An excellent season, with one regret
Well that was a fine finish to a very good season for the club. 72 points is an astonishing total, that becomes even more outstanding when you consider that would have been enough points to take Everton into the Champion's League in 2012 (3rd), 2011 (2nd), 2010 (4th), 2009 (4th), you get the idea. With the best points total and goal difference in the clubs Premier League history 2013/14 is a season we can look back on with plenty of happy memories.
The ultimate accolade
As a Premier league team you know there's something right about the way you're playing when Match Of The Day do one of their "numbers of passes before the goal" segment, and last night was Everton's turn. If you weren't able to watch it was 16 passes before Romelu Lukaku scored, right from Tim Howard through the back four and midfield, before good old power and pace took over. There wasn't a more fitting way for Roberto Martinez's team to finish the season; a demonstration of everything that the Spaniard has brought to the team and club.
As good as it was to see Steven Pienaar back in the squad it was also good to see Aiden McGeady start. The Irishman looks like he has a suitcase full of tricks and will add something different to the pace of Kevin Mirallas and link-up play of Pienaar. If Gerard Deulofeu is with the team next year then the wide positions have a really exciting look to them, with variety and threat on both sides of the pitch. Add the much missed Bryan Oviedo to the mix and there's plenty to be excited about already.
Was Martinez right to rest our two outstanding youngsters? Well yes you'd have to say he was. With a busy summer coming up the last thing they needed was a useless appearance, and with the squad playing how they have this year we could stroll to a win without them. The real question is how is a summer of playing football going to benefit Ross Barkley and John Stones. And on that front you'd have to say not so well. After playing for most of the season Barkley could do with a rest this summer and you have to hope that the press and England fans won't put too much pressure on the twenty year old. As for Stones, the likelihood is that he'll be playing under-21 games this summer in France rather than Brazil, but still where's the benefit for his development?
Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry, Gerard Deulofeu
Three cracking signings, one a fantastic frontman, one a clever defensive midfielder, and one a pacy, tricky, wideman. It's been discussed adnauseum but well done to Roberto Martinez for not only signing players who are outstanding, but signing them in positions we actually need them. The chances of seeing these three in the blue shirt next year? My guess: Lukaku 50%, Barry 80%, Deulofeu 60%