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Everton 2022-23 Season Review: Wingers Report Cards

A mixed campaign for the Toffees wide men - Gordon, Gray, Iwobi and McNeil

Everton FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Anthony Gordon

Appearances - 18, Goals - 3, Assists - 0, Yellow Cards - 7, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .33

Anthony Gordon began the season deployed as a false nine, one of several players shunted out of position because of Everton’s terrible recruitment especially at the striker position.

To be fair to Gordon he coped admirably, scoring in draws at Brentford and Leeds, though with reported transfer interest from the likes of Chelsea you wonder whether he was performing for the cameras.

Just one more goal would follow in his remaining 13 matches as an Everton player as the 22-year-old’s form nosedived along with the team’s. The nadir was reached after the awful Southampton game in January when he was confronted by angry Evertonians as he left Goodison in his car.

That, of course, is unacceptable behaviour from a handful of fans but I don’t think it was the main reason Gordon left. It felt like he had decided to push for a move a long time ago, even when his performances did not justify such behaviour.

Few tears were shed when Everton banked £40m for the winger and his displays in a black and white shirt since have done little to change that stance.

Grade: D

Everton FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Demarai Gray

Appearances - 36, Goals - 6, Assists - 1, Yellow Cards - 3, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .35

At 26 Demarai Gray cannot be consider a promising youngster anymore, but he remains a bit of an enigma. Hugely talented and capable of moments of magic, he struggles to perform on a consistent basis.

There is considerable mitigation given the team’s struggles in general over the last two seasons. His versatility has also often worked against him as he is regularly asked to plug holes rather than have a run in the side in one defined role.

His best form came at the turn of the year and included a thunderous goal of the season contender to earn a point at Manchester City. But Frank Lampard’s dismissal and arrival of Sean Dyche saw Gray sidelined, with the more energetic Alex Iwobi preferred on the right to help cover the full-back.

When he did play it was often out of position, though he did a gallant job as a lone striker when called upon.

Everton are expected to bolster their attacking options over the summer so it will be interesting to see what role he will have next campaign.

Grade: C


Alex Iwobi

Appearances - 41, Goals - 2, Assists - 9, Yellow Cards - 2, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .24

The fact he was voted Players’ Player of the season says it all. Alex Iwobi has oodles of skill but has been let down by a lack of consistency. There were signs however during 2022-23 that he is starting to shake off that tag. He had a run of one goals and five assists in eight matches during the first half of the season when deployed the in the central role he so favours. But like Gray the change of manager saw him pushed back out to the right, a position he has admitted he is not exactly comfortable in.

That stymied his attacking output but it did bolster Everton’s right flank as he had the energy to get up and down and protect the full-back, often 34-year-old Seamus Coleman.

His goals return of two is a disappointment, though he is hardly alone in that regard and one of those was a crucial equaliser at Leicester in the run.

Grade: C+

Everton FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Dwight McNeil

Appearances - 36, Goals - 6, Assists - 1, Yellow Cards - 3, Red Cards - 0, PL xG+xA/90 - .41

Unlike Gray and Iwobi, Dwight McNeil greatly benefitted from the arrival of Dyche, who knew him well from their time at Burnley.

McNeil was in and out of the side under Lampard, who seemed unsure where and how play him. But Dyche restored him to the starting XI for his first game in charge against Arsenal and that’s where he stayed until the end of the season.

He scored five goals in that time, included a thunder bolt winner against Brentford and a double in that extraordinary win at Brighton. His workrate, athleticism and wand of a left foot winning over the Evertonians, who now see him as a key cog in the side.

If Dominic Calvert-Lewin can move on from his injury woes or a new target man arrive over the summer, then McNeil’s deliveries from wide positions will also begin to bear fruit.

Grade: B

Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images