TIM CAHILL believes Everton’s bright young things can help the club move on from the disappointment of losing Mikel Arteta.
The 31-year-old midfielder insists the spirit in the Blues’ dressing room has never been better, and players like Ross Barkley and Apostolos Vellios can help lift the supporters after a difficult summer.
Cahill, who created the opener during a much improved 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday, urged fans to remain united behind the club, and said he is still full of optimism despite the £10m departure of his close friend Arteta last month.
He said: “We still have that tightness, spirit and togetherness. The window is over, we know what we have got in the dressing room when you look around and see the quality.
“I think we have seen that in the QPR game and in the last few games, the future is very bright for the youngsters.
“This is a great football club that means as much to the players as the fans. Today was all about us pulling together and making sure they can see we care as much as they do.”
Cahill was Arteta’s best man at his wedding last July, but the Aussie was philosophical about the sale of the Spanish playmaker – and says the midfield can still prosper without him.
“It’s not personal. This is business. This is football. Mikel has been a great servant to the club but it was good business for everyone,” he said.
“Mikel will now be playing in the Champions League and he’ll have a chance of playing for his country. We got some great money for him, and sometimes it comes to a point where it’s time to move on.
“He’s one of my closest friends. He texted the other night and said good luck to all the boys before the game. He has a special place in his heart for Everton.
“It’s sad to see him go, but it was a good move for him. I think it’s worked out well for everyone. But when you look on the pitch and he’s not there, it’s a great player that we have lost.
“Give everyone a chance. Royston looks like someone who can change a game and adds a bit of flair. Denis is a big striker and is strong and can hold the ball up and has looked good in training.”
Cahill was delighted with the response of the 32,736 supporters in Goodison, and was moved by the reception given to loan signing Royston Drenthe when he made his bow as a 71st minute substitute.
“Hats off to the fans. When Royston came on they nearly took the roof off, and I looked around and it gave all the players goosebumps,” said the Socceroo. “We had a real good feeling about how much we wanted to do well and be positive and fluent with our football.
“Everybody wants to see new faces and change, but sometimes it can’t be done. We are creating some great young talent. We fully back the chairman, the boss and the whole club.”