Many pundits suggested that there might be a hangover from the summer’s European Championship for our English and Belgian contingent and even Hugo Lloris, who lost out in the final on home soil.
But as we count down to the big kick-off at Goodison Park on Saturday, exactly the opposite is true. “You know, that is a very good point,” stated Mauricio at Hotspur Way on Thursday.
Below: Mauricio talks us through team news ahead of Everton
“The players feel very happy here, to share this philosophy and this moment at the Club.
“It’s true it (the Euros) was hard for our players but now it’s a good challenge to try all together to achieve big things - and the environment is good here to try to achieve big things.
“We need to improve and we have a long season ahead but the mentality is right.
“I’m happy because the team is ready, all the players are at a good level and we are all excited to start the season.”
The small details
Matches between ourselves and Everton are notoriously close - 18 draws in 48 in the Premier League - and that was the case last season with a goalless encounter at the Lane and 1-1 draw at Goodison.
So how do we turn those draws into wins? “It’s always about small details in football but today even more so than before. Football is decided in small details and for that reason, we need to be focused,” said Mauricio.
“Everton is a very good team with a great manager in Ronald Koeman. They need to rebuild the team with Stones gone but you know always they have enough quality to play good football.”
'Maybe, I'm more relaxed'
Meanwhile, Mauricio is as excited as ever for the start of a new season.
“Yes, always, because it’s a new feeling, you put on a new shirt, everything is different and exciting. Now maybe I’m more relaxed, more calm. As a player, I was more nervous.”