Football

Everton: Can they break the top four?

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When Roberto Martinez was confirmed as David Moyes' replacement at Everton this summer, he promised Toffees' chairman Bill Kenwright with his first words that he would make the Merseyside club a Champions League team. 

Moyes led them to successive finishes above city rivals Liverpool in his final two seasons with the club - but the Spaniard had bigger ambitions.

Ambitions that were mad, surely, given the strength of Manchester United and Arsenal and the wealth of Manchester City and Chelsea. Given the inevitable renaissance of Liverpool and the continued presence of Tottenham, always there or thereabouts.

Or maybe not so mad.

While David Moyes has limped to a lame 11 points from his first eight league games as United boss, last season's FA Cup-winning boss has accumulated 15 in that same timeframe. 

Moyes proved himself at Goodison Park that money was not everything and nor should it be to Martinez either, given his talents and vision of how football shall be played.

His players, too, look like they are revelling in the current situation - Belgian Kevin Mirallas has already spoken of how he is enjoying life with his new manager. 

Seamus Coleman has taken his performances on to another level at right-back, Leighton Baines is as outstanding as ever, and Ross Barkley is one of the most exciting young English talents to have graced the Premier League stage this season.

In addition to this, the old guard of Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Leon Osman have lost none of their steel, attitude and work-rate, and the astute loan signings of Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku have given the team the look of a jigsaw puzzle whose missing pieces have now been found. 

Granted, a couple of injuries in key positions (particularly to Lukaku and Baines) may leave Everton looking a little threadbare. But they have no European football to contend with, no more Capital One Cup exploits thanks to their loss to Fulham, and no pressure that the top teams all have to deal with. 

They aren't expected to pull up trees, and will be a breath of fresh air if they do so.

What will be crucial to Everton's prospects is those games against the "big six". A criticism of Moyes is that Everton too often lost these big games - and it was this that prevented them from ever breaking through into European football on a regular basis. 

Martinez has already beaten Chelsea 1-0. More results like that, and his words to Kenwright may not be so mad after all.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Everton

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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