Everton 2019/20 Review: End of Season Report Card for the Toffees

After 351 days, 38 games, three managers, two derby defeats and one somewhat underwhelming 12th-placed finish, the best thing about this season for some Everton fans might just be that it eventually ended.

In classic fashion, the club had fooled its supporters in to believing that things would be different this year. Some much-needed continuity was there to build on after a credible campaign from Marco Silva, Director of Football Marcel Brands had everyone sold on Everton's newfound ambition as they attempted to make up ground on rivals Liverpool, and the Toffees had just signed a raft of Europe's most exciting talents to boot.

What could possibly go wrong?

Everton's initial optimism quickly dissipated

Well, just about everything as it turned out. By early January Silva was long gone, their new signings had registered just a single league goal between them, and disgruntled supporters thronged to Everton's Finch Farm training complex to have a not-so-quiet word with Marcel Brands after another miserable defeat to, you guessed it, Liverpool.

Here's a closer look at a season which has produced its fair share of promise and pain for Everton fans, as well as their overall report card grade.

League Performance

Premier League - 12th

Calvert-Lewin was a rare source of hope for Everton this season

Make no mistake, this was a disappointing one. It was meant to be the campaign where Everton emerged from their chrysalis as England's perpetually transitional club. They were meant to join the elite under a modern, attack-minded manager in Silva, but they quickly plunged into yet another rebuilding phase.

Four points in three games was far from the perfect start, but after an 80th-minute victory over Wolves, courtesy of shiny new signing Alex Iwobi, the message to Everton fans seemed pretty clear - don't panic.

Instead, it probably would've been pretty sensible to panic, with the Blues slumping to four successive defeats, the beginning of a torrid run of form which saw Marco Silva given the chop after a (different) but no less miserable defeat to, you guessed it again, Liverpool.

Duncan Ferguson restored some pride amongst the Evertonians

What followed certainly wasn't all bad, and an interlude between permanent managers where club legend Duncan Ferguson was at the wheel was short but sweet - the hardman's ball-boy-hugging antics in the shock home victory over Chelsea both warmed the heart and showed that some fight remained at Goodison Park.

Evertonians further perked up when their next gaffer turned out to be one of the all-time greats, three-time Champions League winning manager Carlo Ancelotti. One of football's smoothest operators, Carletto steadied the ship nicely early on, producing a five-match mini-unbeaten run and coaxed some stunning form from a rampant Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

But because Everton are seemingly forbidden from having anything resembling consistency, the club's post-restart form plummeted, with just three wins from nine indicating that, for the umpteenth time, the Toffees might have to spend a bit over the summer.

Domestic Cup Performance

Carabao Cup - Quarter-Finals

Baines bagged a League Cup quarter-final goal against Leicester

Everton's beginning to their Carabao Cup campaign was characteristically choppy, with League One side Lincoln taking all of 20 seconds to stun their Premier League counterparts and score the opening goal.

Even when Everton had managed to restore their advantage at Sincil Bank, Bruno Andrade's goal of the season contender meant that the Blues needed a late goalscoring burst to avoid an embarrassing upset.

From there, the sailing was somewhat plainer, with a routine victory against Sheffield Wednesday following, before a victory over Watford in the Marco Silva derby. Everton took an in-form Leicester to penalties in the quarter-final, but that proved a bridge too far.

FA Cup - Third Round

Curtis Jones was the surprising hero as Everton fell to Liverpool in January

The less said about this Everton's one and only FA Cup game this season, the better.

In essence, the club's strongest possible team were outplayed by Liverpool's reserves, and to make matters worse a then 18-year-old Curtis Jones was responsible for the winning goal. Undoubtedly the worst moment in Everton's season, and a derby defeat that Ancelotti will be looking to make up for at the earliest possible opportunity.

Best Player

Richarlison is nothing short of a talisman from an Everton perspective

It wasn't easy choosing between Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, while an honourable mention goes out to Lucas Digne and his unerringly accurate crosses, but the Brazilian winger edges it for ending the season much more emphatically than any of his colleagues in the Everton side.

Simply put, the two-footed winger, who is also pretty nifty in the air, has now developed a devastating array of tools with which he can hurt an opposition team. From his strength to his rapid dribbling, Richarlison has truly become a jack-of-all-trades, and gives Everton options by excelling in a variety of tactical roles.

His performance against Liverpool in a creditable goalless draw at Everton showed what he is capable of without even scoring, comprehensively bullying a hapless Dejan Lovren as a defiant Everton came ever-so-close to an unforgettable Merseyside derby victory.

Worst Player

Everton have really struggled to organise a solid midfield three this season

From Moise Kean to Tom Davies, there's been a real temptation to blame Everton's more youthful players for the disappointments of this season, but a little bit of digging will tell us that there are far bigger fish to fry.

By far the most broken aspect of this side at the moment is their ability to create chances from midfield, and it doesn't exactly feel fair to blame Davies or Andre Gomes, guys who are just doing their (extremely boring) jobs. So if there was, for example, a £45m attacking midfielder with just two goals and three assists in the Premier League this season, it follows that they would have to shoulder a pretty significant amount of the blame, right?

Simply put, Gylfi Sigurdsson has repeatedly shown us that he suits the more rudimentary, set-piece intensive chance creation of, to put it frankly, relegation candidates. His lethargic approach and habit of overplaying on quick counter attacks are most likely surplus to requirements at Goodison Park going forward.

The Manager

It's a big season ahead for Carlo Ancelotti

It's quite something to say about a manager who has won enough trophies to start his own museum, but the jury is still very much out on Everton's fancy new manager.

It will certainly take a patient man to get anything out of an Everton team which stands as the legacy of years of bad transfers, and in terms of scale, the role is a similar undertaking to the Arsenal job which Mikel Arteta inherited this season.

But where Arteta has, results notwithstanding, put his own unique stamp on Arsenal's style of play and shown them a youth-oriented, positive way forward that will manifest with time, it remains to be seen whether the same can be said of the Ancelotti revolution.

Overall Grade - C-

Room for improvement after a very disruptive year. Extra lessons in transfer policy required.

Source : 90min