Morgan Schneiderlin says Everton’s squad is united behind the dynamic football philosophy implemented by Marco Silva and Marcel Brands.
Frenchman Schneiderlin was excellent in the season’s closing weeks following his return to manager Silva's starting XI.
The midfielder helped Everton sign off with a four-game unbeaten stretch. Of the Toffees' final 11 games, Schneiderlin started six – his run in the team was disrupted by a minor ankle problem – Everton winning three and drawing three. The only goals Silva’s side conceded in those six matches were the two scored by Tottenham Hotspur on the last day.
Schneiderlin admits he was thankful for the opportunity to shine at the back end of the campaign.
But from a wider perspective, he insists Everton’s emergence as one of the Premier League’s form teams from February onwards bodes very well for next term.
“From the outside, you can see the Club now has a philosophy – and will stick to that philosophy,” Schneiderlin told evertontv.
“That is good and it is very important everyone is driving in the same direction.
“We know as players what we are doing and what is expected from us on the pitch.
“Even when we had bad results, you could see everyone was sticking together and driving the same way.
“The players who came before the season have a lot of quality and the Club is always working to try to make the team better.”
Director of Football Brands and Silva, who Schneiderlin views as “captain of the ship”, were both appointed at Goodison Park last summer.
Everton duly recruited soundly, adding six premium performers – all aged 25 or younger when they arrived and the current owners of a combined 92 international caps.
Silva oversaw a positive start to the campaign, Everton entering the top-six in late-November. And after a mid-season when points were in shorter supply, Everton really hit their straps in the closing months.
Wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United were the highlights of a period when Everton won six and drew three of 11 games, scoring 18 goals and conceding only seven.
“The philosophy comes from Marcel, who does everything well for the Football Club, from the Academy to the first team,” said Schneiderlin.
“And it comes from the manager, who every day is telling us where to improve and focussing on the small details, which are very important.
“It is very important to have a manager who knows exactly where he is going.
“For a football club, you need a captain of the ship, who is driving everyone in the same direction.”
Schneiderlin, signed from Manchester United in January 2016, returned to Everton’s team following an absence of more than four months for the win at Cardiff City on February 26.
He retained his place for the subsequent Goodison Merseyside derby stalemate. And after overcoming that ankle knock, the 29-year-old came back for the 4-0 thumping of old club United in April.
Schneiderlin stayed in the side for the remainder of the campaign and was outstanding as Everton drew 2-2 on their first visit to Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in the final game.
Silva’s team recovered from letting-in a third-minute goal to take the game to their hosts and come within quarter hour of winning it.
Schneiderlin’s display in north London acted as further confirmation of his own soaring confidence and form.
The ex-Southampton player recorded a remarkable 97.7 per cent accuracy rate from 44 passes.
That was far and away the best figure returned by any of the game’s starters and followed Schneiderlin finding his mark with a match-high 93.2 per cent of passes in the previous week’s 2-0 win over Burnley.
“I am always pleased to be on the pitch and I was feeling good,” added Schneiderlin.
“At Tottenham, we started with a not-so-good 20 minutes, which can happen to any team over the course of a season.
“You have to react and we regrouped, then did very well.
“It was very good and showed we are making progress, we proved against some big teams that we are good and ready to compete.
“And hopefully we have momentum for next season.”