The last day recruitment of Holland's Royston Drenthe and Argentinian unknown Denis Stracqualursi were somewhat dismissed as necessary risks in order to bolster the squad and pad out the numbers of a roster depleted by the exits of regular first team participants and those around the peripherals throughout the Summer.
Come back to the present day and the grey cloud hasn't completely cleared but has evolved into a slightly more aesthetically pleasing Nimbus formation, things are looking a lot brighter than they did a fortnight or so ago, with 7 points from a possible 12 and our best start to a season for a while.
Perhaps the most noticeable change that both ardent Evertonians and neutral alike can see is that Everton have a squad and we're not afraid to use it. Previously, I would suggest it would be fair to say, Everton have had a handful of players who were guaranteed a starting position, Arteta was definitely one of them. Now take him out of the equation and then competition for places becomes more interesting.
I'm in no way criticising Mikel Arteta nor am I questioning David Moyes' decision to include or accommodate him in the starting XI, just merely pointing out that by not having that restriction anymore, immediately we have 5 or 6 others doing their utmost in training or during the game in order to impress the Manager as well as justify their inclusion in the side.
If we take Saturday's victory over Wigan Athletic for example, Seamus Coleman, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Leon Osman and Jack Rodwell are all by no means guaranteed starters and have all filled gaps in the Midfield throughout their time, but by freeing up one space it allows more squad rotation in the centre of the park with the raw talent of Ross Barkley, the ridiculously likeable aforementioned Drenthe as well as the versatile talents of John Heitinga and Phil Neville ready at the Managers command to replace weary legs.
That's right, in this new look, streamlined Everton side, even the Captain's place is not nap. Although from what I have seen, Neville is just as vocal from the touchline as he is when barking orders on the field, perhaps we have our next coach in waiting.
Another fear following the closure of the transfer window was our lack of Strikers having permanently lost James Vaughan, Jermaine Beckford, Keiran Agard, Yakubu and Joao Silva returned to Portugal on loan during the Summer. Leaving us a tad light on options with Louis Saha and Victor Anichebe as our only recognised Centre Forwards to have started matches in the Premier League. Irritatingly inevitably, Anichebe picked up a possible long term injury whilst away on international duty and Saha is still some weeks away from full fitness despite his public somewhat cryptic instance otherwise. The Frenchman should take heed from a hard lesson learnt by Martin O’Neill whilst at Nottingham Forest, the Northern Irishman declared himself fit days before the European Cup Final, only for his Manager, the legendary Brian Clough to proclaim him “I’ll tell you when you’re fit”, needless to say O’Neill didn’t play in that particular game.
Tim Cahill has been leading the line since the start of the new campaign but rather uncharacteristically is yet to score. The latter stages of the game against Wigan saw the introduction to English Football for Stracqualursi as well as an accomplished headed goal from the Greek youngster Apostolos Vellios, signed during January for a nominal fee. Vellios, known to his team mates as Tolos, almost made a name for himself a week earlier when, also as a late substitute, he rounded the highly experienced Shay Given only to see his shot finish narrowly off target. Both gave glimpses of what we can expect to see more of over the coming months.
Everton now start the month of death away to Manchester City, followed by Liverpool, Chelsea, our regular bogey team Fulham and Manchester United. It will be interesting to see how our squad pits itself against these sides, especially those who should be in contention for honours come May.
A good way to continue to build momentum for a difficult next 5 weeks would be with a win against West Bromwich Albion and progression in the League Cup, a competition notoriously dismissed until the latter stages by many sides in the top division, and then from there who knows what's possible with this new look squad.
Thanks for reading.
Follow me on Twitter @jackdoggydogg
Follow ESPNsoccernet's Football Correspondents on Twitter