Martinez: We need to learn quickly

, 21 December, 207comments  |  Jump to most recent
Manager's words echoed by Seamus Coleman

Roberto Martinez has bemoaned the naïvete and lack of "know-how" of his team after Saturday's defeat to Leicester which left Everton with a return of just three points from the last four matches.

The Blues controlled the game against the surprise Premier League leaders for long spells and should have made their dominance tell but they twice fell behind to poorly-conceded penalties. Shinji Okazaki then fired home the eventual winning goal when the home defence was caught out trying to clear a throw-in deep in their own half.

That has sharpened the focus on a back line that has conceded a catalogue of soft goals in recent weeks and left Martinez with little option but to insist his side has to get better about dictating games and defending.

Its the nature of this seasons competition that anyone can get points of anyone, with Leicester the biggest example," the Catalan told the Liverpool Echo after agreeing that his Everton team are shooting themselves in the foot.

"If we keep a clean sheet and we dominated their counter attacks and their real threat its a game we could win comfortably and thats the difference. We shouldnt allow Leicester to score three goals.

Its about what we can do about the situation.

The defensive set up has nothing to do with it because two of the three goals came from our throw-ins and our possession, but we probably felt that we were so in control that we werent thinking that we could be punished by Leicester.

The first action was very unfortunate from Ramiro when he asked the referee to make a decision when there was no real need and no real threat.

We all know Leicester have the best counter attacking weapon in the league and probably the only time that Mahrez is allowed to run at our centre-halves is for the Vardy run at that was a very heavy punishment for the times Leicester broke at our goal.

We need to learn quickly. That was the biggest problem from getting a good result or not.

Were conceding too many goals and we need to sort it out. [I]ts all well and good me saying it, we have to do it.

Seamus Coleman

We need to become a bit more experienced and develop quicker know-how of what you need in a game which Leicester had. They knew exactly what they were doing. They knew how to control the frustration of the fans, how to control the restarts and that was a real contrast of two teams in that point of view. One with a lot of talent and a lot of young, ambitious players but who need to develop know-how quickly.

Fullback Seamus Coleman made similar comments to his manager, saying that the time for words is over and that Everton have to ensure their football does the talking in terms of their defensive weakness.

Were conceding too many goals and we need to sort it out," the Irishman said candidly.

I come out and do these interviews and you have to say the right things but there is no point in saying it if we dont do it.

We have great quality going forward and we can score goals so all we need to do is stop conceding silly goals and then we will be where we want to be.

But its all well and good me saying it, we have to do it.

Its not like were not trying its just that we need to work as a unit, the whole team and not just the back four and keeper, we all need to work well for each other.

If we can get that right then we have a great chance of being where we want to be, at the top end of the table."


Reader Comments (207)

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Eugene Kearney
1 Posted 21/12/2015 at 07:31:52
We need Jags back, Kone should go back on the bench, Mirallas should start more. That would help for a start.
Paul Smith
2 Posted 21/12/2015 at 07:43:42
It’s got nothing to do with defence? Do we not defend throw ins? Or try and mitigate for our own mistakes whilst in possession? Deluded.

For almost 3 years now I have witnessed a lack of urgency and fight. For me, this is most evident when we have a throw in (like their 2nd goal); no one shows, moves or wants the ball, you can see Seamus and Stones getting wound up having no outlet. Just one observation, I could go on but I’ve got work to go to.

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 21/12/2015 at 08:05:45
He won’t play Mirallas from the start anymore because he’s clearly planning for life without him after next month, which in my opinion is a crying shame, the guy for all his other faults, makes things happen on the football pitch and scores goals whenever he’s played.

The trouble for us attacking wise will be when teams start stuffing out Deulofeu, let’s be honest, Gerry spent a large portion of the match on Saturday getting frustrated and reacting too much to the referee’s decisions. If Mirallas leaves, we only have Lennon who himself will be very rusty having played so little football.

Out of the three of them, you’d have to say Mirallas is most likely to score you goals if he played on a weekly basis, the one thing Deulofeu hasn’t really added to his game as yet is more goals.

As for Martinez and his feeble excuses, well I’m getting sick of hearing of naivety, lack of concentration, we have heard the same thing for 12 months.

A prime example was the capitulation in Kiev when he had a experienced back five of international footballers, yes it included Alcaraz, but who signed him?
Jagielka partnered him, a England international, Baines and Coleman both internationals.

Did we learn that night? NO.

I’m sick of the crap we hear.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 21/12/2015 at 08:21:55

The lack of fight was evident at 1-3 down, we were just trotting around the pitch almost at walking pace, no urgency on throw ins or anything.

What’s glaring for me is when we are behind I never see anyone barking orders, pointing, trying to galvanise the team.

We lack organisation, we lack leadership, we lack characters.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 21/12/2015 at 08:29:33
If things go badly wrong over the next month, let's be honest the January fixture list is a killer, what will Martinez position be then?

Serious questions should be asked.

Gerard Carey
6 Posted 21/12/2015 at 08:44:02
How about Martinez himself learning from his stupid mistakes. He showed his own naivete, with not man-marking Mahrez. Besic could have done a job. Our panel of players is suppose to be better now, but Martinez never uses it. Same old same old!!!!
Dave Ganley
7 Posted 21/12/2015 at 08:44:36
Same old comments. The worrying one though is "the defensive set up has nothing to do with it". He continually sticks his head in the sand. He refuses to recognise that the defensive set up/way they prepare is responsible for the continual leaking of stupid goals.

We never learn. Martinez is naive in the extreme if he believes the shite he comes out with much less expect us to believe us. He treats us like ill informed idiots with the verbal diarrhea he spouts. The rhetoric never changes... we were unlucky, just an individual mistake, nothing wrong with my system it's the players fault... blah blah blah... As Jim said, I am absolutely sick of hearing this shit and nothing changing. Looking on Wigan websites from the past, we are saying all the same things they were. He will never change, admit he is wrong, admit team selection and balance of the team is wrong, make substitutions when they can actually make a difference, stop the leaking of goals with an organised defence, bring back the atmosphere with quick attacking exciting football... the list is endless. He was never good enough in the first place. Relegation to top 6 team... really? Sooner he fucks off and we can start to fully utilise, what are in my opinion, a talented bunch of footballers, the better.

However, I realise that isn’t going to happen and we will have to suffer the mind numbing shite he comes out with and the slow to tedious football riddled with mistakes with the very occasionally good game to keep the Martinez apologists onside and to tell the rest of us what a fab job he is doing and it's only a matter of time before we are world beaters and remember Oxford away game? It COULD happen here (but probably not because turning points like that generally happen once in a lifetime).

Seamus says it himself: "There's no point saying it if we don't do it." Yet they all keep saying they need to learn and don't do it!! How many chances does this idiot manager need to learn? Answers on a postage stamp.

Paul Andrews
8 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:27:18
I will be in the minority with this opinion. At this moment in time John Stones is not a good defender. He has more natural ability on the ball than most midfield players playing in the Premier League. But out and out defending? I’m afraid not.

I prefer my centre halfs to be of the type of Dave Watson or, to a lesser extent, Phil Jagielka. Defensive solidity is the priority for a centre half, any ability on the ball is a bonus. It is the other way around with Stones.

In my opinion he would be the best holding midfielder in the PL if played there.

Mike Powell
9 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:28:47
He needs to learn to make subs when needed, he needs to learn how to set up the defence and stop them pissing about at the back. He needs to learn to stop coming out with a load off garbage after every game.

He also needs a Plan B. He sets up the same way every game and when things are going wrong and need changing what does he do about it absolutely fuck-all.

Brian Harrison
10 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:30:29
I can't believe anyone is surprised that we leak goals practically every team RM has managed has had the same fault. So don't expect anything him and his assistant to change their ethos. He has never learned that defending is just as much of an art as attacking, since his arrival we have always been very open to counter-attacking football.
Nick Oakley
11 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:42:42
Stop moaning. Martinez has got us playing the best football we’ve ever played. He continues to attract players who simply would never have come to us. Martinez exemplifies the Everton family spirit we all love.

And sometimes you just DO get bad luck. I’ve had it, you’ve had it... Yes, football really is sometimes about good and bad luck and we’ve had a string of bad luck. Don’t bother replying, "You make your own luck." I’m talking about in front of goal, in the last 4 games, we’ve simply been unlucky. Get over it, it happens.

What we don’t need are fans who turn that bad luck into stupid unnecessary pressure which helps nobody.

Darren Bailey
12 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:44:23
Jim Bennings & Dave Ganley – I couldn’t agree more.
I too am (I was going to say getting fed up but am now) totally fed up with all this complete load of repetitive crap that continually comes out of our manager’s mouth.

With regards to our defensive performances and the fact we keep conceding soft and needless goals the quote "We need to learn quickly" really grinds on me as, if I’m very much mistaken, these are professional footballers who should know how to defend in such circumstances. We’ve heard the same thing for 4 or 5 weeks now (not including the fact us supporters have seen the problems since he first came to the club) – how long does it take?

We have very good players at our club who can’t seem to do the simple things right but according to Martinez it’s ok as points don’t matter, it’s about the performances and keeping the fluidity. Well I’ve got news for you Roberto, it’s not about that, it’s about getting 3 fucking points against teams like Norwich, Bournemouth, Palace, Swansea, Watford and Leicester. Okay, Leicester are on a very good run at the moment but they were there for the taking on Saturday, as were all the other teams mentioned but we have no cutting edge and that stems from the manager.

Substitutions really wind me up, on Saturday the game was crying out for subs to be brought on before they scored their second goal but no, and then not even after they scored did they come. It was only after they scored their third did anything happen and that is far too late.

Why Kone’s been playing the full 90 minutes is beyond me and why he played him on Saturday is totally baffling. Surely playing Cleverley wide left to protect Baines from Mahrez and sticking Besic in the middle would have been a more logical move to make. I’m a big fan of Mirallas and he should be playing more but for this game I think protecting Baines should have been a priority.

If I hear once more that we have a great group of players who have massive amounts of talent and potential and can go on to great things I swear I’m going to go mental. If they’re that good that they’re looking to play Champions League football then why aren’t we doing better with them all in the team? We’re grooming these players for other teams to benefit. We have absolutely no chance of keeping hold of Stones, Rom, Ross and possibly Coleman come the end of this summer. We will not make the Champions League and that will spell the end of them at our club. Enjoy seeing them in the royal blue as they won’t be wearing it for much longer. Sorry to be pessimistic about this but deep down you all know I’m right.

Our club is in trouble from top to bottom. No money, no investment, no marketing, very little income, a chairman who doesn’t seem to want to move the club forward, 3 failed new stadium plans, and current stadium that’s falling apart. If we end up selling our prized assets I don’t have confidence in the board to re-invest the funds properly. It will just line their pockets. Martinez’s flaws are evident, he is not the person I want to manage this club any further. I don’t know who is the right man right now but I’m totally fed up with his approach to the game as I feel that with the players we have we should be doing so much better than this.

With Martinez in charge we will finish mid-table for the second season in a row when the league is so open we have the best chance in recent years to make the top 4, we have the toughest January possible which will result in us missing out on the League Cup final and ending up in the bottom half of the league. I can’t see any new faces in January as Bill and Bob won’t sanction the funds to be spent.

I hate being so negative when it comes to our beloved team as I want nothing more than to see us be successful. I’m sick an tired of it and I hate to hear it when people say things like "that’s typical Everton" or "that’s what we’ve come to expect". I’ve been a supporter for 20-odd years and have only really ever seen Dave Watson lift a trophy and that’s not good enough in my eyes.

Darren Bailey
13 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:52:18
Oh no, that was a really long rant!

Apologies for the length of that and the negativity – I expect the pessimists to come back at me.

That was only the tip of the iceberg – maybe therapy would be better.

Clive Mitchell
14 Posted 21/12/2015 at 09:54:21
Look in the mirror mate. If it's taken you two years not to learn that you can't compete in the top flight without a keeper, what exactly do you expect of the team?
Paul Kelly
15 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:02:44
One game away from the half way point of the season and just 9 points off relegation, 9 points the other way and were 4th but ain't looking above us as we're not heading in that direction. Where do you see us at the end of the season? Closer to the bottom I think.

It's scandalous to think about with this bunch of players but hey, as long as El Bob is here I can't see it getting any better.

Darren Bailey
16 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:16:06
30-odd years supporting... not 20. God, time flies.

In all seriousness, I would be very interested to hear the split on Martinez to stay or go. At this point in time, who thinks we should stick with him for the rest of the season and who thinks he should go?

Any chance of a survey being generated Lyndon?

Mark Daley
17 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:16:27
Just accept that it will have to get worse before it can get better. Maybe next season... Meanwhile thank God the RS are no better.
Eugene Kearney
18 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:24:34
I’ve just read that we are going to make a move for Denys Boyko – the Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk goalie.

It would be nice to know that Roberto has, at last, realised that Howard is no longer as phenomenal as he was during a certain match in the World Cup.

Paul Tran
19 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:26:18
Darren, I don't think it's a question of whether Martinez stays or goes. The real question is what to we want to follow him with. Lets answer that question first, then go for the next manager.

The one thing we can be sure about is that unless our 'directors' have a change of financial heart, it'll be another punt on another unproven hopeful.

Dan Hollingworth
21 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:46:54
The goalie is on borrowed time, and has been for 18 months now. It’s funny because in Roberto’s first season, it was one Howard’s better seasons, and working with new GK coach in Izaki Bergara he looked revitalised and fresh. He took this better form into the 2014 world cup, but then after that USA game he has struggled massively.

I always remember Falco’s goal at Old Trafford last season when his poor kick put us straight on the back foot and Falco scored. I saw a stat last week that we have scored the same amount of goals as Arsenal, but Arsenal have Cech and we have Howard, a good goalie can win you 10 points a season. The manager has failed to realise this decline in form, Robles should have kept his place when he had that 3 game run last season, clean sheets and then got dropped.

My patient is fast wearing thin with a manager who refuses to spot his mistakes and make basic changes, you can say one thing about Moyes, he always pulled a result out the bag when it mattered. When you have Stoke, Spurs, City, A revitalised Chelsea inside your next 5 league games you have never needed a few wins more Roberto.

I also saw a stat that we have 16 wins in 51 games. Which if true... is nowhere near good enough.

Helen Mallon
23 Posted 21/12/2015 at 10:52:19
Yes, we should have at least 6 more points and Howard should be replaced but getting rid of the manager is not the answer. He has made us a better youthful team.

Even if we finish top four, Lukaku will go because Juventus, PSG, & Milan all have sexier names than us and, in my opinion, if Chelsea came back in, he would be gone quick as. I am the most up-and-down fan but in cold light of day we are the rub of the green away from something special.

Chris Leyland
24 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:01:03
Helen, stop living in cloud cuckoo land. We are in a far worse position than "the rub of the green away from something special"

5 wins all season. 2 wins in last 10 and those against the bottom 2. No wins against anyone in the top half of the table all season.

These are not "rub of the green" matters. They are symptomatic of an under-performing squad who are badly coached by a manager who has zero capability of performing ’in game management’ to influence the outcome. He fails to set up his team to defend set pieces week after week. He fails to manage games to turn draws into wins by making positive substitutions and he fails to see out games from winning positions by making pragmatic changes.

A new manager might just be able to do some of the above and get the results that this talented squad should be capable of.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:10:44
I’m interested in the lack of squad rotation, except when enforced through injuries. Any ideas why? We have had decent guys on the bench (Mirallas, Gibson, Besic, etc) but hardly a sniff.

Are they really going to be in top match form (fitness and touch) having played at best a few minutes for the first team and possibly some U21 time (the latter almost non-existent), with training on top of that.

Darren Bailey
26 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:18:22
Well said Chris.

Maybe we haven’t had the "rub of the green" as decisions do seem to go against us but as you say there’s underlying problems which evolve from Martinez that a new man would change.

Howard is one, defensive frailties, positive substitutions, everything you’ve said. Add to that Kone should a bit part player only, Mirallas & Besic should be playing more, Geri needs to concentrate on playing football rather than throwing a Paddy every time he’s touched, Ross needs to do more with the ball & the team as a whole needs to finish off these promising moves & turn these high possession stats in to goals by not trying to score the perfect goal every time & losing the chance.

Corners are woeful! I’m fed up with short corners & short free kicks in promising areas just to keep possession. That’s all down to the philosophy the manager has drummed in to the team. It’s not working-we’re not Barcelona.

Bottom line is-with this group of players it’s not good enough & we’re underachieving in my eyes.

If this was a school report it’d say – must do better!

Dan Hollingworth
28 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:32:37
Everton under Roberto since Aug 2014.

Played 55
Won 17
Draw 19
Lost 19
WP: 30%

Patrick Murphy
29 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:33:27
Seamus sort of lets the cat out of the bag when he says that it is not just the defence that has to defend but the whole team, Leicester City showed that defence starts at the front and every player in their team worked their socks off, they are not the only team to do that this season.

Everton on the other hand rely on two or three players to harry and chase as the more creative players in the team think it is good enough to jog around and make token gestures towards the defensive side of the game. I suspected early in RM's Goodison career that he breaks his teams into three separate compartments and therefore they don't always work as a collective unit.

If it is a happy camp at Finch Farm, it won't last long, until the results start to improve as there is nothing worse for any group than one department to believe that it is working harder than another.

The manager's job is to ensure the 'team' is exactly that with all departments doing their individual jobs but always with the collective in mind. Hard work is the only real element missing from the current team and if all of our players, including the so-called stars do that, things will turn around, however, if some of the less hard-working players think that a clever flick here and a clever flick there is enough in the Premier League we will be in for a rocky ride.

The last four results have seriously dented any hopes of European qualification via the League, but it is not too late for that position to be rescued, however, there is a horrendous run of games to come in the New Year and if Everton don't realise that working hard is one of the keys to getting points from those fixtures they could find themselves in a league position that nobody at the club would want to be in.

Dreams and ambitions are fine, but they are only realised by hard-work and talent, this team has plenty of the latter but until it finds a better attitude to the latter it will always come up short and disappoint the fans.

Dave Pritchard
31 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:42:08
Roberto says they (Leicester) knew exactly what they were doing. That was one of the major problems on Saturday because we didn't know what we doing once we went behind for the second time.
Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:46:33
Learn quickly? How long has it been apparent to everybody but the manager that the goalie is finished?

I saw something on Saturday that convinced me the manager has to go. Our back four don’t set up as a defensive unit, it’s pathetic at any level of football, never mind the EPL.

Carrying on with this lack of organisation, but when was the last time Everton, attacked down both flanks?

Tony Rutherford
33 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:53:52
Said I’d give him last season and this season year up until Christmas and I’ve done that. Bottom line: 15 wins out of 55 Premier League games is not good enough with the team he has assembled.

Credit to him for the team he has managed to pull together, but I’ve come to the conclusion that he hasn’t got the tactical acumen to take Everton to the next level.

As lots of posters say I think the first season was a combination of the discipline and fitness from the previous regime, with some additional freedom to express themselves.

Last season and this season is really where Martinez should be judged and I feel that the stats prove he just isn’t good enough.

Can't take any more of his post match drivel... particularly the cack he came out with after Saturday’s result, just wish the board had the Cajones to do something about it.

Wish him all the best but it’s Martinez out for me.

Ross Edwards
34 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:54:07
Learn, learn, learn. How many times has Roberto said that this season? And then in the following game we make the same mistakes again.

Martinez better had learn and sort this out, rather than providing us with the usual tiresome lip service.

Darren Bailey
36 Posted 21/12/2015 at 11:59:00
Moyes at Man Utd – 27 wins from 51 games = 53% WP = sacked.

LvG at Man Utd – 27 wins from 50 games = 54% WP = on the verge of being sacked.

Mourinho this season – 9 wins from 25 games (all comp) = 36% WP = sacked.

Martinez – 30% WP. Why should we put up with it when other clubs don’t?

Derek Thomas
38 Posted 21/12/2015 at 12:32:39
Stones may well go after the Euros which is why we have Funes Mori.

But if Martinez is still here... which is likely... and still fannying around as per usual... which is likely, then Lukaku, Deulofeu and a few others will say "Sod this for a game of soldiers, and will be off smartish.

Which leads us to THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

Due to various sad circumstances The Club has a power vacuum at the top.

The good ship Everton is to all intents and purpose on automatic pilot and will no doubt more than likely sail on until the end of the season.

Who is actually in charge, not the day to day stuff? Bobby-suntan-Elstone (purser ) can handle that.

Who is in charge of the "Eh up, there’s and Iceberg, left hand down a bit driver." big stuff.

Because it seems to me that the Entertainment Director had now taken over as the public face of Everton. He IS Everton. He has filled the power vacuum.

He’s doing a piss poor job and needs taking to task... as in change it of get the sack.

But who’s going to tell him... Absolutely Nobody.

Tony J Williams
41 Posted 21/12/2015 at 12:48:32
Forget about Mirallas, he’s off to Spurs next month.

Let’s be honest, we should not have been beaten by Leicester on Saturday. We simply pressed the self destruct button and gave them two stupid penalties.

Their third goal was probably their first real shot on target (and it was clearly hand ball, if it strikes the hand/arm and you gain an advantage (ie straight to fucking Vardy’s foot) it is hand ball.

The ref was consistent, to be fair, every hand ball shout was completely ignored by him.

Also loved the way he didn’t play any advantage at all for us but gave them the advantage and then pulled it back when they lost the ball.

Don’t get me wrong, the ref had nothing to do with the defeat, all our soft arses were the problem. Stupid decision by Funes Mori and Howard and terrible defending by Stones for the third.

James Stewart
42 Posted 21/12/2015 at 12:53:01
"Another difference between the managers is their approach to set-pieces. With Moyes, we could spend an hour and a half on Fridays going through routines because he was so meticulous in that aspect. If I was a manager, I’d probably do the same because fine lines can determine games. He hated losing goals at set-pieces because it was something he could influence."

"Martinez doesn’t really do that. It’s rare for us to work on set-pieces. You’re given your roles, you’re supposed to understand them and if you don’t, find out, think for yourself. That was a big changeover for us."

"We questioned why we weren’t working on set-pieces and Graeme Jones, the assistant manager, said: "How many do you have to defend in a game? Three? So why would we spend two hours standing around to defend three set-pieces when we could work on moving the ball."

All quotes from Osman’s book that were posted on here last January by Paul Traill.

Not much as changed has it! The sheer unprofessionalism at this level of Martinez/Jones when it comes to set pieces is quite astounding. I really hope that the board wake up from their slumber and actually appoint someone qualified enough for this great club.

James Stewart
43 Posted 21/12/2015 at 12:55:44
As mentioned recently by someone on here, it would be interesting to see the results of a poll on whether he should be sacked.
Michael Penley
44 Posted 21/12/2015 at 13:00:35
There's a poll on NSNO, over 70% said he should be sacked. Mind you, less than 100 voted so can hardly be representative of all Evertonians.
Christy Ring
45 Posted 21/12/2015 at 13:03:46
Bob, it’s YOU that has to learn.

We’re back to where we were last season, no shape to the team. We look great going forward, but as soon as we’re caught on the break, Baines and Coleman are totally exposed, no help, no tracking back whatsoever. We really miss McCarthy. Look at Ranieri, he plays 4-4-2 and everyone working for each other.

It turns my stomach every week, watching Howard and Kone continuously picked. If he doesn’t stop his stubbornness and buy a keeper in January, and starts playing Mirallas, it’s time to go.

Keeper and striker in.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 21/12/2015 at 13:22:46
Apart from the way Martinez has us playing, one of the biggest complaints I have against him is the fact the team is not fit enough, they don't play for ninety minutes because they are not physically able to, nearly every team in the league is fitter than Everton and this is a major concern for me.

That is a big point but just one of many that could be aimed at this manager, he is out of his depth in my honest opinion.

Craig Walker
47 Posted 21/12/2015 at 13:24:46
It’s the same old failings. We are susceptible at set pieces. We push forward and leave ourselves open at the back. We have midfielders who don’t get enough goals. We have a goalkeeper who can have the odd good game but is not dependable enough at this level.

For all of John Stones’s qualities, I don’t half wish we had a centre half who would be a rock at corners and free kicks and offer us a goal threat at the other end of the pitch.

I didn’t see the game on Saturday but I listened the official commentary on the website. As much as I like the commentator Darren Griffiths and the summarizer of Snods/Diamond, I just know that every time they say "We’re better than these" we end up losing. It never fails. Also, Darren needs to stop shouting "goal" when it looks like the ball is going in. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been jumping up and down only to find that it went wide or was scrambled off the line.

Bob Parrington
48 Posted 21/12/2015 at 13:26:24
Headline "We need to learn quickly". Duuuhr! How many million quid a year do we pay for this "after the horse has bolted" crap. WTF is going on in his (their) mind(s)? We need to learn and re-learn and re-learn i.e. Continuous Improvement should be the motto of any team.

Fed up with this bulldust! Can we please have some plain old street talk and have the actions follow what the words mean?

Patrick Murphy
50 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:01:14
Having re-read the full piece in the Echo, despite his use of the royal ’we’ I can’t help but think that Roberto is blaming his players for Saturday’s defeat and the manner in which they conceded the goals, which is fair enough for the mistakes that individuals made in that game, but I don’t see him as the manager taking any responsibility for it, there is no "we will have to work harder in training" or "I am the manager, I will take full responsibility for the results" etc.

Given the Leon Osman comments quoted earlier in the thread it does seem to me, that Roberto is a football coach and not necessarily a a football manager. He seems to believe that all the work he does with the players during the periods between matches justifies his income, but that may be me being a tad harsh on him.

If Roberto doesn’t feel that his decisions affect his players when they are out on the park and that they have little bearing on results,or worse still, he sees little or no need to tweak or alter his game plan then perhaps he should not be the manager of any football club, let alone Everton FC; after all, managers are paid big bucks to think and players are paid to play. Giving players responsibility is fine but not if they are too inexperienced to handle it or if their roles are ill-defined or confused. Back to basics Roberto and quickly please.

Ernie Baywood
51 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:04:15
I was desperate for Martinez to go last year but I'm partially turned around now. The team is sitting lower than we were used to under Moyes but has far more potential than a Moyes team ever had.

The players he's missing are relatively straightforward. Dominant centre half, dominant keeper. A few others would be handy but they're the key ones. Basically it's character traits we're missing.

Can her get it right? Don't know, but he's progressed us further than Moyes could.

Steavey Buckley
52 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:08:01
Defending corners when Neville Southall was playing at his peak were quite simple, he caught the ball and then got rid of it. Don't need much practising how to defend corners with a goal keeper like that.
Dean Adams
53 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:11:53
With the squad of players at his disposal, Roberto should have us entrenched in the top four. His lack of spotting what almost every Tom, Dick and Harry can see from their seats or wherever vantage point that they take speaks volumes for his refusal to adapt to the ever changing circumstances of the Premier League.
Peter Cummings
54 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:25:19
One aspect of our situation that has been rarely touched on is the failure of BK and the board to bring an individual or consortium to inject a financial input into our supposedly ’cash strapped’ and poverty stricken situation.

There has been several rumours in the past that offers to provide those means have been rejected by the board who apparently rely on income provided by selling our best players and commercial ventures with TV sponsorship money added,

At the moment, the prospect of losing the likes of players like Lukaku, Stones, Mirallas, Coleman, and Deulofeu, next month look more and more likely as we continue to underachieve, for a club with the pedigree and history of EFC to continue to be ’also rans’, not forgetting the best fans in the game, is a tragedy.

Raymond Fox
55 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:26:24
Thank god for you Helen, it looks like there’s just me and you swimming against the tide on here! Let's talk about the plusses and minuses with our manager.

The team we have now is a mix of what Moyes left and a number he recruited, the best being Lukaku, Deulofeu, McCarthy, Barry, Cleverley, Funes Mori, Besic + young Galloway who looks a valuable player for the future. He’s given chances early in their careers to Stones and Barkley which deserves credit.

Up to now he’s stood firm and stopped the likes of Baines, Stones and Barkley from going anywhere. He’s been adamant that the best players are not for sale. I could and will mention an excellent first season which gave us a glimpse of what might be.

The second season was affected by playing in Europe in my view, and by the way we did have some good results in the Europa League, the results against Wolfsburg in particular.

His emphasis is on attacking play, and we have started playing some good stuff going forward, the disappointment has been that we haven’t scored as many goals as we should have done on the number of chances made!

As for his perceived weakness in the defensive side of the game, if the emphasis is on attack, I would think it's very likely that you're going concede more goals. It's then a question of how many more is acceptable?

There’s only 2 teams that’ve scored more than us, but there’s 11 that have conceded less. I’m sure he knows we're conceding too many but, without Jags and Browning, who else can he bring in?

The players have to stand up as well and take a good look at their performances. Stones's flaws in defence are starting to mount up, plus our 2 full backs are going missing too often. Take Saturday's match, the penalty was an individual error by Funes Mori who has in general stepped up to the plate. The second was a rash challenge by our mate Howard. Yes, Martinez should in many fans' eyes have dropped Howard a few games ago, so I will concede that point of criticism.

The third Leicester goal was again a stupid individual error by the player. Now if you want to blame Martinez for all three, carry on; if you say he should have dropped Howard, fair enough, but the other two!

I will also concede he does talk a load of crap too often as well; it needs someone close to him to tell him so. I’m surprised he doesn’t watch some of his own interviews and realise that he does talk nonsense at times.

On balance, I think he deserves more credit than criticism and it would be a mistake to sack him at this stage.

Jay Harris
56 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:33:03
Good luck can win you a cup but Good management is required to do well in the league.

I think it was a disgrace and laziness to appoint a manager whose team were relegated with a record number of goals against.In the history of EFC we have only appointed winners as managers and yes some have failed but never has someone’s DNA been more obvious than Roberto’s.

The man and his backroom staff have no idea how to prepare a team. Last season’s preseason program was an example.

Roberto is sunning himself in Brazil while nobody is preparing the squad for the season to come.

I have never seen so many unfit players because all he has them do is play with a ball.

Instead of building on Moyes's foundations, he destroyed them.

Phil Hoyle
57 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:45:41
Raymond (#44) – I am totally with you. Incredibly frustrated at the last 4 games thinking what could have been. All fine margins but again when you dominate sides (especially Crystal Palace and Norwich) and create the chances we did the players have to put them away.

Had we not conceded the Bournemouth game and really got what we deserved from Palace and Norwich we would be joint 4th. Lots of if’s and but’s but I don’t think we are a million miles off being a very decent team.

Brian Harrison
58 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:51:24
I think our next run of games will decide if the board sack or stick with RM. I can imagine the league games and the City semi final will determine his fate. I think he was shocked last year when the fans turned on his style against QPR I could well see another backlash from the fans if we don't get decent results against Newcastle and then Stoke and Spurs at home.

With the usual top 4 struggling this was his one chance to make his claim of giving BK his Champions League football come true. But our inability to keep clean sheets has destroyed any chance of that happening.

Bill Gall
59 Posted 21/12/2015 at 14:51:31
"We need to learn quickly," What the hell have we been doing over the last couple of seasons and this one. The manager is responsible for tactics and that does not just mean how we are going to attack and score, it also means studying reports and film of the opposition and how to close them down and mark their danger men.

Anyone who watches the Premier League is aware of Leicester’s game plan of pressurizing the opposition to win the ball and transfer it quickly to their speedy forwards, and this is how they played on Saturday that gave them the penalties and the third goal from a throw in, with the Leicester players closing down the Everton player from the throw.

Watching Everton over the last few games it is obvious that the majority of our attacking play is going down the right side, nullify that threat and whether it meant fouling or doubling up on the winger Leicester done that, and our manager took over 70-min to realize this and made his substitutes, "So who is not learning quickly"?

We are playing in the most competitive league in Europe where there is no such thing as an easy game regardless the price of the players you have, and it is up to the manager to acknowledge this and set your team up to play against the opposition or be prepared to make decisions quickly to change if your original tactics are not working.

As our manager seems to leave making changes after the 70th minute regardless of how some players are performing and then mostly changing players to get back into the game, "Who needs to learn quickly"?

William Cartwright
61 Posted 21/12/2015 at 15:13:56
There is so much that was / is positive about Everton under Roberto but it is sadly undermined by the negatives. He has done the hard work but the silly bits keep tripping him up. The schizophrenic is upsetting us all!

I loved season 2013-14, and I reacted patiently to the second-season syndrome in 2014-15 (except for the stupidity of bringing Howard back just when Robles was looking good). However, I don’t see why everyone is so full of angst over the last four games.

Bournemouth are a wonderfully motivated side under Eddie Howe. We hit the woodwork three times against Palace. We were mesmeric against Norwich for half the game. We outplayed the league’s leaders but messed up the penalties. Roberto has not deliberately set out to create these negatives. But I would much rather have them now than right at the death as we did with Palace and Southampton in his first season.

Eddie Howe must be the best young manager around. I say young because he will get better with experience but he’s doing remarkably well. But honestly Roberto has assembled a fantastic pool of players and that has to be acknowledged.

Also he has them understanding how to play offensively at the highest standard, albeit not consistently. They know from bitter experience what it is like to let the club down and still have enough time to recover. I believe (and this will surprise a few on here) that we will get to the top four or very, very close, and win a cup this season.

The reason? It is dawning upon Martinez that we must. Simple. It is a shit-or-bust situation. Bottom half this season and not only will the young core leave, but an overhaul of the Club on many fronts mean the manager will as well.

I don’t like the results achieved under Roberto in fact the low % of wins when highlighted did surprise me. However I have to respect that a philosophy, even a flawed one, is better that no philosophy at all, just a week by week reaction to injuries, opposition, weather, etc. ie the typical narrow minded reactionary type of managerial approach.

What Roberto is trying to achieve will become apparent in the early New Year. I don’t believe Howard will be dropped just yet, but I am sure Robles or AN Other will be brought in soon. In fact, if Robles performs really well in helping us to a League Cup triumph, then expect him to step over into the first eleven on a weekly basis thereafter.

Mirallas will be a regular starter in the New Year, no doubt. Barry, who has been magnificent this season will gradually be replaced by Besic. Support or cover for Lukaku will remain as Kone, who is playing games now to keep his stamina on an even keel after his near 2-year lay off.

The real season starts in January and that is when we will drive forward. Leicester, as much as I would love to see them succeed, will run out of steam by February / March. The big 4 plus Liverpool will buy back their status from the other pretenders. Everton however will float just under the radar. We are already dismissed by the media and that is fine, but 9 points to claw back into the top 4 is not too big a task.

Roberto has a philosophy, he has a 38-game strategy, he is central to everything we do well (and do badly) and I think we will surprise ourselves as well as everyone else with our mid to late surge. Leading from the front is much more difficult than hanging on then having a final push when the finish line is in sight.

To build up our strength and momentum, a move for Yarmolenko would be wonderful, as would a move for Sam Byram and Victor Valdes, but don’t hold your breath.

I believe Roberto has a strategy for top 4 and we will achieve it. I am biased, wear blue tinted specs, hopeful, unrealistic, call it what you like, but I do not believe a manager as intelligent as he clearly is, would willingly keep tripping himself up without a wider game plan up his sleeve.

Jos Rowland
62 Posted 21/12/2015 at 15:14:41
"We need to become a bit more experienced and develop quicker know-how of what you need in a game which Leicester had. They knew exactly what they were doing."

Not just Leicester, Mr Martinez, every team in the league know how to set up and play against us. We are predictable, slow and boring. Sort it or go!

Raymond Fox
63 Posted 21/12/2015 at 15:18:28
Brian, as Helen says, there’s one or two so-called great managers struggling, that’s beside the Mourinho drama, and that’s handling teams that’s spent fortunes.

I think any manager of ours is going to struggle in this League, while BK and the gang are in charge.
At the end of the day it's a money League and even though there’s plenty of upsets at the moment it will be 3 or 4 money teams at the top of the Premier League at the end of the season as usual.

Shane Corcoran
65 Posted 21/12/2015 at 15:22:41
Does anyone genuinely believe that Martinez will be sacked any time soon?

I'd imagine he's safe once he stays outside the bottom six this season.

Once PL status is retained I don't think anyone on board will be that bothered.

James Stewart
68 Posted 21/12/2015 at 15:36:26
Raymond or Roberto (himself I'm still not convinced), I would draw attention to my earlier comment quoting Osman's remarks. Do you think that is acceptable for any EPL manager to neglect working on such an integral part of the game? If Martinez were sacked who do you think might come in for him? No one bigger than us I'm certain of that. Our recent performances have been wretched. We turned up for one half at Norwich yet could have easily lost that game had Jerome not missed a sitter, so all this talk of 'dominating' games doesn't wash. Its a game of 90 minutes not 45.

The money argument isn't the case at all any more especially with the new TV deal. Have Watford got more money than us? How about Leicester? Palace? I could go on. We have a talented squad which even Moyes would have done better with. Cast your mind back to his last game in charge, we played a damn sight better than we are currently are and that was without Lukaku.

Sam Hoare
70 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:00:58
Would I like Martinez to be sacked? Not sure. He's built a good team and we are playing well but he seems incapable of balancing them to get the results we should.

Will Martinez get sacked? Definitely not. Unless we fall into bottom 5 and stay there for another month or two.

Eddie Dunn
73 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:07:40
One of the problems most people have identified is the goalkeeping position. Things have changed since the days when big Nev would claim a cross and bowl the ball out.

Today, referees seem to turn a blind eye to all of the nonsense going on in the box at set-pieces. Players seem hell-bent on grabbing hold of each other, and sometimes actual bear-hugs can be seen, with not a toot on the whistle, apart to admonish all and sundry, before it all starts again.

In the midst of this madness, the keeper usually has one or two opponents standing directly in front of him, even on his toes, and a player assigned to block his path to the cross.

Under these circumstances, all but the very biggest goalies stay on their line and hope for the defenders to win the header. Schmeichel himself dropped a clanger at Goodison, it wasn’t just Tim Howard.

So many keepers are making errors this season, and defences seem generally to be suffering. I wonder if more goals have been scored compared to recent years?

Nick Oakley
74 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:13:47
In my view, we are just being plain unlucky. Sometimes in life, things go your way, at others it just doesn’t happen. If we had scored some of the other glorious chances that we have had in the last four games, no-one would have been worried and a lot of that is down to pure luck. The much misused phrase ’ you make your own luck’ is simply nonsense here. We have simply been unlucky.

The tragedy is, that despite the undeniable beautiful football that we are playing, fans expect results to match and won’t accept the luck conundrum. It’s potentially going to be a tragedy because our wonderful fans are going to start putting pressure on the players and the manager which could have dire long-term consequences for us.

I could have gone along with all this negativity if, like Chelsea or Man Utd, we had been playing terrible football but we simply haven’t. Keep putting pressure on and, as night follows day, that pressure will blossom into dreadful performances.

In conclusion; my advice would be to accept we are playing great football; accept that that we are being really unlucky, and accept that we need to stay positive and get behind all of the players in the team and the manager.

Merry Xmas to you all and COYB.

Mike Hughes
75 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:14:00
To those who see progress, where is it?

We’re 10th in the league, having beaten only 5 teams so far – all of whom are somewhere in the bottom half.
We all got a little carried away with the slightest hint of success – beating Villa and Sunderland. But we’ve beaten nobody in the top half.

Anyone objectively defending RM’s record based on that has probably already had the chimney sweep in ahead of Santa’s arrival.

Chris Leyland
76 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:21:05
Raymond - I do blame Martinez for Leicester's 3rd goal. Coleman shoimd have thrown the ball down the line and Stones shoukd habe been more central in the box instead of towards the corner flag. Both of these things are down to the manager's instructions for throw-ins and his obsession with possession.

You give a long list of excuses and and make a case for the good things he has done but football is a results business. 2 wins in 10 games, 5 wins all season, no wins against anyone above us, all are unacceptable.

He is under-performing with the players at his disposal regardless of Kenwright and co's many failings. He is tactically infexible, stubborn and fails to seize chances to influence the outcome of games week after week after week.

As for the "we can't sack him cos who are we gonna get to replace him" argument, if we always follow that line of thinking then Mike Walker would still be manager.

Trevor Lynes
77 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:23:11
We conceded three goals and each was an error and has nothing to do with the managers tactics. I have said for ages that we have too many players who do not score. We have too many players who do not close down when we lose the ball.Everyone talks about the Barkley potential but the lad does not score goals and does not close down. Deulofeu is providing goal chances but hardly ever scores himself. Kone plays well with Lukaku for half a game, but does not score ! None of our midfielders score goals and surely that is poor! None of the above is down to tactics.

Strangely enough the two players who seem headed for the door are both goal scorers. We have signed Cleverley and Lennon and neither score goals.

These are all proven stats and not just me ranting.

Last season our top three scorers were Lukaku, Mirallas and Naismith. Our 4th top scorer was...... Jagielka.

We are now signing lots of promising youngsters and they are all defenders. Where are our goals to come from? That is my question.

Tony Stanley
78 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:24:28
We need a goalkeeper for a start.
Raymond Fox
79 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:27:19
James, it is Raymond here, I’ll send you a photo, it might scare you mind.

Re Osmond, I think it was Graham that found an article that said he was talking about when we have a corner, not when we are defending one, could be wrong. In any case that was then, not now, have you sat in team meetings or gone to the training ground, how do we know what’s said and done now.

Don’t get what you mean with ’no-one bigger than us’? They are now, James, unfortunately.

The performances haven’t been wretched; we should have been 4 or 5 up at half time at Norwich, we dominated Crystal Palace and again missed good scoring chances, we haven’t been outplayed.

As I mentioned before our last 4 opponents have gone on to record very good victories away from home so we were not playing mugs that we can expect to walk right over.

Where you get the money doesn’t count anymore from, I don’t know, that doesn’t make sense James, money buys better players, and TV money or not the usual 4 or 5 clubs will have more money to spend than the likes of us.

Care to have a bet on what the top of the League will look like at the end of the season, I’ll take Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs.

Kevin Tully
80 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:28:27
Mike, he won't be replaced. We are content to amble along - plucky little Everton, the chairman loves the club, punching above our weight......I could go on.

If anyone thinks Kenwright will sack Martinez, then think again. It won't happen unless we find ourselves in the relegation places with half a dozen games left. Otherwise, it's as you were.

We've won nothing for 20 years and some supporters (certainly the ones who contributed towards that banner on Saturday) are quite happy just to exist in this League.

Personally, I will wait to see how the Christmas fixtures pan out, if we are still mid-table after those games, then he should go. As I've stated above though, it won't happen. His win percentage is not good enough, plus he talks in riddles, which doesn't help when we are losing!

Brian Wilkinson
81 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:31:15
We ? Sorry Bobby I think the term I is what you mean.

Quite a few have attacked Howard and some defended him, forget the Leicester game, Howard has been poor, Robles came in and did a decent enough job.

Until Martinez gives Robles a fair crack, we willcarry on throwing games away we should be winning.

Defence needs to be doing more, but sorry Bobby, if you say players get picked onform, then Howard needs dropping, and Robles given a chance.

Patrick Murphy
82 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:33:22
Eddie (#59),

The number of goals scored in total in the Premier League after roughly the same number of games played appears to be pretty constant.

At this point in 2011 there were 490 chances converted and in the subsequent seasons the tally reads as follows:-

2012 - 476
2013 - 448
2014 - 443
2015 - 449

Give or take a few goals for postponements and obviously not including tonight’s game at the Emirates.

Al Reddish
83 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:45:37
There is something really wrong at the moment. Seamus has a soft dig at the rest of the team for not helping the defence and with two defensive midfielders on the pitch, he has a good point.

In the last 2 seasons up to this week we have played 27 home games, won 10 drew 9 lost 8 and conceded a whopping 37 goals. We have failed to beat the likes of Palace twice, Leicester twice, Swansea Hull (fucking Hull!!!) WBA Stoke and Sunderland.

Although we have beaten Man Utd and Chelsea, the remainder of our wins come against Villa twice, Sunderland, QPR, Burnley, Newcastle and Southampton. That’s 1/3 of our home games we have failed to win. We still have not won a game in the League this season where we have scored 1 or 2 goals. We still have no left hand side.

On a side-note, Howard's form is not good and for some reason he is now rooted to his goal line on every corner. This never happened under Moyes so is staying on his line an order from Martinez? Or is it that his confidence is so shot from lack of set piece training (as Ozzy has pointed out) in Finch Farm? I think it was Garbutt that came on against the Shite last season and said none of the players knew where they were supposed to be positioned and it was unclear what the plan was, then ended up not playing again. If a young lad can pick this up, a lot of senior players must be pulling their hair out.

Darren Bailey
84 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:46:28
Chris (#61) – Again, I agree with you & second your comments regarding Martinez’s inflexibility.

I’d also like to add to that by saying that it was obvious the game needed changing before Leicester’s 2nd goal so a well-timed positive substitution at 1-1 could well have had a great influence on the game. Especially as it should have been Mirallas for Kone. Even after the 2nd goal the change didn’t come.

That’s part of where mangers earn their money, by making those big decisions at the right time. Something Martinez fails miserably at.

Raymond Fox
85 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:48:35
Chris, so players always do what the manager tells them to and don’t make individual mistakes, is it not just as likely that they have cocked up?

We are really arguing about who’s to blame for the goals against aren’t we, I’m saying the players have to stand up and be counted also because most of their attempts at corners and the mistakes on Saturday have been poor, now if you want to pin all the blame on the manager fine.

Try another manager if you wish, but that won't solve our problem, the last 20 years of trophyless seasons point to that.

Dennis Ng
86 Posted 21/12/2015 at 16:56:27
Raymond, individual mistakes are part of the game. When do you see so many individual mistakes through so many games? That is the evidence of poor coaching!

And what is it with players having soft digs or negative comments about the playing squad they are in? Let this rot for another few months we might lose the entire dressing room.

Helen Mallon
87 Posted 21/12/2015 at 17:16:12
To all the above who think Roberto is bad read some of this and think long and hard because most of you probably made most of the complaints then:

David Moyes

Christine Foster
89 Posted 21/12/2015 at 17:52:46
Helen what we saw with Moyes is what we see in Roberto and LVG, it’s in their DNA how they set up a team and how they play. With each of the above managers they have a style of play they believe in and they won’t change irrespective of results. Great when they do well but restrictive to change if required.

Written into Roberto is attacking possession football, from back to front. The problem is it's yesterday’s news and too often we are caught in possession without the quality of players to cover for it. That the real problem with his style of play, we are not Barcelona. So what breaks first, the team or the manager? It has to be the manager, good or bad as Chelsea have seen to their cost, lose the team or lose the manager?

Roberts, true to form, has many great attacking ideologies but his Achilles heel has always been defence, it has been the one theme that had nearly every Evertonian uncomfortable on his appointment and yet again his tactical defensive frailties have undermined a talented squad. The lack of a spine in the team has resulted in no leaders, no responsibility and an adherence to flawed tactics. It’s the elephant in the room, and unless it’s sorted quickly we we see the talent depart with rapid effect.

Moyes did a good job with what he had, the substitute for talent is great teamwork and that's what he tried to fashion with some success. We have had two managers who cannot and wouldn’t change, both with promise but both destined to fall short.

It’s not too late for Roberto, a defensive coach is required but that means a change of RM philosophy and style, a change which may not be in his ability. That said, we cannot progress further with him and truly that would be a great shame because we play good football but defensive tactics are a major missing piece in the team jigsaw.

Raymond Fox
90 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:03:09
Dennis, the better the player the less mistakes he makes, that’s why he’s deemed a better player, in other words he more physical talent.

You can coach a lesser player till you are blue in the face but he will still make individual mistakes.

Dennis Ng
91 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:21:56
Raymond, I don't want this to be a "leaders are born/built" situation but let's agree to disagree.

There are many examples where a coach can improve or undermine his player's performance, e.g. Ranieri at Leicester (dead horse), Mourinho at Chelsea (another dead horse), Pardew at Palace, Watford and West Ham.

Players can go through bad spells but spells generally don't last forever. Granted talent goes a long way, but surely we still have most of the players from our awesome 2013 campaign, right? Did I forget something?

I agree with you that coaching has limitations, but many great teams are built with "average" players that become great, with some help from very talented players that are coached to greatness. They make mistakes and strive to make less mistakes. A mix of talent and good coaching. Unless you think our whole team is trash, I don't see how our players make so many mistakes. We seem to make mistake and allow them to make the same mistake again. We should have been playing our reserves if we're this bad in our first team.

Helen Mallon
92 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:31:13
Nice post, Christine, so if we don’t get a defensive coach, he does not learn or is sacked who do we get in. I am only going on our history and the only managers to have won anything for us have been past players so Alan Stubbs anyone?
Bill Gall
93 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:34:18
Who cares about are former manager – he is long gone. The only similarities between him and Martinez is they both have or had positive and negative aspects of their management styles.

Martinez's positive: "We are playing great football" – yes, but not over 90 mins.

Reality check, "Swansea played great football, struggling at the bottom of the league, sacked the manager.

Comments, we just need that bit of luck like Howard Kendall got in the cup to turn things around.

Reality check. Lightning does not strike the same place twice, and that first comment reminds me of my wife who won $5000 on the lotto about 10 years ago, still does the same numbers has not won anything since.

You cannot hope that things will turn around, you have to make it turn around, and if you do not have the capabilities to do it as manager, you have to bring in someone to help. There is no need to fire the manager unless he will not admit to some of his weaknesses and bring in a qualified person to assist him. And surely his defensive weaknesses can be seen by any supporter and opposition managers.

As has been said before, some of our attacking play is great to watch but he has to realize that defense is also an integral part of the modern game.

Raymond Fox
94 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:34:33
I agree Dennis, I'll make this my last, like you say we'll beg to differ.

The only way we would know the true reasons was if we were privy to team meetings and training sessions.

Dennis Ng
95 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:37:40
Agree Raymond. Here's hoping to see the tide change at Newcastle.
Brian Wilkinson
96 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:48:52
Why not give Robles a run out, we have three cup games coming up in January, so bring him up to speed, see if he fairs better than Howard, if so keep the guy in, if not all the more reason to bring a keeper in.

Start with Lennon and Mirallas, use del boys speed for the latter part of the game, if Naismith is fit, use him and Lukaku from the start.

Last but not least, don't leave it too late to make tactical subs.

Jay Harris
97 Posted 21/12/2015 at 18:55:45
I guess you would welcome Moyes back with open arms then!!!

I think you are being very disingenuous towards him with "The lost opportunity was very much down to Moyes through a momentous series of transfer failures/non-transfers".

Moyes was forced to manage on crumbs from the Kenwright leftovers and yet consistently had us among the top teams. He won numerous manager of the year and month titles so his peers thought highly of him.

Although his time at United was considered a failure he has a greater win %age than LVG and did not have 500 million to spend. He also had to get the club over the "Fergie" shadow.

Now don't get me wrong I do not want him back but to mention the current clown in the same breath as Moyes is an insult to any intelligent fan.

You made a great point of analyzing Moyes history perhaps if you did the same for RM you might get a shock.

He has not had better results than any manager he succeeded at any club.

He took Wigan down with a record number of goals against and then declared "He wasn't the man to bring them up again".

He inherited the third best defense in the Prem full of internationals and has turned them into a shambles.

We have won just 2 of the last 11 games and in many people's opinion he should have gone after the shameful performances last Xmas.

We are easier on the eye this season but we are also a damn site easier to score against.

Dennis Ng
98 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:19:42
I read comments like "we don't deserve this because of our history", not just here or other clubs, but NO club is too big to go down. We deserve what we're getting if we don't put our best foot forward. That best step might or might not be firing RM, but part of that step is definitely defending.

Now, just for argument sake in comparing to OFM, and just this one comment. OFM is history. Done and dusted, but will only be used as a comparison to see whether we progressed or digressed.

One can argue we are better attacking now. Well, my estimate, we're going to score about 60 goals, concede 54 goals by the end of that season. Fingers crossed if my concede estimate might come down if we get our act together fast.

OFM last 7 seasons average 54 goals, 40 conceded.

So we are improving by 5 goals scored by conceding 14 more goals? Let's not totally write off last seasons 48-50 ratio even if I agree it is a sophomore slump.

It's not a debate whether we need an attack or defend minded coach. We can keep RM for all I care but until we start defending better, we might well become the second team to win a cup that puts us in Europa and get relegated, and we all know that is not a good deal for our long fabled history. Are we that ready to give up our history for just one cup?

We're the oldest team in top flight! That in itself is history worth protecting because every year that we're in it, we're making history! Past cups don't help our future!

(Sorry if I sound like I'm discrediting our past achievements, but let's focus on the right things that will make us great again)

Mark Daley
99 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:21:50
RM won't change his selections or his methods, and BK won't remove him. BK is the key. My dilemma is whether or not to hope the team loses, on the basis that it might accelerate him selling out.
Mike Hayes
100 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:24:36
Chelski have sacked their manager for less. Van Gaal and Pellegrini are rumoured to be next so that makes 2/3 successful managers gone.

What will it take for Martinez to be shown the door? Relegation, Wigan style? If we go down with him in charge will he tell Blue Bill he isn’t the man to bring us back up then Bill to get another failure in his place?

Paul Hewitt
101 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:28:49
Martinez is the maker of all the problems we have. Howard and Kone starting every game, when we have better options on the bench.

Messing about at the back instead of just clearing the ball,then getting back in position to defend. Late substitutions and not reacting when the game is going away from us.

Do I want Martinez sacked? NO. I just wish he would see what is wrong and fix it.
Patrick Murphy
102 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:35:51
Dennis (89) Everton are not the oldest club in the Premier League as Aston Villa were formed in 1874, but Everton have played more top flight games than all of the others currently in the Division.
Dennis Ng
103 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:39:21
Sorry Patrick, that titbit came out wrong. We are the longest current streak in top flight also. Besides, Villa will be relegated this season.
Patrick Murphy
104 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:44:04
Dennis No need to apologise, however, Arsenal and not Everton hold the record for consecutive seasons in the top flight, they are the club that has never been relegated and have never 'won' promotion since 1919.
Dennis Ng
105 Posted 21/12/2015 at 19:47:04
Is it? Somehow that never came up when I was reading that. Time to change some wiki pages LOL I don't mind being second oldest if that gives me a chance to win UCL one day.
Andy Walker
106 Posted 21/12/2015 at 20:04:32
Helen 79, a good attempt to argue black is white, but you can’t reinvent the past. Moyes consistently had us top 6. Martinez record is clearly below average at Everton. What makes things more concerning though is that Martinez has no track record pre Everton of success in the EPL. In fact it’s the exact opposite and now he is just replicating what he has always done, build teams that play attractive football to watch, but only because they play way too open and as a consequence concede loads of goals and lose far too many games.

It’s doesn't take a great manager to set up a team to play attacking football, any manager will know how to do this. Most managers don’t though, because if they did they would have to commit to a style of play that left their team wide open to conceding goals frequently. Our manager doesn’t seem to recognise this and continually asks his defenders to pile forward so when we lose the ball we invariably have too many players ahead of the ball and are wide open.

He’s the managerial equivalent of the emperor’s new clothes, the good news is more and more fans are beginning to recognise this, so hopefully he’ll be gone soon and we can get in a quality manager that knows how to win.

Bill Gall
107 Posted 21/12/2015 at 20:52:16
Off the subject, watching Arsenal v City were one of the commentators is Tim Howard.

When a question came up about corners, one of the commentators said he could not understand why everyone came back for corners as, if you left one player up the field, it would force the other team to leave two players to mark him.

Then they asked Howard what Everton do and he said, that they always put a couple of players up field and that (still laughing) made the defenses job easier.

Peter Gorman
109 Posted 21/12/2015 at 20:57:21
...the football we play is attractive? Oh God.
Roger Helm
110 Posted 21/12/2015 at 21:06:53
We have good team apart from central defence. A good goalie and two good centre-halves are the spine of the team. Without them you are vulnerable no matter how many you score, with them you are always in with a chance against a better team.

Brian Clough’s teams played good football, but his instructions to centre-halves were "kick the ball, head the ball". No fannying about – just pass it to someone who can play!

Our centre-halves are not up to it. Funes Mori is too new and unreliable, Stones is too lightweight, for all his skill, Jagielka is good but not tall enough to defend in the air, the others are too young.

Also it’s outrageous that our players are not practising set pieces and working on strength and fitness. Coaching and practicing ball skills are done between age 8 and 16 – they should be a given at this level. No wonder all Martinez teams leak goals.

Nick Entwistle
111 Posted 21/12/2015 at 21:08:05
Helen, who says Moyes hasn't won anything? Well you do. Obviously. You sound like a fan who feels personally bitten on the arse by the man.

Mike Keating
112 Posted 21/12/2015 at 21:17:07
As they say in Geordie land; "wish in one hand, shite in the other and see which fills up first"
Craig Fletcher
113 Posted 21/12/2015 at 21:25:18
In other news, looks like Aguero has come off injured v Arsenal. Let's hope he’s out for a month....
John Malone
114 Posted 21/12/2015 at 21:42:24
Martinez out! – say no more – his system, tactics, fitness regime and all-round management are well short of what’s required.

The fundamentals of a top team are just not there, ie, hard work from everyone, organisation, understanding, solid defence!

It’s like he tries to make a team run before they can walk; he wants people to rush forward and take people on without any thought for leaving the back door wide open. It’s the polar opposite to a Moyes team – we need to be somewhere in the middle!

Tom Bowers
115 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:17:29
His comments are becoming more banal every week. Is he in control or just winging it?

When in possession, they look as good as most teams but when not, the other team’s always look dangerous against Everton’s feeble defensive set-up.

Three goals conceded against Bournemouth and now Leicester on our own patch. Does RM not get the message that changes are needed especially in front of the back four and, if Gibson and Besic are not rated ahead of Barry and Cleverley, then January 1st must see new blood.

Harvey Miller
116 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:19:22
There’s a lot of talk here about luck. How we were unlucky and did not deserve to lose. That is not true. We lost and draw those games because we made mistakes, played badly and not took our chances, not because of luck.

Luck follows when you are positive, you trust your team and want to do everything for it. When the whole team feels it they get stronger. It is gained by good management, strong captains and individuals who think they want to do more than just pick up their weekly paycheck. That feeling just grows and then you start getting results, like Leicester does.

Martinez, he is a manager the players like, he’s a nice guy compared to the monsters who are unkind to them. When defeats come he likes to play down the mistakes, the players are so young and they are still learning. He does not care of the results, but that’s the point: the results define him as a manager and the he’s doing badly. Under Moyes we at least did try and fight.

He should be sacked for this attitude alone. But, he won’t be sacked and this could go on and on like the team last year did. It could again take 10 games before win again and it’s the nerve-breaking wait again.

I never used to switched off watching Everton because when we were losing, I always thought there was a chance but under RM it has become a habit. The younger supporters have long since lost their faith in RM like my son and his results are getting worse and worse.

Another finish below 10th is looking more and more certain and he really has to go.

Frank McGregor
117 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:31:50
Quote: "We need to Learn quickly"

A Martinez quote yet I could not believe my ears when I heard Tim Howard commentating on the Arsenal versus Manchester City game. I would strongly suggest that the first team squad practice 24/6 to eradicate the defensive problems they have before they play their next game against Newcastle United.

This type of activity would suggest that there is no major concern about giving goals away week after week.
Tony Abrahams
118 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:39:17
Raymond (#81), I agree with that assessment. My worry is the players, and the fact they don’t do nothing about it themselves. I’m talking specifically about our attacking corners, and why the players don’t demand something different from themselves.

How the fuck can we not put a player at the near post, when we consistently fail to beat the first man? Let’s be honest, I personally think that’s down to the players, especially if it’s true we don’t really practice corners. It’s sad, to have a team with no real desire, to take charge, if things are not going well. Very sad.
James Newcombe
119 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:57:12
I like the squad Martinez is putting together, and we really do play some lovely stuff...

But the other part of me sees that we can’t defend against or attack with set pieces (which is absolutely ridiculous), and just can’t keep a clean sheet to save our lives. It’s hard to see what a team like that can achieve, except maybe a good cup run.

Christine Foster
120 Posted 21/12/2015 at 22:57:15
Tactics to beat current Everton side:

1. Put two players on Deulofeu, he never gets past both and it stifles the main delivery point.

2. Don’t bother getting past the full backs – get crosses in from anywhere, they make so many mistakes; the law of averages means you will get chances and goals.

3. Pressure the back four at every opportunity; no matter where they are, they will always look to pass their way out of trouble but they make mistakes when they try to do it.

4. Corners, a great opportunity, win as many as we can, the keeper is appallingly bad and no-one attacks the ball. It’s obvious.

5. Be direct. Their midfield is slow to react and has no legs, Deulofeu is not interested in getting back and no-one covers the full backs.

6. Keep running across them, no-one takes control and gaps appear because they don’t talk to each other.

Thanks Mr Pardew.. Or was that Howe, or Ranieri or....

Eddie Dunn
121 Posted 21/12/2015 at 23:40:30
Hey Nick 101, Moyes won the Charity Shield!
David Holroyd
122 Posted 21/12/2015 at 23:51:33
Three seasons to get us where we are letting goals in. Ranieri 4 months in and his team knows what to do. Martinez is bloody useless. Why can’t some people see? Martinez out!
Trevor Peers
123 Posted 21/12/2015 at 00:18:48
Just watched MotD2 – the pundits are suggesting that 4-4-2 maybe the way to go, having one up top is now a busted flush. Leicester are a point in case, they certainly play that way. Forward thinking coaches are quick to adapt to changes in tactics, but will Roberto?

I doubt it, a positive sign would be if he bought another striker, who can score goals in January to replace Kone. Has Roberto got the ability to adapt to changes in tactics quickly enough? It’s extremely unlikely.

He’s so entrenched with one way of playing, and without any real conviction or belief to any other system but HIS OWN, that he’s doomed to failure.

Andy Crooks
124 Posted 22/12/2015 at 00:34:07
What club with any ambition would employ a coach who, through arrogance and lack of pragmatism got his side relegated and who announced that he wasn’t the man who could bring them back? Yet we hired him. In my view, he is capable of doing damage to our club and announcing that he isn’t the man to turn it round.
Keith Monaghan
125 Posted 22/12/2015 at 00:37:29
Patrick Murphy at 27:-

"Everton on the other hand rely on two or three players to harry and chase as the more creative players in the team think it is good enough to jog around and make token gestures towards the defensive side of the game."

Spot on. Barkley every game, Kone most of the time and Delboy often – if these continue to be selected and perform at their consistent level, we’re in big trouble.

Howard’s poor and defenders have made mistakes, but it’s a team game and sloppy and slow passing as per Ross makes it hard to open up teams and puts the defence under real pressure.

Corners have been poor for years – including under Moyes.

Anto Byrne
127 Posted 22/12/2015 at 02:21:53
Three or four good wins will put us back in the mix, but this is Everton so don't hold your breath. Happy Christmas
Harold Matthews
128 Posted 22/12/2015 at 05:18:37
Did you see the size and strength of their huge hairy back four? Did you see the size and strength of our back four?
Helen Mallon
129 Posted 22/12/2015 at 05:34:33
Nick Entwistle, grow up. I only posted because a lot of people forget the same shite they wrote about other managers and that includes Moyes, but seem to think its okay to slag off Martinez.

Like I said, some have short memories and possibly myself included. Oh – and what has Moyes bloody won, Nick?

Helen Mallon
130 Posted 22/12/2015 at 05:44:33
Jay Harris, when have I said I want Moyes back? NEVER! I pasted a piece from TW that probably most people on here contributed to. That piece was slagging Moyes off.

I put it there because post’s before my one where from people saying sack Martinez bring back Moyes – Moyes knew how to defend – and I was just pointing out that that was not the case by some of the quotes in the TW article.

Harold Matthews
131 Posted 22/12/2015 at 06:58:28
Yes Helen, Jay's post did seem a bit strange.
James Wong
132 Posted 22/12/2015 at 07:16:01
There are a lot of problems with Everton at the moment.

1. Tim Howard – It wasn’t the worst game he’s played, but the second penalty he conceded came at the worst possible time. Leicester weren’t any sort of threat, but they were waiting patiently for their opportunity and Howard was happy to oblige. It just felt like to me it took a good 20 minutes for the team to get going again after that as they were undone by yet another Howard blunder. From the team’s reaction, it just feels like they know he can’t be trusted anymore. I think the worst thing is that they know he’s not coming out for crosses anymore which means they are defending unnecessarily deeper.

2. The fullbacks seem to be out of position a lot of the time and the opposition like to attack the Everton fullbacks. Coleman particularly seems to be chasing back a lot of the time.

3. With McCarthy out on the weekend, there was no one doing the dirty work in front of the defence. Cleverley doesn’t seem like that sort of player and Barry can’t do it all on his own.

4. Martinez has been slow to mix up his team. Early on this season, he seemed ok to have Naismith or Kone come in and even Lennon had a game. But the last few games its been Kone, Barkley, Deulofeu and teams have planned for that. I don’t mean they should change up the team for the sake of changing, I think if its not working, they should be trying some other players. You’d be doing the players on the bench a disservice when they continually can’t get a game despite the players on the pitch not performing. You can’t have a culture where people get a free pass like that.

5. I love Deulofeu’s ability, but he needs to stop moaning about free kicks. Does anyone else from Barcelona go on and on like he does?

6. Barkley is a nice talent, but he’s overrated by Everton fans and by the manager right now. Honestly. He has moments of magic, but there’s consistency. On the weekend there were a few periods where he kept the midfield ticking over, but then there was no end product and no final ball. His number one goal should be to find Lukaku, but I don’t think he did all game. I think a good position for him would be to drop a little bit deeper if the game is not working out for him. I like him a lot in the midfield next to Barry, McCarthy. I still think his end goal is to be a number 10, but he can’t just stay there if the game is not going his way.

7. Of the attacking midfielders/wingers Everton have, I’d rate them from top to bottom Mirallas, Barkley, Deulofeu, Kone, Naismith, Lennon. Mirallas has got to be playing every week when fit. Martinez needs to mend his bridges whatever they are with Mirallas and get him playing again. After Howard, that’s probably the biggest issue I have with Martinez at the moment.

8. When Everton played the top 8 in the first 10 games, I thought 15 points would be a decent return and they managed 13. 7 games later they have another 10 points, arguably a worse return.

9. I honestly think there’s a bit of disharmony within the squad with players not getting picked., most of the subs have had zero impact on the game, unlike earlier on this season. Mirallas used to be smiling and enjoying his games, now he’s scowling everytime he gets on the pitch. No reaction after the goal on the weekend says everything.

10. Everton are losing Lukaku if they don’t get European football next season.

11. Man for man, Leicester were shite, its incredible they are leading the league.

Darren Hind
133 Posted 22/12/2015 at 07:46:06
Martinez has enjoyed a very fair hearing from the TW jury, but it appears patience is being exhausted.

The frustration for all of us, is, he is so close, all of our problems are putrightable. By simply accepting he was wrong about Howard and paying a bit more attention to detail in vital areas, it could all be so different. As others have said, he isn't getting sacked any time soon, all we can do is hope a few pennies start to drop.

I also think we should stop bleating about how little money we have. Leicester, Watford, Palace and West Ham are currently blowing that argument right out of the window, even Bournemouth are breathing down our necks.

Paul Tran
134 Posted 22/12/2015 at 08:28:41
Spot on, Darren. This side, in this very poor league, should be in the top four. I'd expect City and Arsenal's money to pull them clear of us, but no one else. There is often a tendency to over analyse your own team's mistakes, but we're becoming experts at taking points off ourselves. How much does it cost to drill the defence to the point that they start defending and concentrating?

Can we put to bed this nonsense about Martinez saying he wasn't good enough to take Wigan back up? The phrase he used was 'I'm not the man for the job'. This one is frequently used in business circles as a diplomatic way of saying 'I've got a better offer, I'm off.' There's plenty to criticise him for, but for taking a better job with us?

If you think we'll be better off without Martinez, let's have a debate about the kind of manager we want and the football we want to see, rather than re - peddle the spurious misquotes to suit your argument.

I wanted him out at the end of last season.The only evidence I'm interested in is what I see on the pitch and league table. I think we're getting close to something, but that evidence is increasingly damning.

James Wong
135 Posted 22/12/2015 at 08:35:43

Leicester, Crystal Palace, Watford, Bournemouth, West Ham all spent more money than Everton did in the summer. Check the following table.

The surprising thing is that Arsenal and Tottenham spent very little in the summer and have done well regardless.

The real problem is that this Martinez team looks like it didn't learn any lessons from last year when it comes to keeping clean sheets, and it seems the only way to do it is when the first choice back 4, plus first choice holding mids are in, and its unreasonable to assume they will all be fit together at the same time for an entire season.

Paul Tran
136 Posted 22/12/2015 at 08:39:43
James, they needed to spend the money to catch up with us. Did we really need to spend more than we did?
Paul Andrews
137 Posted 22/12/2015 at 08:59:24
Drilling repeatedly will definitely improve the unit defensively... The key word is "unit" – we don’t defend as one.

We have defenders who repeatedly ball-watch, basic movement is not being covered. The main culprit does it at least once a game.

Dave Abrahams
138 Posted 22/12/2015 at 09:26:59
To those fans asking who would we get in if Martinez is sacked I am not being funny or sarcastic, but I would appoint Christine Foster, she certainly knows what is wrong with Everton, more than Martinez seems to know or let on about.

She pinpoints all the faults that we can all see (except the manager) and she would waste no time in sorting it out. Obviously it won’t happen but Christine would be a big improvement on this fella.

Darren Hind
140 Posted 22/12/2015 at 10:22:51

The squads were not bought last summer though, were they?

Martinez inherited about £100M worth of squad – even taking Fellaini out of the equation – and he has spent £75M on top... that's probably more than the other clubs mentioned have spent combined. Our wage bill is also considerably higher than theirs.

It's a weak argument and it no longer stands up.

Paul Tran
141 Posted 22/12/2015 at 11:04:54
'Man for man, Leicester were shite.' Didn't look that way to me. We've got a good squad, though I think it's quality gets a bit exaggerated on here at times.

Leicester did what we did two seasons ago; got the basics right, tight at the back, chased everything down, took the opportunities that came and came away with the points. The kind of thing any half decent team should be doing. Kendall used to call it earning the right to play. It's often that level of energy and movement that creates the space for the killer pass or run from midfield. We need midfielders able and willing to work like Mahrez and the Japanese lad; compare the relish with which they played to Barkley and Kone.

Three season's ago, a not so special Utd side walked the league by getting the basics right. We did the same in 1987.

There's much talk on here about Martinez wanting us to play like Barcelona. Well, if we matched Barcelona's hunger and workrate, we'd be a lot higher up the table by now.

Kevin Tully
142 Posted 22/12/2015 at 11:56:35
I think you’ve probably identified our main problem, Paul. We seem too content with playing in nice triangles, sitting back and admiring our play at times. You can only be successful by putting more effort in than your opponents, and we are failing badly.

I don’t like the man, but Suarez was a prime example of that type of effort. He actually made every other Liverpool player raise their workrate and they very nearly won their first Premier League title because of him.

Name any team that wins trophies and you will see them fighting for every loose ball and running their socks off. Of course quality, skillful players help, but even those type of player tend to be the hardest working.

James Wong
143 Posted 22/12/2015 at 12:44:18

I was just pointing out that Everton didn’t spend that much and others have spent more. The squad was decent, but if Yarmolenko had come in, it could have helped significantly. A keeper would have been nice. Why not Valdes, Begovic, Cech? It’s just better to continually improve rather than standing still. If you finish 10th one year then it would make sense to spend money if your aspirations are higher.

Again, I say that the squad is pretty decent and definitely should have finished higher last year but that does not mean that the team will regress to the mean the following year and finish higher. You know as they say, you deserve where you finish up at the end of the season.


You hit the nail on the head about these players. Some of them haven’t earned the right to stay on the pitch. Barkley is a bit inconsistent, and doesn’t deserve to be one of the first names on the team sheet every week. He’s a great talent, but he needs a week off. Kone, should be dropped. Deulofeu who started brightly is starting to drop off a bit.

Earlier in the season, they played McCarthy, Barry, Besic or Cleverley in the midfield and I think that’s a lot better defensively than just having Barry and Cleverley. Maybe they should revert back to that.

Tony J Williams
144 Posted 22/12/2015 at 13:02:47
"Man for man, Leicester were shite, its incredible they are leading the league."

Funnily enough, that's what was the basis on my post match rant in the pub.

They were pretty shite, they closed down well but hardly troubled Howard. Vardy apart from his good pass for the third goal (after a blatant hand ball) and dive for the second did pretty much fuck all.

I was surprised as to how ordinary they looked. One of the lads said he had watched a lot of their games and the general consensus was that they usually got battered possession wise but they managed to score with their few chances.

I was disappointed with that result and it was made worse because I honestly believed that we were robbed by a much poorer side.

Tom Bowers
145 Posted 22/12/2015 at 13:04:05
Whilst it is easy to blame the back 4 or the keeper when goals are conceded people forget that the modern game depends on the team playing as a tight defensive unit when not in possession.

The RM strategy whilst commendable in some ways for the attacking forays leaves weaknesses which are continually exposed by many teams.

The players Everton have do not seem to fill the bill for good solid defensive work and it has been that way for a couple of seasons now under RM.

The solution may be to change the strategy, the manager or some of the players which may not happen this season as thoughts of a Euro placing becomes remote.

Whilst all games are important to win I would say that 6 points from the next 2 games is even more crucial otherwise it’s another fruitless second half of the season.

Darren Hind
146 Posted 22/12/2015 at 14:23:58

What you are claiming is absolutely untrue; we have spent more than all of those clubs on our squad.

Producing the figures from one transfer window is misleading and has been tried before, if we are going to narrow it down to just that window... then Spurs and Arsenal will still blow the argument apart.

Garry Taylor
148 Posted 22/12/2015 at 14:57:18
Let’s get some perspective.

This season we are currently averaging 1.82 goals per game. We are conceding on average 1.41 goals per game.

Under Moyes we averaged about 1.4 goals per game and conceded 1.1 – so our attacking ability has increased at the expense of our defending.

The biggest thing for me is that the average age of our first 11 has decreased by about 5 years under Martinez compared with Moyes, therefore, Martinez is developing a young group of players and giving them a chance with greater room for improvement and this is the only way we will ever consistently break into the top 4. It won’t happen immediately but it will happen if supported and allowed to develop. I would rather see this approach than always opting for experience and keep it tight and nick one which has its limitations, as we found out with 10 years under Moyes.

We are 6 points off the top 4, so it isn’t insurmountable. Ideally we would have liked to have picked up more points in our last few games, but shit happens and a season isn’t played over 4 games but 38.

Reading the comments on here, anyone would believe we were in the bottom three and we were consistently winning trophies under our previous manager. Reality check – we aren’t and we didn’t!

Everyone seems to be jumping on these comments by Martinez - We need to become a bit more experienced and develop quicker know-how of what you need in a game which Leicester had. They knew exactly what they were doing. He is taking about is players, his young players, it doesn’t imply he hasn’t told his players exactly what to do, just that his players aren’t implementing it and they need to develop quicker.

Is getting rid of Martinez the right choice at this point time – not for me.

Dennis Ng
149 Posted 22/12/2015 at 15:37:34
Garry, you can argue that hope is what kills you. Season 1 set the benchmark of high expectations and we are a long way from that.

The illusion that we're dominating games in possession with some nice passing from time to time, only to draw or lose, that's what hurts most. We're 13th on the form table, only helped by 3 wins, 2 of which is against Villa and Sunderland. And not to mention 11 points out of 10 games.

RM might not be the problem but he is viewed as the one resisting change. And that is a problem in itself.

Garry Taylor
150 Posted 22/12/2015 at 16:37:18
Dennis, yes it hurts but this is a young team which inevitably will make mistakes.

Martinez warned the players about complacency before the Bournemouth game, yet it still happened. He’ll keep warning them and driving them on to be successful and finally the penny will drop.

Sadly though, there isn’t enough that see the bigger picture and the animosity being created and calls for Martinez to be sacked isn’t going to help anyone.

Brent Stephens
151 Posted 22/12/2015 at 16:51:51
Garry (#130)

"Martinez warned the players about complacency before the Bournemouth game, yet it still happened. He’ll keep warning them and driving them on to be successful and finally the penny will drop."

I’m more of the opinion that the lads aren’t complacent (on the contrary, they try their hardest generally speaking) but Roberto’s imposed tactics makes them look complacent. That’s the bigger picture as enough of us see it.

William Cartwright
152 Posted 22/12/2015 at 17:23:01
There are some ToffeeWebbers who really know how to look a gift horse in the mouth. Leave Ross alone. His twist and flick to Mirallas was not accidental. It was brilliant. Simply fucking brilliant. As was Mirallas’s finish. Sublime edge-of-the-box attacking stuff.

So they don’t always do it for 90 minutes. If they were trained better, they might have a better chance. COYB

Dennis Ng
153 Posted 22/12/2015 at 17:25:48
Garry, not going to disagree on the calls for sacking being disruptive.

I'm on the fence, a bit more pro change (at least from the coaching standpoint, e.g. defensive coach, GK coach). I would say, sacking now does not make sense, even if I feel there are candidates we can get to improve the team structurally. The new manager won't be able to get or sell players that don't fit his philosophy.

Best thing we can hope for is that RM wakes up from dreamland, start dropping underpar players, tighten up defence (not cautious but more effective defending). I'm always underwhelmed when managers don't do player rotation, even for a bit. Let's be frank, we don't mind conceding more. We just feel absolutely gutted we're not winning as much as before!

Danny O'Neill
154 Posted 22/12/2015 at 17:47:08
Frustration from recent results aside, Gary has a point. Young players / teams will be inconsistent and make mistakes (as a general rule of thumb).

This is actually interesting. As I’ve generally sat outside of the "sack the manager" debate for ... well, always (including the Kendall leaflet campaign of 1983), it’s interesting to see people turn on Roberto just as much as they did on Moyes (who incidentally I spent years defending!!).

Have we got a different crowd on now (I note Tony Marsh doesn’t contribute as much as he used to)? Have the so-called Moyes apologists now replaced the so-called Martinez apologists if they dare to defend the positives? Have the anti-Moyes brigade been replaced by the anti-Martinez mob as the champions of regime change regardless of who is the manager?

The season ends in May. I will not panic when we’re 2 games off 4th place with 63 points to play for and judge then like I’ve always done... apart from the Mike Walker season!

As I’ve said previously, our greatest manager would never have been our greatest manager had we reacted in 1983-84 as some are suggesting now. As Gary says, perspective is required... in my opinion obviously.

Paul Andrews
155 Posted 22/12/2015 at 18:07:49
Danny and Garry, great posts chaps. Well balanced comments.

Premier League football is becoming a knee-jerk-reaction sport to the detriment of a lot the clubs in my opinion.

Andy Walker
156 Posted 22/12/2015 at 18:59:14
Oh dear Danny, just make up some stuff if the reality is too harsh hey? It’s completely inaccurate to suggest that fans who turned on Moyes are now turning on Martinez, the implication being that these fans are all fickle. There’s lots of supporters including myself who didn’t want Martinez anywhere near our club and said so straight after his appointment and many of these fans just like myself, never turned on Moyes.

This is no hindsight or reaction to the inevitable failure of Martinez, but simply recognition that if you appoint a manager with a track record of league failure, guess what? He’ll fail again.

Now of course there will be some fans who’ve changed their opinions about Martinez and frankly why not, he’s a poor manager. Don’t try and take the high ground though, we’re all entitled to a genuine opinion, as opposed to making stuff up. I have always been consistently pro Moyes (although I criticised him at times) but I have been against Martinez based on the evidence, ie, Results rather than the colour of his hair, demeanour in media interviews, dourness, or any other perceived negative physical Scottish attribute.

Before you post a diatribe get your facts straight.

Fair enough if you still rate Martinez, that’s your opinion, I completely disagree but don’t try and tell the rest of us what we think and even worse, thought.

Dennis Ng
157 Posted 22/12/2015 at 19:04:03
Garry, Danny, We're not the youngest team in EPL (article on Mirror) nor is our trend comparable to Kendall's great reign (he took over at the end of the 80-81 season,right? 81-82 is a great improvement from the previous season, so the trend itself is a HUGE sign of a keeper. Did anyone protest then?) I think comparison to Kendall is a really far stretch.

I agree on waiting out the remaining 63 points for this season. It's too late to rock the boat now for many reasons. I deleted the file which I collected some stats on because the more I read it, the ghastly our future is. Let's just hope we miraculously do better, whether it is due to RM's input remains to be seen.

Steve Davies
158 Posted 22/12/2015 at 19:15:40
What exactly has Martinez learned? Does he know his best goalie? Has he hired a defensive coach? Does he drill his players to defend at corners? The arrogance of this very average manager (look at the stats) absolutely astounds me. After last season, in the old days, he would have been sacked in a taxi. I was talking to a Man Utd fan today while shopping and he seemed to think that Martinez is a good manager and went on to say that Everton have no expectations.

That I think that is the problem. A fish rots from the head down. Everton spoof it from the top. Even the Mayor of Liverpool called their bluff. We will be the only club in Premier League not to have developed their ground or got a new one. They are incapable of having a business plan to move us forward. Expect us to put up another flag while LFC build new stands... pathetic.

That is the problem. We are accepting mediocrity from the top and accepting it from Martinez. My son says all I do is moan about Martinez but RM is NOT learning. I don’t really think he wants to.

Look at his track record. We have become like Wigan in that we cannot defend and he persists in picking his favourites like Howard. He did it last season with Barry. On his results alone this season he has won 5 out of 17 and should be sacked. We are either chasing the game as we have lost a silly goal or we cannot shut up shop when we are in the lead.

His excuses at Wigan was that he did not have the playing staff. He has one of the best squads now I have seen at Goodison Park in years but he does not have any tactical nous at all.

One positive about him is that he does seem to have an eye for a good player. Maybe he should be in charge of the Everton scouting system but a competent manager he ain’t.

We need to raise our expectations to what we used to have ie. NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM.

Take Mr Martinez on a taxi ride and have the balls to sack him.

Obviously this will not happen and I expect Howard to be in the starting line-up at Newcastle.

Cristóbal Apara
160 Posted 22/12/2015 at 19:30:29
The main thing we have to do now is to sack RM. Not just for the results but for the style of play. He’s destroying our historic identity, and he’s as stubborn as a mule.

I don't care if we lose a single match, but we can't afford a team without heart and ambition. RM has the best EVERTON team in decades.

Any average manager will have the team between the top 6 and this year probably between the top 3. So please BK change the manager immediately.

Danny O'Neill
161 Posted 22/12/2015 at 19:35:47
For the record Andy, I too wasn’t keen on Martinez being appointed either and had big reservations. And I’m not accusing anyone of being fickle.

My observation is that the views are bipolar from several years ago; back then you, and I for that matter, would have got chastised for defending what Moyes was doing whereas those who wanted rid of him are no longer so vocal (ie, a different bunch – not necessarily the same ones turning).

Also, where did anything to do with Moyes’s individual characteristics or personal appearance come into the equation? I certainly haven't mentioned any of that above; not my way to get personal. To reiterate, I was a big fan to a point.

Incidentally, where in the post do I state that I rate Martinez? I just say that I’ll judge in May as I always have done. I don’t think I quoted any "facts" either, like you, I’m just having an opinion... or "diatribe" as you call mine.

Results have been frustrating lately but so have those of other teams. We’re still in with the pack and there’s a long way to go. All I’m saying is I don’t think (think being the key word as I don’t profess to know) that it’s time to panic just yet.

Andy Walker
162 Posted 22/12/2015 at 20:03:48
Danny, maybe you didn’t mean to generalise but the statement,

’Have the so-called Moyes apologists now replaced the so-called Martinez apologists if they dare to defend the positives? Have the anti-Moyes brigade been replaced by the anti-Martinez mob as the champions of regime change regardless of who is the manager?’

That does lump together the opinions of fans as either being pro or anti – regardless of whoever the manager is.

My comment about Moyes’s personal chacteristics was in the context of my own opinions being based on the facts rather than irrelevant bollocks, which I know you didn’t raise, but historically were consistently used by some to undermine Moyes’s abilities.

As you say, there’s a long way to go and hopefully we can start winning again, but I genuinely see no long-term future having Martinez as our manager.

Danny O'Neill
163 Posted 22/12/2015 at 20:17:08
Fair one, Andy. Maybe I should not have tried to be so wordy; there will always be differing views on leadership and no leader will ever satisfy everyone. I personally try to steer clear as much as possible from the managerial debate (unless it gets absolutely obvious).

Many would have had Moyes out long before he left many Decembers did we have floundering in the lower half of the table before ending up in a top 6/7th place?

I like you remain to be convinced by Martinez but want him to succeed because, if he does, then so do Everton and ultimately that’s all I want. He’s built a promising young team; can he turn them into a successful one?

He still has the chance and he’s in a better position than Howard Kendall was roughly this time of year circa 1983... no pressure!!

Eddie Dunn
164 Posted 22/12/2015 at 20:23:58
Steve (#134),

Perhaps our manager has an eye for a player, or perhaps we already have a good network of scouts, who knows?

The clear thing is that it is the system that is at fault, because the personnel have varied, but the culture has not, and the results speak for themselves.

Andy Walker
165 Posted 22/12/2015 at 20:31:22
Yea Danny, can he turn it around? We will see. I remember going to Goodison in the early 80s and being at one match 3pm on a Saturday when we broke our record for the lowest gate for a league match, think it was about 16,000 from memory.

Kendall turned into our most successful manager, I hope for a miracle!

Danny O'Neill
166 Posted 22/12/2015 at 20:46:45
Haha Andy. Dark days indeed that I remember only too well hence my current optimism / blind faith / stupidness (delete based on opinion!!). Here's hoping we're in finer spirits on Boxing Day
Brian Harrison
167 Posted 22/12/2015 at 20:48:53
I see RM has said in the Liverpool Echo that he is in favour of a winter break, starting after the game on Boxing day. I agree in fact I would give him the rest of the season off.
Michael Polley
168 Posted 22/12/2015 at 21:04:52
A lot of negativity & frustration in all the posts that I’ve read, and rightly so. On paper, we do have a good team, but on the pitch we are awful. We are not ruthless enough in front of goal, and our defence is shambolic. We cannot defend from set plays, or corners, and we have a goalie who is well past his sell-by date.

We have a manager who seems clueless and seems to bury his head in the sand, rather than take responsibility, and make substitutions when they are needed.

Our season is slipping away from us. I hope we can stop the rot, starting against Newcastle on Boxing Day, but I’m fast becoming a pessimist rather than an optimist.

Dave Ganley
169 Posted 22/12/2015 at 21:15:40
To be honest, Danny (#137), he was in a great position the day he set foot in the place and he has reduced us to a shambolic mess. 5 wins all season says it all and Fortress Goodison a distant memory...
Danny O'Neill
170 Posted 22/12/2015 at 21:30:54
Agree Dave, but there were those frustrated with the style in Moyes’s latter seasons and that he couldn’t take us further.

Martinez has tried / is trying to change that. Will it work? Don’t know. So far great first season. Mediocre second (remember Moyes’s 2nd outing?).

This one has a long way to go. We are within 6 points of Europe, in a semi-final, and have a favourable looking FA Cup 3rd round tie on the horizon.

Dave Ganley
171 Posted 22/12/2015 at 21:37:06
I’m not suggesting that we should have Moyes back, I think we all felt that a change was needed at the end. What I was pointing out is that Martinez inherited a club in good health, a consistent top 5/6 finisher. Moyes inherited a really bad team so to be fair to Moyes, comparisons at the same stage are not fair.

We had a good first season, debatable due to Moyes’s defensive system still in place, last season was just awful and this not a great deal better. We are only 1 point better off than this stage last season.

Yes, we have a semi-final which I am looking forward to and hopefully do well in but the consistency in the league or lack of worries me greatly and don't see it getting much better with this guy in charge.

Danny O'Neill
172 Posted 22/12/2015 at 21:47:23
The biggest difference, Dave, is the expectation and as you rightfully point out, Roberto inherited a better team and had a better starting point. But I’ll go back to my original point, I’ll judge much later in the season; especially when there is still so much to play for.
Derek Thomas
173 Posted 22/12/2015 at 21:58:25
Kevin @122; Spot on.

I was watching a game (on TV) with a total non-football guy, it was 0-0.

"Who’s winning?" (I told you: non-football or sport.)

"No-one yet," I said, "but watch and see who is first to the loose ball more often and they will probably win it."

He did and (for once) it turned out exactly as I said.

I saw that all through the game vs Leicester, they were mostly firstst to the loose ball.

Danny @various: I was in the MOB, due to his total refusal to see that a little tweak here and there, a slight, not much, change in emphasis would have (IMO) got a better than decent team playing to the best of their abilities... I’ve got the uniform out from the back of the wardrobe and had it dry cleaned for Martinez... for exactly the same reasons.

All we had/have here are 2 totally inflexible... "my way or the highway, oh and there is no highway option btw", can’t see the wood for the trees, different flavours of bang average ego merchants who don’t know what their best 11 is and, if they did hit on it by accident, wouldn’t know how to play them to their best advantage.

Kenwright, Moyes, Martinez. They have good and bad points. Their good points (all different) got them to where they are, their bad points (again all different) stop them from progressing.

Dave Ganley
174 Posted 22/12/2015 at 22:01:11
Fair enough Danny. I really hope he does get his act together because, if he does, then happy days, we could win something.

However, as we have entered this so-called sequence of easy fixtures, out of a possible 21 points we have only managed 10 and 6 of those points came against 2 of the worst teams to visit Goodison in years (Sunderland and Villa).

We play a resurgent Newcastle next and then Stoke and Spurs. If we get next to nothing in them, then we are in trouble. I'm not confident due to only 5 wins all season in the league.

Danny O'Neill
175 Posted 22/12/2015 at 22:34:26
But Dave, we could win them all! We lost against Leicester but beat Chelsea. At the beginning of the season, that would be predicted vice-versa.

Within reason, we should avoid the easy fixture thing as it entices us to think we have a divine right to win based on a club's stature on paper rather than current form.

Like it or not, we have played Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Leicester whilst all are in good runs. Forget stature and we’re not the only ones to fall victim.

To go back to Gary’s point, I also believe some perspective would be healthy. Liverpool should have beaten Watford (on paper). Everton should have beaten Leicester (on paper). Manchester United should have beaten Norwich (on paper). Football doesn’t happen like that and long may it continue as that’s what keeps us hooked.

Still in the mix, long way to go, lots to play for. No apologies for my positivity and I don’t care who the manager is, I just want Everton to do well!!

Roman Sidey
176 Posted 22/12/2015 at 23:50:53
For all the chat of how poor we are at set-pieces, Baines certainly has a free-pass from most on here. I have been saying it for about four years now, but his dead-ball play is finished. His corners are an absolute joke, and he doesn’t seem to be taking free-kicks anymore anyway. He has been a good servant to the club, but is no longer of the ilk that we require – his comments recently about being excited that he is in a contract situation he is not used to tells me that he thinks as much as well.

I’m not saying Galloway lit the scene up this season, but as soon as he got subbed for Baines a few weeks ago, my whole demeanor changed, as it was obvious that it was the last we’d see of him, aside from another Baines injury.

So add Baines to the list of players no longer good enough for Everton. The likes of Howard, who is a victim of being (arguably) the best American player in his position, Kone, who looks more and more like a Wigan, Championship or League One player with every match, and Lennon who is just not good are all taking the piss out of our finance department.

Barry Jones
177 Posted 23/12/2015 at 00:42:56
Howard has to go. It isn’t just about the mistakes that he makes. He cannot command the penalty area and he cannot command the six-yard box on crosses. This puts terrible pressure on the defenders. They have to take up positions that they would not normally take up if they had a decent keeper behind them.

It also creates tension and reduces confidence and team spirit. To watch him flapping his gloves about aimlessly also puts terrible pressure on me.

Harold Matthews
178 Posted 23/12/2015 at 02:22:03
Yes, we have to learn that smooth moving, peace loving, nonchalant Poodles are no match for hungry, aggressive, quick moving Pitbulls who want to pinch their ball.
Michael Penley
179 Posted 23/12/2015 at 03:37:29
Harold - perhaps we should change from The Toffees to The Poodles? Both are small and sweet, but the image of a poodle suits Tim Howard and the team just a little bit better.
Clive Lewis
180 Posted 23/12/2015 at 08:50:11
This article is spot on, don't need to post at all........

Garry Taylor
181 Posted 23/12/2015 at 10:37:58
A lot of people say that Martinez inherited a lot better team than Moyes did, but did he really?

2002-03 – Team Moyes inherited
Watson (S)

2004-05 – Team after a couple of seasons

2012-13 – Team Martinez inherited

2015-16 – Team after a couple of seasons

Basically the team Martinez took over required major overhaul. A new goalkeeper, new centre half, a whole new midfield (with maybe the exception of Fellaini) and new strikers. Basically 8 positions out of 11 needed replacing and improving upon. That isn’t a great legacy left by Moyes and given our limited resources a difficult task in anyone’s book.

Given that our back 5 were fairly settled and performed reasonably well – this wouldn’t have been my priority. The priority was the other 6 players, which have all been replaced, and in my opinion far better than what Moyes left, but the left side of midfield can still be improved upon.

So of the 8 that haven’t been truly replaced, we have a goal keeper and a left sided midfielder / forward. Which I suspect will be replaced either in January or at the latest in the summer. This isn’t bad going in three seasons! Admittedly, this could have been done quicker, but we would need a better board with more recourses for this which isn’t Martinez’s fault.

So did Martinez inherit a better team than Moyes – maybe marginally, but not by much and given Moyes was with us for 10 years he should have left us in an awfully lot stronger position.

Moyes opted for experienced players and got the best out of them, setting them up not to lose and grinding out results. This enabled us to finish in the top 5-8 constantly, but people are dreaming if they believed this approach would have allowed us to break into the top 4 and stay there.

Martinez knows, with the recourses at his disposal, he need to buy potential and develop them into a team that will ultimately get us into the top 4. Under Martinez we have gone from team that scored very little from open play to a team that scores the most. Which department do you think Martinez has been trying to improve the most? A team, that relies on set pieces is never going to get into the top 4.

I believe Martinez has been prioritising on our weaknesses which any sensible manager would do. This has a led to a slight detriment to some of our strengths, but I believe these will be addressed in due course and I’m willing to wait to find out and not expect everything to be achieved over night.

Jay Wood
182 Posted 23/12/2015 at 13:26:25
Gary @ 159. I think the phrase ’nonsense on stilts’ best describes your post.

Allow me to list the club’s finishing positions in the PL under a string of managers before Moyes took over a grossly aging side of journeymen and has beens:

13-17-15-6 (yippee! Well done Big Joe!)-15-17-14-13-16-15 (Moyes taking over from Smith with half a dozen games to go, to lift the club away from the real threat of relegation).

Now compare that to the finishing positions during Moyes’s tenure:


The aging side Moyes inherited that you listed was almost totally devoid of current, quality international players. He was far more restricted in his transfer budget than has been the case with RM.

When Moyes handed over the reigns to Roberto, from your own list, every single one of them, bar Distin, was a current – and quality – international player.

Roberto’s league finishes, plus this season’s current position, reads:

5-11 and currently 10.

The lengths some people will go to to massage the facts.

A truly nonsensical post.

Garry Taylor
183 Posted 23/12/2015 at 13:33:22
Mirallas, Neville, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar and Jelavic – all quality international players!!!! Wow and you call my post a nonsensical post... LMAO!
Garry Taylor
184 Posted 23/12/2015 at 13:40:51
Mirallas – 9 goals in 8 years and 51 caps
Neville – Stopped playing for England in 2007
Osman – 2 caps
Fellaini – 15 goals in 8 years and 64 caps
Pienaar – stopped playing for South Africa in 2012
Jelavic – manged 6 goals

All needed replacing and have been replaced. Enough said.

Jay Wood
185 Posted 23/12/2015 at 13:58:32
Ah! The ’nuff said’ defence. How can I combat that...?

The basic premise of your original post was that Martinez only ’marginally’ inherited a better team than Moyes and further, that Moyes ’should have left us in an awfully lot stronger position.’

My riposte exposes the absurdity of your claim

Two 5th place, two 6th place, two 7th place and one 8th place finish in Moyes’s last 7 seasons with us.

Are we on course this season to improving on our bottom half finish of 11th last season...?

’Nuff said? Give me strength...

Sam Hoare
186 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:10:19
'A lot of people say that Martinez inherited a lot better team than Moyes did, but did he really?'

Erm...yes Garry. Clearly he did.

Moyes inherited an ageing team that had been constantly flirting with relegation. Martinez inherited a younger more balanced team that had been in and around the top 6 or 7 for quite a few years.

Raymond Fox
187 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:19:04
Jay, I see there’s a 17th and 11th in Moyes finishes in the League, that’s not to say he didn’t do a very good job in the other seasons, because he did. He also did leave a good few players behind that were at the twilight of their careers though.

As for us being in 11th place at the moment, do you care to have a bet? I’ll have we will finish closer to the top than 11th, but only if Martinez is manager.

Garry Taylor
188 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:24:37
If 9 players needed to be replaced when Moyes joined and 8 players needed replacing out of 11 when Moyes left, that’s is marginally in a better position because if players need replacing they need replacing regardless where they finished the season before.

Unless you are of the belief 8 players didn’t need replacing and the group of players Moyes left where good enough to get into the top 4 – give me strength.

If you finish 5th or 16th in all reality it means fuck all. Unless you want to play in the Europa League.

If we finish 5th, 11th, 8th-11th, then 4th and we have built on and retained the young quality players we have, I’ll be happy. If we have also won something along the way, I’ll be even happier.

Raymond Fox
189 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:32:55
Sorry Jay, we are 10th are we not at the moment, my mistake, I was thinking we were 11th as regards my proposed wager.
Paul Tran
190 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:34:00
Derek Thomas (#151). Hats off for the best post I’ve seen on here in ages. Hits the nail straight on the head and a welcome change from the barrage of selective statistics that ’prove’ Moyes/Martinez is better than the other.
Jay Wood
191 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:43:56
Oh dear, Garry. You continue to expose the fallacy of your own position.

Your basic assumption and maths is wrong. Clearly, Moyes needed to do a huge overhaul of the squad he inherited to improve the entire quality of the side. He too recruited younger players, with sell on value. A publicly stated plan.

It is YOUR assumption and claim that 8 players needed replacing out of 11 when Moyes left. Really...? Then how did that rabble – because it was with largely Moyes’ inherited players – get 5th and a record PL points haul in RM’s 1st season?

You are basically trying to shift the goalposts and make it a numbers equation, numbers you have taken off the top of your head. Look at the QUALITY and the age of the respective squads. Only the truly deluded would conceivably claim the respective squads at the time Moyes and Martinez inherited them were only ’marginally’ different.

And I am NOT of the belief, as you clearly are, that 8 players needed replacing from Moyes squad. The group of players Moyes left were nearly, but not quite good enough to get into the top 4. The signing and form of Lukaku SHOULD improve our chances of achieving that sim. He is certainly doing his bit.

Pity about the other bits of the team and tactics, isn’t it?

And of course, you have to dismiss Moyes’s solid league performances as they are not convenient to your argument, are they?

Players age, get injured, lose form. There is a CONSTANT regeneration of a squad, or at least, there should be. To imply, as you are clearly attempting to do, that Martinez only inherited 3 players worthy of retaining is, as I originally said, nonsense on stilts.

Sam Hoare
192 Posted 23/12/2015 at 14:53:01
Quite a few holes there Garry!

Mainly the assumption that we will come 4th which I hope your right about. And the assumption that if we come 8th-11th that all our best players will all stick around. Doubtful.

The argument was about which squad was better not how many players the manager (or you) believed needed replacing. Every manager will replace players to make the team his own but that doesn't necessarily mean he will make the team better or take them higher up the table.

In reality the only players Martinez has brought into the club who I think would be in our strongest XI are Lukaku (a striker Moyes was never given the budget to afford) Deulofeu, Barry (a def improvement on Neville?) and McCarthy.

Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Baines, Stones, Mirallas and Barkley are all players who Moyes bought in or through the ranks. Yes Martinez has given the likes of Barkley more time but he did not 'find' him.

So even by your unusual system RM has only replaced 4 of our first XI though again it's strange to use that terminology when the likes of Fellaini were sold because he wanted to go.

Jay Wood
193 Posted 23/12/2015 at 15:36:28
Raymond: "Gerry (ehrm ... it’s Garry, actually) you’ve made the mistake of actually praising Martinez, cant be having that on here!"

Such is your blind infatuation for RM you fail to see the exchange with GARRY and I relates to his, IMO, clearly erroneous claims about the respective merits of the squads inherited by Moyes and Martinez on joining the club. It has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with being anti- or pro-Martinez.

To respond to specific points in your post addressed to me, there was indeed a 17th and 11th place finish in Moyes’s 11 seasons with us. Given the considerable rebuilding job he had to do on far more limited resources than RM now has, it’s remarkable that there weren’t even more lower half finishes during Moyes’s tenure.

The 17th place finish, as frequently referenced on TW, came in his 2nd season. The team secured their PL status with 6 games to go and effectively went on their hols, shamefully losing their last 5 games which naturally saw them tumble from comfortable mid-table to seemingly just avoiding relegation. That wasn’t the case. Moyes declared at season’s end he had learnt a lot about his team and individual players in that appalling run and had identified who needed shifting on.

Next season, even with the loss of Rooney, we finished 4th.

I would also dispute your (and Garry’s...) claim that Moyes "left a good few players behind that were at the twilight of their careers." That is now 2.5 years ago. Some of the players you are probably referring to were STILL on top of the game when RM arrived.

Off the top of my head, I presume you are referring to the likes of Hibbert (who for a good few seasons was no longer a starter under Moyes, long replaced by Coleman), Distin (who was an almost ever-present in RM’s 1st season, playing exceptionally well all season), Osman (the only player in RM’s 1st season who featured in EVERY league game) and Pienaar (unfortunately, largely injured, but good when he did appear in front of Baines). It was RM who sanctioned contract extensions for the likes of Howard and Jagielka, so clearly, the current manager rates these ’pensioners.’

It is now the present manager’s remit to replace these aging players. It was NOT an urgent priority as Garry claims 2.5 years ago.

As for your offer of a bet, that’s very vague. What counts as ’closer to the top than 11th?’ 10th...? 9th...?

I’ve already dismantled some of your core arguments on the "Can’t Change... Won’t Change" thread. I don’t need to repeat them here.

You are failing to understand, IMO, the merited frustration and disappointment many are feeling this season that results are not better. Because, like me, I’m sure many realise that the way results are panning out this season the threshold to securing a top 4 finish and CL qualification is probably going to be its lowest for years ... and we really, REALLY should be in the mix for one of those spots, all the more so if the manager is truly of the quality you maintain.

Garry Taylor
194 Posted 23/12/2015 at 16:31:48
Jay @ 169 – It is YOUR assumption and claim that 8 players needed replacing out of 11 when Moyes left. Really...? Then how did that rabble – because it was with largely Moyes’ inherited players – get 5th and a record PL points haul in RM’s 1st season?

The answer – Martinez replaced the midfield three of Neville, Osman and Fellaini with Barry, McCarthy and Barkley and actually got us a decent striker in Lukaku and the team played with a lot more attacking intent.

If you think these were small tweaks, then fair enough, but I believe they are quite major changes.

Sam @ 170 – Lukaku was first brought to the club on loan, so nothing to do with budgets.

Raymond Fox
195 Posted 23/12/2015 at 16:33:09
Jay, first let me say I might be infatuated with my wife, but not with any football manager, what’s in it for me? Just because someone has a different opinion than you, there you go, you're up on your high horse again. You have a bad habit of attempting to belittle people, Jay. Disagree, okay; belittle no.
I seem to remember now, we have had this conversation before, haven’t we, I recognised the use of 'deluded'!

So Moyes's finishes of 17th and one of 11th is okay, but Martinez finishes 11th and that’s poor – not very consistent, is it?

So you have also dismantled my arguments as you put it in another thread... who says so? You! Sounds like you think your always right, all of the time Jay, and in my experience such a person doesn’t exist.

Jay Wood
196 Posted 23/12/2015 at 19:24:04
Garry ... "Martinez replaced the midfield three of Neville, Osman and Fellaini with Barry, McCarthy and Barkley and actually got us a decent striker in Lukaku and the team played with a lot more attacking intent."

Might like to check your facts on that one. Neville retired from football at the end of Moyes' last season and joined OFM at his ill-fated sojourn at Manure. Osman was the ONLY player in RM's 1st season to feature in EVERY PL game for the new manager. Fellaini played in every game he was available to RM, before being sold to fund the purchases he did make, including getting McCarthy, Barry and Lukaku on deadline day.

You've repeated over several posts that EIGHT players needed replacing. You argue RM has bought in younger players, more capable of attaining a top 4 place.

How do you reconcile that claim, then, with RM's first transfer window purchases of the likes of 30 year old Kone for £6 million (now 32, a clause in his RM sanctioned contract recently triggered an automatic contract extension until 2017 when he will be 34); 31 year old Alcaraz; 32 year old Barry (now 34, contracted to 2017 when he will be 36)?

In addition, in April 2014 RM extended the then 35 year old Tim Howard's contract to 2018 when he will be 39. RM was quoted as saying TH can play beyond 40, although Tim himself said he will retire at the end of his latest contract with Everton.

Jags (33 years old) signed another RM sanctioned contract extension this summer until 2018 when he will be 36.

Similarly, Osman (then 33) signed a 12 month extension to his contract in November 2014 until summer 2016 when he
will be 35.

In July 2014 the already injury prone Hibbert (then 33) also signed an RM sanctioned contract extension until summer 2016 when he will be 35.

Doesn't quite tie up with some of your claims, does it Garry?

Jay Wood
197 Posted 23/12/2015 at 19:39:50
Raymond @ 173.

"Just because someone has a different opinion than you, there you go your up on your high horse again. You have a bad habit of attempting to belittle people Jay.
Disagree ok, belittle no."

Please show me in my posts in this thread, or the other thread I reference, where I get on my 'high horse' or 'belittle' you.

If you took the appropriate care and attention in reading my posts more carefully, you will see I agree and accept some of your points. I then offer (often with the rider 'IMO') counters to your opinion.

At no point, for example, do I state as you attribute to me "Moyes finish of 17th and one of 11th is ok, but Martinez finishes 11th and that's poor", so a straw man argument put up by you there.

Never, ever, have I made claims on TW that I'm always right. That charge has been made against me on many occassions, usually because the poster making the charge tackles the man, rather than the ball. That is - as you've done here - YOU attempt to belittle ME with ad hominem insults, rather than effectively engage in the (legitimate, in my eyes) counter points I have made to your own entrenched opinions.

So ... I can honestly say I'm completely at ease with how I have addressed you in recent posts and refute absolutely the charges you lay against me (rather than effectively engaging and countering my valid posts, as you could have chosen to do).

Raymond Fox
198 Posted 23/12/2015 at 20:46:29

Raymond: "Gerry (ehrm ... it’s Garry, actually) you’ve made the mistake of actually praising Martinez, cant be having that on here!"
Such is your blind infatuation for RM you fail to see the exchange with GARRY and I relates to his, IMO, clearly erroneous claims about the respective merits of the squads inherited by Moyes and Martinez on joining the club. It has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with being anti- or pro-Martinez.
As for your offer of a bet, that’s very vague. What counts as ’closer to the top than 11th?’ 10th...? 9th...?

I’ve already dismantled some of your core arguments on the "Can’t Change... Won’t Change" thread. I don’t need to repeat them here.

You are failing to understand, IMO, the merited frustration and

Take a look at the above, so I made a mistake with Garry's name, I would have thought it was appropriate for Garry to pull me up, not you
two times no less, indicating that you spotted the mistake and dumb me hasn't.
Then you say I have a 'blind infatuation with Martinez' I've never had a blind infatuation with a 'fella' and I'm not starting now, honeybunch!

As far as the bet was concerned I apologised and pointed out my mistake, it should have read 10th place, the bet I was proposing was that we would finish higher than 10th.
Of course again you have make a point of highlighting the mistake!

Then you say you've dismantled some of my core arguments, well its news to me, not from where I'm looking you haven't.

It would help if you stopped talking down to people as if your the all knowing one.

Andy Crooks
199 Posted 23/12/2015 at 20:47:48
Raymond, #165 you are prepared to wager that we will finish closer to top than eleventh? Fucking hell, those mad gambling awareness ads in the bookies ("When the fun stops, stop") must be aimed at crazy guys like you.

We have players capable of top four but a coach who, if Bill Kenwright had a semblance of a spine, would be the best bet in the world, to be fired and fucked off to his utterly deserved obscurity.

Raymond Fox
200 Posted 23/12/2015 at 21:16:27
Andy, the proposed bet was in response to Jay 163 post of which part was – are we on course this season to improve on our bottom half finish of 11th last season ?

I was a bookie for 40 yesrs, I know Jay would never have bet on that outcome, it was never a bet.

Jay Wood
201 Posted 23/12/2015 at 21:30:17
Raymond @ 176 ... really? You consider these examples of being 'belittled'? Strewth, sensitive soul! You're lucky I don't resort to the scathing sarcasm of some on here, but ... I suppose in your book it offers you an easy 'cop out' rather than actually engaging in counter debate to the opinions I have justly, even handedly, presented.

Even in your own selected copy-pastes there is evidence of two IMOs I referred to earlier.

Raymond, sorry to point this out, but you have been rampant on various threads for a number of days now, stamping out 'heresy fires' like a raging rhinocerous on anything and everything you perceive as anti-Martinez.

In this very thread you leapt into the fray in the exchange between Garry and I, flagging it up as a pro-anti Martinez debate when it was nothing of the sort.

(The rhinocerous reference is thanks to a classic South African cult film, 'The Gods Must Be Crazy!' in which a stampeding and stamping rhino appears out of the bush to stamp out a camp fire ... they're known as the 'firemen of the jungle', apparently, for demonstrating this peculiar trait, before you miscontrue this reference too... well worth a gander, if you've never had the op to view it... but I digress).

The 'heresy' and 'infatuation' labels I throw at you are appropriate, in my eyes, because all your posts are almost exclusively in defence of RM.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that. As I said on the other thread, I LIKE contrary, but ... it has to be well argued and supported and IMO you fail to achieve that.

You glibly dismiss any criticism of RM, real or presumed, and jump through several hoops of implausibility in an attempt to sustain your core position.

You even resort to quasi-religious language, claiming you are 'preaching to the unbelievers.' And that's a little how you are coming across, I'm sorry to opine Raymond.

A little fanatical, with the intensity of a cult follower, unwilling to admit the idol he worships maybe, just maybe, is a false god.

In this and the other thread in which I address you, I have primarily discussed the issues, not 'belittled' the poster as you continue to claim.

You are starting to demonstrate 'Martin Masonisms' from where I'm sat. Whereas he shows blind devotion to BK and the board and offers easily challenged opinions (which he then runs and hides from and avoids debating), you are showing similar traits in your own stance on Martinez.

If you are so sure of your opinion and position, defend it. In your posts explicitly directed at me thus far, you totally fail to do so and chiefly resort to the personal abuse you accuse me of.

The irony is not lost on me, though it may be on you...

James Stewart
202 Posted 23/12/2015 at 22:03:13
I would give up Jay. Arguing with the likes of Raymond over Martinez is like trying to question a religious fanatic’s beliefs. Whatever facts and figures you you throw at him it makes no difference. Blind faith is blind faith. No one on here is anti-Martinez for the sake of it, all we all want is to get behind the team after all.

My opinion, and judging by many posts on here I am not alone in it, is that Martinez was not qualified for the job in the first place. He has done nothing to convince me to revise that opinion since his appointment. Bottom line, his teams simply concede far too many goals and lack organisation to be successful. To compare him with Moyes is an insult and that comes from someone who wasn’t even a Moyes fan.

Raymond Fox
203 Posted 23/12/2015 at 22:10:24
Jay, I’ve no wish to prolong this conversation, but there you go again, you do it without knowing it seems, ’the irony is not lost on me, though it may be on you’. See what I mean – you have to have your little dig.

As far as supporting Martinez is concerned, we will see who is correct when the season's over, wont we, that is if the rumoured takeover doesn’t change the status quo.

What’s the saying, "Where all think alike, no one thinks very much."

It's still not half-way through this season; let's see what the rest of it brings.

Raymond Fox
204 Posted 23/12/2015 at 22:31:58
That’s rich, James, that’s like ’the pot calling the kettle black’ – anyone would think that football's black and white; it's all about opinions, isn’t it.

As I say, let's see what the outcome is over time. I’m willing to back my opinion if anyone fancies theirs.

Jay Wood
205 Posted 23/12/2015 at 22:35:17
And there YOU go again.

YOU can legitimately make (false) claims about the tone of my posts, without actually engaging with me.

I, seemingly, am not to be afforded the same courtesy in self-defence to what I perceive as YOUR provocation.

Finally, in response to your comment: "As far as supporting Martinez is concerned, we will see who is correct when the seasons over wont we."


To clarify for you ... not ONCE have I ever called for RM's head. Indeed, I have repeated MANY TIMES my wish for him to succeed because if he is successful, the team and club is successful.

This very season I have frequently spoken up for Martinez, stating this is a new season and everyone starts with a clean slate. When his Monday Night Football appearance was greeted with rabid wrath on here, with many calling for his head over it, I stood up for him, wondering at what all the hysteria was about.

As recently as the previous game against Norwich, as already stated, again, I defended him, saying the players in the dominant 1st half should have put the game to bed and were primarily responsible for the failure to do so.

You see Raymond, I don't have an 'absolutist' view on any or all things Everton. I praise and defend players, manager, the board, the club, its fans as I deem fit. Equally, I challenge and question the same group when I feel appropriate.

I don't belong in any 'camp'. I don't claim to be an 'expert' or 'always right' on any issues I offer opinions on here. I don't wish to rigidly align myself to such 'camps' or the inflexible dogma of any particular poster.

Quite clearly, my eloquence and ability to rationally debate intimidates some on here and is resented.

Sorry if you are amongst them, but I won't change my posting style to appease others who display far more entrenched, absolutist, snide and sneering traits than I ever do.

Andy Crooks
206 Posted 23/12/2015 at 23:30:54
Raymond, anyone who has been a bookie as long as you deserves nothing more than respect.

Raymond Fox
207 Posted 24/12/2015 at 10:04:10
Jay, let's bury the hatchet sir, life's too short!

I wasn’t complaining about all your posts, only the ones addressed to me in this thread and another one where we have crossed swords before.

Your eloquence does shine through, but your tone sometimes needs to be ratcheted down a notch, a least that is in my opinion.

As far as debating the for and against Martinez, I think I’ve always given my views on the various matches and the overall performance of our manager. Too much in some eyes!

Let's say that I don’t agree with the majority verdict on Martinez so far put forward, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wrong in my experience.

As I say, time will tell.

John Hughes
208 Posted 24/12/2015 at 10:50:17
Raymond and Jay...

"Once I thought I was wrong! But I was mistaken" springs to mind.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

Merry Christmas COYB

Jay Wood
209 Posted 24/12/2015 at 11:56:35
Raymond @ 185. Two points.

1) You chose to wade into an exchange between Garry and I, wrongly identifying it as another case of a pro- anti- Martinez dispute.

My post @ 171 in response to you largely deals with the real issue being debated - the merits of the respective squads Moyes and Martinez inherited.

In ALL your subsequent posts you totally fail to engage in debate of the issue under discussion, but instead resort to the diversory tactics of ad hominem arguments, that is ... you attack ME, not my arguments, making many false charges that I am 'belittling' you.

Here is one quoted example where you consider I am 'belittling' you. You wrote @ 165:

"As for us being in 11th place at the moment, do you care to have a bet? I’ll have we will finish closer to the top than 11th, but only if Martinez is manager."

I asked an honest question @ 171:

"As for your offer of a bet, that’s very vague. What counts as ’closer to the top than 11th?’ 10th...? 9th...?"

You gave that as an example of me 'belittling' you.


And that brings me to point number 2.

2) @ 178, in response to Andy Crooks, you wrote:

"Andy, the proposed bet was in response to Jay 163 post of which part was – are we on course this season to improve on our bottom half finish of 11th last season ?

I was a bookie for 40 yesrs, I know Jay would never have bet on that outcome, it was never a bet."

Let's do it. Are you game?

This is what I propose.

Let's bet a pony - £25 - or £50 if you like.

Let's also ensure that neither of us financially gain, but that the loser donates the winners to a cause related to Everton. I suggest EITC, the Everton ex-players Foundation, or Alder Hey Hospital. Any one is a suitable choice, in my eyes.

Everton are currently 10th with more than half the season to go - 19 games. They are currently 6 points adrift of Palace on 29 points in sixth place.

I'll give you the top 6 places. If Everton finishes in the top six, you win and I cough up to the selected cause.

Anything 7th and below, I win and you cough up the winnings to the charity we agree on.

I'll throw in the rider you mention: for this bet to have legitimacy, Roberto Martinez must still be manager at season's end so it is HIS results the team is judged on, not on those of any possible incoming manager.

To ensure honesty and transparency, we can easily arrange for the transaction to be witnessed here on TW and at season's end, the loser who pays up has to produce invoiced evidence that they have fulfilled their part of the bargain.

So ... are you game or not, Raymond? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is? Time to put up, or shut up...

Finally, how about doing something really novel in this thread and actually engage in the debate that first attracted you to engage with me?

At 165 you said Moyes "left a good few players behind that were at the twilight of their careers." I replied "That is now 2.5 years ago. Some of the players you are probably referring to were STILL on top of the game when RM arrived."

Furthermore, look at my post @ 174. It would appear Martinez himself doesn't agree with you. My post details how RM has extended the contracts of all those 'twilight' players on HIS watch, namely Jags, Howard, Osman, Kone, Barry, even Hibbert.

Care to offer your insight into that apparent anomaly in your and Garry's stated position?

Garry Taylor
210 Posted 24/12/2015 at 12:20:56
Jay, yes I said 8 first team players needed replacing after Moyes left if we wanted to be serious top 4 contenders. As I didn’t believe we had that stronger team, even though we had a good league finish.

That’s my opinion – that’s ok isn’t it?

You believed the 8 mentioned were quality internationals. That’s your opinion, and that’s fine.

We’ll agree to disagree and move on.

Raymond Fox
211 Posted 24/12/2015 at 13:33:06
Bloody hell Jay 187, you do go on!

You remind me of my wife, she can't stand any criticism either. Just have a look at the state of your post, it's laughable.

As far as your now proposed bet is concerned, also take a look at what you said in post 163

’Are we on course this season to finish higher than 11th’?
’Nuff said give me strength’.

Isn’t that what you're saying, in your opinion we won't finish higher than 11th? Now they have to finish in the top 6 for me to win my bet – that’s called shifting the goalposts, don’t you think? Who mentioned top 6?

I’ll gladly bet you we finish 8th or higher, how about that?

I’ll tell you what though, I think I should stop wasting my time replying to your long-winded diatribes. I’ve wasted too much already!

Jay Wood
212 Posted 24/12/2015 at 13:37:23
Gary @ 188.

I have absolutely no problem with you posting your opinion. Where have I said otherwise?

Equally, you should not resent me posting my counter opinion.

For me the crux of the issue your originally post raised is the fallacy of the argument you were trying to make. Namely, that Martinez 'only marginally' inherited a better squad from Moyes than Moyes inherited from Smith.

Your own list exposed the nonsense of such a claim. Later in the thread, you tried to shift your position by making it a 'numbers' comparison of how many players the respective managers needed to change, IN YOUR OPINION.

Because IN YOUR OPINION the numbers were similar, you - quite falsely, IMO - considered it supported your point that the squads inherited by either manager were only 'marginally different.'

I refuted such a shift of your opinion by pointing out the obvious discrepancy in the age and quality of the respective qualities Moyes and Martinez started with.

You - and Raymond - chose to argue that Martinez inherited and aged and decrepit, with many a player in the 'twilight' of their career.

As I point out, 2.5 years ago many of the players you and Raymond probably considered ripe for replacement were in fact on top of their game.

Furthermore, quite possibly, the manager himself takes a contrary view to your own. Care to comment on my post @ 174 which lists the fact that on his watch, Martinez has extended to contracts of Howard, Jags, Osman and even Hibbert, as well as offered long contracts to a couple of over 30s in Barry and Kone, which all conclude with them in their LATE 30s. Indeed, Kone recently extended his contract by a further 12 months when he triggered a clause on achieving a set number of games.

A bit of an anomaly in relation to some of your claims, Garry...

Any observations you might like to make on my detailed post listing these contract extensions..?

Ray Roche
213 Posted 24/12/2015 at 13:45:55
Raymond Fox @189

Raymond, Jay MAY go on in your opinion, but his comments are on the money. It's ludicrous to suggest that Moyes inherited a team anywhere near as good as the one he left for Roberto. Without Moyes taking over we'd have gone down. No question. And if Martinez had taken over we WOULD have gone down and may well have been in the same position as Wigan is now.

Jay Wood
214 Posted 24/12/2015 at 13:51:28
Raymond @ 189.

Yep! As I expected, you've bottled it.

I'll ignore that once again you resort to ad hominem insults, rather than seriously entertain my offer of a bet, or properly engage in the point raised by Garry.

Pretty disingeneous of you to cut and paste my comments out of context and try and claim I have categorically stated we wont finish higher than 11th this season.

YOU are the one all over TW bigging up Roberto.

YOU are the one claiming to have been a bookie for 40 years.

You might have fleeced some mug punters in all those years. I'm not going to be one of them and allow you a mere improvement of 2 places from our current position to accept the bet.

You can't have THAT much faith in your man if you are not willing to back him to make up a mere 4 places and 6 points (as it currently stands) over the next 21 games.

Aren't you the one telling us that the likes of Leicester, Palace and Watford cannot maintain their lofty position until the end of the season...? That's 3 places of the 4 whittled away right there ... just one more team to overhaul.

Looks like you've taken a step back, run the numbers and seen, for all your claims, an Everton surge up the table ain't gonna happen any time soon.

Typical bookie. Not even willing to risk a mere £25-50 and donate it to a good cause.

Merry Crimbo, Raymond ... Ho! Ho! Ho!

Raymond Fox
215 Posted 24/12/2015 at 14:48:46
Ray take a look at post 165, I said Moyes had left a number of players in the twilight of their careers thats all. I didn't compare who started with the best squad that was Garry.
Raymond Fox
217 Posted 24/12/2015 at 15:16:48
Jay, dear oh dear, this is getting silly.

You're the one that’s bottling it, jumping from 11th to 6th. I can get 11/2 for Everton to finish in the top 6, taking a big chance aren’t you, offering me evens?

We are 1/2 to finish in the top 10, so I reckon me offering you evens we finish 8th or higher is generous, the bet's still open if you have the bottle? I’ll let the chaps decide whose bottling it!

If Martinez is so poor as you argue, I would have thought you would have jumped at my offer, it's good compared to the nonsense you offered me.

Ray Roche
218 Posted 24/12/2015 at 15:16:51
Raymond, apologies.

However, the only players who were REALLY over the hill or too injury prone were Distin (who was still better than Alcaraz) and Neville. Osman, against the right opposition, can still play a part and sadly, Pienaar is now too injury-prone to see him having any impact again.

Of the final team Garry mentions, six are Moyes signings, including the now porous defence. Martinez has made some good/decent signings but, unfortunately, he hasn’t got a clue what to do with them. No width on the left or defensive cover if the LB goes forward, every attack down the right which leaves Deulofeu knackered after 60 minutes and is oh so easy to defend against. An it’s only Gerry’s skill when he’s on form that gives us any opportunities down that side.

Four defenders, two defensive midfielders yet we still concede too many goals. No leader on the pitch... all these are down to Martinez.

The bottom line is, we are occasionally playing some decent football but, unless we can score three or more goals, we will struggle to win any matches. In my opinion, we can’t defend, especially set-pieces, we don’t look anywhere near as fit as Leicester, for instance, we shift between attacking football and the sideways, possession crap that dulls the atmosphere at Goodison.

I don’t know about new owners, it’s a new manager and coaching staff that we need more.

Garry Taylor
219 Posted 24/12/2015 at 15:20:50
Jay, I was merely trying to point out that there was a lot of work to do back then as well as when when RM took over to achieve their respective targets at the time.

To replace 8/9 players is no easy task and if either one had screwed up it would have had serious consequences.

The basis of your rebuff is that the 8 players I said Martinez needed to replace were top quality internationals at the top of their game. I don't agree.

If you care to explain to why you believe those 8 players were top quality internationals at the top of their game, I'm happy to listen.

As for giving contracts to some of our older pros, some I agree with some I wholeheartedly don't. But it boils down if you have the resources to replace them or not. I expect the view was taken to try and get an extra year out of them until we have resources to replace them.

Moyes undoubtedly would have left us in a stronger position, had he had more resources made available to him and on the other side Martinez would have been able to replace the players required sooner had more resources been made available.

As I said, 8 required replacing and only 6 have been so far. By the end of the year, another 1 maybe 2 will also require replacing.

Just in case you didn't pick up on it earlier, by replacing, I mean first team regulars, they could still be apart of the squad but wouldn't be in our strongest 11.

Ray Roche
220 Posted 24/12/2015 at 15:28:36
Garry, just to pick you up on an earlier comment when you are somewhat dismissive of Mirallas, he should be getting much more game time than he is under sulky bollocks Martinez. He, despite your "stats", does carry a goal threat and should always start before Kone.
Raymond Fox
221 Posted 24/12/2015 at 15:41:55
Ray, as I say there were players coming to the end of their careers, Distin, Pienaar, and Osman for 3.

I agree with you that we haven’t got a leader, that’s very true, Martinez is perhaps too gung ho going forward, we are scoring plenty, but at the detriment of the defence in open play.

What’s going on with our defence at dead ball situations? I don’t know... we are not privy into how much coaching is taking place; at the same time, our defenders are individually not covering themselves in glory either.

Howard could be dropped but Martinez doesn’t have many options to change the other defenders.

Jay Wood
222 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:07:35
Raymond @ 194.

Again, where I have categorically stated I believe we will only finish 11th, or the bottom half of the table?

Let me save you the time. Nowhere.

As someone who likes a flutter meself, I’m well aware of the odds available elsewhere for top 6 or 10 finishes. If I wanted a serious bet on Everton’s finishing place, I wouldn’t be placing my money with you.

YOU were the one who initiated the offer of a bet, without clearly stating the conditions. I firmed it up. YOU backed away.

It was a fun side bet. Not a serious punt. The beneficiary of it would have been a worthy charity, associated with Everton.

I repeat, YOU bottled it, displaying very little confidence in the man you purport to support.

Finally, this gem: "If Martinez is so poor as you argue I would have thought you would have jumped at my offer..."

Care to (again!) show any posts or comments by me that ’argue’ this...?

As for your post to Ray Roche @ 165, namely: "I said Moyes had left a number of players in the twilight of their careers that's all. I didn’t compare who started with the best squad that was Garry."

EXACTLY! YOU chose to wade in, wrongly describing this as a (another!) pro- / anti-Martinez debate. Despite my numerous invitations for you to actually engage in the point under debate, all you have posted is a sequence of tirades full of personal abuse towards me.

Your choice. But don’t expect me to be a passive recipient to such contrived abuse.

Raymond Fox
223 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:24:35
Jay, for fuck sake, what nonsense you talk.

No bet then? I’ll let other people judge who’s said what, and why. I’m sure they can find plenty better things to do though, at this time.

Unless you want the bet, do us a favour, don’t reply to this, you keep repeating the same untrue tripe.

Ray Roche
224 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:27:37
Raymond (#198),

"Howard could be dropped but Martinez doesn’t have many options to change the other defenders."

Should be dropped, not could. I have always considered Howard to be a good keeper, at least, up until the last couple of seasons, but the reason he’s still playing is Martinez’s reluctance to drop him. Ridiculous management.

As for the other defenders, they don’t NEED changing, they just need a structured defensive strategy for when we play different types of opposition which is something that Martinez appears to be incapable of sorting.

There was a link on another thread the other day which contained comments from Wigan supporters made shortly after Martinez arrived. You may have seen it. All their comments could have been made by any of us this very day. He has brought wholesale his damned philosophy with him and has clearly not learned anything from his experience with Wigan. All his faults are laid out for all to see.

I was prepared to give Martinez some time when he arrived and was pleasantly surprised at the comparative success in his first season, but he has now completely ruined what was a decent defensive unit in favour of his ridiculous possession-based ideals and lack of incisive attacking. We are now as predictable as an echo.

Paul Tran
225 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:27:56
There's a few different arguments getting knotted together here.

Moyes undoubtedly inherited a mess of a squad and left Martinez a better one, which proves.......?

On a rare visit home three years ago, when we knew Moyes was leaving, I went to the match with a few old mates. We discussed what the new guy would have to do. We reckoned that within 2 to 3 years, he'd need to replace Howard, Pienaar, Hibbert, Osman, Gibson, Distin, Neville and possibly Jagielka. Fellaini was talking himself into a transfer and we had no striker of real note, so Jelavic and Anichebe were marking time. The concensus was that Moyes had picked a great time to leave for better pastures.

Martinez was very lucky to get the £32m for Fellaini and Anichebe. It meant he had something in the kitty to bring in players and he then used the loan market well. For what it's worth, for me Barry, McCarthy, Lukaku and Deufelou were good buys, Funes Mori would be good with a 'proper' centre half next to him, the rest were poor.

I thought Martinez's first season was a good one. He proved these players could pass the ball, the defence was solid and we looked like a team. When we looked like getting fourth, the team choked, not for the first time, as did Martinez, when ironically, given the 'no plan B' comments, he mucked about with the team and cocked it up.

By the end of the season I thought we were on to something, a bit of momentum in the right direction. Then Martinez made two huge errors; he said in public that we needed seven players. I think it was a smart-arsed attempt to bounce Kenwright into spending more money and Martinez blinked first. I wonder if this was the start of him losing the dressing room. Imagine how the players would have felt when they heard that? The second was the 'easy' preseason that left the players woefully unfit for the whole season. A lot of injuries stemmed from that period methinks.

So I can partially get the argument that he didn't inherit a glittering team, but he quashed it by finishing fifth, didn't he? He then bottled it by giving long contracts to players that needed replacing, by not bringing in the leadership we badly need and by apparently neglecting the defensive side of the game.

If anyone needs to do better, I'd suggest Martinez does more defensive coaching, or brings in someone who can, strengthens the spine of the team with a robust keeper, centre half and goalscoring midfielder.

I'd also ask him to explain what he did in his first season and what he's done since, as that would tell us why an improved squad has gone pear shaped in the last two years. Then I'd accept him telling the players to do better.

Ray Roche
226 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:34:23
Paul Tran.

Good post.

But... The hardly "glittering team" contains what is still three out of four of our strongest defence. And that is where our problems lie.

He has also spent a fair amount of money too.

Paul Tran
227 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:41:07
Ray, my words were 'I can partially get the argument that he didn't inherit a glittering team'. So please don't think I'm going all-in with at one. I think he inherited a good team that, to be honest, choked when it mattered. I don't think that team as it was, was going to progress any further. Whoever took over would have needed to make a few changes. Are we any nearer with Martinez's team? I don't think so.
Colin Glassar
228 Posted 24/12/2015 at 17:00:07
Silencio Roberto and feliz navidad to all fellow Blues. I'm forgetting football for 24 hours.
Ray Roche
229 Posted 24/12/2015 at 17:24:46
Paul, it wasn't intended as a rebuke or anything, merely an observation and in some ways a measure of agreement. We are definitely nowhere nearer under Martinez....
Paul Tran
230 Posted 24/12/2015 at 18:12:26
Fair enough, Ray. Glad I’m in agreement with someone on here!

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