Everton: Unlikely Challengers for Premier League Glory
While only two games have elapsed so far in the Premier League season, one of the most noticeable occurrences from these games has been the form of Everton. Certainly the Toffees are a side that have always garnered respect across the league for years, yet their start indicates that this season may see them make their most significant impact on the Premier League in their recent history. Certainly if one was to look at their squad size, it is considerably less well-stocked than their fellow challengers for Premier League supremacy, but their quality should not be underestimated.
Saturday’s demolition of Aston Villa showcased their talents. And few if any sides in the division could have lived with their brand of football during the opening 45 minutes of the game. Players such as Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic would grace any side in the league. And having players of their calibre in their ranks sure makes for exciting times for fans of the Goodison-based outfit. Their goals on Saturday illustrated the depth of quality they posses within their ranks. And simply put, the third goal was essentially unstoppable. However, the main thing I have come to admire about this current Everton side is their willingness to play as a team. The side carries no superstars, but it does crucially contain an array of highly skilled footballers that would be an addition to any side across Europe.
The loss of Jack Rodwell was frankly good business, and with Darron Gibson emerging into the player that he was expected to be at United, then their ability to control the middle of the field has not been diminished. Phil Neville leads by example and is undoubtedly one of the best professionals in the league today; he is in many ways an on-field reincarnation of the manger David Moyes. Moyes is the third longest serving manager in the league and the immense job he has thus far completed at Everton cannot be praised highly enough. His ability to energize and motivate the players at his disposal year on year is something to be admired. Finally it appears he has amassed a side and squad capable of bringing back the glory days to Goodison Park.
The comments by Roberto Mancini after the signing of Rodwell were disrespectful:
“He is young, and now for the first time he is at a club that plays to win, so it will be different for him.”
The comments were totally without foundation. Everton is a side that has continually prevailed over City during his reign and these comments illustrate a lack of respect that leaves questions marks over Mancini’s understanding of English football. Certainly Everton have on occasion flattered to deceive when they were in similar veins of form previously. Last season’s capitulation in the FA Cup semi final is an illustration of this, but their fantastic opening to this season has certainly presented them with an opportunity to finally become the top dogs on Merseyside.
No real conclusions can be made from the opening two games and as David Moyes astutely remarked on Saturday evening on their encouraging opening ‘’let’s see how we are after ten games’’. However, the time has arrived for Everton to finally reassert their influence on the top table of English football. A club of their history and stature deserves to play for the highest of honours and if the squad can keep playing with the same enthusiasm and motivation, I believe that they will be one of the main stories of this season’s Premier League.