Roberto Martinez's methods vindicated by overcoming Jose Mourinho
Everton's dramatic win over Chelsea was a result the whole club needed.
It’s not like the team was struggling. After all, they were unbeaten in the Premier League having played three and drawn three.
But the fact is they needed a little lift.
Since Roberto Martinez came in during the summer, he has been trying to instil a new way of playing into his squad.
But you need a result along the way for people to 100% buy into what you are trying to do, and there was no better way to do that than by downing Mourinho’s side.
No doubt the players will have been bouncing training this week with an extra verve and an increased belief in Martinez’s philosophy.
Mind you, the performance was more like that of Everton under David Moyes, a real defiant, backs-to-the-wall effort at times.
They had to hold on for long periods, but that’s often the case when you are up against a top team such as Chelsea.
The Goodison crowd played their part. They were magnificent and really roused the team. And they have taken instantly to Gareth Barry.
I’m not surprised. Barry was immense. I can’t speak highly enough of his performance. He was the calm in a sea of turbulence. He got the ball down with a minimum of fuss, kept passing and was always there.
I’ve always maintained it was a no-brainer to bring him in on loan from Manchester City, and Barry looked like he was making his 250th appearance for Everton rather than his first.
With Romelu Lukaku to join the group for Saturday’s game at West Ham United, suddenly Everton have a lot of players.
There’s a real strength in depth, particularly in central midfield.
Indeed, Darron Gibson was probably watching on and thinking ‘oh my, I’m going to have a job to get back in’.
And if that accelerates his return to fitness, then all the better.
In some ways, the trip to Upton Park will be a more difficult game for Everton.
There will be more onus on them to attack, and after the high of beating Chelsea they can expect a more rough and tumble encounter.
The Hammers have struggled dramatically to score goals this season – having Andy Carroll sidelined hasn’t helped – and as with any Sam Allardyce team, I’d expect a barrage of balls to be pumped into the Everton penalty area.