We continue our review of the past Everton season, this time we take a look at your votes in different categories for the Royal Blue Mersey Reader Awards.
While the 2019-20 season was mostly depressing for Everton fans, there were plenty of significant and positive moments for the Blues too. The objective of handing out awards is to acknowledge these, so that even in a season where the Toffees finished in 12th place, the worst they’ve been in the league table at season’s end since the early part of last decade, there is still something to celebrate.
Everton Goal of the Season
We picked out our five most significant goals of the season - Theo Walcott vs Watford FC, Dominic Calvert-Lewin vs Burnley, Richarlison vs Crystal Palace, Lucas Digne vs Lincoln City and Leighton Baines vs Leicester City - the winner with a pretty unanimous 83% of the vote was Baines’s epic equalizer, even without the emotion of him declaring his retirement at the end of this season.
Everton Game of the Season
There were not too many good games for the Blues in this campaign, but once again emotion helped decide the pick. With Marco Silva sacked and no new permanent manager in sight yet, the Toffees welcomed Chelsea to Goodison Park where one of Everton’s favourite sons Duncan Ferguson waited in a caretaker manager role. He coaxed and cajoled, ranted and roared up and down the touchline as he led the Blues to a rousing 3-1 win over the other Blues - this game got 93% of the votes!
Everton Youth (U18 & U23) Player of the Year
Anthony Gordon had a good shout here, but we tried to keep this award for players that haven’t made the step up to the first team yet. We had five youngsters across the U18 and U23 formats vying for this award - Ryan Astley, Thomas Cannon, Lewis Dobbin, Tyler Onyango & Ellis Simms - but the winner was the same as last season when he had a record season for the U-18s, Ellis Simms with 63% of the vote.
Big things are expected of the 19-year-old striker, it remains to be seen though if he stays with the U-23s for the 2020-21 campaign or is sent out on loan to a lower league side. He only got a handful of minutes in the preseason 3-3 draw against Blackpool, and will likely get more time in the game against Blackburn Rovers in a week unless a decision is made regarding his future before then.
Everton’s Most Improved Player
We deemed three senior team players to have stepped it up a notch this season - Yerry Mina, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate - with all showing varying degrees of improvement. Mina suffered yet another injury-struck season but did look very comfortable when he was in the starting lineup. DCL finally found his finishing boots and was joint top scorer along with Richarlison for the Blues while Holgate put it all together in a series of composed performances as centrehalf, to the extent that the Blues’s search for another player at the position might not be as critical as it once looked.
The vote was pretty close, with Holgate grabbing 55% and DCL lagging at 43%, that was the impact of the young defender on the fans this season.
Everton Young Player of the Year
The good thing with the Toffees having such a young core of players is that the same players keep popping up for all the awards. We kept this one to players 23 and under, and the nominees were Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Anthony Gordon, Mason Holgate and Richarlison. Holgate (56%) once again came way out ahead of DCL, with Richarlison just behind him.
Everton Player of the Year
A couple of other names were added to this list for the Blues’ best player of the season - Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Lucas Digne, Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Richarlison - and while a number of the mentioned did play integral roles in the Blues side, the overwhelming choice for player of the year was Brazilian Richarlison who got 53% of the public vote ahead of Holgate and Digne.
All the pieces in the season review series can be found here in one place - Everton 2019-20 Season Review.