Three weeks ago, I fretted that Everton’s chances of avoiding relegation from the English Premier League were only slightly better than 50 percent. Since then, the unpredictable Toffees have reeled off four straight league wins (they had a one game winning streak when I last wrote) to move out of danger. We now sit in 11th place (if you ignore the fact that we’ve played more matches than the 12th club), closer to the top five (and qualification for European play) than to the drop. The most impressive victory came today: 1-0 over mighty Arsenal. Okay, once-mighty Arsenal, but a team good enough to have defeated us by a combined 9-0 in the last two meetings, and to have destroyed Middlesbrough 7-0 last week. And this wasn’t one of those hang-on-for-dear-life 1-0 victories that we’re noted for. Arsenal did not create much danger during most of the match.
I can’t really explain why Everton blows so hot and cold except to say that when your game plan is win 1-0 or settle for 0-0 draw, you’re going to live on the knife’s edge. In any case, as Guy de Maupassant might say, the Everton team is never as good or as bad as we fans believe it to be.
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