Everton continued to improve on the field as they finished sixth in what would prove to be David Moyes' final season in charge. Jon Holmes assesses the Toffees' campaign...
By Jon Holmes - follow me here.
Last Updated: 22/05/13 9:46am
Unusually, Everton got off to a tremendous start in the Premier League in 2012/13, seeing off Manchester United in their season opener and sitting second at the end of September - winning David Moyes a Manager of the Month award.
Their stylish football was praised by all, with Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini particularly impressive, and the only significant blot was a League Cup exit at Leeds. A run of nine draws in 11 games stunted the charge somewhat, but the Toffees were still in joint fourth spot by the halfway stage.
After two away wins and a replay triumph over Oldham, FA Cup hopes were again high - but were emphatically ended as Wigan won 3-0 in the quarter-final at Goodison Park.
However, three league wins in March - including a 2-0 victory at home to champions Manchester City - landed Moyes another monthly gong. A 0-0 draw at Liverpool confirmed the club would finish above their Merseyside rivals in consecutive top-flight seasons for the first time in 76 years. The campaign closed with Moyes anointed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor at United, ending his 11-year spell in the Everton dugout.
Player of the Year
Just like last season, ever-present left-back Leighton Baines was Everton's only representative in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year. The Toffees finished the season rock-solid - most of their 11 clean sheets came in the final few weeks - and Baines also contributed goals against Newcastle (home and away), Wigan and a brace to beat West Brom in January. Weighing in with seven league assists (the same as Fellaini and Steven Pienaar), his all-round game improved yet again. The 28-year-old now has 15 England caps and has been linked with a move to Old Trafford with Moyes.
Ratings Player of the Year
Marouane Fellaini's 11 Premier League goals, plus one in the FA Cup, helped ensure he topped the reporters' chart on our Ratings page. The Belgian had his disciplinary problems (he was suspended for three games for a headbutt on Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in December, and served another two-match ban in March) but he was integral to Everton's best form. The supporters awarded highest average marks to Steven Naismith, who made the majority of his appearances from the bench after joining on a free transfer from Rangers.
Breakthrough Player of the Year
More of a 'break-back' season perhaps - a reflection of Everton's settled squad - but Victor Anichebe gets the nod here. The 25-year-old Nigeria striker had never made more than 12 starts in previous campaigns, but his fitness was much improved in 2012/13 as he contributed eight goals in all competitions and six assists in the league. A mention too for Seamus Coleman, who made the right-back position his own.
Signing of the Year
Belgium international winger Kevin Mirallas joined Everton for £6million from Olympiakos in August. Having notched his first league goal at Swansea while earning rave reviews for his raids down the right flank, injuries in the middle part of the season hampered him. However, he returned to hit six goals in league and cup from late February onwards, including a stunner against Stoke and a brace in the win over West Ham. Mirallas produced more shots on target than any other Everton player this season - not bad for a new boy.
Could do better
Nikica Jelavic hit the back of the net 11 times for Everton in the latter part of last season after his switch south from Rangers, but he found goals much harder to come by in 2012/13. In fact, the Croatia striker has only two to his name since his winner against Sunderland on 10 November. With 42 shots off target, his firepower was more often wayward. Another man to mention here was John Heitinga - player of the season in 2011/12, the Dutchman made only 17 starts in this campaign as the form of Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka kept him out of the team.
David Moyes signed off as manager with a clash at Chelsea - his 518th match in charge of Everton. Despite a lack of honours, his consistently high league finishes on a relatively low budget - plus his long service - made him a hero to the Goodison faithful. The Scot only tasted defeat seven times in the league in 2012/13, suggesting the squad is in fine fettle, but equally he leaves a legacy for the future - the Everton youth teams were semi-finalists at both Under-18 and Under-21 Premier League levels this season.
Jamie Redknapp's view
Everton may have seen their top-four challenge fall away but they've had a brilliant season in their final campaign under David Moyes. They've consistently performed at a good level, punching above their weight and I've been impressed with them this year. They've also finished above Liverpool, which is one of their aims every season! Moyes now moves on to a new challenge at Manchester United but he's left a really strong club behind for someone else to pick up and it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their level of performance next season.