Sleepwalking towards Wembley

Everton’s aimless drift towards Roberto Martinez’s latest date with destiny continues after much of his second string served up 90 abject minutes of directionless football that was somehow enough to earn a point.

Lyndon Lloyd 16/04/2016 47comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 1 Southampton

Everton’s aimless drift towards Roberto Martinez’s latest date with destiny continues after much of his second string served up 90 abject minutes of directionless football that was somehow enough to earn a point, while also confirming that this season will bear witness to the club’s worst home record for a single campaign in its entire 138-year history.

Martinez has been clinging desperately to his team’s bafflingly superior points return away from home this season but every successive failing at Goodison Park surely puts another nail in his proverbial coffin as the Blues’ manager. The paucity of quality in Everton’s play will only deepen the fans’ concern over the illusory depth in the Catalan’s squad and it was enough for one fan to invade the pitch following Southampton’s equaliser to attempt to remonstrate with Martinez at the sorry state of his team’s form.

On the back of three successive home defeats and with so many changes to the side — six in all, including cold returns to action for Darron Gibson and skipper for the day, Leon Osman — few Evertonians would have walked up to the Grand Old Lady with much expectation of a footballing exhibition. What they got, however, was exhibition-game fare; a match that for long periods felt like a pre-season game, complete with players who have played few minutes together as a unit and a couple of sparkling cameos by teenage debutants looking to impress.

Indeed, Callum Connolly and Tom Davies, second-half replacements for Seamus Coleman — another victim of a soft tissue injury — and Gibson were perhaps the only bright spots in a dire performance, although a couple of excellent interventions by John Stones were key in ensuring that Martinez did not oversee a club-record fourth consecutive home loss. Otherwise, it was hard to take any positives from Everton’s point of view, and Ronald Koeman must surely be viewing this as two points lost in the context of his side’s quest for Europe.

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Through his muddled rhertoric yesterday, Martinez may have hinted that he had written this game off well beforehand and the decision to make as many changes as he did, albeit with many of them forced, seemed to back that up, simultaneously undermining his argument that no one in his camp is looking ahead to the FA Cup semi-final. On this evidence, that do-or-die meeting with Manchester United the only thing on anyone’s mind at Everton now; a looming spectre of gloom or hope for glory now just 7 days away, albeit on the other side of a wholly unwanted Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Any hunger to stake a claim for the starting XI at Wembley next weekend on the part of some of the fringe players was not translated to the pitch, however. Kevin Mirallas was game enough in the early going before disappearing almost completely from the contest, firing Gerard Deulofeu’s low cross into the midriff of Jose Fonte from outside the box and later seeing the same defender deflect another effort at the end a purposeful run behind for a corner.

He was also unlucky not to get a decision from referee Craig Pawson when Fonte clearly pulled him back after he’d wriggled away from him on his way towards the visitors’ box.

It was Southampton, however, who played the better football and who were generally much more incisive, particularly with Dusan Tadic terrorising Bryan Oviedo and Sadio Mane a frequent menace in and around the box. It was Tadic who hooked a shot an inch over the crossbar with the Saints’ first real opening after 20 minutes and Shane Long who smashed a wild shot over from the angle after he had sprung the offside trap.

Ryan Bertrand, meanwhile, went close with a direct free kick that may have been fizzing wide before Joel Robles flew across his goal to palm it behind with aplomb. A minute later Stones’s last-ditch block to deny Graziano Pellé conceded a corner that Long glanced off his head and onto the far post as Everton escaped to the dressing room with the scores goalless.

In the minds of the Evertonian collective as prosecutor, the evidence against Martinez’s continued tenure as manager has been piling up in recent weeks but, in truth, the situations surrounding Arouna Kone and Oumar Niasse would surely damning enough for an open-and-shut case. A couple of interventions against League Two opposition in the early rounds of the FA Cup aside, the Ivorian has shown nothing to suggest he is still worthy of a punt up front and he made a mockery of his manager’s faith today with a dreadful showing. Niasse, meanwhile, all £13.5m of him, wasn’t even deemed worthy of his usual few minutes at the end, begging the question just what the rationale was for signing him in January at such huge cost when the team has been crying out for proper help for Lukaku for the best part of two years.

Everton struggled to create anything meaningful in attack as much of their forward momentum was lost between Kone, and the ineffective duo of Deulofeu and Mirallas — one counter attack led by Ramiro Funes Mori with an hour gone was agonising to watch as no one seemed to know what to do with it — and that left the initiative with Southampton.

More good footwork by Tadic ended with the Serbian winger cutting inside and whipping in a shot that skimmed off Gibson’s head and off the bar five minutes into the second period while Pellé was foiled again by the close attentions of Stones 13 minutes later.

It was Everton who took the lead, though, against the run of play midway through the half. A corner from the right was poorly cleared by Long and handed straight to Funes Moro who lashed it back towards goal, profiting from a heavy deflection off Bertrand which helped the ball on its way past Fraser Forster.

Inevitably, however, Southampton were level within eight minutes. Tadic bundled his way in from the right flank after picking up a one-two pass on his way into the box and when the ball bounced off him from Funes Mori and fell to Mané, the Senegalese was on hand to convert from close range.

A brilliant saving tackle by the recovering Funes Mori prevented Koeman’s men from turning the game on its head two minutes later while Davies’ superb tackle in a tight situation in his own box stopped another promising Southampton move in its tracks.

Those kinds of positives were few and far between for Everton and not even Ross Barkley’s introduction off the bench seemed to have any impact on their display, leaving the contest to peter out to a 1-1 draw and, with Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright in attendance, a chorus of more boos from the Goodison faithful at the final whistle.

Impossibly, it seems, two points from sub-par performances in the space of four days has lifted Everton from 14th into 11th place in the Premier League but it’s hardly been the pre-Wembley fillip that Martinez needs. Hopes for that kind of boost in morale now rest on one of the few fixtures that Everton never win; a first win in the Anfield derby in 17 years seems almost impossible to envision based on the Blues’ recent form and this game in particular.

Certainly if the same personnel are missing with their respective knocks and the manager is forced to rely on a similar line up to today, Wednesday’s clash is likely to be another one through which Everton just sleepwalk, hoping that everything will be alright next Saturday afternoon. You suspect it’s going to take a lot more than blind faith.

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Ian McPherson
1 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:14:33
Ok, we are all agreed. Who is writing the strongly worded letter to the board?
Paul Andrews
2 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:23:19
Lyndon, you get the match summation right every week. Absolutely spot on again.

Sleepwalking indeed.

Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:30:02
Everton are not sleepwalking towards Wembley, they are sleepwalking into the Championship. Even in our darkest days, I can't remember an Everton side being so devoid of ideas and inspiration or a group of players so far removed from what we expect from them.

Injuries played a part today obviously, but the general malaise has been there for a long time and it seems to have now spread to those players who are on the fringe.

If it hadn't have been for the two young players making their first appearances, there would have been absolutely nothing to be positive about. We'll see what happens in the coming week, but those two upcoming encounters would be a difficult ask in most seasons with an Everton team in good form. Right now, it looks like it will be too big a leap to expect anything other than failure, unless fate has decreed otherwise.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:40:39
I listened to the phone in, on the way home, and whoever was taking the calls, was trying his best to defend Martinez.

He was saying that we must wait until the end of the season before we make a change, and I just could not understand it.

Hopefully we get through to the FA Cup final, but if we don't, I don't know how this man, will be able to set foot inside Goodison, for the Bournemouth game.

Edward Wallis
5 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:42:47
WTF is going on??? It would give everyone a lift if he (needs to..) left now. Feel I'm going to Wembley with my emotions having the handbrake on to want us to win. The wave of energy and relief it would would carry team to a win irrespective of injuries we have.

Playing Kone all game!!! Signing a guy for £13.5M on £50k a week (guess) and not play him is unbelievable. I don't know about corruption at Fifa, but this signing needs investigating.... someone got a good bung if still not fit to play.

Well done to the 2 young lads today, if only to give us a light of enjoyment.

Martin Mason
6 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:44:45
We are in crisis now as most of the players seem to have lost the will to live as if confused by doing that which the coaching team at the club asks them to do.

The prawn sandwich eaters at the club seem to be serenely unaware of what is happening but the team and fans seem to see very clearly the slow mo side into lower league football that is without doubt happening.

I now believe that RM would get Barcelona relegated given 4 seasons. He is a chancer and one who has been found out by everybody from Swansea to Everton via Wigan apart from the Everon board or shall I say BK. Bill's done a job at EFC but he needs to pass the baton now.

Brian Murray
7 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:46:22
Hey, Paul, fate has never been an ally of ours. It's all about belief skill and knowing your job, that's totally foreign to this crew.

Hard to put a case forward to a win at the other place or semi. So, so sad for my lads. A whole generation have never seen any joy at all.
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 16/04/2016 at 19:53:26
Yes Edward, the two young kids did great today, especially Alan Whittle's grandson, who looks like he has got a good engine, and also likes a tackle as well.
Declan Brown
9 Posted 16/04/2016 at 20:04:53
The despair, the despondency continues. Next up Liverpool at Anfield 3 days before the Wembley semi final.

I'm not going to say anything. Massive week ahead. Just got to summon up all the hope and positivity and hold onto it until this next week. Hopefully, just hopefully we can do it...

Ron Marr
10 Posted 16/04/2016 at 20:36:39
Worst home record in the 138-year history of the club. That includes teams that were relegated or nearly relegated. Kenwright has zero credibility with his "what a manager" comment. It looked like Farhad Moshiri was sitting away from Kenwright, hopefully that's a good sign.
Jay Woods
11 Posted 16/04/2016 at 20:41:46
What would Martinez have to do for Bill to actually sack him? Commit murder? Oh wait, he already has done that to our last 2 seasons.
Brian Wilkinson
12 Posted 16/04/2016 at 20:43:47
He brought on a youngster rather than Naisse, knowing full well the crowd would not boo a sub as such, smart move Bobby.

If you have no intention of playing Naise, then at least leave him out of the squad and promote Dowell to the bench, ok not a striker, but will at least put a shift in.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 16/04/2016 at 20:58:27
It doesn't even feel like we have a Wembley trip on the horizon such is the unrest and discontent amongst supporters due to the shambolic efforts by team and management.

Hark back to 2009 and 1995 when we were in this position, even 2012 , the build up was full of excitement and anticipation amongst Evertonians, but today just felt like another damp squib with no enthusiasm whatsoever, no Wembley fever just more discontent.

We all know what will unfold that's probably why.

We will get tanked on Wednesday with our usual Anfield-phobic non appearance and next Saturday we will somehow contrive to make a pretty damn ordinary Manchester United side look dangerous for a third time this season.

There's no expectations there watching Everton anymore, because you never ever get any surprise element, we fail in the games we know we will fail in and frankly there's no enjoyment anymore going the match.

Ken Finch
14 Posted 16/04/2016 at 21:11:04
Dreadful, dreadful performance. No cohesion, no passion, no ideas, nobody leading. No nothing. NSNO - I don't think so. There were times today when the view from my seat over towards the East was more interesting as at least the wind turbines were moving.

The post match interview given by RM was the most bizarre my mates and have ever heard.

There seems to be something 'wrong in the state of EFC'.

Vote out ...... and I am not referring to the EU referendum!

Mike Berry
15 Posted 16/04/2016 at 21:30:34
Shows how bad we are when we are happy with a point. That was the reaction of the people around me in the Upper Bullens. Only positive was the two young lads who came on.
Paul Conway
16 Posted 16/04/2016 at 22:09:55
Can't ever remember, in my almost 50 years of supporting EFC, us being so under-prepared and demoralised going into a semi.

We just have to get behind the lads... remember they are family! I think, we the fans should just ignore Bertie and his bullshit and just enjoy the ride!

Ian Glassey
17 Posted 16/04/2016 at 22:25:51
What a load of shite – the last two home games are among the worst I have ever seen, and I have been a regular since 1961.

And if Villa can leave a player out for being a stone overweight, we should do the same with Barkley. He looks like he has eaten Niasse...
Danny Broderick
18 Posted 16/04/2016 at 22:26:35

Serious point. You write better than most of us could ever do. Could you consider writing a public letter to the board about this chancer? Nothing is going to happen before next week. But I'm sure you guys in ToffeeWeb can see that this fella is a lunatic. 99% of the fan base want him out. We need the board to see this.

Please guys – even if it is just to share the results of the poll. We need someone to speak up for the vast majority of the fan base. The Echo has started reporting some things now, but we all know we can't rely on them to write an honest critique about the club. This fella has taken us backwards. He's taken a top 6 club to probably the bottom 6 within 3 seasons. He's fallen out with players, the fans don't want him. He keeps telling us everything is 'incredible, phenomenal' – but we are not stupid.

I don't think the board will do anything dramatic now, but they need to understand that we need a new manager this summer at the latest. We'll be relegated with him in charge next year.

Andy Boyer
19 Posted 16/04/2016 at 22:45:21
Martinez won't play Niasse because he's dropped a huge bollock and the lad is woeful, that's my interpretation of it anyway.

Regarding letters to the board, there's really no point, the only message should be visual and I would suggest that if we are beaten by the shite and lose at Wembley then the next home game should either be a massive no show from supporters or a walkout at some point in the game, early doors preferably, then the board would see exactly how we feel and no mistake.


Dick Fearon
20 Posted 16/04/2016 at 22:48:55
Lyndon we are not sleepwalking, we are led by a con man of the first water.
Matt Traynor
21 Posted 16/04/2016 at 22:51:20
Danny #18, with all due respect to you, and Lyndon, no he shouldn't do that. TW is an independent forum, content-driven by the subscribed users. Michael and Lyndon post reports and occasional editorial pieces, but they (nor any other website) should start campaigning or claiming to speak for everyone (they simply can't cos they don't).

And, under this tepid regime we've been under, it'll just get them blacklisted as another bunch of "knobheads".

We've lost a lot of regular contributors over the last few months / couple of seasons. (For reasons of frustration, not through going to Goodison-On-High - RIP Harold)

I actually half wish that Bluekipper was still going - maybe they saw what was coming and got out quick as their editorial policy would've been in shreds. Keep TW independent!

Danny Broderick
22 Posted 16/04/2016 at 23:11:12
With respect Matt,

There is nothing to stop the lads at ToffeeWeb sharing the results of their poll. In case you are not aware:

Total number of votes: 14455

85% think it's time for him to go! 8% want to see what happens in the FA Cup. If we lose on Saturday, that means 93% of those polled will be wanting him out. This is based on nearly 15,000 votes by the way.

The editors can pass on the concerns of these fans and remain independent.

The number 1 concern for all of us is the club itself, and based on the results in this survey, plus the fact we have had 'Martinez Out' banners at the last 2
matches and a guy run into the pitch to protest, things are obviously not right.

Drastic times call for drastic action, I'm afraid. The club needs to be aware of the mood of the fans. And this is what concerns me most, because there are suggestions that all is hunky dory at board level. Kenwright's last public utterance was 'what a manager!'

Mike Hughes
23 Posted 16/04/2016 at 23:39:19
As a club, we are sleepwalking off a cliff, never mind towards Wembley.

This 'project' went tits up a long time ago (January 2015 was the time to change path for me).

We need to fail more quickly as a club if we are to succeed.
In other words, try something (e.g. a new manager / approach) but be ready to take brave decisions and jettison when the signals indicate that it isn't going to work and isn't likely to work.

The signals have been there for a long time and have only been masked by the smoke and mirrors created by TV pundits ('nice football Everton play'), media-trained football players ('we must try harder') and, more than anything, the manager himself (see TW for any number of inane soundbites / excuses / false promises / waffle from his press conferences).

I don't know if I was the first to label him a 'snake-oil salesman' but no successful manager I am aware of has ever come out with the confused, jam tomorrow ramblings of this current manager. The talk is so much better than the walk.

The major signal - results - has been damning for 2 seasons now.
As fans we are also to blame. There were even people posting on here almost celebrating our 3-6 defeat to Chelsea last season. "That's the way to lose." etc. There have been many other examples of posts excusing a defeat because there were a few nice passes, possession stats or other similar nonsense. All complete bollocks.

Now it's well and truly coming home to roost.

But the board are culpable more than anything for tolerating such mediocrity. Limited ambition (PL survival), little in the way of business savvy (there's not enough space to provide examples but if there's no Plan B on the pitch, there's none off it either from what I can see) and stuck in a comfort zone that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Evertonians.

We're not going backwards.
Unless this club changes its mindset very quickly, we are falling off a cliff.

The signal for that may well be a dwindling fan base under current conditions.

Andrew Presly
24 Posted 16/04/2016 at 23:42:43
If Martinez was sacked tonight and Joe Royle with Ferguson, Sheedy or Unsworth assisting him took charge would the results at Anfield & Wembley be better, worse or the same. We'll never know but they'd be better wouldn't they?

I'd go with a spirited draw at the Tin Mine & victory at Wembley in that parallel universe.

In the real world we'll get battered on Wednesday and lose via a sob story on Saturday. It's the Everton way.

Joe Clitherow
25 Posted 16/04/2016 at 23:59:59
Tony 8

I think Tom Davies is Alan Whittle's nephew not grandson.

Fondly remember the 2009 semi-final where Alan, Duncan McKenzie and a few other ex-pros where on the balcony or whatever it is called at Wembley in our block sharing a pint and having a good old natter with fans at half time. Really decent bloke.

Dan Davies
26 Posted 17/04/2016 at 00:27:14
Sorry Matt, but Danny has a point. Without actually reading the small print of the Terms and Conditions of being a member of TW I'm not sure where Michael and Lyndon stand on this maybe they could clarify?

ToffeeWeb has a large number of members who have overwhelmingly voted for a change of manager, independent or not with such large numbers of fans involved does TW realise the potential it has to influence matters even if indirectly?

Would not a simple email to our Chairman, sent in a way which implied impartiality on Michael and Lyndons behalf, just to hit home the point of the current feeling of the majority, be a fair thing to do for both ToffeeWebbers and the Everton hierarchy?

I'd assume in this day and age that EFC would be monitoring websites like TW anyway for understanding their, for want of a better word, market. I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong mind.

I'm not "stirring the pot" here honestly. Closing in on 15000 people voting is serious sway in my book and the board if presented with this poll, would be very foolish to ignore it.

So touche' to you Danny for having the balls to bring it up!

Ray Smith
27 Posted 17/04/2016 at 01:05:37
Andy 19#

Andy, how can you say Niasse is 'woeful'.

He hasn't been given a chance and doesn't look like getting one.

So how can you judge him on 29 minutes playing time since January??

John Raftery
28 Posted 17/04/2016 at 01:10:56
Our players looked like a team which had never played together before today. Hopefully they will never play together again.

Deulofeu and Kone were simply awful. Ossie and Gibbo looked short of fitness which was hardly surprising given their lack of match time over the past few months. It was no surprise Coleman succumbed to his third hamstring strain this season after playing three games in eight days.

There were a few positives from today, notably the performances from Robles, Stones and Funes Mori in defence. Mirallas put in a decent shift and it was good to see Connolly and Davies make their debuts. It is time to leap a generation by giving a chance to a few of the Under-21s. If they are to be part of the club's future now is the time for them to show it simply because of the paucity of talent and fitness among the current senior squad.

It is incredible that we have paid £13.5m for a player deemed unworthy of a place in today's severely under-strength starting line-up. Selling Naismith has reduced the viable options for our attack. In the absence of Lukaku the foolishness of our January transfer dealings was fully exposed today. The squad is weaker than it was in December. Indeed with the decline in form and fitness of many of the players it is weaker than it was 12 months ago.

Howard is going, Hibbert, Osman, Pienaar and Gibson are all out of contract while no tears will be shed if several others were shown the exit door in the summer. There are some huge transfer dealings to be done in the summer but the big question is who is going to oversee those dealings.

Gordon Crawford
29 Posted 17/04/2016 at 01:49:11
Even if we win the FA Cup and that's a big if. Then this has got to be the most horrific season I have ever experienced. Any other time we have been bad, at least we have fought for each other. But this season the players look like they are all strangers.

And what is going on with Niasse? I really do feel for the guy. His wrist injury never stopped him before he came to Everton. But all of a sudden he isn't fit to play. Shocking.
Gordon Crawford
30 Posted 17/04/2016 at 01:54:18
Oh and the Daily Star are having a laugh. By saying "Man United rocked as Everton prepare sensational Jose Mourinho swoop"

And then it goes on to say that it could be a return for OFM if we don't get Maureen.
Brian Porter
32 Posted 17/04/2016 at 06:31:34
Yet another woeful performance followed by the usual Martinez superlatives. We could all have written the script for his post match diatribe, he's that predictable.

Funes Mori was as usual full of fire and desire but that was it as far as the regulars were concerned. Oh yes, and Robles did OK. Martinez has systematically ripped out the very heart and soul of Everton FC. The majority of the fans are now approaching each match with an almost apathetic, fatalistic viewpoint where defeat is almost accepted as an inevitability, the players are playing as if they no longer have an ounce of belief in the manager's tactics or game plans and the manager himself continues to appear almost untouchable as the board sits back in silent and splendid isolation as if everything in the garden is rosy, the only people on planet earth who seem incapable of seeing the wave of destruction that is sweeping through a once great football club.

I honestly believe our players would show an incredible transformation for the semi final if Martinez was sacked and the shackles were removed from their natural creativity. Imagine a team fired up from the start, a la Funes Mori, ready to go toe to toe with Man Utd, fighting for every ball, ready to sweat blood for the cause. No way is that going to happen under Martinez, but if, say, David Unsworth was given the caretaker role until the end of the season we just might see the 'real' Everton once more.

"CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR" as that great Evertonian William Shakespeare once so eruditely put it.

John Atkins
33 Posted 17/04/2016 at 08:27:29
It would help the cause if some of our ex players rant and rave in the media about Martinez's failures

This would bring more attention to the board and the dire situation we are in

Ronnie Goodlass on Radio Merseyside on Wednesday night was seething and was good to hear but we need much more ! Usually Big Nev doesn't hold back - come on boys where are you ? Reidy, Rats, Andy Gray even a Joey Barton tweet would do

Sharpy, Snods and likes can't cos they're still employed but surely some can and will

I want to them to ask why is he still in a job and ramp up more pressure

I'm pretty sure though the board are aware but if Bill still has the final say, Martinez is not going anywhere just yet and I even think he'll give him the start of next season, remember Bill in the post match interview 'what a manager'

Deary me

John Crawley
34 Posted 17/04/2016 at 08:55:14
I'm totally fed up witnessing one poor performance after another. He should of been sacked last summer I thought it was clear after last season that he wasn't good enough. We've wasted this whole league campaign keeping him in charge.

I've been hoping he would get sacked for the last few weeks as it would've helped us win the cup. I have to say if we lose the semi final with a poor performance I'm going to very angry with this board for failing to take any action. The current situation is unacceptable.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 17/04/2016 at 09:10:15
Joe, you might be right, but the good thing to report is I've met young Tom, and he seems a very sensible, and grounded young lad. No airs or graces, and obviously from good stock.

My lad rang me after the game and said we need players that can tackle at Anfield next Wednesday, and Davies, after 20 minutes in a blue shirt, has already put Barkley to shame in this department.

I think it's too soon for that, but you never know, but why the fuck did Martinez bring on Barkley yesterday? It defied logic, even if he probably got just as much rest on the pitch!

John Keating
36 Posted 17/04/2016 at 09:19:58
On Friday we had quite a chat on the Jags thread.

A few posters were wanting US supporters to lead the players to glory yesterday

Well I wasn't one of them and from where I was I didn't see anyone leading the crowd, especially from the Upper Bullens!

Jim Lloyd
37 Posted 17/04/2016 at 09:29:36
John (36) I owe you an apology (although I was up on my feet in the upper Bullens most of the match) can't stop now cos I'm going out. But it would have been better trying to wake them up!

Can't blame them either (though I didn't say I'd lead thenm did I!

I would call the display yesterday "A Shambles" but they weren't that good.

Paul Ellam
38 Posted 17/04/2016 at 09:54:41
Looks to me like we are throwing everything we have into the FA Cup. The team that was put out yesterday was like a reserve team. To be honest though, the league means nothing now, we are stranded in mid-table so all efforts will go into winning some silverware.

That doesn't change the fact that the season as a whole has been very poor though! Martinez out this summer, Emery or Pereira in.

John Keating
39 Posted 17/04/2016 at 10:05:28

As mentioned on Friday, I am done with our league games. I go but, although my body is there, my thoughts are getting out for a few pints on the way home!

All around me, everyone is just the same – there is no passion or support. Just acceptance we are there to see another dire performance.

It is NOT the supporters fault in my opinion it is fully and wholly due to Martinez. This arsehole has sucked the passion out of us. I've just read the latest ramblings from him – Unbelievable!

Still, Jim, roll on Wembley. It will be totally different – supporter-wise, and hopefully result-wise!

Barry Pearce
40 Posted 17/04/2016 at 12:03:43
How Dowell was not on the bench today, I just do not know. Especially as Osman can't do 90 minutes. <

Also, how shite must Niasse be? If he couldn't even get game time today seeing how bad Kone played.

Please just don't waste a space on the bench.

Craig Mills
41 Posted 17/04/2016 at 12:06:48
I can hear the chant of "You're getting sacked in the morning" ringing around Anfield on Wednesday night, the only thing that will differ from normal is that the travelling Blues will be joining in too......

On a serious note, I'm not giving us a hope in hell for Wednesday night, Liverpool will put us to the sword and take full advantage of our fragility. That will lead us onto Saturday where again, I can't see we will offer anything to trouble Man Utd.

Linda Morrison
42 Posted 17/04/2016 at 12:18:00
It's all just a matter of when he goes, not if, like it was for the Villa who now have finally gone to the graveyard of the Championship.

Forget Wednesday but I reckon if we lose to Man Utd he'll be gone by this time next week.

To quote Lescott: "a weight lifted off the shoulders"

Brian Harrison
43 Posted 17/04/2016 at 12:52:34
Normally the thought of a Semi final on the horizon lifts everybody, well usually. But this man has sucked all the belief out of the fans. Sitting in my seat in Upper Bullens at half time most round me said it felt like we had played a lot more than 45 minutes.

Feels like a pressure cooker waiting to burst you can feel the angst amongst the fans. The football is slow and boring, only a piece of individual skill is likely to lift the boredom.

I look at Deulofeu, the kid looked a really exciting prospect 4 months back, and he still performs when he plays for Spain's Under-21 side. Yet under Martinez his game is going backwards. The same can be said for Ross Barkley, he has become a shadow of the player he was at the start of the season. Now is this young players losing a bit of form or is RM destroying their natural games.

I would ask Joe Royle to take the team to Wembley especially if we lose heavily to the other lot on Wednesday. Despite the players all wanting to put a shift in at Wembley under Martinez's guidance and style I just cant see that happening. And maybe even asking Joe to take over what RM has ingrained into these player will take more than the 72 hours Joe would have before Wembley. But it might give us supporters more belief even if it is miss placed.

Steve Alderson
45 Posted 17/04/2016 at 17:23:43
David Moyes oversaw a 3-0 surrender at Anfield before the semi against the RS in 2012. As sickening as it was it at the time there had at least been some belief that it could be justified with a winning performance in the "main" game.

As it turned out, Davey had kidded himself and some of us.

The difference now is we can't even pretend that we're saving the best til last and I for one am dreading Wednesday night.

Don Alexander
46 Posted 17/04/2016 at 18:25:13
The obvious paradox for fans is that criticism of anything "Everton" goes right against the grain. When the criticism comes from outside it's a doddle for us all to deal with it, but when it comes from amongst us it's far more toxic for us. Fans don't want to criticise, they want to celebrate and glory in the team's achievements.

So to induce the current level of unhappiness takes a special sort of poison. Step forward Roberto Martínez Montoliú.

If he has any fans left they may try to salvage the signings he's made as the last hope in their desperate defence of their scoundrel.

If you look at them, none of them are as yet "first team", except perhaps Lukaku who's made his opinion of a future under Martinez plain as a pike staff. He wants away.

Barkley is now looking as ponderous in body as he's always seemed to be in brain (and it's Martinez who sanctioned his contract, so he's his signing), Deulofeu is unfit, always, unless doing the business for Spain U21s. Besic is persistently unfit, and Niasse is allegedly even more unfit. Funes Mori is invariably nowhere close to unfit however, but in Martinez opinion is therefore unfit to make the first 11 whenever Stones and Jags are fit. Cleverley seems to be mostly fit but a position for him to fit into seems a long way off.

Let's not be prissy. "Fuck Off, Martinez" has a certain ring to it.

Mark Melton
47 Posted 17/04/2016 at 18:49:07
Hibbo will save us.
Colin Glassar
48 Posted 17/04/2016 at 18:52:14
Hibbo has left the building, Mark
Jon Cox
49 Posted 18/04/2016 at 17:32:22
If we lose Wednesday and Saturday, this will have been the worst season in decades.

It's already worse than last season. Martinez has to be sacked surely. Rumour has it there's a Chelski manager looking like he'll need a job next season. Come on Everton, get him chatted up now.

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