With 2013 closing out in the next few days, we wanted to offer our thoughts on the 5 moments that defined Everton in the calendar year. Some of these moments came from matches, and others came off the field. All of them helped shape Everton over the past year, and they have all helped place this club in prime position to go for a Champions League berth for only the second time in the Premier League.
5. Everton 2 Manchester City 0
Ever since the transfer of Joleon Lescott, Manchester City has always held a special place in Everton's heart. A club that is normal nothing but a nuisance, the Toffees have continued to enjoy success against the blue side of Manchester even after the oil money flowed in. In what would be David Moyes' final match against City while in charge of Everton, the Toffees flat out beat the title-holders in a fixture that kept the Merseyside club in the hunt for Europe.
4. Everton 3 Liverpool 3
This was always going to be a big fixture. Two straight years of Liverpool finishing below Everton meant the red side of the city was looking forward to getting some revenge. Add in a new manager for Everton, and anticipation was high. For Evertonians, the one question was how would Martinez approach this one.
Moyes had always been pragmatic against Liverpool and the Top 4, but everyone was interested to see if a new manager meant a new batch of confidence. Martinez showed he would not be intimidated and had Everton ready to continue his brand of attacking football. Though the result was disappointing, fans left buoyed by the squads new approach to big games. No longer would Everton be content to sit back and hope for a point. It was all about 3 points.
3. Everton 1 United 0
It is a scoreline that has meant big things for Everton. In 2005 it all but sealed a spot in the Champions League. In 2013 it meant that the Toffees finally got that problem of winning at Old Trafford out of the way. It was a match that the neutral fan loves, and Everton was able to get a late goal for their first victory at Old Trafford in decades. It was a brilliant win for the Toffees, and it set the mood as the season entered the halfway point.
2. An Era Ends
Evertonians always knew this day would come, but it was still a shock when it did. In early May David Moyes announced his departure as manager of Everton Football Club for a chance to manage at Manchester United. His final home game in charge was everything a manager with his success deserved. A brilliant 2-0 win was a great way to cap Everton's best finish in several years, and although he wasn't able to get a trophy, every Evertonian understands what David Moyes means to this club.
1. And Another Begins
Just as Moyes' appointment to United seemed like an obvious choice, so was Roberto Martinez's hire at Everton. The Spaniard had done well on a budget at Swansea and Wigan, and his FA Cup victory certainly made him the leading candidate before any interviews occurred. It is an appointment that has been validated both in style of play and results. Everton has picked up from where they ended the previous season and are valid contenders for a Champions League berth this year. In style the team is possessing the ball far more than they ever did, and every match has been enjoyable to watch. Though it is hard to pass judgement after half a season in charge, it seems like Martinez can go far at Everton.