Mired in mid-table but buoyed by an emphatic European win in midweek, Everton will be looking for three points on Sunday at a brittle Arsenal. Tony Dawber speaks to the head of an EFC supporters’ group Terry Seddon.
Is this the week Roberto Martínez finally arrives as Everton boss?
A week ago, the Toffees’ stop-start season was stuttering on and Sunday’s trip to Arsenal appeared a daunting task and one which might end with more anxious Goodison glances towards the drop zone.
But the Gunners blew up at home to unfancied Monaco on Wednesday and 24 hours later, Everton sailed past Young Boys, and suddenly the blue half of Merseyside is looking forward with relish to their Emirates excursion.
‘I’ve supported Everton so long, I’ve learned to keep my feet on the ground, but I really think we’ve a chance of three points,’ said Terry Seddon, chairman of the Widnes & Runcorn EFC Supporters’ Club, a passionate lifelong Toffees fan and a well known figure among the Blues’ faithful.
And importantly, victory over Arsene Wenger’s side might at last win over those Everton fans still to be convinced Martinez’s easy on the eye football will be as successful as predecessor David Moyes’ more resolute style.
‘Some fans can be fickle and they’ve been unhappy because we have been so inconsistent this season ,’ admitted Seddon.
‘But I’ve always been realistic and I know we can’t get back to the glory days of the 1980s, so I think it’s just a case of having to be patient.
‘I honestly think we’ve got the right man and we’ve just got to give him time.’
At his previous club Wigan, some fans openly questioned whether Martínez’s nice football had come at the price of defensive resolve and had eventually cost Latics their top flight spot.
Yet Seddon said while he understood that view, he felt there was a general optimism among the Everton hordes that the Spaniard was on the right track.
‘I used to think we were defensively sound but when Martínez took over, the likes of Distin and Jagielka just didn’t seem to gel,’ he conceded.
‘But I really believe we’re getting there. The football is good to watch and the bottom line is that we have to give him time.’
Three points on Sunday, and time will very much be on Martínez’s side.