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Boss and potentially bosser?

Everton are bossOkay so there are all sorts of things wrong with that title from the grammar, to the nonsense words and the use of slang, writes David Martin.

However, it is also very accurate as once again we brushed aside a Premier League team merely batting an eyelid along the way.

It is clear that our first eleven is infinitely better than we are as a squad.  This isn’t close to the team that performed so abjectly at Leeds United.  Despite looking shakey in the opening moments and allowing yet another daft goal, we played with verve and vigor and soon responded putting pressure on Southampton with some superb passing and interplay throughout a fluid midfield.  Baines and Pienaar were running riot on the left but I think it was Coleman and Mirallas that most surprised Southampton down the right with their pacy and direct play.  With Osman pulling the strings in midfield and Neville playing the holding role far more effectively, allowing Coleman the license to go forward we soon equalised.  Furthermore within a fifteen minute spell we played some stunning football and scored another two effectively finishing the game as a contest before half time.

It was therefore a bit of a disappointment to see us settle for the result come the second half.  While we were undoubtedly the better side, Southampton were not awful and could have made it a closer encounter than it needed to be.  However, what is reassuring about the display against Southampton is our ability to become even better.  Neville and Osman remain an imperfect combination and the return of Darron Gibson will solidfy our midfield and hopefully make it more difficult for teams to go through the middle.  Seamus Coleman has started to show he could be a real threat to Tony Hibbert in the long term at right back and having these two radically different players available gives us an ability to adapt to our opposition required.

Perhaps what is most encouraging in a perverse way is how much better we can be if we simply start tightening up in defence.  We have be an absolute pleasure to watch on the whole this season.  It is fair to say though that when the ball gets to the final third we have never looked like we are going to shut teams out.  Tim Howard has been uncharacteristically erratic and has made mistakes that in any other season could have proved costly.  More worryingly not one of Jagielka, Distin or Heitinga have covered themselves in glory thus far and no one combination appears to be the answer.  If they can start communicating and performing both as individuals and a defensive unit we might start keeping clean sheets and really punishing teams.  It’s a scary prospect that we are just a few small pieces of the jigsaw away from truly being a threat to the top teams and dare I say it…Champions League contenders?

The Everton team of today beat Southampton without breaking into a sprint but they won’t get away with that all season and will need to be more consistent against Wigan Away.  It doesn’t change that we are quite frankly mesmerising to watch at times right  now and I am finding it really hard to dampen my expectations.  Long may it continue as Leeds becomes just a bad dream.

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Dave Martin

Lower Bullens as a child, Gwladys Street as an Adult and now in Family Enclosure with the new generation. Was there in 95 and hope I will be there at some point in the future.

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