The Vanity of Idealism

Roberto Martinez's utopian vision is wholly at odds with Everton's dystopian present

Lyndon Lloyd 05/05/2016 171comments  |  Jump to last
Roberto Martinez's utopian vision is wholly at odds with Everton's dystopian present

In many ways, it's quite apt that Everton will travel to the King Power Stadium this Saturday where they will form the guard of honour for the new winners of the Premier League, assuming the role of sideshow to the coronation of, arguably, the most unlikely champions in the history of English football.

Unlike on occasions past where Evertonians have played witness to the confirmation of the title winners — most memorably when Arsenal thumped the Toffees 4-0 at Highbury in 1998, simultaneously winning the title and positioning Howard Kendall's Everton on the brink of relegation — it's not so much wistful envy they will feel but burgeoning frustration that it wasn't Everton who has shattered the seemingly unbreakable hegemony of the moneyed elite in the modern day Premier League. That our club wasn't even remotely in the top four picture for the second season running.

Leicester's stunning achievements this year have been a cause of soul-searching and examination of what's going wrong at Everton for a while now and this weekend will only serve to intensify those feelings of what could have been and crystallise what the hierarchy must do to put the club into a position of being able to match the Foxes' feat in the next few years.

That conversation inevitably begins with Roberto Martinez who is in danger of steering Everton to a second successive bottom-half finish for the first time since 2002. As such, his job hangs very much in the balance, and rightly so. Last weekend's vocal but sparsely-attended protests at Goodison Park after the Bournemouth game may not have painted the picture of an overwhelming loss of confidence in the manager by the fanbase as a whole but anecdotal evidence from match-going supporters combined with that provided by fan website commentary, online polls and the echo chambers of social media suggests that a huge majority feel that the Catalan's tenure has run its course.

Results this season illustrate clearly why there is so much disillusionment with the way the campaign has played out in almost the same fashion as the last, particularly at home where Evertonians have witnessed just five victories in 13 months. The Blues' away form, trumpeted repeatedly by the manager in recent weeks as being worthy of Champions League qualification, hasn't been much better — just as many wins and too many draws; enough to put Everton not 4th but 8th in the “away” table.

The cold hard facts of Everton's declining league fortunes since that false dawn in 2013-14 are, sadly, damning of both Martinez's tenure and the argument that he should be given more time to try and prove that he can lead the club back to the fringes of the top four and beyond. If the worsening points return and flat performances from the team lately weren't enough to sway the Goodison hierarchy that his days should be numbered, it's his increasingly contradictory and baffling rhetoric that should erase all doubt that a fresh face and approach are needed.

Time was that most Evertonians were enamoured with Robert's sunny pronouncements. His expounding of the merits of dynamic, possession-based football played by exciting, young and versatile players with an emphasis on attack was like music to the ears of Evertonians who were hoping that the Catalan could provide that vital ingredient to finally bring silverware back to the Blue half of Merseyside.

Two seasons after he exceeded all expectations with a fifth place finish, Martinez's words at best ring hollow and, at worst, frustrate and infuriate as results continue their downward trajectory at the end of another wasted season. The evidence has piled up this season that his methods are simply not working, that the players are no longer on board and that he refuses to change.

His recent interview with Jamie Carragher and Dominic King for the Daily Mail was as neat and troubling a summation of Martinez's intransigence and detachment from the realities at Goodison as you can find. In it, he talks of how managers can't successfully marry defensive solidity with a possession-based approach and dismisses the "modern trend in football" of being organised and hitting teams on the counter as being anathema to winning silverware. Atletico Madrid could be about to prove him wrong on that score by winning the Champions League.

He argues that Leicester City's structure and organisation is not what has delivered them the Premier League title — even though that is precisely what has given them the platform to do just that — pointing instead to their reliance on individuals like Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez as the reason for their success. And yet, ironically, in the absence of the "No.10" he sought and failed to land last summer and of a reliable goalscoring alternative up front, his Everton side has been almost wholly reliant on Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley this season to create and score the Blues' goals. Indeed, the biggest critics of Martinez's Everton is that they play like a collection of individuals rather than as a team.

He also trots out increasingly tired excuses for poor results — Chelsea's offside goal at Stamford Bridge in January in the 3-3 draw, the out-of-play offside goal at the Etihad in the Capital One Cup being two; points to flimsy examples of progress like his side's "character" to retake the lead at Bournemouth last November and to fight back against Manchester United at Wembley last month (even though Everton failed to win either match); and falls back on the Blues' appearance in two semi-finals as evidence of progress even though they were blessed with favourable draws and the only decent team they beat in 11 ties was Chelsea. He highlights his side's need to learn game-management lessons even though they never actually do under his stewardship.

That he continually refers back to the psychological effects of setbacks like the 2-2 draws against Leicester and Arsenal to start last season and that 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium and, bizarrely, blames the most recent seven-game winless run on the "effect" of winning the quarter final against Chelsea demonstrates that he hasn't found — and probably never will find — the keys to the mental development of his squad.

Then there are the claims that he hasn't spent any money to build his team even though he has splashed out almost £100m — with the less said about his most recent acquisition the better — with no improvement in the club's Premier League standing in two years. In any case, he has spent so much time expounding the talents of his players and declaring that they "had to achieve" this season that the amount he spent on the team should be immaterial. It is, theoretically, the best group of players Goodison Park has witnessed in almost three decades but he can't mould them into a winning side.

Recalling Johan Cruyff's impact at Barcelona, Martinez speaks of having a long-term vision. However, his insistence that you can only achieve success by strictly adhering to a philosophy and developing one "style" of play is all well and good if there is actual evidence that the team is making progress. Unfortunately, after three years, that is categorically not the case. In fact, the opposite is true — Everton are, at best, going sideways under his management and the problems run a lot deeper than throwing money on summer recruitment can magically solve.

The squad he boasts of building looks set to be severely impacted by the potential loss of some key players from his squad, most prominent among whom is Lukaku who has been badly let down for two seasons now by a demonstrably flawed system. Martinez cites the influx of youth from the Academy as being vital for the team's development in the next year or so but his claims are undermined by the fact that the young stars of his current team like Barkley and John Stones have struggled so badly this season under his tutelage.

In all of the above lie the fundamental issues with Roberto Martinez and why the board must resist any temptation, whether it be through loyalty or faith, to prolong his tenure beyond the end of this season. Martinez says that "after three seasons...there is an incredible understanding and know-how of what we need to do" when all evidence suggests the contrary. With each passing week, he appears to have less understanding of how to move this team forward. If the game were played on paper or in computer simulation, he might stand a chance but his utopian, Continental-style vision is doomed in the unforgiving environs of the Premier League where managers need to constantly be readjusting and adapting to find ways to win matches. Like Tottenham this season; like last season's Champions, Chelsea.

Indeed, no one has illustrated more the value of flexibility and adaptation than this weekend's opponents who will still be deliriously celebrating their triumph over ridiculous odds when Everton come to town. While Martinez has dogmatically chased lofty footballing ideals of “perfection” with a rigid system and suspect execution, Claudio Ranieri has, over the course of the season, been able to skillfully transition a plucky, never-say-die side from one which conceded almost as many goals as they scored into a resilient outfit grinding out clean sheets. What Martinez labels the “easiest and most economical way of playing” but which “will never win [you] silverware” has landed Leicester guaranteed entry to the Champions League and the domestic game's biggest prize.

The danger now is that the further we get away from the abject surrender of the Anfield derby, that miserable run of form following the FA Cup quarter final, and the failure to put up 90 minutes of fight in the semi-final against Manchester United, the greater the possibility that the hierarchy could err on the side of keeping Martinez rather than following in the footsteps of the likes of Tottenham, Leicester and, to some extent, Liverpool by taking the bold decision to make a progressive change in manager. That would be a mistake and, on the evidence of the past two years, would simply prolong the inevitable by mere months, by which time the club's prospects for 2016-17 may already have been undermined à la Brendan Rodgers across the Park.

With Farhad Moshiri's arrival, there is genuine optimism that Goodison's sleeping giant may finally be awakening but the ambition that he must surely possess to have sunk as much capital into the club as he did needs to be matched by the calibre of the man overseeing the team. There is no room for sentiment; sweeping change is needed and the time for decisive and forward-thinking action is now. There could be no bigger lift for a beaten-down supporter base heading into what is going to be a very important summer for Everton Football Club.

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Reader Comments (171)

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Eddy Grundy
1 Posted 05/05/2016 at 07:51:50
Lyndon, that was a well thought out and crafted piece of writing, eloquent and refined and very much reminded me of my daughter, she has always had the capacity to wax lyrical and use a thousand words during an argument when twenty would suffice.

My thoughts on "Sideshow Bob"? He is a shit manager, the end.
Christine Foster
2 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:01:54
Fantastic article Lyndon, hit the nail on the head for me and expressed in so many words, exactly my thoughts.

It is interesting to note as an aside that when Moyes was being criticised there was a healthy chunk of fans who supported him to the very end, with Martinez that's definitely not the case. He has failed to convert talent into a team and the absence of pragmatism and common sense has consigned what could have been a great era, into great frustration.

One cannot knock his self belief but his dream of forging a winning team capable of Champions league or any silverware lies in tatters. It is ultimately his fault. Not the players.

The vexing issue for me is that despite the much heralded arrival of Mr Moshiri, nothing has changed. Silence from the club, no action, a continuation of all that was bad before. It suggests to me that Bill got exactly what he wanted, an investor with no intention of putting his stamp on the club and quite happy for the status quo to continue.

For me the fear is not what happens after Martinez goes, but if he goes at all.
Phil Williams
3 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:05:03
A good piece Lyndon. As you may be aware, I have been a big defender of Martinez on this site. My talking point article "The missing link" clearly showed my views on what is needed to turn this team, Martinez's team, into winners.

Oh, as an aside, for those who mocked me, have you seen how Rooney is playing in a deeper role?

Putting that to one side, my point remains very nearly the same as months ago. This "team" is not a team and it desperately needs leaders on the pitch. The one point that has changed in the ensuing months is that I too now feel that a different Manager is required if we are to take the steps forward that we all strive.

I still believe Martinez has brought us some of the most enjoyable football we have seen in decades, but it has gone stale, it has not produced winning football and for me, the biggest indictment of his tenure was the second half at Wembley.

Rather than him looking upon it as how good we can be, he should be ashamed of how infrequently he has overseen a team, who are clearly capable of such performances, play in such a manner. Regrettably, I add my voice to the call for change.

Liam Reilly
4 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:12:50
Can only hope really that the lack of any action by the board is because there are no quality replacements available until the summer and clandestine negotiations are underway.
Nick Page
5 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:13:31
Excellent piece, Lyndon. Hopefully a copy found its way into Messrs Kenwright and Woods inboxes. As much as everybody can see what needs to happen the monstrous ego of one man stands firmly in its way. A man who singlehandedly thinks he "saved" Everton Football Club and for that (?) we should all be eternally grateful.

Jim Bailey
6 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:14:23
Great piece Lyndon, sums up everything that is wrong with this club. You should send it to BK.
Lyndon Lloyd
7 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:14:56
Thanks, Phil. I should note that I write all of this with similar regret to you. I, like many of us, truly felt we had found the guy to take us to where we want to be after that first season.

Sadly, it's all unravelled rather alarmingly since April 2014 despite his best intentions.

Keith Harrison
8 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:16:25
The City goal was out of play, not offside, Lyndon. Your use of Roberto's Thesaurus is impressive, however.

The silence is deafening at the moment, and the board (it is extended ST deadline day remember) should surely make an announcement shortly, either backing or sacking a man and his entourage who are clearly out of their depth.

Christopher Dover
9 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:17:52
Excellent article which puts my (and I would guess most Blues) feelings.

The silence from the board is deafening, they cannot say yes he will go at end of season but they they could move him on now as no further harm can be done to the team and would give the home fans something to look forward to at the last home match.

Everton to provide a guard of honour at Leicester and this is the closest Martinez will ever get to the Premier League trophy. Please sack him or walk with what dignity you have left.

Ben Dyson
10 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:19:00
Superb article Lyndon. You've articulated my thoughts exactly.

I've always been of the camp to stand behind the manager and players come what may. But no more.

With Eurovision 2016 on the horizon:

"Bullshit for them, save all your bullshit for them
Bye-bye Bobby, bye-bye
Don't cry Bobby, don't cry....."

Nick Page
11 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:21:18
"that Bill got exactly what he wanted". Exactly, Christine. That's why it took so long. I'm pretty certain the club could have been bought and sold many times over but the fat controller wouldn't give anyone the keys to his favourite trainset until they stumped up the cash and let him remain in control. He even said as much himself. And despite the fact the "biggest Evertonian" said he'd be gone by his 70th birthday, here we are debating endlessly the most obvious managerial change in the history of football.... because of that fat-headed egotist.
Ged Simpson
12 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:24:21
I agree with you Liam (4). We are understandably impatient but I suspect things are being done behind the scenes. I agree with Lyndon that "the time for decisive and forward-thinking action is now" – "now" is likely to be end of season. That I have no problem with. Frustrating that may be but I am confident change is being planned as we write.
Ian Jones
14 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:34:16
Enjoyed reading it. Does seem to sum up the situation well. A couple of things to add. It would have been interesting to see how Leicester would have done had Nigel Pearson have stayed in charge. His position as Manager was probably compromised by the action's of his son in Thailand.

Did they get lucky!

On a positive note re Martinez. He has bought in a few potentially quality players for the future. Holgate, Henen and a few more. Would be great to see them given a chance in the first team at Everton.

Give youth a chance!

At the moment we have Martinez Misfits. Remember Busby Babes. What about Pellegrini Protégés. However, not sure about his defensive principles!

Anthony Hawkins
15 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:40:09
I can hear Martinez's mind working overtime even now: 'we're better than them. It's only luck that got them the title and we were unlucky to finish bottom half'.

If that's true, PROVE IT!

Thomas Lennon
16 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:43:44
I get the drift of at least one Martinez comment – Leicester are too reliant on four or five individuals and will be disproportionately diminished if two or three leave or are injured.

If on the other hand your entire club are brought up to hold possession & move then players can be moved into the team much more seamlessly. One or two have come into the first team recently and performed exceptionally well compared with some of those under OFM so there nay be something in that.

However, as our first team have yet to demonstrate the skills & attitude (aptitude?) to play that game sufficiently well, that theory is in danger of sinking us if we don't start introducing pragmatism.

Phil Roberts
17 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:43:44
I know we all (well there is somebody somewhere not employed by the club who wants him to stay but that person is keeping quiet right now) want Roberto to leave and we all want it done now but I am of the understanding that there is a reduction in compensation after June 1st.

So, given the managers who are not yet available, given that Roberto will never resign (oh for a Kevin Keegan moment), given that we will save a few million, I do not see any reason we will get our wish.

However, it would be a wonderful statement of intent from the board to say, "Stuff it. It is only a couple of million. Go now. We will get someone better before the new season. We will not accept this any longer and we are a club ambitious enough to want to be in the top half of the league, to be in European competitions, to win something. And results first, pretty football is a bonus."

Anthony Dwyer
18 Posted 05/05/2016 at 08:46:26
Cant help but feel Martinez should have used youth to try to save his job months ago, to see if he stumbled across some gems as Van Gaal has at utd.

Instead he has persisted with the team he himself assembled, ultimately leaving him no argument left to claim he is the right man for our beloved blues.

Dispite what Martinez claims, we are poor to watch, especially at home, as we look void of ideas, far to slow and don't play enough genuine goal threats. Even though we don't play many attacking players, we still insist on deploying a lone striker and 2 defensive midfielders, even when were desperate for a win.

Martinez claims all this Barcelona-Cruyf-Dutch total football is his inspiration, but if he truly believes he's ever witnessed it at us or Wigan, he's not worthy of managing a Sunday league team.

Hes a nice guy but the man is deluded, he may need help.

Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:20:16
Lyndon the first word of your headline underlines the problem... VANITY – this from both Martinez and Billy Liar. They both think they know more than us; they have both proved they don't and in Martinez's case, he will not change his philosophy.

Mr Moshiri, if he knows anything about football, must act now to save Everton FC and also his investment.

Don Alexander
22 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:21:36
If every other Premier League manager could be asked whether he wanted Martinez to stay I'm certain that every one of them would say "Yes...... please, please, PLEASE!"

The reason is simple, he's a one (dumb) trick pony. He's long since been sussed and an Everton win will be a matter of shame for most of them.

All sport is about doing what the opponent least wants you to do but under Kenwright and Martinez we keep doing precisely what our opponent wants.

What a chairman.

Stewart Lowe
23 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:31:22
Has anyone noticed that with just 10 days of the season left we have not had any announcements of friendlies organised for the summer, or even where our pre-season base will be?

This is very out of character for Everton who for the last 3 years have enthusiastically advertised pre-season friendlies by now. They have usually announced taking up the Austrian training camp for a week by now, but we haven't heard a thing.

This for me is enough proof that Martinez will be gone at the close of the season, as they can't organise a pre-season until we know who the new man is and what they require.

Martin Mason
24 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:35:05
Poor old Roberto, the buffoon can't even get it right about Leicester. They are an exceptional team that has shrugged off the loss of key players. An absolute insult to them to say they depend on a few good players.

They follow the golden rule of having a very strong spine and they do not have a weak player. You don't win the Premier League on the back of a few good players, shame on you clown.

Tony McNulty
25 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:36:38
Sometimes I feel we are bearing witness to a protracted managerial funeral.

At other times though, I wonder whether we are all living in a ToffeeWeb land totally divorced from reality. Lyndon has set out the reality of the situation pretty well; 96% of us think RM's time is up. The majority of the pundits haven't quite said as much, but the mood music is clear.

Planning now needs to start for next season: transfers in and out; the shape of the team; tactics. If a new manager is coming, he needs to get his head around this stuff and start taking action.

We need an outbreak of decision-making.

Stewart Lowe
26 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:42:36
#21: The reality, Dave, is that Moshiri and Kenwright know tonnes more than us. They not only watch all the games just like us, but they watch the Under-21s, they dine with Roberto in the evenings, they speak to the players and coaching staff on a daily basis. So, believe me, they know a lot more than us. However, I think the only thing they could have been accused of doing badly is not reacting to all the criticism that's come out over the last two years and keeping us informed.

Martinez isn't a bad guy but he is way out of his depth at Everton and so the board are being professional and waiting until the end of the season as it wouldn't be fair to hang Martinez out to dry. I genuinely think that Martinez would make an excellent scout for any club and nothing more than that.

John Keating
27 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:50:22
I said a few weeks ago the ideal scenario for me was for Leicester to get the Cup at the Everton game. Every Everton player and management should line up to applaud them on the pitch and inside hang their heads in shame.

Not one of them can take anything from this season, especially this season when things have been so open for "other" teams to challenge for Cups and European places.

In my opinion, Everton have been the greatest failure this season considering the so called best squad we've had for years available to us. Villa have been flirting with relegation for a couple of seasons where we were supposed to be coming into a golden era.

The players have in general been shit but they have been orchestrated by incompetence management.

Well done Leicester, fully deserved, it could well have been us.

Chris Regan
28 Posted 05/05/2016 at 09:54:32
There's not too much here most of us haven't thought or previously read. The depressing thought is of Martinez's tenure limping into next season and effectively righting us off for another season turns my stomach.
Steve Woods
29 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:09:08
Great article, Lyndon, which, I'm sure encapsulates how the vast majority of fans have been feeling for a long time.

My ire is however directed at his employer not the manager, infuriatingly hapless, hopeless and deluded as he is. Kenwright is the man who sought him out, employed him, extended his contract (after just one season) and who by all accounts continues to defend him.

This is Kenwright's vanity, he is in a corner not wishing to axe Martinez on several counts. Firstly because it would make his choice look like the wrong one. Secondly because it would make him look like a mug in front of his new investor Moshiri thus possibly endangering his continued position as chairman with the accompanying loss of face and train-set. Thirdly because Kenwright does not like to seen to be bowing down to fan pressure and would rather brazen it out than let the will of masses and plain common sense be entertained.

"For me the fear is not what happens after Martinez goes, but if he goes at all" – as Christine #2 wrote is how I feel but that same sentiment applies to Bill Kenwright, if he actively continues in his role at the club then I continue to fear for the future. Dark days ahead if there is not a sea change occurring this summer.

Barry Kelly
30 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:13:59
An excellent article, Lyndon. It summarises perfectly my own views on Martinez. I also agree with most of the readers' comments above. However, I must beg to differ with Anthony's (#18) final paragraph that Martinez "is a nice guy but deluded".

He may present himself as such with his quietly spoken manner, his smile and weaving his 'phenomenal' excuses but a 'nice guy' does not spend two years blaming everyone and everything for his failures. Players, officials, Goodison Park pressure, injuries to key players – all have been painted as reasons for the team's poor results. I cannot recall a single instance in that period where he has held his hands up and admitted he got it wrong. His team selections are always spot on, his tactics incredible, his substitutions perfectly-timed, his transfer acquisitions superb given the lack of funds. When one of his squad voices an honest concern regarding the team's lack of chemistry the player is immediately castigated for not expressing himself correctly through poor use of the English language!

Truly Roberto we are blessed to have such a faultless manager. But I feel you are wasted here. Your talents deserve a much bigger stage so please just pack your bags, tell Bill you've had enough of being surrounded by imbeciles and head to Barcelona where you can fulfil your true potential.
Jim Potter
31 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:16:06
Excellent Lyndon.

Congratulations Leicester. Unbelievable. Inspiring. It gives all us David's hope against the billionaire Goliath's.

Is there a microscopic fragment of the magic dust left unused at the King Power stadium? Let's pray there is and come Saturday it gently alights on Mr Moshiri's brow.

His eyes suddenly dilate and he turns and heads down from the Director's box leaving Bill open mouthed mid Boys Pen anecdote.

Moshiri kicks the door open and enters the changing room. In the corner Martinez is genuflecting before a neon flashing altar covered in iconography of Charles Ponzi and Bernard Madoff.

Moshiri hawls the Catalan up by his few remaining hairs, places a pair of donkey ears upon his head and proceeds to kick him mercilessly through the door, pronouncing Martinez's epitaph - "Out .... Charlatan"!

The players rush to engulf Moshiri jubilantly ..........

Just a speck is all we want Lord ..... half a speck .....

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:18:10
Nice article, Lyndon, although it's not adding anything new to what's been written over the last days and weeks.

Spurs' failure to make the title go to the wire may have unwittingly given Martinez a lifeline I fear. Having guaranteed the title with two games to go, the Leicester players will no doubt have spent most of this week partying rather than focusing on the game on Saturday. Can imagine a few changes in their line up and more of an end of season party attitude – which means we may actually get a result. Had Leicester still needed to win on Saturday, I cannot imagine any other scenario than us losing.

Iain Latchford
33 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:19:30
Has anyone considered that the elephant in the room could be BK's health? Obviously we don't know what the situation is (which is fine as it's a private matter), but there does appear to be an issue.

Could the case be that BK will hand over full power when he feels the time is right for him, and Moshiri has agreed to wait in the wings until that time?

Pure speculation but just a thought.

Christy Ring
34 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:21:05
An excellent thorough article, Lyndon. One of the great points you mentioned was that his methods aren't working, the players are not happy with it and he won't CHANGE.

That's why he has to go, he doesn't agree with defensive stability, and catching teams on the counter. As you say, it's called modern football. It's the way Leicester have played all season, as has Simeone, and Klopp.

That's the reason Everton have conceded so many goals this season. We're Wigan in disguise.

Dean Peamum
35 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:21:22
On Saturday, Stones, Lukaku, Barkley, McCarthy, Baines etc will stand and watch another team's players run past them on the pitch. Nothing new there.
Phil Walling
36 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:21:34
Christine @2: I see that you have come round to my way of thinking in stating Kenwright 'got just what he wanted' when hooking Moshiri who, so far, is very much a silent partner. Fear of attracting litigation prevents me going into detail but my personal fears echo those outlined in the signposted Grand Old Team website.

Aside from the politics of share ownership, the general feeling as conveyed by Lyndon is that Roberto's time here is spent and there is widespread hope that he is merely serving time before the axe falls comes season's end.

Having railed against the appointment even before it was confirmed, I share that hope but, by no means, do I see it as inevitable. Having suffered so many disappointments during Kenwright's tenure, I suspect there will be a sting in the tale. Finishing the season with a four game unbeaten run and a place in the 'top half' may be such a sting.

It is widely believed that Bill's admiration for the Catalan may see him in the 'hold' seat whilst Moshiri would 'stack' tomorrow. As others have pointed out, we know nothing of the Board Dynamic. I've reported what I've heard but whatever the source, it's just speculation.

No doubt, the judgement call will be determined by Moshiri's ambition for the Club. No change or change which involves the return of David Moyes or appointment of any other 'very ordinary' manager will show that he buys into the Kenwright 'Everton Family' ethos. Thinking on a wider plane than that will, at least, restore hope of a brighter and more exciting future.

But don't bank on it. This is Everton.

Stewart Lowe
37 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:24:27
#29: I think Kenwright takes too much flak for this. Yes, he sought him and employed him, but Martinez has duped Kenwright just as much as us fans. Who wouldn't rush out a new contract after a 5th placed and 72 points total in his first season, let alone the press at the time stating Barcelona was keeping an eye on him?? Neither Kenwright or us fans at that time would have realised that his first and only good season was mostly down to a well drilled Moyes defence and attacking players who dared to believe.

You can mark my words that Kenwright is one of us and Everton is his baby, so he would never knowingly do anything that hurts the club he loves. Yes, he made a bad choice; yes, he has been duped by Martinez, but Everton have never been a trigger happy club. We do things professionally at Everton.

Tony Williams
38 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:25:10
I am worried about my club, the powers to be seem to be disregarding us fans AGAIN, me-thinks the only way to get them thinking is to stay away.
Dave Jones
39 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:26:02
All we do is talk. It's time to act. If you think for one minute they are considering change then the Goodison mentality is a lot worse than I feared.

Be in no doubt Martinez IS here to stay. After an insipid press conference this morning. Chairman Bill's PR machine is ticking the boxes:

Avoid awkward questions. Tick
Media pack feeding elsewhere. Tick
End of season getting closer. Tick Tick Tock.


What has happened to people or fan power. We used to be the most vocal and exciting stadium with an electric atmosphere. Now all we do is jabber... Nice piece, Lyndon, but we all know this, feel this and are hurting. In the past it was either the reds up the M62 or that lot over the park but know it's Leicester City.

Stand up and be counted we are trying to fight this, pull us together with one aim to sack Martinez and re-build now! Join us SIGN&LOAD
The more individuals protest, the less Chairman Bill can dismiss us... mobile phones are convenient and illustrate our innovation to make our point... tennis balls are old hat and cost money!!

John Jennings
40 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:26:39
Spot on, Lyndon. Perfectly sums up where we have ended up under this managers direction, and that of the Chairman. The Road to Nowhere.

Your lines about it all going quiet and him escaping the axe until another season is wasted (or worse) send a shiver down my spine.

We have an opportunity on Saturday to show what the hard core supporters really feel, whilst the eyes of the sporting world are on the King Power and Leicester's fantastic achievements. Perhaps an organised and humorous protest would capture media attention, without deflecting anything away from the Foxes moment of glory.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:32:12
If the game was played on paper, or computer simulation he might stand a chance. Exactly Lyndon, so true.
Rick Tarleton
42 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:35:13
As usual, Lyndon, you are cogent, persuasive and articulate, a great article.

My worry is that the earlier a new man comes in (he is coming, surely?) the better he will be prepared for when the transfer window opens in July. Both to decide on whom to keep and on whom to buy. In order to do that the new man needs to have an idea of his set-up, his preferred mode of play and the players on whom he can build his team.

If he comes in at the last moment he could well have players sold who should be kept, and vice versa, and be severely hampered in the purchasing of new players.

Martinez must go very soon and the new man whoever he is,in place by the end of this month.

Phil Sammon
43 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:35:16
Stewart Lowe 37

A quite unbelievable comment. Evertonian or otherwise, Bill Kenwright has shown repeatedly that he is more than happy to lie to fans.

The contract offer was understandable at the time. What is not understandable is sticking with him after two hopeless seasons. This isn't about being a 'trigger happy' club. This is about stopping some serious rot. The club is going downhill fast... I don't know how anyone can possibly deny that. The reason Martinez has to go is that he has 100% proved he cannot solve our issues.

Andy Meighan
44 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:35:50
Another brilliant articulate piece, Lyndon, and spot on in almost everything you write.

The only thing I would take you to task on is when you say this is theoretically the best squad assembled in decades. I don't believe for one minute it is. Whether this is the Martinez conundrum I just don't know but we just seem to lack even the basics.

Have we even got a midfielder who can spot a pass its all sideways and backwards? Deulofeu early on in the season hit a few beauties but since then its dried up. I will say this, when I listen to what Martinez says, I could scream. It's obvious he'll never ever change so why are we still stuck with him?

You say there's no room for sentiment. While Kenwright is around I'm afraid there is. It won't be him that sacks him. I honestly think we'll beat a celebrating Leicester, beat Norwich and Bill will think everything's hunky dory. It's not.

Phil Walling
45 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:42:16
Stewart @37. There are more than a few of us who would take the contrary view to that conveyed in your final paragraph.

Too rehearsed to repeat here but when 'love' weakens your judgement, be sure a troubled times are ahead!

Mike Oates
46 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:42:37
I think the title of the article is also captures Kenwright. He is an idealist who believes in the Corinthian spirit, that there is a right and wrong way of doing things. He believes that Everton should be seen as a club which cherishes its employees, and doesn't have a knee jerk reaction to problems.

He absolutely puts more credence into his staff wanting to be part of the Everton culture, understanding it and taking part and adding to it. He, I believe thinks Martinez has, and has shown all the that he is fully on board with this.

He won't sack Martinez until it's too late!

Alex Mclellan
47 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:43:51
Good article Lyndon,

I too am hoping the silence from the club is down to the powers that be waiting for the right candidate to be available in the summer, and am presuming they are waiting until the season ends to approach them.

Who do people want next ? I think Koeman would do a good job and seems to have Soton playing some good football, but there have been a lot of mediocre names bandied about in the media.

Roberto has tried his best, i, like many others, was sceptical at his appointment, straight on the back of a relegation, but his first season seemed to silence us doubters. The subsequent regression since then will surely be enough for the board to say enough is enough.

The change has to be made in good time for the new man coming in to have the full pre-season to sort out the squad and get rid of the deadwood. If this doesn't happen, we have to question what the new man is doing in charge, is he only here to rake off the tv deal millions ?

Rick Tarleton
48 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:50:31
That Mike (46) is exactly my fear.
Mike Prendergast
49 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:52:22
As a self exiled Blue. I use TW daily to get my fix.
Normally refraining from posting a reply.
After reading simply one of the most eloquent and balanced articles that has ever been posted. I must break my silence.
Lyndon ignoring the fact I completely agree. Thank you for all your work.

Martin Mason
50 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:53:54
Stewart@37, agree entirely
Colin Glassar
52 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:55:42
Agree with everything you say Mike but the thing is, it won't be BK's decision. He's still the clubs figurehead but there's a new man in charge and he won't want to risk his investment in some 'Chariots of Fire' type idealist.

Moshiri will want a return on his investment and he won't want to depend on tv monies but on and off the field success. Like many others, I was desperate for Roberto to succeed, as I loved his first season, but two successive terrible seasons means he can't continue.

The new owner has to bring in people, both at boardroom and managerial level, who will push us into new territory and leave behind the bumbling incompetence of the present regime.

Dan Hollingworth
53 Posted 05/05/2016 at 10:58:39
I hate Roberto's away form rhetoric.

Home wins - 5

Away wins - 5

Terry Underwood
54 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:02:04
There is nothing wrong with being an idealist, after all NSNO... But dreaming without the ability to realise those dreams is just Pissing in the wind. Before we get a great team, we need a good team and before we get a good team, we need a team.

Never mind the posts on fan websites, they will change like the wind depending upon results.. But if the manager does not have the support and confidence of the players, then, all is lost. Really, this dreamer could take us down.
Peter Carpenter
55 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:02:35
John 40 - 'an organised and humorous protest' - perhaps a few bars from a song by that famed son of Leicester, Englebert Humperdink, 'Please release (him), let (him) go..... for we don't love (him) anymore...'

It seems to me that Roberto totally lacks any ability to self-reflect, evaluate and learn any lessons from experience.

Patrick Murphy
56 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:10:10
As Doctor David France alluded to in his interview with ToffeeTV, this is an extremely critical period in Everton's history.

The club cannot continue to judge managers/players/staff etc purely on their personalities or keep them employed due to misplaced loyalty, it cannot afford to allow one person to set the tone for the rest to follow, it cannot take for granted the loyalty of its supporters.

Somebody at the club has to grasp the nettle and put the club back on the path that says we are Everton FC and we are ambitious, we are not ashamed of winning and we don't care if we step on a few toes along the way. Of course we want to retain the family atmosphere, the community work and all of the other classy stuff that the club does so well, but for circa 35,000 paying customers they don't pay to watch that, they pay to watch a team of players giving 100% to the cause and hopefully winning football matches.

Anything or anyone who gets in the way of those players not being fully committed to pleasing that customer base, should be removed and replaced no matter what their position or status within the club.

Dr France reckons Everton FC has about a six year window to try and rebuild the club into a serious Premier League player, from that perspective, I can wait another one perhaps two months for the club's owners to make a decision on the future of the manager, so long as they don't replace him with another young hopeful or inexperienced boss or worse still retain the services of Roberto.

John Raftery
57 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:20:53
This website gained a not undeserved reputation for negative moaning over many years. Well, we now have real justification for moaning.

The charge sheet against Martinez is lengthy and there have been no redeeming features in his performance in recent months. He should be ashamed of how poorly his team has performed, the failure of a fitness regime which has seen an epidemic of soft tissue injuries, the failure to hold winning positions, the failure to defend set pieces, the failure to use substitutions advantageously, the failure to adapt tactics during the course of games, the lack of discipline with four players receiving red cards this season, the failure of a selection policy which saw us arrive at Wembley with so many key players injured or suspended, the failure to take on board the legitimate views of senior players such as Baines, the failure of a transfer policy which saw Naismith leave to be replaced by a player who has looked both unfit and unsuitable and last but not least his failure to acknowledge the lack of progress in a succession of nonsensical media interviews.

All this has dragged us from a club consistently competing for the top six into a club having to settle for mid table mediocrity but harbouring genuine fears that under this manager even worse lies ahead. The squad is now in need of a major overhaul with players leaving or at the end of their contract and others plainly not up to Premier League standard.

Given how poorly a relatively settled squad has gelled together this season, it is unrealistic to expect a successful transition under Martinez. One imagines the Board is aware of all the shortcomings, is cognisant of the views of the fan base and is taking steps to identify a successor. Equally there is a nagging concern that there may be disagreement among the Board on the way forward and that the club will drift through the summer rudderless in the transfer market and with a group of disaffected players looking for the fastest way out of Finch Farm.

As regards the players some of them need a kick in their rear end and reminded to start earning their money. Those messages need to come from a new manager.

Rob Williamson
58 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:27:44
Peter (55). Perhaps a better song would be 'Go Now'..... by the appropriately named Moody Blues!
Aidy Dews
59 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:33:29
The man these days just really infuriates me! That interview in the daily mail where he says you can't marry solidity with possession football and teams that set up to be solid and hit teams on the break won't succeed long term etc is just nonsense!

Didn't Martinez marry his possession philosophy with Moyes' solidity and defensive organisation in his first season, resulting in us having our best ever premier league points haul and something like 15-16 clean sheets which was in the top 4-5 best defences in the league or better?!...

I'm certain teams like Barca, Bayern, Juve, PSG, Spurs even, keep possession yet are solid defensively and concede nowhere near as many as we do!

And he talks about looking at a long term strategy and focusing on solely playing one way and having a vision like Cruyff and yet Barcelona keep on evolving and are actually a bit more quicker and direct in their play under Luis Enrique! They're not direct in a Wimbledon of old sense, just that they play the ball forward through the zones quicker instead of a patient build up from back to midfield, left to right to open the spaces and then hit the opposition hard. They do actually try and force the issue more with their play so teams do change and evolve from their structures as I believe you need to do has football in general changes and you have to with it.

The man is a fool, an idiot and using excuses like you can't marry solidity with possession football because all he focuses on is ball retention and neglects defensive work, whether that be shape, organisation, structure, set pieces. He barely works on anything defensively and that's why we've conceded has much has we have and then he talks shit like he does to try and fool people into thinking you can't do the two and that's why we're as weak at the back as we are!

Good on him that he wants to play a brand of football on the deck but his slow, possession based game just isn't right for the Premier League. Our league is fast, up and at you, and you need to play fast with it, wether that's like Leicester or like Arsenal at their best.

I can rant on and on about why he should go, why he should be sacked but the stats, unwanted records, performances and league standings over the past 2 seasons speak for themselves and they simply haven't been good enough and he deserves the sack!

I just hope Mr Moshiri is more hard nosed than he looks and puts his foot down with the likes of Kenwright & Elstone and demands that Martinez leaves at the end of the season so he can bring his own man to start a new, fresh chapter with us, because I tell you now, we sure need it!

Brian Harrison
60 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:36:00
I would imagine had the Americans bought/invested in the club, and we heard nothing from them I imagine most of us would have suggested they were asset strippers.

As the days go by this Moshiri deal has me slightly concerned, as to his true intentions. His first statement to the press was that he wanted to make sure the younger stars stayed at Everton and he would also concentrate on the building of a new ground or revamping the old ground.

Now if the press are to be believed then both Lukaku and Stones will be gone in the summer, and some are even speculating that Barkley may leave too. Now nothing concrete has happened but if 2 or all 3 leave in the summer, what credibility would Moshiri have.

I havent heard anything over a possible ground move or a revamping of the old ground.

I wrote an article a few weeks back saying time to take control Mr Moshiri, and I am still waiting to see signs that he has come here with a vision for this club. When he bought 49.9% of shares, Kenwright said he had been talking to him for about 18 months over investing. If he knew Moshiri was close to acquiring 49.9% why did he let the Americans carry out due diligence on the club?

Aidy Dews
61 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:41:14
Good point, Brian!
Ray Roche
62 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:49:46

" if the press are to be believed"

Well, they're not, so let's not take much notice of them, eh?

Moshiri is no doubt biding his time, I imagine he's waiting for the end of the season or until some clause, which we now nothing about, in Martinez' contract comes into play. I believe he has a plan and will get on with it when his time is right.

Andrew Presly
63 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:54:05
Don't read anything into the lack of any pre season planning to suggest he's going anywhere.

During RM's second pre season we had nothing sorted until mid July before facing Celta Vigo at Prenton Park (the one thing to take from that was buying Nolito, which we didn't) and those legends Padderborn. Lost both, obviously. There was an Ossie testimonial thrown in there at the end too.

By the looks of it he's staying and we'll deserve what we get for match day passivity from here on out.

Ian Burns
64 Posted 05/05/2016 at 11:56:16
Another terrific article, Lyndon. I just wish there was some way in which you could be invited onto the board as a representative of the supporters – then we would have the comfort of your eloquent arguments and points of view being seen and heard where it matters most.

I have today returned from a long trip abroad and I can tell you Leicester is the only team on people's minds; the number of Leicester shirts to be seen is remarkable.

Everton? Nowhere to be seen – after all we are just a bottom-half team making up the numbers.

Iain Latchford
65 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:00:56
Told you it was the elephant in the room...
Mike Hughes
66 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:03:15
Sorry Lyndon but I did not enjoy reading this article at all. Such a piece simply underlines the fact that Mr Snake Oil is still on the premises.

The sooner we refer to him as OFM the better.

Mike Keating
67 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:04:46
Having renewed my season ticket the day before the early bird deadline, I just hope the absence of any comment from the boardroom indicates a thorough search going on behind the scenes for an inspirational new manager and not the indecisive dithering we normally associate with our directors.

I want Martinez gone as much as most but be careful what you wish for – Martin O'Niell the new bookies favourite. God, I hope not.

Peter Laing
68 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:20:01
Jim Potter @31 take a bow my friend, very funny indeed !
Patrick Carty
69 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:25:33
Great read Lyndon. Is there any chance this article can be sent straight to Kenwright?
Tom Bowers
71 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:29:42
There has to be changes we all agree and that normally starts at the top. The new money investor has already been put in place and it follows that Kenwright (ill-health) and Martinez should be next.

Martinez is obviously trying to talk his way out of a sacking by clinging to his beliefs but we all know it's bullcrap. Some of the players seemed to be under a cloud in the last few months and speculation will single out the likes of Stones, Barkley and Lukaku if only because of the money angle but there is also the perpetual deadbeats that should be put out to pasture, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar, and arguably a few others.

If a new manager is brought in there is no guarantee he will improve things but the change has to be made.

Ian Hollingworth
72 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:37:20
Brilliant article and should be sent to the board members.

Fitting tribute that the under achievers have to give a guard of honour to the over achievers yet very worthy champions.

I fear we will be stuck with Bobby Baffoon unless the protests contain thousands of fans and not just a few hundred.

James Marshall
73 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:44:35
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.....

I really hope the rumours of his demise after the Norwich game are true, then we can all look forward to a new era starting in the summer.

Ben Dyke
74 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:49:32
I never thought I'd say this but when you look at Spurs, they are now getting a return for their ruthlessness. I have not liked how they do business generally but we could do with the hard-headedness to go alongside with the softheartedness!

To hear some of Martinez quotes this season actually makes me fear for his mental health. We have a complete gobshite as our coach,the kind we would cross the road to avoid having the misfortune to talk to. I would respect him of he had some humility and accepted his role.

Even Ferguson had no problem privately admitting mistakes or that he didn't do everything right, whilst maintaining a hard public image. Martinez pride has blinded him to reality. I would actually find some respect for Billy if he comes out and says honestly we liked RM but we needed better results so he's going.

Wayne Stamps
76 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:56:57
Lyndon, when I wrote an article in August 2014 stating the problems we faced, you thought I was talking bollocks although to be fair you said I was premature in my thoughts, and would not print the article.

Now because the wind has changed and no doubt the constant, Roberto Out campaign led by the Echo and the armchair supporters of Everton. Hindsight is an easy gift, Lyndon; foresight is much harder a gift.

By the way, I still support Martinez for one more season. He has put a great deal of effort into a development programme one more season to see if this comes to fruition. Being retired, I have the time to follow our young players and their development, a new manager from outside the club would more likely abandon this and just spend too much money on players, who are probably no better than what we have.

On that, I say farewell.

Ray Robinson
77 Posted 05/05/2016 at 12:58:19
Superb article Lyndon! The most phenomenal you have ever written (sorry, lapsing into Martinez speak there). Please ensure that it reaches the in-box of Bill Kenwright's e-mail immediately. Seriously, well done!
Lee Whitehead
78 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:00:02
BRILLIANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just hope the powers that be are reading this.

Tony J Williams
79 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:08:24
The man should be sacked for the interview with Carragher alone.

Those statements are just so insane, it's almost as if he's having a laugh at Jamie's expense (or ours).

He hasn't changed since day 1, the same way of playing the same team line ups (when available) and the same unfit players.

He even managed to do the exact same thing when playing Palace (the only time he made unforced changed and fucked it up twice, both times 3-2).

I haven't renewed and will not (mostly due to having a young one) and I doubt I will return to the fold for some time now.

Thanks Bobby, you have been the only manager in decade to make me fall out of love with Football (admirably assisted by Sky).

Xavier Spencer
80 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:12:42
Another cracker, Lyndon. You talk more sense in those few paragraphs than the brown shoed one has in three years.
Ray Robinson
81 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:12:52
Tony (#79). I read the interview with Carragher last night. Am I alone in stating that I didn't understand 50% of what Martinez said? The other 50% that I did understand was utter tosh.
Franny Porter
82 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:17:43
Anyone else at the point where they cant even be arsed reading about us anymore? Let alone watch!

I've sold my Norwich ticket as Ill be in Poland on the lash, I was initially gutted about missing the last game of the season now I'm relieved I have an excuse.

Joe McMahon
83 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:30:15
An excellent article Lyndon. As Christine (2) has stated Mr Moshiri is on board but nothing seems to be changing. We don't have a new owner, that's whatt Bill always wanted all these years.

I see Bill as the biggest threat to Everton FC in it's history. Martinez will be gone eventually when we are even furher behind the middle placed clubs, but Kenwright has always been and always will be a selfish parasite. The decay will continue.

Peter Cummings
84 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:30:45
What I believe is the most infuriating aspect of this whole affair is the way Evertonians have been treated by the powers that be at Goodison Park, in effect they seem to think that 'no news is good news' as far as the lifeblood of the club, we, the fans, are concerned and we have no business demanding answers or criticizing why the club we idolise has gone from bad to worse under the present dictatorship, the only way the current board can be described as.

Like many thousands of Blues I have loved Everton from childhood, lived and breathed the Blue and White through good and bad times, mainly the good, until now, helped to clear snow from the pitch more than once before underneath heating was introduced, went door to door selling club pools coupons, travelled countrywide to see us play, couldn't eat for days after we lost and went ballistic when we won. so to be treated as being less than a third class nonentity by those in their Ivory Towers is a bitter and insulting experience for all Evertonians, who are the salt of earth, GO NOW

Tom Bowers
85 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:37:09
Development programmes are all well and good if they bear fruit that is used. These days most teams don't utilize them if they have money to buy from outside and some teams will just use them as a means of income from lesser teams who cannot compete in the transfer market.

Many youngsters become disillusioned when they cannot get a good first team chance and then are sent on loan here,there and everywhere. Everton have had their share who have moved on and rarely blossoming into what might have been a big career with a big club and generally fading into a lower league.

However, there are exceptions as we all know with some Leicester players right now. Did Everton not let Dier go to Spurs? It is the ideal time to start some Everton youngsters such as Dowell, McAleny, Pennington and of course Galloway if only for the Leicester game.

Mark Melton
86 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:39:19
Wonderful headline, Lyndon.
Jeff Hughes
87 Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:52:09
Excellent Lyndon! I fear the fans lack of protest at Goodison on Saturday may allow Bill to keep Roberto but all the evidence points to a manager that has lost the faith of all but Bill. He is obstinate in his simplistic philosophy on how to win football matches and a fourth rate Barcelona style will win sweet FA in the Premier League.

If Bill were seriously contemplating letting Roberto go he could easily do it now which would give home more time to court a successor and would encourage the reluctant season ticket holders to actually renew (the extension of two days to the early bird is a sign that many are reluctant).

Tony J Williams
88 Posted 05/05/2016 at 14:25:13
To be honest Jeff, I don't think the numbers of the protesters matter.

Bill could be swamped by the whole 30,000+ plus home fans screaming for Bobby's head, the soft dope would just grin and put his arm around Moshiri and keep whispering, "What a manager!!!"

Strangely enough, I just don't think the decision is in his hands any more. Don't know why I think that?

Kevin Rudge
89 Posted 05/05/2016 at 14:34:16
How many more wordy Martinez out threads can be written, and what aspects of this sorry debacle are left uncovered? No stone has been left unturned at this point surely

The decision-makers have to be waiting until the season ends to announce anything one way or another, and if one thing can be guaranteed with our club, it will be hugely underwhelming.

I hope they prove me wrong and we can usher in a new era of....anything better really.

Bill Gall
90 Posted 05/05/2016 at 14:45:53
Listening to Martinez's speeches the best place for him would be on speakers corner in Hyde Park.

This article by Lyndon is expressed in terms that a majority of fans would liked to have done but more eloquently and to the point, and without the vitriol and anger that some of us have written, due to the anger from poor results and lack of backing from the Dictator, sorry the chairman of Everton F.C.

Like other supporters I would like to thank Lyndon for this article that when reading it, it explains exactly what is wrong at the club in a rational manner.

I believe that a new manager should be brought in as soon as possible as taking a look at the 22 players listed in the first team squad we could be loosing, by getting rid of the deadwood and players who may want to leave, up to 8-10 players before the start of next season.

This would be difficult for any manager coming in to try and form a team and squad with players away on holiday and international duty .

I do not believe for 1 min that a compensation package is a stumbling block, as even having a billionaire as a backer and with the extra sky monies coming in, a few million in compensation is not going to put Everton into dept. As other people have put it ,the stumbling block is our Dictator, sorry Chairman and the sooner Mr Moshiri takes control as a majority shareholder, the better off Everton F.C. can become.

We need a new manager as soon as possible.

Dick Fearon
91 Posted 05/05/2016 at 14:58:59
O that I could lend my voice to the paltry few who bothered to raise theirs in protest at this useless manager. Two poorly supported demonstrations had mixed results yet I was proud to take part in both.

1st there was the unsuccessful 'If Davy goes I go', he went I stayed. Then one on a windy rain swept freezing cold also poorly supported at Bloomfield Rd because the Cat had dropped Alex Young. I like to think that little demo caused the Cat to restore the 'Vision' to his rightful place in the team so I'll mark that down as a success.

I shall be watching in hope that today's fans show more fighting spirit than at our recent game.

Jay Wood
92 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:08:01
A well-crafted and neat summation of the situation Lyndon. Well done.

I've long described Roberto as an ideologue who simply does not do pragmatism. My take has always been that you only have to listen and read his own declarations to recognize: this man is not for changing.

His interview in the company of Carragher and King once again reinforced that. He denigrates and ridicules teams that have at their core the most basic essentials of football: solid defence, high fitness levels, strong team spirit, with clearly defined roles and objectives for individual players and the collective team.

Teams adhering to such principals, Roberto attempts to convince us, take a short term view of what is needed to succeed, whereas his 'jam tomorrow' strategy will guarantee continued success in the long term. I wonder if the supporters of Athletico Madrid and Leicester subscribe to that view?

In truth, all he spouts reveals how counter-intuitive his 'philosophy' is to be a genuine success in football.

With Moshri's investement and the windfall of the latest bumper TV deal, the summer of 2016 is going to be absolutely critical for Everton. It will determine what kind of club we are and the ambitions we hold for the future.

For me, Martinez's position is now untenable. He should not be entrusted with the transfer kitty in the summer. He should not be responsible for pre-season training. He should not be managing the side into the 2016-17 season.

Some in this thread have mentioned the silence from the boardroom. On the one hand, I can understand the resentment, but that has more to do with 'fairness.'

By that I mean – given the deadline of early bird discount for season ticket purchase – the buying public should be allowed to make an informed decision on whether to buy or not. If they knew Martinez was/was not going to be the manager next season, they can then make a reasoned choice. No such information has been forthcoming from the club.

On the other hand, I personally am not too perturbed by Mr Moshri's (in particular) silence. Whilst some have claimed insider knowledge as to the arrangement he has with BK, in truth absolutely nobody has a true insight into his vision for the club beyond the few words he spoke before the Chelsea quarter-final.

He is the major shareholder at the club and there is time aplenty for him to make the necessary move, to axe Roberto.

That said, what he does or does not do about RM will clearly inform us what to expect under his stewardship.

Let's hope he gets it right.

Dave Ganley
93 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:08:22
Great article, Lyndon, agree with most of it. Alas however I will be surprised if there is much soul searching and examination at what has gone wrong at boardroom level. They probably are quite happy to sweep games like the derby under the carpet.

Don't know about soul searching but it's soul destroying being a hard nosed fan of our once-great club. I say once-great club as now it is just a caricature of what it once was. If I didn't have the allegiance of 40 years of watching the blues and was a newish supporter, there is no way I would have renewed my season ticket. As it is, there is no hope for me, but for others they are already stating they wont set foot in Goodison Park with Martinez as manager and no one can blame them either.

This board/manager are slowly sucking all the life and hope out of the club with their lack of ambition. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum are just words to them. In fact they even took it off our logo until fan pressure made them put it back on. It means nothing to them.

Any top club would have got rid of Martinez months ago. We just accept mediocrity and the excuse to accept mediocrity us "we are Everton we don't do things like that, we are better than that, kopites do that"... Well check the record books my friends and see which club actually wins things.

A club who is supposedly above protesting or the club who acts when things aren't right.....a club with high standards. Ffs as much as it pains me to say it, our motto fits in much more with the RS ideals than it does with us. In fact we couldn't be further from our motto even if we tried. Pathetic from top to bottom from all who run/play for Everton.

Steavey Buckley
94 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:18:03
The only teams Everton are able to beat at home, are teams worse than Everton, who are flirting with relegation. That basically sums up the shambolic situation with Everton at the moment, whose play is so slow from the back, gives time to the opposition to make a defensive wall.

Gone are the days when Everton attacked on both sides of the field, when not having a goal scorer, prevented Everton from finishing in the top 4.

Ray Smith
95 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:18:44
Positives and negatives.

Positive: that Martinez has not been given a vote of confidence from the board?

Negative: the silence from the boardroom is deafening.

Positive: the likely incumbent is currently engaged with his present employers. Pellegrini?

Negative: the managers that are available will be enticed elsewhere through lack of action from the board?

However, we don't actually know what's going on, and (me included) have resorted to speculation.

The joys of being Evertonians!

Moshiri will speak when he has something to say.

Oliver Molloy
96 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:33:34
I like you, I like you a lot..

Bill is very loyal and it will be hard for him to sack a man he clearly has "time for".

However, Roberto will be sacked because he needs to be and we move on - right Bill?!

I wish I had some of the general positivity that Roberto has in my life, for I have never witnessed a self belief like this man.

At the end of the day he came to us to make us better and has failed over a period of 3 years were as other managers and teams have showed progress during the same time scale.

His general attitude in refusing to learn is appalling to say the least. He's a nice man but talks a lot of nonsense and we need to thank him and say goodbye.

Brilliant article, Lyndon...

Paul Andrews
97 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:42:51
To all the lads and lasses worried about whether Mr Moshiri has got the plums to wield the axe. Look at his mannerisms in interview. Gives nothing away, very calm. And all behind a set of shark eyes.

He's like a cobra weighing his dinner up.

Anto Byrne
98 Posted 05/05/2016 at 15:51:02
Not one person has come out to defend Martinez as far as I can see.

As a manager, if one of my staff is off sick and I promote someone to that role its conceivable that when they return they want their job back and the understudy will stand down.

However if that person is not performing we usually go thru the process of a performance review and guide them back to the level of performance we need. As a case in point I think he was fair to Tim Howard, unfortunately his performances didn't improve.

It seemed as though he was becoming a scapegoat for all the goals being conceded without really asking the question why?

Sometimes managing people is about preserving and maintaining the culture, some workplaces can be toxic for many reasons. The manager has to accept responsibility, when his subordinates are not performing its up to him to address the problems. A good manager does this with little fuss or ceremony and finds a way to a win-win solution. You cant be perceived as being inconsistent or wishy washy saying one thing then contradicting yourself the next.

I have no idea how Martinez manages the players, how he discusses tactics and players' form, what he says to the likes of Stephen Pienaar who battles back to fitness gets one game and is never seen again. How he manages a player like Mirallas – a player capable of turning the games – yet chooses not to play him for weeks and then just a few minutes. It would seem that Barry and McCarthy are untouchables along with Lukaku unless injured or suspended. I doubt any of these players would be high on Leicesters wanted list. Vardy is an Ian Rush type all pace and guile; I doubt they need a battering ram centre forward with the control and first touch of a crippled donkey.

This season we have witnessed some great football only to fall on our sword with poor defensive structures, as pointed out from other subscribers we have a pool of talent not playing as a team. If Martinez came out and said we are going to be hard to beat as a team, we will play the game as the situation dictates, if we need to park the bus that's what we will do, if we go gung ho we will still have an eye on defensive duties, we will play the ball over the top if we need to, we will play a high tempo game when the situation arises. The days of playing off a single song sheet need to go we need an album of songs to sing, whistles to blow, drums to beat.

If Martinez takes a more flexible approach to his rigid philosophy he may be on to something. I cant see it though, so if he cant bend with the wind he will eventually be blown away. Sooner than later eh?

Don Alexander
99 Posted 05/05/2016 at 16:05:34
Martinez is too set in his loser ways to change. Who says so? Martinez says so.

There's been various references to the very recent interview of Martinez by Jamie Carragher and the point in that is that Martinez ACCEPTS his defeats but WILL NOT change. You can all but hear the listening Carragher's jaw drop when he heard him say that.

The article is here: Roberto Martinez speaks to Jamie Carragher: You can't manage a club and think 'I've got to win or I am losing my job'

For a so-called professional manager, this intransigence amounts to deliberate repetitive gross negligence yet he's still allowed to continue, all the while when other managers have shown that three years is far longer than necessary to vastly improve without mega-spending: cue Leicester, Spurs (although they've also recently wasted £10s of millions admittedly), West Ham, Southampton, Bournemouth and Watford...

Just what part of that cannot be understood by the board amazes me.

Lee Brownlie
100 Posted 05/05/2016 at 16:15:29
See our manager says he was one of Leicester City's doubters and that he also doubts a similar fairytale will happen next season!! No shit!? Anyway, not to us it won't, with him in charge, however crap all of the 'usual suspects' play again (which they won't)!!

In fact, I reckon if Martinez had been Leicester's manager this season, they'd have gone down but still he'd be talking like they were 'potential' winners, such is his delusion these days!! It's written in the skies, mate, just look up and see that every silver-lining (over Goodison) has a cloud these days, and that its ALL down to you!!

Nice enough guy but simply not wired up right, methinks!! (For Goodison, lately, see Fawlty Towers... but at least Manuel was funny!!!)...

Robin Cannon
101 Posted 05/05/2016 at 16:22:30
A genuinely excellent piece, that I think really goes to the core of the problem.

"His expounding of the merits of dynamic, possession-based football played by exciting, young and versatile players with an emphasis on attack was like music to the ears of Evertonians..."

That's probably the most depressing thing. Expounding those merits still excites me, that's what we want. Yet the reality is so far away from that, and is seemingly continuing to move further away from that, it's untenable.

Stewart Lowe
102 Posted 05/05/2016 at 16:25:19
No pre-season friendlies or Austrian camp organised with just 10 days of the season to go???? Is that not enough confirmation Martinez wont be here next season?????
Dave Jones
104 Posted 05/05/2016 at 16:50:14
Nah Stewart. Chairman Bill's PR machine is playing for time...
Jack Mason
105 Posted 05/05/2016 at 17:05:06
I can only echo other posters Lyndon on what is a fine evisceration of the manager's footballing philosophy. Best article of the season for me.
Kevin Judge
106 Posted 05/05/2016 at 17:11:18
For those who say 3 years is enough, I hope then that you thought 11 years in charge for Mr Moyes was a nightmare!

Martinez, for all his faults, still has an FA Cup to his name and with a shit team.

Just think about that – beat a top team in the final with all their millions.

Moyes on the other hand got us to the final against Chelsea in 2009. We were WINNING 1-0 and still got beat.

The moral of the story is on the day against formidable opponents Martinez's shit team never conceded.

And Moyes's boss defence conceded 2 after being in a winning position.

Goes to say on the day Moyes team our team could not and would have not beaten the so-called big teams.

Sid Logan
108 Posted 05/05/2016 at 17:55:25
I intended just to take a quick peek in to TW tonight and then leave before I became compelled to type something Lyndon's excellent article put paid to that.

The fact is we need to ensure that our feelings and disillusionment with Martinez continue to be aired lest someone at the club (should they be paying attention) believes it's now safe to announce that he'll be there next season. Lyndon's article perfectly describes were most of us now stand on the Manager's future. We hope he doesn't have one – at least not with us!

I don't know whether I'm right but I do get the feeling – not from any major indication – but from a number of smaller signs that the decision is made. I believe (and hope) that in a suitable decent period after the final game (say a week?) an announcement will be made that "by mutual agreement the services of.... thanks him for the amazing foundations laid to take club forward ... wish him every success blah blah. "

With the couple of £ million he will trouser no one should feel sorry for him. Any pity should be saved for our long-suffering fans on whom he has inflicted only massive and increasing despair.

If that announcement does happen it will mean that Moshiri has prevailed over Kenwright and its time for Bill to give up his beloved but ultimately selfish hobby and allow the club to shake off his amazing technicolor dreamboat and get real with some ambition.

Should there be any doubt remaining in the minds of Moshiri et al – if the fly past occurs at the Norwich game can we please have a unanimous round of dignified and sustained applause.

There are apparently those who take the old fashioned view that fans – like children – should be seen but not heard. To them I would say this: we are "customers" who invariable don't have a voice and increasingly so in the Kenwright era. So get real – It's time to be heard while the message still has meaning!

Christy Ring
109 Posted 05/05/2016 at 18:01:36
The highlight of Martinez season, beating Villa, home and away.
John Raftery
110 Posted 05/05/2016 at 18:13:21
Rob 58 The original version of 'Go Now' was recorded by Bessie Banks, legendary in Northern Soul circles for her Blackpool Mecca hit 'Don't Worry Baby, The Best Is Yet To Come'! Some might regard Curtis Mayfield's '(Don't Worry) If There's Hell Below We're All Gonna Go' as more appropriate to our situation!
Dean Edwards
111 Posted 05/05/2016 at 18:30:55
Wayne Stamps is definitely a Martinez clown. Sorry, clone. Phenomenal twaddle and buffoonery of the highest order in this moment of the special place.
Dave Williams
112 Posted 05/05/2016 at 18:36:45
Moshiri will not risk his investment plus any transfer funds on Roberto. He has not accumulated his wealth by being foolish with money and will have the ruthless streak associated with accumulators of such wealth.

I think the club are doing this the right way. Wait for the end of the season to allow Roberto to exit with some dignity, possibly "by mutual consent". A new guy could not achieve anything with only 3 games to go and it wouldn't be the best of starts if we lost them!!

It is likely that the board is well down the path of choosing the new manager and possibly meetings have already taken place but if the new guy is currently in work we can't very well say anything about it. With the stick Roberto has been taking the board would surely have stamped on it by saying he was staying put if indeed that was the intention – unwarranted speculation is harmful to the club, players, team and prospective new players and they would not allow it to continue if Roberto was going to remain.

Ignore the press and the bookies as it is clear from the vast number of names mentioned by them that they haven't got a clue. None of them knew about Moshiri and they kept telling us that the Americans were buying us.

Why would we appoint O'Neill who is not a young man now and has no record of success in the Premier League? The same applies to so many who have been mentioned where there are very good reasons why they are totally unsuitable. We can play with the big boys now so the CV of the next manager needs to be different from either "old and past it" or "young but unproven".

Wait until after the Norwich game – that is when something will happen.

Christopher Millar
113 Posted 05/05/2016 at 18:36:50
While I have been a reader on this site for as long as I can remember, I have never commented before. ToffeeWeb is one of the few ways I can get the feelings of fellow supporters of the club I love as I'm based in South Africa. I truly appreciate the hard work that must go into it.

I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic, level-headed article this was. Thank you and keep up the great work.

Barry Jones
114 Posted 05/05/2016 at 18:54:33
Not only well written, Lyndon, but also well researched , lending credibility to your words, which is where Martinez fails time and time again. He must think that we are all idiots. His (and Kenwright's) arrogance and condescension are limitless.

Nice suggestion Jim Bailey to send the article to BK but the way he has treated the fans lately I fear that he will just wipe his arse with it. Nevertheless, this type of message need to be stated regularly by Evertonians. It looks like being a war of attrition unfortunately.

Robert Workman
115 Posted 05/05/2016 at 19:13:58
Just watched Martinez Press Conference. Most of the questions were not about Everton. It was brief and had the air of "Dead Man Walking".
He knows what is coming.

Then I watched David Unsworth speaking about the end of Under-21s season. Refreshing attitude, realistic, enthusiastic – everything you want to hear. You can just feel how good it must be for those young players to work with him.

A world of difference.

David Edwards
116 Posted 05/05/2016 at 19:19:38
Great article Lyndon – a very good summary, although nothing particularly new – just well put together as ever.

The points that came over most to me were: a) the lack of a plan B that other managers seem to have when their grand vision isn't working out; which sums up the 'vanity' of the title, and: b) the absolute silence from the board. Opinion is divided. Either it is because his sacking is already decided and will be announced at the end of the season or after this June 1st compensation date rumoured, or they are riding the storm and putting enough time between the Derby disgrace and now, so the protests fade out. I hope for the former and deeply fear the latter.

Out of interest, and off topic – so apologies in advance – I've looked at the 2014-15 results again, as I wanted to know the exact date my faith in Martinez ended. We had a very modest start, with frustrating draws with Leicester and Arsenal; lost 3-6 at home to Chelsea in that ridiculously open game, got an away win at West Brom – followed by a series of draws, unimpressive wins against lower opposition and several defeats against the big boys. However, it was December 20th that did it for me. Although it was an away game, our 0-3 defeat at Southampton was very poor in quality and belief and was followed by consecutive defeats against Stoke, Newcastle and Hull – which I remember left almost all of us in absolute fear of relegation. Only really from March 15th did we cobble together 5 out of 6 decent wins to ease up the table – although no higher, when we lost 3 of the last 4 to Villa, Sunderland and Spurs, with only a win at West Ham giving us any joy in May.

Last season was really a right shambles, and our mini-Great Escape put on a gloss that kept Martinez in his job. It had even slipped my mind how lousy that season was. The fact that this year has been remarkably similar (other than being worse at home and never quite approaching as close to the bottom as we did at times last season) – surely makes in clear that any fan (or board member) who thinks any change is likely next season with this clown in charge, is sadly deluded.

Enough is enough!

Nick Armitage
117 Posted 05/05/2016 at 19:31:51
If Martinez stays and Lukaku goes, as looks likely, Everton will be relegated.

Kenwright can't or won't see it but hopefully Moshiri will.

Ian Cowhig
118 Posted 05/05/2016 at 19:47:11
We haven't got the players that can play the brand of football he wants to play. And that is another reason why he should go. Because he has had 3 years to bring in the style of player he needed; or when he didn't get in the style of player he needed, match the style of play to what he had.

Ranieri has said that the style of play Leicester play is not what he would normally coach. But he soon realised that the players he had could not carry out that style. So basically he let them get on with a style that they could.

The end result proving dividends.

Damian Wilde
119 Posted 05/05/2016 at 19:47:27
Very well articulated article as always, Lyndon. I agree with your views.

Phil Williams (3):

"I still believe Martinez has brought us some of the most enjoyable football we have seen in decades."

Are you on drugs? The last two seasons I have hated going to the match as we are so BORING. Martinez's football is BORING. Pass, pass, pass x 575. I'll reword it for you:

"I still believe Martinez has brought us some of the most boring football we have seen in decades."

Far more accurate.


Colin Glassar
120 Posted 05/05/2016 at 19:49:26
Roberto is being linked to the Inter Milan job today - crazy.
John Davies
121 Posted 05/05/2016 at 20:11:07
A brilliantly constructed article with just one omission. That being the lack of criticism directed at our pathetic, weak, indecisive, bumbling Chairman. Martinez is a joke. A deluded, arrogant, intransigent fool. But the man at the top should be charged with dereliction of duty, crass negligence and killing the club he claims to love. Bullshit Bill.


Bob Heyward
122 Posted 05/05/2016 at 20:12:07
People are starting to sound hysterical. It is neither the time nor place for such a pandemonium.

If Martinez is still here at the opening of the transfer window then, yeah, the article and some of the sentiments above apply. Until then, we should trust our legal team to understand the contract that they drafted for El Clown, with specific regard to understanding how the reduce and mitigate the pecuniary obligations we owe him.

Moshiri is ex-PwC; pounds, shillings and pence.

Don Alexander
123 Posted 05/05/2016 at 20:19:41
Colin (#120), I'm led to believe that was for the Subutteo version of Inter Milan.
Robbie Muldoon
124 Posted 05/05/2016 at 20:23:37
I've heard it said a few times before by the Martinez doubters that he was a "blagger". He knows what to say but isn't capable of making it happen. It's blindingly obvious now with Leicester winning the league with the hashtag FEARLESS printed on their victory flags and repeated in the headlines.

Remember Roberto's early rallying "Sin Miedo" – to play without fear? He knew what was needed, but three years later his side walked out to Wembley with greater stage-fright than any side the defeatist Davey Moyes put out. The right intention was there but the ability isn't.

People at the club know this and we will all be able to look forward to a new manager for next season.

Nicholas Ryan
125 Posted 05/05/2016 at 20:34:13
Lyndon; every piece of yours, leads me to the same, one-word response. .....'Exactly'!
Alastair Donaldson
126 Posted 05/05/2016 at 20:52:41
He's going to take over the Spanish National side as well..he'll be busy.

There's one last chance for fans this season to make our feelings known... if what I read about the tactics to dilute the spirited protest after the game against AFCB were true, that's awful, and perhaps symptomatic of the current regimes "respect" for the fans.

Nice touch Howard is blaming the players and absolving the management too..what a farce.

Good job we're all fully paid up mugs.

Si Cooper
127 Posted 05/05/2016 at 21:02:06
Damian, I'm sure Phil was referring mainly to his first season when we did seem to be playing 'sin miedo' at times. There have been flashes in the other two seasons but they seem to be getting rarer and the manager is obviously unable to identify the root cause.

I was one of those who were encouraged by his first 10 months but I am in complete accord with Lyndon's OP. I still find myself cringeing when people say he has ruined the club or that he is a complete joke. I just can't stomach hyperbole even when I understand the underlying emotion.

Jack Convery
128 Posted 05/05/2016 at 21:12:29
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I feel very sick to the stomach.

Excellent read.

James Watts
129 Posted 05/05/2016 at 21:22:03
A very very good read.

However, Roberto is going nowhere. Everything he says and everything the board does not say gives me that opinion.

I believe he will be with us at least until Christmas. I want him gone, but I've already come to accept that he will not get sacked unless we are in the bottom 3, unfortunately. The plus (?!?) side is the rate we are going we may be in the bottom 3 before Christmas so he might go earlier!!

Paul Rigby
130 Posted 05/05/2016 at 21:31:47
Great piece.

I suppose an equivalent piece on the even bigger obstacle to improvement that is our chairman would be entitled "The vanity of the sentimentalist." For make no mistake, ours is a club that has rotted from the head.

Mick Davies
131 Posted 05/05/2016 at 21:49:22
Great piece of journalism Lyndon, far more accurate and detailed than we'd expect from the Red Echo. I'd also like to point out that Everton FC is being run like Saddam's Iraq, where dissent is severely dealt with, opposition is ignored and vehemently denied, and press conferences are presided over by a comically optimistic lunatic, who claims the obvious victors can't possibly be successful, and the regime is on the verge of victory.

If only a coalition of fans, ex-players and the media could be assembled to put paid to this dictatorship, because until Chairman Bill is relieved of all power, history will keep repeating itself: we will continue this run of the longest period without a title win.
Damian Wilde
132 Posted 05/05/2016 at 22:01:23
Even during his first season though some good matches at times, the overpassing was still a bit boring then.

I remember last season winning 3-1 against QPR, the play was so boring that the crowd were clearly annoyed even though winning.

Don Alexander
133 Posted 05/05/2016 at 22:09:24
What do you call anyone who speaks the truth at Finch Farm?

"An ambulance".

Welcome to Kenwright's Everton.

Christine Foster
135 Posted 05/05/2016 at 22:16:15
The Bonfire of Vanities. Alas it is our dreams and hopes going up in smoke on the altar of idealism and arrogance. We have no voice that anyone wants to hear, no words to change minds. The travesty of personal pride rather than the embracing unity of fans and club burns the soul.

Ignored. Despised. Laughed at. I am an Evertonian born not manufactured. That's something that won't change, but at some point the wheel will turn and those in charge will be gone. I only hope whoever comes next sees value in who we are, what we do and how much it means to be a Blue. I want to love my club again.
Dave Abrahams
136 Posted 05/05/2016 at 22:31:37
Don't we all, Christine. Good post though; our day will come but I think I am running out of time.
Roger Helm
137 Posted 05/05/2016 at 22:36:24
The charge sheet:

1. Overseeing a gradual but inexorable decline for two years without doing anything to change it.

2. Tactical rigidity with no plan B making it easy for opposing coaches to plan against us.

3. Bizarre substitutions/non-substitutions

4. Poor transfer dealings with loads of duds and the few good players greatly overpriced

5. Failure to develop our young first teamers and bring through any of our promising Academy players.

6. Failing to create a good team atmosphere and publicly belittling players.

7. Not having the players in a reasonable degree of fitness and conditioning.

8. Embarrassing the club with his weird interview comments.

9. Seemingly deteriorating the backroom and medical staff set-up.

10. Rubbish pre-seasons including not even being there for one of them.

It seems a no-brainer for a responsible board to change the management but with Moshiri being so new and having a hands-off reputation, and BK being so ill, is it likely that anything will change? Worrying.

Sean Kelly
138 Posted 05/05/2016 at 22:44:03
Lyndon, great piece. What annoys most of us I suspect is the willingness of Martinez to big himself and others up at any given opportunity. It's quite insulting to hear his bullshit. He's beginning to come across as comical Alli. "What problem, there is no problem. It's in your mind".

All this and the board are silent. They are all making a mockery of the fans.
John Aldridge
139 Posted 05/05/2016 at 23:14:52
"Everton are, at best, going sideways under his management"

Just like the turgid football he serves up for us every match at Goodison. We need a reset – the club and it's support are completely downtrodden. I for one cannot take much more. I'm hoping that the rumours he's gone after the Norwich game are true.

Dan Davies
140 Posted 05/05/2016 at 23:26:26
Sean the board are making a mockery of the whole club including themselves not just the fans mate.
Paul Birmingham
141 Posted 05/05/2016 at 23:56:54
Having witnessed an inspired show by the RS, it sums up the true gulf of what has happened and where we are. We all could tap out notes all month, but in a nutshell what Leicester have rightfully and deservedly achieved, much like Burnley coming back with on par the best form in English football, we will have to take the hits and bounce back but in how much time God knows?

The last 2½ seasons have taken the life blood out of me in terms of EFC, but under the adage of "anything can happen", I don't see any spores of hope on the horizon. Delusion in any walk of life whilst raising certain hopes, in our case we have systematically and with proof failed on a level that in my view says we are in a confused deluded mess. History? No need for history, the present in EFC is what counts, our past is as good history and our club is unique in terms of fans and great support.

But now I fear we may get lost in total space. Leicester well played, well earned. Everton's 1st team in 2015-2016, only shame and I hope sincerely for a miracle for us soon. The RS are going up, and we are flat head and going the reverse. Let's hope the summer brings fresh hope, for all of us. I can't say more as we've all said it before over the last 2½ years. I hope we don't become a Toon-type junk club.. We live in hope.

Darren Hind
142 Posted 06/05/2016 at 04:42:25
Very well put together Lyndon.

Would have been a good read if it wasn't so depressingly accurate.

Phil Walling
143 Posted 06/05/2016 at 07:56:41
Sean @ 138. I suspect the Board are giving him these last few games to save his neck out of respect for Kenwright's misguided confidence in the guy.
Eddie Dunn
144 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:14:49
An excellent overview of our season Lyndon. You probably could have waited two weeks and summed it all up after we see Leicester parade the title and have our say in the plight of Norwich.

The game at the King Power is probably just what Martinez didn't want, as the comparisons in fortunes will be there in the nation's gaze. I'm sure he would have preferred two more "Bournemouth " games to slip quietly under the radar, with little fuss.

Our want-away wannabees will look on enviously at the rewards for teamwork and playing on the break.

Others may be questioning their chances of playing in the Euros after this poor season domestically. Our fans and board members will also be starkly reminded(if they have forgotten!) of the inability of this incumbent to break into the top 4.

I hope that the board are simply doing things with dignity and will remove the manager in due course, in the close season. If nothing happens, I see a difficult time for us, as I can't see many players of note wanting to join our little "journey", but I can see several wanting to leave it.

Alan Humphreys
145 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:19:15
An excellent piece Lyndon. You put the hacks covering Everton to shame.
Michael Evans
146 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:45:34
Excellent article and the use of the word 'Vanity' in the title is spot on.

This has been a 'Project' for RM.

That a great club like Everton have had to endure this is staggering.

Jim Lloyd
147 Posted 06/05/2016 at 09:20:59
Lyndon. Could you clear up something regarding Mr Moshiri for me. I think (not sure it was on ToffeeWeb though) there was an article that said in it, Mr Moshiri would be buying, or would be offered, more shares that would bring his holding, to around the 75% mark.

It's Mr Moshiri who holds the future of EFC in his hands now. As much as I think your article is well written and analyses Martinez and his role in the last three seasons, my view is that Kenwright should be the target more than Martinez.

He is the one who has kept him, through mounting evidence that we would not get anywhere the top six, let alone the top four. Like a lot of other fans, I thought Martinez in his first year brought a breath of fresh air into the club. Second season, I thought there were reasons that he should be given more time because of injuries and suspensions, but this season, we have lost our way.

What did it for me though was his response to Baines, on top of the increasingly worrying league form, and my view is that he should have gone before the semi.

But to focus on Martinez as the cause doesn't do it for me. The cause has been Kenwright in keeping him; culminating in the infamous "What a manager" plus the scene of the hands round Mr Moshiri. Unedifying to say the least.

For what it's worth, I was told that the Board met on Saturday morning at a hotel in Liverpool. The name of the hotel was Jury's and they arrived quite late at the match. I believe the lad who told me.

The point to me, is what Mr Moshiri will do. Having looked at the set up and been told by his rep, what goes on in the board and what plans there are (were) for taking us forward.

It is Mr Moshiri's call now. It would seem to me that he won't do things rashly and he isn't in the habit of giving millions of his money away, especially to projects that are unlikely to see a positive result for him and the club.

If he thinks that Martinez will take us forward at the desired pace, then he must see something in Martinez that we don't, or he's been blagged by Kenwright' effusive support. If it's the latter, then buying my season ticket might consign me to more of the same and has been based on unsound logic. (It's happened before!) But I think he will do things in the right manner and tell R/M that he has appreciated all he's done for the club; but we need to move on.

I think he will have a list of managers ready for interview, once the last match has been played. I don't think he want's to see disruption if it's unnecessary, as he'll want to keep the players who will provide a new manager with something to work with.

I agree very much with Patrick Murphy (#56) that we have a short space of time to get things right before the door slams in our face. I seem to remember the major shareholder saying that he would like to get to know the club better before he brought his plans for the club before the board and the shareholders. I'm sure it was in his piece in the programme.

So I'm waiting to see what happens when the season finishes. For the Board to bring in the best manager that they can attract to the job... nothing less will do.

John Crawley
148 Posted 06/05/2016 at 09:41:34
Another excellent article Lyndon. Interesting to make the comparison between Martinez and Simeone. Simeone was an all out attack manager in the earlier part of his career, a bit like Martinez if you will. The change in his views started when he lost a cup quarter final in 2008 when 2 goals up.

His experience managing Catania in Italy became a defining one. He said of it: “At first I always wanted to attack. With time I learnt the best ways to think how to win is in your defensive balance.”

Unfortunately Martinez shows zero signs of being able to adapt his managerial style despite the outcomes it produces. This is why he's never going to improve and rise above mediocrity.

I'm sure he will be shown the door after the season finishes, but just to make sure lets ensure that we all protest at the Norwich game.

Tony Abrahams
149 Posted 06/05/2016 at 10:25:43
Alan (#145), so true, so very true. To the press, it's a job, but for people like Lyndon, Michael, and almost everyone who posts on ToffeeWeb, it means so much more.

The people who read TW and can email Bill Kenwright have got it wrong. Mr Moshiri needs to read this article – he's the one who should be made to feel that he his now in charge.

Football changes very quickly, and it's why this next appointment, once Martinez, leaves has got to be the right one. Liverpool were treading water, and in the space of 8 months, a new manager has taken them to two cup finals, whilst Martinez, hails two semis?

We need a winner, something we haven't had at our great club, for a very long time.

Bobby Thomas
150 Posted 06/05/2016 at 10:50:24
Just a quick point about the final paragraph.

Moshiri has not put any money into the club yet. He has paid directors for their shares but he hasn't "sunk" any money into the club, up to this point.

Hopefully that changes.

George Cumiskey
151 Posted 06/05/2016 at 13:08:10
I can tell you the exact game when the rot started. It was Palace at home in his first season, Pulis was in charge and he had sussed Martinez out. Since then we have gone steadily backwards, and anyone foolish enough to think if we keep him on for another year it will have the Howard Kendall effect is living in fantasy land.

If that was the case then no manager would ever be sacked, they'd all be waiting for the Kendall miracle.
Kevin Rudge
152 Posted 06/05/2016 at 13:22:56
I want him (and Bill) gone right now, but its increasingly looking like we are doing things with dignity and respect, AKA 'The Everton Way', whatever that is?

No matter the manager ranting and spewing stupidity like a drunk at a karaoke every time a microphone is within spitting distance.

Or the fans being asked to cough up their increasingly harder earned for early bird tickets for what, if nothing changes, promises to be another visual steaming pile of effort free directionless shite, with lashings of superlatives and cloud cuckoo land eulogy's.

The complete lack of 'dignity and respect' shown to everybody but Mr Martinez really does take some believing. But then, when you think of it, it is totally indicative of the attitude of the hierarchy at our club since Agent Johnson took the reins waaaaay back when we were still had some standing in the upper echelons of the football elite.

Johnson was ejected in the most unceremonious of fashions, follwoing very well attended marches and very loud voices the like of which would have today's eternally outraged and embarrassed social media Evertonians requiring counseling.

I don't know how to put my post in summary but all this talk of not 'the Everton way' and we are better than that and kopite behaviour really does grind my gears.
It is the Everton way and it friggin works too

Peter Caley
153 Posted 06/05/2016 at 13:53:36
Excellent article and well articulated all the failings of Martinez. He really does not have the majority of the fans' support and his arrogance and blinded view over the way we play is 'incredible'.

It's ironic that we have to provide a guard of honour to a Leicester team who have one of the lowest possession rates in the league.

The man must go soon so that we can give leadership to this club. the board must confirm his exit asap.
Paul Andrews
154 Posted 06/05/2016 at 17:44:29
I have just read this article for the second time.

I have said this before, Lyndon your perception on what it means to be a Blue is outstanding to say the least.
Finger on the pulse and you state your case perfectly.


Ian Hollingworth
155 Posted 06/05/2016 at 20:47:34
Sadly guys BK or RM are going nowhere and we need to get used to it.
I am genuinely concerned as the clown will take us down.
Nightmare scenario two egotistic clowns running the club.
Somebody please help us.
Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:02:50
It is now 99 per cent certain that Martinez will still be here for the final game of the season, I hope the club are sensible enough to cancel the lap of honour, lap of honour, that makes you laugh though doesn't it, I can't imagine Martinez would be daft enough to walk around the pitch if they are stupid enough to have it.

No it should be cancelled and leave us in peace to have our own demonstration to Mr. Moshiri and his board member that Martinez has to go and we need to treated with some dignity, something that Billy Liar has never shown to us supporters.

If any major decision is left to that phoney then we are truly on the way out as a top club.

Antonio Michaels
157 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:11:41
The club will find itself sliding down the same slippery slope that Villa have been on for several years if it fails to employ a manager who is a winner. Time for Mr Martinez to take a long holiday, anywhere that isn't here!
Paul Kelly
158 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:19:32
I think they should keep the lap of honour, wait til El Bob is a little away from the dug out and then everyone bursts into song of "Martinez Out!", several minutes of it will hit home,as he does a walk of shame around the Old Lady, Bainesy could even start it.
Joe Edwards
159 Posted 07/05/2016 at 08:30:20
Deluded fool... the emperor's clothes there for everyone to see.
Peter Fearon
160 Posted 07/05/2016 at 14:54:45
The great groundswell of negative opinion against Martinez is all but irresistible and sometimes it seems as if we must already be in the relegation zone to hear some fans talk about what a disaster his management has been.

In fact, we came tantalizingly close – tantalizingly close – to two finals this season and at times during his tenure we have played some beautiful football. Nobody sang about the School of Science being back during Moyes's tenure.

The fact is that, when Everton played the way many fans now say they want us to play – teutonically organized at the back, deadly on the counter – what they are really saying is bring back David Moyes. Many of those same fans could not wait to see the back of Moyes and had nothing but contempt for his style of play.

It's not like Martinez won't let his teams play counter-attacking football when he needs to. We have given both Manchester United and Southampton, among others, object lessons in the art of the counter-attack.

If a more experienced, significantly more tactically expert manager can be signed, fine. But the names I have seen bandied about so far – O'Neill, Hughes, Moyes again, Pearson, Howe and so on; please!

In another season, the plane with the banner on the tail would be back in the grey sky over Goodison yet again. I would sooner stay with Martinez than most of the managers on the bookies' short-list. I've heard a lot about false dawns recently. Maybe this season is the darkest hour before the sunrise.

Dan Aspinall
161 Posted 07/05/2016 at 15:06:12
Peter Fearon, you are a brave man posting that comment on here. Looking forward to the responses. You may have caused a couple of ToffeeWebers to go all Michael Douglas in Falling Down with that one...
Dave Jones
162 Posted 07/05/2016 at 16:13:22
Peter 160 I think you must be a sour unforgiving Wigan fan.
Nigel Gregson
163 Posted 07/05/2016 at 16:16:40
Peter hear hear - great comment. Sadly it will be drowned in the more repetitive boring posts about repetitive boring football (ah the irony).
Shane Corcoran
164 Posted 07/05/2016 at 16:28:53
Peter, I agree that the bookies' list is less than inspiring but there has to be a happy medium between playing attractive football and defending. It isn't either or.

Unfortunately for Martinez, he has other issues. The attacking football has suffered with the drop in confidence of the players, due to the results that poor defending brings.

And then there's the endless bullshit he spouts.

So, it's nice to hear a contrary view, but I can't say I agree with it completely.

Ray Said
165 Posted 07/05/2016 at 16:35:54
We need a proper board to direct the club and a real Chief Executive to stand over the manager and make changes if things are not going to plan.
The vacuum at the top is leading to all this crap we are enduring. A real CEX would have set a series of targets for the manager to hit instead of this drift. Does anyone have a clue we are are going except in a spiral of decline?
Jim Lloyd
166 Posted 07/05/2016 at 16:38:50
Well, I think it is time for Roberto to go because I don't think he can take us any further. He has brought some exciting football to Everton; certainly in the first year, and spasmodically over the last two.

I think he has done well with the Academy too, and brought young players on but I think his weaknesses have been found out now.

I certainly agree with you Peter,that I don't want to see Moyes back, or O'Neill come waltzing in...then waltzing out just as quickly. when he loses interest.

We need a top class manager who can build the solid foundations to begin the road back to the top.

David Barks
167 Posted 07/05/2016 at 16:39:58
Sorry Peter, but our football is boring, slow and ineffective. Our defending is shocking. Nobody is saying we should only ply a defensive game and hit on the counter attack, don't know where you got that from. What we are saying is you must have a solid defensive foundation, which just about every successful manager from Ferguson to Mourinho will tell you. Martinez says no to all that.

And if you want to know what can happen when you just accept things as they are with the hope that someday it will improve, just look at Villa. They went from being challengers for Europe at the start of each season, along with us, to now being relegated.

Once the rot sets in, it's very difficult to reverse it. That's why this summer is so vital and the new owner must let it be known that this is unacceptable at this club and appoint a quality manager, not with a goal of finishing top half or any of that. The stated goal should be that Everton are here to win the league.

Peter Fearon
169 Posted 07/05/2016 at 19:39:21
David, 167, maybe the slow boring and
ineffective play may just be partly the fault of the players who never seem to take the kind of flack that Kenwright and Martinez does.

I just watched Barkley Lennon Lukaku McCarthy Cleverley Stones and Gibson put in another half-arsed performance. Nobody seems to be calling for their heads.

We should always look for better players and better management but to change like for like out of ennui or disappointment is just ludicrous. Yes let's put Marky Sparky No-Mark Hughes in there he'll sort them out! Everyone on this site would be protesting by his third match in charge.

Tony Abrahams
170 Posted 07/05/2016 at 21:23:06
Peter, he's lost the players, because of the way he wants them to play. Look at Guardiola, even he couldn't get the European champions, to achieve his way of playing.

For Martinez, to get a team playing the way he wants, I think he would have to start with managing the kids, and have a ten year plan, for when they reached adulthood.

His football is flawed, and too many players on the pitch are isolated, and lack real belief, in what they are being asked to do.

Jay Wood
171 Posted 07/05/2016 at 21:50:10
Peter @ 160 and Nigel @ 163.

All very virtuous, I'm sure, but ultimately flawed reasoning.

Yes, we came 'tantalizingly close' to two finals this season, only to blow it with poor preparation, tactics, selection, substitutions and in-game management.

All the above failings have been on view virtually every week as the league table shows for 2 seasons now.

The times during RM's tenure we have 'played some beautiful football' are extremely infrequent and rarely sustained over 90 minutes. List if you will from this season alone the games, or merely the passages within a game, when Everton has played 'beautiful football.

I have to go back to the Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge when I was last hugely impressed by the team ... and twice we blew a winning position to only draw 3-3.

As to other points, nobody sings about the School of Science under Roberto any more either and haven't done so for some months.

Fans calling for the team to be 'teutonically organized at the back, deadly on the counter' is a sensible desire to see the most basic of football tenets return to Everon.

Why you, Peter, make the leap from that to assume the majority of fans want to 'bring back David Moyes,' I'm not quite sure.

In ridiculing the names of potenial replacements being 'bandied about,' you do realise (or ... maybe you don't..?) that posters were responding to latest betting odds or tabloid rumours and most were opposed, proposing marquee manager names as alternatives.

Given the state of the club and team performance over 2 years, questioning and speculation over the manager's position is inevitable. You're swimming against the tide trying to suppress it.

To go on to claim @ 169 that 'the players never seem to take the kind of flack that Kenwright and Martinez does' is simply false in the extreme. Not one of them has escaped some kind of criticism Some frequently have entire threads dedicated to their ineptitude.

Just read today's match thread against the newly crowned champions and see how much grief and scorn is being directed at the players.

There is LIVE EVIDENCE disproving your claim that
'nobody seems to be calling for their heads.'

Err, Peter. Yes they are.

As I said in my opening, all very virtuous of you Peter. Everton were richly rewarded in virtuously sticking by HK1, as were Manure in the early years of Fergie.

Roberto is not, and never will be, in that class of football manager.

No romance. No poetry. No flowery speech of 'the dark before the dawn' is going to change that.

Roberto Martinez's position as manager of Everton FC is no longer tenable.

Worry about and question the candidates the board interview once the position is vacant, rather than sneer at the names from bookies' odds lists and tabloid rumours.

Peter Gorman
172 Posted 07/05/2016 at 21:59:33
Oh Peter, Peter, Peter.....
Mike Connolly
173 Posted 07/05/2016 at 22:12:44
Please give me a pint of what Peter has been drinking. I'l switch off my Morrissey CD and then everything will look rosey. Just can't take anymore crap off RM,Bill and the team
Alex De Gier
174 Posted 08/05/2016 at 11:45:59
Next Saturday offers an interesting conundrum. As it is the last Home game of the season, one would expect the usual walk of shame/lap of honour. However, this could descend into an outpouring of vitriol from the faithful, letting the team and more specifically the manager know their feelings (as if they were not already aware).

If there is no such perambulation around Goodison (mirroring the lethargy with which recent performances have been marked), then there would surely be an equal outburst of disgust from the fans for the lap is as much for the team to show their appreciation of the support as the other way round.

I fear that, if Martinez is still there, then the atmosphere will not be a good one. The Board should therefore do the right thing and let him go, "by mutual agreement", with a modicum of dignity for surely NO ONE deserves to be fed to the lions – no matter what we may feel.

Andy Crooks
175 Posted 08/05/2016 at 21:39:15
Jay, I read Peter's post 160 and felt my blood pressure(ridiculously) rising. Thank you for calmly and thoroughly dimissing it.
John Crawley
176 Posted 08/05/2016 at 21:56:30
Tony 170 you've lost me with this comment "look at Guardiola, even he couldn't get the European champions, to achieve his way of playing" - what do you mean?
Tony Abrahams
177 Posted 08/05/2016 at 22:09:40
John, when Guardiola, took over Munich, they had just won the champions league. Try as he has, I don't think that Munich, have taken to this tikka/takka, like his previous team Barcelona, did.

I heard Pep, say, after they played Juventus, this season, that his team were very pedestrian. Sound familiar? And Munich, have got a lot more good players than Everton, have.

I think that to get a team, to play in this style, has got to be learned from a very early age. How many teams, have we ever seen master the art of total football? It's the exception, to the rule, for those that do.

John Crawley
178 Posted 08/05/2016 at 23:36:08
Ah okay Tony, I get what you are saying now. Interesting comment because a lot of Barcelona's players come up through the youth teams.
Tony Abrahams
179 Posted 09/05/2016 at 08:29:11
John, Martinez, might possibly have people like Bill Kenwright, sold on this same idea. I hope if he has, that Kenwright keeps him on, but as far away from the first team as possible.

I came away from one game earlier in the season, and my dad, told me to shut up, because I kept repeating myself. I kept saying that I think Martinez, is a youth development coach, and it's possible that he might have to go back to that level, and work himself up, (instead of us up) with the same club, if he is to ever achieve his philosophy?

Dave Abrahams
181 Posted 10/05/2016 at 00:49:51
Tony (179) I never tell you to shut up because I think you are talking rubbish. No, you talk a lot of sense and most probably know more about the tactics of the game than me. But you are driving the car and telling me your version of the game and I'm thinking you are going to crash the car and kill both of us your kids and my grandkids.

I always pay attention to what you say; do you ever listen to me?

Tony Abrahams
183 Posted 10/05/2016 at 20:57:12
Only when you offer to make me a cup of tea Dave. Don't reckon you always listen though, because it doesn't matter how many times I tell you, you still never make it properly!

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