FA Cup success shouldn’t save Roberto Martinez at Everton

The ingredients for success in cup football are a few shades removed from what’s required to thrive in the domestic, week-to-week grind of the Premier League and it's on the latter score that the manager has struggled for two seasons.

Matt Jones 12/04/2016 100comments  |  Jump to last

The ingredients for success in cup football are a few shades removed from what's required to thrive in the domestic, week-to-week grind of the Premier League.

In an elimination-style tournament teams aren't as prone to bunkering in, stifling opponents and trying to snatch a point. So sides possessing players who relish space to burst into and talented individuals can go a long way in any given season, with games often stretched. Those traits have been central to Roberto Martinez's Everton making it to two semi-finals this term.

Yet while the blueprint for a run to a semi-final may differ from one needed to push to the upper reaches of the Premier League, they aren't completely exclusive; one must supplement the other. A steady deterioration in league form means an inevitable demise in player quality, motivation and conviction in methods going forward.

It's why an unlikely FA Cup triumph shouldn't be enough to save Martinez, whose Everton side sagged back into 14th place this weekend with a 1-1 draw against Watford.

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That's not to say a piece of silverware wouldn't be lauded. A win at Wembley in late May would be celebrated and as the man to end Everton's 25-year trophy drought, the Catalan would etch himself into the annals of the club's rich history. It'd be celebrated wildly, remembered frequently and Martinez's name would be chanted by the assembled Toffees at the national stadium.

But once the euphoria of that potential triumph had worn off and memories of this Premier League season weaved their way back into the minds of weary Blues, trepidation would settle in again. Because the cup competitions have been a crutch for the manager, one which has been growing increasingly brittle as 2015-16 has rumbled on.

If this tumultuous term had been a one off, perhaps it'd be easier to detach from the top flight and focus on knockout football. But any semblance of structure and cohesion, something inherited and used well by Martinez in his debut campaign, has eroded. And without these core fundamentals, there's going to be a bleak future.

It's a future in which Everton will continue to operate without intensity, without an appetite for the physical battle and without a willingness to match what they may consider modest opposition for hard work. In which the manager fails to recognise and address clear flaws, with the same mistakes made week after week.

The long-term plan now appears to evolve around taking an idyllic view, striving for an unreachable utopia and hoping something clicks into gear. It'd be like trying to scale Everest without doing any preparation and packing any equipment. It might happen, mightn't it?

The template doesn't seem to be washing amongst those in the stands, though, and when supporters turn, like they have done lately, it's a treacherous hike back to a favourable position. Banners laced with discontent haven't been seen amongst Everton supporters this generation; they reflect the mood of a fanbase which recognises the team's long-term plight.

The concerns have been widely covered in the subsequent days. Other fans will pick up on this, as will the players and Martinez himself. The result will be an environment in which it's difficult to impress ideas and galvanise spirit, yet it's one entirely of the coach's own making. And it's not one for which an FA Cup win is the antidote for.

A decent beginning to the campaign allowed this Everton team the chance to focus on cup competitions. Although they're in 14th, 39 points means relegation is not a real threat and the passive theme of recent displays epitomises that position. But under Martinez, whose teams have mainly struggled in the top flight, how much longer will they be afforded such a luxury?

For spells last season there were concerns over relegation, especially in the wake of an abject loss to Stoke City. This term Everton look set to finish even lower in the standings, without the demands of European football to balance. 

How much lower will this team, with the likely loss of its top scorer ahead of 2016-17, slump next term? It's not unfeasible to predict a tussle to stay afloat in the top flight. 

It's a grim prediction, but one which is valid based on recent tangible evidence. After all, this is a side that's yet to beat a newly-promoted team and in their last six league wins—of a meagre nine in total—has only toppled the bottom three. This side, it seems, has found its level under this regime.

An Everton manager with this squad of players at his disposal should look to build a foundation upon which cup competitions can be mounted consistently. The whiff of silver should not be a last resort amidst another campaign of rank bad disappointment. That it is should say plenty to the club's decision-makers.

With new investment secured, the club is on the cusp of a critical summer, one in which a strong precedent must be set. And while Martinez's recruitment has been one of the positives of his tenure, the prospect of him continuing to mould this squad in his image is a terrifying one. A trophy being paraded around the streets of Liverpool, regardless of how sweet a sight that'd be, shouldn't mask that.

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Reader Comments (100)

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Christopher Dover
1 Posted 12/04/2016 at 18:51:15
Totally agree
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 12/04/2016 at 18:54:17
He won't. I've heard Moshiri hasn't spoken to him for weeks despite his claims to the contrary.
Martin Mason
3 Posted 12/04/2016 at 19:01:37
The Cup is irrelevant to the future success of EFC just a great thing for the fans. Martinez must be judged on Premier League performance only.
Mike Powell
4 Posted 12/04/2016 at 19:13:13
I would sack him before the semi final but I know it wont happen. Martinez does not deserve to lead our team out at Wembley.
Sid Logan
5 Posted 12/04/2016 at 19:21:47
A good read and totally agree with the thrust.

Something I've pondered on many time during Martinez' stime here is this: there is a clear indication of a disassociation between Martinez and the supporters by virtue of the fact that I have never heard his name chanted or sung by the fans.

Despite coming in for his share of stick from some fans David Moye's name regularly featured in songs and chants.

Could it be, that supporters, despite his successful first season, had already sensed a lack of connection with Martinez for whatever reason. If so this unease has now be proven to be extremely insightful!

Michael Penley
6 Posted 12/04/2016 at 19:23:58
Why would Moshiri need to talk to him, Colin? One is a majority shareholder, the other is a team manager. There's no need for the two to communicate.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 12/04/2016 at 19:50:51
Surely a majority shareholder would want to know in which direction his investment is going, Michael, and who better to tell him than his manager?

If I bought a company, the first thing I would do is see if the manager is up to task by cross examining him.

Peter Murray
8 Posted 12/04/2016 at 19:55:38
Martin Mason,

Winning the FA Cup is a major achievement.

All this childish in-house gossip will never change that. There is a feeling from a lot of these posts that there is a wish for Everton to lose, preferably the semi- final, and if not, well the Final.

Why? Because the anti-Martinez gravy train is on a roll (just as the anti-Moyes one was not all that long ago).

There was a "Martinez Out" banner at Watford. Which, of course, got all of the publicity. That was not protest. That was posturing. The brilliant support on that day got lost in translation.

What a fantastic way to help young players struggling with a loss of form and a team with a semi-final 2 weeks away.

What can we expect next? A plane over Wembley with the (à la Southampton anti-Kenwright nonsense) anti-Martinez banners?

Michael Penley
9 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:01:15
Colin, I don't know how these things work but I was under the impression that it was the board's responsibility to oversee management. No doubt Moshiri will be in contact with the board member he installed as well as Kenwright. Or maybe not. Who knows?
Jim Hardin
10 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:04:01

I heard that he did talk to RM but after 15 minutes of "phenomenal" and "in the right moment" and "possession and form matter over results," he was so confused he forgot what they were talking about in the first place.

Pete Cross
11 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:05:27
An EFC insider (not a cleaner or admin) has told me it all depends on the cup. Win it he stays; lose and he's gone.
Sid Logan
13 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:09:32

I don't want to hear that.

It puts us between a rock and a hard place. I've felt our name is on the cup but it would surely naive of the board to ignore the reality of 2 poor seasons.

I sincerely hope this rumour is not true!

Dave Ganley
14 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:24:12
Totally agree with the post, every word.

Pete, I hope thats not true. If so then it totally shows up the complete lack of ambition from the club. If so then its no wonder we are in the awful state that we have been in for the last 25 years.

Hate to say this but the RS put us to shame with the level of ambition they show compared to us. Sacked Houlier and he won a treble in 2000. Sacked the fat Spanish waiter after winning the Champions League and FA Cup, sacked Dogleash after winning the league cup and reaching the final of FA cup, sacked Brenda after he nearly won the league and was still above us when he was sacked.

If one of our managers had won any of those honours they would be feted for decades. We are an embarrassment really and the board are an utter disgrace for not sacking Martinez already.

Ian Brandes
15 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:25:26
I think Colin is correct about the non-existent relationship between Mr Moshiri and Martinez, so I do not believe the FA Cup will save him.

Moshiri is interested in commercial success, and prestige, and all indications are that he has decided the deluded one must go.

I hope it is sooner rather than later. I would much rather we won the cup under a caretaker manager than Roberto. Somehow a Cup win under him would be tainted after all the bad stuff that has gone on this season.

Roll on July when the grapevine suggests the new manager will arrive.

Richard Farrington
16 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:35:36
Pete (11). So he wins the cup and they give him a warchest to spend?

Come on – it's not that straight forward. It can't be.

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:50:27
Jim, after 15 minutes Moshiri said he felt feint and had to leave. Roberto ran after him but was restrained by Moshiri's minder.

I honestly don't think there is a relationship there, a bit like Ranieri and Abramovich.

Pete Cross
18 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:53:10
It's what I was told. I must admit, it filled me with fear.
Ben Jones
19 Posted 12/04/2016 at 20:59:29
I have to say, I agree with every bit of the article.
Richard Farrington
20 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:01:12
Very very worrying, that. He's got to go regardless of the cup. Fair enough though, mate, not really surprised after Kenwright's ridiculous comment after the Chelsea game.
Jack Convery
21 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:04:30
I've heard the same rumour. So the Cup becomes a poisoned chalice if we win it but, given WHU's form, I doubt it will happen.

If it did by some miracle happen, then RM will be in a significant moment come May 2017. The first manager in history to win the FA Cup twice and get relegated twice in 3 seasons – phenomenal indeed.

Bill Gall
22 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:20:51
If winning the cup is the criterion for keeping the manager,why bother going to a league game. You might as well save money and just go to cup games – that way you could only be disappointed twice a season if they loose. No, it is the league that is the priority and the cup should just be the icing on the cake.

Luck plays a lot in the cup depending on the draw. The league is what draws the supporters and continuous poor performances should not be accepted. The chairman has to swallow his pride and accept that he made a mistake, and admit that Martinez is not good enough for Everton.

Jack Convery
23 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:30:23
Bill (22) – if only Kenwright had used your reasoning, then this fraud would not have got through the door for an interview.
Colin Glassar
24 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:42:33
Laurent Blanc might be available after tonight. Well done, Man City, great performance.
Jack Convery
25 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:42:44
Pellegrini may well win the Champions League and will leave Man City. So why would EFC need to keep Martinez if we win the FA Cup? It's the Premier League that counts and finishing in the bottom half is not what it is all about. No such thing as blame.... Que?
Steve Durham
26 Posted 12/04/2016 at 21:47:11
For the longer term benefit of Everton Football Club, I would take a semi-final defeat if it means Martinez is immediately relieved of his duties.
Ian Brandes
27 Posted 12/04/2016 at 22:39:00

Pellegrini also free next season?

Paul Conway
28 Posted 12/04/2016 at 22:45:49
Maybe there won't be too much doom and gloom on the horizon, even if we reach the FA Cup final and do happen to lose.

I seem to remember our Milk Cup loss to the RS in '84 was the catalyst for a new dawn in the 80's. And let's not forget, for those of us who were around, that our defeat to Manure in the '85 Final was largely due to fatigue, along with a sublime strike by Norman Whiteside. We played that final only thee days after winning the European Cup Winners Cup against Rapid Vienna, without breaking sweat,

We also took Manure to extra time! Factor in the partying into the Thursday morning, we probably had less than 48 hours to prepare! We were even better than we thought we were!

If RM can emulate that kind of success, then everything that has been said about him being not up to the Everton job will be just just water under the bridge! And humble pie will replace Pukka Pies!
Carl Rutherford
29 Posted 12/04/2016 at 23:12:40
Firstly, I don't think we will win the cup, and if we do not, then Roberto should be sacked.

However if we were to win the cup then it absolutely should save his job. Our great club has been too long without a trophy and sacking the man who breaks that duck and who would have a cup record of 2 wins from 4 is not a wise move.

Let's put this in perspective a cup win would be a sixteenth of our major trophies throughout our history. Trophies are ultimately what teams are judged on and the FA Cup is embedded in the footballing history of this country, unfortunately it seems to have fallen behind Champions League qualification as a measure of success, however, in the long term what is more important to the history of this club – a trophy or a (probably) all too brief stint in an over hyped competition designed to pacify Europe's elite footballing superpowers?

Roberto Martinez probably will be sacked at some stage I am of the opinion he does not have the ability to deliver the standards our club should be striving for. However an FA Cup win would represent the closest anyone has coming to reaching those standards in 21 years so shouldn't result in his dismissal.

Steve Davies
30 Posted 12/04/2016 at 23:20:41
Great article.

Kenwright wants the FA Cup like Whelan wanted the FA Cup at Wigan, for sentimental reasons.

Kenwright is on his way out (hopefully not literally) and he wants to be in front of the cameras as Martinez wins it.

He will then probably step down and hand over the reigns to Moshiri. It is a good day out but everybody knows the league is our bread and butter.

Martinez has to go as his Premier League record is appalling. If not, we will be relegated.

Eddie Dunn
31 Posted 12/04/2016 at 23:22:22
I am as fed up as anyone with our current manager. However, if we get to the FA Cup Final under his guidance, then we are duty-bound to support him in his attempts to bring a trophy to our much neglected cabinet.

If he should succeed (and I doubt he will) in bringing us our first piece of silver in 21 years, then he even deserves to have 2 weeks in Lanzarote on an all inclusive deal, before picking up his P45 before the Euros.

You see... he will deserve his place in the sun!

Dan Davies
32 Posted 12/04/2016 at 23:22:51
Bill (#22), yes, the Premier League is the bread and butter, the FA Cup is the icing on the cake. As much as I want Martinez gone, I would give him the dignity of trying to win the Cup. I would still get the best man for the job, regardless of a cup win, though, and that's not Martinez.
John Davies
33 Posted 12/04/2016 at 23:23:02
I cannot believe I am saying this but if winning the FA Cup means Martinez stays at my beloved football club, I hope we don't win the damn thing.

Oh my God, what have I just said? How can one idiot do this to me?

Bill Gall
34 Posted 13/04/2016 at 00:37:19
Dan. I would also like to see Everton win the FA Cup but definitely don't believe that this should save Martinez his job. His record in the Premier League is the reason he should go – regardless of the rest of the season.
Matthew Williams
35 Posted 13/04/2016 at 01:07:57
Best case scenario is we win the Cup and straight after the game the fraud is sacked in the dressing room and gone from view forever. Our new shareholder should show a ruthless streak and bring this madness to an end. Then plan and build for the new season early doors.

By the way, I think it would be fitting if Colin Harvey led the Blue Boys out at Wembley... a TRUE WINNER!.
Martin Mason
36 Posted 13/04/2016 at 08:46:52

Sorry, the FA Cup winners get into the Europa League so it's a benefit to the club but I can't cope with the thought of the damage that Martinez can do.

I'd like us to win it but not at the expense of Martinez keeping his job – and yes I know we need to be careful what we wish for. Mickey Mouse would be less of an embarrassment to the club.

Nick Entwistle
37 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:01:59
The FA Cup is a grand irrelevancy. I wish it was the trophy of old, but it died long ago and the FA only have themselves to blame. But I guess they don't care as they're rich rich rich.

I'm all for winning it, why not. I'm all for winning against Palace too. But if we have a new manager wouldn't we be better off a lá Ranieri and simply have the Premier League to contend with? Minus a couple of irrelevant cup competitions...

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:40:54
I see your point Nick, but I'm not sure that the cup is irrelevant to the team that wins it.
Darren Bailey
39 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:56:06
Pete #11 - you really put the cat amongst the pigeons there with that comment didn't you? All of a sudden, there's a few pro Martinez and "give Martinez a chance" if we win a trophy. Blimey, if ever there was a turning point it was that comment.

I'm anti Martinez for several reasons, not just the results. His continuous blabbing, irrelevant comments, pre and post match interviews (which I'm sure is just a variation of the same interview but YouTubed to be just slightly different each time).

The 'Men In Black' comment is spot on really. The way he's got the team set up, no Plan B, substitutions, not playing to certain players strengths and complete lack of any defensive savvy. The list goes on.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone with this and with the discontent shown he cannot stay on as our manager no matter what! Or can he?

Hear me out. Martinez first season was "phenomenal" but was built on a solid Moyes defensive set up. Were we happy at that point? Yes, I think we were.

What if, by some miracle, we were to appoint a defensive coach a la Moyes-esque and Martinez was able to work with that defensive base? Would this change things? Obviously he would have to change his tactics slightly and adapt-is he able to do that? Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the above scenario but it could be a condition of him staying on.

However, a better option would be that we win the FA Cup and as a successful cup manager the Spanish national side see him as their new coach and he departs for sunny Spain. Now that's the outcome I'd love.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 13/04/2016 at 10:30:51
Hmmmm. I'm pretty staunchly anti-Martinez at the moment and would be happy were he sacked tomorrow.

However... If we win the cup and a lot of our remaining games (a huge 'if'!) then its possible that we would finish the league in the top ten, with a cup in the cabinet and in Europe next season.

If all those things were to happen then despite the many painful moments I think we would have to constitute it as a decent if not successful season and one on which may justify giving him one last crack at it.

I don't think it will happen but if it does, and we finish the season on a real high, then I can understand the board wanting to keep that feeling and hope it carries on through to next season.

Eugene Ruane
41 Posted 13/04/2016 at 10:57:21
Careful Sam! (40)

You'll have Ludwig Entwistle and Bugermeister Mason grabbing for their torches.


John Daley
42 Posted 13/04/2016 at 11:12:23
"....a couple of irrelevant cup competitions"

Irrelevant to who? For a club that hasn't won anything, bar a few patronising slaps on the back, for over two decades now, no trophy should be so readily dismissed as an irrelevance.

See how irrelevant it is to those fans who will be scrambling and shelling out well over the odds to secure tickets for the final, if we win the semi.

Jamie Barlow
43 Posted 13/04/2016 at 11:59:28
Sid@5, I'm sure we've heard Allez Allez Allez Oh sang a few times.
Eugene Ruane
44 Posted 13/04/2016 at 11:59:51













(Nurse Ratched appears with trolly full of pills)

Brian Murray
45 Posted 13/04/2016 at 12:13:37
Re Paul Conway's comments, we are not a Watford so getting there means sod all unless you win it; it's called a winning mentality.

Why do you think Peter Reid refused the 86 bus homecoming after shiesters beat us and banned us all in one fell swoop?

Please stop thinking the Moyesesque loser way.

Roy Noon
46 Posted 13/04/2016 at 12:14:07
Firstly, I must say I think Roberto is a decent bloke. I don't like the level of vitriol that he is being subjected to, irrespective of how things are going.

Having got that off my chest, the facts are that, over his tenure, our league position is on the decline. The likelihood, based on this, is that next season will be a relegation dog fight.

Much as an FA Cup win would be fantastic and, even if we won every game until the end of the season (the latter won't apply anyway) Roberto should be thanked for his efforts and shown the door.

If we allow the FA Cup and the other semi final to cloud our judgement and Roberto stays, next year will be a difficult season, particularly given the likelihood that the quality of our playing staff will be reduced.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 13/04/2016 at 12:39:26
I enjoyed that link Eugene, it took me to some funny clips, but If Nurse Ratched would have given some of those pills to Roberto, I wouldn't want to feel like "The Chief" every time he opened his mouth!

Is it just me, but I Really can't wait for Sky to pull the plug, before the whole of fucking football becomes irrelevant!

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 13/04/2016 at 12:57:34
Martin (#47),

You don't want Martinez here any longer, I can understand that, but you defend Kenwright all the way. I will never comprehend that, Martinez is much lesser the problem, and soft lad appointed him.

I'm away for a week so will reply Martin, if there is anything to reply to.

Nick Entwistle
50 Posted 13/04/2016 at 13:08:40
I think he was quoting me, Martin.

The FA Cup isn't what it was. I can name every cup finalists from the last Wembley final between Chelsea and Villa to long before I was born. But how many can go from last year's final... Arsenal and erm... Villa... and go back to the start of the Millennium Stadium era.

If you're out, you no longer care, or care that you're out. The Cup Final day doesn't exactly cause tumble weeds to roll through the shopping centres like it used to.

Maybe its one for a ToffeeWeb poll, and I appreciate there will be people lusting after success at Wembley, but it's not for me.

Derek Thomas
51 Posted 13/04/2016 at 13:20:34
Steve Davies @30; you could be right with the sentimental thing...Bill to a tee.

The Cup could save him – see above and it might (let's forget there's 2 games to get out of the way, eh?)


Patrick Murphy
52 Posted 13/04/2016 at 13:47:43
According to the Daily Mail, Everton lifting the FA Cup may result in Everton paying Chelsea more for Romelu Lukaku's services due to one of several clauses in the deal, or worse it could result in Chelsea buying him back for a knock-down fee.

Only at Everton could lifting a trophy be detrimental to the clubs finances – OK it probably happens all the time in these agent driven days – but surely there has to be a stop to these sort of deals and get back to the old-fashioned way of doing things.

Cut-Price Rom

Martin Mason
53 Posted 13/04/2016 at 13:57:34
Dave@49, I'd rather say not that I defend Kenwright – only that I defend him against some of the ridiculous accusations levelled against him on here. In terms of team quality BK's input is only to buy the players within the budget available. He has no input in how those players are trained and how they perform on the pitch, that is 100% down to RM.

Having lower quality players than the top clubs could be levelled at Kenwright because we had low revenue but the woeful performances that we've witnessed, the inability to defend against crosses or a lead is because of the incompetence of the manager and backroom staff – not BK. Under no circumstances do I defend BK in keeping this clown off the dole.

Tom Bowers
54 Posted 13/04/2016 at 14:46:47
I think as most Evertonians do and that is when will the turnaround come? We have been patient for many years since the Kendall era and despite changes in managers and one or two promising indications the team has been generally of mid-table quality for many of those seasons.

What makes it worse under the Martinez reign is that they have for arguably 3 seasons the greatest depth of talent that any manager has had before since Kendall and yet they have so woefully underperformed.

Can it be the players not following the managers strategies, the players not being good enough or the manager himself being unable to permutate a strong strategy over the last 3 seasons?

It could be all three but we all agree there has to be changes and that has to start with a new manager who talks the talk and walks the walk.

We need a team who can score goals and then shut up shop instead of a team that becomes as soft as butter after they score. Yes, it would be nice to win the cup but that doesn't mean the manager has done well as we have seen in the past. Many poor teams have won the cup but it's unlikely this poor Everton team will follow suit.

Nick Entwistle
55 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:00:51
Patrick, if we went back to the old-fashioned way of doing things there will be a great number of brown paper bags and Motorway Services involved.

Maybe the question of should or shouldn't we save Roberto, be more Does a Cup win lay the foundations for future success? Unless you're Man City with the Saudi Royals backing them, from previous winners this century, the answer is probably no.

John Daley
56 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:33:54
Nick @50,

Correct. I was quoting you.

I understand lifting the FA Cup may not carry the prestige it once did, but it's still a trophy, a tangible achievement, something that will be scrawled down in the record books and be remembered for a hell of a lot longer than a 'best of the rest league' finish.

I find this quote pretty fucking puzzling:

"I appreciate there will be people lusting after success at Wembley, but it's not for me."

It's not for you? As a Blue, how can seeing Everton lift a trophy (any trophy) be not for you? 'Well, i'll begrudgingly accept it like... if I have to... but I'll make sure any celebrations are really, really subdued, just so it's clear that this particular cup barely ranks above giving my scrote a good scratch.'

It rings about as hollow to me as Austin Powers proclaiming that Swedish penis pumps aren't his bag.

Kevin Tully
57 Posted 13/04/2016 at 16:06:48
My mind was made up once we reached the semi's of the Cup – if we won a trophy after a 21-year drought, then ANY manager deserved the next season to build on that success.

The trouble is, Martinez seems to have lost the faith of the players. Baines speaking out the way he did confirmed to me there are major issues within the Everton dressing room. I don't think there is any way back for the manager once you lose the senior pros within a tight knit squad like ours. We aren't talking about prima donna, spit-the-dummy-out superstar players here, these are good honest footballers who have a problem with the manager and his tactics.

Martinez hasn't helped himself by talking bollocks every time a microphone is shoved under his nose either. We can just about put up with it while we are in a decent position in the League, but it grates even more when we are 14th.

Taking all that into consideration, I just don't think there is any way back for the manager, so I won't be sorry to see him go if we win the Cup. Let's be honest, he probably would be gone at the majority of other clubs after last season, so he can count himself lucky he got this season to prove himself. It's gotten worse instead of improving.

Matthew Williams
58 Posted 13/04/2016 at 16:57:06
Trophies are the most important thing to any club. Success breeds success and we have been starved of it for far too long.

After the season we've had, a Cup win is all that truly matters, even if it means the Spaniard stays. 21 years of misery has to end... we're fucking owed big time, this club deserves some joy!
Paul Conway
59 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:03:50
Brian Murray @ 45, thank you for your remarks as it made me re-read my comments and they did come over as pro-Martinez and a tad negative.

I can assure you that was not the intention. If you have read any of my comments on previous posts, you will see they're very much anti-Martinez. It was a simple tongue-in-cheek attempt at trying to imply that 'out of evil comes good'. No negativity intended.
Liam Reilly
60 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:25:25
Patrick (#52),
Just nonsense sensational journalism. It also states that those dastardly southerners may even knock down the price because Everton still owe them some cash for Lukaku.

Hold the front page!

Nigel Munford
61 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:41:15
Did RM leave Wigan or was he sacked?
Colin Glassar
62 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:44:06
He left Nigel. Peg Leg Whelan loved him.
Nick Entwistle
63 Posted 13/04/2016 at 20:45:19

It's not for me. When we lost to Chelsea, it didn't exactly resonate like dropped points away to Palace. Or who ever we did the week before.

Colin Hughes
64 Posted 13/04/2016 at 21:05:54
I just watched Man Utd outclass West Ham for most of the game and quite honestly can't see us beating them on current form. Two reasons: they have a more organised defence and a world class keeper.

I can only see 2012 all over again when we lost three times to the RedShite in one season, as Man Utd have already doubled us in the league with relative ease.

Andy Walker
65 Posted 13/04/2016 at 21:54:40
Martinez was never goiing to be the right manager, not in a million years, a basic assessment of his past track record would have told any fan that 3 years ago. Unfortunately the club is learning the hard way that it must ignore spin and concentrate on reality and evidence.

Bill did what he said he would do and found a billionaire, blows away the 'Bill will never sell' narrative touted on this site for years. This is a game changer, no question. Thank you Bill.

Moshiri didn't buy 49.9% to stick in his pension plan. It's Stage 1 of his plan.

Martinez will go, see above paragraph, he ain't going to piss around with a manager that's not fit for purpose. This was obvious from the day Moshiri bought in (he won't fall for the spin like Bill) and winning the FA Cup will not stop this long term strategy. Timing is the big unknown.

Great to see so many now doing U-turns and seeing the light. Shame it took so long, but at least we are all now pretty much on the same page and as a fan base we can start to exert pressure to speed up the process to rid us of our casino manager.

Change is on the way, exciting times ahead.....

Peter Murray
66 Posted 13/04/2016 at 22:04:03
Pete Cross (#11),

This is Agatha Christie stuff.

I bet it was one of the programme sellers. The plot thickens.

Anthony Dwyer
67 Posted 13/04/2016 at 23:49:02
Roberto has to go, whether the FA Cup is won or not.

I'd be delighted to win the cup, I'd love to see Jags get the chance to lift it, I'd love to see the faces on my boys when the final whistle goes.

But regardless of anything that happens, we will be wasting precious time if we allow Roberto to remain in charge come the start of the next campaign.

If he wins the cup, he should be told to walk, keeping it as a mutual agreement.

If he doesn't then he should go as soon as the cup run comes to an end.

He's clearly lost the fans, he's clearly lost the players (again); there's no coming back.

Jamie Sweet
68 Posted 14/04/2016 at 03:01:46
If we're not bothered about winning trophies any more, why the fuck are we all here? Seriously, why bother?
David Connor
69 Posted 14/04/2016 at 09:51:21
Sooner we get rid of this piss-poor manager the better. On recent showings we will without question lose the semi final to a rejuvenated Man Utd.

Even if by some fluke we go on and win it we cant have another awful league campaign with this man in charge. Half the team seem as if they are fucked off with his philosophy. All well and good if you have world class players but we don't...

Win the trophy and we will be stuck with him for another season. Double edged sword isn't it... Whatever the outcome, he is a waste of fucking space.

Mike Allen
70 Posted 14/04/2016 at 11:01:52
We keep going on about this squad of players – they are grossly over hyped from one to eleven or whatever numbers they have these days, so much baffling claptrap that you start thinking it must be me.

Manufactured stats shopping in Russia – how the hell has he got away with it for so long?

Gary Ashworth
71 Posted 14/04/2016 at 11:41:39
I agree with Carl #29 in that Roberto Martinez is one of the nicest guys in modern day football. He does not deserve the pure hatred and personal insults he's been receiving. I understand we as supporters are passionate and angry, but the guy doesn't deserve the the treatment he's getting at the moment. We can all express our dissatisfaction in a more appropriate manner.

The same can be said of Bill Kenwright. Another fantastic servant to the club. We forget that Everton are the longest serving club in top flight football, he played a part in keeping EFC in the Premier League and he's done his best. Like Baines, Bill Kenwright is one of us and did not deserve the plane/banner demanding he stepped down.

Now that's off my chest... I prefer to think of the FA Cup as a separate entity to the league, which I know is not going to be popular with most fans. I want us to win the cup; it's a fantastic competition and 1995 was a long time ago. I don't want our league issues to ruin what could potentially be a fantastic end to a poor season. It would be horrible to think we get the final and there's banners with "Martinez Out" on display at Wembley.

Of course it would be remiss for everyone to disregard our league situation should we win the cup. The FA Cup is a secondary priority to any club's league status; I'm sure with hindsight Wigan would have sacrificed cup success to remain in the Premier League. Our issues in the league need to be addressed... and I'm sure they will be internally once the season has finished.

Moshiri took his money out of a great club (Arsenal) and invested in EFC for a reason. He has a vision and believes that vision can be achieved at EFC. Whether that vision includes Roberto Martinez remains to be seen. He's a businessman and he's smart, it's unlikely he will make any decisions until the end of the season. Whatever happens and whatever the outcome, I believe Martinez needs to be recognised for the fact he got the club into Europe and into two semi finals in two cup competitions – love him or hate him, that is an achievement for any Everton manager.

If he remains the manager next season, then I think the fans need to lay off him and get behind him and the team. We can't have another season with chants of "Martinez Out". If he isn't the manager next season, then we should thank him for his passion and commitment and wish him all the very best for the future.

Brian Murray
72 Posted 14/04/2016 at 12:20:27
Pual Conway (#59). I hear you... I just loathe the model EFC have become and hate them as much as I love them.

The smokescreen that was Peter Johnson has long gone so no gratitude from me to Bill. He's turned a generation or two of blues into thinking small and acting small... and so it goes on.

Never get rid or appoint a winner while he has Mr Moshiri around his finger. Even if Liverpool cane us. Again.

Patrick Murphy
73 Posted 14/04/2016 at 12:50:04
Gary (71) Joe Royle took a team that was on its knees and guided them to the FA Cup triumph in 1995, following a terrible 12 months of performances and results under his predecessor.

Joe managed to win six home league games from his first ten, which included victories over Man Utd and our neighbours and he also led his side to victory at Stamford Bridge.

David Moyes took Everton to a League Cup Semi-final and the last 16 of the Europa League in 2008 and his team ended the campaign in 5th place. The following year Everton competed in Europe albeit briefly and once again finished fifth in the league but also managed to reach the FA Cup final after beating Villa, Liverpool and United along the way.

As recently as 2012, Moyes took his team to the FA Cup semi-final, that season wasn't a great one but by the time Moyes led Everton out at Wembley his team had managed ten league victories at Goodison and ended the campaign in a respectable 7th place.

Even the season that Wigan blew away our FA Cup hopes in the sixth round tie at Goodison, Everton still managed seven home league victories by the time that quarter-final took place and finished the season in 7th position.

There is no question that all Evertonians will be right behind Roberto's Everton team in what remains of the FA Cup campaign, but the only reason that I can see for his tenure to be extended beyond this season is if Moshiri decides to relinquish his shares in Everton and give them back to the previous owners, because there are no signs of any improvement in the performances or results of Roberto's team in the last 18 months.

Roberto hasn't taken Everton from Championship obscurity to the promised land, he has taken a long-established Premier League club down the garden path and is now lost in a maze of his own making – for that reason he should be replaced.

Peter Barry
74 Posted 14/04/2016 at 13:17:10
We aren't angry with Roberto, Gary (#71) – just disappointed that he is not the Manager he promised to be. But Billy Liar and the Board must take the blame too for falling for his guff when his record was there plain as day and what he has done to Everton was easy to foretell.
Barry Pearce
75 Posted 14/04/2016 at 15:28:35
Agree with all in the post.

I sincerely believe if he doesn't go win or lose the FA Cup, we will be in a relegation fight next season.

Jim Bailey
76 Posted 14/04/2016 at 16:40:32
Gary @71
I should imagine a lot of us on here started out thinking along the same lines. We are after all Evertonians and there is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things.

Problem is, Gary, if we all just roll over and let are tummies be tickled we deserve no better.

There are no doubt many mild mannered people on these posts and elsewhere, myself included who are being driven to distraction by the Phenomenal One. There are only so many ways as a fan that you can show your annoyance, anger, frustration, and letting rip on forums such as this is healthy and lets off steam.

So with genuine respect, Gary, I join the majority and wish for Martinez to be fucked off sooner rather than later.

Roberto Granelli
77 Posted 14/04/2016 at 16:58:38
All, does anyone know if Martinez actually ever reads the comments on TW? I'm assuming some of the players do and if so, the tone of general discontentment must be getting through to them and him, as well as Kenwright, even if they think it's only a minority.

Whether or not Moshiri reads them doesn't matter, remember he's an accountant and a businessman. He'll look at the declining stats over the last three years and see the manager is not fit for purpose.

By the way, I was a Roberto man before he was. :)
Phil Bellis
78 Posted 14/04/2016 at 17:22:28
Jim (76),

We've been rolling over and bending over for many, many years.

I despair of the post-Sky generation who tell me "It's not a level playing field"; "we can't compete with the money" et al.

They've been brought up to accept mediocrity, the "facts" of Premier League life, 40 points is everything, 4th is an achievement: bollocks! Leicester to all that
I'll be selling cushions outside the Winslow on Saturday – bring a bag

Joe Foster
79 Posted 14/04/2016 at 18:13:54
There is going to be a banner on Saturday that says "phenomenal".
Jim Bailey
80 Posted 14/04/2016 at 18:21:24
Very true, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Whoever comes in next has to have a winning mentality about them that the players,whoever may be left, can feed off. Here's hoping.

ps: How much are you flogging them for?

Peter McCann
81 Posted 14/04/2016 at 19:22:18
I have said before that Martinez will not be sacked until after the FA Cup. Kenwright is a true blue but a romantic and he will want to bow out with the romance of his beloved Everton running round Wembley with the cup and I for one would not blame him one bit for that. Yes, he will cry, but for goodness sake, so will I, and I am not ashamed of it as I have stored such tears for many many years.

However, after that Moshiri is a business man. He is not romantic like Kenwright. He didn't coming watching Everton as a kid , he has just invested a large sum of his own money into the club not because he loves the place and thinks of the glory days but on the basis he is a business man. As such he will want a return on his money and hence wants the club to be successful.

He didn't appoint Martinez. He will do what he thinks will best serve the club and his investment. As such I can't see him sticking with Martinez. He will appoint someone who he sees taking the club forward and seeing some return on his investment.

As such let's win the cup and let Moshiri do what is best hopefully for his investment which in turn will be best for us as supporters.

Bill, let's shed those tears of happiness in May.

Don Alexander
82 Posted 14/04/2016 at 20:01:59
I believe Kenwright's tenure has been, erm, dodgy. That said I was grateful he signed Moyes when he did and we just about got out of a likely relegation.

I have no idea at all why he allowed Moyes to bugger off whilst still having months to go as our manager. That did my head in. To call it unprofessional is an understatement and it reeks of "second-rate" acceptance. It was an embarrassment without precedent as far as I know.

Kenwright then plumbed new depths when he signed the only manager who had accrued an aggregate score of 74-1 in just fifteen of his worst defeats as well as a win percentage less than 30% whilst at Wigan! That did my head in again.

I confess I enjoyed the first season he was here, until toward the end when the team ran out of steam. It was a omen of what we've had to endure since.

The squad is insufficiently fit compared to others and it is seen to be so. That means that regardless of tactics the unfitness of the players is likely to make the result a negative one. If the tactics are crap too it's worse but it is not the fault of the players. As professionals they MUST work under management shortcomings because not to do so costs them their place as a minimum and that damages their careers and, eventually their income. So like us, they have to endure it, and all the time aware that their careers are declining anyway, but in a "professional" way that's unlikely to get them identified by some other managers as treacherous.

If by some fluke we beat Man Utd, it'll be the first time this season we'll have beaten a team above us in the league and to me that's another omen.... and then there's a visit to Mordor to look forward to!

Anyway..... I might not be bothered by then cos I'm phoning the Samaritans next (joke). Have a great weekend!

Tom Roberts
83 Posted 14/04/2016 at 20:20:22
Safe to say that we all want EFC to win the FA Cup. Hopefully that goes without saying.

It is a big Summer coming up for the club and the biggest decision of all should be the appointment of a new manager. We have to show ambition and aim for the very best, for me there is only one candidate. Step forward, Diego Simeone.

He would never come to Everton you will say. Who would have thought that Jurgen Klopp would go to the RS? We cannot settle for second best any longer.

We have money to spend on the squad and with just a few tweaks he would have us challenging certainly in less that the 3 years that Martinez has had. His players would die for him and he is a winner. Over to you, Mr Moshiri.

Michael Penley
84 Posted 14/04/2016 at 20:20:33
Could it be possible that Bill's "What a manager" comment could be a sales pitch, like Whelan's comments when we bought Roberto from Wigan? Or is that too naive? We have seen both the Spain manager and Klinsmann say how great Martinez is since those comments, so maybe Bill's more clever than he looks.
Les Martin
85 Posted 14/04/2016 at 20:26:30
The Derby and the FA Cup semi-final should define Martinez's future, within the short space of 10 days from now his position as having a future with Everton could be unattainable. Lose those games and the clamour for his removal will reach the inevitable conclusion.

I want to be optimistic, but I cant honestly see us winning either game. We could sadly get a lesson from both games unless we discover the Chelsea form.

David Cooling
87 Posted 14/04/2016 at 21:16:46
I think Martinez has to go, albeit he might as well see the season out now, he got us to the semi final of FA and League cups, so he should see the job through. Regardless wether we win it or not, he should then be removed from the managers role.

His inability to change tactics or personnel for different games, is his major downfall. There is no Plan B when the game is not going our way.

This is the best Everton squad I've seen assembled in over 30 years of support, and he can't get the best out of them. I think as supporters all we can do is get behind the team, and try and give them the boost they need from the stands; they are not going to get it from Roberto. Sad.

Christopher Dover
88 Posted 14/04/2016 at 22:13:04
Why do I want Roberto gone? Because the football at home is slow, predictable and boring, with the odd flash of excitement, it is making many of us not care what happens in the next match or the one after that.

He is credited with bringing in good signings, but if rumours are true he will be responsible for most leaving as well.

As I have said before and do not like saying it but believe it to be true, if he is manager next season we will be relagated, just like some other team was.

Ian Riley
89 Posted 14/04/2016 at 22:25:15
Are we being realistic in thinking Martinez will be sacked? We are safe from relegation, two semi finals. One might say a successful season. We could come seventh and out of the cups early. As fans we have different aims coming into the season.

Mr Kenwright does not sack managers unless our Premier League status comes under threat. Martinez wins the FA Cup, first trophy since 1995. Then see you in August, Roberto.

Andy Codling
90 Posted 14/04/2016 at 22:29:33
Roberto goes on about our successful European campaign??

Really... was it successful?

Ian Riley
91 Posted 14/04/2016 at 23:01:39
Most of you want Martinez out! Who would you have next as manager? Please be realistic!!
Paul McGinty
92 Posted 14/04/2016 at 23:50:45
The Reds' previous manager Rogers, was in my opinion roughly on par with our current manager, particularly in terms of personal style. They have obviously upgraded. Even at two-down which Evertonian did not expect a comeback at Anfield tonight?

Living in the USA, I switched back and forth between the Atletico - Barca game and the Palace game yesterday. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see, for example, how Atletico defend from the front and as a unit, with urgency and nastiness through 95 minutes or so, compared to us.

At least Coleman and Barry showed some grit last night, but the organization defensively leaves a lot to be desired. How we accepted the second bulshit yellow on James McCarthy I thought was pretty poor. The ref never felt the need to even anything up yesterday because we are just so freaking nice.

This present group of players, obviously has talent, but they seem just too comfortable, and for a mid table team that's shouldn't be acceptable, I can only imagine what a Mourinho or Simeone would do with this team – and it wouldn't be talking about a phenomenal performance after a nil-nil at Palace.
Jim Potter
93 Posted 15/04/2016 at 00:17:40
Let's just win it first. After that .... will take care of itself.

FA Cup glory and Martinez stays v a loss and he goes.... for me, the former. I want to have that winning euphoria again after 21 years of nowt but misery.

But, if he wins it and they give him the push – fine.

David Israel
94 Posted 15/04/2016 at 00:47:20
If Roberto Martinez had been sacked long ago, as he so richly deserved, we wouldn't be having this argument and wouldn't - some of us anyway - be wishing that we don't win the FA Cup (which strikes me as a preposterous wish).

That said, and no matter what the rumour mill, well-informed sources and so on, say about it, I don't think he'll be here next season, regardless of what happens in the Cup. Kenwright may still be chairman, but I think that it is now essentially a ceremonial role.

Mick Davies
95 Posted 15/04/2016 at 03:00:02
My first doubts about the Phenomenal One started in the latter part of his first season when, for some unexplained reason, just as we were close to a Champions League place, we play Palace at home and he changes the dynamic of the team by leaving (at that time) one of our most valuable players on the bench (McCarthy, who had been ever present up until then). There was no need to change a winning side, but I believe that decision started the rot.

Since then, he has slowly turned us from a Euro-challenging side, to a bunch of no-hopers in the league, and if Kenwright was prepared to come in front of the cameras throwing bouquets over the Chelsea game, by the same token, he should have come out with brickbats over 40-50 games before or since.

Kenwright is just a bum actor, who happens to have gotten his hands on his favourite toy and, unlike Moores, who sacked a promising young manager, who built the first great '60s side, he hasn't got the best interests of the club he claims he loves at heart.

Phil Walling
96 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:58:05
Ian @89. Thank you for backing up the view I have held for several weeks. The accomplishments you set out for Martinez will be more than enough for him to keep his job. The change most of us wish for is just that — a wish!

I see above that some regard Kenwright's on-going role as 'merely ceremonial'. Again my opinion (based on insider whispers), nothing could be further from the truth.

Dennis Ng
97 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:04:51
Phil 96, about BK's role, it is disappointing to hear. If that's the case, both us and Moshiri drew the short straw.
Dan Davies
98 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:09:26
Well I for one cannot see a hard-nosed businessman Billionaire just saying to Kenwright "Here you go Bill there's my credit card, spend as much as you want!"

Do you really believe Kenwright will be calling the shots? No I think Moshiri will be more involved than that somehow. He's not going to throw his money away that easy.

Roll on the summer.

Martin Nicholls
99 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:13:24
Phil – I am relatively new to TW. Had it not been for your post (#96) I would have thought that the controlling shareholder (Moshiri) rather than a minority shareholder (whether or not company chairman) would be making all major decisions, including any relating to who should manage his company.

That said, I note that you have inside information. Obviously I would not expect you to reveal your sources but, in order for me and other ToffeeWebbers to form an opinion as to the accuracy of your prediction, perhaps you could enlighten us as to specific past instances when your onside information has proved to be (more) accurate than mere newspaper or other uninformed speculation.

Tony Twist
100 Posted 15/04/2016 at 20:50:12
The Sun Newspaper (yeah I know) has suggested today that our majority shareholder is looking into something I suggested a while ago and that is a director of football.

Now I suggested that so that some hard nosed SoB came in and basically took over the show and eventually Martinez would push off. That was before we got Moshiri's money, I would be disappointed if we go down that road now and staying with the clown manager still in charge.

Anthony Dwyer
101 Posted 16/04/2016 at 23:26:44
Ian Riley 91;

Ronald Keoman, out of contract at the end of this season.

Guus Hiddink, out of contract at the end of the season.

Pelligrini, out of contract at the end of this season.

De Boer, looking for a Premier League job, has to be attracted to us with our squad and new owner/investment.

Laudrup, managing in Quatar, wasted and just won a domestic double.

Mourinho, one of the more adventurous choices, but he likes the Premier League and if Man Utd don't take him then who is more attractive? Chelsea, man City, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool, West Ham, all don't need a manager so who's left.

I would loathe to think Moshiri would accept a manager like Dyche or Eddie Howe.

We have to think big, we are in the most attractive league in the world, we pay our managers handsomely, and we now hopefully have a genuine investor.

Colin Glassar
102 Posted 19/04/2016 at 19:00:36
Could Roberto be the first manager to lift the cup with two different teams and leave each club immediately after? I can't think of anyone else who's done that.
Patrick Murphy
103 Posted 19/04/2016 at 19:04:27
Colin (102) I doubt it's happened previously. but I could live with that particular eventuality occurring in May, however, I'm not sure I could live with Everton not lifting the FA Cup and Roberto still being at the helm when the FA Cup starts all over again next season.

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