A seventh-placed finish this season may not appease most people associated with Everton Football Club, but there are still several positives that can be drawn from a disjointed campaign which only a few months ago looked like it could end in disaster.

 

Once again the Blues suffered from a faltering start and perhaps some could argue that the writing was on the wall from the first day of the season. A blunt, lifeless performance in a 1-0 defeat away at a Blackburn Rovers side that narrowly avoided relegation epitomised the problems to come.

 

It was clear that Everton lacked a cutting edge going forward and free signing Jermaine Beckford was simply not a quick fix to solve the side's inept attack. But in a true reflection of what you can expect from a David Moyes side, the team spirit at Goodison Park was still as strong as ever. Again his team proved that money is not everything as ambitious spenders Manchester City were routinely swept aside in a gutsy performance at Eastlands.

 

On countless occasions this season fans' expectations were scorned after rare victories of quality were followed by far too many draws. Four wins in 19 games led to ramblings of discontent at Goodison and, for the second season in a row, murmurs of relegation were prominent among the Everton faithful.

 

But then came the revival that albeit late, provided some

moments of ecstasy for the fans to savour, the pinnacle of

which came in an FA Cup fourth-round replay at Chelsea.

 

Leighton Baines and Phil Neville sparked the euphoria of

another potential trip to Wembley, with the former netting

an unstoppable free-kick - which would go on to be voted

Everton’s goal of the season - before Moyes' men

triumphed on penalties.

 

Typical of the inconsistency the Toffees showed all season

long, they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Reading just

a few days later.

 

With little left to play for, the Blues finally began to win

games, with a run of seven victories in eleven matches 

culminating in a spirited 1-0 victory over Chelsea in their

final match of the season at Goodison.

 

Highlights of the season would undoubtedly include the

continuing progress of Baines, whose flawless

performances from left-back have attracted praise both

home and abroad.

 

Having being converted from full-back, Seamus Coleman

has cemented his place on the right-wing in Everton’s

midfield and at times looked the most likely source of

goals, while solid and consistent displays from Sylvain

Distin and Phil Jagileka have been essential to Everton’s

post-Christmas march up the table.

 

Another trophy-less season for Moyes and little in terms of finances to supplement a squad that lacks goals, would seemingly agree with the manager's recent comments that perhaps seventh is as high as his team could hope for next season.

 

But optimists will note that Everton have again competed with and at times outclassed the so-called bigger teams in the Premier League this season, so a better start in August could see the club competing for places a little higher than what their manager expects.

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed emotions for Moyes' Everton again

By David Downie, Deputy Sports Editor

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