?From Neville Southall to Tim Cahill and Romelu Lukaku. Over the years, Everton have offered the Premier League some wonderful players and great entertainment.
Here though, 90min turns its attention to Everton’s performances across full, gruelling 38-game seasons.
Everton have been in the English top flight in every season since 1954, an incredible record. That record, therefore, spans the entire life of the Premier League, and all its 27 full seasons since its inception in 1992.
The Toffees may never have won the rebrand first division but which seasons have been Everton’s best?
10. Season: 2010/11
The 2010/11 campaign actually started dreadfully for the Toffees under David Moyes, who hadn’t won in their first six games by the time October came around.
Suddenly, thanks to goals by Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, they were beating rivals Liverpool and their season belatedly kick-started. They then did the double over Manchester City, Louis Saha scored four in a single afternoon against Blackpool and they beat Chelsea on the final day of the season.
Player of the Season was Leighton Baines.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
9. Season: 2011/12
How lovely. We’re following a chronological order.
Everton started the 2011/12 season by not starting at all – the opening day fixture against Tottenham Hotspur was postponed because of the London riots. When it did finally start, just like the previous season, it didn’t go very well at all. By 11 January, Everton had lost ten times.
They only fell to two further defeats all season though, finishing on a nine-game unbeaten run. The low point was conceding a hat-trick to Steven Gerrard in a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, but it was an overall improved season on the one that preceded it. The high point was finishing above their Merseyside rivals in the league.
Player of the Season was John Heitinga.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Royston Drenthe.
8. Season: 2016/17
?Anyone watching Everton in 2016/17 was really just watching a team of moons orbiting around the planet that was Romelu Lukaku – who bagged 25 in the league, second only to Harry Kane.
With Ronald Koeman in charge for his only full season in charge of the Toffees, the team excelled, finishing 15 points above eighth-placed, Southampton.
They beat Arsenal, defending champions Leicester City, and Lukaku scored four as they thrashed Bournemouth 6-3 in February. Just three matches earlier, they had battered Manchester City 4-0. Even Tom Davies had scored.
Player of the Season was Romelu Lukaku.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Arouna Koné.
7. Season: 2006/07
Mikel Arteta and Joleon Lescott were irrepressible in their attempts to lug Everton up the table in 2006/07. It certainly worked, as Moyes’ side finished in sixth place, with a goal difference 13 better than Tottenham one place above them.
The club’s top scorer for the season Andy Johnson scored a brace as they embarrassed Liverpool 3-0, and his stoppage-time striker earned Everton a home victory over Arsenal later in the season as well. They also had the best defensive record outside the established ‘big four’. Well played.
Player of the Season was Arteta.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Nuno Valente.
6. Season: 1995/96
Curiously sandwiched in between two seasons in which Everton finished down in 15th, 1995/96 was incredibly tight at the top – with every side all the way down to eighth place reaching the 60 points mark.
Under the management of Everton club legend Joe Royle, the Toffees were propelled by the form of rampant Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis and Nigerian forward Daniel Amokachi. Between them they struck 21 league goals. Only Man Utd and Newcastle scored more goals in 1995/96 than Everton’s 64.
Against Liverpool, Everton took an impressive four points.
Player of the Season was Kanchelskis.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Tony Grant.
5. Season: 2012/13
Though not actually a Premier League game, the best moment of Everton’s impressive 2012/13 campaign was Tony Hibbert’s testimonial. Forever a cult hero in the blue half of the city, Hibbert had spent 16 years and 329 games not scoring for Everton. Then, against AEK Athens in his testimonial, he scored a golden free-kick, prompting a pitch invasion. Things. You. Love. To. See.
Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini was in inspired form for Moyes’ team, and finished the season as top scorer with 11. Although helped a tad by a steady flow of Leighton Baines penalties throughout the campaign, only Manchesters City and United lost fewer games all season. What a record.
They finished above Liverpool again.
Player of the Season was Baines.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Bryan Oviedo.
4. Season: 2008/09
Although a little way off Arsenal in fourth, this was a brilliant season for Everton. Knocking out Manchester United and Liverpool (first and second in the league) helped Everton to an FA Cup final, although they lost it narrowly to Chelsea, 2-1.
No-one hit double figures for goals in the league, but Fellaini, Cahill and Saha came close, showing their class at regular intervals. However, the club’s real strong point was its defence.
In the end, Everton’s defence was so solid that it kept 17 league clean sheets. SEVENTEEN. On that stat alone, a fifth-placed finish was to be expected.
Player of the Season was Phil Jagielka.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is James Vaughan.
3. Season: 2007/08
Here we are — the business end. It’s the top three.
This, actually, was a season of ‘what might have been’. An unbelievable run across 19 games in the middle of the campaign helped Everton take up the fourth-place position with ten games remaining. But defeats to Fulham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal pushed the club back down to fifth. Let’s face it, most clubs would still take that…
Joleon Lescott scored eight league goals from the back, while 2007/08 also offered peak Steven Pienaar and peak Leon Osman.
From October to December, Everton went on a seven-game unbeaten run, and later beat that in March, going nine without defeat in a run stretching all the back to New Year’s Day.
Player of the Season was Lescott.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Andy van der Meyde.
2. Season: 2004/05
Tipped for relegation, having scraped 17th place the season before, Everton also had to contend with the loss of possibly their greatest ever academy product – Wayne Rooney. All things considered, they coped very well. Very well indeed.
David Moyes’ team lost 4-1 to Arsenal on the opening day, and lost to them 7-0 late on in the season as well, but what came in between was infinitely better. Lee Carsley’s goal sunk bitter rivals Liverpool in December, for example.
This was the season that earned Thomas Gravesen his move to Real Madrid, and it was easy to see why with his tough tackling and four league goals to boot in the half-season before he departed in January. This was another season with a high clean-sheets total – 13 in the league alone – thanks in no small part to David Weir and Alan Stubbs, safe as houses at the back.
Player of the Season was Kevin Kilbane.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Gary Naysmith.
1. Season: 2013/14
Just look at that points total of 72.
21 league wins from a possible 38 – what a season for Everton. The Toffees avoided defeat to Arsenal and Manchester United as they qualified for the Europa League under new manager Roberto Martínez. Where had David Moyes gone? He’d gone to Manchester United, who finished two places and eight points lower than Everton in the table.
With Phil Neville, Victor Anichebe, Nikica Jelavi?, Heitinga and Fellaini all having left the club in the summer, the new manager did a brilliant job to guide the club to a better season than the one prior. Lukaku shone in his first season, as did Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu.
Victory in Hull on the final day of the season confirmed Everton had reached 72 points – a club-record total. Amazing. Not fourth place, but frankly the club’s best season all things considered.
Player of the Season was Séamus Coleman.
90min‘s trivial player of the season is Antolin Alcaraz.