What can we realistically expect of Everton this season?
Their win over Wolves on Sunday saw them enter the international break in sixth place with two wins from their four games, and with the promise of better things ahead.
On the Totally Football Show this week we were joined by Matt Jones from Everton podcast The Blue Room.
“What was really refreshing for a lot of Evertonians was that this is a Wolves side who tickled Everton’s tummies when they played against them in February, really outclassed them,” said Matt. “And this showed how far [Everton] have come. The two goals conceded were soft but overall it was a fantastic performance and sends everyone into the international break with a smile on their face.”
All of which is much more positive than things looked last term, when manager Marco Silva looked like he was a dead man walking.
“The thing for me is that he’s come back from the nadir of last season,” said Matt. “The game against Millwall in the FA Cup last season, which everyone saw on free-to-air TV, and Everton were pretty pathetic. And then they went to Watford, and it was all very embarrassing for him because they were awful [at his old club] and got well beaten and at that stage you couldn’t see any way back for this fella.
“But he’s turned it round, and it’s credit to Everton for giving him time, because a lot of managers in this day and age don’t get that chance. The defence looks pretty solid now, and in attack they’ve been fantastic – players like Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean really seem to fit the blueprint, that high pressing, high intensity style he wants to play.
“For a team like Everton who have been rattling around in mid-table for the last five or six years, enjoying going to the game is really important. I think Silva deserves a lot of credit for doing that.”
So can they break into the top six?
“It’s hard to look at the tribulations of teams like Manchester United and Chelsea and not think there’s an opening there, but you’ve also got to look at teams like Leicester who have started very well. Wolves are a fine side, West Ham have had a good start. A lot of Evertonians are looking at this situation and thinking it’s there to be got at, but I’m probably a bit more cautious.
“What I want from the season is three things really: I want to see progress just in terms of the eye test in what I see in the games; I want to see a cup run, because there is not many years at Goodison Park now; and I want to enjoy going to watch this team. A lot of people listening to this probably won’t care about Everton because they’ve probably been the most boring team in the Premier League in the last few years, but I want to see that changed.”
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