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Everton are on the up - and the establishment doesn't like it

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Martin Samuel is the latest person to have a dig at Everton to once again prove we are heading in the right direction.

Alex Livesey

Samuel's article in the Daily Mail is nothing more than a glorified trolling exercise, designed to generate cheap hits, stir up anti-Everton sentiment and wind up Toffees fans still further.

It is also difficult to know where to start in discrediting it.

Samuel says Everton should not be allowed to loan players like Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu because they would not normally be able to afford to buy them.

Surely that's the point of the entire loan market? I'm guessing lower division sides are not allowed to loan expensive Premier League players then, Martin?

Samuel also suggests Everton should be thrown out of Europe because of their use of the loan system instead of sides who spend beyond their means or rely on sugar daddies to dominate the transfer market and inflate transfer fees.

As you were, Mr Mansour. You are a bastion of morality in the Premier League while nasty old Everton are just plain cheats, apparently.

Samuel stresses Everton have not broken any rules but are merely exploiting an anomaly that has come about from Financial Fair Play regulations.

His article stemmed from criticism by Arsene Wenger, who spoke out in the build-up to last weekend's game at Goodison. Criticism of Everton has become an increasing trend in recent weeks.

If these were new loan regulations Everton were 'exploiting' then the argument may carry weight. But the loan system has been in use for years, why is it a problem now?

Oh yes that's right, Everton are doing well, really well. They are getting up the noses of the elite and they do not like it.

Top clubs are quite happy to hoard players and loan the odd one to a harmless, middling team but the moment the status quo is threatened they suddenly cry foul.

You also have to remember that Everton's progress this season has been about much more that Barry, Deulofeu and Lukaku. For starters both Deulofeu and Lukaku have spent extended time on the sidelines.

Everton stats man Gavin Buckland also says that loan players have accounted for 16% of starts in the Premier League this season.

But why let facts get in the way of a good story?

Lets just ignore the performances of Leighton Baines, John Stones, Seamus Coleman James McCarthy. The continued consistency of Tim Howard, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka or the dramatic turnaround in form of Steven Naismith.

Instead try and paint Everton's progress against the odds as something negative, just because it threatens the established elite, who fear the days of greedily scoffing out of the Champions League trough unchallenged may soon come to an end.

Those clubs - and seemingly  the media - just want Everton to plod along in mid-table and play by their rules, namely that they buy whoever they want and we feed off the scraps.

But Everton are refusing to be put in their place and despite huge financial disparities are finding a way to compete at the top.

And long may it continue.

The more successful you are, the more unpopular you become, both from those above and the jealous chasing pack below.

If further spiteful articles like Samuel's appear in the coming weeks do not despair Blues, because it will merely be a further sign that we are on our way back to where we belong.