The calendar has finally switched over and we are now officially in 2021. Before we can completely leave 2020 behind though - no matter what it brought for us - we take a final look at the highlights and lowlights of the year that was for Everton. The Club is on an upward trajectory and 2021 promises a lot, so what are we expecting for the year ahead?
The Royal Blue Mersey put their heads together on this roundtable to discuss what moments stood out for them from the previous year, and what is to come ahead. We’d love to hear your opinions too, so drop us a line in the comments below too.
What was your favourite Everton moment of 2020?
Matthew - The win at Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of this season. Everything an Everton performance should be.
Tom - There first few months of this season were glorious, with Everton sweeping all before them on their way to seven straight wins. If I had to pick a game, I’d probably say the 6-2 win over West Bromwich Albion. Some of their passing and attacking play that day was sublime.
Pat - James Rodriguez signing for Everton.
Pete - Has to be Spurs on the opening day of the season. The three signings we made that week just absolutely transformed the quality and mentality on the pitch instantly. Never seen an upgrade like it.
Ian - Opening Day 2020: After a summer transfer window that saw the likes of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucouré and James join the squad, watching Everton travel to London and handle Tottenham was an incredible way to start the campaign.
Also, the Everton Women defeating Chelsea in a comeback win by a score of 2–1 in the quarterfinal of the FA Cup!
Trent - For me, the seven-match winning streak across all competitions to start this season was collectively the moment of 2020.
Calvin - Like many others, watching the ‘new’ Everton go to North London and come away with a win at Tottenham after so many years, and by playing a different brand of football that we haven’t seen in many, many years was very satisfying.
What was your lowest Everton moment of 2020?
Matthew - The Anfield defeat in the FA Cup in January was just embarrassing, though the similarly limp defeats to Chelsea, Wolves and Bournemouth run it close. Not that I’d attach much blame, if any, to Carlo Ancelotti for these - thankfully, I don’t think we’ve seen the same galling lack of effort from Everton in any game this season, even in defeat.
Tom - The 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Liverpool’s kids. Enough said.
Pat - Not being able to attend the Everton USA Spring Break Trip for the Derby due to the pandemic.
Pete - Losing to Liverpool’s kids in the cup at the start of the year.
Ian - December 5, 2020. Everton had just tied Burnley away, 1–1, in an uninspiring draw, a result that capped a forgettable two months during which Everton went 1–2–4 and conceded 13 goals.
Trent - The stretch that followed the hot start disappointed me, especially the month of November.
Calvin - The capitulation at Chelsea and Wolves last season and losing to the Liverpool B-team in the FA Cup are all right up there, but I distinctly remember deriving much disappointment when the Toffees folded late on at Goodison to throw away a two-goal lead against Newcastle United.
Where do you see Everton going in 2021?
Matthew - European qualification has to be a realistic aim for this season given how it’s gone so far, with hopefully a stronger, more balanced squad in 12 months’ time.
Tom - Hopefully continuing their upward trajectory. The progress they have made this year, albeit with a few bumps in the road, has been hugely impressive. Hopefully European football of some sort can be secured this year and after another summer transfer window Carlo can begin the 2021/22 season with a squad capable of challenging for honours.
Pat - A top 7 finish and hopefully a trophy.
Pete - My heart says pushing for the Champions League. My head says “It’s Everton”.
Ian - If the season continues the way it has been going, plagued with injuries and inconsistencies, Everton will still comfortably finish in the top half of the table. To really push for the top six — or even, dare I say, the top four — Everton will need to get healthy, fast.
Trent - We have bounced back well and look to be in a prime position to purchase or allow for our talent to mature during the second half of the season; we can absolutely finish in the Top Five with the way everyone is playing currently.
Calvin - A return to Europe. How we finish out the season will determine which of the UEFA competitions we play in, but Everton have to be in Europe next season.
Thank you for your support throughout the year fellow Blues, here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year from all of us here at Royal Blue Mersey!