clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Everton 2015-16 season in review: Seamus Coleman

Everton's Irish right back had a decent year, but yet again struggled to stay fit

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

There's no nice way to put it, Everton's defense was nothing short of shambolic for large stretches of the season. While Seamus Coleman was arguably one of the few bright spots in the back four, his injury problems have become a big issue.

When healthy, Coleman is one of the better right backs in the Premier League. His runs down the right flank have been a key to Everton's offensive play and you can see how much the team struggles when he is not in the line up. But the problem his, he is rarely healthy these days. Injuries or not, Coleman is very likely to be back with the team regardless of who Everton hires as manager.

Games: 28, Goals: 1, Assists: 3, Yellow Cards: 4, Red Cards: 0, Pass %: 84.1

*Stats from Whoscored.com

What he did well

When Coleman and Leighton Baines are healthy, Everton have two of the nost dangerous full backs in the attacking third. Coleman does a great job of overlapping and giving the right winger passing options. He regularly finds himself in open space on the wing with the option to cross or play the ball to the open man. This kind of play on the flanks can make Everton so dangerous when things are going their way. While his crossing ability may not be world class, he usually does a good job of getting the ball in good areas in the box.

Coleman's dribbling is another strong point that contributes to his play in the offensive end. There's nothing fancy about how he does it, but Coleman is able to get around the opposing left back and find himself in space. This ability can lead to him getting fouled a handful of times every game and getting free kicks near the goal.

In Roberto Martinez's possession-heavy and pass happy system, Coleman fit right in. With a 84% pass percentage, Coleman was a willing and capable passer for his club. The best part of this statistic, is that the majority of these passes were both forward passes and longer passes. This illustrates that he's not just kicking the ball back to the center backs or the defensive midfield, but instead trying to get the ball to the attacking players and create offense.

What he could have done better

Coleman may be impressive going forward, he doesn't exactly inspire confidence defensively. This is not to say he's bad in defense, but he's not exactly great either. This team could certainly do worse than Coleman in the defensive third, but overall, he is just okay. His tackling on the season was decent, winning just over half of his tackle attempts and he tended to take fouls more than he gave.

One of the biggest things Coleman can improve on is his ability to stay healthy. Granted, there is only so much he can do on his own to combat this, but it seems like every year Coleman is picking up a knock every couple of weeks. You could argue that Martinez's training and his medical staff played into this, especially with the consistent hamstring injuries, but this team will always struggle to succeed when Coleman is on the bench.

Despite his ability to get in dangerous situations offensively, it would be good to see Coleman get more in the way of goals and assists. Expecting more than a handful of goals from a fullback is wishful thinking but four assists seems a little disappointing. Coleman is a willing crosser, but it seems like many times they do not find their mark. Too many times this season Coleman missed an open player at the far post and instead skied his cross out of bounds. This is a huge weapon for any fullback and he needs to continue to improve this aspect of his game.

The summer ahead

I can't imagine Everton will be in the market for a starting right back. This team desperately needs depth at the position, this is evidenced by Mo Besic and Bryan Oviedo playing in Coleman's stead. Tony Hibbert has struggled to stay healthy and cannot be relied on to be the everyday back up. Expect the team to bring in some one to back up Coleman, but I expect him to be the starter when the season kicks off next year. Coleman needs to get healthy this summer and recover from some of his ongoing knocks.

Final grade: C

It's hard to give any one of Everton's defender's anything above a C. The defense was just dreadful and while Coleman was solid this year, he was also a part of the problem. Everything about his season was just okay, he had his good moments, but he also looked bad for large stretches.