Sunderland vs Everton

, 11 May, 100comments  |  Jump to most recent
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Ramiro Funes Mori is eligible again after serving a three-match suspension

Everton travel to the northeast for their final away match of a wretched season to take on a Sunderland side who could secure their Premier League safety with a victory in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The Black Cats' thrilling 3-2 win over Chelsea in a game they twice trailed, combined with Norwich City's defeat to Manchester United and Newcastle United's failure to beat already relegated Aston Villa, means that a win over Roberto Martinez's faltering Toffees would condemn the Canaries and Magpies to the Championship.

Norwich, who visit Goodison Park on Sunday, are also in action and can keep their slim hopes of avoiding the drop alive if they beat Watford and Everton prevent Sunderland from winning. But Newcastle, together with their ex-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, will only be able to watch on and hope that their arch local rivals don't get all three points.

It will, on the evidence of Everton's last two games, be desperate hope. The Blues allowed 68 shots against them over the two games at Anfield and Leicester's King Power Stadium and shipped seven goals in the process. The two performances were as awful as anything witnessed by Evertonians since the turn of the century and they have made Martinez's job almost untenable.

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Having criticised his players for their lack of focus and intensity against Leicester last Saturday and admitted that he could take no positives from the game at all, the manager has since said that his team didn't let him down in the 3-1 defeat. Whether that means he will stick with a similar line-up for this evening's game will be revealed but there can be little doubt that, if they put on the same level of performance again, Sam Allardyce will have few concerns about preserving his record of never having overseen the relegation of a club from the top flight.

Matthew Pennington was the only player whom Martinez refused to criticise at the weekend but, with Ramiro Funes Mori back from a three-match suspension, it would not be a surprise to see the Argentine drafted straight back into the starting XI. Pennington has performed competently in the last two games but it would be prudent to pull the youngster out of the firing line given how badly Everton are struggling for form at the moment.

It's at right back, however, where the most acute problem remains with Seamus Coleman ruled out and both Tony Hibbert and Felipe Mattioni also injured. Both Muhamed Besic and Bryan Oviedo have looked lost as emergency right backs but Martinez might be hesitant to throw the likes of Callum Connolly or Jonjoe Kenny (back from his loan spell with Oxford United) into the heat of battle away from home.

In midfield, Gareth Barry could make his comeback from the groin strain he picked up in the Merseyside derby last month and that could either see Tom Cleverley dropped to the bench or moved out to the left side of midfield at the expense of Oumar Niasse. The Senegal striker had a better game at Leicester than was the case against Bournemouth but still looks miles off Premier League pace.

Martinez has demanded a response from his team this week, holding up the win over the Cherries as evidence of the kind of “fighting” spirit that exists among his players. In truth, that 2-1 home victory, the only one in nine Premier League matches, was earned on the back of a display in common with the flat and uninspiring offerings from Everton since they beat Chelsea in March. The kind of fight that the manager seeks was really only in evidence for 40-odd minutes against Manchester United in the cup semi-final and that was only because they were in a do-or-die situation with another date at Wembley on the line.

The manager also claimed that his team “didn't understand” the celebratory occasion they found themselves in at Leicester last Saturday and were affected by the circumstances of the match. Tonight's game could be every bit as intense and it remains to be seen whether it will shake Everton out of their torpor or if, as many now believe, there is now too big a gulf between Martinez and his players and he is living on borrowed time.

Kick-off: 7.45pm

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Predicted Line-up: Robles, Oviedo, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Lennon, Barkley, Lukaku

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (100)

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Patrick Carty
2 Posted 11/05/2016 at 00:17:21
I would love to see at least four of our younger players start but know this will not happen. The manager still feels he is the right man for the job so will stick with the usual boring players and system.

Sunderland will be well up for this but I hope the players show a bit of pride and try and win the game. Either way Martinez will be sacked after the next two games and we can look forward to massive changes at the club.

Darren Hind
3 Posted 11/05/2016 at 01:51:16
Connolly's family will be leading the protests if he doesn't get a game tonight. Oviedo is a shell of himself and to play him on his "wrong side" is just as wrong as it gets.

This team has been destroyed. Barkley and Lukaku should both have played their last games this season, neither have shown any desire whatsoever, but when you look around for options, there are precious few.

Barry will steady the ship if available making it a nervy night for the Makems.

The speculation surrounding the manager's position is at fever pitch. One of the players (who I won't name) was at a family occasion on Sunday and he told me it's exactly the same on the inside. The players are all feeling uncertainty over their futures because they have no idea who will be the boss next season.

I'm beginning to think Kenwright will convince Moshiri to give Martinez another chance next season.

They've all turned now, but when I think of all that gushing love for Martinez and the delusional claims made on his behalf. The old adage "you get the club you deserve" springs to mind.

People talk about protests, but Kenwright is only one of thousands to have bought the snake oil. Those who shamefully ignored all evidence and obstinately stuck to their foolish claims have been hugely responsible for the decay we have witnessed this season.

Two years of blind devotion will not be eradicated by 0.25% of the crowd protesting for a couple of minutes long after everyone's gone home.

"Oh Roberto he had a . .err drea . . .m"

Jay Harris
4 Posted 11/05/2016 at 03:46:41
Logic says Funes Mori and Stones for the CB partnership and I would go with Pennington or Connolly at RB, but this fool doesn't do logic so expect Barry with Funes Mori at CB and Stones at RB.

Logic also says Mirallas in place of Niasse but again?

I have never in my life wanted Everton to lose but in this one I don't really care as long as Newcastle go down and RM's position becomes totally untenable.

Phil Sammon
5 Posted 11/05/2016 at 04:17:37
'The Blues allowed 68 shots against them over the two games at Anfield and Leicester's King Power Stadium'

That is a jaw-dropping stat. Those are the sorts of figures you'd expect from San Marino, not a Premier League side.

There have been so many individual stats and instances in Martinez's reign where people have said, "He deserves sacking on the basis of that alone."

Surely that stat is the most indictable of all. Absolutely shameful.

Eugene Kearney
6 Posted 11/05/2016 at 04:30:08
I've lost interest. I will check the result on the BBC site after 9:30pm.
Colin Metcalfe
7 Posted 11/05/2016 at 05:07:10
I don't mind Barry for the last few games but I don't want to see him anywhere near the first team next year...

A 36-year-old who can barely break into a trot and turns like the the Titanic, he and McCarthy should be benched next season!

I'd love to see some new faces tomorrow, some youth to see who can make the grade next season.

Anto Byrne
8 Posted 11/05/2016 at 05:09:05
It doesn't make any sense not playing a couple of kids but I expect we will see Osman and Gibson starting. Barry and Funes Mori to return with another run out for Niasse. Turns out he is more of a winger than a striker. If so, play him wide – he has the same touch as Kone.
Phil Sammon
10 Posted 11/05/2016 at 05:48:16
Disagree, Anto.

If Martinez has any compassion he will keep the kids well away from the poisonous atmosphere. Everyone knows that Martinez is in for a rough evening. I think it would be very unfair of him to throw the kids in when it's going to be so hostile.

In a rare bit of praise for Martinez, I will say that I was pleased he completely absolved Pennington of any blame after the Leicester game.

The time to try new things was 6 months ago, if not earlier.

Martinez and his regular eleven have made their bed - they can damn well lie in it.

Lyndon Lloyd
11 Posted 11/05/2016 at 06:16:25
Darren (3), what could be a deciding factor regarding Martinez's future is if their (the players) discontent and/or concerns are filtering up to the board. I have to believe it is but maybe you'd know more based on your account above.

Brian Porter
12 Posted 11/05/2016 at 06:33:35
So, he doesn't feel he needs to win the players back (there's no such thing ), we played with great fight at Leicester, coming back to score our goal, (a great individual effort from Mirallas), and he doesn't feel his job is under threat? These and many more similar utterances by El Loco, 'The crazy man' only go to show that even now, as his empire burns all around him he steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the immense and insurmountable problems that now beset our club, mostly caused by his own failure as a manager.
Someone, somewhere within the higher echelons of the club has to act before it's too late to save us from his manic delusions of grandeur, which is what what his constant belief in his superiority amount to.
And please, none of the 'he's a nice guy, he deserves to go with dignity.' He is NOT a nice guy. He's a petty dictator who is prepared to blame everyone and everything around him for his own failings. His treatment of Leighton Baines after speaking the truth would have probably been on a par with Distin and E'too if Baines wasn't such a high profile member of the squad. He's blamed us, the fans, he's blamed poor refereeing, bad luck, anything to deflect blame from himself.
Has he ever had the guts to say, just once, "I got it wrong" or "I could have done things differently"? NO he hasn't. Never, not once. Add arrogance to the list.
Don't blame the players. We all hang our heads and groan virtually daily as we try to make sense of his inane psycho-babble. Can you imagine how demoralizing and dispiriting it must be for the players to have to lists to hours of that EVERY DAY of their working lives? Of course he's going to deny losing the team. So said Mourinho at Chelsea just before he was sacked. Truth is he list them long ago and the Baines incident was probably when he list them forever, no turning back.
Dare we hope Moshiri or someone on high has the guts that Abramovich showed at Chelsea? He loved Mourinho but made a tough choice when he knew the team had turned against him. We need a similar show of guts,and determination at board level right now. If we don't get it, I fear next season could see us emulating Villa and another great name from the past, (that's us) could well disappear from the top level of English football, leaving the 'bog boys' like Bournemouth, Watford, Palace and West Brom to fight for a top half place and maybe European qualification while we struggle to regain our lost pride and prestige.
RELEGATION ROBERTO must be fired before he takes os down any further. Or does BK want to spend his twilight years watching us playing at Walsall, Burton Albion, Rotherham etc? What a legacy!
Mike Green
13 Posted 11/05/2016 at 06:37:55
Totally agree Phil Sammon - to both of your posts.

Our home record is totally indefensible, and if Martinez wants to defend it with our away record we have picked up 2 points out of our last 15.

Our win ratio this season in the league is 27.8%.

Darren Hind
14 Posted 11/05/2016 at 06:39:02
"Everyone knows that Martinez in in for a rough evening " . . .Really ? You do realise this is at the SOL ?

If they win, 45000 Makems will make the noise at the King Power last week sound like a minor disturbance.

If we win 90%+ of the 4000 travelling blues will make their way to their coaches to enjoy a bevy and hope they can get home before 2am

Christopher Dover
15 Posted 11/05/2016 at 06:41:30
Kenwright will not read Toffee Web, but even though he has been and may still be ill he cannot have failed to see and hear the fans discontent over the Manager.

He is in a business that uses publicity to sell tickets, tickets for his shows, he is chairman of a premier team, if he does not know then he must be wheeled into matches and then taken out and put in a sealed room until time to come out again.

If he is that stupid not to see what has happened under this manager I cannot believe that The new investor will sit back and watch his investment go south, into the championship next season, it cannot happen, there is no return for Martinez he has had his chance and failed.

I was hoping he would be gone before tonight's match, I desperately want him gone before Saturday as I for one will leave on 78 minutes if that happens or 90 minutes if it does not.

Mike Green
16 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:08:02
Christopher #15 - I doubt Kenwright reads Toffeweb but someone at the club will, or certainly should, be employed to monitor everything on social media as part of their job.

If they want to ignore that 94% of 15,187 Evertonians, no matter how militant, have voted he should be sacked that is their look out.

Liam Reilly
17 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:24:46
Sunderland will be well up for this and our lot are just praying for the season to end. An early goal from them and the walls will come crashing down again.
Frank Sheppard
18 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:37:56
Very difficult to predict what sort of EFC will turn up tonight. Will they embarrass the shirt further or surprise us with a performance to be proud of?

I guess it depends how confused they are with Martinez's pre-match team talk, if they are bothering to listen any more. How I hate the "I" word now, sick of hearing about "intensity ". If you asked Martinez what the time is, he would probably get "intensity" into his answer. Please Go.

Paul Smith
19 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:39:30
My team for tonight as follows
Pennington, Stones, Mori, Baines
Lennon, Gibson, Besic, Mirallas
Dowell, Lukaku
Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:42:35
Lyndon, I thought Niasse looked better against Bournemouth and was shocked at how bad he was against Leicester.
Mind you Lukaku wasn't much better.
Forget the cheap words from Martinez. one team is fighting for survival, and is in good form, the other is in meltdown, with a lame duck manager and after the regulation early effort we will be tossed aside and I expect Sunderland to win with ease.
Defoe is going to have a field day slipping in between our centre halves.
Leicester started the game hitting diagonal crosses from right to left exposing our right back. The space between Oviedo and Stones was targetted and whoever plays at right back tonight can expect a tough evening. If Stones has to help out there will be space in the middle for the likes of Defoe to exploit.
3-1 to the Mackems I fear.
Mike Green
21 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:46:08
Paul - my team for tonight is Mannone, Yedlin, van Aanholt, Kaboul, Kone, Kirchhoff, Cattermole (c), M’Vila, Borini, Khazri, Defoe....
Jim Bennings
22 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:55:29
I wonder how our "Champions League away form " will fare tonight??

An away record that has seen us win a whopping THREE matches since the end of September, I bet all the top four are envious of that away record.... NOT.

Darryl Ritchie
23 Posted 11/05/2016 at 07:57:23
I never in a million years thought I would ever say this about a game versus Sunderland, but I think we'll be extremely lucky to escape with a point. If we do lose, it would be best if the manager stays in the dressing room against Norwich.

A fitting conclusion to an "unlucky" season. The sooner it's over, the better.

Mike Green
24 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:03:46
Jim #22 - so young and yet so cynical.

We've got the 10th best away record in the league I'll have you know. More draws than any other team. It's our joint second worst in the league home record that's let us down - give the guy a break!

Jimmi James
25 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:33:11
Phil Sammon (#5)

Thats an incredible stat. That really says it all doesn't it? Just imagine if they had scored just a quarter of those chances the scores would have been schoolboy football scores, dear me.

Oliver Molloy
26 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:36:50
Darren @ 3,

Did you ask this player did he like playing for the Manager, did he believe in his set up, was he and the team on board with him etc etc....?

Gerard Carey
27 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:43:28
Connolly, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines,
Lennon, Besic, Barry, Oviedo.
Lukaku and Mirallas.

This would be my team for tonight – a bit of balance, no square pegs in round holes and a chance to see two left-footed players compliment one another.

Noleen Daya
28 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:46:23
I do love Everton with my whole blue heart, but I hope we lose tonight. Anything to show the hierarchy that Martinez needs to go. I live in South Africa, but if I could be at our last home game I'd make sure my banner is in his face. I'm at the point where I don't care whether Martinez gets embarrassed by the outcry. My fellow Evertonians, I hope he gets huge boos on Saturday and that the banners will be up.
David Greenwood
29 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:48:03
Not looking forward to this. It will be the same old faces, square pegs round holes.

Oviedo, Besic or Stones at right back. It doesn't work but as Harold used to point out, Bobby is the most risk averse manager in the league. No point in giving Connolly or Kenny a game in their natural position.

As much as my heart wants an Everton win, my head says Sunderland will be safe from relegation after tonight.

Sam Hoare
30 Posted 11/05/2016 at 08:55:40
Give the kids a shot. They couldn't do worse and it might give us something to get excited about.

Connolly Stones Mori Galloway
Davies Besic
Lennon Dowell Evans

John Louis Jones
31 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:01:06
Mike Green #16

You are right All football clubs use Social Media Monitoring Tools, My Wife works for Socialbakers and has sold the software into several Premier League and championship cubs. These tools pick up and monitor everything that is said online. good and bad. #Martinezout has been trending for 2 years and is only growing.

On another note I really don't want to watch the game, however the dark side of me wants to see if Sky Sports pick up on the 3000 plus away fans singing "Roberto get out of our club" like they did on Saturday.

Never want to see Everton lose but it has become a all to regular occurrence, so I hoping this game is the final nail in Bobby's coffin.

Mark Burton
32 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:16:09
I kind of feel sorry for the bar codes as they already know that Matinez's Phenomenal Everton are no match for Sunderland. Big Sam will read us like a book and have players running our fragile defence ragged while Barkley, Lennon look on and have another pie and chips. For the end of the season I find it hard to believe how unfit and disinterested the players are, and that is the managers fault. Martinez out!
John Hammond
33 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:27:30
Hurts to say but can't see anything other than a Sunderland win. You'd think SA will get his team talk right and they'll come out flying.
Jim Bennings
34 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:31:18
You know it's bad when you've got that big aye up' lump Allardyce saying he'd like to sign John Stones and learn him how to defend.

When you have Fat Sam saying that, not Pep Guardiola, you know your team isn't all it should be.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:35:27
Mark (32), to be honest, whether Lennon is good bad or indifferent he shows how unfit most of the other players are. He gets stuck in for the whole time he is on the field and, although he has gone off the last few games, his effort cannot be faulted.
John Crawley
36 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:40:08
Darren (#3 & #14) – the whole away support at Leicester were calling for Martinez to go.

Lyndon (#11) – we know their are agreements in place before Moshiri completes a full takeover. The only logical conclusion I can come to is that the current manager can't be sacked until after the season ends unless that decision is unanimous. Therefore Kenwright is the problem, but I have no doubt he'll be gone after the season's finished. His position is untenable.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:40:37
I'm undecided if I will even watch Everton tonight... How could I ever feel this way about my club? Darren, nothing surprises me in football, but if Everton, keep Martinez, I will be flabbergasted!

It's easy to get on ToffeeWeb and slag anyone off but his latest utterings fill me with dread, fear and sadness, and show how most people will do anything for money. Sad for his loss of dignity; dread, for the fact I was taken in by the man; and fear both for Roberto's sanity, and Everton Football Club's immediate future, if he stays.

How can a man say the players never let him down on Saturday, and then say that we are all in this together, in the same interview? Flabbergasting!!

I still blame the board, rather than the manager, though, because whilst tonight means nothing, unless you're a Mackem, this team of ours should be getting ready for a cup final, next Saturday. All in the name of MONEY?

David Hallwood
38 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:40:38
And you know it's even worse, Jim (#34), when the bookies have got us at 4/1 with the Mackems being odds on at 8/11.
Sam Hoare
39 Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:50:15
Dave 35, Agreed. Lennon seems one of our busiest and fittest players. If our whole team had his work rate and enthusiasm then we'd be alot higher up the table. It was Lennon's introduction that almost single-handedly lifted us last season as his running seemed to shame others. For a short time.
Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 11/05/2016 at 10:07:47
In matches when Everton played 4-3-3 with Mirallas out wide on the left, with Lukaku in the centre and Lennon on the other side, Everton were very productive with more intent and attacking purposes. So, easily beat Aston Villa away and beating West Ham easily at Goodison until Mirallas was sent off. And again at Chelsea were Mirallas was very instrumental.

Yet, it has been a great opportunity for Martinez since the Liverpool debacle to play more of the Under-21s to relieve some of the pressure from his shoulders with nothing to play for, in the Premier League. Instead, he keeps playing players who keep letting him down such as playing Oviedo at right back, when it was far better playing Connolly.

Ognjen Mojovic
41 Posted 11/05/2016 at 11:10:29
Everton should play with best team possible and try to win both remaining matches. I don't care if we relegate team or two in process.
Trevor Powell
42 Posted 11/05/2016 at 11:28:29
SIMPLES .... hit the club where it hurts .... don't renew season tickets until EL Plonker is summarily dismissed back to East Lancashire where he can manage Bolton Wanderers with his flannel-mouth!

There might be investment in the club but the club does not need this money to cover witheld season ticket money in the bank.

James Lauwervine
43 Posted 11/05/2016 at 11:40:49
Eugene 6, that'll be me too. I can't remember ever being so disinterested. I only come on here each day praying for an announcement that he's gone and then trying to console myself with reading other blues' anger.

I've said it before but, like some others, I'm fearful it's just not going to happen. How could any manager be allowed to stay after the last derby defeat? Then the first half in the semi after, just terrible.

It was the crowd that raised the team to at least have a go and then another kick in the teeth at the end. The worst season I can remember. That 68 shots stat is horrific.

Dean Peamum
44 Posted 11/05/2016 at 11:46:07
I couldn't give a monkey's flying toss about tonight's game (thanks board/manager) but I would play this team as it couldn't do any worse than any other:

Lennon, Funes Mori, Pennington, Galloway;
Barry, Besic, Dowell, Barkley;
Lukaku, Howard (scored more PL goals than Niasse)

Mark Lewis
45 Posted 11/05/2016 at 12:18:40
I wish people would not go on about the away record. If that was the case, we would be 10th and, if we counted just the home form, we would be just above the relegation zone.
Tim Sharpe
46 Posted 11/05/2016 at 12:28:40
I have never previously prayed for a manager to be fired, but now I cannot help but see it as the inevitable.

Yes, we have had bad luck at points, but we have also had lucky breaks. Stones has got away with three or four penalty claims at least. It's an excuse to lose one game, not for the whole season.

Martinez cannot be held liable for professional players that cannot string together a few passes, or for defenders that go walkabout and switch off during a game. He can only react for the next game (which is his fault for not reacting anywhere near quick enough, if at all).

For managers we have gone from one extreme to another, Moyes was too defensive, and struggled to get exciting, attacking football. Martinez cannot get his defense to stop shipping goals, but when the attackers can be bothered, it is great stuff.

We need their lovechild and we'll be fine. Disgusting thought, but there it is....

Tom Bowers
47 Posted 11/05/2016 at 12:30:53
One more defeat makes no difference to the abysmal season we have witnessed but I still hope they win. The problem is that, of the few wins they have had this season, they have very rarely impressed apart from Chelski and Southampton.

They have never looked strong in defence nor controlling in midfield with Barklay, Besic, Oviedo and Cleverly being stand out disappointments since the turn of the year. One never expected much from the others such as Osman, Gibson or Pienaar for obvious reasons.

I suppose to be fair to Norwich and the Barcodes, the strongest team should be selected, at least on paper, but one could argue that the strongest team has repeatedly failed to get results.

Oliver Molloy
48 Posted 11/05/2016 at 12:31:26
I think we will draw or win tonight.
Geoff Risebrow
49 Posted 11/05/2016 at 12:39:23
I find it unbelievable that there are fans writing articles (one in the Liverpool Echo) backing the deluded one to stay! Give me strength!

The horrible thing is we all know what sort of performance is coming tonight. We all want our enjoyment back, when we look forward to watching The Mighty Toffees.

Tony J Williams
50 Posted 11/05/2016 at 13:08:12
If we win tonight, it could really kick start our season!!!

Phil 5, the stats are wrong, it was only 59 shots and only 21 of them were on target.

Trevor 42, the season ticket money is small potatoes compared to the Sky money.

I expect a turgid boring display of football tonight from both sides but Sunderland need the points and that will probably win out.

Never want Everton to lose and I still remember Fat Sam laughing his head off after yet another foul on Cahill went unpunished due to his comments pre-match and the bellend of a ref lapping it all up and thinking Cahill was a bully and deserved the rough treatment.

Send them down, makes no difference to me, but we all know they will get the 3 points as the manager is useless and the players are already on holiday and should be fined for their absolute lack of professionalism.

Phil Walling
51 Posted 11/05/2016 at 13:20:38
Although more concern is being expressed over the fate of our manager than the likely outcome of tonight's game, I really do think the lads will ' turn up' tonight just to complicate the issue !

Whether a resounding victory for the Blues will change the course of history, I know not, although I suspect it will be more than welcome relief for BK in his determination to see Roberto through yet another 'bad patch'.

Paul Andrews
52 Posted 11/05/2016 at 13:21:24
The manager has got two games left, and rightly so. The way some of the players have given up is a disgrace.

I don't know what the answer is with the modern day player. They need toughening up in my opinion. Let them incorporate boxing into their training like a lot if sports including rugby do. A right 'ook to the ribs may wake them up.

Jeff Hughes
53 Posted 11/05/2016 at 13:34:09
It is so difficult to get excited about the Sunderland match nor the player permutations for the game, though I would certainly like to see Dowell and probably Connolly given a start.

What is frightening is Phil's comment that a victory could see Roberto still in charge next season.

It pains me to say this but I really do hope we get tonked as surely that will leave Bill with no option but to get rid of this deluded fool who will, if allowed to stay, take us down in 2 years tops. Sad times!

Damian Wilde
54 Posted 11/05/2016 at 13:59:49
I read that Echo article Lyndon linked in. Seriously annoying me how he keeps harping on about how good we were in the second half against Man Utd. Clinging to a game... we lost! Bizarre. Desperate.

The most annoying manager EVER. I've never known myself get so angry by someone.

Kevin Rowlands
55 Posted 11/05/2016 at 14:16:22
I would never want an Everton loss, but I have to say I wouldn't be to upset tonight if we did. Newcastle, who I despise like poison, relegated and another nail in the delusional one's coffin... hmm.

C'mon, you Mackems!!!!

Sreekumar Raman
56 Posted 11/05/2016 at 14:25:57
Everton manager Roberto Martinez says his team must be at their "very best" when they face Sunderland on Wednesday.

Everton supporter Mick Rule says "Very Best.? beat a team struggling to fight relegation ??? should be a stroll in the park ...I would rather we had to be at our VERY BEST to beat teams trying to qualify for the Champions League Robby....."
Patrick Murphy
57 Posted 11/05/2016 at 14:45:17
How has it come to this when a fair proportion of Blues are willing or hoping that an Everton team don't win a football match? The reason being that it seems the only way that the Chairman will do the right thing and rid the club of a manager, who it would seem is hell bent on breaking the spirit of the club forever.

I want Everton to win tonight and on Sunday, because that's how it should be, but I totally understand those that are saying if we win both matches it will give Roberto a stay of execution. I can't think of many football clubs Premier League or otherwise who would ignore the results of the team for almost two years, ignore the feelings of the supporters for almost the same period of time and carry on supporting a manager who is so obviously out of his depth that even none Everton fans are saying it.

John Hall
58 Posted 11/05/2016 at 14:54:07
"Martinez Out" is all I and everyone else needs to say ad infinitum!
Mark Lewis
59 Posted 11/05/2016 at 14:58:23
I don't see how beating two teams in the relegation zone gives him a stay of execution.
Mike Moore
60 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:08:36
Phil I totally agree, BK is utterly blinkered, Martinez will be in charge come the start of next season. God help us!
Tony J Williams
61 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:15:02
These two games will have no sway on whether he has gone or not.
Peter Cummings
62 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:20:38
John #31
Can't see 3.000 plus Everton fans going to watch another non event up north win lose or draw unless it's a certain pointer to the end of the dictatorship that has brought us lower than a snakes abdomen (with apologies to snakes) these guys have been the backbone of our support literally turning away games into 'homers' time after time hence our decent record on opposition grounds.

It's depressing enough to know the club hierarchy doesn't give a monkeys whether we care or not but when some of the players take the same attitude as they have since the FA Cup semi loss, that is totally out of order and a kick in the teeth for the best fans in the game. Just hope Sunderland stay in the Prem.

Andy Meighan
63 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:21:24
If I supported anyone but Everton I'd put a tidy little sum on Defoe getting the 1st goal tonight. I obviously want to see us win but the players look like they've been on the beach for a while league-wise and it's glaringly obvious most of them don't want to play for the manager.

I just hope they put in some sort of performance if only for the fans who have travelled up there and took time and days off work etc. I wont hold my breath on that though im going for a comfortable 2 0 sunderland win. But I would love us to win to take the relegation battle to the last day. Just for a bit of interest. I suppose if we do lose though it might put another nail in the mental one's coffin
Tim O'Connell
64 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:30:52
Let's at least make it an exciting match. My team would be
Paul Kossoff
65 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:34:56
I would have expected Martinez to be gone by now, so surely regardless of the results in our last games he is sacked seasons end.

I would drop all the team that played against Leicester bar one or two and play the under 21's, most of this team don't deserve to be at Everton and should leave in the same taxi as Martinez.

Apparently Roy Hodgson is 40 to 1 for us, Please God a million times no.
Oliver Molloy
66 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:39:24
I don't think it will matter if we win our last two games,because I truly believe Martinez will leave,be sacked or whatever before start of new season.

Also , I have never liked Sam Allardyce and would like to turn the heat up on him, and of course if we were in New castle's position we would want and expect them to turn up so to speak.

Our players , I hope will know in the interests of fair play tonight's game is a completely different scenario to out last outing at the home of the champions - we didn't care.

Sunderland are in form and we are all over the place.
An early blues goal please.
I guess we will all know within 10 to 15 minutes if Everton care about sportsmanship - I hope whatever team is out they do !

Steve Bingham
67 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:39:32
Tonight and Saturday are totally irrelevant... It's actually all very simple ...... Mr Mourhino will sort this total debacle out this summer !
Paul Kossoff
68 Posted 11/05/2016 at 15:44:30
Darren 3, So one of the players told you he is unsure of his future did he? Well you should have told him if he and the other lazy skiving loafers would put the effort in there wages require, then their futures would be assured.

Let's hope he didn't hurt himself filling his own plate with food, we don't want anymore injuries do we?

Tony Hill
70 Posted 11/05/2016 at 16:01:15
I feel quite strongly about tonight, actually. We should try our very best and it would be another new low if we are seen to be uninterested in a critical relegation match.

I have never forgotten the integrity shown by Chelsea when, against the wishes of their supporters, they beat Bolton in 1998 and kept us up. Hope we're as honest as that.

Mike McLoughlin
71 Posted 11/05/2016 at 16:03:18
Like everyone else I feel so deflated at the way Everton have been playing under Martinez of late. Is it the players fault or is it the managers. Have the layers lost respect for Bobby and therefore refuse to put in a shift or is it that other teams have sussed out how to play against us.
As stated I cannot believe this is the same team what starts the season with such a pace about them, with Pacey and clinical passing along with a striker who was scoring for toffee ( pardon the pun ). Suddenly we have players whose passing accuracy is appalling and who dither before making a pass. Players who always err on the pass back which is so infuriating for me. I agree with a previous poster who said both Lukaku and Barkley should have been benched and newer more commuted players introduced. Those 2 in particular have looked lethargic and non commital. is that because of the way the team is set up or is it the players themselves is a topic for discussion.
I for one think Everton will win tonight with Mori and Barry back in the fold. I would like to see Connolly at RB and Mirallas and Lennon on either flank. Would like to see young Dowell or Tom Davies in instead of Barkley.
While my heart is heavy and I am greiving for the demise of my football team, I look forward to jam tomorrow. COYB
Ray Griffin
72 Posted 11/05/2016 at 16:51:23
I'm expecting a much improved performance tonight, especially if Barry is playing. He's an experienced player who doesn't mind getting stuck in & who, I suspect, will enjoy battling it out against a nervous Sunderland (look out Cattermole!)
Brian Wilkinson
73 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:04:50
I am with you all the way Tony@70, Chelsea busted a gut to win, one player would have beaten Usain Bolt, on a sprint he did to clear off the line.

Chelsea fans were hoping for a Bolton win to send us down.

I was doubting myself that this never happened because one of our fans were there, who stated Chelsea fans were willing a Chelsea win, maybe where he sat they were, but watching it on sky, you could see a large number of Chelsea fans wanting a different result.

I can only think this was payback, when we sent Chelsea down around 77/78, they owed it to see Everton relegated, thankfully, the Chelsea team did us a massive favour.

Christopher Dover
74 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:11:43
Mike, I think many reasons but the main ones are, yes other teams know how to play us, said this many times and not just recently, they do one of two things, push up on us so they cannot play out from the back or retreat let us have the ball passing ten times across the back then lose it when in opposition half as they have all the team back and Everton are so slow that they lose the ball.

We do not pass and move (play statues) and the players seem like they don't care, which maybe they don't, yes they should but if they have been beaten down week after week with a system that does not work then what they are paid does not come into it (even if it should) they give a strong impression that like us they want Martinez gone, and why he has not, well I give up on that one.

Andrew Clare
75 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:12:23
I am expecting a similar performance to the Leicester game and an easy win for Sunderland and then no news from our club about Martinez tomorrow.
In other words I am expecting nothing.
Christopher Dover
76 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:18:28
Wonder what excuse he is dreaming up for tonight, lets think!
We (like at Leicester) became so overcome that Sunderland won that it took our minds off the game knowing big celebrations would take place, or next Friday week its one of the players mothers-wife's birthday and there mind was on that planning the party.

How about we don't want to play for you Mr. Martinez but if we speak out we get banished (unless your Lukaku).

Whatever it is I keep hoping it will be his last TV appearance as Everton manager.

Damian Wilde
77 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:27:56
Mikw, Lennon & Muralkas, are you joking. Martinez NEVER pkays with two wingers. I watcg games were we have not had a left midfielder. Bizaree.

Martinez and BK have left me feeling numb. Not that interested in tonight.

Les Netherwood
78 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:34:05
Sorry to say it, but we will be losers tonight. We became losers when BK appointed our idiot of a manager.

Get him out now BK.

Geoff Williams
79 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:44:58
If Niasse appears anywhere near the field tonight then it would be so unfair on the other teams in the relegation battle. He has to be one of the poorest players to ever have played for Everton. I hope one or two of the young players get their chance tonight.
Allan Board
80 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:49:43
I hope we win tonight – we can't afford Newcastle and Norwich to go down! Along with Villa, they are the only teams shitter than we are!! Don't renew any tickets for next season and go away for the weekend, its not worth the irritation!!!

Oh, and fuck off Bill and Bob!!

Ray Griffin
81 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:52:09
Andrew (#75)
Maybe wishful thinking on my part, I am hoping that, after the widespread criticism the players got last week, that some of them would show some pride in themselves and go out and put in a performance tonight.

Surely they can't play as bad again??

Eddie Dunn
82 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:54:46
Brian 73, I was at the game and although on another thread a fellow Evertonian said where he was sitting they wanted us to go down, where I was in the West Stand, I heard nothing of the sort. They were all cheering when they scored.
I dare say they sympathised with little Bolton, who outplayed them for large periods of the game, and many were jealous of our recent history.
We have never liked each other as fans after all.
Personally, I am only interested in an Everton win, but if we had to lose a meaningless game to see our red neighbours relegated, then I might think differently!
Mike Oates
83 Posted 11/05/2016 at 17:59:32
Martinez wont play the kids tonight, too much of a key game for Us, Sunderland, Newcastle, Norwich to throw in untried youngsters and not fair on the bottom 3.

Depending on result tonight I suspect he throw in 2 on Sunday vs Norwich, particularly if they are already down. It would also maybe! get the crowd on our side if 3-4 youngsters are on the pitch at the end of the game. He'll try anything to keep the peace.
Keith Glazzard
84 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:00:19
The only way that we are going to win tonight is to ignore RM's instructions - like the lads did last season when we were slipping towards relegation.
Let's see if they're up for it.
Consolation goal for Kevin in the last ten minutes anyone?
Andrew Clare
85 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:03:08
Ray #81,
I have saying the same thing for the past three months.
Tony McNulty
86 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:15:48
We last visited Disneyworld Florida about ten years ago.

One of my sons was standing in front of the "fast pass" line near a 'thrills and spills' ride. This woman came up to him and said:

"D'yall have a slow pass for this ride? Cos I don't want to go on it at all."

That is how I feel about this evening's game. Not sure I really want to watch ... but I will. Come to think of it, "slow pass" probably sums up the manager's instructions to our team

Scott Hall
87 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:16:24
Listening to the Norwich fans on SSN they know the Everton team
are a bunch of cowards led by a deluded moron. They've resigned themselves to relegation. How sad that an Everton side with such supposed great talent is so poorly thought of by fans across the country. I want Martinez out but the players should hang their heads in shame.
Jack Cross
88 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:18:06
Big party tomorrow in St George's Hall. Get yourselves down there and support Blue Union in protesting to get Martinez out.

Tonight's result, if it's a win for us, will have come far, far, too late. Martinez, has to go.

See you there.

Steve Durham
89 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:18:23
I am glad some supporters remember when Chelsea players showed integrity to their profession and beat Bolton...without which we would have been relegated – just think about that for a moment.

Not only that but there'll be thousands of fans making the trip who deserve, at the very least, a shift from these players.

Finally, take it from an Evertonian living up here – Sunderland are a joke of a club and their fans are horrible, delusional cretins who focus as much of their energies hating everything Newcastle as they do supporting their own team. I hope we beat these tonight to push them down where they belong!

Ged Simpson
90 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:21:54
Cowards Scott. That sums up present team so well. And seeing this game is Sunderland's chance, I fully expect us to bottle it. Still... we can remember the Bournemouth game! Depressing!
James Byrne
91 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:22:04
I just want Sunderland win for no other reason but to wake up in the morning to learn that this clueless clown has been fucked off.

Anything else is just pointless!

Gordon Crawford
92 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:26:35
I just listened to that Scott. Players have a lot to answer for, but hopefully that will be under a new manager, who will knock them into shape.
Graham Mockford
93 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:29:17
Whilst I could never hold truck with the view It was better to lose the FA Cup semi final in order that Martinez should go, I wonder if that is now different the season is over?

Maybe the decision is made one way or the other but if it's not another limp spiritless display can only assist his exit.

Add I genuinely never envisaged wishing such a thing.

Karl Jones
94 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:39:12
I'd love to have a reason to believe the crap that Martinez continually churns out, but my gut feeling is that there will be only one outcome - another shameful defeat.
Eugene Ruane
95 Posted 11/05/2016 at 18:49:23
Was wondering how the Geordies are looking at tonight so I had a look at one of their sites 'Toontastic' (presumably named by a 9 year old).

Saw this..

"I won't be watching this one and not just for the usual anti football reasons or me wanting to vomit everytime I see hippo head. Everton have their flip-flops on and I have the feeling they want Martinez gone."

Seems about right.

Darren Hind
96 Posted 11/05/2016 at 19:00:54

Na, He told us the players have heard nothing and that they were as eager as the fans for news. I figured that if they hadnt heard anything at all, then there was nothing to hear.

I'm probably putting two n two together and making five, but I'm worried Robbie will still be here come August.

Colin Glassar
98 Posted 11/05/2016 at 19:06:45
1-1 written all over this.
Vince Hindson
99 Posted 11/05/2016 at 19:27:31
Can't be bothered to watch a scratchy internet stream of the match so off to the cinema for me!

Will find out the result on the way home. Season ended at Wembley for me.

James Hughes
100 Posted 11/05/2016 at 19:35:19
AAARRGGHH we have Big Sam on sky - we need to nullify Everton's strength which is possession football and work on their weakness which is their defence and getting balls in the box.

This game I am about to watch summed up before we kick off

Pete Ellingham
101 Posted 11/05/2016 at 19:44:03
The sad thing about all this is even if we do lose (which we probably will) I bet we still don't sack him.
Soren Moyer
102 Posted 11/05/2016 at 22:35:30
I'm afraid he'll be in charge next season. There is no way this gutless, worthless, money grabbing chairman sack him. Hence the "What a manager" comment.
Brian Porter
103 Posted 12/05/2016 at 06:16:46
Only the bottom four clubs have fewer wins than us this season and if Sunderland win at Watford and we fail to beat Norwich that stat will change to only the bottom three and we know where they're heading! What Premier League board of directors could possibly take this season's performance as even being remotely acceptable?
Our great deluded one even had the temerity to talk up last night's abject performance which anyone who didn't see the game could be led to thinking we played well and were unfortunate to lose by three goals. Those of us watching the real game (that's the one he didn't see in cloud cuckoo land) will know were lucky not to lose 5 or 6 nil.
This is a team of good players who have been forced to go to work every day and lists to the inane and possibly insane rantings and ramblings of a manager so far out of his depth they have almost list the will to live. The players faces during last night's match spoke volumes. Martinez lost the dressing room weeks ago and like Chelsea earlier in the season they simply can't take much more. Remember, we have a choice when it comes to listening to his drivel before and after games, they don't! Every day, being worn down by his stupid ramblings, imagine it. They will probably all need psychiatric treatment if and when this joker is fired, to rebuild their shattered confidence and sense of worth and,self-respect, all of which he has systematically destroyed.
Martinez is wholly responsible for the state of the players minds when they step out onto the pitch so don't blame them, blame the person responsible.
Under another manager, this team could still go on to achieve better things, but in order to do so the priority has to be to rid ourselves of the Catalan clown the brown shoed buffoon.
Act now, Kenwright & Co. Even you should know it's now the right thing to do. If you're a true blue Evertonian as you profess to be, PROVE IT
Anto Byrne
104 Posted 11/05/2016 at 06:55:53
Can we sign Naismith back from Norwich he was outstanding other night. Should be a good game on Sunday as we strive for 14th position. How about Big Sam as our next manager? I've always thought that if he had the resources he could do well at a club like Everton. The bookies have Sunderland at 50-1 to win the league next season maybe he wouldn't want to drop down to an inferior club?

Looks like were stuck with Robbo, thought make me sick.

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