Richard Buxton: All hail Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton revolution
Calvert-Lewin highlights impact of Champions League-winning coach at Goodison
For Everton as much as the rest of the footballing world, these are truly strange times.
Long-suffering fans that spent the past quarter of a century yearning for a return to happier times, only to be dealt perennial false dawns, finally have something to shout about again after a 4-1 League Cup win over West Ham United yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Now, the Toffees are riding high on and off the pitch. Thanks to a supporter-led social media campaign, three Goodison Park favourites broke into the music charts this week.
Carlo Ancelotti has belatedly revived the feel-good factor in the blue half of Merseyside, which sees them taking up residence in the English Premier League's top three, as well as the League Cup quarter-finals after putting the Hammers to the sword.
Disrupting the top flight's established hierarchy may prove more difficult than knocking Miley Cyrus off the No.1 spot in the British iTunes charts - which was what Everton's Spirit of the Blues did to the American pop star's Midnight Sky - but if anyone can do it, the Italian manager is that man.
Tangible signs of the Ancelotti effect are already manifesting with a six-game winning run equalling the club's best start to a season in 1938/39.
That year, the league title returned to Goodison mere months before the outbreak of World War II.
In a similarly perilous period, Everton are again continuing to make strides.
James Rodriguez's addition to a new-look attack has seen Dominic Calvert-Lewin flourishing with hat-tricks in consecutive home outings, taking his season's tally to eight goals in five matches overall.
Under Ancelotti's tutelage, he has amassed 13 goals in 23 EPL appearances, compared to 16 over 94 outings under five different managers, both interim and permanent.
Calvert-Lewin was self-assured enough to request Goodison's iconic No.9 shirt at the beginning of last term.
But it was the Champions League-winning manager's arrival which transformed him into a striker capable of leading the line for both country and club - although assistant manager Duncan Ferguson also deserves credit.
Yesterday's call-up for England's Nations League games against Belgium and Denmark is no less than he deserves and testament to the high standards Ancelotti demands of Everton's strikers that are attuned to the club's motto of "nothing but the best is good enough".
Expectations that Calvert-Lewin and Brazilian Richarlison will each break through the 20-goal barrier in this campaign only bodes well for Gareth Southgate if he does pick the Englishman for next year's European Championship.
Defensively, too, Southgate will owe a debt of gratitude to the Everton manager for Michael Keane's reinvention as a centre-back who can create goal-scoring opportunities as comfortably as he prevents them, typified by the assist for his compatriot's opener against the Hammers.
How long the Italian can sustain this current wave of positivity will be determined by the outcome of his side's ongoing battle with Murphy's Law.
Anything that could go wrong invariably still does as evidenced by the trio of injuries against West Ham, after already losing one influential figure in defender Mason Holgate before the season even began.
Facing Liverpool after the international break without Allan and Richarlison will provide a stern test of Ancelotti's problem solving, especially when the gulf between his side's starting XI and bench remains far greater than the Stanley Park divide.
Winners, however, always find a way and the 61-year-old has faced worse than this.
The EPL champions will not be looking over their shoulders just yet, but the chasing pack would be incredibly foolish to start taking this Ancelotti-inspired Everton for granted.