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On the evidence of this third straight League defeat, Roberto Martinez's Everton are a shadow of the side that ended a 21-year winless run at Old Trafford in December 2013.

Lyndon Lloyd 03/04/2016 76comments  |  Jump to last
Manchester United 1 - 0 Everton

In December 2013, a 1-0 win at Old Trafford was perhaps the crowning achievement of Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge at Everton. Like the performance at Arsenal that followed it, it was an expression of the swashbuckling Sin Miedo attitude that the Catalan had quickly instilled at Goodison Park; so much the better that it was against David Moyes, the man charged by many fans of holding the Blues’ ambitions in check for so long, that he wiped away a 21-year winless run on Manchester United’s turf and seemingly ushered in a new, upwardly mobile era at Everton.

Fast forward 29 months and another 1-0 result has condemned Everton to a league double of defeats to Louis van Gaal’s uninspiring outfit on the back of a performance gallingly lacking in direction, spirit or purpose. It’s the fourth game the Toffees have lost in five Premier League games now, their stirring FA Cup win over Chelsea jarringly at odds with the failures against West Bromwich Albion, West Ham, Arsenal and now United.

Where once this Everton team under Martinez was dynamic, exciting and fearless, today they looked lifeless, unimaginative and, once they’d fallen behind, seemingly resigned to their fate. Only Phil Jagielka seemed to carry the requisite desire to drag his team-mates out of their torpor and, on another day, he might have salvaged a paper-over-the-cracks equaliser. Like his restored central defensive partner, John Stones, he was perhaps the only outfield player in blue to emerge with any credit.

The game itself was a fairly lacklustre affair from start to finish, one that Everton started well enough, even if the final execution wasn’t there. Gerard Deulofeu, also recalled to the starting XI, carried the chief threat for the Blues down the right flank, bursting past Marcos Rojo on two or three occasions and taking the otherwise impressive Daley Blind to the cleaners on another as skipped inside before eventually over-running the ball in a promising position.

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A brilliant steal by Tom Cleverley saw him get the ball quickly to Romelu Lukaku but the Belgian’s attempted back-heel to the on-rushing Aaron Lennon was telegraphed and easily cut out by Blind.

They were brief flashes in an otherwise flaccid display, though, one let down by the near-constant preoccupation with trying to get the ball up to Lukaku as quickly but haphazardly as possible. It was being pinged forward with annoying frequency but the big striker barely won an aerial duel all afternoon and when the ball did find him, he was too often an isolated island of frustration and sulking body language in the ocean of United’s own half.

The home side weren’t much better but they passed with more precision and almost had the first effort on target in the 17th minute when Anthony Martial wriggled away from the attentions of Jagielka and Stones and unleashed a shot that whistled inches past the far post.

The Frenchman almost got on the end of the most incisive passing interchange of the first 45 minutes shortly before the interval but was shut down by a terrific block tackle by Stones that ensured matters were goalless at half time.

A first-half policy of containment followed by a gradual increase in pressure in the second half has often been Martinez’s modus operandi away from home and that appeared to have been the strategy this time around. Everton began the second period on the front foot and were enjoying their best spell of possession before they shot themselves in the foot with poor defending nine minutes in at the other end.

Leighton Baines, still suffering on the whole from the lack of any discernible partnership down the Blues’ left flank, found Lukaku brilliantly with a pass through a massive hole in United’s defence but the striker’s turn and shot in front of goal was foiled by Blind’s leg and it deflected behind for a corner.

Three minutes later, a rare set-piece routine saw Baines fire corner to Cleverley on the edge of the penalty area but his effort was blocked. In the main, however, Everton lacked guile and any semblance of conviction, their performance summed up succinctly by a moment in the 53rd minute when a Joel Robles clearance squirmed through into space in front of United’s area but Lukaku and Deulofeu left it for each other and in the end it was scooped up by Blind.

A minute later, it was 1-0. Substitute Tim Fosu-Mensah crossed hard and low behind the visitors’ defence, Coleman, encapsulating that lack of conviction infecting the team, failed to react to the danger posed behind him by Martial and the Frenchman capitalised on his error by striking home off the goalkeeper.

Everton’s response was almost immediate but Jagielka could only watch as his header from a corner thumped off the crossbar. Later, the defender would see another dangerous effort off a set-piece foiled by an all-too-familiar reaction save by David De Gea but that was as close as Martinez’s dispirited side came to getting anything out of the game.

The tiring Deulofeu was replaced in the 62nd minute by Kevin Mirallas but it did little to alter the pattern of the game. Indeed, there didn’t appear to be much pattern or organisation to Everton at all by this stage. Ross Barkley and Cleverley appeared to be rotating between deeper-lying and more advanced roles but the latter spent almost all of his time with his back to goal, laying off harmless lateral passes. On one of the few occasions he managed to break free into space, he had to wait so long for reinforcements that never arrived that he was, predictably, dispossessed.

Lennon had been given license to roam behind Lukaku but while his pressing was typically energetic, he offered very little going forward. And with neither fullback really contributing much from an offensive standpoint, it really wasn’t surprising that Everton didn’t manage a shot on target until the 83rd minute.

After one of the most telling low centres into the six-yard box had just eluded Lukaku, Barkley was eventually hooked with three minutes of the regulation 90 to go in favour of Oumar Niasse but it was a desperate toss of the dice and the Senegal international’s brief cameo did little to dispel the notion that he is nowhere near ready for regular action in the Premier League.

Andre Marriner’s final whistle that called time on another disappointing afternoon confirmed the latest setback for Martinez’s increasingly doomed efforts to revive a second successive season of chronic under-achievement. The result, only the second league defeat on the road of the campaign, damaged an away record that has become an increasingly incongruous and misleading indicator of Everton’s form in 2015-16.

In the immediate aftermath of a loss that leaves his side marooned in the bottom half of the table and level on points with promoted Bournemouth (albeit with a game in hand… at Anfield!), Martinez appeared to flounder for answers, falling back on his well-worn refrain that “we’ve got to get better.” Sadly, the Blues’ momentum is going in the other direction and the defences for a manager seemingly unable to stem the tide are rapidly falling away.

Phrases like “lost the dressing room” are bandied about fairly freely these days but the depressing lack of desire or pain exhibited by Martinez’s charges should be deeply disturbing to Evertonians. It reveals a lack of buy-in and a dangerous shortage of faith in his methods and should call into serious question the Catalan’s continued tenure of the Goodison hotseat.

In that sense, the FA Cup has become a significant distraction — seemingly for the players as much as supporters. In the broader picture, however, on the basis of continued under-performance in the all-important Premier League, the margin by which he will fall short of even challenging the top four this term, and his paling record in contrast to his predecessor, Martinez’s position at Everton is surely and quickly becoming untenable.

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Reader Comments (76)

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Chris James
1 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:22:03
Dead. Man. Walking.
Let's put him (and us) out of misery and start again.
Jim Bennings
2 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:26:46
Pretty boring, pretty predictable and frankly pretty much just Everton in 2016 summed up in 90 mundane minutes.

No effort, no drive, no direction, no leadership, no risk takers in the team, a midfield of crabs, even the attack minded midfielders, the admirable Aaron Lennon excluded, don't attack with anywhere near enough conviction or consistency.

The last two seasons have been virtual carbon copies of eachother, complete and utter damp dismal squibs with endless excuses dragged out but the more it's happening the less the sensible fan is falling for this poppycock.

Last season we were told that our league form was suffering gravely due to Europa League commitments and that this season we would see a return to the top 5 challenge with carefree wins on a regular basis.

So there you have it.

Blaming the Europa League was simply a sorry excuse for keeping this charlatan on for another season.
We were willing to give Martinez the benefit but this season has been equally as piss poor as the last.

There's no way we are winning the Cup, can anyone seriously see this spineless characterless bunch going to Wembley and turning United over against the odds or beating West Ham in their own back yard practically??

No, the season will peter out into the damp squib that it has been for the last four months, there will be no Cup, no glimmer of hope.

I think even Martinez knows it.

I think he sees a team clueless, no idea, but most grossly, no heart passion or motivation and that for an Everton team is simply criminal.

We have since November 1st beaten just THREE different teams in the league.. Newcastle twice, Aston Villa twice and Stoke.

It's a shocking appalling record and I don't know how many club's would be willing to tolerate such mediocrity.

The two Semi Final appearances have merely papered over gaping cracks much in the way it did with Bryan Robson's Middlesbrough team of 1996/97 when everyone raved about the quality attacking player's like Ravanelli, Juninho and Emerson, sure they reached two Cup Finals that year, lost both and got relegated.

Reminds me of this Everton team, while we won't get relegated, we don't have any substance to our team.

We are a single solitary point ahead of Swansea in 15th and there is a reason why...

Because we are not good enough!!!

Phil Walling
3 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:30:35
Because during the Premier years we have so rarely won anything, I still feel the capture of the FA Cup would see Martinez start next season.

BK will cost in his first season of excellence and subsequent runs in the UEFA, League and FA Cups to justify his continued support.

I'll be piling on at the bookies that he's the first manager 'to go' in 16/17 !

Peter Laing
4 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:31:21
Martinez looked like a haunted man walking up the touch line at Old Trafford. Surely he is now living on borrowed time ?
Ian McDowell
5 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:33:19
Massive change are needed. A new coaching team and/or a massive overhaul of the playing staff. Today was just not good enough.
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:38:28
The entire club seems to be in a comatose state. Time to act Mr Moshiri.
Srdjan Sekulic
7 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:42:36
I'm 50 quid in, Phil. He's there next year.
Dennis Stevens
8 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:44:52
Regardless of the results, if the players aren't playing for the manager anymore then he has to go.
James Stewart
9 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:47:58
He will be gone in summer. I can only see defeat in the semi and embarrassment at Anfield. I don't think he can survive both of those and a bottom half finish again which is pretty much nailed on now.

Moshiri is no fool, he won't let Martinez continue captaining a sinking ship.

Ian McDowell
10 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:48:50
Sick of hearing talk and bullshit from the players all week and failing to deliver on match day. I could live with it if we had a real go today and lost 1-0 but the fact is we didn't. We have absolute zero chance of wining the cup.

Can you imagine this team of cowards really standing to pressure from Man Utd to West ham if we where winning 2-1 or 2-0 going in to the last 10 at Wembley? No chance.

Deulofeu still can't last more than 65 mins... 3/4 of the season gone. Both full backs look a shadow of their former selves. No leadership on or off the pitch, no fight, no desire.

Vince Furnier
11 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:49:14
How many of you would take a semi-final defeat if it meant the sooner demise of Roberto?
Ian Burns
12 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:49:29
Lyndon, you can add the following to your headline . . .
y sin pasión - ya es suficiente RM - por favor, **** off.

I haven't been to GP for quite a while, not living in the UK but can somebody tell me if the ranting for this man to go is only here on TW or is it evident with the supporters who attend the games?

Craig Mills
13 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:54:17
This manager cannot get this team motivated any more and when that happens results follow suit, 4 defeats in 5 games, a truly abismal home record and now complete lacklustre performances.

I think he knows it, the players know it and the fans know it too - he'll be gone soon, there are no more excuses he can offer - he is simply not good enough for our club

Paul Hewitt
14 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:55:15
Vince@11, I don't like Martinez and would like him sacked. But NEVER would I want us to lose a semi-final to do that.
Andrew Clare
15 Posted 03/04/2016 at 21:56:09
If there was any sign, any positive sign of progress we would persevere with RM but unfortunately there is nothing. He really does have to go.
The non leadership of our ( former) great club is all down to the lack of ambition under Bill Kenwright.
I just hope Mr Moshiri gets us out of this wilderness we are in.
Craig Mills
16 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:00:50
Ian I was at the game today and I don't think there are too many Martinez fans left, the general feeling is this man is only capable of taking this team in one direction. I think we will finish this season in a lower position than last and if the club have an ounce of ambition, they will see he is not the man for the job.
Ian Burns
17 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:03:41
Thanks Craig - I sometimes get lost in the passion of feeling on TW and people tend to talk about most of us wanting him out. However, it is at the match itself where the consensus of feeling would be felt most by the Board.
Jim Bennings
18 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:05:31
Martinez can't live with the demands and expectations at this club, the last two seasons has shown this.

He took over the club when it was quite stable, the two season's prior to Martinez' arrival saw a 7th place and 6th place finish.

When David Moyes first took over the club expectations were low as he was inheriting a shockingly poor bunch of over the hill players but to give Moyes his due he acted quickly in moving us out of that malaise and getting the fans interested once more in the team.

Sadly Martinez seems to have taken us back to the pre-Moyes 2002 era, the part where Walter Smith was on his last legs and in need of putting out of his misery.

There's no connection there with the supporters anymore, we see a team not putting in the maximum effort and we see a manager and staff looking on clueless and simply allowing it to happen.

Steavey Buckley
19 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:06:23
Martinez cannot be accused of not setting up an attacking line up, it is just the players who are not delievering, so should consider themselves available for transfer, for those cannot put a shift in.
John Keating
20 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:07:27
I can only speak for those around me and who I speak to in the pub before and after.
It is pretty unanimous his time is up
Jack Ellich
21 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:11:09
The players play the way El Bob tells them to Steavey and it didn't work cause they don't believe in what he tells them anymore
Dave Ganley
22 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:18:43
Steavey I agree with you in as much as the players need to take responsibility. However, the manager dictates the tactics and also monitors the fitness levels of the players which in turn leads to the tempo of the game or lack thereof. Anybody can pick a good attacking team. Most of us would probably have chosen something similar but if you can't gel those players into a team then the manager deserves the lions share of the blame.

The performance was pretty lifeless and it too until the 83rd minute to get a shot on target for De Gea to save. Pretty dire really which has been indicative of Martinez's reign. Toothless when it really matters and conceding soft goals. Any decent manager who knows what he was doing would get those players playing infinitely better. It's probably a season overdue but he needs now. If we can get some kind of decent manager in then we may be able to dissuade all the talent from leaving before it's too late

Sid Logan
23 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:20:03
I've thought for some time that he will be there next season. I no longer think that.

Leave aside the FA cup – not even Bill Kenwright can fail to see that something is seriously wrong with the way the team is performing. Our performances now match our league position and that the Manager's ludicrous talk of being on the verge of some sort of break through can now be seen as an act of gross self-delusion.

It is obvious to anyone taking the slightest interest in our team that the butterfly is not about to emerge from the cocoon any time soon and is, in fact, still a clueless caterpillar.

Nor does anyone need to be particularly shrewd to see that Martinez's management of the team is now beginning to parallel his days at Wigan.

I am now certain that he will not be there next season. Tomorrow will see me place a bet to that effect if the odds are half decent.

It hopefully won't be long before a debate on his replacement will start to have some meaning.

Andrew James
24 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:21:28
What annoys me even more is that we seem to have one daft problem, semi-fix it but then another gap emerges.

So earlier this season, our problem was defending not scoring. So we reined that in and reduced the goals against but also stopped attacking as well. Then we stopped being able to see games out and repeatedly threw games away and when they were doing it on the pitch, Martinez himself decides to do it at the Hammers game.

And now, having not conquered any of those problems, we have lethargy all over the pitch.

I half expect us to play with intensity for a few games but then develop a new habit which is our undergoing.

And he loves to throw it in that they're young doesn't he? Barry, Coleman, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Lennon... all experienced league players Roberto?? Lukaku and Barkley have played at this level for 3 seasons or more.

He has to go. A top half finish be it 10th was a minimum this season and he's failing that which is mind blowing given we have one of the league's top scorers in our ranks.

Mark Pierpoint
25 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:22:32
I was at the game today and it was shambolic. I didn't think that we could pull in a worse performance than Arsenal, but this was as bad. The whole body language of the team speaks volumes. I have no idea whatsoever anymore of what Martinez is looking to do with this team. You can't even say that the 'philosophy' is wrong etc. because there was literally no evidence of anything at all.

Stones and Jags can walk out with the knowledge they did their best today. I thought Cleverley put in a shift as well but suffers from not having any particular part of his game that is outstanding – simply a tidy player. The rest are a mixture of totally inept (Mirallas after he come on, Coleman and McCarthy), totally lost (Barkley still seems to have no idea as to what his role in this team actually is), and the downright frustrated (Lukaku).

The lack of leadership is criminal. The heads drop so, so quickly and there is nobody there to pick them up. I honestly was craving a Phil Neville today, never mind a Tim Cahill.

I am convinced now that Martinez is finished. I agree with what Colin Glassar put on another thread. We have to get Stones, Lukaku and Barkley in a room and sell them a vision now, with them at the centre of a new Everton. It may be too far gone for Rom, but we need a massive re-invention here or I worry we could rapidly go the way of if not a Villa then a Newcastle or Sunderland, slowly sliding towards the bottom.

Martinez is a good guy, but this job is way, way too big for him. For two years now he has failed. It is clear as day he has lost the players. Nobody likes the idea of being a sacking club, but we have to look across the park to see how clubs have to operate. Rogers didn't offer a long term plan and they were decisive. We must do the same.

for me it should be one of Koeman, De Boer or AVB to take this team forwards.

Paul Conway
27 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:27:49
The only positive I drew from this dire encounter was the fact that it was played on a Sunday, thus allowing me to enjoy my Saturday night, after a hard week's work.

I managed a happy game of darts and a good few beers last night.

Y Viva Sabado Noche!!
John Keating
28 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:29:24

I agree the players have to take responsibility, however, the manager sets the tactics. There can be no arguing that this set of players have been physically and mentally unfit for over 2 years. The tactics, or lack of, we have spoken about since his first season.

Not one issue of concern has been addressed since day one. Substitutions, the list is endless and has been discussed forever. The buck stops at the manager, I'm afraid and – for the future well-being of our Club, based on results since the end of his first season – he should be shown the door.

Craig Mills
29 Posted 03/04/2016 at 22:56:36
We need to act now, forget the FA Cup semi-final, simply look at the league tables last year and this to date. Martinez convinced everyone that last season's disappointment was down to the Europa League campaign, this season is bloody worse!!

If he starts as manager next season and with no Lukaku we are in deep shit.


Tom Bowers
30 Posted 03/04/2016 at 23:19:26
Totally agree, Craig. Winning the FA Cup will prove nothing... nor beating the RS.

We all thought the season had lots of promise but, after the first home loss of 2 points to newly promoted Watford, it as been a steady stream of disappointments.

The Manager is poor and, whilst we can all point fingers at individual players for underachieving, it is the team as a whole that cannot get the job done which is down to Martinez, his staff, his system and his team selections.

Three seasons is enough and changes have to be made as soon as the season is ended which cannot come quick enough for me.

Paul Smith
31 Posted 03/04/2016 at 23:37:24
Best paragraph I've read on TW for some time:

"It is obvious to anyone taking the slightest interest in our team that the butterfly is not about to emerge from the cocoon any time soon and is, in fact, still a clueless caterpillar."

Good stuff, Sid.

Nicholas Ryan
32 Posted 03/04/2016 at 23:46:01
Spot on, Lyndon .... as ever!
Gordon Crawford
33 Posted 03/04/2016 at 23:52:13
Roberto has destroyed this team. They just don't want to play for him anymore. But they should be busting a gut, for us, the fans.

Lukaku looks like his heart is no longer with us. We have no fight, and no creativity. And what is the deal with Niasse?

Mick Davies
34 Posted 04/04/2016 at 01:58:06
He disrespected his employers by overstaying his holiday time in Brazil while he should have been at Finch Farm preparing his players for a hard season ahead; he disrespected the fans by continuing to play a goalkeeper for 18 months of continuous bad form; then he insults the players, fans, refs, weather etc by deflecting the blame for his inadequacies onto all and sundry.

The man is earning a fortune under false pretences: I really believe the players couldn't do any worse without a manager.

Now, if my memory is correct, there is a precedent when it comes to our problem of sacking him at this important juncture: I'm sure Bingham was replaced on the eve of a semi-final. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Roy Boone
35 Posted 04/04/2016 at 06:23:23
He has to go. Having watched the Blues since the late sixties I've seen a succession of, at best, mediocre managers (Howard excepted, RIP.)

In fairness to them they were dealing with, on the whole, even more mediocre players, Bustling Bernie Wright springs automatically to mind.

On the other hand, Martinez has had/got a great squad of players and under-achieved to a massive and in my view unprecedented extent, so much so that he should return to the lower leagues where he really belongs.

His incessantly used post match comments word – "Incredible" – best describes his utter incompetence.

Kerry Frahm
36 Posted 04/04/2016 at 07:01:18
I may have missed it in the myriad of comments above but are the players actually clueless and directionless or are we really seeing them playing in response to Martinez?

I would never condone players intentionally performing below par to get a manager removed but if they feel anything like we, the supporters, do then it would be completely understandable if they are unable to raise themselves for a system they don't understand or believe in.

Martinez can't stay. The board surely can't be happy with the current situation. If they don't understand and can't see what is happening then they are not true football supporters at all and I fear we could be on the verge of doing a Villa!
Allan Board
37 Posted 04/04/2016 at 07:13:33
Martinez was simply never good enough, and doesn't realise what he had in Everton.

I wish him well, but he will never cut it at a bigger club as treating it as a philosophy. He will never cut it I'm afraid.

Kieran Fitzgerald
38 Posted 04/04/2016 at 07:29:47
Somebody typed on another match report thread yesterday that they felt nothing during the game or afterwards. I felt nothing for long periods of last season and nothing again for chunks of this season.

It used to be a big thing for me to watch Everton play. More so in recent years now that I have a wife and child as finding the time is hard. My wife was cool with me going to the local yesterday and I felt none of the anticipation going to the pub. I felt nothing when Utd scored and accepted completely the usual performance of us falling apart once we went behind.

Stuff like this is going to happen more and more to supporters and it will simply become part of what is happening on the pitch.

Steve Foster
39 Posted 04/04/2016 at 08:16:39
I think you're all wrong. I think RM is the right man. I think he will prove us all wrong and lead us to glory and greatness.

I know some of you will be shocked, but this was my stance until the last 2 games. But now I am with you, and what seems like every other Evertonian, or anyone whom knows the game of football.

Get this Charlatan out of our club NOW.

I'm scared this muppet will win us the FA Cup, I really am. This will be the Jedi mind control to keep him with the club. I know it sounds crazy, but I'd take defeat in the Semi's if it meant this man goes.

I feel this is a defining moment for our club. I feel next season will be the starting point for the Prem. If we get it right, with the right players coming/staying/going we could get in the mix. Get it wrong and all this hope of a future will be gone.

Roberto is the Jedi of the Managerial world. He has sold the players, the board and even us at some point to his greatness, and his certainty to deliver.

It's clear his 'smoke & mirrors' are well and truly smashed now. You can see it in the players, you hear it in the media, and most importantly with us, the lifeblood of this great club.

To raise my head up here (ready for abuse), I think BK has done well, and I have a feeling we have the right new owner at the club. I pray he does us right again, and hears the cries for this man to go.

Xavier Spencer
40 Posted 04/04/2016 at 08:24:36
I wish Kenwright had kept his fucking gob shut after the Chelsea game. He's painted himself into a corner now when it comes to getting rid of the brown-shoed one.

Oh, and for those on here who continually refer to Martinez as a decent guy I couldn't disagree more. He's an arrogant, deluded tosspot.

Geoff Williams
41 Posted 04/04/2016 at 09:37:30
If the fans can see Martinez isn't up to the job logic says the players, who work with him day in and day out, also recognise that. Tactically he is found wanting and he doesn't seem to be able to motivate the players.

Man Utd were poor but at least they are blooding young players.

Paul Kennedy
42 Posted 04/04/2016 at 10:50:18
Martinez said "The goal was a very soft action, it's not up to our standards. The performances were very, very level and we shouldn't have lost the game. It's that sort of game that came down to small margins - the ball hitting the crossbar is the difference between us getting something out of the game."

What a load of crap – it was exactly up to our standards, we have done it in nearly every game this season!!! Enough... go now.

Liam Reilly
43 Posted 04/04/2016 at 10:58:30
I think I reached an almost disturbing apathetic state watching that game yesterday. I switched off long before the end and let the kids watch 'Inside Out' instead as its just heartbreaking watching a team with so many quality players consistently perform below the desired standard.

Man for man on paper, Everton were better equipped on that pitch yesterday. It's not without effort; but they are clearly lacking in leadership.

Would love to see some of the younger lads given a chance for the rest of the season bar the Cup, which is too important. At least that may provide some interest for the spectators for the remainder or the season.

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 04/04/2016 at 11:10:54
Steve 39, if he's still here, I hope he wins us the cup. I wouldn't give him the chance to lead the team out for the semi-final, given a choice, but I would never turn down an FA Cup win.
Andrew James
45 Posted 04/04/2016 at 11:18:00
Kenwright has only hired easy targets. Moyes was a sensible choice, not ambitious but interesting. Martinez just fell into his hands living off the FA Cup win. It was a lazy choice however.

I sense that unless there is someone just as obviously simple (live in the North West, not too expensive, young) Kenwright will stick with him. My problem with the board this season is that the excuses are pathetic from Martinez. The squad haven't been injured like last season, we haven't had the Europa league and more money was spent on the players. What concerns me is, if say we'd not won those games against the relegation sides, the points from which are why we are probably safe, when would they have pushed the button?

I get the feeling if we were on 32 points still, they still wouldn't have done anything and would be hoping for the best...

There's "sacking club" and then there is a club who cut their losses. We are the latter and need to so.

I bet he's hoping we win the Cup for his own sake otherwise this could become a very difficult few months.

Michael Polley
46 Posted 04/04/2016 at 11:27:55
He has obviously lost the dressing room. He needs to go. Moshiri needs to sack him now. We need a new manager, new investment, and a new vision for the club, and maybe just maybe we can hold onto our key players. Time is if the essence now; we need to act now.
Colin Glassar
47 Posted 04/04/2016 at 11:33:42
He won't get sacked before the end of the season, that's just wishful thinking. I can't see him surviving beyond the end of May, not even winning the FA Cup will save him IMO.
Mark Andrews
49 Posted 04/04/2016 at 11:45:27
In a day when United lauded their hero, Bobby Charlton, we suffer again under our anti hero, Bobby the Charlatan.

This must end.

Bobby Thomas
50 Posted 04/04/2016 at 11:58:46
I wonder if the West Ham game, and the weird subs that provoked a change in momentum and the West Ham comeback, were a watershed for some of the senior players, or just the squad in general? The application and spirit have fallen off a cliff since then.

There's been rumours for over a year of unhappiness with the tactics and training methods. Perhaps it was the final straw for players like Baines, Coleman (who has looked unhappy and been on autopilot for over a year) Jags, Lukaku, McCarthy et al (another who has been poor for ages).

There is also talk that last week the players walked off the training pitch en mass due to being unhappy with the training methods. I have to be honest. These are good players. They will know what works and what doesn't and you can't kid them with the kind of preposterous remarks that Martinez comes out with, which must be a standing joke in the dressing room. I appreciate he may be different behind the scenes, we don't see what goes on, but we have been operating on diminishing returns for 18 months. It blatantly isn't working and the players must be sick of him. They are repeatedly saying it's not good enough and we should be doing better.

Its becoming more and more apparent that Martinez's philosophy does not cut it in this league. The back 4 is frequently the same players that were so well drilled under Moyes and that he and his staff developed into international footballers. The transformation is stark. Martinez does not get results and his teams lack substance, are weak and have a soft underbelly. It seems the players have made up their mind.

I was very worried after the Celta Vigo friendly at Prenton Park last pre-season. A week before the season it was a shambles. By New Year 2015 I had seen enough to know that he had to be sacked as things were happening on the pitch that only lead one way, and that's to big trouble.

Going on the team spirit and at the moment I don't think a Cup win will be clouding any managerial issue. Plus we never beat anyone above us anyway. I don't think there's any way back from this, hopefully, and it will be best for everyone to mutually consent him in the summer. If he makes it through we will just be sacking him by the autumn anyway, the players aren't having him, and rightly so in my opinion.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 04/04/2016 at 12:16:51
Good post Bobby, what was supposed to have happened during training last week?
Guy Hastings
52 Posted 04/04/2016 at 12:21:41
Did Robles spend last week's training sessions aiming at dummies wearing red shirts? His kicking is awful.
Bobby Thomas
53 Posted 04/04/2016 at 12:30:13
Tony #51

I've only seen on social media a few suggestions that Jags led the players off the training pitch in protest at the training methods and they all headed to the gym. I have no knowledge if this is true or not. Things aren't right though.

Gordon Crawford
54 Posted 04/04/2016 at 12:31:22
Colin 47. I hope your right. Wish he was gone now though.
Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 04/04/2016 at 13:26:33
The game against Chelsea in the cup could have gone either way but the team grafted and harassed for 90 minutes, they wanted to win the game and they want to win the cup.

They will have a good go in the semi-final despite Martinez, I don't think he has control of the players, the poor performances will continue in the league, is nobody in the club caring about us, and especially the fans who are still turning out in droves at the away games.

If Kenwright was truly one of us he would have replaced Martinez long ago. Kenwright might care about Everton; he certainly cares much more about himself – he is the one who has put Everton in this drastic position.

One of us? My arse.

Steve Foster
56 Posted 04/04/2016 at 13:58:14
Tony #44

Not back-tracking, but agree with you. I am just so cheesed off with this fella being here now.

I'd love a trophy, just scared it will give this tool another platform to convince all he is the future.

I just want gone with him now. I want us to discuss the potential new managers/players coming in and an exciting future.

Sick of it all now.

Christopher Dover
57 Posted 04/04/2016 at 14:24:53
In the world of "We have to pay big money to get the best", it was always quoted of the bankers, so it seems with football managers.

While I do not like anyone being sacked, RM would be paid up on his contract (which we can now well afford) and there will be a queue at least a foot long for other teams waiting to sign him.

The money it will cost to get shut pales into pocket money for Premier League clubs with the amounts coming in this year but, if relegated next year, the cost will be enormous.

I can understand the board not wanting to be a sacking club but, if he will not walk, time has come to push him.

As to the cup, of course I would love us to win it, but if it meant RM stays next year then no thanks – I do not want to be known as that Everton team who where just like Wigan.

Andrew James
58 Posted 04/04/2016 at 14:51:30
It's conceivable the players might have objected to training given whatever has been going on has left certain players constantly picking up injuries and others not looking 100% like Barkley.

I mean...why has McGeady never looked up to it? Purchased, clearly unfit and then never really got properly match fit on a consistent basis. Similar with Gibson, Pienaar, Osman, Hibbert. It's like we can't manage anyone up in terms of fitness.

If he'd got the fitness levels right, we could probably have scraped some points here and there purely because we could rest some players or play with more intensity.

Is there anything he is getting right?

Even his signings go from sublime to ridiculous. Lukaku (and it was clear he was going to be a big star) and some others but we have over paid for players like McCarthy, Niasse, McGeady and arguably Funes Mori. And then there's Alcatraz and Kone...

Even when things went wrong with Moyes, he had the reputation of top half finishes and having a long-term plan. Martinez has finished in the top half once. Whatever his long-term plan is, none of us know. There was chat about Champions League but that sounds like the usual sales man piffle we've had for nearly 36 months.

To think, he's actually been in charge longer than Joe Royle, HK Mk II (give or take a month) and III...he's not far off Smith and that seemed like an age!

We saw the negatives of his reign towards the end of the first season in the FA Cup drubbing to Arsenal, the defeat away to Southampton and then again at the start of last season with the defeats to Chelsea and Palace at home. By Xmas 2014, we had the dress rehearsal for basically the team's form ever since.

I don't have a clue why this has been able to continue for 14 months more.

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 04/04/2016 at 15:07:27
I've often wondered if after a dreadful performance, or a bad run of games, are questions ever asked at Goodison? Is there any sort of inquest by the managers boss(es) or is it just a case of, "Oh we'll, bad luck chaps. See you all next week"?
Brian Harrison
60 Posted 04/04/2016 at 15:19:27
Well we have one home game before we play in the FA Cup Semi-Final. We play Watford away on Saturday followed by an away game at Palace the following Wednesday, then Southampton home and Liverpool away.

Should we fail to win any of these games, then surely the board would have to say enough is enough. We have been stuck on 38 points for a few weeks, and if we fail to win any of our next 4 fixtures, how close will we be to the relegation zone?

I don't think we will go down mainly because of the clubs in the bottom 3 can't win a game to save their lives. But even I who has never liked RM could ever have thought how close he can get us to the relegation zone in 3 seasons.

Ian Glassey
61 Posted 04/04/2016 at 15:25:45
Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez are so alike but Rodgers did change the team's style to try and get things right; in the long run, it was not enough and he was binned.

Why those in power at Goodison can not see that Martinez should be run out of town is staggering; no other Premier League team would stand for it.

Ian Glassey
62 Posted 04/04/2016 at 15:37:01
Brian #60.

I agree mate and let's face it, I doubt we will win any of those games:

Watford = a draw,
Palace = get beat,
Southampton= get beat,
Liverpool = get beat.

We will be well up for the semi final me thinks.

No chance...

Mike Doyle
63 Posted 04/04/2016 at 15:52:33
Desperately trying to think up an argument to counter Ian's (#60) results forecast... but I can't.
Tom Bowers
67 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:18:20
Sadly we have to see out the season with Martinez which may mean more disappointments to stomach until he is finally despatched. I cannot see them winning the cup after the two anaemic performances against the Gooners and Man Utd.

A win against the RS seems even more unlikely given they have more to play for than Everton although they too are crap.

However, their are a lot of crap teams in the Premier League which makes it even harder to accept Everton's overall performances, far too many particularly at Goodison.

Mark Pierpoint
68 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:26:02
Oh Dear Roberto....

Writing has to be on the wall now, surely?

Ian McDowell
70 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:33:12
Mark @ 68. It's worrying sign for one of our players to make such statements. A well drilled organised team will beat a team of individuals 9 times out of 10.
Ian Glassey
71 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:48:13
Colin I have just read on the news now site that he is being tipped as Spain's new boss after the Euros, along with Benitez.

Both tipped by Spain manager Del Bosque no less..

Rick Tarleton
73 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:57:44
Lyndon, on our club, you are a perceptive and shrewd commentator. At the moment, we have more good players than at any time since the mid-eighties: Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Besic, Barry, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku, possibly Lennon, and Oviedo as well, yet we haven't got a team.

This has to be down to a very inflexible manager, who doesn't know how to set up his team, how to use substitutes and above all how to plan his tactics to exploit or negate the opposition.

We'll lose the players we have, I'm almost resigned to losing Lukaku, but to lose any more would be disastrous. Martinez must go.
Patrick Murphy
75 Posted 04/04/2016 at 17:00:03
Mark (#68) Interesting observations from Leighton Baines, not controversial but also not what we want to hear from an experienced local lad either, that's not a dig at Leighton but the team should have gelled by now after all it's been together for over two years.

His belief that the team has no chemistry and is too reliant on flashes of brilliance from individual players to help earn victories is of course true as when Lukaku is shackled where else are the goals coming from?

Yesterday saw some clear evidence that some of the players were lumping the ball up to Rom in a manner which said "you're the big star player – go on then win the game", which of course was counter-productive as he's not that type of forward and never will be.

Ross had a mare of a match and Lennon was all over the place with little or no idea of what he was supposed to be doing for much of the game. McCarthy looked as if making a forward pass would result in an injury or a fine. Only Deulofeu, who is probably less fit than Niasse, if that's possible, looked as if he might create something.

It's becoming obvious looking from the outside that everyone on the playing and coaching staff are not singing from the same hymn sheet and that manifests itself out on the pitch as evidenced in yesterday's disjointed performance.

Mark Pierpoint
76 Posted 04/04/2016 at 17:09:30
I think for a senior player to essentially put his head above the parapet in such a way is really damning on the manager now. I wonder, I really do as to whether the new majority shareholder, already unsure maybe, may cut his losses sooner rather than later.
James Carroll
77 Posted 04/04/2016 at 17:10:36
Great new piece in Metro:

Ray Roche
78 Posted 04/04/2016 at 17:44:30
Mark, I don't have the impression that Mr Moshiri is here for the short term. He has apparently been looking for a suitable investment for some time, Arsenal were not to be so Bill Kenwright has managed to involve him here. If it's taken so long for BK to get any investment I doubt if Mr Moshiri could just up sticks and sell his holding easily.

What most of us want is for him to remove Martinez and appoint a real manager, something I imagine is well within his capabilities. You don't accumulate his kind of wealth without a ruthlessly efficient streak.

Ray Robinson
81 Posted 04/04/2016 at 19:11:01
We are all pinning our hopes on Moshiri countermanding Kenwright and sacking Martinez but we know little about him. He may not be the ultra ruthless person that everyone suspects he is. For all we know, he may be a softie like Bill. I know that it is unusual for sentimental people to succeed in business – but as I said, we don't much about him yet.

Or could it be that Moshiri is indeed a ruthless operator but may not be pushing to sack the manager because now, just before the semi-final, is not seen as an opportune moment?

From a fan's point of view, I'm not certain that protests at the match would be a good idea. I'm certainly not one who wants Everton to get knocked out of the cup in the semi-final just so that we can be shut of the manager. I want to win the Cup – with him if needs be.

So my solution will be to continue to support the team but delay renewal of my season ticket until the last possible moment. Of course, I'll renew, but if enough people call the Board's bluff and wait until the deadline, then surely something will twig what's going on and do the necessary?

Allan Board
82 Posted 04/04/2016 at 19:23:41
Infuriating that the "lunatics are still running the asylum". A dose of realism is much needed. Once a team sticks two fingers up to the management, as has clearly happened, you must react and remove the management.

However, it's futile to think that the team can "just manage itself" – it can't. Everton won't win a single game unless an interim manager is bought in now, such is the malaise amongst the players at present.

Quite what Mr Kenwright thinks he is achieving by not dismissing the management is a complete enigma. Saving face and more likely money me thinks.

If change is what everyone is after, the answer is very simple and very effective: don't attend ANY games until they sack him. The owners will shit themselves and think the gravy train is about to derail and will act accordingly to protect their MONEY.

I know it's too much to ask, but I took the decision 14 months ago to stop going and whilst I miss it badly (as do my kids) you have to say enough is enough. They are taking the piss out of the best supporters around.

Patrick Murphy
83 Posted 04/04/2016 at 19:26:50
Ray (81) There's a pertinent piece on Grand Old Team site that whatever decisions are made by the board / owner about the future of Roberto, will to a large degree tell us as fans where the power lies at the club and its ambitions for the future.

Decisions Ambitions Power

Ray Robinson
84 Posted 04/04/2016 at 20:24:32
Thanks Patrick. Very interesting article. I do hope that it's only a matter of timing and that the very necessary decision is taken as soon as appropriate.
Dick Fearon
85 Posted 04/04/2016 at 23:08:23
Our Keeper under no pressure makes a short pass to our centre back who under no pressure then plays a short ball to our other centre back. This triangular movement is continued with a pass to our Keeper who restarts this gormless shit with another short ball to our centre back who passes it to our other centre back etc etc.

As football's version of a Bermuda Triangle it is an enigma that serves no logical purpose.

While those three players participate in this mysterious ritual their team mates are idly watching in awe as the ball and all hope disappears. Meanwhile the mastermind of this incredible farce purrs with phenomenal satisfaction.

James Flynn
86 Posted 04/04/2016 at 23:32:54
I can see a scenario where Bill begs Moshiri to wait until the Semi-final at Wembley. Which is fair, I suppose.

But dictating terms to our new owner? Nah.

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