Steven Pienaar has admitted Everton's season was 'a failure' after an injury-hit campaign resulted in the club finishing in eighth place in the Premier League and failing to qualify for Europe.
South Africa midfielder Pienaar, who has rejected offers of a new contract at Goodison Park and is attracting interest from Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool, enjoyed personal success with several stand-out performances for his club last term.
But the playmaker could not inspire Everton to hit the heights of the previous year, when David Moyes' men reached the FA Cup final and finished in fifth spot.
The 2009-10 season got off to a disastrous start with Everton on the wrong end of a 6-1 thrashing at home to Arsenal and the club's league form never reached the levels of consistency needed to challenge for European places.
Of the season, Pienaar said on his personal website: 'I think it's been a failure. We didn't start fresh at the beginning ofthe season due to injury problems and we suffered from that throughoutthe season. At the end we didn't qualify for Europe and that's why Ireckon this year has to be considered as a failure.'
Shell shocked: Everton suffered a disastrous start to the 2009-10 season with a 6-1 defeat to Arsenal at Goodison Park on the opening day
Everton were hampered throughout the season by a succession of long-term injuries to key players such as Phil Jagielka, Mikael Arteta and Marouane Fellaini, a hindrance Pienaar highlights, along with some poor defending, to explain the club's disappointing show.
He added: 'Theweaknesses were the injuries and the cheap goals conceded. The strengthwas that we were brave enough to play attacking football against themost feared opposition.'
Pienaar also nominated Leighton Baines as his Toffees player of the year 'because of his consistency.'
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