Everton have made a decent start to the Premier League campaign and are the only club in the top-flight with an unbeaten record.
The Toffees started the season off slowly with three draws, before wins against Chelsea and West Ham.
The Toffees face a home game with Newcastle on Monday night, as they put that unbeaten run to the test.
The Everton players are starting to adapt to how boss Roberto Martinez wants his team to play.
Everton under former-boss David Moyes could be direct at times, but were far from a long ball team, as they played some really attractive football under the Scot, especially last season.
However, Martinez’s philosophy on football is different from that of his predecessor. Martinez likes his teams to play possession football and push high-up the pitch, similar to the style of play that was made famous by Spanish giants Barcelona.
The Everton players have bought into Martinez’s philosophy pretty quickly. In most of their Premier League games Everton have bossed possession and looked comfortable, with the Chelsea game being the one exception.
Everton have had a problem scoring goals this season, with just six goals scored in the top-flight this season. Martinez moved to solve that problem with the deadline day loan signing of Chelsea youngster Romelu Lukaku.
The youngster made an instant impact on his Toffees debut, coming off the substitute’s bench to score the winner against West Ham in Everton’s last top-flight game.
As many people have pointed out the young Belgium international is not the finished article and is still very raw. However, the 20-year-old has all the attributes to be a top-class striker in the future. He is big, strong and quick, all ideal attributes to have in the Premier League.
The experience the youngster gained while on-loan at West Brom last season has saw Lukaku become a better player. While with the Baggies he scored 17 goals in the top-flight. It was an impressive total for any striker playing in a midtable team.
His performances were that impressive that most Chelsea fans thought he may be given a chance for the Blues this season. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho decided that he was not ready and decided that another season on-loan at a Premier League club would probably benefit his development.
Everton are arguably a better team than West Brom were last season and Lukaku has admitted he feels like he has made a step forward in his career. The youngster will be hoping to again be amongst the goals for the Toffees and prove he is good enough for Chelsea’s first-team for next season.
Everton and Newcastle experienced mixed fortunes in midweek Capital One Cup action. Everton were defeated 2-1 Fulham, despite dominating the first half action. Newcastle though claimed a 2-0 victory over Championship side Leeds.
The Magpies fans will be hoping that the win will boost morale in the camp, after last weekend’s shock 3-2 home defeat to Hull in the Premier League. Everton’s game last weekend also ended in a 3-2, but in the Toffees favour.
Martinez’s side will be looking to get that Capital One Cup defeat out of their system as quickly as they can with maximum points against the north east visitors. This will be a real test of Martinez’s new regime at Goodison Park.
Everton did field an under-strength side at Craven Cottage, so most people will expect Everton to perform far better with a near full-strength side out against the Magpies.
Roberto Martinez has never hidden the fact that he has big ambitions for his new club. When he arrived the Spaniard stated that he wanted to take Everton into the Champions League, and some laughed, even suggesting that he had got the Champions League mixed-up with the Championship.
However, even though it is early in the season the signs are positive that Martinez could help the team really progress in the near future. There were suggestions that Everton would fall apart when David Moyes left for Manchester United.
Those prophets of doom seem to be way off the mark though, as Martinez seems to have made a better impression on his new fans than his predecessor has at his new club.
A win for Everton could move the Toffees into fourth place. The possibility of the Toffees still being in the top four in May looks unlikely, but the topsy-turvy nature of the campaign so far, you just never know.
Can Everton’s good start to the season continue against Newcastle?