UEFA Champions League
Previous
Aktobe Lento
Dinamo Tbilisi
3
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
FK Ventspils
Malmo FF
0
1
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Rabotnicki Kometal
2
1
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Steaua Bucuresti
Stromsgodset
2
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
NK Maribor
Zrinjski Mostar
2
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
St Patricks
Legia Warsaw
0
5
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 6
Game Details
FC Aarau
FC Sion Sitten
1
0
FT
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Thun
2
1
FT
Game Details
San Jose
Chicago
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Antonio Scorpions
Carolina RailHawks
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Bolívar
2
0
LIVE 45' +2'
Leg 1
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Instituto de Córdoba
0
0
FT
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
Defensa y Justicia
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Chapecoense AF
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Avaí
Palmeiras
0
0
LIVE 59'
Leg 1
Game Details
ABC
Novo Hamburgo
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Botafogo da Paraiba
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
CR Vasco da Gama
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Bahia
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Sport Huancayo
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
Postp
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
Postp
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Postp
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
Postp
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
Postp
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
FC Tokyo
0
1
FT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Shimizu S-Pulse
4
0
FT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
Omiya Ardija
2
2
FT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Kawasaki Frontale
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Kashiwa Reysol
5
2
FT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Urawa Red Diamonds
0
2
FT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Cerezo Osaka
0
0
FT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Nagoya Grampus Eight
3
3
FT
Game Details
Yokohama F. Marinos
Vissel Kobe
1
1
FT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
Portland Thorns FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

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May 13, 2014

End of season review: Everton

David Moyes, the man who turned Everton from relegation fodder to Top Eight regulars, departed for Old Trafford, swiftly followed by his star midfielder, Marouane Fellaini, and few supporters, if any, knew what to expect after a summer of upheaval.

The appointment of Roberto Martinez divided opinion. Some argued that relegation with Wigan reflected his limitations; others believed the FA Cup victory over Manchester City demonstrated the potential of a manager in need of a bigger stage. It soon became clear, in rather emphatic, pleasing fashion, that it was the latter.

Expectations could easily have dipped for a club weighed down by preseason commotion, but Martinez had other ideas. For the first time in years, there was a sustained European push. The season of struggle predicted by numerous so-called experts and pundits gave way to one of endless progression.

Star Pupil

In recent seasons, the standout performers usually numbered single figures. This season, though, candidates littered the field; there were contenders aplenty. Ross Barkley and John Stones arrived on the first-team scene in style. Baines maintained his excellence, Seamus Coleman added goals to an already striking resume, while Romelu Lukaku, though occasionally erratic, became the goal-every-two-games forward that Everton longed for.

There was James McCarthy, Ireland’s answer to the Duracell bunny, or Kevin Mirallas, who finished with most assists (eight) and most chances created (61), yet it is a summer recruit at the front of the queue.

Joining on loan, surplus to requirements at City, Gareth Barry, initially, generated mixed reviews akin to the manager signing him. Fast-forward nine months: the midfield metronome is a mainstay of the team.

Filling the void of the departed Fellaini and the injured Darron Gibson, Barry helped smooth out the rough edges evident in the early stages, as Martinez shifted the players onto a possession-based approach, through -- amongst other things – his passing ability, leadership and experience.

Detention

Few names spring to mind. Aside from those on the long-term injury list, valuable contributions rolled in from all corners of the squad. Steven Naismith began the season as the perennial boo-boy but he turned the corner when employed in his favoured central position.

Still, the award goes to Apostolos Vellios. Not so long ago, Vellios appeared set for stardom. Those days soon vanished, though, with promise squandered amid question marks over work ethic and attitude. The Greek forward looks set to depart this summer, more famous for his use of social media than his footballing ability.

Teacher's notes

Bold, not afraid to take risks at a moment’s notice; Martinez has displayed his impressive tactical awareness throughout his debut campaign. There was the brilliant use of Lukaku on the right wing against Arsenal, counter-attacking excellence against Manchester United, twice, and the introduction of Gerard Deulofeu in place of Baines to claw back the initiative in the Goodison derby, to name but a few.

Fearless beyond all doubt, though infrequently to the point of recklessness (see the Anfield derby), Martinez has ploughed this team with an abundance of self-belief. Almost immediately, the former Wigan boss vanquished the inferiority complex plaguing this side for nigh on two decades. Martinez has Evertonians daring to dream again.

Final grade: A-

Nobody of a sane mind envisaged a tilt at Champions League football this early into the Martinez tenure, although there is slight, ever so slight, disappointment at the final outcome as Everton had fourth within their grasp until ill-fated slips against Crystal Palace and Southampton.

Nonetheless, this has been an excellent start, laying the foundations for a bright future. Overseeing a record points haul, breaking countless club records in the Premier League, the biggest plus is the return of European football.

The key for next season -- something already referenced by Martinez, thankfully -- is bolstering the squad. The lack of depth within the squad is a chronic problem; Moyes failed to address it. If Everton are to challenge on several fronts, the squad requires additional quantity and quality.

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