when he managed Wigan Athletic, Roberto Martinez used to sign off his programme notes with the words "Sin Miedo" which in Spanish means "without fear".
During these last couple of months Everton's players and supporters have looked as if they had been watching 'The Omen' with the lights out before every match at Goodison Park. For the first half hour in the Europa League against Dynamo Kiev last Thursday night everyone wearing or supporting a blue shirt appeared terrified. On Saturday evening, Everton found themselves three points off a relegation place.
It says something that not until they were two-goals up, and Fabricio Coloccini's brutal tackle on Aaron Lennon had seen Newcastle reduced to 10 men, did Goodison begin to relax and even then Tim Howard had to make fine saves from Moussa Sissoko and Rémy Cabella.
When, in stoppage time, Ross Barkley, who might have had a hat-trick in the quarter of an hour he was on the pitch, took the ball around Tim Krul for the third, this, finally, was the Everton of last season.
And yet, had Howard not made a fine reaction save from Gabriel Obertan and James McCarthy not cleared Mike Williamson's follow-up off the line, Newcastle would have been ahead before three minutes were up.
"This was a big, big game for us," said Martinez. "We managed the game really well, which is something we have not done in the past when we got into winning positions. It has taken us a long time to perform after a European game but the squad reacted in a fresh, exciting manner. In the past there has been a fear of losing but Thursday night was a perfect preparation. The first 20 minutes against Dynamo Kiev were as bad as it can be and then, during the game, we found the responsibility to perform. There was no longer a fear of losing but a team that wanted to show what it can be."
Everton were far more direct than they have been. The opening goal was triggered by a long ball from Phil Jagielka that Romelu Lukaku took down and past Coloccini. The striker picked out McCarthy whose shot left Krul stranded. It looked as if the Dutchman had been beaten by a deflection but it turned out he had been wrong-footed by McCarthy's first goal at Goodison.
Lukaku's penalty was triggered by what can best be described as a striker's challenge on Lennon. Lukaku struck the kick slightly better than he had against Kiev but the result was the same - a goal and a win. (© Independent News Service)