Everton continued their pursuit of Arsenal for the final Champions League spot, beating Manchester United 2-0, and leaving plenty of positives to consider.
This Everton side could get even better next year
Some astute signings could see Everton copy their Merseyside rivals next year and storm into a Champions League place, rather than the belated and possibly unsuccessful attempt this time round. A whole clutch of young players have come into their own this season and may move on in leaps and bounds over the course of the next year. The performance of both team and manager may see the board invest in Roberto Martinez's vision for this side.
Seamus Coleman is one of the best attacking fullbacks in Europe
Imagine if Gareth Bale would have remained a fullback, now put him in Blue and throw in some burgeoning defensive skills and you have Seamus Coleman, who try as I might, comes out on top when I try and think of the continent's best forward thinking rightback. It really is a mystery that Moyes didn't pursue the Irishman with all his might earlier in the year, especially as he would have been a cheaper option than Baines - the fact he didn't is good news for Everton fans, and now he'll cost several times more. Was outstanding again against United, setting up Mirallas' goal and ensuring there will be even more suitors come the summer.
Ross Barkley isn't the finished article… yet
Barkley endured somewhat of a frustrating afternoon against United, a club rumoured to be very much interested in signing the youngster. Eager to make an impression yet playing in a slightly uncomfortable left midfield position, he was full of running and intent yet unable to influence the game with that touch of class that would open up the opposition or see a shot struck cleanly towards goal. Lest we forget, the England man is barely 20, yet already shouldering much of Everton's, and the country's hopes of being the "next Rooney" or the "next Gazza." He is an immensely talented footballer, and at some point over the next two or three years is likely to become one of the best players in the country, but fans and pundits alike should let him get there at his own time.
It would be hard to argue against John Stones going to the World Cup with England
Every game seems to see 19-year-old John Stones continue to improve for the Goodison Park club. So impressive against Arsenal recently, the youngster was even better at keeping former Everton striker Wayne Rooney quiet on Sunday. Considering that the two central defenders he was up against in Chris Smalling and Phil Jones had awful afternoons whatever defensive position they were playing, Stones should fancy his chances of making a surprise burst into Roy Hodgson's World Cup thinking. He would have certainly earned it.
Roberto Martinez has proved how much better Everton are with him at the helm than Moyes
The glaringly obvious point comes in last, and it is that the former Wigan boss has taken the Toffees significantly on from where David Moyes could only hope of leading them. No other Premier League campaign has seen them perform so admirably, disrupting the apparent top four clubs so much, and with a record points total on the cards while Moyes mopes around out of the European places, the Spaniard has to go down as one of the signings of the season.