Everton are looking up
Picture the scene: It is May 2014, the red-hot sunshine beams down onto a packed Goodison Park, the Z Cars theme tune is being blasted out over the public address system as Phil Neville emotionally lifts the famous EPL trophy—Everton are Premier League champions.
Now, before the majority of readers begin to wonder if I have had too much liquor on my Christmas turkey, I sincerely believe, especially at this time of year, boyhood dreams can come true.
In terms of overall quality, seasoned campaigners like Manchester City and Manchester United are ahead of Everton, but there are other important factors to take into account when judging how successful a football club could become.
The current Everton squad has many of the characteristics exhibited by the 1995 champions Blackburn Rovers. Granted, football has moved on since those days, but a lot of the same ethos and credentials for success have not.
The perennial ‘overachievers’ from the blue half of Merseyside could be on the verge of something really special, especially if chairman Bill Kenwright can keep his manager David Moyes and the entire squad together.
On the pitch, Everton have shifted emphasis significantly from their image of being a hard-working, organized side that is difficult to beat.
Since the arrivals of Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic, they have added some attacking prowess to compliment their undoubted resiliency. Moyes has finally constructed a squad that is closer to the finished product than any he has had in his previous 11 years at Everton.
Wednesday's game against Wigan was a perfect example why Everton fans are feeling optimistic. They boosted their Champions League credentials with a hard-fought, 2-1 victory, continuing their impressive unbeaten home form—13 games and counting.
But, it was the manner of victory that caught my eye.
As Sunderland's shock win over Manchester City proved, you need more than a just a squad full of talented players to succeed in the EPL. Togetherness, belief and trust are essential ingredients when baking a championship-winning pie. All these characteristics can be found at Goodison Park, all due to the players being moulded into the very image of their manager.
For those reasons, the club's supporters are now starting to believe that winning some silverware is a distinct possibility.
If Moyes and Kenwright can appease the current crop of players, strengthen the squad in the next two transfer windows and, maybe more importantly, keep the talismanic figure of Marouane Fellaini, the glorious picture I painted earlier might just become reality.
All Everton fans should get penning a next year’s letter to Santa Claus for a Premier League trophy, a new contract for Moyes and a replica Fellaini Afro wig.