Thoughts on the Leicester win?

Are there many sides out there who could take the lead within 30 seconds and contrive to fall behind in the first 10 minutes?

Sometimes it feels as if only Everton are capable of such a footballing boomerang.

It goes without saying that the two goals conceded were extremely poor, but the positives outweighed the negatives. Kevin Mirallas鈥?mazy run led to the opening goal, and the Belgian has worked his way back into Ronald Koeman鈥檚 first-choice XI with not just the odd flash of brilliance, but a string of decent performances.

Mirallas looks more tenacious than at any time since joining Everton. He seemed to be on his way out, but now the winger looks like he has a future at the club.

That future will be built around the central midfielders ?possibly the best selection of players Everton have had in years.

Morgan Schneiderlin (left) and Leicester City's Islam Slimani battle for the ball

Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye ran the show on Sunday; tough in the tackle and assured in possession, they kept the Leicester midfield quiet while allowing Tom Davies to roam.

The likes of McCarthy and Besic, previously Everton regulars before their respective injuries, are unlikely to get a look in once they become available for first team action again. Meanwhile, Phil Jagielka鈥檚 Everton renaissance continues unabated.

Like Gareth Barry, the centre back just can鈥檛 be written off.

What鈥檚 your take on the Ross Barkley attack?

The only people who truly know what happened at Santa Chupito are those involved, though it looked like a sly dig by Barkley鈥檚 attacker.

There is already a lack of a connection between footballers and 鈥榬egular people鈥??this isn鈥檛 exactly going to help bridge the gap.

Hopefully it doesn鈥檛 affect Barkley鈥檚 performance, because he has been much better in recent months.

And what about Ross鈥?contract?

It just makes sense for Barkley to sign the contract and get on with it.

The whole thing has turned into a bit of a circus, albeit a sideshow compared to the ongoing Romelu Lukaku contract gridlock.

Koeman鈥檚 tough love may not give him a warm fuzzy feeling inside, but it is clearly getting the best out of him. We Evertonians tend to be hard on Barkley as well, but deep down he has the support of the majority of Blues.

He is one himself, of course.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Ross Barkley of Everton in conversation
Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley in conversation

That didn鈥檛 keep Wayne Rooney at Goodison, but the club鈥檚 ambitions are very different now. Perhaps Barkley is feeling like a bit of a victim recently, what with Koeman鈥檚 comments, Gareth Southgate regularly snubbing him for England and the Santa Chupito affair.

It is important for all involved that Barkley鈥檚 contract is signed sooner rather than later, and he can focus on improving both his and Everton鈥檚 fortunes rather than feeling sorry for himself.

Who is the first player we should sign this summer?

There will be lots of incoming players hopefully, but the first through the door at Finch Farm should be Michael Keane.

We will need to funnel funds into improving the defence first, what with Jagielka and Ashley Williams getting on in years, and Ramiro Funes Mori not really being good enough. Keane has performed excellently for Burnley this season, proving he certainly can cut it in the Premier League, and would fit Koeman鈥檚 playing style.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Given the almost mythological reverence for English sides packed with homegrown players, that would be another box ticked, though nationality shouldn鈥檛 really matter when it comes to bringing in the best players.

I would also be keen to see Gylfi Sigurdsson come to Everton ?a creative talent like his would instantly improve the side.

Will we finish higher than 7th?

We could, but we don鈥檛 have to.

The aim of qualifying for Europe has been met, with West Brom lagging well behind, and so there is no pressure on us. That can鈥檛 be said for Manchester United or Arsenal, whose fans will not accept any finish outside the top four ?seventh would be nothing short of a disaster for them.

What we need to do now is gear up for an assault on the Champions League places next season by building some momentum and showing the top sides that we are a force to be reckoned with.

The derby was a missed opportunity

That opportunity was missed at Anfield and Old Trafford, but a home game against champions-elect Chelsea and a trip to the Emirates on the last day of the season provide more chances to show what Everton are made of.

Manchester United and Arsenal may have games in hand, but they certainly aren鈥檛 easy, and our run-in is more favourable than theirs.

The two sides meet at the start of May, so at that point at least one of them will be dropping points.

If Everton are on hand to take advantage of it, things could get very interesting indeed.

Any other business?

Could this coming summer be the biggest in Everton鈥檚 recent history?

Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh will be looking to build a squad capable of competing in Europe, and they鈥檒l be well backed by Farhad Moshiri.

More details on the new stadium at Bramley Moore should be released as well, with concerns over design and the potential for a running track sure to be addressed.

The Liver Building and Farhad Moshiri
The Liver Building and Farhad Moshiri

There are six games left to win, starting with Burnley on Saturday, and then the serious business begins. On the subject of Burnley ?we鈥檝e won seven home games on the spin, and they have the worst away record in the league by a distance.

You鈥檇 believe it to be an absolute home banker, if it wasn鈥檛 Everton. We like to make things hard for ourselves - some things never change.