Everton have had a fairly forgettable season thus far; a crippling injury list and a series of poor performances earlier in the season has put paid to any pre-season hopes of challenging for a top four place. In addition they have received disappointing news about their prospects of building a new stadium and the club are no nearer to attracting fresh investment. However over the past few weeks, things have begun to look up as the performances have improved and the club finally appear to have turned a corner.
Everton earned a hard-fought draw against Arsenal at the Emirates last week and thy appeared to be a side full of belief and confidence. Despite still missing the talents of Jagielka and Arteta as well as the absent Yakubu, Everton are beginning to look like the side that reached the FA Cup final last year. Players that had been underperforming are now starting to find form and the return of Pienaar to full fitness has been a real boost to the side. Fellaini and Donovan are playing well and right now, Everton will be a match for any side.
The defeat of Manchester City was a telling one and it was fully deserved. Everton reminded City that though they are the newest challengers to the establishment, the Merseyside club have been there or thereabouts over recent years. It was also a reminder that next season assuming all their players are fit; Everton should be able to re-establish themselves as a top-six club.
For now, David Moyes will be hoping that his side take heart from their recent triumphs and progress. They are currently in 10th place and can now begin to look up the table rather than down. In addition they are in the knockout stages of the Europa League despite some poor performances in the group stage. The current Everton side are in a position to make a real impact in the European competition now and will be looking forward to the tie against Sporting Lisbon.
It is only January, and though Everton fans will be disappointed with how the season has gone, there have been extenuating circumstances and there is plenty of time for the players to ensure that the season can still be seen as a success when all is said and done. A good run in the league could still see Everton qualify for some European competition while a cup run is not out of the question either.