Everton supporters have had very little to moan about so far this season following a year to forget, writes the LiverpoolEcho.
Everyone connected to the Goodison Park club was forced to endure the campaign from hell last season as relegation was just avoided.
No-one will forget Everton coming from behind to beat Crystal Palace at Goodison to secure their top-flight status. But it was a position the club should never have found themselves in.
A squad overhaul, that was desperately needed, then took place over the summer as Kevin Thelwell and Frank Lampard performed some much-needed major surgery. The outgoings were just as important as the incomings during the transfer window.
And now after 13 Premier League games, the atmosphere has rightly changed around Goodison. The mood change is, thanks in the main, down to the work of Lampard and his staff, who are determined to revive a club that has been heading in the wrong direction for a number of years.
The work has been so impressive since the start of the season that Everton go into this weekend with one of the best defensive records in the Premier League, having conceded just 12 goals in 13 games.
Only solid foundations will enable progress and that is something Lampard has been determined to correct. He has already perfected it at the back.
But Everton supporters could, understandably, have a degree of frustration with how things are looking going forward. Goals have certainly been hard to come by so far this season.
The Blues have scored just 12 times in 14 games in all competitions so far this season. Saturday’s goalless draw with Fulham highlighted the club’s attacking problems as clear-cut openings weren’t taken in the first-half, and chances were hard to come by in the second.
But if Everton supporters had concerns that the issue wasn’t at the forefront of the minds of those inside the Blues’ dressing room, then they need not worry. It most certainly is.
Speaking following Saturday’s draw at Craven Cottage, James Tarkowski, as he so often has since his summer arrival from Burnley, delivered the perfect message to address those fears as well as informing his side what they must do next to continue their improvements under Lampard.
“We need to find a way of being consistent week-in, week-out,” he said. “Hopefully, through time, we’ll get there.
“In the previous game against Crystal Palace we were terrific, but we weren’t as good [against Fulham]. I don’t think we moved the ball as well.
“There are still things to be worked on. The performance will be looked at in the next week and we need to see why we weren’t quite at it.
“It’s important, when you’re not at your best, you still come away with a point. They all tally up. We’ve got good team spirit and in matches like Fulham, that keeps us in the game.
“We have some big fixtures coming ahead. We look forward to that, hopefully the performance improves, and we can get some more points on the board.”