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Everton 0-1 Tottenham - Five Thoughts

A dismal season ends in fitting fashion

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

1) Well I’m glad that’s over

A fitting end to a truly dismal season, with defeat meaning Everton finish outside the top 10 for the first time since 2006 and have failed to break the 50- point barrier for the first time since 2004. Sunday’s tepid display against Tottenham was symptomatic of their entire campaign. Everton were limp and lifeless upfront, with their attacking play once again lacking pace and incision. Tottenham didn’t offer much either, but they did capitalise on some lax Everton defending just like so many teams have done this year. It was just all very laboured and predictable, played in front of an increasingly frustrated crowd. Goodison has been an unpleasant and often toxic place to be at times this season; it just hasn’t been much fun watch the team play and I doubt it has been particularly nice for the players either. I think everyone is ready for a break and chance to refresh and recharge.

2) European hopes fade

Everton began the day in a race with West Ham for the extra European place on offer via the Fair Play League. Both sides collected one booking on the final afternoon but with the Hammers already ahead on bookings for the season it looks unlikely we have leapfrogged them on the final day. The final scores are yet to be calculated but it certainly seems like West Ham will be starting their campaign in early July, with Thursday nights once again a football-free zone for Everton next season.

3) The Garbutt/Galloway conundrum

Roberto Martinez once again picked Brendan Galloway at left-back for his second senior appearance in a blue shirt and first at Goodison Park. The former MK Dons youngster put in a credible display and showed glimpses of his potential, showing a passion and desire sadly lacking among his teammates (the ever immense John Stones aside) but his presence on the field ahead of Luke Garbutt adds further weight to the rumours the left-back is on his way this summer. The fact he wasn’t even in the squad makes it even more likely that the 22-year-old will leave at the end of his contract, with a move away possibly already agreed.

4) Barkley needs a rest

No player needs a rest and symbolises Everton’s "difficult second season" more than Ross Barkley. The 20-year-old was once again erratic in the first half, occasionally showing glimpses of his undoubted quality before making some bizarre decisions and some even more bizarre passes, putting his team in danger on more than one occasion. Barkley has been something of a lightning rod for supporter frustration this season, mainly due to his willingness to take risks and not shy away from responsibility. However, it can’t be denied that Barkley has also suffered from a chronic lack of form and crisis of confidence. He has wisely been left out of the England U21 squad for the European Championships so will be able to get his first decent summer’s rest for three years. Fingers crossed that is just what he needs to put this year behind him and kick-start his career next August.

5) Fitting send off for Distin – but others must follow him through the exit door

After spending much of 2015 in the footballing wilderness Sylvain Distin got his chance to say farewell to the Everton fans, who gave him a rapturous reception when he came on as a late substitute. Distin has proven to be a superb signing for the club over the past five seasons and deserved to have his last hurrah. It will also be interesting to see whether any more details will leak out regarding reported bust-ups with Martinez, particularly the one that saw him told to stay away from the training ground earlier in the season. His departure should be the catalyst for further change in the Goodison ranks this summer. Distin is just one of a number of players who have under-performed in this most disappointing of campaigns. If Everton are to avoid a repeat next year then the dressing room needs a refresh. A big summer lies ahead.