Following yesterday’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace it might be time to believe that Everton have finally turned the corner after so many false dawns in recent years.
I write this still a little reluctantly and I certainly don’t want to tempt fate by being over-optimistic, something Toffees supporters can rarely be accused of!
But Everton are now unbeaten in their last four matches, winning three, have won four of the last five and have only been beaten once in those last five games.
And that of course, was the hugely controversial defeat at Anfield when the Blues could and probably would have got something from the game but for the referee’s intervention.
We have seen times in the past when Everton have managed to find some form and maybe win a few matches before the wheels have come off.
And Palace have been a regular participant in these dramas. No one will forget that night back in May 2022 when the Toffees came back from two goals down to win by yesterday’s scoreline and ensure Premier League survival.
Then last season the Blues hosted the Eagles at Goodison Park and although they weren’t on a good run of results, won 3-0 in a match that at the time seemed to indicate things might at last be possibly coming together under Frank Lampard’s stewardship.
It proved to be a false dawn as we all know and just a few months later Lampard was gone and Farhad Moshiri was looking for his seventh manager since taking over the club.
Sean Dyche came in and did enough, just, to keep the club up again with a final day win over Bournemouth securing a seventeenth place finish.
All this history should give us cause for a great deal of caution about thinking we can be sure things are genuinly improving now.
Indeed, the start of this campaign was a major letdown with Everton losing their first three home games without scoring a single goal and the team were firmly trapped in the relgation zone.
It was true that the Toffees had been creating chances without taking them and could have won all three of those games, but all that matters is points in the end.
On top of that the team were letting in goals far too easily and looked defensively very vulnerable with Micheal Keane in particular once more a major reason for that.
Dyche finally turned to Jarrad Branthwaite and his partnership with James Tarkowski significantly strengthened the centre-back situation.
The return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to full fitness and indeed a level of fitness we haven’t seen for a long time, has also improved the side’s attack leading to a better conversion rate up front.
And furthermore, Everton have become a more resiliant team with the side showing the ability to recover better than we have seen in the past.
Usually in the last few seasons, when the Blues go behind or are pegged back by opponents they are unable to find a way to win or get something from the game in such a situation.
But recent games have appeared to indicate the Toffees are finding a way to either recover as they did yesterday or hold on for a draw as against Brighton last weekend.
So all in all a marked improvement appears to be real and a upturn on where things were a few months ago. So let us hope this progress continues and I don’t have to eat my words.