Have Everton bitten off more than they can chew?

Football FanCast columnist Ainsley Cannon wonders if his beloved Everton has what it takes to be competing on all fronts this season.

A somewhat disappointing start to the season but have Moyes' men got what it takes to be serious contenders in Europe?

With a successful run in last season's FA Cup, only to be beaten at Wembley in the final, Everton players and fans alike were perhaps filled with delusions of grandeur. But, as any Evertonian will tell you, after a successful season comes a disappointing and expected poor start to the next.

Sitting mid-table after a succession of stale draws at Goodison Park will Everton be turning their attentions to Europe?

The Everton players face a tough run of three games in six days which beckons the question "Is Moyes going to start with his strongest line up for each game?"

Injury permitting, will he look to see each game through with his strongest available team or will he be inclined to rotate his squad and aim to ensure freshness and match-fit players throughout?

‘Overplaying' his strongest 11 will inevitably cause fatigue and prevent them from playing to their full potential which will hinder the team. Alternatively if he rotates the players too often he may cause disruption which is likely to lead to mistakes and a breakdown in communication.

Whilst travelling to Portuguese club Benfica, the much loved Scottish manager must ensure he focuses on the bigger picture. He will want three wins in three games and that is not unrealistic as long as he can prepare his team and install the belief and ambition that was rife in the side last season.

David Moyes has slated the schedule that sees Everton travel to Benfica on Thursday, play against Bolton on Sunday and again against in-form Tottenham Hotspur the following Tuesday. His opinion fuelling the fiery debate about how many competitions professional clubs should enter.

With the FA Cup, Carling Cup, Premier League and Europa League all in contention this season, have the toffees bitten off more than they can chew?