I will begin by announcing that I am a devoted Everton fan, therefore admitting that this article may be slightly, heavy exaggeration on the slightly, bias. If I was offered a bet that Everton would be second in the Premiership six games into the season I would laugh it off as a Kopite-engineered jest and keep my wallet firmly closed. However David Moyes has clearly pushed his squad to get over the hurdle of the ‘early season’ which has plagued our club for several past campaigns. Last season we took a dismal ten points from our first ten games which has already been drastically improved to thirteen in six games, I don’t need to be a keen-eyed fan to notice the improvement there.
This success can come down to many factors. The most noticeable of these would be transfers with Moyes enlisting several players to his squad, a rarity given to the highly skilled manager in this current financial climate here at the club. Clearly, every penny counts to Moyes’ who is restricted from spending mega-millions on highly rated players from across the top leagues in the world. Nikica Jelavić will be amongst Everton’s buys of the decade due to his low price tag and instant goal success on the pitch. Jelavic was a signing that I am sure most fans were curious about because of his high scoring record in Scotland’s SPL leaving fans to wonder if he could transfer this success from the north to the south of Britain. Jelavic did not disappoint, scoring nine goals in only thirteen appearances for the club in the previous season. This success has stuttered into life in the current season, with a still impressive three goals in six appearances so far.
Jelavic was joined shortly after by his former teammate Steven Naismith, who has not shared the success he endured quite so instantaneously. Naismith’s Everton career began wonderfully with a hat-trick during right-back Tony Hibbert’s testimonial match which has been followed up by him being yet to score for the Toffee’s so far this campaign. Despite this, Naismith has proved a handy player for Moyes to pick up on a free, and let’s be quite honest, is a better player than Moyes’ will sometimes spend cash on.
Kevin Mirallas, Belgium up-and-comer was also added to Moyes’ squad in August and has impressed all since his move from Olympiacos for a rumored 6 million pounds. Mirallas is a player we don’t usually see at Everton, with a style of play that includes a lot of flare and skillful maneuvers to put the ball around the opposition. The closest we have come to a flare-style player was Drenthe and Pienaar. This bright forward, primarily playing on the right wing for Everton thus far, has proven himself able to score from inside and outside the box, which again is a rarity for an Everton forward.
Keeping his own with these big money signings (in Everton standards!) is Manchester United throw-away Darron Gibson. He was signed from United for a nominal fee but has proven his worth to be equally as high as Mirallas and Jelavic by bolstering the midfield and proving himself a regular starter. Gibson is a confident holding midfielder who looks able to fill the void that will soon be left by Phil Neville, who’s defensive midfield work has proved useful for many seasons for Everton., not to mention Gibson’s remarkable long range shot which the Toffee’s have yet to be graced with. All in good time!
A final deadline day transfer was made in Bryan Oviedo, who looks promising on the occasions he has appeared so far, but looks more as a replacement for Leighton Baines during the strenuous season.
I realise I spoke more on transfers than I intended, and I shall not keep you much longer! But other than the obvious changes to the squad, Moyes’ has given the squad his usual togetherness that continually allows Everton to finish campaigns outrageously higher up the table than their financial capabilities should allow them to.
I’m unsure whether this season can continue in this prolific way, my fingers are crossed we Blue’s can look forward to a top five, or God forbid, a top four finish. My primary concern is taking advantage of Liverpool’s poor start to the season and using this as a platform in which to finish higher up in the table than our neighbours for a second consecutive season. This is my first EVER blog, so please do not criticize to much, although constructive criticism is always welcome.