Roberto Martinez leads Record-breaking season for Everton

Roberto Martinez joined the Blues before the 2013/14 season and was met by some skepticism from the Goodison Park faithful. Everton had enjoyed relative safety in the years leading up to Martinez’s arrival under the old boss David Moyes. Little did the fans know this would be a season to remember, many people in the national media were bewildered when Roberto promised chairman Bill Kenwright champions league football for example BT Sport’s David James predicting 16th place finish in the premier league for Everton.

The superlative Everton side have proved many people wrong this year by achieving a record Premier League points total for the Merseyside side with 72 points. This is also the joint highest total ever achieved in England’s top-flight without the reward of Champions League football. As an Everton fan it was disappointing to see the club not keep hold of the commanding position they had just a matter of weeks ago following a superb 3-0 defeat of our fellow 4th place contenders, Arsenal.

Though I believe this was a blessing in disguise as fans know the Blues squad is not ready to compete at a Champions League level so a year in the Europa League could be just what Everton need to attract players and have the chance of winning it all. Roberto Martinez needs to sign at least one top class striker before the start of next season as this is what we really missed this year. This discrepancy can be seen when looking at the goals scored by strikers (top midfielders) for each club;

1. Manchester City, 45 (65 including Yaya Toure)

2. Liverpool, 52 (65 including Steven Gerrard)

3. Chelsea, 27 (49 including Eden Hazard & Oscar)

4. Arsenal, 31 (46 incuding Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey)

5. Everton, 20 (40 including Kevin Mirallas & Ross Barkley)

Although Everton were allowed to grab goals from all over the pitch this season, 13 of the seasons tally coming from fullbacks, this was not enough to supplement the strikeforce issues. Every club who is successful has two strikers scoring 15+ goals or a midfielder putting 20 on the board to compliment the lone striker. If by some miracle Lukaku decided to stay another season and Everton could pick up another striker of similar goal scoring ability then I would not bet against the Blues challenging for entry to the most coveted club competition on the planet (No not the Johnstones Paint Trophy, the Champions League).

During the next few months, Everton must strengthen. As I said, I would recommend signing two strikers, a winger, a centre back and a back up centre midfielder. You have to look at the size and strength of all the squads around and say this must get better if the Blues want to challenge.

On an international note, it is great to see Roy Hodgson finally taking the step that the likes of Germany and Spain took years ago to filter in the youth to the World Cup squad. It’s a breath of fresh air to see the likes of Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana in the squad with John Stones and John Flanagan in the stand-by selections. Eight of the 23 players selected in Hodgson’s squad play for the two Merseyside clubs. This illustrates the production of youth talent in the North West and the willingness of the two young managers to let them show it on a regular basis in the greatest league in the world.

Everton’s 2013/14 season unofficial awards

Young Player of the Season: Ross Barkley
Barkley has been the livewire that the blues have been searching for since someone called Wayne something left. He bagged 6 goals in his first full season which has been a good return for the youngster and almost every one has seemed to be a goal of the season contender. He burst onto the scene this season with a pile driver with his ‘weaker’ left foot, leaving Match Of The Day pundits asking if this ‘scouse kid even has a weaker foot? He has been the driving force along side Romelu Lukaku and most of Everton’s attacking play has flowed through the promising youngster.

*Young player honourable mentions go to John Stones and James McCarthy who have both had stunning seasons, it will be the likes of these two that will need to be sticking around at Goodison if the blues are to fulfil their potential.

Player of the season: Seamus Coleman
The £60K Irish international has been a power house for the Blues this year, scoring 6 goals, making countless goal saving challenges and tormenting opposition wingers and fullbacks all year. Coleman epitomises the Everton spirit that Martinez has instilled of hard-working yet full of skill and endeavour.

Goal of the season (Ross Barkley Award as it should be known)

It is a three horse race for me between Barkley’s superb individual effort at Newcastle, the first time stunner against City and the late free-kick to take all three points away at Swansea. I personally think the Swansea goal was the pick of the bunch, it was the 84th minute of the game and the fans in the away end knew Everton needed this win and there was no one else they would want to be stood over that ball. Sure enough Barkley stepped up and curled a beautiful free kick over the helpless Swans wall and keeper that pinged off the underside of the bar (always looks better) before nestling into the net.

Everton have had a great season with many positives and I don’t see any reason as to why they cannot push on further next season with the correct additions to their squad.


For the latest sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.

Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on twitter – @LWOS_LRussell11. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.

Feel free to discuss this and other footy related articles with thousands of fans at r/football.