The Toffees have endured a poor campaign this season, falling short of their targets in the league and disappointingly crashing out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage to Manchester United.
Pressure has been building on boss Roberto Martinez for a while now, and these last few games are all about preparation for the coming summer and a chance to prove to supporters he is the man for the job.
Everton were tested against Bournemouth, yet they ultimately came through with all three points after goals from Tom Cleverly and Leighton Baines either side of a Marc Pugh equaliser was enough.
Writing on Twitter after the game, Ball joked it was a cause for celebration as Everton’s win coupled with Sunderland’s draw at Stoke City meant the Toffees were mathematically safe for another year.
Might pop open the champers tonight.— Michael Ball (@bally03) April 30, 2016
Finally mathematically safe! #EFC
While the former player was obviously joking, his comment does sum up what little the club’s supporters have had to celebrate this season as many will look back on it as a missed opportunity.
In a season where Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and even Arsenal have under-performed, the chance was there to break in to the top four as shown by Leicester City.
Everton have an abundance of quality at their disposal, so for them to be sitting in the bottom half and some 28 points adrift of the points tally they managed in Martinez’s debut season is a real disappointment.