End of Season Report: Everton

22May 2013

England - Premier League

 

Another admirable campaign, but nothing to show for it...

 

Season Summary - 6th

 

David Moyes once again delivered Evertonians a season to be proud of, finishing above Liverpool for consecutive years while threatening the top-four spots for nearly  the entire campaign.

 

Playing probably the best brand of football during Moyes' 11-year tenure, Everton abandoned their traditional slow start in favour of four wins from their first six  Premier League games.

 

With Marouane Fellaini terrorising defences like the big kid at nursery, Everton suddenly looked like genuine top-four contenders before developing a particularly  debilitating strand of drawing disease. Seven games out of nine ended in parity during the frustrating months of October and November as the Toffees got stuck and  dropped from second to sixth accordingly, albeit they didn't drop below this mark for the rest of the season.

 

Successive draws with now relegated sides Wigan and QPR as well as a shock loss to Reading during that period can be viewed as notable contributors to the nine-point  gap between themselves and Tottenham in fifth come the end.

 

Still, what has turned out to be Moyes' last season on Merseyside has undoubtedly proved one of his finest with players such as Fellaini, Leighton Baines, Kevin  Mirallas, Seamus Coleman and Victor Anichebe all dazzling at times.

 

While defensively, the rock-solid pairing of Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka helped ensure Everton's goals against column finished only six worse off than the best  figures in the top flight.

 

 

Talking Points

 

Of course, the most pivotal point in Everton's recent history arrived just a few weeks back when it was announced that Moyes would be ending his 11 years in charge at  the club to take up the reins at Old Trafford.

 

Despite silverware painfully eluding the Scotsman in his time at Goodison, Everton's consistently high finishes in the Premier League, under a vastly constricted  budget compared to other sides around them, have drawn universal praise and cemented his reputation as a top manager. Who Everton turn to next is a massive question  for the club to answer. Currently, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is the favourite to take over, available at 4.1 in the market currently.

 

Other notable candidates at present include former playing idols Alan Stubbs at 7.0 and outgoing club captain Phil Neville, currently rated at 8.4.

 

 

Plus and Minus Points

 

For Everton not to drop below sixth place in the Premier League from as early as matchday five proves what a talented bunch of players Moyes has assembled at Goodison.

The biggest plus point has to be the Scotsman's legacy of continued Premier League success, delivering whoever takes over next a squad capable of landing the first  silverware since FA Cup success back in 1995.

 

On that note, you'd have to say finishing yet another season empty-handed is one of the only real negatives, prohibiting an alternative route back into Europe at the  same time.

 

The emergence of eight-goal Anichebe as a genuinely threatening target man after many seasons on the periphery of the squad bodes well although the form of Nikica  Jelavic is puzzling. The striker looks a shadow of the player who burst onto the scene in a blue shirt, firing in 11 goals after a January move from Rangers last year  - notching just eight goals this season.

 

Similarly, fellow Rangers import Steven Naismith has failed to inspire much on his debut season.

 

 

What Next?

 

An obvious sub-plot to Moyes' departure is the potential player exodus which could follow, with Baines and Fellaini following the manager to Old Trafford a mooted  rumour.

Baines and Fellaini are currently rated at 1.45 and 2.3 respectively to stay at Goodison beyond the summer.

 

Much may depend on keeping their best players, but this Everton squad should be targeting a trophy next season.

 

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