We can talk of historic nights at Goodison in the years past but why not make some history of our own. I'm tired of spouting of our great history; I want something to be proud of NOW to tell my children and their children.
For the performance I have no excuses, we were outclassed and deservedly lost. However, the tie is not irretrievable. My message to any Evertonian reading this piece is simple, BELIEVE. We will need courage and fortitude in abundance and the Italians will do all they can to frustrate the players and the fans but we can do it.
Maybe last night was a reality check, maybe just a blip; I certainly hope it is the latter. We have settled for second best for too long, we must reach for the stars. Moyes looked disgusted last night and I genuinely believe he can rectify his mistakes.
I shall look forward to next week's tie with genuine hope and belief. For those who feel we have no chance whatsoever, again, I have an in complex message.
Evertonians are born not manufactured. We do not choose, we are chosen. Those that understand need no explanation. Those that don't, DONT MATTER!