With a third of the season passing during the 60th minute of the Aston Villa match, we thought it was an ideal time to review the campaign so far.
With 13 Premier League games played the Blues have picked up a respectable 20 points. Nothing spectacular but well placed to make a mid-season push for the top four, which is wide open considering Chelsea’s disastrous start to the season. The Toffees’ form is much more impressive when you consider that they have played all of last season’s top 8 and with the exception of Leicester and Crystal Palace, all of this season’s top 10. That certainly presents Everton with an excellent opportunity to climb the table from our current seventh place, with the fixture list from now until the turn of the year looking very favourable. Of course you still need to beat those side struggling at the wrong end of the league but with the Blues looking potent in attack we should pick up plenty of points up between now and the new year.
The Capital One Cup has provided excitement at every turn, with Roberto Martinez’ men coming from behind to record victories in all three rounds of the completion played so far. Exhilarating victories over Barnsley (5-3), Reading (2-1) and Norwich (penalties) have led to a quarter final trip to the north east to take on Championship Middlesbrough. Certainly not an easy game but one we will expect to win, especially with 4,900 Evertonians backing the Blues.
So what of the players:
A disappointing start to the season for our veteran goalkeeper has resulted in pressure from the stands with regular calls for Roberto Martinez to drop the American stopper. Mistakes against Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have proved costly and his time as Everton’s number one is surely coming to an end.
The Spanish keeper has had a mixed season so far. All of his appearances have come in the Capital One Cup. He was superb against Norwich in the 4th round, producing a couple of brilliant saves to keep Everton in the match before saving a penalty in the shoot out. Earlier in the competition he looked uncomfortable against Barnsley and Reading but with irregular football it will always be difficult to find consistency.
After an injury interrupted start to the season Seamus has performed consistently without hitting his best form.
Tyias has taken his opportunities well and is certainly next off the rank at right back. He needs to believe in himself a little more, but has the attributes to become a good Premier League defender.
Made his first team debut in the Capital One Cup tie at Barnsley and after a solid 45 minutes he was unlucky to be sacrificed for more attacking options.
Galloway continues to go from strength to strength, his development from MK Dons to Premier League regular has been sensational and his performance have ensured Everton haven’t unduly suffered from Leighton Baines’ absence. In recent weeks his performance levels have dropped slightly but certainly a bright spark in Everton’s season.
Oviedo has again seen his season interrupted by injury and it is hard to see a long term future with Baines, Galloway and Garbutt all ahead of him.
Stones started the season superbly, putting to the back of his mind the constant media speculation about his future and a potential move to Chelsea to produce several top class performances. Following a spell out of the side after picking up a knee injury he hasn’t quite played to the same high standard but there were signs against West Ham and Aston Villa that he was edging back to his best.
The England international started the league campaign well, but mistakes against Manchester United and Arsenal were reminiscent of early last season where he started slowly before ending up with Everton’s player of the season.
Romero Funes Mori
The big Argentine has made a really positive start to life at Everton. He arrived for a big fee and with some less than glowing reports but he has fitted in well and Everton have barely missed Jagielka during his injury absence.
Barry has been back to his best this campaign and has quietened the section of support who were calling for him to be dropped. Still needs to stop giving the ball away in dangerous areas but a real positive of the season so far.
Not at his best this season and perhaps a little unsure of his role in the team. There have been signs in recent weeks that he is playing himself back into form, especially in the recent home wins over Sunderland and Aston Villa.
His early season promise has been curtailed by a ligament injury suffered at Spurs, but even in his short Everton career he has won over a sceptical supporter base.
Another to suffer with injury. After forcing his way into the team he was injured early in the win over Chelsea and has spent the rest of the campaign battling his way to full fitness. His time will come as the season progresses.
Gibson has endured a difficult time off the pitch and began the season nursing yet another injury, but he has shown further glimpse of his undoubted ability, especially in the Capital One Cup where he played a leading role in overcoming Norwich.
My player of the season so far. Barkley has become the focal point of the Everton side and he has added goals to his game. Had a quite spell between international breaks but was back to his very best in the win over Villa.
Getting use to life as a fringe player but showed his worth with the vital equalising goal in the Capital One Cup tie with Norwich.
Quite simply sensational. In recent games the Spaniard has been in superb form and alongside Ross Barkley has kept Everton in the League Cup when all has appeared lost.
The brilliant form of Gerard Deulofeu has kept Lennon out of the side. Lennon will need to take his opportunity when it arrives to stake a claim for a place on the opposite flank.
Kevin Mirallas –
After starting the season in the team the Belgium winger has found himself spending much of the season in the stands. His frustration over a lack of time on the pitch boiled over at Swansea, where a red card saw him miss 3 matches and he has failed to find any form since.
McGeady has been limited to one disappointing cup appearance against Barnsley which appears to have signalled the end of his Everton career.
After struggling to get a game, Naismith burst onto the scene with a hat trick from the substitutes bench against last season’s champions. Since then his form has dipped and he currently finds himself on the sidelines.
The surprise of the season. During pre-season he looked so far off the pace that his turnaround in fortune was unimaginable. On current form it is impossible to leave him out of the starting line up. Everton look a better team with Kone in the side and with 5 goals so far he is finally justifying the managers faith.
Romelu Lukaku continues to be an enigma. At times he appears disinterested but 11 goals from 15 league and cup ties is a very good return. His partnership with Kone shows huge promise and his link up play with Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu suggests a season’s goal return of at least 25 goals is achievable.
And not to forget those who haven’t been fit to play yet; Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar.
And the manager:
Despite a number of excellent performances, which have contained exciting free flowing attacking football, the manager has still come in for some criticism for his team selections, particularly his defence of the under fire Tim Howard. A place in the quarter finals of the League cup provides an opportunity to write his name into the clubs history books and the Blues are well placed to push for a top four finish.