Everton being held back by Martinez's rigid ethos

Discussing the post-mortem of sorts that has followed the 3-2 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.

Lyndon Lloyd 08/03/2016 75comments  |  Jump to last

The aftermath of Saturday, the latest debacle in a season that might forever come to be remembered as one characterised by unfathomable late collapses, has seen a measure of introspection and a great deal more fume from Evertonians who are fed up with having to come to terms with their team shooting themselves in the foot over and over again.

There has also been a lot of heated discussion over the minutia of the circumstances that led to another 2-0 lead bleeding out into a traumatising 3-2 defeat, specifically Roberto Martinezs decision to take off Aaron Lennon, again one of the Blues outstanding players on the day, in favour of Premier League novice, Oumar Niasse.

A piece by Adam Braun for Royal Blue Mersey argues, that that specific substitution wasnt the direct cause of the collapse that followed. The analysis is thoughtful but it largely misses the point. There was a case for Lennon, exhausted from his efforts over the preceding 75 minutes, needing to be withdrawn, but replacing him with a forward one with barely a quarter of an hour's experience of English football to his name was wholly the wrong decision.

As the RBM analysis indicates, West Ham had assumed complete control of the game in the few minutes after the penalty miss; it was a pivotal moment psychologically for both teams and it therefore needed a more defensively-minded substitution. The obvious choice: bring Gareth Barry on, drop back and close ranks. Unfortunately, only on very rare occasions the goalless draw at Manchester City in January comes to mind will a Martinez side adopt that kind of posture and almost never at home.

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What Braun's piece does show, however, is that once West Ham started asking the kinds of questions of the Everton defence to which they have so often lacked answers this season namely crosses and set-pieces they buckled and in fairly short order. Instead of opting for the kind of backs-to-the-wall, all-hands-to-the-pump defensive posture that a team with 10 men should and usually do adopt, Martinezs side were wide open and failed to close the ball down sufficiently to stop the crosses that proved so damaging.

Neither of the two Everton players in attendance close down the man crossing the ball for the second West Ham goal, while McCarthy has left Song in acres of space to receive a pass

Instead of assuming a compact posture normally associated with a team playing with 10 men, Everton were wide open.

Even once Martinez, uncharacteristically, appeared to have given up the notion of winning the game by withdrawing Lukaku, he refused to pull his players back into banks of four in their own half to at least see out a draw. The point would have been essentially useless in terms of qualifying for Europe but at least it would have been slightly less psychologically damaging.

Another article by Phil Kirkbride in the Liverpool Echo highlights the lack of a genuinely dominant centre-half since Sylvain Distin was a permanent fixture in the defence in 2013-14. Martinezs dogmatic preference for ball-playing centre halves is what drew him to John Stones while he was still manager at Wigan and then Ramiro Funes Mori last summer, but it left Everton with only Phil Jagielka as a traditional English-style centre-back and a converted centre-half who probably lacks a couple of inches in height and more than a little of the aggression required to fit that traditional mold.

Kirkbrides observation has merit but it, too, overlooks the bigger picture painted by Martinezs rigid footballing ethos as a whole. It is entirely too biased towards attack and, by natural and logical extension, foregoes the essential focus on defence that is paramount to success in Englands top flight. Its a romantic, naive and utopian outlook illustrated nicely by Patrick Boylands article for These Football Times where he describes the Catalan and Brendan Rodgers as the flawed disciples of Pep Guardiola.

In it, Boyland writes that, "The Catalan duos mantra is, in its purest form, a type of idealism: a steadfast belief in or pursuance of ideals, the tendency to represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are.

"The goal is clear: Martínez wishes to outscore the opposition and hopes to do so by out-footballing them. He will rarely focus on corners or set-pieces in training, believing those elements to be unworthy of his brand of technical, passing football. For him, playing to percentages is tantamount to a lack of control on the trajectory of the match itself."

The irony there, of course, is that when you dont have the ball and your players are neither set up nor instructed to effectively press and close down the opposition, you have lost control of the trajectory of the match if the other team can prey on those weaknesses, particularly when time has run out to attack your way back into it.

And the concern is that when a managers footballing dogma is so entrenched, nothing not even repeated evidence of its flaws will move him to change it. The question then becomes, of course: how much mid-table mediocrity can the club put up with?

It has been mooted that while Martinez suggested that he could ultimate guide Everton to the Champions League, a big selling point during the interview process was his commitment that he could win the Blues a trophy. If true, it represented a modest enough initial goal for both prospective manager and Chairman Bill Kenwright.

As Evertonians coalesce into their various camps on the Martinez question the Taxi! contingent, the He needs another season brigade and the wait and see crowd perhaps Saturdays FA Cup quarter final has assumed enormous significance, not just for a season which could effectively be over by March, but also for the manager's future at Goodison.

A win against Chelsea would give Martinez more breathing space and keep alive the hopes that he can salvage something from the season. Whether that would be enough to appease an increasingly restless fanbase remains to be seen.

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Reader Comments (75)

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Darryl Ritchie
1 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:06:37
Every player knows what he can, or can't do, before he steps onto the pitch. It's the manager and the coaching staffs job to recognize those strengths and weaknesses, and hone the former, and work on correcting the latter.

The problem starts when the manager, because of a preferred style of play, chooses to ignore what to everyone else seems obvious. The result being that no lead is ever safe, because of defensive ineptitude.

I've read on numerous occasions that RM does not practice taking, or more importantly, defending corners. The result being we don't score off corners often, and the odds that the opposition will score against us, soar. Practise makes perfect.

I remember thinking when Lennon came off and Niasse came on; "What's with this?" The only thing I could come up with was that Martinez was counting on us knocking the ball, and countering with Niasse, Barkley and Lukaku at speed. The end result though was we were, in effect, left with 8 men, because the above three were totally useless defensively. Throw in a missed penalty, and the momentum swing that followed, add the fact that it's well known around the league, that we suck at defending crosses and corners, the outcome was inevitable.

RM is a decent man, but very stubborn. He will change things up, but not so much that it will interfere with his grand vision of what football should be. Based on what I see, that vision is flawed. Doomed to failure.

Time for a change.

John Keating
2 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:18:10

This article could have been written at the end of his first season. The writing was on the wall as far back as then.

I tend to agree with Michael Ball in his Echo column.

You, and others say that you can understand Lennon being withdrawn after 75 minutes as he was exhausted

My question is WHY was he exhausted ?
Why can’t this team play for 90 plus minutes ?
Why are we allowing so many late goals in ?

To me, from the beginning of last season, we have seen this team flag late on in so many games.

We are patently unfit both physically and mentally. While Martinez and his acolytes are in charge not one thing will change.

I hope that further media scrutiny and comment continues about Martinez until the end of the season.

I think the only way we will see this imposter shown the door is by outside influence being exerted on the Club hierarchy.

Christopher Dover
3 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:20:10
In the gossip column on BBC sport site the following:

"Everton boss Roberto Martinez has an increasingly uncertain future at the club amid rising supporter unrest. (NBC)"

Let's hope the pressure is now mounting from outside Goodison.

Lyndon Lloyd
4 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:26:37
John, I resisted making the point about Lennon's fatigue simply because he and the others were required to put an extra shift in due to us being a man down.

But questions should be asked around why Deulofeu, for example, was unable to complete a 90-minute game as far into the season as January. We know that Martinez has foregone Moyes's emphasis on hard running and hill workouts but surely there's a happy medium?

John Malone
5 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:36:32
Jorge Jesus, once manager of Benfica, now in charge of Sporting Lisbon, should be the first name on Moshiri’s list!

An experienced proven winner, playing an attractive brand of football whose players rave about his coaching methods and show big improvements playing under him!

We need to think big and use the new investment to the maximum the most important signing is the manager!

Plus imagine having Jesus in the dugout!!

John Keating
6 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:43:00
There is a happy medium, Lyndon.

Unfortunately our manager does not do them. With him it is all or nothing and he will not deviate.

Physical fitness for a professional footballer must be the prerequisite and the ability to last 90 minutes plus an absolute minimum.

Our players cannot put two full halves of effort in. They are incapable due to being unfit.

Barry, I think, has played more than anyone apart from Lukaku? Yes he’s not the fastest but he seems to last the pace. The younger ones are knackered after 70 minutes ! It is diabolical and a sad indictment on the training staff.

I believe this is one of the reasons, apart from us being crap defensively, why we ship so many late goals.

Tommy Coleman
7 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:44:06
Martinez gets a hammering here:


Martinez will need to change and be more ruthless or be out of a job.

Peter Barry
8 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:53:13
Leicester City are the perfect example of the influence a Manager has over the performance of a team. Last season, fighting relegation; this season, with virtually all the same players, they could and should win the Premier League. That's what a decent Manager can do.
Peter Murray
9 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:02:59
Suddenly, everybody is an expert coach. The fundamental issue is not about tactics, ability, skills... It is not even a specific football problem.

It is about awareness and the need to develop correct split-second decision-making. In other words, it is psychological

We need to bring on board a team of sports psychologists. They should be integral to every training session, working on drills and exercises to enhance powers of instant analysis and response.

These do not come spontaneously. They need to be taught. When we start improving in these areas, we will then be giving meaning to that over-used term "mental strength".

Steve Hogan
10 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:08:20
Quite simply, lose in the FA Cup and he has to go, it’s as simple as that. Players must be thoroughly demoralised at the current state of affairs, never mind the fans.

Deulofeu now seems to be suffering the same fate as Distin, completely frozen out of the first team scene, why?

I wonder whether Martinez has an underlying mental health issue, only an imbecile or a deluded fool would catty on this way with his inane post match comments, yet he is almost getting away ’scot free’, certainly by the local press.

There comes a time during a manager’s tenure at any club, when he reaches the point of no return with supporters, we have now reached that point, someone at the club MUST act.

Jack Mason
11 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:08:34
Lyndon I’ve read your articles on this site for over 10 years now. And by and large I’ve agreed with them, I’ll confess though I swayed more to Michael’s firebrand, especially during the Moyes years. But you’ve always penned a thoughtful, quiet balance. And that is always needed.

A few months ago I posted that you seemed to have crossed the Rubicon, the fair and balance was still there, however there was a seismic shift in the way you were reporting Everton news. To me anyway. What I’m suggesting to you is that the time for editorial subtlety is over. We stand at a crossroads, the choice is maintaining the low expectations that have dogged this club for over a quarter of a century or backed by the wealth and opportunities new circumstances have afforded us, we can finally emerge as a force within the game.

I started posting again because for me that time has come. I fundamentally still believe that grassroots support can ultimately dictate change. I know this site repeatedly gets criticized for negativity. Saying that, when it comes to the narrative of Everton, the ideas expressed by yourself, Michael and the rest of the contributors in my opinion become the dominate consensus. Ridiculed first, then rejected with hostility, until finally accepted.

This is a plea, a challenge even, which will probably run against you instincts. Do an editorial, tell the supporters where you and Michael stand. For the present and the future. Forget the past it’s over. For now is not the time to sit on the fence, the momentous awaits, let's see where we all stand.

Sam Hoare
12 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:14:51
The odds on Martinez going are still pretty low...33/1 I think I saw a few times. He's here till the Summer unless things get even worse.

Then it will be a question of the clubs ambition? Are they happy to keep faith with little evidence of genuine progress and risk becoming a permanent fixture outside the top 10 or do they demand someone with a proven track record of league success? Hopefully the latter.

Would prefer someone with proven success in the league and Pellegrini, Ancelotti or Hiddink would be top targets for me. Bielsa would be intriguing and the likes of koeman, Sanches Flores and Howe would make me happy enough though the latter especially is still very unproven at this level.

Steve Hogan
13 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:17:26
Good point Jack, we need to grasp this opportunity, hopefully Moshiri has the ruthless streak required to evoke change.
John Keating
14 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:22:31
you are totally correct regarding the local press.

For as many years as I can remember in my 62, the Echo has failed our Club abysmally. The so called reporters are more interested in their free scoff and treble GTs on match day than asking serious questions.

Prentice et al are "supposed" to be supporters. Real supporters would give their right arm to ask serious questions of the Board and Management and not be fobbed off by the usual bullshit non-answers.

You will hear the usual excuses that it’s their livelihood and they don’t want to jeopardise their jobs. Bullshit!

Can you imagine the outcry in the national press and media if Elstone or Bill barred them for asking legitimate questions? For sure Bill would shit himself.

Forget the Club reporters at the Echo as long as more and more national media and pundits take it up the better for us.

Plus it will also embarrass the local ragmen.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:31:16
I think the tide turned against Martinez last season and is increasing with every match played.

He has to go for me because he is using my club, the club I have supported all my life, the club I love along with thousands of other fans.

He is using Everton to massage his own ego. He is indifferent to how we feel and simply cannot see beyond his own philosophy, which to most of us, is just not working.

Richard Dodd
16 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:50:18
He may well have to go, Steve @9 but it wont be as a result of losing to Chelsea in the Cup. And I suspect it will not be anytime soon if he manages to achieve a 'top half' place this season.

BK does not operate on 'knee jerk' and I think it will take quite a bit of pressure from Moshiri to persuade him to pull the plug on Roberto's project. We may even see the Catalan charged with spending a generous budget during the summer months. So tighten your seatbelts, more suffering is to come!

But of far more importance than the welfare of the present incumbent is the appointment of his successor. This time round the 'Be careful what you wish for' lobby will be absent as I detect very little support for Roberto's retention. But I do so hope the powers that be will be far more imaginative and ambitious than the likes of Howe and Dyche mentioned frequently in these columns.

Leicester City's emergence from the lower regions has demonstrated that all things are possible and certainly for me the days of 'eighth is great' have been consigned to history. As befits the motto, only the best is good enough. Let's just hope our new investor buys into that mantra and makes sure Bill does a proper job this time round.

It's good to be back !

Rick Tarleton
17 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:53:10
Kirkbride has a point about our centre-halves. In England the best defences have what appears on the Continent to be an old-fashioned set-up. Two big men, one who attacks the ball and one who covers. Everton have two excellent ball-players in Stones and Mori, who are excel at covering when there is time. Jagielka is a marvellous, whole-hearted English style defender, but by modern standards he is not quite as solid as we need.

As for the pressing game, as Guardiola practised it, we don’t do it. Lukaku ,while brilliant offensively, is not keen to press or chase, Barkley is poor at it, Deulofeu would still be at Barcelona if he had shown any willingness to add this to his considerable range of skills.

McCarthy can tackle and works hard, but is limited and does not "press" as required in this system.

One other thing, can we play Baines when he’s fit. Can he be the one who takes penalties and free-kicks? Rather than Lukaku who is the least convincing penalty taker I’ve seen.

Phil Sammon
18 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:00:15
I hate these graphics showing where players are and where they should be at a particular moment in time. It's such a fragmented view of a bigger, flowing picture. There's clearly hundreds of reasons to be critical of our defence. I don't think a singular freeze frame really helps indicate anything at all.
Steve Guy
19 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:01:11
My only hope at the moment is that the Moshiri is his own man and that, once his investment is ratified, that he gets a huge broom out and sweeps Martinez and his staff out the door.

My fear is that Billy Liar does his snake oil sales pitch on him and persuades him to give The Catalan another season.

Look at his stats. Look at the disillusionment of the fan base. Look at the opportunity this squad represents being wasted and do the right thing. Martinez out!

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:02:18
I said it before..

How many teams do we actually outscore??

How many of these "thrillers " do we ever win, or even score the last goal in a 3-3 draw?

It always feels as though we have lost the game, it feels great for the neutral but a disaster zone for watching Everton fans.

The reason we concede the last goal in so many games is because we are not fit, at least not as fit as the opposition, and secondly because we never ever have any shape to our team when defending leads in the latter part of games.

We play great attacking football for a large spell but we are continually let down by total lack of leadership and disorganisation.

Martinez is a computer game manager, I’m sorry but in reality you can’t be expected to score three or four goals every game and as I have already pointed out, even that doesn’t guarantee this Everton team a victory anymore.

Martinez is on borrowed time as manager.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:05:17
Moyes had his players extremely fit, they may have been lacking in other departments but fitness was rarely an issue, hence the amount of clean sheets with limited resources.

Martinez rode on the back of that for the first year, but since then he's totally destroyed us in that area.

Barry Pearce
22 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:11:54
Martinez, simply shouldn’t be in charge of our great club.

Tactitcly inept.. Yes put on another striker if you’re chasing the game, not when your 2-0 up and with only ten men.

But I’m afraid Martinez will never change his so-called philosophy, he’s too rigid. We just need someone to give us that happy medium, the talent in the squad is definitely there.

Derek Thomas
23 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:12:53
It has to be sooner rather than later, I hope we win but it shouldn't matter in the overall scheme of things...his 1 swallow that makes his summer.

Nobody in their right mind would turndown the FA Cup of course, but it would make for a tough decision to sack him right after or at the end of June or whenever his anniversary is.

But do we need or want a third season of this auld tosh, aka, the nightmare scenario.. Thank god that big softy Bill is no longer. calling most of the shots.

Win lose or draw I would sack him on Monday, harsh yes. But if the options are.

a) Stick; b) twist in June; or c) as quick as you like. I would go for as quick as you like, thanks Mr Moshiri.


Option a; no, just no...the cure is NOT more Philosophy.

Option b; The new guy ( who ever ) takes over early July. Half his squad are in the Euro's, so are most of his potential targets. When does that end + a week's Hols. It could be August and he hasn't seen a ball kicked in anger yet. The season starts in 2 weeks and the Window is counting down.

Option c; now, gets the big tick from me.

Peter Larkin
24 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:13:24
What about Niasse? He looked bloody awful to say the least. Has been at the club for over a month so fitness shouldnt be a problem. He looks like Bambie on Ice. Panic buy?
Andy Thompson
25 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:25:02
Some good points in there although plain and simple RM’s time is up...... No more excuses.

I’m actually still feeling very wounded after Saturday’s debacle but have truly seen enough incompetence over the past 2 seasons to last me a lifetime. Nor should continuance of our journey in the FA Cup (albeit unlikely against an in-form Chelsea side) distract us from the reality we are going backwards.

Potentially there is worse is to still come from this shambolic season in that we risk losing our better players (our foundations) who must surely be getting more and more restless whilst this manager remains in the job?

The question for me is what is the point in the board waiting another 8 -10 games of next season in the forlorn hope that things may change?

Of course we all wanted RM to succeed but its patently obvious now that he won’t ! Therefore it is my hope for all fans we will soon see a new era of strong leadership and direction under Mr Moshiri (when the deal is finally ratified!) and he will immediately implement a culture whereby everyone at the club understands they must take ownership & responsibility for results both on and off the field. We live in hope of a better future.

John Raftery
26 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:35:09
After months of hoping Roberto might learn lessons from each debacle, I have reached the sad conclusion he is incapable of doing so. Compared with last season we have played much better football this season, moving the ball and players forward more quickly than we did previously. We have paid a price for that.

I think our defensive problems are associated more with our system than with the personnel. The root cause of those problems is the lack of a proper defensive shape. Even when we were down to ten men and leading 2-0 on Saturday we insisted on having both full backs, Besic, Barkley and Lukaku, five players in total, in a line level with the West Ham penalty area. That left four outfield players covering the other 90 yards at a time when West Ham were looking to get themselves back in the game. Yes, Besic won a penalty which might have clinched the win but really he should not have been in such an advanced position at that stage of the game. The same applies to the full backs who kept bombing forward at every opportunity. Little wonder they run out of gas in the final ten minutes. I despair at the number of times McCarthy is seen chasing back half the length of the pitch to cover the gaps left by our full backs. Allow a quality player like Payet the time and space to make so many crosses and most defences will eventually succumb.

Our team plays at Goodison as though the game was a kickabout in the local park with everybody wanting to join in the fun and no discipline in terms of players holding their positions. For this to happen repeatedly is attributable to managerial incompetence as well as a lack of nous on the part of the players.

Don Alexander
27 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:38:20
The main thing that unites football fans regardless of who they support is the same.

It's hope.

Depending on which team you support most fans know how to adjust their level of hope. Most fans are not deluded. The years-long experience of being a fan makes most of them pragmatic in their expectations regarding their team.

Only when their hope is betrayed do they get angry.

Betrayal is poison to any relationship. Those responsible for it should expect to be dealt with without sympathy, to their cost, and not to the cost of those they betrayed The betrayed deserved to have their collective hope given a chance of fruition. After all, it's all they have.

Betrayal is a judgement call. Some may ask whether it was reckless or negligent, intended or not?

But should the victims have to give a shit?

Their pain is real and according to them, pragmatic as most of them are, would have been avoided had the betrayer met the remit they opted to take on.

In our case the betrayer is Roberto Martinez. His own stated remit was to get us into the CL. Not only has he failed, he has not even got close after inheriting a good squad that fell short at the end of his first season. And then he deepened the failure last season, eventually seeking to excuse himself by blaming our Europa Cup involvement. Bereft of Europe, this year he's plumbed new depths. He should hang his head in shame, and especially so when numerous managers of teams with similar aspirations, but less to spend, less history, and fewer supporters have made good on their remit and, in several cases, more.

Phil Lewis
28 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:49:29
Mr Martinez’s flowery use of the English language when attempting to persuade us that yet another debacle of a result was ’unfortunate’, simply evades the glaringly obvious truth – that is, we are woefully inadequate at defending set pieces and his persistence in playing his sideways possession ’tippy-tappy’ game leaves us wide open when opposing teams press forward and break us down.

I find myself wondering is it Roberto’s macho Spanish pride that renders him completely unable to simply say, "I got it wrong this time"?

There was an old saying, "You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", which perfectly explains the flaws in Martinez’s persistent tactical strategy. He is asking players who do not possess the natural ability, to perform to the standard of Barcelona – an impossible task which Everton’s current crop will never achieve.

He wax’s lyrical about Ross Barkley, the lad shows flashes of ability, but is not in the same league as the likes of Paul Gascoigne and wouldn’t even make Barcelona’s reserves. I yearn for a return to the majesty of Ball, Kendall and Harvey and the fabulous football of Steven, Reid, Bracewell and Sheedy, players who played the beautiful passing game as it should be played, at breathtaking penetrating speed, as good as any Spanish side then or now!

The important point to remember though is that these players were backed up by defenses which solidly and resolutely played to traditional English defensive values, playing football out of defense only when to do so would not put the team under pressure. I admire the purity of Roberto’s footballing principles, but I’m afraid the stark reality is that he is certainly defensively naive.

I believe he is also a very proud man. Too proud perhaps to admit that he may have it tactically wrong. My advice to him for what it is worth, is to play to the strengths of the players at your disposal and to abandon the present strategy.But I would imagine there is more chance of me walking on the moon!

Dick Fearon
29 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:59:55
The squads mid season trip to an expensive exotic holiday destination was a useless exercise.
George Freeman
30 Posted 08/03/2016 at 11:36:19
How does he get away with it, Walsall have just sacked their manager due to recent poor results and they are currently 4th in League One?
Ian Burns
31 Posted 08/03/2016 at 11:52:27
Thoughtful piece Lyndon. May I throw this point for consideration, which questions the fitness of our players. Somebody posted on TW since the weekend, that had our games finished after 75 minutes, we would be second in the table. I have no way of checking that stat but it seems to have some merit.

If Martinez is a disciple of Guardolia and if he remains in post for next season – as looks more likely than not despite the mounting pressure – the direct comparison is going to be interesting, or more to the point extremely embarrassing, in the extreme.

Daniel A Johnson
32 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:06:23
After 3 seasons in charge......

Would Man U, Man City, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea put up with our current league position and the collapsing on pitch performances?

Thats what seperates us form the rest..... our ability to sit on our hands and do nothing. In a league of ruthless go getters were meek and mild passive passengers.

Sack Martinez..... sack him now

Hugh A Ross
33 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:06:55
Perhaps we believe are new major shareholder will want success for our GREAT CLUB! Perhaps the millions that are spewed into the Premier League are enough incentive for an investor to have an increase his capital expenditure??
Anthony Lewis
34 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:09:06
I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. It’s simply down to poor defensive shape and not closing down the opposition.

I actually feel sorry for the young players. Martinez is denying them the tools they need to be truly great players, by steadfastly refusing to set his teams up correctly. They need instructions on how to defend, where to stand, when to press, when to make a tackle and how to do it all as team.

For a supposed pupil of Pep’s ’philosophy’, he’s not learned very much. Guardiola had/has his teams working like tigers to get the ball back and sets his teams out correctly and instructs his players on how to press, tackle and work like a team.

I watched in horror as Ross Barkley made a quite pathetic attempt to block the cross for the second goal. I didn’t blame him though, I blame Martinez for not coaching him correctly. And the same can be said of Lukaku, McCarthy, Deulofeu, Kone, Coleman, Oviedo and Baines.

The only players I see tackling and pressing are Barry and Lennon. Lennon is actually very good at it. He’s gets back into position, behind the ball, and then moves at pace toward the man, putting him under pressure and forcing him to act quick or lose the ball. It’s what all our players should do.

Poor Ross, runs back into position and you think, "well done Ross, now get in there and force an error and make a tackle". But he doesn’t he actually takes two steps back. It’s baffling.

Kevin Elliott
35 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:35:31
Derek @ 22
Option C for me too ✅ .
Patrick Murphy
36 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:41:16
I don't know when Roberto said this to the journalist but where in the world does it say that a defeat means less if it has not come easily? I can see that a team that is playing well regularly will win more often, but his Everton side don't so there must be an underlying problem – we all know what it is – we can't defend under any sort of pressurised situation and that is why the team is letting the fans down big time that and the inability of the manager to see the faults in his method of playing.

We're not seeing opponents beating us easily, it's the opposite, said the Blues boss. 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.



John Newland
37 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:42:28
Is anyone able to quote me a stat that shows Martinez in a positive light? Surely the board of directors and in particular Mr Morishi can see what every Everton fan can see. The stats speak for themselves and any manager in any level of football would almost certainly be sacked if they had a similar record to that of Martinez.

He has to go after the Chelsea game. Let Big Dunc or Joe Royle see out the remaining few games of the season while the short list is drawn up for a new manager to takeover in the summer.

Chris Leyland
38 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:53:04
Anthony (33) - I also have to question the players too, Just because Martinez has not specifically coached them to do these things should not stop them from doing them. These are professional footballers who are paid millions of pounds a year yet, we are supposed to accept that they don't know that you should close down and stop crosses or press and close down space? My lad is 10 and knows to close down and stop the crosses because we've spoken about it a few times, he took it on board and it isn't a difficult concept to understand. We say 'stop the cross and stop the chance.'

Unless you are saying that Martinez is actually coaching them specifically not to stop crosses and instead telling them to allow the ball to be crossed?

To me it is far, far more than poor defensive shape and not closing down - it is a fundamentally flawed and almost casual approach to the entire management of an elite-level team and an approach that simply won't change despite the over-whelming evidence that it is clearly not working and hasn't done for nearly 2 years.

Our record in the league since beating Arsenal in April 2014 in a glorious 3-0 thrashing when Champion's League qualification entered our own hands is:
played 72 won 24, drawn 22, lost 26

Since then, at 'fortress Goodison' it is:
played 37 won 12, drawn 11, lost 14

John Newland
39 Posted 08/03/2016 at 12:54:07
"Everton don’t have a weakness defending crosses," claims Roberto Martinez

Just seen this headline on the Echo website and pissed myself laughing.
He’s just got to go. No ifs or buts. He’s got to go.

Kevin Tully
40 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:08:30
Regardless of who deserves to lose their job, there would be 5 managers looking for work today in the Premier league alone if fans had their way: Martinez, McClaren, Louis van Gaal, Pellegrini and Wenger.

I'm fairly certain Martinez will be sacked in due course, but that won't happen until the season is over and we have a replacement lined up. One other possibility is that the new owners force a backroom change on Martinez, (as Liverpool did with Rodgers) to see if the defence issues can be resolved.

Nick Armitage
41 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:13:41
I didn't want him here in the first place and I have been saying for 18 months that he needs to go. I would swap him for Moyes in a heartbeat, we've gone from a flawed second rate manager who possessed certain positive attributes to fourth rate con artist who is simply woeful.

Moyes would have had us far further up that league with those players. Alex Ferguson would be above Leicester now with those players. Sticking with Martinez puts a large investment by the new owner in jeopardy and for that reason I think (and hope) that his days at Everton are numbered.

Anthony Lewis
42 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:15:30
Chris (37), I couldn't agree more. This is why I find it baffling.

You watch any Sunday league match and players close down the opposition.

Yet Everton's players just don't do this. They stand off, let the man have time on the ball and make half arsed attempts to block crosses.

Maybe I've got it wrong, maybe Martinez is instructing them, instructing them not to make a tackle!

Ed Staunton
43 Posted 08/03/2016 at 13:31:49
I want him gone and sooner the better but I also agree with Chris the players are also at fault.

They need to take responsibility and if necessary coach themselves and work harder.

37 crosses from WH on saturday, at some point even decent CH's are going to get beat and concede.

Ray Smith
44 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:00:10
Nick #40

Totally agree with you.

I never wanted him at Goodison either.

Take away his FA cup win and what have you got? Answer nothing, other than arrogance and a blind faith in a system that doesn't work.

He has to go now, so that we can get a manager in to survey the wreckage before the end of the season, to have us ready and raring to go at the beginning of next season, not 2 months after the start.

Don Alexander
45 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:00:47
The players are in a rock and a hard place scenario. To improve at FF they would essentially have to mutiny because the only cure would involve taking the field TOGETHER, in time extra to that taken by the Incredible One to develop his "moment".

Unless they band together it just won't happen though. Look at what happens to those who individually cast any opinion at FF that seems to question/contradict the cojones spouted by Martinez. They risk being cast aside and that's detrimental to their careers.

However, if they did have the professional pride to act together it would indicate in spades that Bobby Baldrick had lost the dressing room, and that seems to do the trick in getting rid of failed managers.

But are there any leaders amongst them?............I ain't holding my breath.

Stewart Lowe
46 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:12:23
Good piece Lyndon:

When Martinez took over I hailed him as the messiah as I was disillusioned with the shut up shop at the back and sneak a goal football Moyes had deployed at Everton in his 11 years. I even imagined us to be potential / shock title contenders halfway through Martinez's first season in the same way Spurs and Leicester are doing this season, unlikely yes but not unrealistic. And yes I have to admit that until 14-18 months ago I watched his pre / post match interviews in awe as he frivolously used the words "phenomenal" "outstanding" "unique talent" "unbelievable" "exceptional" "Incredible" You get the message.

Then came the biggest reality check at the start of his second season when we began to consistently lose and draw many games we had easily won during the previous season, which made no sense. We were still passing very well, we were still having 60-70% possession in games, and we were still consistently having 10-14 corners per game, but then we would lose or draw. Martinez suggested this was down to tiredness of the last world cup for those who hadn't had time to recover during the closed season. He also stated it was because players were tired from playing in the Europa league on a Thursday and having to play a league game 3 days later. These omissions to the media were well believed as Martinez as ever is very pliable with words and should consider a career in politics when his time in football comes to an end, which could be sooner rather than later and probably as a spin doctor.

So at the end of his second season we looked back and thought if these mitigating circumstances did hinder our progress / results, and he did take us to 5th in his first season, then maybe we could better 5th this season with no world cup or European football to play, not to mention a better squad of players than last season also.

Well here we are with 9 games to go and we are currently even worse off than last season by languishing in 12th.

I believe that Martinez's 1st season was always a false benchmark of his ability and success because it came on the back of inheriting an established and already well drilled defence of Coleman-Jagielka-Distin-Baines and Martinez should not claim any of the credit for that. By bringing in to defence Stones, Gallaway, Garbutt, Mori and releasing Distin he has completely destabilised the whole unit.

Game after game the new additions look lost of idea / structure and very often void of the basics of defending. I have watched every game this season and my heart is in my mouth whenever the opposition get a corner or cross into our box. Regularly we are seeing our defence all over the place and on many occasions we see 2-3 of our players jumping up to head a ball with a single opposition player and the ball finding its way in to the net. We are seeing our team regularly getting 10-14 corners in games and not scoring from them even though we probably have some of the tallest players in the league. It makes no sense.

Furthermore, what is all this talk of tiredness as being Martinez's latest excuse for losing at West ham? I watched Lukaku being substituted and shaking his head when jogging off, which slaps in the face of being "empty". If this were a cup game he would have had to remain on the pitch in case extra time was required. Don't forget, we have had no world cup, no European football and they had not long since come back from 7 days in Dubai due to the Liverpool game being postponed. Tired? Tired? You decide.

I think we have to use a median of the last two seasons as the benchmark for Martinez and it doesn't make good reading at all. He would have been dismissed long ago had it not for inheriting a Moyes defence. So how ironic that Moyes had a hand in Martinez reaching his 3rd season.

Finally, please do not give Martinez any credit for what the media call "epic" or "dramatic" games that Everton regularly appear to be part of. It might be good to watch as a neutral but its a bi product of the way Martinez has us set up. Because we are intent on constantly pressing forward it allows teams to pick us off on the break. So although every Everton game might look like an end to end must see game, our inability to control a game and our poor defence will mean the end to end games will mostly happen with an Everton game.

I think the billionaire takeover and tired talk has bought Martinez a little time as a distraction and I am sure Martinez will come out shortly and state how Moshiri is an exceptional, unbelievable and unique man to grease his way into another season.

What messiah!!!

Jim Bennings
47 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:28:13
Ed Staunton,

The amount of times in that last 20 minutes on Saturday I found myself bawling "stop the cross, stop the cross ".

Knowing full well that we suffer so badly at defending the penalty area.

Did we do it?..


Frank Wade
48 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:31:04
I am firmly in the Martinez Out group but in relation to the two photos above, we have to ask questions of the players as well.

1. Why did two professional players like Barkley and Oviedo put in such a feeble effort to block the cross. 40% effort max.

2. With the ball in the air heading towards Carroll, why does Besic not sprint to get goal side of Payet. This is a lack of basic football sense, sensing the danger. Why are Coleman and Barkley so far up the pitch?

These situations should be analysed after every match in a team discussion and players 'advised' on what positions they should be taken up. I know from reading Ossie's book that no time is spent on this aspect of the game. I would hope that the u21s and u18s are trained properly but I have my doubts, pass completion percentages are the order of the day. If Martinez' philosophy demands that the defensive basics of football are ignored, he is not fit for purpose as an Everton manager.

Sean Patton
49 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:31:18
Martinez is a rollercoaster manager with highs and lows the trouble is that the lows are very low and the highs are just not high and often enough.

He will never be a consistent league manager because of this but everybody should get behind him and the team for Saturday as the season is far from over and we need a roaring crowd not apprehension and discontent.

Stewart Lowe
50 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:39:04
I’m sorry but I can’t bring myself to cheer Everton on this Saturday as I just don’t want us to win the cup with Martinez.

It sounds absolutely crazy, doesn’t it... but I fear Martinez winning it and the euphoria from that giving him another season. I would take a new managerial change and bright future under the new owner rather than a cup.

Bill Gall
51 Posted 08/03/2016 at 14:56:51
Talking about fitness I watched the Palace Liverpool game and noticed how fit the Liverpool team were, down to 10 men they constantly closed down Palace and not for 75min, but for the full 90+mins.

Most of Evertons problems seem to happen in the last 15 min so may be this is just due to a lack of fitness, and fitness will overcome lack of fitness no matter how talented you are .

John Aldridge
52 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:00:27
I think he really has to go now. Still believing we don't have an issue with crosses and set pieces? The man is never going to change his stance.

I think we need a change now, in order to work on the squad's fitness ahead of pre season training. Players fading out after 60/70 minutes in the modern game is unforgivable. In short, he's taken the squad fitness and ability to defend as a team that Moyes instilled in this team and has chucked it away. Yes, he's made some cracking signings and had us playing some great football - but what is the point when we cannot defend and wave the white flag when in a winning position at Goodison? Get him out now, I don't care who takes over until the end of the season. Get his backroom staff from Wigan to follow him too.

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:05:00
Sean (48). The crowd couldn't have been any better than they were last Saturday, they will be up for it again Saturday night, but we'll all have our hearts in our mouths, especially if we go 2-0 up, even more so when it is time for substitutions.
Andrew Ellams
54 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:14:36
Some interesting comments from Chris Sutton on 5Live on how Martinez likes to lay the blame on others in his post match interviews.
Dave Ganley
55 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:21:58
I posted this in the comments section for the excellent article Flawed disciples of Pep Guardiola, but it is as relevant with this article as it is with the other, so apologies if you have read this twice but here goes....

This is a really good well balanced article that just shows how obsession can make you really lose sight of your main objective, which quite simply, is winning a football game.
I am one of Martinez's biggest critics. I never thought him good enough and still don't. However, to be fair to Martinez, watching the exponent of possession based attacking football at its very best can be exhilarating. It can also be as dull as dish water. Watching Bayern or formally Barca before them, playing keep ball for minutes on end not only switches off the opposition but also the crowd. However, if you have some of the best players in the world who are skilled at keeping the ball then its easy to tolerate the boring bits of the game because you know that, at some point, someone, Messi, Ribery, Robben, Iniesta, etc are going to make a killer pass and they will score a quite wonderful goal. They will also have the skill and know how to make sure the opposition, when they finally get hold of the ball, will not unduly threaten their goal either. Not only have Barca and Bayern have some of the best players in the world, they are also some of the fittest and hardest working players in the world too.

And herein lies the problem. Evertons players are nowhere near fit enough to play the game that Martinez so idolises. Guardiolas teams always work hard to get the ball back. Most notably, the CL final against Man United being the obvious example. I have never seen a United team in recent history be so harassed and so completely second best. It was like watching men against boys that night and this was probably the top 2 teams in Europe. Even in the final couple of minutes they didn't want United to have the ball. Astonishing workrate.

There is absolutely no point extolling a style of play if you are not going to completely embrace all aspects of it. Martinez just wants to embrace the pretty part of it and ignore the dirty side of it. There is no work ethic, he embraces mistakes as part of the learning process. Guardiola's teams don't make mistakes ,or at least very very rarely and when they do, they don't make them again. Martinez's whole philosophy just falls down on this basic point of working hard to regain the football. We are weak, we don't practise corners or set pieces (his words not mine). You can bet your life savings that Guardiolas teams practise the hell out of them.

If I thought that there was any progress of this side of the game in the last 3 seasons, then maybe I wouldn't be so harsh on Martinez. However, we are regressing in terms of fitness, defensive duties/goals conceded and wilting in the dying moments. At least the RS saw the writing on the wall and got rid of Rodgers before he could do any more damage. They could see the backward slide and did something to arrest that slide. Its called still having some ambition. We, at Everton, lost any kind of ambition in the early 90s and have never got it back. Any ambitious team would never tolerate this slide back into midtable mediocrity who leaks goals alarmingly and struggles to get to a cup final let alone challenge the top of the league. We have a shocking home record over the last 2 years and yet still people are saying give Martinez another year or 2. It breaks my heart to see Everton Football Club tolerating this kind of underachievement year after year.

This is Martinez's team. This is his blue print. This is how he wants to play the game. Its not the Guardiola way, with possession based football, armed with fantastic players who work their socks off to get the ball back from the first whistle to the last. No, its the possession based football with ok players who, with a few exceptions, do absolutely nothing to get the ball back, who are lazy, can't defend, are arrogant to supporters concerns, make multiple mistakes, never learns, plucks defeat from the jaws of victory.......in fact put like that, is the antithesis of Guardiolas blueprint. Martinez's time is up. Everton Football Club need to belatedly, 20+ years belatedly, show some ambition and demand that Everton finally challenge the elite and compete for trophies and titles, and finally find a manager that can match those ambitions and not just talk a good game. Enough is enough.

Dan Davies
56 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:26:35
Daniel #31. Exactly. Nail on the head. The club need to make a statement by getting a top manager in and at least one big name player. Mr Moshiri needs to wake up the sleeping giant by being positive and decisive at boardroom level, no more coasting along let’s get ambitious and serious asap.
Brent Stephens
58 Posted 08/03/2016 at 15:41:08
Andrew #53 "Some interesting comments from Chris Sutton on 5Live on how Martinez likes to lay the blame on others in his post match interviews."

Yes, in my view a good manager in any organisation never blames his staff in public but let's them have it in private if necessary.

William Cartwright
59 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:51:57
There are simply so many knowledgeable, consistent and highly critical comments of Martinez now on ToffeeWeb to date, and now starting to emerge from elsewhere, that Roberto's position is becoming increasingly untenable. No need to add yet more of the same.

A big thank you should go to ToffeeWeb for highlighting the concerns consistently and over a long period.

Roberto is aware of ToffeeWeb. Elstone and the higher management are aware of ToffeeWeb. Rest assured Moshiri and his team are also aware.

In fact I expect the best scenario is we win the cup (if lady luck permits) and then we move forward from a stronger platform, with a reformed or constrained Roberto, which I doubt, or with a more suitable manager at the helm.

Moshiri's appointment is a game game changer in the full sense of the word. The most significant commercial chunk of the wealth of the club is the stock value of the players. What successful businessman in his right mind would allow the main asset value to be stripped down in front of his very eyes on a weekly basis for example by shelling out millions for Niasse, Baines, Mirallas etc., and see them being mismanaged, with the result that their stock value falls. That together with the appalling extremes of the treatment of Distin and Howard, and the more visible millions being lost on the league placings etc., then we are going to witness some significant changes, either sooner or later.

No wonder Roberto has set out his position clearly from the start with his 7 year itching for success in the Premier League but without success. The stupid man is only interested in ego preservation and is still blissfully unaware of the depth of damage his stubbornness has cost his employer. He will be soon be history.

Ron Marr
61 Posted 08/03/2016 at 17:32:42
In the Leicester vs Watford game you could see Rainieri yelling and signalling 'compact!'. The photos above are disturbing.
Declan Campbell
62 Posted 08/03/2016 at 17:34:04
Sam Hoare (#11).

Ancelotti is officially signed up to be Bayern Munich manager next season.

Kristian Boyce
63 Posted 08/03/2016 at 18:50:22
Whilst Martinez isn’t a native speaker of English, he learnt how to schmooze the media and the general public for about 2 years. While many fans quickly picked up on his managerial ineptitude, its only really most of the media have seen through the facade. He’s quickly becoming a joke within the national press with his endless babbling and reluctance to take blame on any issue he has created.

The only reason he’s lasted so long is that when we do play well, some of the attacking play is magnificent. If we were playing a long ball snoozefest, he would of been out of the door at the end of last season. With the PL now ratifying Moshiri’s investment, it will be interesting to see how much pressure he’ll put on Kenwright to get rid of him.

Moshiri seems to be an astute business man who should very easily see through the elaborate spiel that Martinez spouts. Unlike Kenwright, he doesn’t have the emotional attachment to the club, and probably won’t be affected by Martinez tugging at the heartstrings.

Frank Crewe
64 Posted 08/03/2016 at 18:58:37
Martinez has as much chance of still being manager of Everton next season as McClaren has of still being manager of the Barcodes after they get relegated.

I know that we would all like the instant gratification of seeing the back of him but it's probably not going to happen. Unless he resigns (unlikely) he'll see out the season.

I would also point out that once players get it into their heads that their manager is a dead man walking it usually becomes a self fulfilling prophesy and they stop trying.

Lose to Chelsea at the weekend and we'll just be playing out the games. Roberto's long goodbye will have begun.

Alan McGuffog
65 Posted 08/03/2016 at 19:42:42

We none of us know the modus operandi of the new guy. It may well be that he is content to spend some time under the wing of Blue Bill (health permitting of course).

That said, we will reach a crossroads this weekend. It is , in my view, highly probable that we will exit the FA Cup. I fail to see us beating a motivated and physically stronger Chelsea side... especially if we take a commanding lead of course.

So, by mid March our season will be over. There will be, therefore, an opportunity for some early planning for 2016-17. From my perspective I should like the club to make it clear to Martinez that he should start distributing his CV immediately. I would like the club to part company with him on Monday, not through feelings of venom towards him, but in the interests of the club. Although my preferred course of action I don't see it happening more's the pity.

The club would limp along towards May and it's reasonable to say we shouldn't go down. The next few months should see us sounding out an ambitious and hard-working manager with whom we can trust our swollen transfer kitty.

Lukaku will be gone in the summer so let's use the next two months blooding Niasse. Start off by giving him 45 minutes, and build that up. This way we can establish whether or not we have been sold a pup. With the £50 million for Rom ( not a penny less ) a new coach can search for additional strikers.

We should be "tapping up" in reverse regarding Stones... letting Chelsea and Man City that he can be theirs for £45M big ones. We then recruit a centre back with more of a yard dog pedigree. Stones, Jags and Funes Mori would make a decent boy band in my opinion, too nice looking by far. I want some big hank with his nose spread all over his face a la Steve Bruce to attack crosses and leave the nicer stuff to Mori.

The same applies to Barkley... cash in before the other clubs start to wake up to the fact that... he just isn't that marvellous !

So in my ideal world we have a new coach in place by July with a hefty bag of loot with time to buy his recruits and get them ready to come flying out the blocks when the season starts. Please, no more acquisitions that will be world beaters in six months when they have found their boots / got over their jet lag / finished their community service.

But it's Everton and we don't do planning. Ah well ! Plus ca change...

Sid Logan
66 Posted 08/03/2016 at 23:35:34
Fascinating read with some interesting related articles.

I think it's an absolute given that Martinez is here for the rest of this season and since I've pretty much written it off I can live with that.

What I lose sleep over is that I'm beginning to believe that he'll be here for the whole of next season as well. I really can't see Moshiri rushing in to that kind of major decision to dump Martinez, particularly since he'll still got Bill singing Matinez' praises In his ear in the short term.

I can't help feeling that those who believe that with a little bit of adaptability Martinez can become a success have got it completely wrong. He looks to be totally incapable of permanent and fundamental change.

Everything we've observed about him demonstrates that his beliefs are too ingrained to ever be developed in to a something more pragmatic - to coin the key phrase used in Patrick Boyland's piece.

He, and therfore we, are in a catch 22 situation where any success brought about by a short term flexibility he may be obliged to adopt in the face any temporary pressures, will, you can be certain, be jettisoned at the first opportunity to enable a return to his core beliefs. We have seen this happen already during his tenure where we think he's finally 'got it' only to find its business as usual in the next game.

I'm not sure I can put up with another season of mediocrity brought about by someone as self-deluded as Martinez.

Just occasionally I wonder, during Bill Kenwrights continuous long term romantic wallow in the past, if he ever believes it might be worth trying to create, in the present day, some vestige of success that future generations may be able to look back at with the same nostalic fervour he is blessed with.

If he does make this decision any time soon, let's hope he has an epiphany moment to tell him such a dream will never happen under Martinez, and that he imparts this new found enlightenment to Moshiri without delay!

Mark Wilson
67 Posted 08/03/2016 at 23:53:36
One of the saddest elements of this conversation is the fact that whilst there is much to applaud in terms of solid analysis of out defensive and game Mgt failures, the real truth gets very little coverage......how do the supporters influence Bill to make what is one of footballs most glaringly obvious decisions, and sack Roberto ? It's sad because the hate Kenwright thing has had endless coverage and boy is there a case to answer in many aspects of our recent history.

The issue is how Bill can honestly think this is going to end with some kind of amazing turnaround and a championship title etc. Incredibly this isn't about money now. We may not have given him a kings ransom to spend but it's been better than at any time in Moyes reign. This is now solely about accountability for 18m of terrible results, defensive failure on a truly grand scale, and embarrassing interviews that open us up to ridicule. He's just out of his depth. The guy cannot manage a game to conclusion. He actually doesn't like changing his original plan and it shows.

I remain convinced that Niasse on with 15 left was the plan and nothing, and I mean NOTHING was going deflect the leagues most stubborn and at times arrogant, manager from that plan. If you are prepared to accept that's right then the leap to dismissing him is a very small one. Bill has to know that the bold experiment has failed and now we need someone who can organise, and react to changing conditions in matches.

Bill is the key here not the FA Cup tie against Chelsea. He has waited a decade for a deal that allows him to do just this ie resist fans calls for the managers head, whilst gaining investment. Bill is obsessed with his deserved reputation for not knee jerking, for understanding the game and for his absolute assurance that he backs his mgrs through thick and thin and will not end up like those Chairmen appointing four mgrs in less than two years. It's a pride thing, it's an integrity thing. But unless he can be persuaded to see past Roberto's absolute decency and family values, and take a decision based solely on football, we are royally screwed because I very much think this guy can take us down like he did Wigan, investment or no investment.

Laurie Hartley
68 Posted 09/03/2016 at 09:29:48
Richard Dodd (#16) – welcome back – but I do hope you are wrong about "more suffering to come".
Nicholas Ryan
69 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:46:33
John Malone (#5) .... it’s all very well, having Jesus in the dugout ... but wouldn’t he rise up and leave after 3 days....!
Patrick Murphy
70 Posted 09/03/2016 at 14:02:12
Nicholas (69) I think you'll find that plenty of supporters seated close to the dug-out have been heard calling the name of the Lord, at almost every game for the last eighteen months, although they may just be cries of exasperation as various errors on the park continue unabated.
Colin Malone
71 Posted 09/03/2016 at 14:02:45
Peter @24,

What about Niasse? Surely you cannot say he was a panic buy by seeing him for 15 or whatever minutes. FFS.

How much is our team worth before RM became manager? How much is our team worth now?

Trevor Powell
72 Posted 09/03/2016 at 15:48:39
You will have to scroll down past the Leicester and Newcastle stuff to find a short piece on Everton unrest in this NBC Sports article:


Tony Waring
73 Posted 09/03/2016 at 17:56:24
Just read today's article in the Daily Telegraph stating that the players are becoming very frustrated with RM. Maybe they should make their views known to the new shareholder.
Steve Davies
74 Posted 09/03/2016 at 20:15:17
Lyndon, an excellent article, that sums it up in nutshell. Top drawer!
Harold Matthews
75 Posted 10/03/2016 at 10:38:54
Gary Neville is starting to get things right at Valencia after suffering an injury crisis. He'll be free at the end of the season, knows the Premier League and would be ten times better than Martinez, but Mr Moshiri may want a more experienced man in charge. Either way, it has ro be a taxi for the Spaniard with the flawed philosophy.
Craig Walker
76 Posted 10/03/2016 at 17:32:26
It’s sad how it has turned out. I remember the week that we drew with Arsenal at the Emirates in his first season. He did an interview with contributors from some Everton websites and he was a breath of fresh air. I genuinely thought we were on to something. It’s just the way it is with supporting Everton. False dawn after false dawn.

There were worrying signs in that first season though. We should have won the Goodison derby. Distin conceded a stupid free kick on the touch line and they rescued a point. We had some pressure on Boxing Day because we could have gone a calendar year without losing at home. Howard and Osman messed up between them by overplaying and we lost to Sunderland with 10 men. Palace turned us over in the run in. We surrendered to Southampton away, conceding two own-goals in the process and exited the cup at the Emirates with a meek display after getting knocked out of the League Cup against Swansea at home where we just didn’t come out in the second half.

I don’t buy the argument that Moyes would be the answer though. There were some bad performances under his tenure and leads squandered. We lost a semi-final and a final through his KITAP1 philosophy. I didn’t like how Moyes always felt we were plucky old Everton, punching above our weight. I agree that he was good for our club and did really well in stabilising us and making us competitive again. I still remember the RS fans singing "10 more years" to us after that semi-final.

As others have said better than I could, we need a manager who will take the best parts of Moyes with Martinez’s attacking and football principles.

Jay Wood
77 Posted 10/03/2016 at 19:44:47
There has been such a flurry of articles in the wake of the WHU capitulation that it is hard to keep up.

I haven't seen it flagged up by any one else, but within the Patrick Boyland article in 'These Football Times' there is a link to another article on the site giving a very good in-depth analysis of Everton's tactics under Roberto. It's worth a read for any one who likes that kind of thing.


From the Boyland article, the most revealing comments about RM come from the man himself, spoken a year ago in February 2015:

"I believe the way the game should be played is in a specific manner. I like to see players taking risks, and getting on the ball and relying on the talent of the players to score goals rather than systems and dead ball situations, keeping clean sheets and not taking risks.

"Unfortunately you get too many managers achieving success with another type of football. You can analyse teams over history, and there are parasite teams. There are certain styles that guarantee you 40 points, that’s success. Unfortunately you have other young managers trying to play the right way and they get relegated.

Football is not right in those moments."

Together with describing RM as an idealist rather than a pragmatist, this to me gets to the heart of the matter as to why Everton continue to frustrate under Roberto's stewardship.

He is clearly deeply enamoured and influenced by Guardiola and the Barcelona model. He wants his teams to produce football of aesthetic beauty and has contempt for 'parasite' football. An admirable ideal.

And yet ... and yet ...

As with most lofty idealistic aims, you very rarely encounter the ideal conditions and blank canvas on which to paint your grand Masterpiece.

In football, the opposition will not be passive sedentary models, willing to 'turn to the left a little' so you can catch them in a good light and mould them to your liking.

Within games, there are passages of play where you are not afforded the luxury of time to carefully mix your pallet and delicately enhance the appearance of your canvas. Rather, you have to race against the clock like a manic plasterer trying to breach a hole in the wall and before cracks start to appear in the rapidly drying plaster.

The RM quotes above, added to his now almost weekly pronouncements on his idealogy of how he WILL play the game, is further confirmation IMO that this man is not for changing.

He doesn't do or care for the dirty, grittier side of football. Indeed, he expresses clear contempt for it.

Sadly, I would argue that it is that side of football that is most prominent at the highest level of professional football and having an idealistic manager, not willing to compromise and be more pragmatic to combat that aspect of football, leaves Everton at a disadvantage in every single game we play under this manager.

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