With Everton's season in the books, we are making a few lists of the top wins, moments, and other nonsense from the 2012-2013 season. Today we take a look at Everton's top 5 players of the season.
5. Seamus Coleman
When Seamus Coleman broke into the Everton first team 2 years ago, fans were enraptured with the idea of having a Leighton Baines clone on the right side. The idea of two outside backs bombing up the flanks was too much to resist. Last year brought those expectations back to reality after a run of poor form and a few injuries coupled to derail Coleman's season. During preseason there was hope that Coleman would show his true form to be his inaugural season and not last year's campaign, but no one knew what to expect.
Thankfully Coleman stepped up to deliver after Phil Neville decided to embrace mediocrity and justified David Moyes' faith. Though his crossing still needs work, Coleman has a knack for causing pure mayhem in the box, and any time he was played through on the right Evertonians could count on a little bit of excitement.
It would also be remiss to leave out the defensive improvements Seamus made. While he made a few mistakes early in the season, he soon corrected them and it wasn't long before he was even saving Phil Jagielka's skin a few times.
4. Kevin Mirallas
A lot of fans were asking who Kevin Mirallas was when he arrived on Merseyside, but after a few games it became pretty obvious he was going to be a key cog in Everton's success. Ever since Mikel Arteta became ineffective at playing that crucial thru ball to break down the defense Everton has had problems scoring, but Mirallas helped fix that.
Unfortunately the Belgian would miss time due to injury, but his return was welcomed with open arms. His two goals to send David Moyes off in style show his deadly ability from range as well as his ability to move through the box. When on the wings he showed a desire to cut inside which is perfect for an Everton side with two marauding fullbacks.
Assuming he stays healthy, it may not be long before larger clubs come calling for the Belgian playmaker.
3. Marouane Fellaini
While he hasn't put together a complete season during his time at Goodison, there is no doubt Marouane Fellaini is one of the most talented players at Everton. The first half of the season was a brilliant display of Fellaini's skill and strength, while the second half shows why he hasn't made the move to a bigger club yet. When he turns moody Fellaini doesn't even need an invisibility cloak to disappear on the pitch. It is why fans will not be upset if he is sold this summer, but he still provides value to the club if he is here.
2. Darron Gibson
While Everton finally lost a match with Gibson in the lineup, it became more obvious during the season that this was a bargain buy from Manchester United. Gibson has shown the ability to control the tempo of the game from midfield better than anyone Evertonians have seen in awhile. Gibson also does well at switching the ball, something Moyes prizes doing, and he even made Phil Neville look competent in midfield. Think about that for a second, there is a player that made Phil Neville appear to be a professional footballer at times.
The question for Gibson is always going to be if he can remain healthy. He has missed time with Everton this year, and his health was probably his downfall more than anything else at Manchester United.
1. Leighton Baines
Once again there is no question that Leighton Baines was Everton's best player this year. The left back easily established himself as the best in the Premier league, and possibly in the world. In an age where fullbacks are expected to get forward and help attack, Baines was the best in Europe at it. He created over 100 chances from open play, and had Everton had a forward who could score rather than run around aimlessly he would have had even more assists.
His free kick prowess was also on display, and his goal against Newcastle was a sublime effort that still doesn't make sense 6 months later. Some of his biggest improvement has come in the defensive third. Before it seemed like defense was optional for Baines, but his tracking back has improved, and he didn't get caught out of position as often as previous years. This defensive work more than anything has seen his time with the England national team increase, and if he isn't that starting left back for England in Brazil it will say all you need to know about how the national team is run.