Everton 2017/18 Premier League season review
Last Updated: 13/05/18 7:29pm
Read on for our review of their campaign, complete with the views of Soccer Saturday pundit Paul Merson.
Finishing position: 8th (-1)
Total points: 49 (-12)
FA Cup: Third round
Carabao Cup: Fourth round
Europa League: Group stage
Top scorer: Wayne Rooney (10)
It was a season of upheaval at Goodison Park as optimism gave way to fear which soon gave way to apathy. There had been hope that Ronald Koeman could come up with a top-four challenge after reinvesting the funds from the sale of Romelu Lukaku but it soon became clear that he had an unbalanced squad.
Koeman was sacked in October and caretaker manager David Unsworth struggled to turn things around. When Sam Allardyce was eventually appointed, he began to accumulate the points that earned Everton another top-half finish but the style of football did little to win over supporters.
Wayne Rooney's return did provide some highlights - his hat-trick against West Ham including an outrageous 60-yard strike - but with no wins over any of the teams that finished above them this season, it was a campaign to forget for Everton.
Best day of 2017/18
The 1-1 draw at Manchester City back in August did not feel particularly encouraging at the time as Everton conceded a late equaliser against 10 men. But it was the only one of City's first 20 Premier League games of the season that they did not win.
Worst day of 2017/18
The 4-1 defeat at Southampton in November came fresh off the back of a 5-1 home defeat to Atalanta and was a result that raised genuine fears of relegation. Even Unsworth, caretaker manager at the time, acknowledged that "things have to change quickly".
PAUL MERSON'S VERDICT
From where they were after the 4-1 defeat at Southampton in November, I think they did alright because if you were going to judge it from there they looked like they were going to get relegated. But if you look at it from the start of the season, before Sam came in, you look at it and think it's a poor season. Their buying wasn't great. They need to make a lot of improvements next season. They need to sort out a lot of things. They need to see what's happening with Sam, get a bit of pace in the team and go from there.
I think he's done a great job, I really do. At Southampton they looked all over the place and didn't look like they were going to win another game. Let's put it this way, if he'd gone to Swansea, West Brom or Stoke at that time, they'd have stayed up. You cannot knock the job he's done in my opinion.
Player of year
Pickford has been great for Everton this season. When you look at it, paying £30m for a young goalkeeper can look a bit strong but he's been the outstanding performer for the club. He's gradually getting a bit more experience and growing into himself after a nervous start. He's a lot more confident now and he's England's number one.
You buy full-backs for £50m and centre forwards for £70m but when you spend £30m on a goalkeeper everyone questions it. It's the most important part of the team. No one ever wins anything without a good goalkeeper so his price tag was never a worry for me because you could sell him for more this summer. It was a good buy.
There's not much cause for optimism next season. They need about four or five players because the recruitment this season just hasn't been good enough. The team suffered because of a lack of pace. They would need to improve but what's improvement? Finishing above Burnley? That's what you are looking at, finishing seventh. You'd expect them to finish above Burnley next season.
Sky Bet odds for relegation in 2018/19: 25/1
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