An Unforgivable Collapse

It was Groundhog Day at Goodison Park – again – as Everton threw away another two-goal advantage and lost 3-2 to West Ham.

Lyndon Lloyd 05/03/2016 67comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 2 - 3 West Ham United

It was Groundhog Day at Goodison Park. Again.

At some point you just move past anger into a surreal depressed acceptance and marvel at Evertons penchant for late capitulation in the arena that is meant to be their fortress. After repeated body blows of this ilk this season against Leicester and Stoke and at Bournemouth and Chelsea (those are the most painful examples but there are others, of course), you would think that surely surely, for pitys sake! some lessons would have been learned about how to protect a lead.

With five wins in the last six in all competitions, the team standing again on the threshold of a first Wembley appearance for four years and the prospect of fresh investment, this game really was the siren song for the Evertons season. A win would have pulled them within five points of fifth place and put them right back in contention for Europe, the prospect of rescuing another massively disappointing league season well within their grasp.

Instead, though they had done all the hard work in largely nullifying an enterprising and dangerous Hammers side, taken a deserved 1-0 lead, and then doubled that advantage despite losing Kevin Mirallas to a pair of stupid yellow cards with 65 minutes of the game left, they tossed away three precious points by simply failing to address the imperative to defend in numbers to see the game out.

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Romelu Lukakus dreadful 68th-minute penalty, one that would have been comfortably saved by Adrian even if the Spaniard hadnt illegally leapt two yards off his line before making the stop, will be highlighted as a turning point. Had he managed to finish with any of the conviction that a striker of his ability should, then you would have thought that even a defence as porous as Evertons could have seen the game out from 3-0 up.

Even a man down, 2-0 should have been more than enough, though. Up to the last quarter of an hour when, once again, the whole shape and look of the team appeared to be disrupted by a seemingly needless or misguided Roberto Martinez substitution, the Blues were in remarkable control of the game. Instead of pulling his men back behind the ball and just grittily seeing out the final 15 minutes, he withdrew the industrious Aaron Lennon in favour of another striker in the form of Oumar Niasse and the tide of the game changed soon afterwards.

Whether the change in personnel had a direct influence will be debated but everything changed immediately afterwards. A man down and 2-0 up, surely you just do everything to get over the line with three points. Surely you just Pulis it for the last 15 minutes pull men behind the ball and just make it as hard as possible rather than throw on another attacker.

The raised eyebrows and unease at the deployment of a largely untested back three, apparently prompted by illness to Gareth Barry, when the team sheets were announced had been largely forgotten about half an hour into this match. Everton had started in assured fashion, betraying little of the nervousness or lack of intensity or tempo that has made watching Martinezs side at times this season so frustrating.

James McCarthys excellent early shot that was batted over the bar by Adrian was an early sign of their intent and, after John Stoness pleas for a penalty had been ignored by referee Anthony Taylor, they took the lead with impressive goal from Lukaku.

West Hams depleted back line was pin-pointed as an area to exploit prior to the game and the Belgian did so brilliantly by rolling past young centre half Reece Oxford and drilling a low shot in off the far post with 12 minutes gone.

Ross Barkley then tested the keeper with a similarly excellent effort, chesting a loose ball forward and unleashing a left-foot volley that Adrian pushed away with a diving parry as the Blues looked to extend their advantage.

The complexion of the match changed significantly 10 minutes before the break, however, when Mirallas received his marching orders and, most likely a permanent place in Martinez's dog house from Taylor for a second bookable offence. Already on a yellow card for simulating a foul when trying to win a free kick earlier in the half, the winger clattered through Aaron Cresswell with a clumsy late tackle that left the official with few options, although he looked to set to give Mirallas a final warning until Mark Noble got into his face, Steven Gerrard-style to remonstrate on behalf of his team-mate.

West Ham had seen a lot of the ball in the first half without being allowed to do an awful lot with it. A rash tackle by Jagielka on the edge of the box had given Dimitri Payet a chance from a direct free kick but he curled it well over, Angelo Ogbonna had a claim for a penalty himself waved away when he went down under the attentions of Ramiro Funes Mori and Joel Robles made a good save to deny Emenike just before half time as the striker connected with a low cross at close range.

Apparently concerned by the space that Payet was finding in front of his defence in the first period, Martinez withdrew Stones at the break and introduced Muhamed Besic to patrol in defensive midfield alongside James McCarthy. The change offered Everton more options in both defensive and offensive capacities and it was the Bosnians tricky footwork that would win the penalty that might have made it 3-0, but not before Lennon had precipitated a wave of mis-placed relief at Goodison by doubling the lead.

Operating more frequently on the left flank after Mirallass sending off, the winger came in off the touchline and exchanged a pass with Lukaku that took him between two defenders where he could slot past Adrian and make it 2-0 with 55 minutes on the clock.

It was the latest contribution from what had been a very different Lukaku to the one Evertonians have been watching for the best part of the last month. The striker was strong, in command his touch and his all-round play had been excellent for the first two-thirds of the game; that was until he stepped up to take a disputed penalty after Alex Song had tripped Besic right on 18-yard line.

It was a sorry effort from 12 yards by the Belgian but he had the chance to atone minutes later when he was put through by a defence-splitting pass into a one-on-one confrontation with Adrian from which the goalkeeper emerged the victor by sticking out a leg to divert Lukakus attempted flick past him behind for a corner.

From the chance to put the game away, Everton eventually succumbed in bitterly familiar fashion in the closing stages and it again throws up huge question marks over the soft centre in Martinezs defence where three crosses into the box produced three goals in 12 minutes. First,Michael Antonio, a player who should have been highlighted as an aerial threat following his winner against Tottenham on Wednesday, beat Funes Mori to Nobles curling cross following a corner to head decisively past Robles.

Three minutes later, Diafro Sakho rose between Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman to nod into the corner and wipe out the Blues lead; the Argentine defender, so impressive since arriving from River Plate last August, not covering himself in glory for any of the goals conceded by allowing himself to be out-jumped for all three.

With Niasse, who has unsurprisingly only looked lost in his brief cameos thus far, already on the field, Martinez appeared to give up on the idea of winning the game and belatedly opted for what he thought would be greater defensive solidity by throwing Barry on for Lukaku with a couple of minutes to go. Everton remained wide open in midfield, though, and as a last-minute cross was floated into the Blues box, Payet moved untracked by the substitute into a gaping hole in the middle of the penalty area to sweep home Sakhos flick and complete another miserable afternoon at Goodison Park.

Evertons recent run of results has had an impressive look on paper and has certainly fostered hope that, despite the questions over the his ability to organise his defence, the uncertainty over the collective mentality of his players and the paucity of his own ability to manage games from winning positions, Roberto Martinez was showing belated signs of getting to grips with another season of under-achievement.

It has proved to be another false dawn and the belief that the problems ingrained in this team are not going to change under his stewardship has been reinforced once more by what was, to be frank, an utterly unforgivable collapse. Tragically, what was an impressive performance for 75 minutes will count for nothing thanks to familiar failings at the back; what could have been a wonderful season has been critically undermined by the same weakness.

The players must take some responsibility, of course, but when it comes down to it, the manager has had opportunity after opportunity now to prove that the mis-steps that have plagued this season have been heeded and addressed.

Unfortunately, he is not learning from that history and both he and this Everton side look doomed to repeat it. Over and over again.

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Reader Comments (67)

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Sam Higgins
1 Posted 05/03/2016 at 19:48:53
Probably one the most frustrating seasons I’ve ever endured as an Evertonian. At least in the '90s, we were just shit and that was that – survival was all we played for. Now we have the best squad in a generation and we are making an utter dogs dinner of it.

Will the now owner have an answer?

Ralph Basnett
2 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:03:56
Just looking at the league table is frightening, we have lost eight games, seven at home.

He has to go!!!

Daniel Joseph
3 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:08:06
No excuse for that today. Sat there waiting for it to happen. FIVE Internationals at the back who are either being coached badly or who lack confidence. Either way, that’s down to Martinez to rectify – or someone else who can.

Dreadful.

Paul Columb
4 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:10:42
Accurate read of the game from my perspective. Of all the capitulations this season, for me this one was the most surreal. I’m still shell shocked to be honest.

The initial lineup raised an eyebrow with Stones’ inclusion a bit of a mystery but pointing to Barry or Besic not being fully ready and the wings set to provide the service, bypassing mid park.

The immediate 4-4-1 reshuffle post red card and Besic’s inclusion from the half seemed like logical and uncharacteristically, albeit forced timely interventions. At 2-0 we still looked like we truly had them contained and when Besic went down, I felt confident for the fist time in a very long time that we were safe despite 15 mins remaining. And then......

So where from here? It seems unlikely RM will be relieved of his post this season. Little learning has occurred and the players will be looking to their prospects for next season, whether at Goodison or beyond. The mere rumor of investment in the squad and ’a new era’ for Everton will not keep the young core of this group together.

I do feel, however, that if/when Moshiri’s investment in the club is sanctioned by the league that a clear statement of intent should be issued. It should include a mandate for RM to immediately employ a defensive couching team of pedigree and a top 6 finish if he is to be considered for next season’s campaign.

Helen Mallon
5 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:15:47
Oh Lyndon, I was wishing you would have wrote "No comment". This is by far the worse capitulation out of all the capitulations so far.

I feel so sick inside – my team just does not feel like my team anymore... Gutted, I just want to cry.

Sid Logan
6 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:22:36
A fairly simple instruction from Martinez would have gone a long way to ensuring 3 points.

Stop the fucking crosses!

Paul Kossoff
7 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:37:44
On the live forum I said it was a big mistake when Lennon went off as he was doing two jobs.

How many more times do we have to score three to feel comfortable? Yes we could have been three up and shouldn’t have been a man down, but once again the baffling stupid substitutes have cost us three points, so annoying.

Sorry to say it but I think Martinez has to go at season's end.
Jay Griffiths
8 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:42:28
Funes Mori, though tidy on the ground, is not the commanding centre-back we feel we've needed for some time. I'm sure I can read his "not the face" plea when a near post cross comes in that's challenged.

My son and I follow this team home and away, and I have to confess that today has took me to the brink regarding Roberto. Not going like-for-like on the Lennon sub was remarkable! Using an untested striker and leaving two up top when a man down is inept at best.

As an aside, Mirallas is a luxury we can no longer afford. Has he ever played three good games in a row? Every team we play now has figured that we're a zebra with a limp going into the final quarter of the game. Waiting for the inevitable.
Paul Kossoff
9 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:53:51
Leicester City
38 11 8 19 46 55 −9 41,

Last season finish for Leicester City, 55 goals conceded, lesson learned.
new manager in, this season

POS P W D L GD PTS
1 29 17 9 3 21 60.

It can be done, not millions spent, no big name players in, just a manager who knows what needs to be done.
Andy King
10 Posted 05/03/2016 at 20:57:01
It's just happening too often now for it to be bad luck.

Funes Mori seems to enjoy his goalscoring antics but is lacking what he is in the team for which is to stop them scoring.

Next week is the big game – lose that and we will be baying for his head. Possibly the new owner will have reservations about Martinez’s credentials for taking this team forward.

Andy King
11 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:03:01
We can’t go on with these highs and lows in games – it’s not good for our health.
Mike Keating
12 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:07:12
Lukaku lost us the game with a pathetic clever dick penalty and RM compounded it with his subs – Lennon (again our most threatening player even down to 10 men) – gets taken off and we throw on a striker who isn't yet up to speed.

After the penalty fuck up Lukaku should have come off and Barry on.

I was having a piss when Lukaku could have made it 4 so can't really comment on that but sounds as if he should have put us out of sight.

Just gutted.
Len Gowing
13 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:08:51
"At some point you just move past anger into a surreal depressed acceptance and marvel at Everton's penchant for late capitulation in the arena that is meant to be their fortress."

Don’t think I could sum up today more succinctly. For the first time in a long while I left the ground and wasn’t angry/frustrated at what I’d witnessed. How can so many of us be wrong and Roberto so right?

Lennon was constantly harrying, not necessarily getting near them most of the time but forcing them to play the ball. Bilic wasn’t far from us and was trying to get his players to calm down, which Lennon wasn’t letting them do.

Roberto has plucked a few gems in his time, but first impressions of Niasse scare me. We were playing with 9 men when he came on, no pressure on the ball which allowed Bilic to do what he wanted, no wonder he clapped Lennon when he was substituted.

Dave Lynch
14 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:15:52
No good blaming the players, pens will be missed and chances spurned, that's what happens on a footy pitch.

What is unforgivable is not holding onto a 2 goal lead through inept management with only a quarter of the game left, we had done the hard work by going 2 up.

Martinez should have bought on 2 more defensive minded players and if necessary have gone 6 at the back, seen the game out in our own half and slotted 3 points.

What does he do? Brings on an unfit striker and a midfielder.

No chance of him being sacked before Chelsea put us to the sword but after that... Ta ta and thanks for fuck all.

Philip Yensen
15 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:26:23
A letter to all ToffeeWebbers. Please don’t write your opinions on this forum because it’s just a conduit to let off steam.

If this forum was ever read by any of Everton's Personnel, surely a word or two would or should have got to the manager, board or players by now. If this forum is not given any heed or credence, then what is the point of having it.

Perhaps 50-60% is waffle but the rest is from the heart and relevant. Even the underlying comments of the waffling is full of honest gripes.

I am not saying don’t get things off your chest on ToffeeWeb, just, what good does it do.

So please continue with ToffeeWeb but treat it as a agony aunt column.

Mike Galley
16 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:38:07
’Has he resigned yet?’ – that was the popular line of thought on County Road tonight. And I for one go along with it; the change in formation when he brought the new signing on defied all football logic!
James Marshall
17 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:41:51
Dave@14.

"Thanks for fuck all" is a bit harsh - he has signed us some good players.

Allan Board
18 Posted 05/03/2016 at 21:56:56
Not been to a game since last season's Goodison derby. I refuse until we have a professional and reasoned staff in charge of the team.

The only thing that will change is the divison Everton play in if these pretentious idiots stay.
Rick Tarleton
19 Posted 05/03/2016 at 22:08:05
There's a problem when you can't hold on to two goal leads. I think it's six times this season, we've not won after going two goals up. Lukaku is not a penalty taker. Mirallas is and always has been an emotional imbecile. Martinez sees himself as Don Quixote forever tilting at the windmills.

We've got a problem, Houston.

Alan Bodell
20 Posted 05/03/2016 at 22:09:37
Numb, as imagine all of us are but through all this today I’ve seen again and again that if you surround referees and get in their face then they succumb.

We never contest any decision, just look at Arse, Citteh Chelsea and every single decision against is contested and we just smile and let it go.

Of course Mirallas rightly went, sad really as he was good but I hope he fucks off to pastures new but that referee today just adds to so many that love to give it to us up the ass.
Trevor Lynes
22 Posted 05/03/2016 at 22:14:20
These fans must have never played the game if they are just blindly blaming Martinez for every error. We had the best side we had available on the pitch today and the team played pretty well I thought until the last 15 minutes.

All our better players were used and they failed to withstand a bombardment of crosses when WHU brought the big guys on. Jags won a lot of headers but Funes Mori did not get off the ground today. Both fullbacks did nothing to stop the crosses.These are supposedly top players receiving top money and if they can be allowed to hide behind the manager then that is grossly unjust. The mistake IMO was taking Stones off as he could have attempted to clear the crosses which rained into our box.

Our players have repeatedly failed to see out games at Goodison from winning positions and they are the most to blame.

If the fans on this site just want Martinez sacked then so be it, but if our players are wilting after 75 minutes it is up to them to put things right!

The tactic of having three at the back was working very well until Mirallas was sent off.

Ray Roche
23 Posted 05/03/2016 at 22:39:39
Alan, regarding the opposition getting in the ref’s face, it’s certainly something we SHOULD be doing, after all, every man and his effin dog do it when they play us. If you include all the rolling around on the floor holding their face after every tackle, at least, until a yellow (or red) card has been given, then we have another ploy to use.

Spineless pricks like Taylor today just love to strut around the pitch, after all, we’ve all come to see him haven’t we? And until we collectively grow a pair then beauts like him will relish the chance to show their authority over the shy and retiring players in blue, because we don’t take issue with any decision that goes against us.

That shitbag Noble contested every decision that went against West Ham and forced the spineless one to send Mirallas off when he just might have given him the benefit of the doubt, it was only his second foul, both of which he was booked for..... I imagine hell will freeze over before we see him in an Everton shirt again.
Dave Lynch
24 Posted 05/03/2016 at 22:51:26
James.

I could buy Lionel Messi's boots but I'd still be shite in them.

He has delivered nothing but average football bordering on relegation form for the majority of his tenure.

Joe Clitherow
25 Posted 05/03/2016 at 23:11:32
Dave (#14) spot on.

I can’t believe some people are blaming Lukaku today. Yes he missed a pen, yes he was through one on one and you’d back him to score from that chance which muscled into himself. Strikers miss chances (but pens shouldn’t ever be missed, granted)

But he was excellent overall today all over the pitch and put a massive shift in by the time he was subbed, knackered.

Before people forget, he scored one goal (out of nothing) today, and provided the assist for Lennon too and was a constant threat to WHU defence.

By the way, his goals have carried us this season. Take them away and we would be somewhere not far off Villa, somewhere our incompetent manager and his staff are very familiar with as a League placing.

It’s time for action now. If we get beaten next week Goodison will be a very nasty, hostile place for him.

Joe Clitherow
26 Posted 05/03/2016 at 23:29:09
Trevor

If you think John Stones is the answer to clearing crosses then you either haven’t watched much of Everton playing or you just don’t see what goes on. He is as poor a centre half in the air as we have had in a long time. His reputation is built on skills on the ball, not defensive ability.

Jagielka was immense today putting his body on the line and Funes Mori also put in a decent shift. The problem was the pressure became too much when Bilic was able to take off a defender, who he had to have covering Lennon, and replace with a midfielder who was able to add to the numbers swamping our defence. We were left with a totally ineffective additional striker strolling round in a daze doing fuck all.

I’m not *blindly* blaming Martinez there, I saw that very clearly and there is only one person responsible for that little gem of a decision, effectively leaving us with 9 against 11. 12 counting that prick Taylor.

Peter Carpenter
27 Posted 05/03/2016 at 23:39:04
It’s a simple game.

Bilic’s tactic going into the last 15 minutes: get big blokes on to head crosses into the net. Our tactic: get small quick blokes to stop the crosses going to the big blokes. It was working.

What do we do? Take off one of the cross-stoppers and put on another bloke to run around further up the pitch – not where the crosses are coming from.

What happens next?

Trevor Peers
30 Posted 05/03/2016 at 23:45:43
This was the mother of all capitulations, one minute we were dancing with joy the next dumfounded with total disbelief!

Of courses the manager has to blamed, it’s happened far too many times now, whatever his problem is with seeing out games from a winning position it’s obvious Roberto will never find the answer.

There was a period in the Villa game were it could of happened, if he is allowed to carry on after the season ends, there is no depths we can not sink to next season, be warned!

Barry Stevens
31 Posted 05/03/2016 at 23:49:10
Trevor

Stones stunk the place out today first half. Made one decent tackle and that was a recovery tackle after losing the ball with a shit pass. General consensus I got today from everyone I spoke to was get rid.

Go to the match and watch the lad. His body language tells you everything. He either doesn’t want to be at the club or play for the manager. Maybe both.

Dave Williams
32 Posted 06/03/2016 at 01:22:23
Roberto wants to use the full pitch. Great when you are attacking. When the opposition gain the ball and enter our half, our defence instantly retreats to the 18-yard box. We are supposedly quick, so why don’t the centre-halves play for offside?

Everton conceding in the latter 15 minutes is because the opposition throw caution to the wind and pump balls into our 18-yard box. It’s that simple. We should defend 15-yards more forward and rely on the opposition to score by being precise and clever rather than attrition.

Local Journalists need to ask obvious questions. The Liverpool Echo and Radio Merseyside need to ask questions they hear from phone lines and Twitter. My question to Roberto would be: "As a Manager, why have you had a consistently poor goals-against record and why haven’t you addressed this issue with experience?"

Rather than watch two matches on tele whilst his wife watches Corrie in the other half of the room, he needs to swallow his pride, listen to what the fans say on phone-ins and websites. It comes down to one question: "Why do your teams leak goals?" Q2 (But you are too stubborn to consider:) Why don’t you address your Achilles heel?

Anthony Dwyer
33 Posted 06/03/2016 at 02:53:01
Typical Martinez, he puts defenders on at he whilst losing, he puts 2 up top (for the first time ever may I add), and puts a extra man up top when winning 2-0 with 10 men.

Simply put, simply out of his depth,

Please go

Paul Mackay
34 Posted 06/03/2016 at 03:57:30
I really can't see Everton making any managerial change before the end of the season. In fact, I see Martinez being in charge when we start next season and for the first half of next season, perhaps if he starts next season poorly would we see the axe fall. History dictates that Everton have always continued to hope that their manager might come good and they are never trigger happy.

I remember Kendall (Mk III), Walker, Smith... things had been so bad for such a long time before they got the bullet. Everton are 11th and still in the FA Cup and there is no way the board will pull the trigger, particular with the investment in the club still to be finalised. I think we have only seen Part 1 of the plan for new investment.....

I agree that Lennon was our form player today so it was strange to see him get subbed. Maybe he picked up a knock, maybe he was tiring (I'll give Martinez the benefit of the doubt) but not to bring on an experienced midfielder to shore things up was inexcusable. I'll reserve judgement at this stage but Niasse reminds me of Bakayoko Mk II.

Final point, how bad are we at set pieces? we need to take corner duty off Barkley, his distribution from corners is really poor, his free kicks not a great deal better. Of all our corner kick takers I would opt for Oviedo.

Peter Barry
35 Posted 06/03/2016 at 04:06:22
This Everton team – or should I say Martinez’s team – do not have the STAMINA to compete for 90 minutes and that can only be the manager's fault it is.

After all it's HIS training regime that they follow. He has to go, he is incompetent and you can’t fix that.
Paul Mackay
36 Posted 06/03/2016 at 04:16:14
Robles 7 I thought he looked pretty solid today, would not put him at fault for any of the goals, deserves to stay as No 1.
Stones 5 I think his head has gone, off end of the season.
Jagielka 7 Thought he had a solid game, was not at fault for the goals, was marking other players for the crosses from which West Ham scored.
Funes Mori 5 was having a great game then switched off and probably at fault for a number of the West Hams goals, worried about his ability in the air. South American defenders in the premier league?
Oviedo 6 not one of his better games, still think he offers more than Baines who I think has been poor since he came back from injury.
McCarthy 7 solid but not spectacular
Coleman 7 ditto
Barkley 7 similar to most of his performances this season, some neat interplay
Lukaku 7 other than penalty which was poor I thought he worked hard and played okay.
Lennon 8 MOM
Mirallas 3 I hate this guys attitude, temperament and everything about him, today summed him up. I can’t believe we extended his contract. Deulfeu must be thinking "What have I done wrong?"

Subs:
Besic 5 was with Martinez on this HT substitution, offered little when he came on other than getting fouled and one full on challenge which got the crowd going.
Niasse 4 – Bakayoko Mark II.
Barry 5 must of wished he had stayed in bed.

Jack Mason
37 Posted 06/03/2016 at 04:21:54
The Martinez philosophy is all about taking the objective. Scoring more goals than the opposition and winning, being the goal, the aim as it were. It's cavalier, it looks fantastic but strategically is useless if you can't hold it. Not only that, the effort to try and take it in the first place becomes wasted.

A more pragmatic approach understands you can only capitalize when you can reinforce your position. The recent W.B.A game is a recent example, it's not pretty but it's effective. Winning is always a blend of both risk and protection, Martinez will not accept that, he admitted it in the recent Guardian article. Somewhere along the line the philosophy might change but it won't be at Everton. I suspect he'd have to hit his nadir for that.

Jack Mason
38 Posted 06/03/2016 at 04:42:51
In other words, Martinez knows how to take a lead but he can’t hold one.
Peter Barry
39 Posted 06/03/2016 at 05:25:07
It's not bad luck, it's not bad Referees, it's not isolated errors by individual players... it's MANAGERIAL INCOMPETENCE – that’s the problem.
Ian Hollingworth
40 Posted 06/03/2016 at 08:00:06
To anyone who is still supporting Martinez please take a step back and look at the last 2 years. Take a long look at his Wigan record and compare it to the seasons before he took over.

Look closely at this season, look who our wins have been against and the form of those teams. Look closely at his in game management skills. Look closely into his teams abilities on set pieces.

Listen carefully to his interviews and try to pick out the bits where he talks tactically about a game opposed to just waxing lyrical.

None of this is new or surprising and this close inspection of Martinez credentials should have been done by the custodians of our once great club.

Martinez was not, is not and never will be the right choice to be Manager of Everton FC. Please end this farce, ASAP.

Mark Melton
41 Posted 06/03/2016 at 08:13:32
Barry Horne made all these points when he addressed the Alex Young Lounge after the game. He didn't exactly say Roberto out, but he clearly stated he thought the substitution was madness. He was enthusiastically applauded. Fair play to the Club for allowing him to be off-message.
Ian Bennett
42 Posted 06/03/2016 at 08:52:39
Groundhog Day seems to be the right name for the season review. It will fly off the shelves I am sure...
Andy Codling
43 Posted 06/03/2016 at 08:53:00
Hopefully the new owner's summer to-do list will be something along the lines of:

1. Get new manager;
2. Get as much money as possible for John Stones (the best young defender in England... really???)
3. Get a new goalkeeper.

Allan Board
44 Posted 06/03/2016 at 09:04:35
I am currently half-way to being as qualified as Mr Martinez as a coach. I have had the same group of kids since 6 years old, they are now approaching 8.

I have developed in training a method to help my players understand the importance of shape on a pitch. It's not rocket science but has taken 12 months to get right (they are children, remember) and now, when we lose the ball, I call out "Shape!" and my team duly revert to a compact shape, which is very difficult for teams to play through.

If children are able to take onboard this concept, what the hell's wrong with Everton's players?

Martinez is the problem.

Mike Green
45 Posted 06/03/2016 at 09:07:12
I've just watched Martinez's post-match interview.

I like him but the telling thing for me is he blames us not converting the penalty when 2-0 up as the deciding factor.

You don't need a third goal when you're 2-0 up! You've got the game won - the key is to not CONCEDE!!!

I respect him for his belief in attack but his disrespect to defending is unforgivable.

Johnny Rainford
46 Posted 06/03/2016 at 09:11:13
Paul #34. Andy #43 Agree mate.

But Its inevitable really, Moshiri will want a return on his investment. That aint gonna happen with the current incumbent unless he has a overnight epiphany and changes his game-management philosophy.

John Jones
47 Posted 06/03/2016 at 09:27:18
He is Inept and needs to go.

Midway through the second half, you could see their game plan: pump the ball into the box. Not one cross was blocked all game.

He took Lennon off and brought on Niasse... Why? WHY KEEP ATTACKING?

Why not bring on Barry and Baines? Double up on the wings and stop the crosses?

West Ham are average... helped by Anthony Taylor, agreed. But helped by Martinez who played into their hands. He cannot defend his home record and has to go.

The club has a philosophy about youth coming through and I am sure that there are other managers that would look at the squad and the youth setup and think "I can really do something here".

#MartinezOut was trending last night; I tend to agree. His position at the club has become untenable.

James Hughes
48 Posted 06/03/2016 at 09:34:10
The tagline says it all it's an unforgivable defeat. Playing three at the back in the Premier League rarely works as the game is too fast for the system to work. The back three looked out of sorts and kept expecting somebody else to mark the man.

Playing two up top when we were a man down gave WHU more room in midfield to press and play. Give Niasse a go but take off Lukaku and keep the shape.

Yes the red card was harsh, but having kept West Ham at Bay only to relinquish a two goal lead AGAIN in the last 12 minutes is a joke.
Plus we have the joys of another home game next week to Chelski in the FA cup we better be 4 up in the final quarter to stand a chance.

Please Roberto just go, get you hat and coat and leave quietly.

Mike Powell
49 Posted 06/03/2016 at 10:25:48
It's not the first time it's happened this season and it won't be the last while this incompetent clown is in charge.
Ian Burns
50 Posted 06/03/2016 at 10:32:16
Mr Martinez, please don’t forget your coat on your way out. How I wish we could change history and RM had taken the Liverpool job! There will be one miserable face around the Mother’s Day table today – yet another weekend ruined.
Barry Pearce
51 Posted 06/03/2016 at 10:46:05
We need a a centre back who can head the fucking ball away from crosses. We just can’t deal with them. That’s four in the last two games that have led to goals. Funes Mori looked like he had lead in his boots, hardly got of the ground, at fault for all three goals yesterday.
Tony Kinsey
52 Posted 06/03/2016 at 11:31:27
Martinez needs to go. He talks of the players needing to improve game management – he needs to learn game management first.

His team selection to start with was a cop-out, changing the team around to accommodate one man. Then his second substitution was a joke...

What next? Goalie in and out! Sooner he goes, the better.

Mike Keating
53 Posted 06/03/2016 at 11:42:03
If Lennon was tiring, Baines would have been a safer option as sub - going forward and defending. Also would have kept some width instead of which we conceded the wings and took a battering from a team who had been on the backfoot for most of the game.
Fran Mitchell
54 Posted 06/03/2016 at 12:29:45
We truly are a paradox.

Capable of the sublime, I understand the continued faith in some that soon we will 'turn performances into results'.

However we are so weak mentally, and physically. When top teams take the lead, the odds are that they will get the 3 points. With us however, even a two-goal lead with 10 minutes left leaves us vulnerable to defeat.

The players feel it, the fans too. We could blame the players, and they don't get let-off completely, but the mantality and stamina of these players is the responsibility of the management team.

Things we don't have:
-the ability to close out games
-mental strength to deal with the periods of a game when the opposition is on the offensive.
-communication at the back
-fitness to keep going for 90 minutes.
-different tactical approaches to different opposition/ moments in the game,
-confidence in our ability to get 3 points.

This is a shocking state of affairs. Surely our new no1 shareholder and soon to be owner will not put up with this.

With this new investment, the current playing squad and premier league wages, we could attract a top manager (and coaching staff).

Christopher Timmins
55 Posted 06/03/2016 at 12:38:31
Lyndon, another cave in, another 3 points lost. I said it a couple of weeks ago, the cave in culture is now becoming a habit, just like winning and losing. Every team that plays us know that if they keep plugging away they are in with a chance.

We are now a couple of points ahead of two of the three teams promoted last year and we are 22 points behind Leicester. Next Saturday’s result will either keep the season alive or end it with a full 10 games to go!

If we lose next Saturday, Kenwright should reflect on what he has achieved during his time as Chairman and of course a defeat next Saturday will add other year since Rideout put the ball in the Man Utd net!

Mike Hayes
56 Posted 06/03/2016 at 12:48:45
We are now reaping a bad harvest from a good sowing of the seeds of what is, on paper, the best team assembled since the '80s...

If this failure of Martinez isn’t rectified with his sacking – what will be?

Colin Glassar
57 Posted 06/03/2016 at 12:48:51
Fran, I was just about to write the exact same thing e.g. physically and mentally weak. Add to that we can’t do the basics defensively like stop crosses from wide areas, jump, clear our lines etc.... This must cause huge stress on the other players who must know that despite how many goals they score they know their defenders will let even more in.

I’ve always wanted Martinez to succeed, I enjoy watching us (for the first time in years) attack other teams with panache and confidence but every time we lose the ball I always fear the worse. Martinez has now had almost three seasons to work on this and it’s obvious that he hasn’t even bothered. This is gross misconduct in my book and should lead to his sacking in the summer.

I’m sorry Roberto. I’ve backed you to the hilt in that I always believed you had the potential to be a top manager but your blatant disregard for all facets of the game, and your worse than pathetic substitutions have made me come to the conclusion that you simply aren’t good enough to manage a club like Everton. What is it the saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

Mark Melton
58 Posted 06/03/2016 at 12:59:58
Or as Dryden put it Colin, beware the fury of a patient man.
Alan Bodell
59 Posted 06/03/2016 at 13:30:04
Just watched in agony all again and I missed it originally but for their 2nd. Carrol is sitting on Jagielka's back and that cocky twat in the black shirt who is paid not to miss things......missed it too.
Maynard Hanna
60 Posted 06/03/2016 at 13:31:28
Anyone else thinking that there is a respected and football educated and honorable gentleman up the road at Manchester City who is soon to be looking employment. Could we do any worse than to give him a call???

Surely our new shareholder must be thinking things over as regards a manager? Think about it: Would you entrust your money to RM to spend? Would you??

Colin Glassar
61 Posted 06/03/2016 at 15:26:45
Just watched Palace - Liverpool and I guess you make your own luck. A terrible goalkeeping mistake then a last-second penalty to give the RS a thoroughly undeserved victory.

What’s the moral behind this? The games lasts until the final whistle blows, not 80 minutes. Something our lot need to learn and learn fast.

Mike Oates
62 Posted 06/03/2016 at 16:49:27
The players are living in an ideal world, a manager who won’t say the way it should be, a manager who continually blames the ref, the linesman, the opposition, anyone other than the 11 in blue on the pitch or himself.

I love Jags as a player with heart, fearless, tough, a great centre half but not in my opinion a good captain. He neither berates poor play, he neither shouts instructions and worse of all he doesn’t seem to challenge the manager on behalf of the players.

All of you, manager and players, state the obvious, state we can’t cope with crosses, state we don’t train to close out games, state whatever is wrong but for goodness sake state we need / will solve the issue. Klopp after a bloody month said his team can’t cope with crosses, set-pieces, he went public and shamed them but stated they will solve the weaknesses.

Martinez won’t even acknowledge them and becomes instead the clown who all and sundry, supporters, panellists, journalists mock. But it’s actually mocking Everton and this has just got to stop, either get rid of Martinez or Bill and Moshiri force the guy to realise the world out there aren’t at a circus.

David Pearl
63 Posted 06/03/2016 at 17:25:15
I think Ray Roche said it above... that this team needs to grow some balls. Don't stand off and allow crosses to keep pounding the box. Villa did it, Chelsea, Bournemouth. It's a weakness and we have been found out. It can be rectified with a bit of awareness and hard work. I'd also like to see a nasty side to Martinez that I hope he can get over to his players. We played great up till the last 12 minutes, and with 10 men.


With Duncan and Unsy around Finch Farm I don't know how their influence cant be getting across. Although we could dust Hibbo off (as he knows how to stop a cross coming in). I'm not giving up on Martinez just yet. I believe his ideals work if carried out properly. Retain possession when you need to, control the game - but when you need to throw your body on the line you need to do it!!

Peter Cummings
64 Posted 06/03/2016 at 19:07:56
The whole defensive makeup at the club needs to be addressed as a matter of concern aided and abetted by a manager who has to admit to his failures and his reluctance to change his mind-set, right now Martinez is not that manager for Everton.

It comes to a pretty pass when even if our team takes a 2/3 goal lead we are fearing the worst, even after total dominance, I believe yesterday was a watershed when expectations that our most talented squad for years finds itself short of the recognised ’safety’ figure of 40 points when the reality is we should have been challenging for a place in the Champions League.

This Saturday another loss will see our season officially over and our magnificent supporters, especially those who fill EVERY seat allocated to them at away games sold out, disappointed by inept management and boardroom blunders, Everton Football Club and those supporters deserve so much better and MUST be listened to, Enough Is Enough.

Abhishek Saha
65 Posted 07/03/2016 at 02:43:23
My first such reaction on TW......WTF did he take off Lennon and get in Niasse?????
Eugene Ruane
66 Posted 07/03/2016 at 04:16:46
The idea we need to ’grow a pair’ is an understandable reaction, but shows very little understanding of our species.

Sure in films and fiction it’s possible for the worm to turn – for ’the coward of the county’ to get off his stool and give it to the Gatlin boys.

For James Stewart to suddenly decide to put down those law books and take on Lee Marvin using the only language he’ll understand.

But reality is very different, in reality you either have ’a pair’ or you don’t (and ’we’ don’t).

We’re weak up here (taps forehead).

We can be (and are) easily intimidated by bigger boys and part of any ’solution’ imo is we need our own big boys.

Basically, we need to find the cock of the PL and buy him (not arsed if he can play, we’ve got fellers who can play and they throw away 2-0 leads).

Until we have a real captain (who..er..’captains’) there will be no change.

Until we have some intimidation factor, there will be no change.

Until we get some steel in there – mental and physical – there will be no change.

Until we get a big mouth in there, there will be no change.

Currently (it’s seems to me) we have no ’leadership’, so when the going gets tough and players look around for someone to inspire, or for a general to to lead a charge (or organise a retreat) we basically look like the 7th cavalry after Custer had been turned into a human hedgehog by Crazy Horse.

Despite appearances, this is not an attack on our players, whatever their strengths and/or shortcomings, none of them select themselves, none of them decide on substitutions and none of them bought themselves.

Andy Meighan
67 Posted 07/03/2016 at 09:36:38
I still can't believe the national media haven’t seen through the phoney fucker yet. His job is never talked about as being under threat. No, all they see is us being involved in these high-scoring games which invariably we lose or draw and that he's some sort of gung-ho merchant who sticks to his 'philosophy' (yawn) and who is on the cusp of big things for Everton especially with a squad as talented as this (double yawn)...

The truth, as we all know on here, runs much deeper: he's tactically brain-dead, hasn’t got a clue about substitutions, and hasn’t got the foggiest how to see a game out from a winning position. The biggest mistake would be – and I've said this a number of times – to give this joker a large war chest in the next window... because, believe me, I dread to think what he would waste it on and we'd be no further up the table this time next season than where we are now.

Nothing will change til he's well gone... but that day I’m afraid is a long way off, regardless if Chelsea spank us at home on Saturday.

Matthew Mackey
68 Posted 07/03/2016 at 12:52:36
Back four during recent revival;- Coleman, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Oviedo. No room for Stones albeit he was injured. So why change? Why change? If it aint broke don’t fix it!

Why play three center backs in this game? Is Bobby just trying to be clever and accommodate Stones?

I for one just don’t understand why modern day managers feel the need to continually change the personnel and the formation. 4-4-2 – it's basic, it's simple and it works – especially when playing at home.

And please don’t tell me I’m a dinosaur. It's been around since the dawn of football and in the present day 4-4-2 puts Leicester City at the top of the Premier League. Dear Bobby, please stop fucking around with our squad, our team and our sanity.

We all know that Stones will be going in the summer so deal with it. Stop messin, stop making ridicules substitutions as though you are a Sunday league kids manager where you feel the need to satisfy all the parents and give everyone a game. STOP FUCKIN AROUND or just GO!

Am I a pissed off Evertonian? – you bet!

Christine Foster
69 Posted 07/03/2016 at 12:59:27
Had a day or two to digest this, you are right Lyndon, it was unforgivable capitulation, in short a disgrace. In the heat of the day, I said on another posting that we should sell a number of players etc etc.

But what's going on here? The defence hasn’t changed much since Moyes day, but the coaching undoubtedly has. Frankly whatever RM is doing, or not doing, has to stop because it's killing us, whilst one has to admire his footballing philosophy the truth is we have not the players to match AND such ideology has to be tempered by pragmatism.

You can play well and score but you have to learn to defend, practise it, over and over again. Without it, like most who slavishly adhere to any ideology, it fails. Once you are found out and don’t change then teams will continue to put us to the sword.

Fortress Everton... remember that? Well okay, let's get pragmatic...

Coleman: he be in the opposition six-yard box, great if he gets on the end of something, horrific if he doesn’t – the gaps he leaves are scary. That's down to coaching.

Stones: Cannot head a ball in the box to save his life, great footballer but you don’t play football in your own penalty area. Coaching but may still be a luxury to this team.

Jagielka: Nice guy, solid, weak in the air. Does not command a penalty area. In fact none of the defence do. Coaching but frankly not a strong enough character on the pitch.

Barry: Solid for an hour. Good brain and good professional. He knows how to be a stopper (yellow card man), but surely coming to the end of days.

Barkley: Wonderful going forward, useless defending. Coaching and attitude.

Lukaku: Has come on great strides since last season. You can see Duncan’s influence in how he can now hold and shield a ball. Needs to get better service. Coaching.

McCarthy: Anonymous in games, wasn’t missed when injured because of Besic. Too often in second half there are holes in central midfield you can drive a bus through. Needs replacing.

Mirallas: Great player, positive and hungry but he must have pissed RM off badly this season and his opportunities have been limited as a result. His heart does not seem to be in it under Martinez. He needs a better coach and motivator. I would keep but only if RM goes.

Besic: A Tim Cahill type of dynamo, with attitude, aggressive and driven. Oh for a few more like him in the team. Still inexperienced but a great player in the making. Should replace McCarthy.

Lennon: Had my doubts when we bought him, thought he would struggle but proved me wrong and has been born again.

Howard: A great servant who has struggled last and this season and been the butt of all that is wrong with the defence. He isn’t, and wasn’t, as is clearly being shown now. But he is 37 and it is time for him to move on for his own sake. He has slipped up too often but has had little if any protection.

Robles: Always a fall back keeper, done well since coming in but not the future of goalkeeping for us.

Fumes Mori: I really like this guy, his attitude and ability to score goals but he too is suffering down to little or no defensive coaching. For that reason the Jury is still out, I think he will be great under the right tutor.

Deulofeu: The criticism of him before his return to Goodison was the lack of team responsibility. For me despite his obvious ability, bucket loads of great skill, too often does he lose possession. Period. Coaching again.

We have great players that we are not making the most of. The danger of course is that under the present coaching regime and managers ideology, we never will.

There is no point in selling a team of possibly the best talent we have seen here for many years, at the altar of commercial pragmatism, ideology is always compromised. If he doesn’t change Martinez has to go and that is an immediate conversation BK and our new investor should have this Monday morning.

Sadly for Martinez, I think his ability to change or even manage that change is not there and frankly I don’t think he believes it is necessary. That is why he should consider his position and that is why BK should if he doesn’t.

Kevin Johnson
71 Posted 08/03/2016 at 19:43:55
Had jet black, start of the season, it’s fucking scofield White... Everton, what are you doing to me???

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