End of Year School Report

Martin O'Connor 26/07/2020 25comments  |  Jump to last

As this depressing season ended with a 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth, it is time to give out grades, so here is my school report on the underperforming bunch. Marks out of 10.

Jordon Pickford

Pickford has had – to put it bluntly – a very underwhelming season. He is at best just an average Premier League goalkeeper. He has gone backwards in each season with the Blues. Too many mistakes have crept into his game, the most glaring being the Benteke goal for Crystal Palace at Goodison although he tried to outdo it with Bournemouth’s 3rd goal at Goodison. He will have to really up his game if he wants to continue as the club's Number One but, for me, we need to start planning for an upgrade. 2

Seamus Coleman

Now in the twilight of his career, Coleman put in some good performances and post lockdown until Bournemouth rocked up at Goodison. Shared duties with the godawful Sidibé who he outshone, which to be fair was not hard to do. Well past his best and is now no more than a back-up but, for me, he should be moved on. 3

Djibril Sidibé

Laughable that the Liverpool Echo labelled him a World Cup winner... yes, he was a real star player for France in Russia!!! Brought in on a season-long loan. When he signed, I wrote: “He switches off in games, has no positional sense and has been injury prone.”

I don’t think I need to add anything to what I wrote last Summer. He will be best remembered for a few good crosses, the sumptuous one for Richarlison at Southampton right in front of our end springs to mind... plus 'sockgate'. Awful! 2

Lucas Digne

Incredibly overrated. Had a good first season but went backwards at a rate of knots this season. Very weak in the air and gives away too many cheap free-kicks. He did put in a couple of good performances, but not that many. Needs a dramatic improvement next season. 3

Leighton Baines

A real servant of the club. Did not get many chances during the season, but did not let the team down when he did play. And there was that goal in the Carabao Cup. But the Wolves away game really did show that his time was up. 4

Michael Keane

He has never justified the fee we paid for him. Some good displays and, as usual, some very bad ones. Very solid post lockdown, but is he good enough going forward? A definite No from me. 5

Yerry Mina

Started the season really well and was the first name on the team sheet from our centre-back choices in the first couple of months. But an injury-plagued season followed, he lost all his early-season form, producing in-and-out performances. I think he is better than Michael Keane but seems to be plagued with niggling injuries, which puts a question mark over his reliability. 5

Mason Holgate

The one real bright spot of the season. I've always been a fan of Holgate. He was bombed far too early by Koeman and then by Marco Silva after a disastrous performance at home in a 3-1 defeat to West Ham in 2018-19 season. Sent out on loan to West Bromwich Albion, he has returned a real leader.

He can play the ball out of defence, unlike any other of our back line, has pace, reads the game well, and has shown he has captain leadership qualities. Signed a new contract during the season. Now 23, a player our whole defence should be built around and Player of the Season for me. 7.5

Jarrad Branthwaite

Looking like a real find. Only turned 18 in June, Branthwaite had only played a few games for league two Carlisle United when the blues splashed out £750k for him in January. The post lockdown injuries to Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate threw him in at the deep end.

Yes, you can see in the 3½ games he has played he is raw and has a lot of learning to do, but he has not looked out of place when called upon. Hopefully we have got a real find. Penny for the thoughts of Lewis Gibson... 6

Jean-Philippe Gbamin

Really nothing can be said here except he was unlucky. After his move from Mainz, he had a shaky substitute appearance at Crystal Place in the opening game of the season. He followed this up with a good full debut the following week at home to Watford, then the injuries hit.

We can't really judge his season on that, but hopefully he will stay injury-free in the coming season and show us the player we all thought we were getting. But it must be a worry that he will be injury-prone; here’s hoping not. 3

Morgan Schneiderlin

I said when we signed him, it was £26 million down the drain. He would put in a good 6 months and that would be it. I got that spot on. He moved back to France during the lockdown and all Blues must be happy about that. But, to give him his due, he was probably the best of a bad bunch we had in midfield during the season, which shows how bad it has been. 4

Tom Davies

Never stops running and always tries his best but Davies has not moved on from his breakout season. Having four managers plus an interim one in that time cannot have helped his development. But, if you were to be asked what sort of midfield player Tom is, what would you say? Defensive, box-to-box, playmaker, attacking midfielder?

In reality, it is hard to put him in any of these categories. He has never nailed down a position at the club, has even been used out wide right on occasion during the season. Also has a habit of giving the ball away too cheaply. Never got beyond the average during the whole season. 2.5

André Gomes

After a good first season (but totally over-hyped), Gomes did not hit the ground running this season. Apart from a very good performance early in the season at home to Wolves, he was under-whelming. The bad injury (courtesy of the good Son) in December derailed the rest of the season. He came back with an adrenalin-fueled half-hour away at Arsenal at the end of February and then more or less was derailed again due to Covid-19.

But, post-lockdown, he has not exactly shone. The injury obviously has to be taken into account but, when he has been on the pitch, he has been nothing to talk about. Needs a massive improvement next season and definitely needs to score some goals. 2

Gylfi Sigurdsson

There is wasting money... then there is burning £46 million. I wrote this when we signed him: “A set-piece and dead-ball specialist but I’m not certain what else he brings to the table.”

Sad to say that has been proved right; only he has not even been a dead ball specialist for us. Had a home at Swansea but could not cut it at Tottenham and has been a total waste of space for us. In his four seasons, he has scored four or five great goals and that is it.

Shirks tackles, as slow as a slug and never looks interested. That is not just this term but his whole Everton career, while picking up eye-watering amounts of money in wages. Has not done anything of note during the whole campaign. If we can move him on we, should do so asap... but who can afford him? 1

Fabian Delph

Ridiculously called a leader and serial winner. Delph was supposedly brought to the club for his leadership and winning mentality!!! Let's get it straight: he was nothing but a bit-part player at Manchester City when not injured. His only leadership quality seems to be some clip in a Man City documentary were he is mouthing off. In reality, he is a below-average player who is hardly ever fit. He does not have leadership qualities – just a big gob which he should try to keep shut.

For those of us unlucky enough to witness his embarrassing raving away at Bournemouth, when he was culpable more than most, to spats with supporters on Twitter, stupid yellow and red cards, arrogance and an attitude which shows he does not give a jot about the club, just the insane wages we shell out to him each week. A total disgrace to the supporters, club and the shirt. Please just be gone. -10 (and that’s being kind!)

Alex Iwobi

It increasingly seems that Iwobi was the most panicked of panicked buys. Whatever your views on him, £35 million is clearly over-priced by god knows how much — this from a supposed genius of a Director of Football. Used mainly on the wing, when he is better as a Number 10. Iwobi has shown absolutely nothing to justify his transfer fee throughout the season. Will he improve next season? 1

Theo Walcott

An Allardyce masterstroke!!! Another staggering £20 million wasted. To think some Blues actually thought he was a good buy. He did nothing this term except score that last-second winner at Watford (cue mad celebrations). Should be moved on but, with his wages...!!! 1


Flattered to deceive to a certain extent in his first season. In the season just gone, his form plummeted and, for all his nice touches, he is not up to scratch for where the team wants to go – and his final pass is appalling. He did nothing during the season, one good very rare goal at home to Crystal Palace aside. Needs to be moved on... but again, he's getting stupid wages, which will hinder this. 1

Anthony Gordon

Finally started to get some game time post-lockdown after a couple of fleeting appearances earlier in the season. Needs no introduction, as he has been the academy name on every Blue's lips for at least the last 18 months. Shown the potential he has post-lockdown and hopefully he will have a big breakout year next season. 5

Cenk Tosun

Bit-part player for the first half of the season, but did score that late leveller at home to Tottenham Hotspur. Moved to Crystal Palace on loan in January. Really hard to give him a mark but we all know he is not good enough and has no future at the club. 2

Moise Kean

I had watched a lot of Kean before he signed and thought this was a masterstroke from Marcel Brands. To say the season has not gone to plan is an understatement. He has shown flashes, strangely in both games against Newcastle United and in the final game of the season.

Still has great potential and as a teenager coming to a different country – an adaptation process needs to be factored in. Not a great first season but one player we can definitely look forward to improving next season. 4

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Improved during the season and 13 league goals is not a bad haul. But he was dreadful post-lockdown and there is that nagging feeling he is just not quite good enough. Hopefully his improvement will carry on next season while Moise Kean will start firing to put pressure on him. But, if we could bring in (spurious links here, if only it was true)) Odsonne Edouard, then Calvert-Lewin would be out the door asap for me... 6


13 goals this term; talisman, workaholic. Along with Holgate, our most important player. Did quite well for most of the season. 6.5

Marco Silva

Where did all go wrong? Did he get the players he wanted or needed in the Summer? No, he did not. But, by the time of his sacking following the Anfield debacle, it was clear his time was up.

He always claimed he wanted to play 4-3-3, did he ever get the players to fit that system? That is questionable, as he just stuck rigidly to 4-2-3-1. As the season progressed, when we were behind in games, he just chucked players on with no tactical thought behind it.

I really wanted it to work for Silva but, by the time of his sacking, the runes had been cast. He was having a nightmare. 1

Duncan Ferguson

Gave us a shot in the arm when we needed it following the demise of Marco Silva... but it would never have lasted. 6.5

Carlo Ancelotti

I hold my hands up: I don’t think he is the right manager for us and have written a couple of articles why this is. At present (although I hope I’m wrong), nothing he has done has persuaded me any different. He has been bang average to date and his record against the so-called big six since he came to the club has been appalling.

I have seen many disgraceful showings against Liverpool but the absolute disgrace of losing in the FA Cup to a few second-stringers and a bunch of crèche kids goes down as the lowest of the low.

But he needs to be given time... although I only see it ending in tears. Anyone who thinks he has been anything but average so far, in my humble opinion, are in cloud cuckoo land. 3

Marcel Brands

After a quite good first year at the club, Brands went backwards at warp speed during the Summer window. Iwobi was over-priced and has not shown anything to suggest he will be at the club long-term. Moise Kean, as I said above, I think can still work out but, at present, it's 50-50. Gbamin is starting to look like an injury-prone mistake (but let's hope not). Delph... let's not go there again.

Contracts handed to Under-23 stalwarts Con Ouzounidis and Nathangelo Markelo beggar belief. Ouzounidis is 21 in October while Markelo turned 21 in January. Neither are anywhere near the first team. Destined to be like most of our Under-23s – perennial loanees. Wasting both the clubs time and wasting another year of their careers with these contracts. The much-vaunted sorting out of the academy has a long way to go, in my opinion.

On the plus side, Branthwaite was brought in for what may in the future turn out to be a steal at £750k. New contracts secured for Holgate and Richarlison were good moves. Calvert-Lewin also got a new contract as well (although, as I said above, I'm not convinced on him yet). 3

The Board

They got the planning application in for the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium – good. New Kit sponsor in Cazoo – good... but, compared to other clubs, we are a million miles away from what they get for their shirt sponsorships. The club is still light-years behind our competitors commercially. 2

Farhad Moshiri

No matter how much money he ploughs in to the club, Moshiri is a day-dreaming billionaire who is not taking the club in the right direction with his waste of money on players and managers from past seasons and the one just gone. The new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is his only plus point for me since he came to the Club. 2


As an institution, this School of Science needs putting in to Special Measures.


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Reader Comments (25)

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Colin Glassar
2 Posted 27/07/2020 at 20:17:32
Schneiderlin 4? Surely a typo 😂😂
Rob Dolby
3 Posted 27/07/2020 at 20:29:49
Pint well and truly half empty.

Pickford – better than most. Jekyl and Hyde. In many games he makes fantastic saves followed by a moment of madness.

Coleman – can still do a job at this level.

Digne – his form picked up towards the end of the season.

Keane – had a good 2nd half of the season.

Holgate – took his chance well and looks to be future captain material.

Mina – made of glass.

Branthwaite – got potential.
Gordon – got potential.

Midfield – one of the worst in the division.

Gomes – injury hit season. Lucky to get him back so soon though obviously not fit.

Richarlison – a potential £100M player. If his team mates had his effort, we would be top 4. If they had his ability, we would win the league!

The rest of them are bommie wood.

Michael Lynch
4 Posted 27/07/2020 at 20:42:11
Thoroughly depressing article, and the most depressing thing is that I agree almost totally with the ratings.
Steve Hogan
5 Posted 27/07/2020 at 20:53:29
I stopped reading at No 4, Lucas Digne 'incredibly overrated', actually our most accomplished defender for years, and no shortage of suitors at home or abroad, should the club decide to sell.

Next please.

Sam Hoare
6 Posted 27/07/2020 at 21:38:02
A 4 for Digne is ridiculous. He's got the third most assists in the league and for me is the only other contender for Player of the Season with Richarlison.
Joe McMahon
7 Posted 27/07/2020 at 21:39:55
This is harsh, but Pickford for me is just awful in every way. I do consider him the worst keeper in the league, he costs us too many goals and points - 0

Midfield just crass, at least Iwobi and Walcott run

Digne, Holgate and Richie standouts for me (I know there isn't many)

Calvert-Lewin and Kean. Calvert-Lewin runs and tries but I still feel his finishing and decisions are lacking, I want him to be another Kane or Vardy, but it's not gonna happen. Kean- I still feel a proper run and he won't disappoint us.

Biggest disappointment for me is Tom Davies, over 100 appearances now and just 1 goal in the last 2 seasons. Seriously, that is a dreadful stat, and I just don't see him as a midfield player any team in the top 10 would want.

There is some hope next season (not much), but fingers crossed for Branthwaite, Gordon.

Must keep - Holgate and Richarlison

The Board, well EitC are doing great, Denise. But that's Everton FC in a nutshell. We at last get backed by millions but we end up with the billionaire version of Frank Spencer.

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 27/07/2020 at 22:00:44
I guess you've not enjoyed this season much. Or possibly the last 25 years...
Bill Gienapp
9 Posted 27/07/2020 at 23:53:35
Definitely harsh on Digne who, whether you believe it or not, was still one of the best left-backs in the league this season, based on advanced stats. I did enjoy the scathing assessment of Delph though.
Don Alexander
10 Posted 28/07/2020 at 01:03:17
Moshiri needs to give his 5-star manager the 5-star ingredients all such managers need to deliver even 4-star results. If he doesn't, Ancelotti will still be flipping stale, smelly burgers next season rather than the delightful, winning fare he's associated with.

Over to you, Farhad, and don't even consider seeking the opinion of any of the football muppets you've lodged in your boardroom.

Bill Watson
11 Posted 28/07/2020 at 05:39:27
Harsh on Digne; generous on Delph.
Bill Fairfield
12 Posted 28/07/2020 at 11:13:12
Very generous ratings, big majority of this squad are a living nightmare.
Stephen Vincent
13 Posted 28/07/2020 at 13:33:26
Stopped reading at the ridiculous assessment of Digne.
John Raftery
14 Posted 29/07/2020 at 10:49:54
Having just skimmed the article there are some very inaccurate markings. In fact most of them!

I agree, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were our best players.

Nick Page
15 Posted 29/07/2020 at 10:54:28
Bill Kenwright: -25,000,000
Darren Hind
16 Posted 29/07/2020 at 10:56:51
The markings on here are in the eye of the beholder, John.

It's the comments which are so utterly predictable.

Barry Rathbone
17 Posted 30/07/2020 at 09:56:07
The names may change but the school report has remained at "could do better" since the days of Walter Smith, bar a season each for Moyes and Martinez.

Unless the summer transfer window monumentally exceeds expectations, so it will continue.

Trevor Peers
18 Posted 30/07/2020 at 10:09:35
Marcel Brands end of year report:

This student is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

Michael Penley
19 Posted 31/07/2020 at 03:41:25
Everton seems to serve the purpose of the 'beast of burden' for a lot of fans. Something to cast off your sins onto, someone else made to feel guilty so you yourself are not.

It's no big surprise when the most promising acquisitions and managers fail to achieve anything, when we're banking on them to do just that.

Jay Harris
20 Posted 31/07/2020 at 04:37:46
Very subjective ratings and an emotional rather than rational post.

Pointless to comment further except to say I expect a lot better from the club as a whole next season and I am really looking forward to Kenwright being put out to grass.

David Currie
21 Posted 31/07/2020 at 18:46:23
Trevor @18,

That was very funny.

Graeme Beresford
22 Posted 31/07/2020 at 21:51:41
To be honest, Martin, I think that list is a disgrace. All I read was ‘I said this, I said that' I feel like you may be our answer.

Send your CV in to Everton because you clearly know your stuff. Either that or you're just critical of every player and then when that player as a bad season you can lookback and say ‘I told you'.


Paul Hewitt
23 Posted 31/07/2020 at 21:59:23
I think Martin has been very generous with his scores. Most would have got a big fat Zero.
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 31/07/2020 at 22:08:56
What did Anthony Gordon do wrong to only get a 5? Likewise Branthwaite only got a 6. I'd have given them both at least a 7, perhaps an 8 for Branthwaite.

Digne might have had the odd bad game, but he's been one of our best players and should get at least a 6. He's far from overrated and we could get very good money if we sold him. Tottenham are interested for a start, but more would reveal themselves if we did make it known we were willing to let him go.

Andrew Keatley
25 Posted 31/07/2020 at 22:41:51
End of Article Report For Martin O’Connor:

Subjectively reductive over-reaction to what has been a very difficult season, culminating in lazy summaries and deliberately obtuse player ratings. Probably destined to work as a contributor on some clickbait football gossip blog or website. 2.5.

Kase Chow
26 Posted 31/07/2020 at 23:21:37
Good article and I agree with most ratings aside from Kean (which is very generous 4/10 for 3 half-decent performances?!?)

Anyway, we play boring football with no sense of plan. (Are we tiki talks? Are we trying to play to the wings and hope the strikers connect with crosses? Are we a counter-attack team? I really don't see any progress under Carlo yet).

Supporting Everton is a real labour of love.

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