Everton have made a flying start to their Premier League season, sitting top of the table with six games played.
That has led many fans to wonder where they could finish come May. Can Carlo Ancelotti’s side maintain their momentum?
It looks set to be a crazy, hectic season, and could that open the door for a top six challenge?
In an exclusive interview with Everton News, we asked former Toffees goalkeeper Nigel Martyn to tell us what Everton should be aiming for given the start they’ve made.
Martyn feels the top six is a realistic target, and feels that Everton’s lack of European football could be an advantage, when so many of their rivals are jetting off around Europe on a weekly basis between now and the end of 2020.
“You’ve got to be looking to stay in the top six, I believe. It won’t be easy, it is a good Premier League. It is early days, it has been a great start, it bodes well.
“Everton have got to be looking top six, definitely. You’ve got to just stay there as long as you can, keep going, keep getting those wins.
“This season might be like the season Leicester had a few years ago, where they took advantage of the big clubs being in transition.
“If you can get into the top four after say, ten games, that’s your form for the season, you tend to stay there.”
Martyn also called on his own experiences as a player to describe the difference not playing in Europe might make to Everton’s hopes of that top six finish.
“I remember from Leeds days, you’re playing in Europe and sometimes, especially if you’re playing in the Europa League, you’re playing on Thursdays and then Sundays or Mondays,” said Martyn.
“You’re always playing catch-up. The important thing is if you’re in competition with a team, you get your win in first and it really puts them under pressure.”
This season does look all set to be the craziest since 2016, given the short turnaround time, the lack of fans in the stadium and the results we’ve seen so far.
As Martyn says, the key for Everton is just to keep this momentum going for as long as possible and keep wracking up the results.
Given the flawed starts made by most of last season’s big hitters, there is no reason Everton can’t make the top six, or perhaps even higher, a realistic target.
While their rivals are getting fatigued playing in Europe, Everton can rest, recover and prepare for their Premier League matches and that freshness could play a huge part as the months roll on.