Another fine win for David Moyes’ men this weekend meant that the Toffees climbed to 10th in the Premier League. The Goodison crowd saw a classy performance against big spenders Manchester City and were ecstatic with the 2-0 win. Everton have now won three from the last four Premier League games and not lost in seven – a run stretching back to the end of November last year.
Marouane Fellaini produced a dazzling display and showed everyone why he has of late been linked with a £30m move to Chelsea, the 22-year-old was at the centre of the Blue’s football all afternoon. Many Everton fans would have questioned the Belgium’s ability to adapt to the English game since the start of the season, however his performances as a defensive midfielder in the last four or five games have been nothing short of sensational. The towering former Standard Liege midfielder wins the majority of headers in the middle of the park and with a long reach, manages to break down opposition play with ease. With his new role as a holding player, Fellaini looks more confident, however the frizzy haired youngster who scored eight in 30 games last year had a more attacking role. His new position may see less of a contribution in this way but again frees up the likes of Landon Donovan and Steven Pienaar to terrorise defences as they did to the Sky Blues this week.
Moyes was even more the merrier after beating the Citzens this weekend after the poor way he thought the Blues were treating regarding the Joleon Lescott signing. “Manchester City treated us with little respect and broke rules,” stated Moyes. His replacement nevertheless, John Heitinga, received much praise, mainly for his fantastic distribution and his eye for a long ball which certainly paid off against the team from Eastlands. The Holland defender looks great value for money at £6m and will certainly compliment Phil Jagielka when the ex- Sheffield United defender is fully fit. All the talk at Everton this week has been about defenders as Lucas Neill joined Galatasaray in a one and a half year deal. Everton are reported to have let the Australian go for £750,000 a good profit for a player who arrived on a free from West Ham last year. The Blues are rumoured to want to replace him with Philippe Senderos as the Swiss international no longer seems to figure in Arsene Wenger’s plans. The Scot will hope to land the 24-year-old on the cheap as his contract runs out this summer. If Arsenal again refuse to budge on their £5m evaluation of the centre back the Toffees still have good cover in the middle with Jagielka, Heitiga, Sylvain Distin and Joseph Yobo. Neill could also cover at right back and therefore the Everton tactician is looking at Rennes defender Rod Fanni. Rated as one of the best right backs in France he can also cover on the right wing and also centre half – Everton would apparently to have to spend £5m to prise the defender from Rennes.
Donovan also looks to have settled extremely well, as was expected from such an experienced professional. The on-loan L.A Galaxy player has tremendous pace and it seems many Evertonians want to keep the American after the initial loan spell, whether this can be arranged remains to be seen. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov also impressed at the weekend and the £9m man looked sharp in front of goal. The Russian took up some good positions and is another player who seems to be settling into the Premier League at last. Granted he has not overly impressed the Everton faithful so far this season but if his progress continues in this way Moyes will find it hard not to pick the naturally left footed player come next season. Competition for places has also seen the ex-Lokomotiv Moscow winger tracking back more and giving 100% in his all round play.
Everton’s next fixture again sees at least six days of rest in between games as they take on Birmingham in the FA Cup this coming Saturday . It will provide a stern test as the midlanders have only conceded 19 in 21 Premier League games this season.