Nigel Martyn feels that Everton have missed a huge chance to play European football next season.
Everton were second on Boxing Day and the unique season created by the pandemic could have given them the prospect of sustaining that.
Then they slipped into a race for the Europa League before eventually finishing tenth, behind newly-promoted Leeds, another of Martyn’s former clubs.
He feels that the Toffees had a big opportunity on their hands and ultimately they haven’t been able to take it.
“Perhaps if Everton had finished in the top six, it would have been an overachievement,” said Martyn. “The squad is not quite good enough.
“But it was a real opportunity for sure. Everton have not failed to qualify for Europe because they lost 5-0 at Manchester City – it’s because they lost I don’t know how many games at home against teams they should have beaten fairly easily.
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“The fans not being there is a big part in that because they wouldn’t find those performances acceptable and the players would up them in the following games.
“They’re undoubtedly better than they were last season but I just feel it’s a huge missed opportunity because of how well they’ve done in certain games.
“They’ve just tripped up in the bread and butter games and they’re the ones who really do matter.”
“They’ll be kicking themselves and if you want to keep the manager you need to be in that mix for European football. It’s an important summer in terms of making the squad better for next season.”
The team Martyn played in during the 2004/05 season were able to build on their flying start and grab a Champions League place.
That was always going to be hard for Everton – although not impossible – and a Europa League finish should have been achieveable.
As Martyn said, it was ultimately their home form which let them down – namely defeats against Burnley, Newcastle, Fulham and Sheffield United at Goodison Park.
Everton had more than enough quality in their squad to beat those sides on their own patch but ultimately failed to get the job done and another big summer lies in wait now.