Hello everyone and welcome to our first fixture of the new calendar year.
I think it’s safe to say that everybody will have enjoyed waving goodbye to 2020. It was a year beyond belief and my thoughts are with each and every one of you who have suffered during this dreadful global pandemic.
Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way, shape or form and we all need to stay together and keep looking after each other to get through it.
We all shared the huge frustration of losing the game here against Manchester City at the start of the week.
As players we were as prepared as always for the match and it was a shock to be told so late that it wasn’t going to take place.
I was just thankful, for once, that supporters hadn’t already travelled a long way to watch the match.
Manchester City are always going to be very tough opponents but the chance to go joint top of the Premier League table was a great motivation for us.
But that’s gone for now and all our focus turned quickly to this evening’s game against West Ham. I would like to offer a special personal welcome to David Moyes on his return to Goodison. He did a fantastic job for our football club and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity he gave me and the way he looked after me and my family.
The win against Sheffield United on Boxing Day was great for us. It wasn’t a classic game by any means but sometimes it’s just all about the three points. No team will perform well in every game and when that happens it’s important to make sure you at least take something from it.
We stuck at it and I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory.
I am writing these notes on the morning after what should have been the Manchester City game and to see us lying third in the Premier League table is so satisfying. The league is very congested with very few points separating teams in the top eight or nine positions and it’s all about staying in or around those places.
That’s something we are more than capable of. There’s a consistency to our game just now and that’s exactly what will be needed as we approach the second half of the season.
I hope you are all safe and well and I wish you all the best for 2021.
Enjoy the game,
The latest Everton Matchday Programme also features fascinating exclusive interviews with Jordan Pickford and former Toffees midfielder Stuart McCall. David Unsworth provides an insight into his new role as Director of Academy, Everton Women boss Willie Kirk explains why goalkeeper Sandy MacIver can be “the best in the world”, and you can learn more about Under-23s defender Con Ouzoundis as he answers questions on all manner of subjects in our ’Randoms’ feature.