The season has finished with Everton in eighth place which after something of an up and down season is probably about right, even if we’d much rather have finished higher.
Two two-two draws bookended the 2018/19 season as the Blues opened with a Richarlison brace at Molyneux against newly promoted Wolves and then closed at the new White Hart Lane on strikes from Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun. In between times, we endured and enjoyed both highs and lows as once again, the Boys in the Royal Blue jerseys gave us a roller-coaster ride.
And with every game, good or bad, win, loss or draw, we’ve run our Man of the Match polls and it gives us great pleasure and indeed pride to advise that voting numbers are up on the 17/18 season by gnats whisker under 10%. Bear in mind the 17/18 saw the Blues play 51 games in all competitions, this near 10% increase in votes has been achieved on 42 games, so another massive thank you to all who voted.
Let’s refresh the memory with a review of the monthly awards and we started back last August with Richarlison a runaway winner courtesy of his brace in that 2-2 at Wolves and the biggest poll of the month, and despite him seeing red away at Bournemouth.
September wasn’t a great month results wise with just the one win against Fulham, but our Player of the Month by a narrow margin over Kurt Zouma was the impressive new signing at left back, Lucas Digne.
October saw Everton disappointingly exit the Carabao Cup but victories over Leicester and Crystal Palace and an unlucky loss at Old Trafford saw Bernard and Jordan Pickford share the MotM polls with our England goalie edging past the diminutive Brazilian for the monthly honour.
Just three games in November as we took seven points from nine with wins over Brighton and Cardiff with a draw at Stamford Bridge sandwiched in between, with three different MotM winners, but the most votes for the month by some distance secured by Andre Gomes.
December was a busy, busy month with no fewer than seven games starting with the ‘derby’ across the park. Everton went and gave the hosts one of their hardest games of the season and but for an added-on time calamity would have gained a well-deserved point.
Disappointingly, it wasn’t to be and that late loss seemed to affect the confidence of the team for some time thereafter. But the performance, if not the result at Anfield was a tremendous one and the votes cast for that MotM poll was the highest to date and subsequently, the largest single game vote of the season.
The only real bright spot in December came on Boxing Day when the Blues put the previous weeks woes behind them in going to Turf Moor and thrashing Burnley 5-1.
In the voting, Andre Gomes and Lucas Digne both won two MotM polls with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kurt Zouma each claiming one win, but the monthly plaudit again went the way of Andre Gomes.
Into the New Year and January again saw mixed fortunes for the Blues as tight FA Cup win over Lincoln and victories over Bournemouth and Huddersfield were countered by losses to Leicester, Southampton and FA Cup exit at Millwall. Six games, six different MotM winners with the clear winner of the monthly award being Ademola Lookman.
February saw three losses proved a testing time before the 17-day break that proved to be a turning point in Everton fortunes, the break heralding a thumping 3-0 win at Cardiff to boost both player and fan morale. Tom Davies clinched back to back MotM awards for the Man City and Watford games, Andre Gomes took the honours for the Wolves game with Gylfi Sigurdsson relishing his return to South Wales claiming the Cardiff award, the monthly congratulations going to Tom Davies.
March saw the Goodison derby and a highly creditable, and ultimately pivotal in the outcome of the title race, draw for the Blues against ‘them’ with Michael Keane a clear winner of the MotM. Bernard claimed the award for the disappointing reversal at Newcastle, before a fine showing for DCL against Chelsea saw Bernard again top vote winner for his part and goal in the comprehensive win at West Ham to clinch the monthly award.
April saw the Blues claim two of the so-called ‘big six’ scalps with a dominant home victory over Arsenal with DCL in fine form and an exhilarating slaughtering of Manchester United with Gylfi Sigurdsson at his very best. Those highs were countered by an inexplicable low in the showing at Craven Cottage where Bernard again topped the poll in what was not surprisingly the lowest poll of the season. Idrissa Gana Gueye with his usual high level of consistency edged the poll in the wind-affected draw at Crystal Palace, and the tightest month of voting of the whole season saw Gylfi Sigurdsson edge out Gana and Bernard with as little as twelve votes the difference between the top three.
And so to the final month of May and just the two games, the win over Burnley on Holy Trinity evening, and the entertaining draw against Spurs on the final day. Two Frenchmen claimed the MotM awards, Morgan Schneiderlin for the Burnley game and Lucas Digne in the Spurs game, Morgan edging the total votes for May.
So that leaves us with a final tally of monthly winners…
September Lucas Digne
October Jordan Pickford
November Andre Gomes
December Andre Gomes
January Ademola Lookman
February Tom Davies
April Gylfi Sigurdsson
May Morgan Schneiderlin
But now we come to the final award, the big one, the GrandOldTeam.com Player of the Season as voted for by you the fans via our Man of the Match polls.
Each month we’ve announced the three biggest vote winners in reverse order, however for this the Player of the Season award and because of firstly the total number of votes cast and secondly, the closeness of the race to claim the trophy, we’re honouring, offering congratulations and standing ovations to our top five as voted for by you the fans on GrandOldTeam.com…
In fifth place after a debut season where he’s shown what a little star he is and is going to be… Bernard
In fourth place, the model of consistency and consummate professionalism… Idrissa Gana Gueye
In third place, and edging Gana by just 15 votes, the best left back in the Premier League… Lucas Digne
In second place, scoring some stunning goals and getting better as the season went on… Gylfi Sigurdsson
And the winner, by just 75 votes and the recipient of the GrandOldTeam.com trophy as Player of the Season for 2018/19…