It’s fair to say that Evertonians have basically had nothing to be really proud of in the team since 2013/14 (i.e. Roberto Martinez’ first season at the club).
Although we had little to show for it by the end of the season, the Blues had been released from the defensive shackles of over 10 years under David Moyes and played some mesmerising football.
But that’s not to say we had a great team. It was a very mixed bunch...
Yes we had the likes of Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Gareth Barry in their pomp - but there was also some dross in their too, see: Aiden McGeady, Bryan Oviedo, Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone.
What Blues really loved that year though was seeing the team progress. Indeed, it wasn’t the aforementioned experienced players that fans were really excited about, it was the incredible core of young players that were amongst the ranks: Ross Barkley, John Stones, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku.
The Blues were competitive throughout and looked to be progressing.
And that’s what Everton fans need to see more of.
Yes, there were moments of promise last season, especially with Fortress Goodison in full swing for the visits of the “big six” towards the end of the season, but the fans need to see tangible progress. We can’t afford yet another slow start or a mid-season meltdown.
Everton have basically had nothing to play for in the league from March onwards for the past five years. Each year we sleepwalk into the summer, praying that next year will be different.
The Blues don’t have to breach the top four next season. Maybe not even the top six. But they at very least need to be in with a shout until the final kick of the season - and all the better if we’re playing great football and building a fantastic young team that can actually fulfill it’s promise.
Sure a Cup and a berth in Europe would be fantastic, but the minimum requirement at Everton in 2019/20 is to progress and to be truly competitive throughout the season.