There has been a lot of change at Everton recently, and since the last match the biggest change of all was announced, and that was the intention to move into a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. While there is still a long way to go and many hurdles to pass, the prospect of moving into a new stadium now only seems like a matter of time.
Everton are changing off the pitch, and we have started to change on it too. In Martinez’ first season, Everton got a swagger on the field and looked like a top side. In that season Everton went into the Merseyside Derby at Anfield having not lost in six and with great confidence, we lost 4-0.
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Whatever the position the club is at, whatever the confidence levels, that Anfield performance seems to be missing. Last season was another 4-0 and even with the team playing well at the moment, it’s fair to say that Everton fans have learnt not to go into this game with much confidence.
With so much changing at the club, will this change too? A part of the process of making us into a team that can challenge is to develop an elite level of mentality with the players, a belief that they can go anywhere and win. This kind of attitude is something that has been badly missing at Anfield, and being without a win there since 1999 is something that needs to be put right.
In a few years it will be Liverpool who are stuck in an old ground trying to make the best of it, and Everton will be a few miles away on the banks of the Mersey in their new stadium. The potential is there to become the dominant club in the city, something that fans of a certain age have never seen. Everton were so bad, for so long, that a change of mentality takes time, but it’s a mentality that the fans have never stopped having. The fans have always seen Everton as a sleeping giant since the 80’s and a club that was never too far away from challenging once again, all we needed was a bit of money. That money has now come and the signs are great that Everton will soon be the club we want it to be.
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The investment, the rise in player quality and the new stadium are all signs that the club is changing for the better. Ronald Koeman is an ambitious manager who won’t settle for second best on the pitch, he will be going to Anfield to win, something that other Everton managers have been reluctant to do. David Moyes personified the mentality of old, it took us from relegation candidates to European qualifiers, but a negative mind-set can only take you so far.
Everton fans can sense that sleeping giant awakening, but another bad result at Anfield and there will be a feeling that some things will never change. A win however and the fans could start believing that challenging for that top four will come sooner rather than later. A lot has changed at Everton, it’s about time that included our derby record as well.