AMID all the talk of Everton’s impressive start to the season, David Moyes has always claimed an accurate assessment could only be made after 10 games.
So, with the Goodison outfit having reached the landmark last week, the time has arrived for the manager.
Good, but could do better.
With Everton residing in the fourth and final Champions League qualification berth, Moyes could stand accused of being wholly unrealistic.
But the fact his team’s largely invigorating performances have merited greater reward than the 17 points they have thus far garnered suggests the Goodison manager has good reason to be demanding.
“Our start has been good, but it could have been a bit better,” says Moyes. “We are probably a little bit disappointed that we aren’t further up the league.
“We could easily be in a higher position.
“That might be down to a lack of experience at times and maybe just giving away silly goals at silly times like we did at Fulham which cost us all three points.
“There have been two games where we have dropped points late on. But what the players have done is nothing short of great.
“They are playing well, they are training well and all the things I see from them are good.
“As long as they keep in form hopefully we can keep it going. Obviously there will be slip-ups along the line but we want to limit them to very few.”
With just one Premier League defeat his season – which stretches to one loss in 19 given their excellent form at the end of the previous campaign – Everton are as difficult opposition as any in the top flight.
But a run of draws – the stalemate at Fulham followed previous such outcomes against Wigan Athletic, Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool – underlines Moyes’s men, while an enjoyable watch, need to become more clinical at both ends of the field.
“We are trying to hang in there and I think the big thing is consistency,” says the Goodison manager. “The team that finished fourth in 2004-05 ground out results and we won a lot of games 1-0 that year, but at the moment we have had a few 2-2s which we could have won 2-1, for example.
“We need to be a wee bit more ruthless. But what the players are doing just now is admirable.
“I see a different type of team now to that of 2005. They had the ability to win a big game when it needed to as well, plus they had a lot of experience.
“The team now is more liable to go and play better and probably create more chances. But the team I have now is a really good side and they are performing well.”