The last time Everton hosted Arsenal in the Premier League, the game ended with our editor handing his season ticket to the nearest steward and telling her that he would be back once Ronald Koeman was no longer Everton manager.
That was just 14 months ago, when nobody would have bet money that Everton would beat Arsenal when all the odds were against them according to the majority of UK betting sites.
In those brief months, Everton have fired Koeman (and within two days our editor had his season ticket back, you’ll be glad to know!) and appointed two more permanent managers in Sam Allardyce and Marco Silva.
Allardyce has gone quiet in recent weeks, given the fact that Silva has turned Everton around in just eight months in the job, from a side that took 8 games under Allardyce to have 23 attempts on goal, into one that can do that in just one game against one of the “top six.”
But it hasn’t been plain sailing for Silva, with some Evertonians calling for his head as the Blues went on a festive slump that many were comparing to the one that landed him the sack from Watford 12 months before. Everton held strong, though, and backed their man.
And now, with less than three weeks before the end of the Premier League season, Evertonians have gone from wishing the season was over, to asking why it can’t last that little bit longer.
The Blues are heading towards fighting for European qualification, when some feared that there could be a relegation battle to face not so long ago. And they are doing so by playing some wonderful football.
Diminutive Brazlian Bernard regularly features on the Soccer AM showboat reel, while Andre Gomes is among the best passers of the ball that have graced Goodison Park in a blue shirt for decades. In Jordan Pickford an attack is only ever a left foot away, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is showing all the signs of developing into the kind of striker we would be desperate to sign if he didn’t already play for us.
The positive signs are there for all to see, and even if the season might feel like it’s going to finish too soon, it won’t be long before pre-season gets us all hot under the collar again and excited for a new campaign.