Date: Friday 13th May 2005So here we are, a final day game without anything serious riding on it. It’s only two years since we faced the ominous prospect of Mr Ricketts lining up against us and an in-form West Ham breathing down our necks. Of course it all went well that day despite a nervous ten-minute drama when Boro pulled one back and West Ham went in front. No such worries on Sunday though as the only thing that we’re playing for is which UEFA cup spot we will finish in. The prospect of finishing above the mighty Liverpool is one that I’m sure we’d all love to achieve, but even if that same Boro finish above us none of us will lose much sleep over it – though there is the bonus of that £500,000 per place that’s worth playing for. So it’s a day of celebration, the visitors are Everton who themselves, despite an absolute pasting the other night, will be delighted with their fourth place finish. They’re not playing for anything other than the pride that was lost as Bergkamp and co. ripped them to pieces at Highbury – whether this will be motivation enough remains to be seen, the players already appear to be on a Caribbean beach. Little attention will be on our fixture as the drama unfolds at the bottom of the league – a scenario I’m sure we’re glad not to be involved in this time, as it looks to be even worse than our previous battles over the years. The television companies will probably only briefly mention the game at the Reebok as the two unfashionable northern clubs celebrate their forthcoming European adventures, but do we really care? Bolton has come in for a lot of stick in the media for the past few years, with the criticism growing recently as rival managers fuelled the fire. Whether it be fielding an all-foreign XI when it’s apparently our duty to bring on English lads, be it relegating the plucky ‘Ammers or even having the nerve to have a Nigerian flair player who should be plying his trade at somewhere rich and fashionable, we have overcome it all and told them where they can stick their gripes. Everton are without a few players: James (£6m!?) Beattie has a bad knee, Naysmith’s done his ankle in as has Arteta who is doubtful. Player of the season contender Tim Cahill is recovering from a back problem and could well be told to head off on his hols. As for us, well it’s a legend’s last game – something we grew accustomed to as Sir Gudni did his best to retire every season, but still end up turning out for pre-season training. Fernando Hierro has won every club honour going several times over and we should be honoured that the Madrid legend brings down his curtain at our place. No doubt Big Sam will try to pursuade him to carry on for another season and maybe he will come back for another year – a huge show of appreciation from the crowd might even influence a change of mind. It might also be Diouf’s last game for us, a controversial character who’s influenced our season beyond what we could’ve imagined after a few tame appearances early on. Whether we sign Diouf is up to the chairmen of Bolton and Liverpool now, but despite his several indiscretions he’s often been the catalyst in our push for Europe. So it’s time to get the beers in, turn up with a smile on your face, leaving the radio at home and enjoying it for once, with no more need for almost having heart failure as the opposition lump the ball into our box in the last minute or desperation as Pedersen misses another chance. Let’s show our appreciation to Big Sam and the lads for another great year. ___________________________________________ Wanderers go into their final game of the season guaranteed a place in next season's UEFA Cup against Champions League bound Everton at the Reebok on Sunday. The Euro Whites booked their place in the competition after the draw against Pompey last week at the 'state of the art' Fratton Park. Big Sam has only Ivan Campo missing from the squad on Sunday due to suspension, after the Spaniard was needlessly sent off in a reserve game. This brings the curtain down on what has been quite an outstanding season. Big Sam and Phil Brown have performed a miracle, getting the team to play some quality football, reach the FA Cup Quarter Finals and qualify for Europe for the first time. For me, Sam Allardyce is one of three on the shortlist for manager of the season. The Whites will be looking to avenge the 3-2 defeat by Everton in December during the seven games without a point run, when Rahdi Jaidi scored the decisive own goal after Wanderers twice took the lead through Kevin Davies. But things have changed since, we started winning again and Europe started to be back in our sights. Champions League was even possible at one point but ultimately wasn’t to be. If we improve once again then who knows, there could well be the possibility of that next year. Neither team will go into this game lying down, Everton especially after their 7-0 thrashing by Arsenal, but Wanderers will be looking to finish on a high in front of a capacity home crowd. Could the Wanderers cap off a magnificent season at home to the Evertonians? If they perform like they have for most of the season that looks very likely.