Ranking Every Everton Season Since Moyes’ Departure
It’s now been over 7 years since David Moyes left Everton FC to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of Manchester United. It’s been quite a bumpy ride for the People’s Club since the Scotsman’s farewell, with Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, and now Carlo Ancelotti all possessing the permanent managerial job at one point or another. In this article, I am going to rank every season since David Moyes’ Departure in May of 2013.
7. 2017/18 (49 Points, 8th Place)
Although based on points this was only the third worst season since Moyes, this has to go down as the most wretched year I’ve experienced as an Evertonian. Despite only accumulating 49 points, the same amount as this past season, Everton secured 8th place, which was quite a flattering conclusion to an otherwise horrific campaign. This is shown by the fact that the Toffees finished with a goal difference of -14, which is the worst figure in this whole list. Ronald Koeman started his second season as Everton manager with a busy summer, including the sale of Romelu Lukaku, who he then never replaced. Horrible transfer business, which I have written about extensively in the past, lead to a truly awful start to the season, in which Koeman was sacked after just 9 games following a 5-2 thumping at home against Arsenal. Everton were also embarrassingly knocked out of the Europa League in the Group Stages, suffering heavy defeats against Lyon and Atalanta, including a 5-1 pummeling from the Italian side at Goodison Park. Due to relegation concerns, Everton then appointed Sam Allardyce as manager, which makes me nearly vomit while writing, and although he achieved his goal of avoiding relegation, his Everton team was one of the least entertaining sides I’ve ever been forced to watch. It was as if Burnley had moved to Liverpool and renamed themselves Everton. Overall, it was a miserable season, and the only positive I can think of is Wayne Rooney’s first Everton hat trick in the 4-0 beating of West Ham.
6. 2014/15 (47 Points, 11th Place)
The 2014/15 season was quite a shock to the system, as Everton fell a shocking 25 points short of their impressive 5th place season the year before. Although the added fixtures from the Europa League didn’t help, dropping from the Top 6 to the bottom half in one year was a shocking fall from grace. Everton scored 13 less goals and conceded 11 more, leading to a 24 point drop in goal difference from +22 to -2. They were eliminated in the Europa League Round of 16 in Kiev after a disastrous 5-2 loss despite topping their group. Such a disappointing season was quite a wake up call about Roberto Martinez and about the defensive issues his system garnered. The biggest positives from this season were the signing of Romelu Lukaku and the thunderbolt equalizer by Phil Jagielka in front of the Kop. It was a very disheartening season, and we soon learned it was not a one off.
5. 2019/20 (49 Points, 12th Place)
Despite being the lowest numerical finish since Moyes’ departure, the 2019/20 season was certainly not the worst. The season started off horribly, seeing Everton sitting in 18th place on 14 points after 15 games. Home losses to newly promoted sides Sheffield United and Norwich, both 2-0, were the beginning of the end for Marco Silva, who was arguably belatedly dismissed after a humiliating 5-2 loss at Anfield. Spirits rose when Duncan Feguson took charge for 3 league games, leading Everton to a 3-1 home win against Chelsea and a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, before the appointment of current boss Carlo Ancelotti. Everton picked up a bit of form under Ancelotti, winning 5 of their first 8 games under the Italian, with the only loss coming on the road against champions Manchester City. Dominic Calvert-Lewin emerged as a ruthless finisher, finishing on a career best 13 goals. However, it was very apparent after Project Restart that the team needed many changes, and nothing showed that more than an embarrassing 3-1 loss at Goodison Park to Bournemouth, whose ended up being relegated on that very day. The Blues conceded 56 goals and finished with a -12 goal difference, which are the worst and second worst on this list respectively. Overall, it was a very bumpy season, but the coup that got Carlo Ancelotti to Goodison Park and the emergence of Calvert-Lewin are positive enough to keep the 2019/20 season out of the final two in these rankings.
4. 2015/16 (47 Points, 11th Place)
Roberto Martinez’s final season on Merseyside disappointingly showed no improvement in terms of League points and finish, but Everton did manage to make a few cup runs. In the League, Everton accumulated the exact same amount of points as the disastrous 2014/15 season, and yet again finished 11th, which was the final nail in the Spaniard’s coffin. Everton’s goal difference did improve from -2 to +4, and although the Toffees did score 9 more goals than the season before, they conceded an astronomical 55 goals, which is the second most on this list. Martinez’s inability to field a competent defence was on display all season, and there were multiple unbelievable late collapses under the Spaniard, such as the 3-2 lost to West Ham and the 3-3 draw at Bournemouth. The worst loss of the season, however, came at Wembley thanks to an Anthony Martial 93rd minute winner in the FA Cup Semi-Final. Everton also reached the Capital One Cup Semi-Final, but collapsed in the second-leg at the Etihad when Kevin De Bruyne scored after Raheem Sterling clearly dribbled the ball over the endline. Although this season was outrageously painful, Roberto Martinez did manage to guide the Toffees to two cup semi-finals that season, which is a stage that Everton have failed to reach in any competition since, let alone twice in one year. Romelu Lukaku managing to score 25 goals in all competitions was the biggest other positive. On the fourth to last game of the season against Bournemouth, Everton fans flew a plane banner over Goodison Park which read “Time to go Roberto NSNO”, which just about summed up the season.
3. 2018/19 (54 Points, 8th Place)
After an average start and dreadful middle portion to the campaign, Marco Silva managed to salvage his job with a very good end to the campaign. Consecutive home victories against Chelsea, Arsenal, and United significantly brightened the mood at Goodison Park, with the 4-0 hammering of the Red Devils in the Goodison sunshine becoming Everton’s best result since beating the other Manchester club by the same scoreline in January 2017. With that being said, the 3-2 loss at St James’ Park, the 6-2 clobbering at the hands of Tottenham, and the 2-0 loss at Craven Cottage against a Fulham team which finished on just 26 points were all indicators of what was to come the next December. 54 points and a +8 goal differential isn’t bad, however, and the Toffees finished just 3 points behind Wolves in the European places. This was back when Gylfi Sigurdsson was a quality player, finishing with 13 goals and 7 assists in the league, which is crazy good when you think of the Gylfi Sigurdsson we’ve now become accustomed to. The signings of Richarlison and Lucas Digne proved to be very successful, and are now two of the most important players at the club. Overall, it wasn’t a horrible season, but the fact that an 8th place finish is the third best season out of the last 7 tells you quite a bit about how it’s been going for Everton FC in recent years.
2. 2016/17 (61 Points, 7th Place)
All things considered, the 2016/17 season was actually quite good, as Everton achieved their joint second highest points tally of the decade, and qualified for the Europa League play-ins. Romelu Lukaku led the charge for Ronald Koeman’s side, scoring an outrageous 25 league goals, and the Toffees scored 62 goals that season altogether, which still stands as the club’s most since 1995/96 with 64 under Joe Royle. On top of that, conceding 44 goals was a significant improvement on the 55 allowed the season before, and Everton finished 15 points clear of Southampton in 8th. The highlight of the season was easily the aforementioned battering Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City by a score of 4-0 at Goodison Park. Tom Davies’ first Premier League goal and a debut goal for Ademola Lookman made the astounding victory that much sweeter, and things really seemed to be looking up. However, the Toffees ended the campaign in disappointing fashion, winning just one of the final 5 matches, and due to Lukaku’s extraordinary goal scoring form, it was quite apparent that he would be leaving, which was a problem Ronald Koeman obviously never dealt with. Overall, the 2016/17 campaign was encouraging, and could have been a solid foundation to build off of if Koeman and Steve Walsh hadn’t concocted the most horrendous transfer window in the club’s history that summer.
1. 2013/14 (72 Points, 5th Place)
This is the least difficult decision I’ve had to make in a long time. Roberto Martinez’s first season at Everton was simply spectacular, and it seemed as if Moyes leaving may have been the best thing that could have happened for Everton. With 72 points, Everton were desperately unlucky not to qualify for the Champions League, as that tally would have been good enough to finish in the Top 4 in 21 of the last 24 seasons dating back to 1996/97. Although 61 goals is only the second highest on this list, Everton only shipped 39, which is the lowest amount of the entire decade. Everton lost only one of their first 17 games, which came on the road against eventual champions Manchester City. After 3 losses in 4 during matchweeks 23-26, Roberto’s Blues won 7 straight league games, and were in pole position for a Champions League spot, especially after beating direct competitors Arsenal 3-0 at Goodison Park. However, 3 losses in the final 5 games saw Arsenal finish 7 points above Everton and force the Merseysiders to settle for the Europa League. A final goal difference of +22 is the joint best tally that Everton have had since the 1987/88 season under Colin Harvey. 72 points is also the best Everton have ever managed in the Premier League and is the best total since Howard Kendall’s title winning team in 86/87. I really hope we get to see a season like this one soon, as it was truly joyful to watch and our fanbase really deserves it after what we’ve gone through during the last 7 years.
Do you agree with these rankings, and if not, what would you change? Do you think this season is the one where we can come close to replicating our success of the 2013/14 campaign? Let me know on Twitter @ParrettGost, and as always, thanks for reading.