Roberto Martinez's prolonged hard-luck story doing Everton no favours

Roberto Martinez needs to look closer to home to amend some clear systemic problems that are producing games like Saturday's defeat.

Matt Jones 07/03/2016 118comments  |  Jump to last

Ashley Young's stoppage time winner at Goodison Park for Aston Villa in 2008 just seconds after Joleon Lescott had equalised for Everton was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences I've endured at Goodison Park.

To go from such elation to raw despair at the end of such a frantic clash was scarring and in following games, whenever the Toffees scored a late goal, thoughts would turn to that moment, triggering a conservative reflex.

Losing a game like that, in those ultra-dramatic circumstances, is not at all pleasant and thankfully, for the overwhelming majority of the Premier League era, scenarios in which Everton have thrown points away so traumatically have been rare. Until this season.

On Saturday, what would have potentially been a huge victory suddenly became a heartbreaker akin to the one eight years ago. Two goals up, one missed penalty and three goals conceded in the final 12 minutes equated to three dropped points; Everton's 3-2 loss to West Ham United was a masterclass in letting vital momentum slip through your fingers.

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It's the kind of clobbering blow Evertonians have had to endure numerous times this term. In fact, rather remarkably, losing 3-2 at home with 10 men after missing a penalty, being two goals up and conceding in the last minute has some competition for the most calamitous collapse of the campaign.

The 3-3 draws at Bournemouth and Chelsea were more Young-esque in terms of oscillating emotions, with late stoppage time "winners" followed up by equalisers, while the 4-3 defeat to Stoke City in December was another late, late loss after the team had battled gallantly to get in front.

The dissections of the performances in each have been forensic post-match, as it was on Saturday. A plethora of reasons have been offered up as to why the white flag was waved once again, including poor refereeing, inept management and a shirking of responsibility from players.

Yet the end result has now become familiar: despair, disbelief and dropped points. Regardless of the circumstances, we've been here before with this group and the West Ham loss has become another galling chapter in Roberto Martinez's hard-luck story, which is fast turning into an opus.

"We were presented with a very difficult game when Kevin [Mirallas] had the red card," stated Martinez after the weekend's clash. "It's a heartbreaking moment for us, because we deserved the three points" he said after the draw with Chelsea. "I don't know why the referee allowed play to continue for so long, but maybe it was luck for Bournemouth," was his line after the Cherries draw.

In isolation, these factors going against the Toffees could be viewed as a one off. The West Ham clash was, after all, a chaotic affair in which both teams gave everything only for one eventually to emerge victorious. On the day, the footballing Gods perhaps didn't favour Everton in what was a freak result with an incredible finish.

But put this loss next to the three fixtures aforementioned, plus the rank bad defeats to West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City, and suddenly the lamenting of factors conspiring against this Everton team looks more like bald delusion.

Martinez needs to look closer to home to amend some clear systemic problems because as we've seen, these kinds of games can be catastrophic to a campaign. It's clear there's a tension in the air when the team are looking to see out spells of pressure, especially late on. That's because the flash of anguish which gripped Everton after Young tucked away his third goal back in 2008 has settled in at Goodison.

This season on four separate occasions, Everton have been the team which fans from all over the country would have been drawn to coming out of their respective grounds. "At least we didn't have to go through that kind of game." Four times the team has been the laughing stock of the Premier League; it's a tiresome moniker.

Martinez had a duty of care in the wake of the 3-3 draw at Bournemouth to ensure this didn't happen again; yet within 50 days the side had endured one similar experience and an almost identical one. Already this year, a 3-1 aggregate lead in the League Cup against Manchester City and another two-goal advantage on Saturday have been squandered. Lessons, evidently, are not being learned.

Additionally, games against Sunderland, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Stoke, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester City and West Ham have seen the Toffees concede goals in quick succession. It's indicative of a side which is not versed in game management, hard work, leadership nor defensive cohesion.

When you don't possess any of these attributes, you can lose games in the worst possible manner. And when you lose games in the worst possible manner on many different occasions, seasons are derailed. Although Everton remain in the FA Cup, languishing down in 12th place in the Premier League, this one arguably already has been.

Of course, fingers will be pointed at the players and their inability to react on the field to deal with circumstances in a better way. But this is a squad which, three seasons into his tenure, is very much in Martinez's image. He has brought plenty of players in, assessed their characters, nurtured them and sought to produce a functioning side with his stamp on it.

Yet it has significant problems which, having once looked amendable, are now chronic.

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Reader Comments (118)

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Christopher Dover
1 Posted 07/03/2016 at 07:22:42
The supporters are angry and this showed at the end (or when the third goal went in).

The directors new and old cannot be so cut off they do not see what is happening to Our club. They must act, at worst end of season but preferably NOW to give the supporters something to cheer about.

Kieran Fitzgerald
2 Posted 07/03/2016 at 07:37:26
It's twice the rub when we have played so well up to the point where we collapse. To control the game with ten men against a decent WH side, create enough to go four goals up, and then just stop playing makes the result so much worse. And the thing is, this has been the nature of every game in which we have collapsed.

It seems like Martinez and Moyes split a coaching brain between them. Moyes instilled hard work, discipline and defending a lead into his players. But nothing else. Once Moyes left for Utd appointing Martinez was almost like a knee jerk reaction. He has the other half of the coaching brain that instills flair and attacking prowess but nothing else. Neither coach has the ability to add what was in the other half of the brain to their locker. (It's interesting to see that Newcastle are apparently in talks with Moyes as they are exactly in the kind of mess that requires his half of the brain.)

As you rightly say Matt, Martinez doesn't have it in him to acknowledge that he is getting it badly wrong. But it has now gotten to the stage that he cannot also see that everybody can see through his spin and 'positivity'. He cannot see that the media and the fans have turned against him and that is the scariest thing for me.

John Keating
3 Posted 07/03/2016 at 07:37:58

What is even worse than Martinez’s continuing hard luck stories is the fact that even now some people support them and him.

The continual "if" we had done this and "if" we had done that is, in my opinion, worse than Martinez’s bleatings.

We are dealing in small margins. If we had done this we would be 8 points better off etc etc etc.

The excuses by Martinez and his – thankfully – dwindling bunch of supporters is embarrassing.

Let's get this season over and done with and more importantly let's get this imposter over and done with.

Clive Mitchell
4 Posted 07/03/2016 at 07:39:24
All true Matt. There’s another aspect to this team under this leadership. We talk ourselves up before we’ve achieved anything. There’s a mentality that ’we’re a top four side, just watch us go when it starts’. And we play like that. It’s never going to work.

Contrast with Leicester, where the mentality is ’we really want to win this so we’re going to work ourselves into the ground to deny the opposition because that’s the only way’.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 07/03/2016 at 08:04:10
I have never remembered it being this emotional at Goodison, even in the year's we escaped relegation by the skin of our teeth, we expected bad results back then because we had shit all playing for us.

But how many games have Everton lost this season at home despite scoring at least two goals??

Over the last two years we have even managed to lose twice at home when scoring THREE.. (Chelsea 3-6 and Stoke 3-4)

I can never remember us just simply frittering away so many winnable positions at Goodison Park and conceding so many goals, we have conceded 26 goals already... TWENTY SIX!!!

And our next visitors in the league are old bogey side who regularly cut us up with ease... Arsenal.

But really the league is utterly pointless now.
It's nothing more than a get fit training exercise for next season and the Euro's for the lads involved.

Martinez will bull jargon us that there's still blah blah blah many points to play for in the league yet Evertonians with half a bit of knowledge of football know at best this team will get 10 or 12 more points at the very best.

The manager has dished out excuses for failure now for the best part of 18 month's and it's beginning to wear thinner and thinner.

The FA Cup is his last saving grace, lose to Chelsea then you are looking at a season again over by the early part of March.

Nick Oakley
6 Posted 07/03/2016 at 08:13:13
Martinez needs to coach Barkley and Niasse how to close people down. Check out the third goal with both aimlessly ambling between two West Ham attackers, before the cross is sent in. It's so frustrating that Barkley who has such fantastic natural talent when he gets on the ball has no basic instinct of how to press. So spend some time and coach him.

Some players like McCarthy, Barry, and Besic have the natural instinct to press whilst Barkley is simply clueless in this respect. Imagine how brilliant we would be if all our players knew how and when to press. We would then be unplayable. The trouble with Martinez is that he just doesn't get that side of the game, preferring to heap praise on the individual attacking aspect which detracts from the team winning mentality.

Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City all win titles because apart from anything else, they know how to press as a team. We just don't do that consistently and he doesn't get it. The likes of West Ham, Stoke etc all seem to get it. Is Martinez likely to get the lightbulb moment? Sadly no and that's why we will eventually have to replace him.

Jamie Barlow
7 Posted 07/03/2016 at 08:21:36
It's not just those two Nick, half the team do it. I'm amazed no one has brought up Oviedos fine defending for the 2nd and 3rd goals. His attempted block at the cross for the second and his challenge for a header on the third were both pathetic.

All because he took Lennon off!!

Amazing how taking off a forward can make your defenders forget how to defend.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 07/03/2016 at 08:27:32

You will not coach that side of the game into players.

Barkley for instance has ability but he’s not really a heart on the sleeve type like a Tim Cahill or the kind like Aaron Lennon who will run himself into the ground for you, Ross Barkley is basically a luxury player, a Rolls Royce.

Niasse, well it’s too early to judge the lad but as we already knew, when you sign players from abroad especially in weaker league’s they don’t know how the Premier League is played until they set foot on to that pitch and Saturday afternoon was break neck tempo.

We needed lads out there that were willing to run and run for that last 10 minutes, we didn’t need any passengers and sadly that’s what Niasse was, his control was sloppy and he looked extremely sluggish in his movement, frankly it could have been Arouna Kone out there.

It was a poor choice by Martinez to throw the lad into that melee.

Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 07/03/2016 at 08:27:54
I predicted a mid-table finish at the start of the season, and it now looks like that will be the case. I was hopeful that things could get better, but gallingly the same old things continue to happen. We have showed some real promise, and at times character to get back into games and go ahead but we ruin it all again and again. It is symptomatic of Martinez’s football philosophy.

Wigan played the same way, and managed to put a few games together to win a cup, and in previous seasons they managed to stay up. The media loved their gung-ho approach, but like Blackpool a few seasons ago, their luck ran out and they went down.

Roberto is obstinate and refuses to take responsibility for these errors and he should now be sacked. We show no signs of improvement in our game management. Last season, it was the curse of the Europa League that was his excuse, and this season it is bad luck and poor refereeing that has cost us.

Despite some enterprising football on the attack, defensively we continue to fail miserably, whatever the selection. This points to the system and the whole mentality. It does not work and we are paying the price.I suspect that we have some very frustrated players out there, who are biting their tongues .

Time to say adios Roberto.

Steve Pugh
10 Posted 07/03/2016 at 09:18:36
Let us not forget that this sort of result is not limited to this season. First game of last season Leicester equalised in the 86th minute. Second game at home to Arsenal we led 2-0 with seven minutes to go and couldn't hold on. Even in his wonderful first season who can forget the last minute goal from Daniel Sturridge in the derby.

Martinez needs to go now so that we can get a new manager in before the end of the season. This will give him time so work with the players before the transfer window opens and highlight who he needs to replace and who just needs a bit of retraining in the art of defending.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 07/03/2016 at 09:34:14

There was also the Cup collapse in the last 20 minutes at Arsenal in Martinez first season, from 1-1 on 68 minutes to eventually losing 4-1.

And of course the Anfield 4-0 derby that could have been 8, 9 or 10 if they hadn’t orbited a penalty to make it 5-0 with more than half an hour left!..

When it all boils down to it, the cracks started appearing in the second half of that first season, yes we had a 7 match winning run but it was clearly a false dawn.

Steve Hogan
12 Posted 07/03/2016 at 10:22:09

You have pretty much nailed on the head all of the continuing flaws in the make up of Martinez, and why he will NEVER cut the mustard as a top flight manager.

In fact, you are being rather TOO kind to him in my opinion, he really doesn't deserve the respect your paying him. His 'can't change/won't change' style will eventually bring his tenure at Everton to an end.

If we lose to Chelsea on Saturday, we must stop this nonsense now. It's only the promise of FA Cup glory that is keeping him in a job.

I'm more concerned about the damage it's doing to our younger better players at the present time. They may be overpaid in many peoples eyes, but they will be able to still spot a 'phoney' from a mile away.

Would you honestly want to play for a manager with such characteristics as Martinez? Or would you put your future in his hands?

Finally, to all the Ross Barkley critics who want to see him 'chase back or close down', he's not the complete player yet, and maybe never will be, but he's a player of immense quality who produces things for Everton that no-one else in the squad can do.

If he ever becomes available for transfer, watch the so called top clubs queing up round the block for him, don't think they will be too concerned about his ability to 'track back or throw himself in front of somebody' to block a shot.

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 07/03/2016 at 10:39:45
I posted this on another thread, perhaps I should have put it on here, apologies for making the same point twice.

Everton's record this season given that the game was ended on 78 minutes would be won 10 drawn 11 lost 7 pts 41 scored 40 conceded 28. Just one win more than we have in the real world, but we would have seen 22 fewer goals in Everton games with an equal split of goals scored and conceded.

At the top of the table, Leicester would be level on points with Arsenal (52) with Spurs in third with a point less than the leaders and Manchester United (49) a further two points behind in fourth. Everton would be in 9th place one point behind Chelsea (42) and West Ham, two points behind our neighbours (43) in sixth place with Manchester City in fifth place on 45 points.

At the bottom of the table Norwich City (25) would be three points adrift of Newcastle (28) who lie fourth from bottom, whilst Aston Villa (21) would be 3 points better off than last placed Sunderland (18)

Phil Jeffries
14 Posted 07/03/2016 at 11:10:32
I think the majority of Evertonians agree that they really want Martinez to succeed. He is a nice guy who wants to play football the right way. It’s just a shame that he doesn’t have a clue tactically when it comes to defending and has a habit of making strange substitutions.

It does look like he is running out of time and unless he defeats Chelsea and gets favourable results in the remaining fixtures (Liverpool & Man Utd away included), the writing looks to be on the wall.

So, if he goes who do we bring in? Who do we trust with the future of our club? If we do replace Martinez, we will really need to make a statement and bring in an established manager with authority who actually knows what it takes to build a winning team, with a winning mentality.

I think Gus Hiddink would certainly be in the hat. A few dreamers would throw in Mourinho. But in reality, who else is out there to bring in and make a statement?

Phil Walling
15 Posted 07/03/2016 at 11:21:21
I was not at Saturday's game. Did anyone notice if any directors – old or new – were in attendance?
Dean Peamum
16 Posted 07/03/2016 at 11:54:18

Saturday's game could turn out to be a good result for Everton as it must surely put RM one step closer to the door marked exit. In six seasons in the Premier league, RM has one top half finish – his first season with us with what was still basically DM's team. His record is 16, 16, 15, 18, 5, 11. This season will probably be bottom half again.

Some might say you wouldn't expect Wigan to finish higher but both Paul Jewell and Steve Bruce finished higher than RM. Jewell managed 10th (and a League Cup final) and Bruce 11th and 14th. In seven years he hasn't learned the lesson that he needs to tighten up defensively so, sadly, for him and EFC, I doubt he ever will.

There is a fine line between being principled and being stubborn. Like RM, there's no defence, he has to go. Look where Leicester are with a good manager. Imagine if we had one?

Phil Gardner
17 Posted 07/03/2016 at 12:37:06
When the one-off starts to become the inevitable, a change is needed. Martinez needs to go. He’s the biggest liability at the club. Every other club knows we are a pretty pushover.

I’m shitting myself more when we are 2-0 up and playing well moreso than if we are 1-0 down with 10 mins left. This bloke has got me despising my own team...

Tony Draper
18 Posted 07/03/2016 at 12:58:42
When Roberto arrived I was really happy, and the team then played with style and panache and it genuinely seemed that "The School of Science" was reopened.

I don’t feel like that any longer and I can’t realistically say that it’s:

Tim Howard's fault for being terrified to step away from the line;

Phil Jagielka’s fault for being a gentleman centre-half;

John Stones's fault for showboating his silky skills inside our penalty area;

Ross Barkley's fault for not tracking back as much as Alan Ball would have done;

Gerard Deulofeu's fault for throwing a hissy when he gets upended;
Kevin Mirallas's fault for getting carried away trying to prove he deserves a start every week;

Gareth Barry’s fault for "taking another yellow for the team";

Muhammad Besic’s fault for tackling like a tiger in the "non contact Premier League"

Leon Osman's fault for not being lightening fast and/or built like a brick shithouse;

Romelu Lukaku’s fault for missing the odd chance;

It’s NOT their fault, or any of their teammates' fault. It’s Roberto Martinez and his backroom teams fault. The complete and utter lack of discipline flows throughout all of the above issues.

Over and Over.
Over and Over.
Over and Over.
Over and Over.
Over and Over.
Over and Over.

There is an extremely simple principle in psycho-therapeutic healing:

"When what you keep doing keeps failing, then try another way".

So, either YOU apply this Roberto, OR, YOU apply this Bill.

Because, as a dedicated fan, I have tried being patient, but now I will do that no longer......

Steve Hogan
19 Posted 07/03/2016 at 13:22:41
Phil, Kenwright wasn’t at the game on Saturday nor was the new guy. Only Woods was in the Directors Box.

Presume Kenwright is still too ill to make the journey from London?

Lee Hind
20 Posted 07/03/2016 at 13:45:26
Before I start, I’d like to say that broadly, I am NOT a Martinez apologist (although some are going to call that based on the content). I am however, interested in finding out where the issues with EFC this season lie.

The games that have been close that have resulted in us dropping points are being held up as some sort of proof that Martinez simply doesn’t know what he’s doing but I don’t think that is entirely fair.

Take Bournemouth (for me, the closest example of this being Martinez’s "fault" – we score after 4 mins injury time has elapsed and they score with 8 mins gone – what exactly is Martinez’s fault about that? We can assume he’s not telling them to concede and I do not think that 94-98 minutes is where a manager can make tactical changes to protect the lead – we were away and got suckered – it happens.

The 3-3 at Chelsea – we know Terry was a mile offside, anyone trying to blame Martinez for that needs to rest a while. If the flag goes up, we’re celebrating the tactical genius of Martinez taking 3 points from the Bridge.

West Ham – Mirallas gets sent off after 35 minutes and regardless of how you ’manage the game’, the team with 10 men is going to be knackered in the last 10 minutes – having watched the game, a bit of player discipline was needed – and please don’t tell me that’s up to Martinez because at 77 mins and 2-0 up, all footballers know what they have to do. Blame for this defeat (if you’re the kind of person who needs a scapegoat for every little thing) goes to Mirallas for being a tool and diving in when on a yellow.

I could go on, but I don’t need to – in summary, collecting this bag of coincidences up and labelling them as errors by the manager simply doesn’t stack up. Football is a game of so many influences that unless you’re losing every single game by a stack of goals, having away with the manager is only half the issue – see Swansea for details.

For my money, we are just a hair's breadth away from a very special team/squad and Martinez should be given the summer and the start of next season to address the issues that have come up this season.

Or we get shot of him at the end of the season and *hope* the next one is better... Didn’t we do that with Moyes though?

Helen Mallon
21 Posted 07/03/2016 at 13:47:32
He will only be sacked if there are protests and banners and walk outs.
Tom Bowers
22 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:00:48
You can only use the word ’’ unlucky’’ so many times and we fans and the management have long used up the allocation.

Saturday was a gut wrenching result but as we all know just one of too many this season.

It wouldn’t be a knee jerk reaction to fire RM right now and only for the fact that they are still in the Cup I believe it could well have happened by now.
If they exit the Cup on Saturday then there wouldn’t be a point in keeping RM on.

Would be better to see out the season with Big Dunc. and spend time canvassing for a solid replacement so he could work with the players during the off season in readiness for the next campaign.

Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:03:54
Lee (20) Of course every goal conceded and every point dropped cannot be assigned to bad managerial decisions or a lack of ability, however, if you or I as employees keep making the same mistakes in our jobs which ultimately costs the people we work for oodles of cash, we will suffer the consequences and if we are allowed to continue making the same errors or fail to meet targets mostly due to flagging in the latter part of the week, our line manager will be questioned, a) why has he allowed it to happen in the first place b) what has he done to address the issue.

The more I look at the tenure of Roberto, the more I think he has no inclination to change the way we play and neither will he blame his players. Obviously if we as workers had a boss like Roberto we would be delighted because we wouldn’t be under the microscope and we have a ready made excuse for any of our own failings.

Ultimately, we all want Everton to win football matches in a particular style, we have the style but we lack most of the other important ingredients which make up a consistent winning team – that is the manager and staff’s problem they have to find a solution before it’s too late for them.

Steavey Buckley
24 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:11:58
The West Ham game was not about hard luck but inept substitutions. With 12 minutes to, Martinez brings on another striker while Everton were under the cosh, instead of bringing on Baines and Barry to strengthen the defence – Martinez's inept substitutions have cost Everton a fortune in points.
Bob Skelton
25 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:22:33
Good article in the Guardian. Sums up Martinez completely

James Marshall
26 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:22:58
We’ve conceded more goals at home than Aston Villa – need we say more?
Iain Johnston
27 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:28:17
Lee (#20),

In all of the matches you’ve mentioned we’d held a commanding 2-goal advantage, as we did against Man City in the semi-final... We also conceded 2 goals in the last 10 minutes at home to Stoke, another 3 points dropped...

Don’t really understand your Moyes comment?

Martyn Thickitt
28 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:36:21
It has to be said what can we do about it, we can write what we like on these type of forums but who is exactly reading them? It isn’t the people who matter that is apparently clear, if so RM would be on the dole and half of this squad would be also added the national unemployment statistics.

All we can hope for is that come the summer the powers that be, i.e. the man with the money decides that RM is not the man to spend it, even though if there is a job as scout Bobby would be the man as he can spot a player it is just a pity he doesn’t know what to do with them when he has them.

I have been pro RM but now I can’t defend him anymore this last game has been his final nail as far as I’m concerned, he just has not got a clue how to see a game out. To concede the lead on 1 occasion can be deemed unlucky even twice but when it starts being a regular thing then something needs to done. Add these results to the others mentioned in the article then we are truly in a sorry state of affairs. We would be 4th or above with a decent manager. My only consolation is that there are 3 worse teams than Everton this season.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:38:48
Steve (12) " he’s not the complete player yet"

Steve he’s 22 years of age and if he carries on playing like he does, he will never be a complete player. I accept he is getting coached wrongly by Martinez, this part of his game should have been well coached into by now.

Yes, if he goes he will go for a lot of money, think how much he would go for if he put tackling and closing down into his game, basic parts of being a footballer, he is getting an easy ride off Martinez who is doing him no favours.

I understand he might be still affected by his bad injury of four years ago, try and get him sorted out mentally. I know everyone is different but Bryan Robson broke his leg THREE times when he was a young player at WBA, and came back each time and got on with it.

Steve, I understand you sticking up for Ross but you are not helping him by turning a blind eye to his huge failings as a defensive player, it’s a big part of being a player, I have never seen a player who does less in this part of the game. You could mention Sheedy but even Kevin had a nuisance value in this respect, Ross has just got to change or he will never become the player he can be.

Dave Lynch
30 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:47:08
Narcissist springs to mind.

No matter what the result or the performance, it's never his fault.

The man shows no humility only arrogance and a well honed ability to avoid any questions that may involve self critisism.

Ian Glassey
31 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:53:57
Tom 22.

No way do we want Big Dunc or any of Robbies backroom staff taking over, not even to the end of the season they are all part of the problem. They should all be shown the door at the end of the season, and bring someone like Frank de Boer in.

De Boer brings young talent through, he was a world class defender and would sort that side out. His backroom staff at Ajax include Dennis Bergkamp I am sure they could get us fired up.

It is no use changing now we would not get anyone of note in, not that any of this matters as he will still be manager come next season..

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 07/03/2016 at 14:58:50
Ian (31) Ian one of the coaches at Finch Farm is known as BBC, that stands for Bibs, Balls and Cones.
Patrick Murphy
33 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:08:32
These are the men responsible for the football side of Everton FC

Somebody used the phrase "Baghdad Bob" to refer to Roberto, in an article I was reading earlier, a reference to the former media spokesman for Iraq who insisted that all was well and going to plan despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Perhaps some Evertonians will decide to have a pack of playing cards made with those pictures of the back-room staff – I have no doubt who would make the Ace of Spades!

Richard Dodd
34 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:09:49
Have no fear, I return to ToffeeWeb not to lobby for the return of Davey Moyes but to urge the Board (whoever they may be !) to carry out all due diligence when the time comes to replace Roberto.

I always regarded him as a sloppy appointment as any Pie Eater could have told Uncle Bill what to expect.... bullshit, philosophies and disappointments.

Sure they rejoiced in winning the FA Cup but that was nothing as to the ignominy of relegation. And, I am very reliably assured, Grandad Dave couldn't wait to unload the Catalan on his bessy mate!

So, even as we debate Roberto's future, we are all entitled to hope that some top football brains are being retained to identify the very best man – at home or abroad – capable of being an outstanding manager of our great club.

Forget Moyes, Stubbs, Hughes and Howe... this job is too big for them and their ilk, this is New Everton where, just for once, they will do things properly!

Bill Gall
35 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:12:30
The major problem that these results are causing is the likes of Lukaku, Stones, and a couple of other players may have thought that there was a promising future at the club "IF" (there’s that word again) we finished in a position a lot of supporters expected, with the squad we have.

With the extra TV finances coming in, any good offers coming in for these players will most probably see them not hesitate for a move.

It is not only the past season and this one that the Manager has ruined it is the future of the club that is in jeopardy.

Although the manager has to take full responsibility and take the criticism of what is happening, he should be taking a close look at his coaching staff (who the majority he has had with him at Wigan and some at Swansea) and evaluate them in performance and not as confidants. A one-man band is no way to run a team.

Ian Glassey
36 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:27:45
A lot of us had issues with Moyes me for one, his final four seasons were crap. Then there was Smith he was bad, but in the 58 years I have been going to the Old Lady, I have never known so much bad feeling.

I walked out when the third goal went in, I was in the gents in the Park End and men were squaring up to each other – that's how bad things are. I was made up when Roberto got the job; he was my choice, and I have tried to back him but no more.

Everything is down to somebody else – never his fault, just man up and admit the job is to big for you.

Paul Kossoff
37 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:44:37
"Be careful of what you wish for" goes the saying. With our theatrical Chairmen still in charge, what are the odds for David Moyes being our next manager?

I pray he won’t be, but after all, this is Everton.

Steve Hogan
38 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:49:54
Dave (29)

I'm not 'sticking up' for Ross at all, but he certainly doesn't deserve the vitriol I've heard thrown his way at games all last season and most of this, that should be reserved for our hapless manager.

By the way, Kevin Sheedy could'nt tackle for his life, Bracewell and Reid did that part for him, perhaps you prefer a plodder like McCarthy, also I don't recall Le Tissier tackling anybody over 15 year period at Southampton?

David Harrison
39 Posted 07/03/2016 at 16:02:03
As soon as the penalty was missed, I turned to my lad and said 2-2. Only half right then!

Totally and utterly fed up with this guy in charge. A poor start to next season will see us doing a Villa. Any team that can collapse in such a manner time and time again can never consider itself to be anything other than cannon fodder.

Martinez has reduced us to little more than easy meat for genuine challengers. Please put him out of his misery before he takes us down next year and don’t give him the opportunity to put a sticking plaster of the FA Cup over the gaping wound that is our Goodison record.

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 07/03/2016 at 16:19:38
Steve (38) I was praising you for supporting Ross by the way.we are all supporting him and want him to do well,

And you are right he doesn't deserve vitriol but Steve to be honest it's mostly exasperation that is thrown at Ross, wouldn't mind betting you've had a go yourself without going overboard.

I did say that Kevin Sheedy couldn't tackle but he did attempt to stop a man or hold his progress up, Barkley does neither, I think McCarthy is more than a plodder and although not as good as Peter Reid ( who was ) he plays just as an important part as Barkley, I think I have got your age right and you saw the 1963 team, Dennie Stevens role was as vital as any other of the players, and no he wasn't as good to watch but still essential to the team.

Steve, again I admire you for coming out and supporting Ross, he is very good, he can be, and hopefully will be a much better player, more importantly I hope it is with Everton.

Jack Mason
41 Posted 07/03/2016 at 16:53:35
@ 34. Welcome back Richard.
Ray Roche
42 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:11:03
Dave, Steve, I doubt if we'll see the best of Ross until we get a manager who can get the best out of ALL the team, not just Ross, and get them playing in such a manner that we don't squander points week after week. Give that team confidence and a manager who knows what he's doing and we'll fly up that League. European football in one competition or another would be a given.
Barry Jones
43 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:14:44
Dave, I concur. As talented as Ross may be on the ball, he lacks ANY defensive quality, and that doesn't mean just tackling. Both Ross and Rom just go walkabout when we loose possession of the ball.

Steve, the game has changed considerably since LeTissier was playing. In today's game, many teams play with ALL of their players pressing. Barcelona recent past and present are a great example. Have you ever watched TALENTED players like Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Suarez, and noticed what a tremendous defensive shift they put in.

This is a winning style of play and a winning mentality from winning coaches, such as Klopp, Pochettino and even Brenda. Brenda had the very talented Balotelli but he was jettisoned because his work rate was close to nil.

Teams today need ALL ten outfield players pressing and working hard for each other, eight or nine will not cut it. Tottenham may will win the league this year because at long last they have got some balls.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:20:11
I feel one way to "press", Barry, is to allow them fewer players in our half and us with more in their half, when they have the ball. Leave Ross the other side of the halfway line all the time, with Rom. He'll occupy another man there, who might have been in our half; he'll not allow that extra man free rein in our half; he'll be able to support a fast break with Rom. Leave him in the other half all the time.
Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:29:07
Phil Kirkbride in the Echo says that not replacing Sylvain Distin is a reason for Everton shipping so many goals from crosses, he writes "During Martinez’s first season in charge, Everton kept 15 clean sheets in the league, their highest number since the 17 Moyes’ Everton kept in 2008-09. Fourteen of those shut-outs came with Sylvain Distin in the starting line-up.

The decision to allow the experienced Frenchman to leave the club last summer still felt right, age can quickly catch-up on you, but it begs the question; have Everton found an adequate replacement?

It would seem that Phil Kirkbride's view is correct, particularly when Everton allowed West Ham to cross the ball 35 times into our box.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:32:37
Ray (42) yes I agree that Martinez is not getting the best out of Ross, I did mention earlier in this thread that Barkley is being wrongly by the manager. You, Brent and Barry all mention good points and along with Steve Hogan we all want Ross to improve and be the player he can be, I think the criticism, or most of it on here is constructive criticism, if anyone ever takes any notice of it.

By the way, if anyone watches the U21s tonight on BT Sport you will see a clone of Ross’s, Keiron Dowell, he is great with the ball could be a lot better off it. Then again, he might have changed since I last saw him three months ago.

Steve Boardman
47 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:34:40
If you haven’t already seen it this is a damning indictment of Martinez, likening him to many (all?) of Wenger’s worst features:

It looks like some sections of the media are finally waking up to the problems we have at Goodison with Martinez and the fantasy world he inhabits.

Michael Polley
48 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:47:31
I fear we will have him for another season. The summer is going to be critical for us. We need to keep our young players, although Stones can go for £50 mil if he wants, but we must hold onto Lukaku. Without his goals, we would be fighting relegation. Barkley is work-in-progress, but has raw talent.

We need to strengthen our defence. Christ, it’s like a sieve at the moment. We cannot defend high balls coming into the box, so a battle hardened central defender is much needed, and a decent goalkeeper who is not afraid to command his box.

Hopefully with the new investment we can persuade Lukaku & Co to give us at least another season to improve on things, and to bring in some quality players. There is only one problem – Martinez. The guy I feel will never change his philosophy, and is dragging our great club down.

Maybe our new co-owner will also see this and get rid, but if that happens, it needs to happen before the summer. We must be able to bring in a manager asap so that we can plan over the summer period.

If we get beaten by Chelsea at the weekend, will Martinez go?

Jack Mason
49 Posted 07/03/2016 at 17:58:33
@ Patrick 45. Which is why I argued earlier in the season that to not find a replacement for Distin during pre-season was negligent. Additionally, failing to find a goalkeeper capable of replacing Tim Howard as well. Instead we saw the fruitless pursuit of Yamolenko, when our attacking options were the least of our weaknesses.

It characterizes the whole philosophy behind the manager and it’s inherent flaws. Martinez in his own words describes teams who seek to nullify an opposing teams attacking prowess as parasitic.

Surely a more coherent strategy and one practiced by even his mentor Guardiola, is a combination of both attacking flair and preventing an opponents team from punishing you.

Mark Daley
51 Posted 07/03/2016 at 18:20:01
It’s better to wait until the end of the season because there will be more managers available; a caretaker will do until then – give Tony Hibbert a go!


Phil Walling
52 Posted 07/03/2016 at 18:31:32
First, good to see Richard Dodd back and for once talking a lot of sense @ 34.

Leaving aside personalities, I've thought all season that the problem is not so much the defence as the defending. Every player has a part to play in this aspect of the game and Lennon epitomized that on Saturday.

The idea of coaching the defenders in glorious isolation went out years ago but the entire concept seems to have been rejected in Roberto's Dream World.

Perhaps a couple of sessions on 'set pieces with Pulis' ought to be commissioned post haste!

Graham Mockford
53 Posted 07/03/2016 at 18:38:28
Dave #29

Sorry to be a stuck record but Barkley plays better at No.10 as part of a front three. The last two games he has been back to part of a middle three due to illnesses of Cleverley and Barry. Against Villa it didn't really matter but on Saturday with a man down, inexplicable substitutions we got found out....... again!

I thought he put a real shift in on Saturday but like most, other than McCarthy, he ran out of steam. He is not a natural defender and by playing him in that role we are less robust and you get less from him in an attacking sense.

Assuming Barry returns and one of Cleverley or Besic plays I think you will see him return there on Saturday.

Saturday was a sickener, but it is easy to knee jerk. I see for many Funes Mori has gone from world beater to write off in 12 minutes. However it is not knee jerking to question the ethos and tactics of this manager. He won't be going anywhere before the end of the summer but a poor end to the season could well see changes.

Ged Simpson
54 Posted 07/03/2016 at 18:40:49
Sense Doddy
Jack Mason
55 Posted 07/03/2016 at 18:46:47
"The problem is not so much the defence as the defending" I agree with that point Phil. Even with additional reinforcements you would hope that the personnel at the club would be capable enough. Apparently not though.

The problem besides the coaching aspect is that, a) Martinez has a system that can take the lead, no doubt. But it appears, b) he doesn’t have a system to protect one. Or if he does it reverts back to point A. Maybe based on keeping possession and/or out scoring the opposition. If that is true he either has to change or be sacked.

At times it feels like we are a footballing experiment. An experiment that has repeatedly been tested and failed. Isn’t it about time we appointed someone who’s track record and methods demonstrates success consistently?

Eddie Dunn
56 Posted 07/03/2016 at 18:55:16
It is clear that Distin has left a void in the defence. It was rumoured that pre-season, we were looking at Scott Dann, and Ogbonna, and the impressive Alderweireld. All of these big strong lads have done well this season, while our own weedy lot have been out-jumped or out-muscled all to frequently.

Of course we could do better to stop the crosses in the first place, and that responsibility is shared by the whole team bar Lukaku. At home with 10 men, we played so open, and somehow got a second goal. We then continued to play the same way and it could be argued that the manager got it right and we would have won the game had Lukaku been a little less complacent on the penalty, or if he had prodded in his one-on-one with Adrian.

However, it is what happened after the penalty miss that summed-up the manager’s short-comings. It has already been examined by all above and it is exasperating that we all have to endure this Groundhog Day moment with such regularity. I am beyond sick of it, and now expect us to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in every game.

We will soon meet a rejuvenated Chelsea, at home, where most of our calamities have occurred. I really can’t see us winning it, as I feel that the players have lost faith in Martinez, and some of them have made their minds up that they will either be off in the summer, or a new man will be at the helm, with new funds to build anew.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 07/03/2016 at 19:01:29
Graham (53), feel free to comment, my point about Ross, doesn’t if he up front, where I agree he is better used, or further back, it is lack of defensive play no matter where he is, he is being given a free hand by Martinez and it is just not helping Ross to progress. I think most of us would agree that he will improve much quicker with a different manager, some one who will be tougher on him and work him harder.

To me when you play football it just comes natural to get stuck in when your team is under pressure, you know the saying Graham, old but true, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Come on, Ross, tackling won’t hurt you, it’s all in your head.

John Steadman
58 Posted 07/03/2016 at 19:08:06
No ifs or buts – it's TAXI time for Roberto.

We are just a better Wigan, no more no less. Good job there are several worse teams than us this season. Without Lukaku's goals we would be in the mix for relegation this season.

Dave Lynch
59 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:04:39
Welcome back the return of the legend that is Doddy.

What the hell have they been putting in the ale in the Freshy Rich?

You are starting to make sense old buddy.

Simon Dutton
60 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:19:31
I think Roberto Martinez is the right manager to get the best out of Barkley, I don’t want him to defend I want him running at players.

How can you say that we are not getting the best out of him, he has scored more goals than any player 22 and under and created more goals than any player 22 and under in The Premier League.

Not sure what else people want.

James Marshall
61 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:28:44
We let West Ham cross the ball 35 times. No wonder they scored from two of them.

At half time when Andy Carrol came on, was I the only one who thought, "there's gonna be plenty of crosses to deal with second half", of course I wasn't, but apparently it was only me, all of you and everyone inside Goodison Park, apart from Blinkers Bob who just stood there arms folded while they pumped the ball into our box over & over again.

It's so simple - the man just doesn't care what the opposition has planned, he just carries on regardless. I almost think it's pre-planned on his part, that he's going to do one thing no matter how the games pan out and be damned if it all goes south.

In some ways you have to admire him for it but I agree now, 3 years is enough - he hasn't got it sorted so end of the season I would have him clear his desk.

Dennis Ng
62 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:43:11
While I don't disagree with some of the flaws of our young players, I think there is a huge distortion on their performance because our manager is a relegation fodder. They are not coached well.

Perhaps if Barkley (or Lukaku or whoever) continues to play as such under, say, SAF, then I might agree. For now, it is all rm, because he controls everything and ships anyone who disagrees out immediately.

Colin Glassar
63 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:47:30
Hard luck? Hard luck? Ten men Everton blew a 2-0 lead with minutes to go. Ten men Liverpool won 1-2 with seconds to go. You make your own luck Roberto by playing for 90 mins ffs.
Barry Lambert
64 Posted 07/03/2016 at 21:39:36
Utterly ridiculous substitutions, as usual.

Not wishing to defend Roberto, but what the hell is the gobshite linesman doing? He's standing on the goal line. He can give offside if a players knob is in an offside position but he can't see that the goalie is two yards off his line before Rom strikes the ball!

Salt in a gaping wound.

Ray Roche
65 Posted 07/03/2016 at 22:25:59
Simon Dutton #60

Simon, I think that we CAN say that Martinez won’t get the best out of Ross while he plays him in different roles in different games. Find his best position and play him there. Like you, I want him picking the ball up and running at people, some through balls he has played for Rom are breathtaking; let's get him in a position to do that every week.

OK, a guy with a frame as big as him wont be tearing about the pitch like Lennon will but he should be able to tackle back some of the time .

Steve Hogan
66 Posted 07/03/2016 at 23:39:41
Ray Roche (65) Nail on head as far as Ross is concerned.
Ian Jones
68 Posted 08/03/2016 at 06:08:41
Patrick @ 42.

Didn't realise West Ham had put 35 crosses into our box. If someone was to direct that stat to Roberto he would say that we defended 32 of them magnificently.

Andrew Bentley
72 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:41:10
The frustration for us all is how open this league is this year. With the games people have mentioned above we should have been at least 12 points better off and gunning for the title.

We have some great quality going forwards but we are abysmal at defending. This season already feels gone to me and is such a missed opportunity.

Jim Lloyd
73 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:48:01
The danger is, we start arguing/debating, the relative merits or weaknesses of individual players until we lose focus of the overall pattern...and I hope I just don't do a perfect example now!

My assessment of Ross Barkley is that he is capable and produces, wonderful skills and shows great perception in his passing. I'm not blaming him here for what happened on Saturday, nor Rom for his penalty shot (well, I'd love to have seen him just belt it!)

The weakness that Ross has in my view, is his total lack of awareness about defending. Ian Rush scored buundles of goals but another major aspect of his play was his chasing any player down, who had the ball in the opposition half.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that the lad has strengths and weaknesses, as all players do. In my view he is a "luxury player" and ought to be recognised as such until and if, he can master the defensive side of his duties.

What I'm trying to say is I am not being critical or blaming Ross for his part in Saturday's defeat. I am saying that leaving him for the last half hour or so was a poor decision by Martinez (one of several which made it a lot easier for West Ham to get back in the game and then go on top win it.)

Once we were down to ten men, tiredness was almost certainly a factor but I thought we were putting up a great show. Once we'd gone 2 goals up, we were still mostly controlling the game but I think the last half hour was where we ought to have been "shutting up shop"

Taking Lennon off was, I thought, leaving a great gap down the left which West Ham fully capitalised on. Unless he was dying on his feet, the mere fact that he was on the pitch made WH very wary of attacking down that flank, in case he did them again. Not only that, his tracking back was giving their players very little time on the ball

Any bunch of us, in the pub, going home by train, driving home or whatever, if a few of us together would probably have had views on who we would have brought on as subs and why. Besic and Barry, would have been my first two (Barry for Barkley)

I think we all (or most of have a certain amount of agreement on what we Woludn't have done. And that was bring the new lad on in a "all hands to the pumps" situation.

So the thoughts I had, going home (as well as total despair!) was that we can look at the various strengths, mistakes, total crazy (Mirallas) actions that players did during the match. But all in all, I was proud of our players foir the way they fought, produced exciting football, made West Ham look like a bunch of strugglers for 3/4s of the game.

I thought they were let down, not so much by individuals, but by not having the weapons to complete the job.

That, in my view, was when I thought that as much as I like Roberto Martinez and as much as I appreciate the ghood things he's brought to EFC, he is not likely to ever be able to complete the job.

I certainly think he is on borrowed time now. If Kenwright had still been in charge I could not see the Manager being sacked until at least another season had gone by (unless the crowd were almost rioting in the streets!)

But we now have a new man in charge (assuming/hoping, the P/L ratify his shareholding this week.) I think he has only come into the club after very closely monitoring all aspects of EFC.

Although Kenwright is still Chairman, I think Mr Moshiri will be the man who amkes the decisions. I don't know if Roberto Martinez will last the season out; but my thoughts are that he will.

What I do think, is that Mr Moshiri will be laying out expectations and setting targets for all the coaching staff, the crporate wotsit staff, in fact the whole structure of the the club.

I think that as soon as he hgas his shares ratified, he will interview the Manager, and he will be ready to take action at the end of the season.

I don't see David Moyes as a likely candidate, nor the lad from Bournemouth, as much as I like his style. If he is going to change managers, I think he will go for the very best that is available.

If we want to keep our top players and recruit more, then we have to offer them a realistic vision of success.

We are starved of it, there is an opportuntity to reach for it, but sadly, I don't think we are going to achieve it with Roberto.

Frank Thomas
74 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:04:18
Lee (20) I agree with you we have had a lot of very bad referee decisions against us this year and with correct ones we would have been further up the table. However contrast that against Roberto's terrible use of the incorrect subs in the West Ham, WBA and Man Utd games and the direct result was the loss of vital points. That's not luck but the wrong mentality.

I liked the definition of luck from one commentator. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. We all know how and where we are conceding goals so how come Roberto on his £3M+ pa salary does not?

Abhishek Saha
75 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:11:52
@ Lee Hind # 20.... I was a very stubborn Martinez fan till I saw his substitutions against West Brom and West Ham, I repeat "substitutions" which do not need a great deal of luck to make. Perhaps, you're a more stubborn fan than me.

Without making any generalist comments, let me be very specific about whatever you said.

Bournemouth game: You blame the result on the 2 goals traded deep in injury time, we would like to blame the result on the 2 goal lead squandered in the last 10 mins.

Chelsea: You blame the result on Terry being offside, we would like to blame the result on the 2 goal lead squandered in the last 25 mins.

West Ham: You blame the result on 10 men obviously getting knackered by 3 goals in the last 10 mins, then obviously we wonder how we weren't able to knacker 11 man West Brom even once for 90 minutes, including the last 10 mins.

And you're absolutely right in saying that you could go on, but you don’t need to.

Paul Washington
76 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:57:43
How much more of this fantasist do we have to suffer???

The players are demoralised, the fans mystified and bordering on revolt, rumours abound about players falling out with RM.

Everyone can see the defensive failings and unfitness of the team apart from the one who matters most. He has to go now, as I feel next season he will Wigan us, as everybody knows our failings.

Michael Coffey
77 Posted 08/03/2016 at 11:46:32
Martinez is good at the things a manager doesn’t have to do himself – scouting, nutrition, PR, even tactics. The core stuff of leadership, team selection, match management, he cannot handle.

And this philosophy stuff isn’t a substitute for that; he is becoming the Malcolm Allison of his generation. Great ideas but useless without the hard nosed experience of a Joe Mercer next to him.

Niall McIlhone
78 Posted 08/03/2016 at 11:52:20
Jim (#74). My thoughts exactly on the Lennon substitution. Not only did he dominate the game, he lifted the crowd no end – every time he sprinted 10 or 15 yards back to try to win the ball, there were huge roars of approval as if to say to the others, "That is what we want to see!!!"

Lennon looks fully fit, and when the crowd are with you like that, I expect you don’t want to be substituted... but no, Bobby took him off and God knows what instructions Niasse was given because he looked like he had no compass at all.

Returning to the thrust of the article: Yes, Martinez and his post-match verbal gymnastics have worn thin, it’s just embarrassing now and I would sooner see him out the door with his bib & balls men now than wait until the season end.

The cost of this will be a moot point when the takeover is completed. A shame, because I think RM will be a very good manager one day, but not in England, where the physicality is as important as the technical / tactical aspects.

Jason Broome
80 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:16:53
Let us all hope that this is not lazy journalism.

Moshiri’s and his assistants are probably researching ’everything’ Everton so I’m at ease knowing that they have probably been on ToffeeWeb as well as other sites.

So why would a very intelligent, successful businessman waste time on a manager who hasn’t grown in 7 years or another unimpressive up and comer. Expect Moshiri to make a rather large statement of intent. Why else would he leave Arsenal?

Either Martinez grows as a manager or goes as a manager! Here’s hoping for a big name boss to take us forward and inspire our best players to stay.

Paul Conway
81 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:31:19
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has an increasingly uncertain future at the club amid rising supporter unrest. (NBC)

BBC Sport, Football gossip.


Andrew Ellams
82 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:04:20
Jason Broome as that article comes from the Express I'm surprised it doesn't say EU migrant faces boot after stealing UK job.
Kim Vivian
83 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:04:44
On the subject of luck and bad refereeing decisions – our penalty miss was the result of a bad refereeing decision. That should not have been a penalty.

Just our luck! Another bad refereeing decision led us to miss the penalty which led to us losing. Surprised RM hasn’t used that excuse thus far!

Ironically we probably would have won but for that.

Paul Conway
84 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:07:00
And the former Celtic and Blackburn Rovers striker Sutton had no sympathy for Martinez.

"I think Martinez in his interviews is becoming a joke and an embarrassment," Sutton said on BBC Radio 5Live.

"After every game he blames everybody, everybody other than himself.

"Whatever you say about Mirallas at the weekend, he deserved to go off. What is the argument?

"He blames everybody, but ultimately he has to sort his team out defensively.

"Have they underachieved this year? Absolutely."

Related articles
Newcastle rocked as David Moyes opens up on potential job opportunity
Roberto Martinez facing Everton sack if results don’t improve – Just read this, great, more fuel to the fire!!!

Jason Broome
85 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:08:23
Andrew... bloody funny!
Patrick Murphy
86 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:20:00
Kim (84) Roberto has used that as an excuse in a roundabout way when he said "It's more that we felt we had something to lose. Winning the penalty was a massive high but then missing it was an emotional low, and all of a sudden we gave West Ham momentum that unfortunately they got a big reward from.

I wish I was back in Scotland when I could watch "only an excuse" a sports based satirical comical TV programme, they'd have a field day with Roberto.

Frank Thomas
87 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:45:11
Steve (47) where did you find that article? I urge every TW reader to follow Steve's link. I don't think I will sleep tonight. The number of goals conceded by Wigan under Martinez would be a great score for any cricketing batsman.
The article is absolutely spot on describes the Manager to a tee.
James Marshall
88 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:51:58
I love his latest bollocks:

“We've grown as a team, we've shown we can score goals and defend really really well, but then we go into periods where we can't really defend and we get hurt too easy and concede goals that affect scorelines with extreme ease.

“I felt the last six games we'd found a really consistent level of performance in different competitions, keeping very good clean sheets.

“On Saturday, to be so good for 78 minutes, half of which was with 10 men, and then concede three goals in 12 minutes, it makes no sense.”

It makes perfect sense to the rest of us!!

Keith Conchie
89 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:56:13
I have always been a big fan of Martinez since he arrived, and have always said that we should give him time to build his squad and allow it to mature.

I think he’s brought in some really good players and improved some existing players abilities. And I love our style of play, but only when the time is right.

The West Ham game was the turning point for me, I can’t defend him anymore. 2-0 up and cruising along, and you couldn’t even tell we were down to 10 men. Then he makes the strangest substitutions and it all goes wrong.

It kills me to say it because as I said I’ve always supported him since he arrived, but sadly I can’t anymore.

Someone needs to come in and keep this talented squad together and get the best out of them, cos I think they could really achieve something special.

Patrick Murphy
90 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:56:50
Louis Saha as quoted in the Echo speaking about Romelu Lukaku
Sounds like a done deal?

I have to admit that I rated Lukaku highly when he was at Chelsea, when he was young. I could see he was not ready, but now he has performed really well at Everton. And definitely he will bring something to the United side because he is strong, he has got that presence to trouble the central defenders. With someone like Lukaku on United’s side, especially his presence around the box, along with [Anthony] Martial playing on the left and [Wayne] Rooney also linking with Lukaku, it will be great.

Notice the last part of the last sentence "It will be great" and not it 'Would be great'

Matthew Ulm
91 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:57:31
From Ian MacIntosh’s column "Heroes and Villians" on ESPNFC:

"If you had to pick one team in the Premier League most likely to turn a two-goal advantage into a defeat inside just 12 minutes, you’d pick Everton every time. Every time. Roberto Martinez’s side are young, exciting and bold, but there seems to be no scenario so secure that they can’t find a way to mess up. You wouldn’t trust them to make a salad for fear that they’d somehow burn the kitchen down. It’s so frustrating even for the neutral because there’s no question that this team should be trying to push for the top four. Instead, they’re just trying our patience."

James Marshall
92 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:01:34
Patrick - you often see/read interviews like this from people who's first language is not English - I've taught English as a foreign language and I can assure you that people (especially French and Spanish speakers) really struggle with tenses, as per the Saha interview.

Honestly, I wouldn't read too much into it.

Tony Hill
93 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:04:34
I don't like to see Martinez entering the phase, as he has now done, where he becomes a laughing stock. It is distasteful and painful to watch.

That is another reason why the owner(s) need to act quickly and decisively. Waiting does RM himself absolutely no favours at all and can only lead to bitterness and deterioration of goodwill all round.

Patrick Murphy
94 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:08:37
James (#93)

I fully appreciate what you say but seriously do any of us honestly believe that Lukaku will be an Everton player at the start of next season? Add this albeit flimsy evidence to the chase for another striker which has surfaced in the last 24 hours and I start to think that the die has been caste regarding the future of Rom.

Whether Stones stays is open to question too. Only Everton could get a new investor and still lose some of the better players in the squad, mind you the Premier League seem to be taking their time in rubber-stamping that deal too. Oh well... at least we’ll have to pay 5% less for our season tickets!

James Marshall
95 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:13:59
Well it’s fair to say that at some point Rom will leave - nobody stays forever these days, or rather it’s increasingly rare. He’s not an Evertonian and he’s always stated he’d like to play in the Champions League so is it really news that Lukaku will leave?

Let’s face it, he’s unlikely to play in the CL with us, and even if we do get into it I can’t see it for several years yet – if at all given the money and strength coming into so many teams in the league now.

We could well see Leicester City and West Ham Utd in the CL next year so you never know – what’s the betting on Mirallas going to West Ham since being linked all those times?

Patrick Murphy
96 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:22:35
James (#96),

I always thought it likely we would lose our stars it has become an inevitable fact of life but with Bill finally getting in new money added to the increased TV deal, I thought we may have a chance of hanging on to the young talent for another season. However, we are such a bit part player in the new age that now even with money we are still resigned to losing football games and losing our best players why on earth do any of us bother?

We can start celebrating next season when we once again retain our Premier League status as we wait for our newest expensive striker to bed in as he fails to reach double figures and the new expensive goalkeeper to settle down following so many errors which have cost us points.

Aston Villa and Everton have so much in common it’s untrue.

David Hallwood
97 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:22:50
Lee Hind(#20) Sorry mate...not having that. What is clear about Martinez that he believes only in his philosophy and therefore isn't a reactive coach. Last Saturday WHU bought on Carroll and Sackho (?). What was fairly bleedin' obvious was they were going to lump ball into the box at the two target men.

Now any other coach would've reacted to this, but not our Bobby; so what would 99.99% of coaches have done, 2-0 up a man down and 15 minutes to go. How about take Lennon off and put Baines on behind Ovideo, and/or take Barkley off and put Barry or Osman on with the instruction STOP THE CROSSES.

What does our 'genius' do? replaces our MOTM midfielder with a half-fit striker who's new to the English game.I must admit, it's got novelty value, as is his 'innovative' attitude toward set pieces, which he doesn't think is worthy of even discussing let alone practising them.

More and more Bobby is sounding like a little boy in the hard-nosed cynical, pragmatic world. Unable to stoop to running the clock down or packing the midfield or defence to gain the point or points. Instead we have this purist who would rather lose rather than win the wrong way. Please Bobby go now and try to find Utopia somewhere else.

Phil Walling
98 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:28:11
Patrick, I'm beginning to think that most on here would be happy to see the back of Stones and his 'fancy dan' defending. Particularly if suitors see him as worth spending upwards of £35M on. Expect him to go.

Lukaku is a different kettle of fish altogether. Lose him and we are bottom half next season for certain. And I'm hearing Ciasse is already looking 'a pig in a poke' !

Mirallas will be a gonner – hooray, say some – and Deulofeu can't be too enamoured of Roberto. Good job Ross will stay loyal, though, ain't it ?

Patrick Murphy
99 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:32:52
Phil (99) Do you have the contact numbers for Pulis, Moyes or Allardyce - it's looking like we may need one of them next season and I'm not joking!
James Marshall
100 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:35:10

There's absolutely an argument for chairmen, owners, board members, shareholders to be 'happy' by purely being in the Premier League nowadays - a stark reality of modern football is that winning things only really matters to supporters given how much money you get just for being in the Premier League now.

So in answer to your question - do they care? We bother because it's ingrained in us to bother or care - this is exactly the reason why FIFA have made football such a money-spinner. Because no other sport captures so many people from a young age like football does, and they know we have our lives invested in it.

All they have invested in it is money.

Nick Page
101 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:54:10
We've all had enough. Just go now. Please
Keith Glazzard
102 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:54:14
Terry’s offside goal cost us two points. Sterling’s cross from a ball that was well out went a long way to putting us out of a semifinal.

Apart from that, we should have 10 to 15 more points than we have, and it is the manager’s fault. The problems have been there for all to see and not addressed. And his substitution of Lennon on Saturday put the bloody tin lid on it.

We have to hope that we beat Chelsea on Saturday. But if we don’t, he should be on a very definite yellow card.

David Graves
103 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:05:08
Yes he should go. No doubt. But for god sake what about us showing a bit of bottle and ambition regards his replacement? I am amazed that people can seriously call for Pullis, Allardyce and even Rowett.
Ian Riley
104 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:09:04
I cannot buy the hard luck stories from Martinez. Once or twice yes but we consistently keep defending poorly and giving leads away. There is a flaw in how Martinez implements our style. Most managers watch the game over and over again. Reflecting on future improvements and positives. Are we improving as a team? Results show not.

My biggest concern under Martinez is our work ethic. Players are being carried in certain matches. Midfield is too light, no workers and our pace is too slow. This placing more pressure on the defence. Managers place more emphasis on the work rate and putting in a shift. Moyes demanded it and it showed in our fitness levels. Winning the battle first is essential in football.

Martinez has been a manager in the premiership for Severn years. How lucky you are with your record. You must change your methods or being a pundit will be your next job. Sadly, I believe a new manager is required.

Mark Tanton
105 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:31:40
The Telegraph is reporting that players in the camp are beginning to grow unhappy at the current set up and want to be part of a "team that wins".

There is a small head of steam blowing up here.

Alan Thompson
106 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:41:44
I don’t think we’ll see any players leave in the off-season as to open the door might see a mass exodus. If we based it on positions on which we have the most/best cover the it may be Stones.

We’ve seen Martinez can put his foot down as he did in the Stones/Chelsea episode and I would imagine that if he was replaced then any incoming manager would not release players unless he was sure of bringing in tried players he had previously managed.

We really do have to coach those areas where we have problems just to play on a level pitch.

Dennis Ng
107 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:42:10
I was just watching how ESPN interviewed Adrian Heath who said we should keep rm. My only response, we can ship him to Orlando then. Pretty football is the only positive and I'm sure it is a better attraction down in Orlando than in a more competitive league like the EPL.

Mark, what took them so long? Are they starting to hear rumors from their own agents? If that's the case, Moshiri needs to act sooner rather than later.

Jarrod Prosser
108 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:46:30
I'm still reeling from Saturday's match.

Yes, we played for an hour with 10 men. Yes, West Ham are really quite good (think about the press they'd get in any non-Leicester season). But to lose in that fashion, no matter the circumstances, still hurts.

I must say that, as I watched the game, I kept thinking how well the new formation was working. It was a shame that Mirallas lost his head, because I thought Martinez may have pulled a rabbit from the hat. Even after half-time, we had things well under control (under a new formation – again, Martinez was coming up trumps) up to the penalty miss.

From there, things were a blur. The obvious turning point in the immediate analysis was Lennon's withdrawal but, as I watched, I felt nervous even before that change – and a few on the ToffeeWeb Live Forum felt the same. I dismissed it at the time as my typical pessimism, but I came across this article from the excellent SB Nation that goes some way to quantifying where the game slipped away.

There is a lot of negativity (on the whole, rightly so) from Evertonians about Martinez. I think the SB article is quite balanced in regards to how it treats Martinez's management of this game against general game management.

Anyway, I thought this would be an interesting read for you all.

COYB & with any luck (or management) on to Wembley!
Patrick Murphy
109 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:48:17
David (104) I only brought those three names into the equation because it would seem that we will lose our ace goalscorer during the summer. There is a good chance that Roberto will still be here at the start of the next campaign. If his team continues to concede the amount of goals we have this season, we could be in the lower portion of the league come Christmastime.

If that were to be the case, we would need a firefighter manager to come to our rescue. I sense that the investment may not be what we all had hoped it would be and the Everton way of doing things will continue at least for the next six months or so. The sense of optimism that briefly overtook me a week last Saturday has already disappeared, such is life as an Evertonian.

Kevin O'Regan
110 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:52:08
Spring Cleaning Time me thinks. Lots of talk – what about action?

Don’t tell me there’s no point, as nothing will happen etc... that’s crap. Maybe not a fairy Godmother with 3 wishes etc. but if the fans show their displeasure then maybe his royal highness might start feeling the pressure. So, time for creativity – time for action.

Season Tickets, late arrival to match, tennis balls, grim reaper, turn the backs to pitch, NSNO posters, sit down in front of GP until 15 mins after next home game >> What will you do about i? Get creative, get active.... No venom, but find ways to make yourselves heard..

Jay Harris
111 Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:56:29
Doddy's back in the house.

Where have you been?

It is being reported on BBC gossip that NBC are running an article on Everton fans frustration with Martinez and that they want him gone.

The media are finally getting it so hopefully are the board.

Dennis Ng
112 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:57:08
LOL Patrick, IF that is the case, we might as well get OFM back. I'm sure he would prefer this squad than the one he left us and he's both a firefighter and a puncher above his own weight. I've not forgiven him but moving us back up the table can help.

Then again, I would wait till Moshiri's investment gets rejected by the EPL before I start to lose hope. I cannot see anyone buying into a sinking ship and not do anything. We are sinking, the big hole is called rm. Get rid of him and we'll be fine because even the likes of Allardyce can do much better than him, and I'm sure we'll get someone with a much better resume than those 3. I'm not sure how much Koeman is on but I remember we're giving rm a salary way higher than most in Europe.

Patrick Murphy
113 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:57:10
Kevin (111) We could throw old Wigan shirts onto the pitch at half-time which could then be given to a charity when collected by the stewards a protest that would get a message across and help aid those more unfortunate than us.
Dennis Ng
114 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:01:37
On top of throwing Wigan shirts (or anything with white blue stripes), stage a walkout at the 70th minute. We always collapse after the 70th minute. Or after we concede the first goal. Though that might happen within the first 30 minutes LOL
Frank Thomas
117 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:22:56
Unfortunately Roberto might get one more year as long as we don't finish any lower than 15th because who would have thought at Christmas or even start of Feb that WBA, Chelsea, Liverpool would have more points than us? Or that that Watford or Bournemouth could be one game away from overtaking us?
Patrick Murphy
118 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:32:46
According to Matt Law in the Telegraph 'Moshiri will wait until the summer before deciding whether any major personnel changes are needed at Everton. But the billionaire investor is determined to push the club forwards and Martinez needs to convince his new boss and his players that he remains the best man for the job – starting in the FA Cup this weekend.
Patrick Murphy
119 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:34:05
Paul Joyce of the Express:

Farhad Moshiri’s purchase of a 49.9% stake in Everton has been ratified by the Premier League.

Dennis Ng
120 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:43:33
Frank, I just googled Everton and there are a raft of reports saying that Martinez’s job is no longer safe. Unless he wins the last 9 games plus an FA Cup win, I don’t see how he even remotely survive.

Moshiri will be spending money for any number of things related to the team. Do you think he would trust a man who have failed to deliver to make those decisions for him?

Barry Jones
121 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:52:01
Jim Lloyd (74) and Niall (79) some great points mentioned. Jim, the analogy of Ian Rush is excellent. A prolific goalscorer who pressed high on defenses like a maniac.

On, RM, what can I say. He needs to go but there are no internal rumblings whatsoever. I think that BK is proud of his record of not sacking people and a bit egotistical about his selections being proved right. In this respect he is similar to and as stubborn as RM and it may take monumental consequences to shift Robbie.

Frank Thomas
122 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:56:10
Dennis, I hope you're right but, with Leicester City and Arsenal to play again, it is possible for Roberto to get stunning victories against them and use subs correctly in those games... but is Roberto now damaged goods – especially after the WHU game?
Winston Williamson
123 Posted 08/03/2016 at 17:02:19
I’ve calmed down since Saturday. Had a period of reflection. Looked at the situation objectively and rationally.

Martinez has to go! Now!

I can’t even be bothered with the whys! It just annoys me that we haven’t sacked him yet!

We need a manager who has won things, who hates losing and sets high standards. A manager who can manage ego’s and put fire into the players. My personal choice would be Bernd Schuster.

Tom Bowers
124 Posted 08/03/2016 at 17:07:43
So RM thinks it is just bad defending? What the hell else could it be Roberto?

The whole team has no idea how tighten up when ahead and that is down to you and the coaching staff you endorse. It is just not the Hammers game but far too many other games where it has been so apparent. Usually heads roll when defeats like that happen but who will be dropped?

Are any of the back four plus Stones, Baines, Barry and McCarthy still considered good enough? We know they are all talented individuals but playing as a tight unit seems beyond them when it really matters so is it a question of attitude or the system (if any) Roberto adopts?

It would appear these questions have gone all season without being addressed and so what has to happen first and foremost is the removal of Roberto and his crew. Believe me, nothing will change until they are gone.
Mark Andersson
125 Posted 08/03/2016 at 17:35:20
I first came on to ToffeeWeb 3 years ago. Since then I have realised that there are mostly well informed educated footballing views on Everton FC.

I find our current circumstances under Roberto quite fascinating. One because I watch every game a little bit more educated because of what I have learnt reading every single post.

I’m amazed at the loyalty of Martinez fans in the face of the stats of how we are becoming a up market version of Wigan

Dispute the views of the more football educated informed fans on here. My biggest worry is that the people who hired the manager who more than likely know fuck all about football keep him in charge.

Andrew Clare
126 Posted 08/03/2016 at 17:41:10
RM ’s time is up. If a manager hasn’t got the team looking like it’s progressing after 3 seasons then it’s time to go. The trouble is have we now got to give someone else the same amount of time to impress. Players will leave, new players have to bed in and so on.

The secret is to hire the right man with the right credentials:

Number one. Do not I repeat do not hire a British manager. They do not understand the technical side of the game.

Number two. Research thoroughly the record of the incoming manager.

Number three. Finally make sure they are successful.

I am sorry that it hasn’t worked out for Martinez because his teams score lots of goals and he has an eye for a good player. Shame about the shortcomings.

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