‘A real sense that the worst is over’

Expert view

Ian Kennedy, BBC Radio Merseyside

It has been a tumultuous year for Everton and their supporters, but there is a renewed hope about what 2024 might bring. We await the result of the appeal into the 10-point deduction, and the takeover is yet to be completed but even putting all that aside, this team look stronger, they have been galvanised, and there is a real sense that the worst may now be over.

The form in recent weeks suggests Sean Dyche’s team will be absolutely fine in terms of safety, regardless of the deduction. That will not be taken for granted of course but the signs look good.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit and playing regularly, Jarrad Branthwaite looks a great prospect at centre-back, and the likes of Jack Harrison, Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucoure are playing with confidence. It will be interesting to see if any transfer activity will be possible in January, but with the players they have right now, the Blues will surely believe they can finish in a healthy league position, and who knows, have a decent FA Cup run.

Dyche has done an incredible job keeping things on an even keel this year. His positivity, even when things looked so bad, has proved vital and he deserves great credit. So too the fans, and they deserve a much brighter 2024 both on and off the pitch.

It could be another tumultuous year – but maybe for the right reasons this time.

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