EFC striker looks a class apart
Every time Romelu Lukaku pulls on an Everton shirt, he makes Jose Mourinho look a bit daft.
When you consider the trials and tribulations Mourinho is having with his strikers at present, it makes it all the more bizarre he allowed Lukaku to leave Chelsea on loan.
Not that Everton will be too bothered.
Lukaku appears to be in the Duncan Ferguson mould in that he can lift the crowd simply by being on the pitch. He is that type of player.
Everton love a big centre-forward.
Think Joe Royle, Graeme Sharp, Ferguson and now Lukaku.
The Belgian has won over the crowd already with three goals in as many games.
He was fantastic in the first half against Newcastle, but that he again dropped off significantly in the last half-hour underlines how he still needs to build up his fitness and stamina.
But, at just 20, that will come. If injury-free, he will be playing regular football at Everton this season and he is only going to get better.
It’s another indication of how well Roberto Martinez performed in the summer transfer window.
I said when the Spaniard took over it would be an extremely difficult job following David Moyes, but Martinez has given himself a great chance with the players he has brought in and let go.
Martinez has lowered the average age of the squad, eased the debt, increased the depth of the squad and improved the first team. It’s debatable he could have done any more.
That’s why Everton are still unbeaten and stand only three points behind leaders Arsenal. Early days, yes, but Martinez is making the right decisions so far in terms of Premier League progress.
Keeping hold of Leighton Baines was always going to be the main aim during the summer.
But how many Evertonians are overly bothered Marouane Fellaini has departed? I’d be surprised if it’s very many.
Everton may have beaten Chelsea last month but, for me, the first proper test of the Martinez era comes at Manchester City this weekend.
City are the title favourites and, while they have had their struggles on the road, they have generally rolled teams over at the Etihad.
It’s a blow Gareth Barry is ineligible. But what might be in Everton’s favour is that City will have played a big Champions League match against Bayern Munich less than 72 hours earlier.
New City manager Manuel Pellegrini is clearly under orders to guide his charges out of the group stages, and that has come at a cost of consistent Premier League form.
Everton have been something of a jinx for City in recent teams, and if Martinez’s side emerge unscathed then perhaps people will start talking about a top seven rather than a top six.
The fixture will also be a test of Martinez’s philosophy.
It’ll be interesting to see how he plays it. Will he still use the same attack-minded approach?
I can’t see Everton going to City and not wanting to carry a goal-scoring threat. Martinez has never been one to go anywhere and put 10 players behind the ball.
That’s not his way. He never did that at Wigan. And I’d be surprised if he ever does that at Everton.