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New Blood Fuels Optimism

Lewis Owen, 21st September 2011 - 09:45

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Lewis Owen

Lewis Owen

Posts: 7

I’m Lewis Owen, an ardent Evertonian and all-round football partisan. Season ticket holder for more than a decade. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. Twitter: @lewisowen.

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Five years. Half a decade. Sixty months.

That’s how long it’s been since the Blues made as good a start to the season as this one.

The season of 2006-07 was the last time Everton started the season as well, and the last time I penned a blog was August 19 ahead of the QPR game. I stressed evading the notorious slow start was essential. Narrowly just four weeks later, and I’m sure I’m not alone in being more than satisfied with how the team has started the new campaign.

The arrival of Royston Drenthe and the emergence of both Apostolos Vellios and Ross Barkley has settled everybody's nerves, and after victories over Blackburn and Wigan, plus a point from Villa, being an Evertonian is not looking so bad after all.

I was nonchalant about our business in the transfer window. Of course, losing the creativity of Mikel Arteta was disappointing in hindsight, but after just two Arteta-less games I think the Toffee faithful are starting to come to terms with his departure.

When Sky Sports News anchor Jim White mentioned the Spaniard and Arsenal in the same sentence, I actually experienced a sense of optimism. I had been saying for an eternity that Arteta’s best was behind him, which even Alan Hansen could’ve figured. I branded him the player I wouldn’t hate to lose. It was Mikel or Fellaini, Rodwell or Jagielka. I think it was good business. A jumpable hurdle. Talking of hurdles and overcoming obstacles, how many times did you see Arteta unable to lift a free kick over the wall? Or a corner ball over the first man? I’ll leave that one with you.

Anyway, it’s Carling Cup duty tomorrow and the vintage “we want a good cup run” sentiment has been reverberating from the walls of Finch Farm and Goodison.

We overcame Sheffield United to advance to this stage and a victory tonight would be the seventh time in 10 years that we have reached the fourth round of the competition. At this current stage last year though, we were dealt a blow by Brentford, so hopefully we’re not floored this evening.

Despite their poor results, I’ve been quite impressed with West Bromwich Albion so far this season. Roy Hodgson has assembled a hard-working unit at The Hawthorns and I expected them to kickstart their season at Swansea on Saturday but their struggle to pocket some points has been surprising. Four defeats from five in the league has been poor, but in fairness to them, one of those defeats came at Stamford Bridge, where  they were unfortunate.

One thing West Brom could do that we couldn’t in the summer was spend a potential £6.5m on a striker, and my ‘one to watch’ has to be Shane Long, who is probably due a handshake from yours truly after his early goals in August helped me reach the summit of my football fantasy league.

A couple of people had their money on Shane coming to Goodison, others - excuse the pun - thought it was a bit of a Long shot from Moyesy. I would have given the lad a chance myself, and with Roy Hodgson having done so, it will be interesting to see what he can do.

Follow me on Twitter: @lewisowen

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