Everton have made strides this season but Marco Silva still faces problems over the second half of the campaign.
Marco Silva has helped give Everton fans more of what they want this season after the dark days of Sam Allardyce last season.
The football is better, the team is more promising, and there are genuine reasons to be excited about the future at Goodison Park.
Everton’s team is full of good young talent, with Richarlison looking like an inspired signing and a player that looks capable of being the club’s best in years.
Despite the promise, however, Silva has a tough challenge on his hands and one that will define Everton’s progress come the end of the season.
The ex-Watford boss simply must bring consistency to Everton…and in a way that moves the team forward.
Arriving at Christmas with a 6-2 home defeat was pretty much the last thing wished for by the Goodison faithful but it does not tell the full story.
Everton want to attack and they want to pass the ball – both traits that are perfectly admirable – but Silva has not got them capable of varying that style from game to game or imposing it on the majority of sides.
Some teams can deal with it, some teams can’t, some merely cancel Everton out and that is why they sit on a record of six wins, six draws and six defeats.
Everton have not recorded back-to-back wins since October 21 and are yet to have a winning run beyond three.
They are still only five points off sixth, presumably their target this season, and Silva will know they have got a squad capable of achieving it.
They need to be able to play their game with consistency, however, and that is the biggest challenge facing the club over the second half of the season.