Pressing & work rate
Under Pep Guardiola Barcelona, at their best, worked as hard when they didn't have to ball as they did when in possession. There were times against Swansea when Roberto Martinez's Everton reminded me of that. In the first twenty or so minutes they were pressing high up the pitch, with James McCarthy pressing the centre backs and Ross Barkley pressing wide. What this does it forces mistakes and shales passing team out of their stride, and it set the tone for another impressive team performance.
Still pass pass pass but with purpose
At the start of the season there were concerns that the team were passing for passings sake, we didn't seem to be going anywhere as Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin passed the ball between themselves. The change has been gradual in some respects but in each game we've seen more and more examples of quick incisive passing to move the ball into attacking positions. It's lovely to watch, and there are still times that we move to ball terrifically well and pull the opposition all over the pitch.
Much has been said about the improvement in Everton as a team but what was highlighted this weekend was the importance and development of game changing individuals. You could argue that Gerard Deulofeu is the only game changer that Martinez has brought to the club, but Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman have both developed into individuals that can pull something special out of the bag. Their contributions on Sunday came at key moments and were just the icing on the cake of excellent games for both players. If you add the erratic Kevin Mirallas, and the return of the old Steven Pienaar we're starting to find more of those elusive game changers within our squad.
Seamus Coleman is Roberto Carlos reborn
I made a note after about fifty minutes that Coleman has all the right tools to become the premier full back in the Premier League, and I literally wrote this heading. And then he went and belted that goal in, with power and bend, just like a certain Brazilian left back. Coleman is a full back of the swashbuckling kind, always looking to attack. With Kevin Mirallas having licence to roam infield this leaves space for Coleman to work the right hand touchline. It's one of the subtle aspects that Martinez has introduced but the balance between defence and attack is right on the money.
Where's Phil Jagielka gone?
And by that I mean where's the old Phil Jagielka gone? His progress this season has been excellent as one of the core of players (along with Coleman and Ross Barkley) who have been improved as footballers by Martinez. There were a couple of occasions against Swansea where he would previously have booted the ball long, but this yesterday did a Cruyff-like turn to evade the onrushing player and then slide a short pass to a teammate, simple and small but astonishing stuff. He's always been an excellent defender but in the last six months Jagielka has become an excellent footballer and the best English defender.