Everton survived relegation, but they need to address their attacking woes in the summer transfer window.
|Everton players sandwich Abdoulaye Doucoure after the Frenchman fired Everton in front and ultimately into safety on the final day of the EPL season. (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Everyone at Everton saw the handwriting on the wall at the tail end of last season; surviving the drop by the skin of their teeth and going into the new season without Richarlison, their main guy from last season, without a real replacement was always going to backfire.
Frank Lampard, the Everton manager at the start of the season, was confident the team would compete with the big boys and eventually fight for European places.
Nothing of the sort happened, and the former Chelsea man was soon shown the exit door.
In hindsight, no one can pin Everton’s difficult season on Richarlison or Lampard.
The Brazilian went to Tottenham and only scored one contentious league goal all season.
Lampard got the Chelsea job as a surprise and also failed woefully as an interim manager.
Everton brought in some good players in the summer.
Andre Onana helped in midfield, but his aggressive tackling and misplaced passes soon cost him his place under Sean Dyche, who took over from Lampard when the ship was sinking.
Connor Coady joined on loan from Wolves, James Tarkowski joined from relegated Burnley, and Everton added Dwight McNeil from the same Clarets.
An injury to many of their defenders early in the season meant they had to endure a torrid time in that regard, but they weren’t offering anything at the other end.
Where did Everton miss it?
The club didn’t sign a proper striker to cushion the effect of the inevitable absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The England striker never found his feet throughout the just-concluded campaign, and that only means one thing: a shortage of goals.
Anthony Gordon wanted out, and he tried to leave over the summer, but Everton stood firm despite Chelsea’s £60m offer, only to eventually sell him in the January transfer window for £20m less to Newcastle United.
And like Richarlison and Lampard, he didn’t make any significant mark at St. James’s Park.
It was the right decision for Everton to let Lampard go, but hiring Sean Dyche was a bit of a surprise.
He achieved the overall aim, and he deserves to be handed another chance in the new season, but since the former Burnley manager isn’t an attacking-minded tactician, what’s the plan going forward?
Few players rose to the occasion in the just-concluded season for Everton.
Jordan Pickford had a few off days, but they’d have ended in the bottom three without him.
Former Arsenal playmaker Alex Iwobi was immense.
Abdoulaye Doucoure is another name to celebrate, and one would not be surprised if the Frenchman is named player of the season for the Toffees.
Everton survived the drop, but the Toffees also have Leicester City and Leeds United to thank.
36 points total in a 38-game season is a relegation return.
If the club doesn’t do intelligent business in the summer, they might end up in the same boat, and luck doesn’t always shine on weak soldiers.
Season verdict: E
A: Excellent season
B+: Very good and successful season
B: Very good season
C: Average season
D: Poor season
E: Bad season
F: Failed season