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DAVID MOYES reckons his players could do with a holiday - which is right because they're currently playing like there's nothing left in the tank.
But nobody can say they and their manager don't deserve a nice long break at the end of the season.
Against Derby they just managed to get over the line but the problem Everton have a the moment is that they're playing teams who are involved in big games themselves.
ONE man has created more goals for his team-mates at Everton this season than any other - despite missing a month for the African Nations Cup.
Which is why Steven Pienaar sounds like a steal at just ÃÂ£2.2m.
Of course, that may not be the full story.
TO borrow the title of a recent television programme: how do you solve a problem like Manuel?
For a brief moment against Derby County last weekend, we were given a glimpse of the player many believe Manuel Fernandes can really be, his wonderful pass and vision picking out the penetrating run of Leon Osman to settle a woeful contest.
Too often in that game, though, he was a passenger, looking short of fitness and seemingly unable to make a telling contribution, which is why it came as a surprise that he helped create the defining moment.
With injuries to key personnel, David Moyes is going to have rely on Fernandes even more in the final few weeks of the campaign and maybe the extra responsibility will trigger an improvement in his hitherto disappointing efforts.
Some have suggested that the Portuguese international has simply been going through the motions because he knows that his time on Merseyside is about to come to an end but it would be dangerous to jump to such a conclusion.
Valencia may want to recoup most of the ÃÂ£12m they paid for his services last summer but who is to say that they would not be receptive to another loan agreement? In football, you learn to never say never and Fernandes could easily stay at Goodison Park for another 12 months.
TRADITIONALISTS should savour Everton's latest tie with a scandalised Midlands club. The match at St Andrews tomorrow, vital for both Everton and Birmingham City for different reasons, is the last that we will play on a Saturday until next season.
We've already had the Chelsea match at Goodison moved to a Thursday and now the Arsenal game at the Emirates has been shifted to half past one on a Sunday. Which is all well and good if you only watch games on the telly, but a bit of a pain for those crazy people who actually like to turn up and watch the match as God intended.
AGAINST a backdrop of lost matches and an increasingly vulnerable looking league position, Everton now seem to be contending with an increasing number of negative transfer stories too.
First there was the quote from Mikel Arteta's agent, complaining about the way his client has been overlooked by the Spanish national side, although ever since he arrived, Arteta to Atletico Madrid stories seem to mark the spring almost like the first daffodils. The latest less than encouraging headlines concern the revelation that the clock is apparently ticking on any deal to make Steven Pienaar's move to Merseyside permanent.
Now, although David Moyes has throughout the season played down the urgency of talks with the South African's people, it is probably safe to assume that behind the scenes there has been plenty of communication. Despite the belief in some quarters that everyone at Everton is utterly incompetent, it seems unlikely that Pienaar's recent interview will have been the first that the club have heard about this whole April 30 deadline, beyond which Borussia Dortmund can demand a higher fee than ÃÂ£2.2million.
THE victory over Derby might not have been a classic but three points were the only thing that mattered and it sets us up nicely for the run in.
Saying that, we will be in for a tough time at Birmingham on Saturday. They need the points as much as we do and it promises to be another tense affair.
THERE were huge sighs of relief that winning ways were resumed against Derby County on Sunday and the identity of the match winner was especially pleasing.
Leon Osman doesn't always get the credit he deserves but he was man of the match by some distance at the weekend and he showed exactly what he is capable of with a wonderful run and finish.
He is a very good footballer and if he maintains this progress in 12 months' time we could be talking about him receiving an England call-up. At present, Ossie is doing an outstanding job for Everton.
When he first emerged, there were some question marks whether he would go all the way.
SOME will say a midfielder, others may suggest pursuing a forward but, in my view, Everton's main signing this summer must be the man who prowls the technical area.
There has been a lot of talk recently about whether the manager will put his name to a new deal, but I don't really see how there can be any doubt about him not doing so - he and Everton are the perfect match.
David is the right man at the right club. He knows the expectations of the supporters and he understands the history - I'll never forget him emphasising to James Beattie when he signed how the crowd here love their strikers and had such a great tradition.
WHEN Joe Calzaghe faces Bernard Hopkins in a Las Vegas boxing ring later in the month, the Welshman will be on his guard for the late flurries of activity in rounds that the US veteran often utilises to catch the eye of the judges.
David Moyes and Everton ought to perhaps take a leaf from the Philadelphian's book as they appear presently to be doing just the opposite, ie a largely successful season that has seen them surpass most people's expectations is petering out in a disappointing fashion.
IT costs ÃÂ£33 for a main stand ticket at Goodison. Which means leaving your seat a quarter of an hour from time to miss the car park crush is the equivalent of tossing a fiver down the drain.
Usually. The frozen and frustrated fan who left his seat with a full 17 minutes remaining yesterday missed . . . not very much at all.
A couple of injury time corners, Mikel Arteta breaking the habits of an afternoon by over-hitting a cross rather than under-hitting it, and even a booking for Robbie Savage - which failed to raise any ironic cheers so bored were the fans.
There were plenty more empty seats by the time the fourth official's board was raised, so turgid was this end of season encounter.