This season, although still young, has felt like an absolute rollercoaster for Toffees on Merseyside and abroad. A brilliant, blazing beginning turned into suffering with just an international break. Now, as the second one of the season comes to an end and the Blues reeling from three successive losses, it is worth considering our true circumstance amidst the remarkable start and subsequent stumble.
In reality, there is nothing to panic about for Everton. As in any fight, both sides will take a modicum of punishment and it is simply part of the endeavor; as for the Royal Blue, they have shown what they are capable of when things are going the correct way and for Don Carlo, it is a job of getting the squad to that point with and without Richarlison. It is possible and with time, it will be demonstrated by the club and its players I believe.
Too Early for Anxiety: Everton have everything in front of them still
Were someone to say to you at the start of the season that, across all competitions, Everton would have seven wins, three losses and a draw, you, as most every Toffee, would be quite thrilled by that prospect. It is only emotionally complicating when one learns just exactly who we lost to and who we beat from the list of teams; still, keeping this in mind is crucial to remaining sane as the team inevitably wins and loses games across the next month and a half.
Better still, no team thus far has simply blown everyone out of the water, no team looks as dominant as either Liverpool or Manchester City appeared over the last two campaigns and so the Premiership is still reasonable, even with embarrassing slips over the past three matches. Our next Carabao Match, against Manchester United in the quarterfinals, is against a team that, while recently victorious against Everton, has been incredibly inconsistent this season in England and Europe respectively.
And with Everton yet to begin their FA Cup run, the Toffees are left with three losses in the Premier League, with three trophies still to play and compete for. This should give us some passion, some ambition and some fire; while it would’ve been fantastic to win a match without Richarlison, getting him back against Fulham, with lots of rest, is going to be an innovation greater than anything I can type. He has proven to be the dangerman capable of inspiring and driving us into high pressure moments and situations; we need our engine to be sure, but we will also likely need more help this winter and it seems most likely to come from Madrid once more.
Isco or Szoboszlai? What will January bring
The buzz regarding Isco has only increased since I wrote about it, and it seems more likely than not that he could find his way to play with his good friend James Rodriguez, and former Boss Don Carlo Ancelotti. The price being what it is, it appears that Marcel Brands could break his usual stance regarding winter transfers to further the mission; for a bit more however, Dominik Szoboszlai is another possibility. Regardless however, Isco (or Szoboszlai) can be the key piece necessary for the club; useful on the left of the midfield or a bit further advanced to spell Richarlison should he require it, Isco has the ability and knowledge to succeed as has been covered by myself and others.
But will Everton still be in contention to require him for this season by the time they would be able to? Ten matches separate us from January and in those ten matches, Everton could see their Premier League possibilities evaporate into nothing, and find themselves out of the EFL Cup again just in time for Christmas. Or, the Toffees could find themselves in just the opposite of circumstances, fit, competitive and ambitious, with a top five finish plus Carabao and FA Cup runs in their collective sights. Now, Isco will still have use should we fall into the former situation and not the latter, but it certainly won’t be as imperative.
But if we can somehow keep pace and build on our form from the first part of this young season, and not the second part, January will be different and full of optimism at Goodison Park. A January transfer or two hopefully including a bit of defensive business as well will have Toffees everywhere excited and even more anxious than they may be right now. Success creates more pressure and for a team that hasn’t won a trophy in nearly thirty years, more pressure seems simultaneously unbearable and desirable; with that said, few managers are as equipped to handle the pressure and the circumstance as our current boss, and with only three matches dropped and three competitions still in play, it is nowhere near time to panic. Europe is still not out of the question, and we must think this way for the time will come when it is a reality, and it still might be sooner than you expect.