Although Everton haven't had the best of seasons in the Premier League so far, there is still plenty of time to turn things around and finish in the top eight. There are also many other positives that can be taken from this campaign, such as the state of the squad and the staying power the players have shown in both cups. The players now face a trip to Wembley in April and there is still a good chance they could end the season on a high.
This is arguably the strongest Everton squad in years, which is why many believe that the Toffees are underachieving in the league. But to look at it another way, the team have managed to progress to the semi-finals of both the League Cup and the FA Cup and still have enough time to end the league in the top places.
Roberto Martinez is building a squad here that look to have a very bright future, with certain players coming into their own and developing nicely. The fact that Farhad Moshiri could bankroll a summer spending spree is also reason to be excited. There is world-class quality throughout and testament to this is the fact that many of the players have been called up to play for their countries in the upcoming international friendlies. It is expected that many more will play in Euro 2016. Ross Barkley and John Stones are fast becoming key members of the team and have been selected by Roy Hodgson because of this. There is also debate over whether Aaron Lennon and Tom Cleverley should be considered for the Euros given the impact they have had on the team this season. Belgium could be a formidable force in the upcoming tournament if Romelu Lukaku continues this devastating form on the international stage.
There is no doubt that Lukaku is now the star of the show on Merseyside and he has easily done enough to see off the competition to his starting place in the Belgium national team. With 18 league goals already at the time of writing, he is having his best Premier League season ever. This incredible form is why he is now 3/1 withÂ 32red.com, Unibet and bwin to win the golden boot. He is also in contention for the PFA Young Player of the Year award at odds of 10/1.
Lukaku's talent has been recognised by many and at such a young age he has the potential to go on to become one of the best players in the world. Although the Belgian's head may be turned by the glamour of Champions League football, the club must do all they can to keep hold of him. If he can go on to improve on this season's goal tally next campaign, he could easily drive Everton to a top-four finish.
Everton have enjoyed great success in the Capital One Cup and the FA cup this season. They made it to the semi-finals of the League Cup where they put up a good fight but wereÂ knocked out by the eventual champions Manchester City. Now they find themselves faced with either Manchester United or West Ham United at Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Everton have the ability to beat both of these teams and the final opponents who will be either Crystal Palace or Watford, which puts the Toffees at odds of 5/2 with 32red and 10bet to lift the trophy.
The Final Furlong
With just under a quarter of the season left, Martinez is hoping his team can end positively and give themselves a springboard to go on to greater success next time out. The Spaniard has already stated that his teams always end the season in good form and Everton are looking set to do so. Luckily, the remaining league fixtures all look winnable. So, if Everton can pick up another 20 points, they will end the season on approximately 58 points, which could see them finish in the top six. That, coupled with an FA Cup win, would add up to a remarkable season.
There are plenty of positives to take from this campaign and it really looks as though Everton can build for next season and achieve even more.