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Contributions from ToffeeWeb readers

Black Cats Get the Cream as Goodison Turns Sour

Mark Ellis
Frustration and passion dominate this recap of the Sunderland game by one Blue who is running out of patience with a perceived lack of direction at Everton.

Just Making Do

Mark Finnegan
It's all gone very quiet at Everton and one fan says he is tired of the lack of developments regarding investment in the club or a new stadium.

The Changing of the Guard

Jamie Armstrong
From the players, management and board, we need to see a reaction this summer and we can send out a real message. It’s probably one of the biggest in our recent history.

Barry and McCarthy

James Martin
"I just don't know. In so many ways Barry and McCarthy are great but in others they can look very very average."

Dutch Master rates higher than a Spanish Impressionist

David Cooper
For Southampton, Ronald Koeman, stretched to his limits of who he could play, came up with a very simple plan that Roberto Martinez had no answer to. It is clear that a Dutch Master rates higher than a Spanish Impressionist. Ronald Koeman – in the words of "Survivor" – outplayed, outwitted and outlasted Martinez to such an extent that, unless Roberto starts to seriously reflect on what team and tactics he is sending out, he may become a candidate for being "voted off the island".

It's All About Belief

Mike Oates
Something inside me says we will survive... although not very prettily, but we have to have belief that we can do it. It’s all about belief.

Welcome to the Asylum

Wayne Stamps
"They say the definition of insanity is 'doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.'" Can Martinez adapt in the face of his first serious test as Everton manager?

Faith or fear; Warsaw or Wigan; atmosphere or applause

Jim Hourigan
The debacle on Saturday has for many raised questions about Martinez and the current state of play. Has the faith so many of us put in him last year that we were once more playing fast attractive attacking football begun to crumble? To be replaced by a fear that we have a side that is weak mentally and has lost the competitive edge and the refusal to get beat?

In Praise of the Midget Gems

Fran  Mitchell
Our famous Midget Gems: Osman, Pienaar and Cahill. These three lads are sorely missed from the current Everton team, and we lost them at pretty much the same time. That is a hard gap to fill, especially with our resources.

Competition for places.... Really???

Wayne Stamps
"I'm not concerned in terms of [our] performances, I don’t think we are far away from where we were last season, and even I would say that we are better this season, in many aspects of our performances." — Roberto Martinez.

Stick or Twist? Sink or Swim?

Dave Randles
If Premier League survival is what we want, then Roberto needs to do something and quickly, because I for one am no longer sure he knows what he’s doing.

Don't Mention the 'R' Word

Steve Hogan
The next four weeks will, I believe, be the defining moments of our manager's season, and will also test the resolve of the Chairman in sticking with Martinez in the hope he will pull the club through.

Miedo and Other Sins

Jim Potter
Whatever, ‘fear’ is most certainly in our midst and seemingly tightening its grip on a daily basis. The players, the fans and the manager are seemingly being consumed by it. And after last night’s defeat at Stoke this is probably only going to get worse.

The Lost Tribe of Everton

Patrick Hart
The case for a city centre stadium and Boardroom failure leaving Everton in the doldrums in their own city

An Open Letter to Roberto

Steve Stobie
A fan of 30 years addresses the manager over his team's poor form in what has been a very disappointing season

The Perils of the Final 10

Chris Feeley
An analysis of Everton's crippling malaise and some possible solutions.

Robert and Roberto Q&A at IFB 2014

Jamie Rowlands
A report from the International Festival of Business forum yesterday where Everton CEO Robert Elstone and manager Roberto Martinez were among the speakers.

Mitigating Circumstances?

Alan Wilson
Martinez should not be above questioning but there are plenty of factors working against the manager this season

Quo vadis, Martinez?

Michael Kidd
What does Roberto do now? Surely he has to admit that things are not going well? I assume it is not his tactics that dictate that Everton are almost always second to the ball and back off rather than pressurizing? But it is his job to work on the players’ confidence and self-belief. Other than the top few clubs and the odd season where there is a truly dire bottom team (or teams), the difference between most of the rest, I think, is in their heads. And what is in our heads at the moment is the opposite of where we were last season. Roberto needs to get that confidence back, but I’m not sure if he can.

A Young Blue Down South

Sam Day
I decided to write about something that I had a great first-hand experience of and that others could relate to; being a blue down south!

Does It Always Have to Be This Way?

Sid  Logan
Unease is growing among some supporters as the summer drags on with no obvious signs of significant signings at Everton.

Stadium Design Questions

David Shaw
A new stadium brings with it a number of design questions and options for forging a path forward.

Where's the Pivot Pointing?

Paul Tran
"It looks like we have a completely different manager this season, one that is nowhere near able to do the job we want."

Mr Kenwright In Quotes

Chris Feeley
Bill Kenwright is an enigmatic figure who who leads Everton Football Club from the top. This study works through a number of his published quotations in an effort to gain more insight on where the club is.... and where it is going.

A Question of Strategy

Fran Mitchell
Outlining a short-term interim strategy to returning Everton to the big time.

If You Know Your History In Search of Royal Blue Blood

Jamie Yates
Jamie searches his family tree for Evertonian connections.

We need to keep hiring a Roberto Martinez

Robin Cannon
If we do fire Roberto Martinez then we need to go out and hire... another Roberto Martinez.

Lukaku is the Problem

Martin Wallace
The problems Everton have now can all be traced back to spending way over the odds for an average player and then (in a blind attempt to justify paying silly money), repeatedly sending him out in the wrong position, whilst hiding behind the fact that he’s very young and therefore needs time to develop.

My interview with Andy King

Brian Viner
Evertonian author and journalist, Brian Viner shares with us what he thinks may be the last interview with Andy King, from his book Looking For The Toffees, first published last August.

A Question of Style

Sam Day
Is the strongest group of players since the late 1980s being wasted by a style that doesn't play to their strengths?

Talking a Good Game

Rodger Armstrong
Roberto is an interviewer’s dream and became, especially last season, something of a Media darling. Everyone wanted to hear his views, his analysis, his thoughts. That is all very well and good when results are going your way. However, we sit here in March 2015 with only 6 League wins all season in 14th spot on 28 points from 28 games.

Do We Give Youngsters a Chance?

Mike Oates
Do we really give youngsters a chance? Is our academy fulfilling its role? Can we afford to give youngsters a chance?

Alan Ball Little Man, Big Heart

Frank Mullin
Waxing lyrical about the good old days, and in particular about a man who lived and breathed passion in a royal blue shirt.

Where Has It All Gone Wrong, Roberto?

Jamie Armstrong
A harsh spotlight on Everton's failings under Roberto Martinez this season and some prescriptions for the malaise.

Jagielka & Distin: The Dilemma

Paul Ferry
A lot of the talk tonight is about serious issues for Everton and Roberto Martinez regarding the pivotal centre-back pairing in defence.

Second-Season Syndrome

Trevor Powell
Many more seasoned fans are approaching Roberto Martinez's second season with some trepidation.

What Do We Want?

Patrick Murphy
What is it that Evertonians require or expect from their team and individual players?

A Call to Arms

Dave Williams
Come on all you Blues. No matter what the team selection, regardless of whether you are for or against Roberto – shout until you have no voice left on Saturday and see if we can inspire our boys to a win.

Three Key Positions Unaddressed

Wayne Stamps
We have three crucial positions in the team that decide the future of all football teams, yet they now have massive question marks over them, and that gives me room to have concerns about the forthcoming season.

The Legacy of Pre-Season

Jim Knightley
Did Everton's poor pre-season performances foretell of a disappointing start?

In the presence of greatness

Paul Traill
I was delighted to attend the book launch of the posthumous autobiography of The Cannonball Kid himself, one Dave Hickson. James Corbett had invited along some of Dave's team mates from the 1950s era, including Jimmy Harris and Derek Temple. It was a lovely book launch and it was amazing to be in the presence of such highly esteemed colleagues of Dave Hickson. The book itself is a superb read.

Deep in the Doo-Dah!

Jay Wood
We are DEEP in the doo-dah... we have taken a paltry 4 points from the last 24 available, with a home draw with Hull and a win against QPR. We are currently bottom of the PL form table. It's not as though we've had a difficult fixture list in those 8 games...

'Tis the Winter of Our Discontent

Cam Matthews
That Shakespearean phrase used to describe one of the darkest periods of British Political history has been used to brand Everton's bleak and dismal festive period. That's not good.

Spot On Lukaku

Rodger Armstrong
Two top-drawer performances and two confidently-taken penalties have epitomised the responsibility that Romelu Lukaku has assumed as a vital player this season.

Rebuilding the House Roberto Built

James Martin
It has been a difficult season to defend Roberto Martinez, there is no doubt about that. I felt compelled to write something in his defense though as I believe our mid season form rather than being the end point of the Martinez experiment, the ultimate Wiganification of Everton if you like, was rather a very large bump in the road with numerous contributing factors behind it.

Who would you call?

Paul Traill
Who has the proven track record and indefatigable resilience to solve our current problems...

Our Immediate Future

James Flynn
Who is coming and who is going this summer? The only thing certain is that Roberto has his work cut out for him.

Alex Sandy Young Grave Ceremony

Tony I'Anson
Tony visited the ceremony to commemorate Alex Sandy Young and unveil the new headstone at his grave in Edinburgh.

It's Now Or Never For Kenwright

Steve Hogan
In the history of the game, there has never been that much money now guaranteed to clubs playing in the top flight. If Everton were ever offered a financial incentive to build a new stadium, it is now.

If it's time to go, where do we go?

Jamie Armstrong
The players' performances fall at Martinez’s door and his poor performances sit at Kenwright’s. It’s the million-dollar question: Who could we bring in and who could we attract? This piece providers a detailed list of potential candidates that would be attracted to the opportunity of managing our beloved football club.

Lille On Wheels

Chrissy Smith
An account from one of the Everton Disabled Supporters Association (EDSA) who travelled to Lille last Thursday.

American Evertonians Feel the Pain of Howard's Struggles

Geoffrey Caveney
For an American football fan, there is nothing worse than seeing our hero, playing for our beloved club with all our proud history, in the best league in the world, letting the club down. We are so proud of Howard, for showing everyone that an American can succeed at the world's game on the highest level, for doing it for Everton, for making American Evertonians proud. When he fails, it hurts us all the worse.

Tactics, Selection and Squad Is Completely Unbalanced

Jim Hourigan
As I sat through the match last night, watching West Ham pick up every second ball and pass around some of our players with ease, the paucity of our tactics and selection was once again laid bare.

Fish and Chips

Kieran Kinsella
There's an old saying that "Today's news is tomorrow's fish and chip paper." In my profession, there is a similar ethos — it doesn't matter what you did yesterday, it's all about producing today. Once upon a time, top flight footballers also believed in this concept. Hence the much quoted "You're only as good as your last game." Sadly, this is no longer the case

Billy Kenny Football's No. 1 Wasted Talent

Dick Brady
Billy Kenny's highly promising Everton career sadly ended with just 17 league appearances, 4 cup appearances, one goal and a wonderful man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool.

Changes, Changes and More Changes!

Ged Dwyer
Making the argument that playing a settled team is more conducive to consistent results

The Everton squad

Graham Holliday
An overview of the current squad and areas where Roberto Martinez needs to strengthen

A Mission of Disengagement: How a Local Paper Alienated Itself from Its City

Chris Feeley
The Liverpool Echo's circulation has been dropping in recent years, a trend mirrored across traditional print media. But is the paper's perceived imbalance in reporting on Red and Blue when it comes to football a contributing factor?

Maybe We Should Think the Unthinkable

Wayne Stamps
Should Everton offload some of their best players in order to rebuild?

Will All This Pain Pay Off?

Kevin Tully
The last three games have been absolute torture. There was a point in the Spurs game, when Baines took a throw in to Barkley, and Ross just stabbed it out of play for an opposition throw in. I swear, I nearly chewed off my own hand off, watching them both trot away without even a backward glance.

What's Gone Wrong?

Mike Oates
We’ll all have a predominant reason why we think we are struggling, but what is certain is that unless we break out of this run of form as soon as possible we’ll be dragged down into the group who’ll be fighting for survival.

Should We Battle to Hold On to Mirallas?

David Cartlidge
Has it reached the point where the dilemma shouldn’t be whether to sell the Belgian or not but instead how to command the best possible fee for him and look to rebuild?

PreSeason... So what have we learned?

Wayne Stamps
it is hard for us to judge exactly what Roberto wanted from the friendly games although it's safe to assume the results were not a high priority. Only in the second half did against Celta Vigo did we start to look sharper and the Paderborn game and a further closed door match should help towards fitness for the Leicester fixture.

Don't Panic, Captain Mainwaring!

Wayne Stamps
With Roberto Martinez back home, we can expect some progress on transfers in the near future.

Back From the Asylum

Wayne Stamps
A cold night at the Boleyn Ground, a loss in cruel circumstances, but a performance to warm the heart

Your Move, Roberto

Charlie Gibson
A look at the current Everton squad and where the manager should be looking to reinforce given the skewed demographics towards more veteran players

Will the Misery Ever End?

Mike Oates
Was last season merely a freak occurrence and does this season's calamity risk the break-up of Roberto Martinez's squad?

The Barkley Enigma

Rick Tarleton
Ross Barkley is a tremendous talent but he does not seem to be using many of his abilities currently for Everton. What will be Barkley's role in the Everton team? Has he the footballing intelligence to be the main man in the Everton team?

The Eternal Triangle

Bob Carlton
It has always been thought that a strong spine to a team is the foundation of a team that will do well. It's obvious really; a good keeper, a strong centre-back, a playmaker/enforcer in central midfielder, and a striker who will score goals.

Could It Be Turning?

Ian Robertson
It seems strange to talk in terms of turning the corner when we’ve just gone out of the cup, but it’s about performances as well, and a draw at home to Man City followed by an unlucky exit in a gripping FA Cup replay at least offer grounds for cautious encouragement. The fact is, just a couple of weeks ago, we would not have fought back in either of those games – least of all with ten men on the pitch.

Let's Not Kid Ourselves

Mike Oates
We think we've turned a corner but our current form is still nowhere near good enough to get us away from the bottom three. Let’s not kid ourselves – we are in serious trouble, we can’t keep clean sheets, the way we are set up defensively is useless, and we desperately need Lukaku and Mirallas on fire – and, I suspect, a fully fit McCarthy.

Timothy Matthew Howard

Paul Ferry
Is Tim Howard no longer the goalkeeper he once was and a source of concern that there is nobody else on the books who could effortlessly take his place between the sticks?

What's the Story?

Jack Garrett
If it’s the hope that kills you, that’s fine, give me some hope. Because it’s better than the limbo of 2014-15.

Frustration... But It Could Be So Good!

Steve Stobie
A potted history of the season to date and the inescapable conclusion that Stones and Jagielka should be the centre-back pairing going forward to get out of the gaping hole Everton's early season defence (or lack thereof) has created.

Let History Repeat Itself

Mike Owen
It is often said that history repeats itself. So let me take you back 50 years to September 1964...

Follow Europa's Lead

Nick Entwistle
Something needs to be done to revitalize he domestic cup competitions...

Rotterdam Blues

Ian Hollingworth
We were going to watch Everton play in a European final.

Everton Fans' Forum

Richard Knights
Richard expresses reservations over the transparency of the recent Fans' Forum vote.

Spanish Impressionist 1 Dutch Master 0

Dave  Cooper
Three wins on the bounce does reflect a change in strategy by RM, although he might never admit it.

The Etymology of Everton

Sam Day
I am singing about wild boars in a stadium named after a sewage worker, in support of a team inspired by the patron saint of astronomy.

Why the Fans Are As Wrong As Martinez

Sean Wafer
A storm is brewing at Everton, and the quite genuine danger that 12 months of goodwill is fully eroding looks apparent.

Kyiv An Opportunity For Peacemaking

Steven Jones
We as Evertonians have the rare opportunity to set new standards in football supporter behaviour. With the upcoming fixture, we have an amazing opportunity to reach out with the hand of friendship and support.

Why Is Such a Talented Group Playing So Badly?

Jim Hourigan
Players having off days and a run of poor form is not new and in any sport is to be expected but why, as a collective, are so many underperforming at the same time?

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