Well Blues, it’s not been bad at all, has it?
4 games into the Premier League season and we’re flying, quite literally, as high as can be, but being Evertonians, we aren’t delusional to think ‘its our year’. Sure, don’t get me wrong I’m as confident as the next person to believe we can finish as high as we ever have since the inception of the league in 1992, but, as I’ve said, we’re 4 games in and I, aswell as you, have been an Everton fan long enough to realise that we are more than capable of slipping up along the way.
As only Everton fans expected, James Rodriguez has settled into life in the famous royal blue as easy, and as quick, as a duck to water (or a student to a bottle of Echo Falls). I’ve been guilty myself, during these first 4 games, of thinking he is the second coming of Christ, but, its hard not to watch him in absolute astonishment as he coolly struts around the turf spraying passes left, right and centre as if it is a walk through Stanley Park on a Sunday morning. No-one has ever epitomised the term ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ than James. Although, I’d be doing him a disservice to say his form wasn’t great before signing for us. A closer inspection of his stats tells us otherwise. As Don Carlo, quite rightly stated, football isn’t a tough game and the transition from league to league is not hard for those of us with pure class, and that’s what the Colombian has showed to the ever-doubting media, what we believed all along, he isn’t ‘washed up, living off a World Cup goal from 2014’. They’ve certainly changed their tune. He has stuck his two fingers up to the media and its completely to our advantage.
For me, we are witnessing the greatest transformation of the middle since Rik Waller lost all his weight. The performances of Allan and Doucouré, aswell as, the upturn in form of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes has been nothing short of a joy to watch. I watched the Spurs game in a back street pub on the Orkney Islands whilst trekking across Scotland (needless to say, packed with Liverpool fans) and it struck me so hard how much better Allan is than Hojberg. He has slotted into our midfield sublimely and, dare I say it, an improvement on Idrissa Gueye who we had missed so much. For me, he is THE signing of the summer. A footballer we can all cherish and one that’s only going to get better and more loved when us fans eventually return to the Old Lady. Anyone who celebrates a tackle and winning the ball back, is one I can instantly hold dear.
Certainly, our acquisitions have been outstanding, the best by any Premier League team this summer and Abdoulaye Doucouré has shown to us (via the Brighton game) he is well equipped to take on the responsibility of holding midfield if Allan or Gomes get injured. He is, in every sense of the word a top class box to box midfielder and just shows how embarrassingly wrong Watford fans were about him. 4 games in and we are already seeing the signs of a team who have improved dramatically with just 3 key acquisitions. When you have a man like Carlo Ancelotti in charge, you can rest easy knowing we will be alright. Add players of quality to a team and the ones we already have will flourish. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Seamus Coleman and Andre Gomes have flourished since the new boys came in. We, also, have players, who had once looked disinterested, looking like they’re enjoying being part of the set up and fighting for their spot. Factor in Niels Nkonkou and Ben Godfrey and we have a really, really exciting squad of players.
Now, lets talk about one player who is having the time of his life, and another who is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Firstly, Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Everything the lad touches, at the moment, turns to gold. With 6 goals from 4 games, adding another for his country and a hat-trick against West Ham in the cup, our number 9 has shown a meteoric rise in performance levels. His form, attitude, and all round work rate, right now, is scintillating and is a blueprint for any budding, aspiring young player. The best illustration of ‘hard work, pays off’ I think I’ve seen for a long, long time. He’s certainly come a long way since being started at right-back under Ronald Koeman and its an absolute joy to witness. There is not a bad word under the sun that’s said about him either, a pleasure to know and work with is what Carlo said whilst comparing him to Inzaghi. Not a bad endorsement from the games finest really, is it?
However, the one negative coming from these first few games is that of Jordan Pickford. It worries me to think that we have had to get him out of jail more than a couple of times this season already. He is in a big purple patch and, I’m afraid to say my patience has ran out with him. THAT Brighton mistake was just the tip of the iceberg for me, we can only hope he doesn’t come back from international duty with the same cocky persona as he normally does. Its hard not to think that we won’t have any success whilst he is between the sticks, however good the form of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina has been. Maybe Robin Olsen will provide a decent competition for him. Whatever Carlo thinks, we think though, so, we have to trust that Pickford will turn this round ahead of the Derby. Watch this space, I suppose.
Looking ahead to the Derby, we may have won 7 out of 7 and they’ve just been beaten 7 by Villa, but, we know full well not to be confident going into a game with Liverpool as history tells us. There is no doubting that this will be a very good game, one of the best and most competitive derbies for a long time. They’re still a very good outfit and favourites for the league, but, this time there is something classy about us. We’ve got the players to match them. Coronavirus has hit them, but, don’t be fooled into thinking they’ll be anything but up for this after the drubbing they’ve had. I cant see us being embarrassed like we have in the past, however, and you’d be forgiven for being excited about the prospect of a first Derby win in 10 years. We’re in seventh heaven right now, we’re flying, we will be a good match for them and never forget that even if they win, they’d have to win by 7 goals to go above us.
To summarise, we’re definitely winning the league.
All joking aside, its an extremely, extremely exciting time for us Blues. We’re going places with this squad and manager. The project has begun. Moshiri had his plan and now, maybe, just maybe, we’re starting to see it come to fruition.
Up the Toffees.