Looking at the positives from Everton's season so far

Two cup semi-finals and the chance of finishing in the top eight with a strong end to the Premier League season suggests that Everton's 2015-16 season might not end up being so bad.

Gary McCarty 18/03/2016 40comments  |  Jump to last
Ромелу Лукаку / Romelu Lukaku

Although Everton haven’t had the best of seasons in the Premier League so far, there is still plenty of time to turn things around and finish in the top eight. There are also many other positives that can be taken from this campaign, such as the state of the squad and the staying power the players have shown in both cups. The players now face a trip to Wembley in April and there is still a good chance they could end the season on a high.

The Squad

This is arguably the strongest Everton squad in years, which is why many believe that the Toffees are underachieving in the league. But to look at it another way, the team have managed to progress to the semi-finals of both the League Cup and the FA Cup and still have enough time to end the league in the top places.
Roberto Martinez is building a squad here that look to have a very bright future, with certain players coming into their own and developing nicely. The fact that Farhad Moshiri could bankroll a summer spending spree is also reason to be excited. There is world-class quality throughout and testament to this is the fact that many of the players have been called up to play for their countries in the upcoming international friendlies. It is expected that many more will play in Euro 2016. Ross Barkley and John Stones are fast becoming key members of the team and have been selected by Roy Hodgson because of this. There is also debate over whether Aaron Lennon and Tom Cleverley should be considered for the Euros given the impact they have had on the team this season. Belgium could be a formidable force in the upcoming tournament if Romelu Lukaku continues this devastating form on the international stage.

Romelu Lukaku

There is no doubt that Lukaku is now the star of the show on Merseyside and he has easily done enough to see off the competition to his starting place in the Belgium national team. With 18 league goals already at the time of writing, he is having his best Premier League season ever. This incredible form is why he is now 3/1 with 32red.com, Unibet and bwin to win the golden boot. He is also in contention for the PFA Young Player of the Year award at odds of 10/1.
Lukaku’s talent has been recognised by many and at such a young age he has the potential to go on to become one of the best players in the world. Although the Belgian’s head may be turned by the glamour of Champions League football, the club must do all they can to keep hold of him. If he can go on to improve on this season’s goal tally next campaign, he could easily drive Everton to a top-four finish.

Cup Success

Everton have enjoyed great success in the Capital One Cup and the FA cup this season. They made it to the semi-finals of the League Cup where they put up a good fight but were knocked out by the eventual champions Manchester City. Now they find themselves faced with either Manchester United or West Ham United at Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Everton have the ability to beat both of these teams and the final opponents who will be either Crystal Palace or Watford, which puts the Toffees at odds of 5/2 with 32red and 10bet to lift the trophy.

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The Final Furlong

With just under a quarter of the season left, Martinez is hoping his team can end positively and give themselves a springboard to go on to greater success next time out. The Spaniard has already stated that his teams always end the season in good form and Everton are looking set to do so. Luckily, the remaining league fixtures all look winnable. So, if Everton can pick up another 20 points, they will end the season on approximately 58 points, which could see them finish in the top six. That, coupled with an FA Cup win, would add up to a remarkable season.

There are plenty of positives to take from this campaign and it really looks as though Everton can build for next season and achieve even more.

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Reader Comments (40)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 18/03/2016 at 18:02:27
Lukaku has been the difference between a really horrible season and where we find ourselves at the minute. The cups have quieted the critics to a certain extent, yet apart from Chelsea who were in a good moment in form, we haven’t beaten any teams of outstanding ability in either cup competition.

We should have gained a place in the Capital One Cup Final but due to our own short-comings in attack at Goodison and in defence at the Etihad we let a good opportunity go too lightly. I don’t know how the rest of the FA Cup campaign will go, but I’m hoping for the best and there’s no reason we can’t lift it if the whole team is focussed and has the rub of the green.

However, the league campaign, particularly at Goodison has been one of major disappointment and if we judge the team purely on that basis, they have fell well short of their ability and the supporters' expectations. Thirty-eight points from twenty-eight games is not a good tally and without the cups, I believe the dissatisfaction would have been more prolonged and very much louder.

If, as seems likely but not at all certain, Roberto keeps his position as the Everton manager, he will have to focus on trying to gain as many points as possible from each and every fixture and stop his ’jam tomorrow’, ’performances are more important’ rhetoric – otherwise we will be in a relatively poor position come Winter 2016 and he will be looking for another club.

57 points should be the least we expect from the current Everton team in any given season and the fact we still need 19 points from our last 10 games highlights how poor the league campaign has been. Depending who leaves and who arrives on the playing side during the coming summer, I would hope that Everton will be top six mainstays next season; anything less is not acceptable.

Steve Guy
2 Posted 18/03/2016 at 18:19:18
Given the title, I expected a very short article.
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 18/03/2016 at 18:37:42
The only positives from this season is our attacking play. The huge negative is, once again, our defending and game management.
Dan Davies
4 Posted 18/03/2016 at 18:37:59
No comment.
Don Alexander
6 Posted 18/03/2016 at 19:51:18
"The Spaniard has already stated that his teams always end the season in good form"...............!

That’ll be except the first one he had here with Moyesy’s team in the main, when he contrived to blow an excellent chance to qualify for the Champions League by losing 3 out of the last 5.

And last season, when he achieved exactly the same to finish, as The Incredible One might put it, champions of the bottom half.

Apart from that, the quote’s "Bob on"............whatever he’s on!

Dave Ganley
8 Posted 18/03/2016 at 20:53:31
Did Bill Kenwright write this??

Could end up and remarkable season? All remaining games winnable?
Plenty of positives to take from this season?

I think I must have been watching a different side to the authors this season. So far as all the cup games go, we have had very kind draws really. The only really testing ones being City and Chelski. City we choked and Chelski, thankfully we pulled through. The league has been a disaster really. Very poor, only Lukaku and probably Barry consistently living up to reputations. Lennon has done well when he has come in but really only played regularly the last couple of months or so.

Anybody can win a cup competition and while I would love us to succeed in the FA cup, the league tells the true story of how good a team is. With 10 games to go, it shows we are a miserable bang average team. To argue that all our remaining games are winnable is ridiculous given that we still need 2 home wins to equal the pathetic effort we gave in the mid 90s when we were nearly relegated.

Granted we do have, on paper, a good squad.....just wish games were played on paper. Most of the players have underperformed.

As for the assertion that Martinezs teams always end the season on good form, well if it wasn't such a pitiful statement it would be funny. As stated in one of the posts, the last 2 seasons we have ended the season badly and the season before he relegated Wigan!! A fine record of ending the season in fine form.

I'm all for being positive but lets have a healthy dose of realism thrown in too. Martinez has treated the fans like idiots all season with his inane post match ramblings and now this post is trying to also.

Peter McHugh
9 Posted 18/03/2016 at 21:10:52
Dave – I note your comments. In terms of anyone can win the FA Cup – who are these "anyones" apart from Wigan who have won the cup in last 21 years since we won it? I can remember Portsmouth and there maybe more but I honestly only remember top clubs winning. Let me know.

IF we win the FA Cup (and that is a big 'if') that is a great season in my view. Unlike the author, I would not not view two semis (or even one semi and a final) as GREAT cup runs.

Will Jones
10 Posted 18/03/2016 at 21:39:03
Romelu Lukaku will leave us. No question. But when? I reckon he might well stay another season. He has been betrayed before by a successful manager who did not believe in him, Roberto does.

By the way, I think he has an amazing reputation is because the whole system is designed to make the best of him. After all, Martinez is all about style and attack.

You think he would have this menny goals this season with ol' sour face in charge?

Des Farren
11 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:10:30
Don't know how this article slipped by the censor but it's good to read if only for the positivity.
What's seldom is wonderful.
Tony Hill
12 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:12:41
I would suggest the following as positives.

Barkley’s tighter game, though I hope and expect that he will unite that with the fearlessness and flair he showed 2 years ago to become one of our greatest players; Funes Mori, though he needs to be stronger in the air defensively and to cut out some slackness – I believe he will become one of our all-time favourites (along with Besic); Aaron Lennon, unexpectedly excellent and with the sort of body that will allow him to be an asset for another 5-6 years, injury permitting.

Deulofeu’s early form which showed how wonderful he could be, inside as well as out wide, once he develops enduring fitness; Barry, superb in my opinion, I had written him off as a waste of a contract; Lukaku obviously.

Brendan Galloway, despite his understandable loss of form, and Tyias Browning who I think has been underrated; the continuing development of players like Dowell, Ledson, Kenny, Walsh, Davies, Evans and Williams, and the acquisitions of Holgate (potentially better than Stones in my opinion) and Foulds.

I also think, contrary to much recent opinion, that we will come to see the signing of Niasse as a major plus though I confess I have no evidence to back this up beyond some knowledge of his performances in Russia and gut instinct.

John Mckay
13 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:21:27
While our league form has been terrible and we all know we should have done better, this league is difficult. Look at all the other teams – Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal all struggling – and let’s not talk about Chelsea complete train wreck, don’t think I’ve seen a worse defence of a title than theirs this season!

I think a lot of fans are upset because of the home form and I agree we should have Goodison as a fortress like it used to be, and I also think a lot of the fans are kicking themselves because this could have been our year (don’t mean to sound like a kopite) to break that top 4 again with all the other big teams slipping up.

But there is a reason the top teams are slipping up because anyone can beat anyone in this league this season.

I’m happy with the cup runs this season so far, lifting that FA Cup would be special and we’ve got as good a chance as anyone else left in it.

On the plus side tho even though our league position has been poor and too many matches I’ve hated our manager and players for literally throwing results away, it has been entertaining seeing all the goals we’ve scored, just a shame our defense is so poor.

Nice run from now to the end of the season and we can still finish relatively high in the league I’d imagine, all is not lost at this stage, one can hope.

Graham Mockford
14 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:29:30
10 points more than the same stage last season.

Still in the FA Cup.

Lukaku, Lennon, Barkley and Galloway.

New shareholder promising investment.

Tim Howard linked to a move to the US.

Biscuit supply improved in the People’s Lounge

Always glass half-full.

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:36:04
A major clear out in the summer is on the cards. The likes of Hibbo, Ossie, Howard, Pienaar, Gibson, Kone, McGeady etc... will all be leaving allowing some of our younger players to step up to the plate.

With 3-4 top quality signings plus the likes of Galloway, Holgate, Ledson, Browning etc... the future is bright, the future is blue!

Graham Mockford
16 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:38:30
I forgot one:

Fewest number of away defeats for 105 years.

Gavin McGarvey
17 Posted 18/03/2016 at 22:58:04
I can only assume that this article has been put up to make Evertonians angry. I won’t say a secret red wrote it, but just when I was starting to enjoy the season, someone reminded me of our league form.

So, there I am looking at the table, 12th. Am I supposed to be happy about that? Then I remember the defeats snatched from the jaws of victory etc...

Let’s just enjoy the cup and pretend the rest of it didn’t happen. Seriously, that’s what I think we should do.

Dave Ganley
18 Posted 18/03/2016 at 23:36:05
Peter (#9), my point about the cup is that anybody, from any division, can see off one of the so-called big teams on any given day. I agree that for the majority of times the so-called top 4 have won the majority of FA Cups but occasionally, when you get it right for 6 games, then you can win a trophy.

Wigan did exactly that. They fucked everything else up and got relegated but managed to turn up 6 times. That's all it takes. League cup also, Birmingham have won it, got relegated also. Bradford got to the final too. That's why we love the cups because for most part form goes out of the window. It's all about who wants it the most.

As I said, I would love a trophy but it doesn't give an indication of how successful the season has been. If we finish bottom half again, then that’s a failure for me and winning a trophy, as much as it would be a fantastic day out, is just papering over the cracks.

Graham (#14 & #16), if you’re gauging our progress against last season's farce, then we really are clutching at straws. Oh and how many of those away games have we actually won?

Graham Mockford
20 Posted 18/03/2016 at 23:48:41
Dave #18

To some degree I was being a bit light hearted.

This season on the whole has been one of massive frustration. I say that as a season ticket holder who has missed three games. Sunderland, Villa and Newcastle. So you can imagine the Goodison's experience that I've had!

I guess the point I was trying to make is despite the missed opportunities we are still in a position where we can turn the season round. We still have the best squad I can think of in 25 years. Of course an exit from the FA Cup and a poor end to the season and it all counts for shit. But we can still hope.....

Dave Ganley
21 Posted 18/03/2016 at 00:03:15
Fair enough Graham. Think I've been desensitised by Everton these past couple of years and completely lost any sense of humour I once had and also seemingly lost any recognition of somebody being light-hearted (I must be a joy to live with after matchday).

I suppose I should look on the bright side really as, also being a long serving season ticket holder, at least I did manage to see the Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland games!!

I guess you are right in as much as we do live in hope... as sometimes hope is all we have. I’m still hoping for 2 great days out at Wembley

Don Alexander
22 Posted 19/03/2016 at 00:31:55
So now it's official! "Mockers" puts the mockers on us!!!!!
Niall McIlhone
23 Posted 19/03/2016 at 09:05:24
The new ownership and and re-jigging of the board is the main positive for the club overall, and it has come at a good time when we have assets on the pitch where it matters most to fans.

I am only guessing, but it seems to me that having been gerrymandered out of a controlling interest at Arsenal FC along with Mr Usmanov, Mr Moshiri will be straining at the leash to transform Everton FC.

For me, the Finch Farm proposals are only the start; I am really quite excited now as to where the club might go, especially in regard to the stadium. An FA Cup win would set the stage for a very positive season end. COYB.

Danny Broderick
24 Posted 19/03/2016 at 09:29:39
There have undoubtedly been positives. Barry has been outstanding. And some of our younger players have another year’s experience under their belts – Lukaku, Stones, Barkley, Robles etc. It also looks like some of the older members of the squad are due to move on in the summer – Osman, Hibbert, Howard etc. Maybe some deadwood, like McGeady and Gibson will go also. Hopefully a couple of young lads will step up, and we’ll sign 1 or 2 players...

So we appear to be in decent shape heading into the summer. I just feel that this summer is make or break for Roberto. He has to get pre-season right, bring in at least 2 top signings (keeper as a priority) and then he needs to manage the games right. If you add on some of the points that we have thrown away this year (Chelsea, Bournemouth and West Ham spring to mind), the league would look much different and we would be thinking that we have had a reasonable season.

It’s the hope that makes things so frustrating. Being 1-0 away at City in the semi final, we should have shut up shop, but we carried on naively. The subs in the recent cup game against Chelsea were much better. It gives me that word again – hope! – that Roberto has learnt some lessons also this year, but the key will be the next 6 months. Repeating the same mistakes next season will probably mean Roberto will be looking for another job.

Craig Mills
25 Posted 19/03/2016 at 10:05:01
I would score this season 3/10 from what I was hoping for to what we have delivered so far.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 19/03/2016 at 10:20:17
Graham (#14 and #16). Always look on the bright side of life.

Graham, with your permission, I’m starting a fund to pay you to stay away from Everton’s home games.

James Hughes
27 Posted 19/03/2016 at 10:29:45
Graham, with a track record like that, could you give today’s game a miss please, mate... :)
Phil Walling
28 Posted 19/03/2016 at 10:34:34
Most of this stuff was said last year and will, I suspect, be repeated in 12 months time. Except that Lukaku will not be an issue as he will be long gone.

Of course all our promising young players will have had another year's experience but, if it's to go backwards as the likes of Stones, Deulofeu and the now absent Garbutt have done, experience alone will not be enough.

But, at least, Barkley may be a star.

Graham Mockford
30 Posted 19/03/2016 at 10:38:32
Dave & James,

Sorry I’m afraid I’m going but I’ve already been offered money to stay away.

Onwards and upwards.

Dave Ganley
33 Posted 19/03/2016 at 15:41:24
After coming home from today's game, the result and performance kind of pisses all over this post really.
Arild Andersen
34 Posted 19/03/2016 at 17:56:47
First time I tried to open the article, I got a "Page not found" message. I thought you guys had made a brilliant joke.
Barry Jones
35 Posted 19/03/2016 at 21:49:10
I've been mulling over the positives for hours now but I have writer's block...........
Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 20/03/2016 at 16:24:20
Barry (#35) one of the positives is that the season is nearly over, and all our nerves can have a well earned rest.
Dave Ganley
38 Posted 20/03/2016 at 20:15:07
Dave, our nerves will be just as shredded in the off season. Has Martinez been sacked yet? Surely they can't give him any money to spend. We're signing who? Bill said that Martinez is here for life??? Ha ha no Dave, our nerves don't get a break no matter what time of year it is.
Barry Jones
39 Posted 21/03/2016 at 17:44:30
Dave(s), is their some medication that we can take for this? I am using Jack Daniels at the moment.
Craig Walker
40 Posted 22/03/2016 at 12:11:38
My positives from this season are:-

Eugene Ruane
41 Posted 22/03/2016 at 12:20:11
Tell us if you find anything Baz.


Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 22/03/2016 at 12:21:00
Barry (39) I’d say Jack Daniels is about the best medicine you could take, nice and smooth.... but, when it wears off, Martinez will still be in charge.
Shane Corcoran
43 Posted 22/03/2016 at 12:25:49
Sorry that this is off-topic but can someone tell me who our as yet unfixed fixture is against?
Patrick Murphy
44 Posted 22/03/2016 at 12:35:04
Palace away Shane; if we meet Watford in the FA Cup final the TV companies will probably ask us to play Palace on the Friday night prior to the cup final. Seriously though we were supposed to play Palace on the Weekend of the Semi-finals,
Shane Corcoran
45 Posted 22/03/2016 at 12:53:38
Cheers Patrick.
Michael Polley
46 Posted 22/03/2016 at 18:31:05
Love to win the Cup, but every silver lining has a cloud, and that is our shocking home performances.

Hold onto Lukaku and bring in some quality players. Oh, I almost forgot – get rid of Martinez. The guy is clueless. Over to you, Mr Billionaire owner.

Jay Harris
47 Posted 25/04/2016 at 04:41:27
Best comedy write up I have seen on ToffeeWeb, Gary.

Guess you also believe in Father Xmas.

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