Barry Horne: Everton FC fans should be proud of their team's season
THE main awards given out at Everton's end of season gala dinner did not come as a surprise.
In a year which has been full of inconsistencies, not just at the club but throughout the Premier League, it has been certain for some time that Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar take the plaudits.
Their form and inter-play down the left has been a consistent feature in Everton's season, particularly since the turn of the year, producing some of the club's best moments.
The Premier League season threatened to be the most open for many a long year.
The prospect of a genuine three-horse race, four or five teams equipped to be fighting for the remaining European places and seven or eight sides looking over their shoulders at relegation.
But going into the final weekend of the season it is only the biggest prize of all that is to be decided.
In many ways this season as a whole has mirrored the topsy-turvy nature of Everton's campaign.
From the disastrous start with crippling injuries that David Moyes and his players never used as an excuse, to the second half of the season which saw them in brilliant form.
Every Evertonian should be proud of the way the players and manager just got on with their job and kept faith.
Some of their form was blistering in this period and saw them beat Manchester United and Chelsea.
But of course we will all look back at dropped points at home to Stoke and Wolves and letting leads slip at Birmingham and Villa.
Perhaps missing out on Europe is a blessing in disguise and will allow Moyes to secure Europa League football for next season.
It has been a fantastic year, but for all the great management David brings, he will need a financial leg up at some point.
Steven Pienaar must recognise what Everton have done for him
WITH the Premier League season coming to a close, I'm very grateful for the World Cup to get me through the summer.
I want to wish the Everton players jetting off to South Africa all the best and hope that Leighton Baines gets a thoroughly deserved call-up for England.
Whilst out there I hope Steven Pienaar recognises and appreciates he is at a club which is totally supportive and has given him this opportunity to enhance his reputation.
Steven must realise that Everton are making a steady rise to rightfully re-establishing itself as a great and successful club.
Next season, with a better run of form and luck with injuries, Everton can undoubtedly improve and make sure they get back into Europe.
Missing out this season is a double edged sword but Pienaar must recognise Everton are on the up.