Everton FC, Nikica Jelavic
FOR the sixth successive Premier League game, Everton conceded the first goal.
And for the sixth successive Premier League game, Everton have avoided defeat.
That tells us David Moyes’s side are difficult to beat. It tells us about their self-belief. And it tells us about their resilience.
There’s never been a time under Moyes when there has been there a genuine question mark about Everton’s team spirit.
They are very rarely rolled over. As an opposing manager, you know you will be facing players who will be very difficult to dissuade.
You have to keep at them because Everton won’t often give you anything.
Moyes has added lots of quality to that in his current squad, which you could see from the second goal against Sunderland last weekend.
That was the best example of the subtle changes Everton have made, both in the quality of the build-up and the quality of the end product.
In the last 10 years, have Everton ever had a finisher quite like Nikica Jelavic?
I know people have been moaning he hasn’t scored much this season, but he has got a real eye for goal.
What’s more, I have never seen him blast the ball. Jimmy Greaves would famously pass the ball into the net and Jelavic is a little like that.
Sergio Aguero was the same with his goal for City against Tottenham on Sunday.
That is the sign of a top finisher.
Marouane Fellaini’s performances are starting to attract interest from other clubs, but Moyes is right to insist the Belgian won’t go on the cheap.
Leon Osman deserved his call-up to the England squad.
He has stuck around longer than almost anyone at Everton under Moyes, and after an uncertain start has turned himself into a real clever player.
He will get you a goal and isn’t frightened to put his foot in.
Osman has a great footballing brain and that he has lasted this long in the Premier League at a top club tells you something.
Hopefully it won’t be his last recognition.