THINGS are on the up at Goodison Park. Seven points from nine and progress into the last 16 of the Carling Cup is a good month’s work and the doom-mongers have retreated into their shells.
After an outstanding display against Villa, the Wigan game was something of a disappointment with Everton easily the better of two poor teams on the day.
But despite a relatively poor team performance there were some individual bright spots. Leon Osman continued his fine run of form which stretches back to February.
The defence looked very assured and the resurgence of Phil Jagielka means he formed part of a very effective back-four.
But possibly the most pleasing aspect of the game was the contribution of the ‘new’ boys.
Apostolos Vellios has impressed me every time he has made an appearance from the bench and he scored a goal which Duncan Ferguson would have been proud of. Denis Stracqualursi played his part in the match-clinching third goal, although looks like he might have some work to do to get up to speed in the Premier League.
And in Royston Drenthe, David Moyes looks to have found yet another player whose flagging career looks set to be rejuvenated at Goodison Park.
I would be astonished if Drenthe does not very quickly become a firm Goodison Park favourite.
He looks full of enthusiasm, he is aggressive, which the Goodison crowd always loves, and his touch and vision are what you would expect from someone who is a full Dutch international.
Leighton Baines had a subdued game going forward, but I can see those two forging a partnership which is similar, if not better, to the Baines-Pienaar combination which was so effective.
I am looking forward to seeing them flourish in the weeks ahead.