Few things have been certain over the last few years in English football. But one of them has been that Everton FC will have a poor start to the season and then wait until the winter to remind us what a great team they actually are. However this season, Everton have started as well as any fan could of hoped, with 10 points out of a possible 15 and 3 of those coming against the mighty Manchester United it really has been a time for optimism on the blue half of Merseyside.
Yesterday Everton were coming up against a Swansea side that although have had a recent change of manager, haven’t had a change in style and would attempt to play there way through Everton, keep the ball and make Everton tire after chasing the ball for long periods of the game.
But if there’s one thing everyone should know about Everton, its that there aren’t many better teams in English football than Everton at stopping the other team playing. In the first 20 minutes of the game Everton were literally camped in Swansea's half, pressuring them so high up the pitch that it couldn’t allow Swansea to play out from the back, which is pivotal to the way Swansea play. Everton were dictating everything and could easily have been 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes. Instead, it was just the one goal by the very impressive Victor Anichebe but credit has to go to the ever excellent Marouane Fellaini for his part in the goal with an outstanding first touch on the chest and then although it was a handball few could complain at the referees failure to see it which lead to Anichebe coolly slotting home.
Further on the in the game and Everton were continuing to get right into Swansea's face and not allowing them to play at all. But it would be foolish to presume that Everton are just a side of physicality that bullies the opposing team. Everton are themselves are very good footballing side which was proved by the second goal, a quick break away on the counter from Fellaini, slid the ball into the path of Pienaar who then delivered an excellent ball into the path of Mirallas who was poorly tracked by the Swansea defenders and knocked the ball home. In fairness to Swansea they never let the score line bother them and stuck to their traditional style of play throughout the game and bar a few outstanding saves from Tim Howard they could easily have brought themselves back into the game.
But nevertheless Everton continued to close the ball down and quickly counter attack during the second half and created a flurry of chances. Everton finally finished off the game when the ever excellent Fellaini rounded off an outstanding performance with a header after a great delivery from Leighton Baines. A thoroughly deserved victory by Everton and an excellent start to the season. I have to add that if Everton can keep their best players (Jagielka, Baines, Felliani and Jelavic) fit, in my opinion there is no reason why Everton come May wont find themselves in the top 6 of the premier league yet again.