One – Doing it the hard way.
Not for the first time this season Everton were forced to come from behind after conceding the first goal for the tenth game this season. Remarkably Everton have gone on to win four and draw three of those fixtures showing a resilience which could yet propel the Blues into the upper echelons of the Premier League table. That never say die attitude was on show again at the Boleyn Ground, Romelu Lukaku scoring to level the match after West Ham had taken a deserved lead.
Two – Stones steps into Jagielka’s shoes to lead defence.
Despite winning 6-2 against Sunderland in last weekends Premier League fixture, many Evertonians left Goodison concerned about a lack of defensive resolve, with a poor Sunderland team scoring twice and hitting the woodwork twice more. Everton were crying out for a defensive leader in the absence of Phil Jagielka. Fast forward one week and John Stones looks like he has taken on the mantel, leading the Blues defence with a calm, mature performance. After a couple of shaky performances the 22 years old was back to his best, nullifying the obvious aerial threat of Andy Carroll and starting Everton forward with his astute passing. It is quite clear to see why Jose Mourinho and Chelsea were prepared to break the bank for the England centre half.
Three – Barry proving critics wrong.
There are many amongst the Everton supporter base who would happily see Gareth Barry consigned to the same Goodison skip where Dr David Franch unearthed the early club ledgers which chartered much of our great history. Yet, the former England international has been at the very top of his game in recent weeks, orchestrating Everton from his withdrawn midfield role. Against Sunderland he made more forward passes (57) than any other midfielder in a Premier League game this season as he set a rampaging Everton towards the Mackems goal. Again on Saturday he was instrumental in Roberto Martinez’ men taking a stranglehold of the game. His clever and quick use of the ball set Everton on the attack and he was instrumental in the Blues equalising goal, playing in Deulofeu (more of him to come) who quite brilliantly found Lukaku, to allow the Belgium striker to score his 9th of the season.
Four – Deulofeu King of the Assist.
Gerard Deulofeu continues to prove anyone wrong who dared to doubt his credentials as a top Premier League player. The Spaniard is in sparking form, scoring goals and assisting others and is now a certain name on the Everton team sheet. His five Premier League assists place him third on the leagues list and his link up play with Romelu Lukaku promises many more to come.
Five – 22 goals already in 2015 for Romelu Lukaku.
Romelu Lukaku divides opinion like no other Everton striker I can remember, but whatever your thoughts, the former Anderlecht, Chelsea and West Brom striker has started the season well, his 9 goals this season have contributed to a total of 22 goals so far in 2015 and with 8 games to be played before the turn of the year he is sure to increase that total further.
His goal against West Ham was his 45th in an Everton shirt, placing him already in the top 50 goal scorers in the history of the club. The goal was also his 7th in 7 consecutive games against the Hammers, a record that places him alongside the legendary Dixie Dean. Dixie achieved the same feat against Aston Villa, Bolton and Bury.