We can all agree that this season has been a write off. An awful league campaign that had us dawdling towards relegation until just over a month ago. Since that appalling night in the Potteries, when I thought all was lost we have gone on a six match unbeaten run winning five out of those six. We have improved with every one of those games culminating with the display last Sunday against United, arguably the best performance and result of the season.
As I’m sure all Evertonian’s can agree, why have we waited until the season is essentially over to put in a performance of such steel and professionalism?! You can argue the pressure is now off and we can play without fear, but there has been a clear change in the way we were playing earlier in the season to the way we have been the past month. Martinez was quoted earlier on in the season saying he wouldn’t stray away from his football philosophy. The past month suggests he has and it’s brought the winning mentality back to the club I truly believed we lost.
I’ll hold my hands up and say I was in the ‘Martinez Out’ camp after that dreadful display at Stoke. Thinking there was only one way we were going! Nevertheless the manager and the players deserve huge credit for turning our season of disaster into one of respectability. Don’t get me wrong, this season has been one to forget but considering we were staring down towards the Championship over a month ago, a top ten finish represents a respectable return. I still have reservations towards senor Martinez but will give him the benefit of the doubt and give him the summer to move on the dead wood and players who don’t want to be here.
The highlight for me on Sunday along with the three goals and three points was the return of unity between both fans and the team. The atmosphere at Goodison this year has been toxic at times. The performances haven’t been great so in turn the atmosphere has been affected. There has been debate on what creates or starts an atmosphere, especially at Goodison. Is it the players who get the supporters going or is it the other way around?! I’ve been going to Goodison for over twenty years now and seen some absolutely dreadful teams under the Walker and Smith days. However in all those teams there were players who would run through brick walls for the club. Players such as Watson, Unsworth and Ferguson to name a few would do everything physically possible to get a result, putting their bodies on the line. All it takes is a tackle, block or shot. On Sunday it was McCarthy and Barry getting into Fellaini early doors. The big Belgian couldn’t cope with the pace and should’ve got booked when he swiped McCarthy’s legs on the halfway line. When he flew into Barkley the whole ground were baying for blood. From that moment the players knew the supporters were on their side. As they say the rest is history and the famous Goodison atmosphere had returned. It just goes to show that if the players care enough they will get the support they deserve.
Let’s hope the recent positivity continues and we can go into the summer on a high, after the season we’ve had it’s the least we deserve. Come on you blue boys