Despite currently sitting 9th in the table, the last month in the life of Everton has been great.
Even at the start of this week I was looking at the 2 fixtures of Nuremburg and Chelsea away with some trepidation. A run of good results against, at best, average opposition was running headlong into what could have been a brick wall. We haven't faired too well this season against many decent sides. On the back of the win in Nuremburg, I was hopeful of putting up a fight at the Bridge, but little expected to take much from the game. And my feeling appeared to be vindicated when I saw that Drogba had bagged in the 70th.
This brings me to my 2 points; first of all, at any point up to now, would we have held out hope of a point against Chelsea with Arteta, Johnson and our best left-back out of the side? I for one would have to say no. I think that gives a fair indication of the improvement of the squad overall since the end of last season.
Second point is that we are on a great run and we all know in our blue hearts that there will be hiccups, that we can't perform to this level for a full season, even though I want to believe that we can. But we've got ourselves into that wonderful habit of going the full 90 + stoppage time and rescuing points when time seems to have run out on us. That breeds confidence, a never-say-die attitude and even if we suffer a few hiccups in the coming weeks, we will still have the belief that we can get something out of a game when it is slipping away from us.
Credit has to go to Moyes, despite a fairly bumpy start he has turned us into a side with a real winning mentality. I know it's only been short term and I'm trying not to get carried away, but it is really reminiscent of the 2004-05 season. And we have Johnson, Vaughan, Baines and (maybe) Gravesen to get back to match fitness and boost the squad.
We may well need that mentality, with one hell of a run of fixtures in December. Sunderland at home and Portsmouth away are winnable and less than 4 points would be disappointing. Then Zenit at home and the opportunity to keep our 100% record and tie up the UEFA group early (was anyone expecting that after 2005 and Metalist this year?) Then Fulham at home before a run of West Ham twice, Alkmaar then Man Utd all away in 11 days. I think it's safe to say that is going to be the acid test. If we can come through that period with a reasonable set of results, it's going to be a happy, happy Christmas and a New Year that all Blues will be looking forward to.
Keep it up boys and COYB!
Richard Parker, Posted 12/11/2007 at 05:57:25
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
ONE GAME AT A TIME!
1 Posted 12/11/2007 at 09:56:43
2 Posted 12/11/2007 at 09:57:35
3 Posted 12/11/2007 at 11:50:55
You mentioned Gravesen in the middle of your piece - he could be a key player when the fixture congestion kicks in over the winter. We need a player who can hold the ball and change things. I don’t know what’s up with him but if he can play one game in three then it takes pressure off Cahill and Arteta.
Things are definitely looking rosey.
4 Posted 12/11/2007 at 16:11:05
5 Posted 12/11/2007 at 23:11:04
Zenit champions,suggests a form team.
Alkmaar will not be a pushover.Has any body seen how they pass the ball and move? Watch them on the web or even watch Eurogoals on Eurosport on a Monday evening / Tuesday afternoon.These will be two very tuff games I assure you.
We scraped through against Metalist because they were so inept at crossing hence lightweight in attack.
We have played the two weakest teams in the group. Zenit + Alkmaar will also win these matches so don´t count your chickens yet.
6 Posted 13/11/2007 at 06:02:42
I think that we can expect a tough game from Zenit, but again, why shouldn’t we view that as a winnable fixture? We’ve played 2 good sides in the last week and not lost. And bearing in mind the fact we only need a point to more or less qualify....
As I mentioned above, we have a very tough run coming up, but we have got ourselves into a very good position to attack that run. And I think that, realistically, we will quite probably lose a few before xmas. But I think the reality is that most of us will be disappointed if we haven’t sewn up the UEFA group and aren’t sitting within touching distance of the top 6 come xmas.
I don’t consider that unbridled optomism....
7 Posted 13/11/2007 at 20:36:16
I reitrate. Don´t count your chickens.....
8 Posted 13/11/2007 at 20:49:08