Everton have gotten off to a great start this season; something that has plagued previous campaigns. How far can they realistically go?
Over the past few years, Everton have notoriously been slow starters. Their season never really begins until the New Year, much at the frustration of their fans – “why couldn’t we perform like that from the beginning!”
Everton’s first match of the new campaign against Man Utd showed that they are capable of not only matching the big boys, but also play better than them. The 1-0 win at Goodison Park may have shocked some, but others believe it’s been a long time coming.
David Moyes has slowly built a side that contains flexible players – creative yet defensively solid. The game was a perfect example of Everton well drilled and retreating into a shape that is hard to beat, covering all options available to the opposing team.
After five games they have three wins, a draw and a loss which sees them sit 3rd currently. What’s been more impressive are the performances; they’ve dominated the opposition at times with fantastic attacking play. The only downside has been the finishing as they’re creating plenty of goal scoring opportunities.
So if they maintain their good start with their now customary excellent second half results, could they challenge for a Champions League spot? If they had done this last year that might have been a possibility. With Chelsea and Arsenal struggling to find consistency, Tottenham claimed fourth spot while Newcastle pushed and finished fifth. But Arsenal and Chelsea have improved their squads with quality signings this time round; it seems a Champions League spot may be asking a little too much.
Tottenham and Newcastle haven’t hit the heights of last season, so a fifth place for Everton is more than likely. Elsewhere, cup competitions present a fantastic opportunity for David Moyes to get his hands on some much needed silverware. They reached the FA Cup semi final last year only to be put out by bitter rivals Liverpool.
It was a similar story in the League Cup with Chelsea denying Everton this time a place in the Quarter Finals. Provided Everton have a bit of luck in the draws, they could go on to lift a trophy.
David Moyes buys smart and sells even smarter. Just with the sales of Jack Rodwell and Jolean Lescott at inflated prices has allowed him to improve his team. There is a far greater depth in his side now which should help with injuries and cup competitions.
The main players who are critical to their success this season are Pienaar, Jelavic and Fellaini. Teh return of Pienaar into the side has seen him recapture his form after an unsuccessful move to Tottenham. Jelavic is the natural finisher Everton have been crying out for too long now. Much like Yaya Toure at Man City, Fellaini is underrated. Terrific skill for a big man, he’s always reliable for a goal or two.
Simply, there has never been a better time for Everton to have a successful season that sees them win their first trophy since 1995.