Player: Leon Osman #21
Games Played: 42, Games Started: 42, Goals: 8, Assists: 2, Shots: 83, Shots on Goal: 29, Fouls Committed: 50, Fouls Suffered: 67, Yellow Cards: 10, Red Cards: 0.
Leon Osman’s fine form at the beginning of the season was a key component of Everton’s thrilling opening to the campaign. It was also form that was finally recognized by England, with the 31-year-old making his England debut in a friendly against Sweden.
What he did well
What Osman has always done well, namely be skillful on the ball, retaining possession and building attacks – has often gone unnoticed. One characteristic of Everton’s good form at the start of the campaign was their neat football and rapid counter-attacks. Osman has never been blessed with pace, even in his younger days, but he very often started the team’s attacks.
What he could do better
As one of the older members of the squad, Osman is unlikely to improve much in the next few years, so the same weaknesses will always be there. This is mainly his frustrating ability to get lost in games, especially away from home, and get muscled off the ball too easily. I have also always felt that if he possessed a much more fearsome shot he would have scored many more goals than he has. There were just too many possessions where a good opportunity was wasted by a terrible shot by Osman.
Using the school grading system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season, C an average season, and F a very poor season, how do you grade Leon Osman on his performance this year according to the expectations you had for him?