Yet again David Moyes has built a highly competitive squad at Goodison Park, but where is the limit for his Everton charges?
By Anton Horan – @AntonH79
For any fan of English football, it is surely hard not to be impressed by Everton this season. The Merseyside club have been in excellent form and look likely to improve upon their 7th place finish last season.
Having watched the Toffees defeat Newcastle at St James’s Park last night I was left most impressed by a strong, confident Everton unit which always looked to be in control of the game. Although Newcastle did have a few good moments, the game, overall, belonged to the visitors.
From the experienced Tim Howard in goal, right through to the powerful Nikica Jelavic up front, this really is an exciting time for the self-proclaimed grand old team. In between you have the likes of Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Marouane Fallaini and Steven Pienaar and you start to see the formation of a very powerful first team unit. The only thing perhaps lacking is a bit of strength in-depth but then that is also improving as evidenced by Victor Anichebe coming off the bench to score the winner against Newcastle.
Individual players aside, it is fair to say that the confidence running through this current crop of Everton players suggests they really believe their time is near. Perhaps a more sustained challenge for the league title is still a little way off but there is no reason why they can’t continue to build on this and get closer to the top teams this season and next. Further, is a cup win over the next couple of seasons a realistic possibility? I would say so, especially if the club can hold on to their best players.
This is, however, a big if. Everton, like so many others, are under threat of becoming a selling club when their best assets ‘outgrow’ them and the ‘bigger’ clubs come calling. The likes of Fellaini and Baines may well see their names being banded around the press throughout the duration of the January transfer window. You could also include Jelavic in that category – the big Croat having amassed an impressive 15 goals in 32 appearances since he joined the club in January 2012. However, Seamus Coleman, the impressive young Irish full-back, has committed his long-term future to the club and that will be a huge boost to manager David Moyes as he looks to retain his squad.
If Moyes can keep his squad together and perhaps even build on it then there is no doubt in my mind that this Everton team could be part of an exciting new era at Goodison Park. An exciting new era where stories about the club challenging for trophies are no longer confined to the archives but do in fact become present day reality.
How much can Everton achieve under David Moyes? Can they keep their best players? Tweet us @talkingbaws or comment below.