Considering it took the Toffees until October to register a three-point haul last season, the disputed nature of the triumph is unlikely to overly concern anyone at Goodison Park. Indeed, the barely – if at all – deserved win and the three point fillip it provides to Everton’s beleaguered manager, board, squad and fans came at precisely the ideal moment. If the international break had come with Everton failing to win in the league, and the transfer window closing without any additions, as is likely, the unrest that has dogged the club all summer would only have grown. Instead, the spectre of obtaining that first win, that dogged Everton until nearly Halloween last year, has been banished at the second time of asking.
The timing of the international break is, however, not so welcome. Any chance of Everton building some momentum on the field has been largely lost, with the league programme not resuming until September 10. The club’s numerous internationals about to be flung across the globe and Moyes left with a skeleton squad of players returning from injury and those not involved with their national teams.
There is also the danger of the strife that precluded the start to the season returning without the distraction of games to focus the mind elsewhere – a significant danger if the transfer window passes without inward movement. That is not to say the three points from Ewood Park have cleansed the wounds that have opened between the club and a large portion of the fans, but the three points did prevent those wounds being opened much further.
Three points aside, there were few positives to take from Everton’s trip to Blackburn. Outplayed for much of the match – a minority of possession and nine shots on goal compared to Rovers’ 14 – Everton duly disproved the clich