In the Stoke game we saw a persistent Everton and a team that was missing some of it’s stars of recent weeks. The likes of Mirallas and Barkley were rested whilst Gerry Deulofeu got his first start and literally blew the Potters away. We never held on to our 1 or 2 nil lead, we kept going and ended up scoring 4 and could have scored many more too, it was great to get back to winning ways after a succession of draws.
Goal Machine, The Beast.
Onto Old Trafford and the hype of us facing our former manager; but again Everton came through victorious and the result was fantastic, both in terms of our status and because we got one over Moyes.. and Rooney! Newcastle went on to beat them too at the weekend and many other sides will take confidence from our win there and now face United with a distinct lack of fear. Oviedo’s late winner resulted in most of us feeling rather rough (and bruised) on Thursday morning regardless of where we watched the game, but it was all worth it and after that we literally could not wait to see what our beloved Blues could do against the table toppers at the weekend.
Again there was a major buzz amongst our supporters ahead of the tie, even though we were about to play a side 1st in the Premier League at a ground where we had never won. Confidence? Too right. It is a real testament to Roberto that we are going into any fixture, against anyone, expecting to get a result. We actually play to win, and against Arsenal we showed it again. For the majority of the first half the home side couldn’t get the ball and it was almost like we were the team playing in front of our own crowd. Passing the ball round with ease, almost with a swagger, and looking solid at the back. We just lacked that killer ball in the final third but apart from a late flurry from the Gooners in the opening 45, we again looked the real deal. What side goes to Arsenal and passes them off the park – well nowadays Everton do. A true reflection of the belief Bobby has instilled, our character and positive spirit is evident in every single one of our players.
Eventually we fell behind to an Ozil strike on an Arsenal break away and admittedly the game became more open but Everton continued to keep the ball well and look to get a goal themselves. We did, through Gerry who had came on from the bench, and Evertonians again celebrated wildly as we got our just deserves. It was another late goal but you could feel something building, as Mirallas and then Barkley went close. Deulofeu’s finish was excellent and he is growing with every appearance – I just hope we can keep hold of him for another year as he truly is a joy to watch. Neither side could find a winner and the game ended 1-1 but it was the travelling Evertonians who were celebrating a late leveller and Martinez left feeling proud of his side who put in a performance that he described as one of the best he has seen since becoming Blues boss. Wenger had his typical moan about Everton being physical, he has to find an excuse when they don’t win and we are used to him crying by now, but overall the majority of comments and remarks following the game (most notably from Mikel Arteta) have praised the Toffees and described them as ‘the best Arsenal have faced so far this season’. You don’t see many sides go to Arsenal and win, which unfortunately we never, but you also don’t see many sides go there and play them at their own game and leave them chasing shadows at times – and that’s what we did. It is a sign of the times that even when we are playing the ‘bigger’ sides away from home we are disappointed to not get more than a point, this epitomises what Martinez and his staff are trying to do at the Club and our mentality as a whole has changed.
Each of our players have played their respective roles well in our last few games and rather than single individuals out I’d just like to praise them all collectively. From Howard in goal to Rom up top, they have all been brilliant. Our full backs are playing like wingers, our midfielders aren’t shy of a tackle or a pop at goal, our attackers are too much for the opposition and our centre halves and goalkeeper have been superb. It has been an enthralling couple of weeks as an Evertonian and since August we have had a lot to shout about. Even the pictures and the videos of our fans and players celebrating have been great to see, I could get used to this winning mentality and Everton making me this excited week in week out. Martinez and this Everton side have got me feeling ecstatic and brimming with confidence each and every time I see them play. The countdown to our next fixture is well and truly on and we are all literally bursting to see what this team can do next. It’s a boss feeling.
We now face Fulham at Goodison this weekend and it is important that we remain focussed on getting the job done because no game is easy and there is no room for complacency. We need to build on what we have achieved over the past week or so, but looking ahead at our festive fixtures and if we keep playing as we have been, we will hopefully see a lot more points on the board in the coming weeks.
Up the Toffees