Everton remain one win above the Premier League relegation zone but their performances over the last three games have given cause for optimism.
They’re 4/5 to down Tony Pulis’ West Brom in front of the Monday night TV cameras in their next outing and here’s why there’s every reason to expect they can deliver.
Over-elaboration is on the decrease
There has been a widely-held perception that Everton’s possession football philosophy has become their own worst enemy this season.
Against West Ham at the Boleyn Ground there was evidence that they were moving the ball up to their forwards in a far more direct manner.
Romelu Lukaku is scoring again
The big Belgian with the bigger transfer fee has copped some stick this term, with many pundits musing he had taken his feet off the gas after inking a permanent deal.
He’s now struck twice in his last three outings, playing with a renewed purpose evidenced by the Ricky Villa-esque dribble that so nearly downed West Ham.
Three comebacks from losing positions in as many games
Showing such resolve is a welcome improvement from giving away leads (as they did against Newcastle) or looking decidedly susceptible even when two goals to the good (exhibit A: the home win over QPR).
John Stones is back up and running at the heart of the defence
After a false start in the 0-1 Goodison Park loss to Stoke, Stones’ England international centre-half pairing with Phil Jagielka has been reunited for their last two games.
As an alternative to the sage but lumbering Sylvain Distin, the more sprightly youngster is just what the rearguard required.
Joel Robles shone against West Ham
The Spaniard’s place in the squad is under pressure with rumours suggesting Roberto Martinez is looking for another goalkeeper.
However, Robles brought his A-game to east London making four high-class saves, suggesting he is up for the fight of playing for his Merseyside future.