Everton Players of the Month, 1996-97


Each month during the progressively more miserable 1996-97 season, the faithful fans on Toffeenet voted for their Everton Player of the Month, with results compiled expertly by Nicholas Gard. Since the majority of voters probably didn't even get to watch many games, the results may be viewed with a full dose of disdain and skepticism. But these are they:


Everton Player of the Season, 1996-97: Gary Speed  

The same voting system was used to chose the first recipient of this cherished Toffeenet accolade.

Gary SpeedThere was not much suspense with regard to the outcome of the Everton Player of the Season voting. The only question was: could Gary Speed make it a clean sweep? Not quite, but he picked up 61 first place votes and appeared on 77 of 80 ballots. Several players who played less than half a season fared well, those being Hinchcliffe, Phelan and Parkinson. Dunne picked up a couple of more votes than Branch, so does that make him Young Player of the Season?

To the two people who voted Shearer or Zola in first place, sorry but your votes were disqualified, as this was for Everton players only – or was that just a bit of wishful thinking???

Complete results of the 1996/97 Toffeenet Player of the Season Award:

                      1st     2nd     3rd     Pts*  
1) Gary Speed          61      10       5½    340½
2) Duncan Ferguson      7      21      10     108
3) Dave Watson          5      12      11      72
4) Earl Barrett         4       8       4½     48½
5) Andy Hinchcliffe     2      10       8      48
6) Terry Phelan         1       7      13      39
7) Joe Parkinson        0       8       8      32
8) Neville Southall     0       4       7      19
9) Richard Dunne        0       0       6       6
10)Michael Branch       0       0       4       4
11)Nick Barmby          0       0       1       1
12)David Unsworth       0       0       1       1
13)Graham Stuart        0       0       1       1 

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

Based on match reports posted to Toffeenet, this is the way all players ranked this year, not adjusting for the number of matches played:

Everton Player Average Ratings, 1996/97

Southall        6.86
Parkinson       6.85
Rideout         6.83
Phelan          6.80
Short           6.78
Branch          6.75
Ferguson        6.73
Speed           6.69
Dunne           6.68
Barrett         6.67
Watson          6.62
Grant           6.61
Hinchcliffe     6.57
Barmby          6.54
Cadamarteri     6.50
Ebbrell         6.41
Limpar          6.41
Kanchelskis     6.39
Ball            6.36
Stuart          6.28
Unsworth        6.23
Gerrard         6.04
Thomsen         6.02
Allen           5.67
Hottiger        5.22
Hills           4.83

Perhaps Nev should feel slighted?

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Everton Player of the Month and Player of the Season  voting. I look forward to doing this again come next season, when hopefully there will be so many outstanding performances month in, month out that we won't know who to vote for. – Nicholas Gard


Gary Speed – Everton Player of the Month – April 1997

Gary SpeedA good response for April, not surprising as voter turn-out is proportional to on-field performance. The good news is that at least one dyed in the wool blue won an election last week. Complete results:

Everton Player of the Month – Results for April 1997:

                        1st     2nd     3rd    Pts*  
 1) Gary Speed          16       7       5     106
 2) Duncan Ferguson     12       7       6      87
 3) Dave Watson          8       4       5      57
 4) Richard Dunne        3       6       3      36
 5) Terry Phelan         2       5       1      26
 6) Michael Branch       0       2       5      11
 7) Paul Rideout         1       1       1       9
 8) Claus Thomsen        1       1       1       9
 9) Neville Southall     0       0       4       4 
10) Graham Stuart        0       1       0       3 
11) Nick Barmby          0       0       2       2 
12) David Unsworth       0       0       1       1

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote
Total number of people voting:  43


Terry Phelan – Everton Player of the Month – March 1997

Terry PhelanNot even close this month, and in a fitting tribute to the recently departed Joe Royle:

  1. First place goes to Terry Phelan, one of his last "bargain" signings who was widely slated as being an over-the-hill has-been and who is now warmly applauded for his grit and determination.
  2. Second place goes to one of JR's major buys whose signing was greeted with much scepticism, but whose blue heart has shown through as the season has progressed.
  3. Third place goes to a player JR had previously coached, who is still not liked in many quarters, but who gets the job done, which is more than can be said of some other players.

Enough hyperbole. Complete results are as follows...

Everton Player of the Month – Results for March 1997:

                         1st    2nd     3rd     Pts*  
 1) Terry Phelan          18½     5       0     107½ 
 2) Gary Speed             5½    12       3      66½ 
 3) Earl Barrett           2      3       5      24 
 4) Duncan Ferguson        1      0       3       8 
 5) Joe Parkinson          0      1       4       7 
 6) Dave Watson            0      0       6       6 
 7) Nick Barmby            0      1       1       4 
 8) Paul Gerrard           0      1       0       3 
 9) Claus Thomsen          0      1       0       3 
10) Paul Rideout           0      0       2       2                               

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote
Total number of people voting: 27

Comparative ratings based on match reports posted to Toffeenet are:

                Ave    Soton   Leeds   Derby   Mancs
Phelan          7.5     7.3     8.0     6.5     8.0 
Speed           7.4     8.0     7.5             6.8 
Rideout         6.8             7.0             6.5 
Parkinson       6.7     7.3             6.5     6.3 
Barrett         6.7     6.7     6.0     7.0     7.0 
Unsworth        6.5     6.7     6.0     6.5     6.8 
Ferguson        6.5     7.3     6.0     6.5     6.0 
Short           6.4     5.3     7.0     7.0     
Watson          6.4     5.7     6.5     7.0     6.3 
Branch          6.3     6.5     6.5     6.0     
Barmby          6.2     6.0     6.5     6.3     6.0 
Southall        6.2     5.0     7.0     6.5     
Stuart          5.9     5.0     6.0     6.5     6.0 
Hottiger        5.8                     5.8     
Thomsen         5.4     5.0     5.0     6.0     5.5 
Gerrard         4.8                             4.8


Gary Speed – Everton Player of the Month – February 1997

Gary SpeedDefinitely a two horse race for the February POTM honours with another poor response from Toffeenetters who doubtless were left more than uninspired by the team's lack of performance on the pitch.

However, the two horses in the race were the two most consistent nags, who despite being frequently barracked by Toffeenetters outperformed some of the thoroughbreds who never really left the gate last month.

Everton Player of the Month – Results for February 1997:

                        1st     2nd     3rd     Pts*  
1) Gary Speed            8       3       2       51
2) Terry Phelan          4       6       2       40
3) Earl Barrett          0       2       1        7
4) Craig Short           0       1       3        6
5) Paul Gerrard          1       0       0        5
6) Claus Thomsen         1       0       0        5
7) Duncan Ferguson       0       0       2        2
8) Michael Branch        0       0       1        1
9) Joe Parkinson         0       0       1        1                               

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote
Total number of people voting: 14

Congratulations to Gary Speed, another first time winner this month

Results based on match rankings paralleled EPOTM voting, with the ratings being:

               Toon   Forest    Cov    Arse     Ave                                              
Phelan                  7.8     6.4     7.7     7.3
Short           7.0             7.4     7.0     7.1
Speed           7.0     7.3     6.0     7.2     6.9
Parkinson       6.7     7.3             6.5     6.8
Barrett         7.0     7.5     6.2     6.0     6.7
Branch                                  6.7     6.7
Rideout         6.3                             6.3
Thomsen         5.3     7.8     6.4     5.7     6.3
Watson          6.0     6.7     6.6     5.7     6.2
Gerrard         5.7     6.2     6.8             6.2
Southall                                6.2     6.2
Barmby                  7.5     5.8     5.2     6.2
Ferguson        6.0     7.0     6.2     5.3     6.1
Grant           6.0                             6.0
Stuart          6.3     6.5     5.2     4.8     5.7
Unsworth        6.0     6.7     6.4     3.0     5.5


Duncan Ferguson – Everton Player of the Month – January 1997

Duncan FergusonA smaller than usual response was received for the January voting, due in part to the less than stellar performances turned in by the club during the month, and in part to the mid-season break on Toffeenet. Despite the low turn-out, the winner was clear. For the second time this year the honours go to Big Dunc.

Our favourite Scot earned the praise of fans for his commitment and pride in wearing the blue jersey at a time when many of his team-mates apparently did not appear as dedicated. Runner-up honours go to Nev, to whom we can be thankful for ensuring that several embarrassing results did not turn into humiliating routs.

Everton Player of the Month – Results for January 1997:

                        1st     2nd     3rd     Pts*  
1) Duncan Ferguson       6       3       1       40
2) Neville Southall      2       3       2       21
3) Earl Barrett          2       1       2       15 
4) Gary Speed            1       3       1       15
5) Michael Branch        0       0       1        1 
5) Graham Stuart         0       0       1        1 
5) Dave Watson           0       0       1        1                               

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

The comparison with Match Report ratings will follow in due course.


Earl Barrett – Everton Player of the Month – December 1996

Earl BarrettWe have our first two-time winner of POTM honours for this season, and it is everybody's favourite: Earl "The Pearl" Barrett. Like him or hate him, he must be doing something right.

A low turn-out this month, and many voters who felt, with much justification, that there were not 3 players worthy of votes. One respondent also gave votes to Gerrard and Limpar because they never made it off the sub's bench, and therefore couldn't be held responsible for the blue mess on the pitch.

Everton Player of the Month – Results for December 1996:

                               1st     2nd     3rd     Pts* 
1       Earl Barrett           13       4       2       79
2       Neville Southall        9       6       1       64
3       Graham Stuart           2       4       1       23
4       Dave Watson             0       3       7       16
5       Gary Speed              1       2       4       15
6       Duncan Ferguson         3       0       0       15
7       Paul Rideout            1       0       0        5
8       Michael Branch          0       1       1        4
9       Tony Grant              0       1       1        4
10      Andrei Kanchelskis      0       1       0        3
11      Paul Gerrard            0       1       0        3
12      Anders Limpar           0       0       1        1
13      John Ebbrell            0       0       1        1

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

Below are the average player ratings calculated from the all Match Reports posted to Toffeenet:

                Chel    Derby   Leeds   Boro    Wimb     All
Southall        8.00    8.25    8.00    5.67    6.75    7.33
Watson          7.50    6.92    7.33    6.50            7.06
Short                           7.00                    7.00
Branch          7.00    6.83    6.67    7.33    6.25    6.82
Rideout                                 6.67    6.75    6.71
Barmby                  6.67    6.33    7.33    6.25    6.65
Ferguson        7.00    7.42    6.00    7.00    5.25    6.53
Ebbrell                                         6.50    6.50
Stuart          5.50    6.92            6.00    7.50    6.48
Kanchelskis     7.00    5.83    6.33                    6.39
Parkinson       5.00    7.17    7.00    6.00            6.29
Grant           6.25            6.67    5.67    6.25    6.21
Unsworth        7.00    6.33    6.00    5.33    6.25    6.18
Barrett         5.00    6.08    6.00    6.33    7.25    6.13
Speed           6.25    6.50    5.67    5.67    6.50    6.12
Hinchcliffe     6.50    6.08    5.67                    6.08
Hottiger                                6.00    6.00    6.00
Allen                                   5.67            5.67
Hills                                           4.50    4.50

Once again, poor old Neville is not fully rewarded for his efforts. Judging by the match ratings, he was far and away better than anyone else on the team. Surprisingly, Barrett is near the bottom of the ratings based on match reports, and Barmby and Branch – who were relatively consistent – failed to receive any/many votes. This just goes to show that as Toffeenetters we're just as inconsistent and unpredictable as the team we so dearly love.


Nick Barmby – Everton Player of the Month – November 1996

Nick BarmbyAnother close race this month, with the top two players being named on 27 of 38 ballots, the difference being one additional first place vote for...  Nick Barmby!  Congratulations, Nick, on winning this most prized and coveted of honours in your first month as an Evertonian. May it be the first of many.

This month's voting produced a good turnaround of respondents (38). It's a wonder what a few good performances do for everyone's morale.

Everton Player of the Month – Results for November 1996:

                              1st     2nd     3rd     Pts* 
1) Nick Barmby                 14       8       5       99 
2) Gary Speed                  13       9       5       97 
3) Tony Grant                   5       7       6       52 
4) Earl Barrett                 4       2       6       32 
5) Neville Southall             2       2       2       18 
6) Dave Watson                  0       2       3        9 
7) Andy Hinchcliffe             0       1       2        5 
8) Graham Stuart                0       1       1        4 
9) Andrei Kanchelskis           0       0       1        1

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

By comparison, the following are the average player ratings calculated from the all match reports posted to Toffeenet.

             Cvntry   Sotton  Lvpool  Lester  Sundld  Average
Grant          6.2      9.0     8.5     7.7     6.5     7.6 
Barmby         7.3      8.8     7.0     7.0     6.8     7.4 
Southall       7.0      6.4     8.0     7.3     7.5     7.2 
Barrett        7.3      7.3     8.0     7.0     6.3     7.2 
Watson         6.3      7.0     8.0     8.0     6.5     7.2 
Speed          6.4      8.8     7.0     7.0     6.0     7.1 
Short          6.7                      7.7     6.7     7.0 
Stuart         6.6      7.5     7.5     7.0     6.0     6.9 
Hinchcliffe    5.9      6.8     7.0     8.0     6.8     6.9 
Unsworth       6.7      7.3     7.0     7.7     5.8     6.9 
Branch         7.2                              6.5     6.9 
Parkinson      6.3      7.5     7.0     6.7     6.3     6.8 
Kanchelskis    5.6      8.5     6.0             5.8     6.5 
Gerrard                 6.3                             6.3 
Ferguson                        6.5     5.3     7.0     6.3 

Again, there is a generally good comparison between the voting and the match report rankings, although on the basis of his performance in the matches against Southampton, Liverpool, and Leicester, a case could be made that Tony Grant should be higher than third in the rankings.  Also, perhaps Gary Speed's hat-trick against Southampton produced a few more votes than his overall performance would merit.

Also, spare a thought for poor old Neville Southall. The match reports give him the third best ranking, but in the four editions of Everton Player of the Month so far this year he has never finished higher than 5th place. I guess we all expect Big Nev to be outstanding and only notice him when he fails to be so.


Earl Barrett – Everton Player of the Month – October 1996

Earl BarrettFor the rest of you, Persistent Barrett-bashers will be writhing in agony when they read this...  

you've probably guessed that Earl Barrett wins the honours for October (and deservedly so I might add). It all started part-way through the West Ham United match.  Earl has performed on a different plane since Joe Royle switched to the 3-man central defence, bringing Barrett and Hinchcliffe forward into wing-back roles in which both have excelled.

Everton Player of the Month – Results for October 1996:

                        1st     2nd     3rd     Pts* 
1) Earl Barrett         14       3       4       83 
2) Michael Branch        5       4       6       43 
3) Craig Short           1       5       1       21 
4) Joe Parkinson         1       2       1       12 
5) Neville Southall              3       2       11 
6) Andy Hinchcliffe              3       2       11 
7) Dave Watson           1               1        6 
8) Andrei Kanchelskis                    2        2 
9) Graham Stuart                         1        1

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

A poll based on only two games is perhaps somewhat meaningless, but Barrett was voted Man of the Match by many punters (including the Carling folks) against Nottingham Forest. At least we will have five games to consider in November (and more if it weren't for York City).


Michael Branch – Everton Player of the Month – September 1996

Michael Branch A much closer race for September than for August, and August's winner, Duncan Ferguson, didn't receive a single vote this month. Voter turn-out was less than half of last month's show (23 v. 49 people voting), which is probably reflective of the team's overall poor showing and no consistently outstanding individual performances.

The winner, probably largely on the strength of his enthusiastic performance against Sheffield Wednesday is Michael Branch with Joe "Pieman" Parkinson nipping close at his heels.

Everton Player of the Month – Results for September 1996:

                               1st     2nd     3rd     Pts* 
1)  Michael Branch              9       6       2       65 
2)  Joe Parkinson              10       4       2       64 
3)  Andrei Kanchelskis          2       3       6       25 
4)  Craig Short                 0       3       3       12 
5)  Andy Hinchcliffe            1       0       3        8 
6)  Neville Southall            1       0       0        5 
7)  Earl Barrett                0       1       1        4 
8)  John Ebbrell                0       1       1        4 
9)  David Unsworth              0       1       0        3 
10) Gary Speed                  0       0       1        1 

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

Several people have pointed out that the player ratings given in the Match Reports by Guy, Dave and the rest of the faithful Toffeenet match reporters might be a fairer way of selecting a Player of the Month. This is a more objective ranking scheme as it is less influenced by one outstanding match or one stinker than Toffeenet voting. However, it doesn't let the rest of us exiled souls participate.

In the interest of comparison, I present the player ratings I have calculated from the all match reports posted to Toffeenet. Because home matches have more people filing reports than away matches, it is not fair just to total all scores. Instead, I have taken an average for each match, then an overall average for all nine September matches (7 League, 2 Fizzy Cup). Average player ratings are:

     Rideout        7.3  
     Branch         7.2
     Kanchelskis    7.0
     Parkinson      7.0
     Short          6.8 
     Barrett        6.6
     Ferguson       6.5
     Ebbrell        6.5
     Unsworth       6.4
     Grant          6.4
     Hinchcliffe    6.4
     Southall       6.3
     Limpar         6.3
     Speed          6.2
     Stuart         5.9
     Hottiger       5.0

The ratings are comparable to POTM voting, with the glaring exception of Rideout who rated highly in both York City (home and away) and in the Blackburn match, but who did not pick up a single vote from Toffeenetters.


Duncan Ferguson – Everton Player of the Month – August 1996

Duncan FergusonResults for the August edition of the Toffeenet Everton Player of the Month are in, but you've probably already guessed the winner.

In a landslide, it was King Duncan Ferguson, following his early domination of defences, and two brilliant goals to put the willies up those Old Trafford moaners. Big Dunc captured 41 of 48 first place votes and being on every ballot except one which listed only one nomination..

Everton Player of the Month – Results for August 1996:

                        1st     2nd     3rd     Pts*  
1) Duncan Ferguson      42       5       1      226 
2) David Unsworth        1      14       9       56 
3) Earl Barrett          3       8       7       46 
4) Andy Hinchcliffe      1       5      13       33 
5) Neville Southall      1       6       8       31 
6) Joe Parkinson         1       4       5       22 
7) Gary Speed            0       3       3       12 
8) Graham Stuart         0       1       1        4 
9) John Ebbrell          0       1       0        3                                              

* 5 pts/1st place vote, 3pts/2nd place vote, 1pt/3rd place vote

Thanks to all 49 people who voted, and start thinking about your vote for the September competition. Hopefully the team will turn in at least one decent performance during the month to give us all a reason to want to vote.

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