When Martinez said we were at a 'pivotal moment', my take was that this was Roberto-speak for 'We're in the shit and we need a big performance'.

So that's why for me, yesterday was the lowest point of Martinez's reign. We started brightly, with intent, scored a great goal stuffed with pace and simplicity and then we... disappeared.

That intent lasted about 20 minutes and we were swatted aside by an ordinary Newcastle side with a scared-witless keeper who was never tested. How many shots on goal have we had in the last two months?

A lot of rubbish has been spoken about Martinez, on both sides of the divide. For me, all the talk about last season's 'brilliant' football and the 'debt' he owed to Moyes is way wide of the mark.

Last season, Martinez got the basics right. Sound defence, good centre-mid, good ball retention, players knowing their jobs, created lots of chances and scored them. You don't have the season we had by luck. All we needed was a stronger spine and quicker movement of the ball.

This season, the basics have gone. Poor preseason, poor judgement of fitness. Basing our transfer strategy on whether Lukaku would join us, despite him stinking the World Cup out. Paying too much for him, then not utilising him. Players have been played all over the place, tired players keep getting picked. Good-performing players are 'rested'.

I'd love to know what's going on behind the scenes, as it looks like we have a completely different manager this season, one that is nowhere near able to do the job we want. One that has completely lost the dressing room and the plot, judging by Garbutt's comments - bet that's the last press he does for a while!

Here's what I think we need:

  • A good commanding, consistent keeper (Marshall?)
  • A commanding centre-back, preferably familiar with a football.
  • A big, strong, powerful bastard of a midfielder to partner McCarthy.
  • A balanced team that knows what its doing.

If we get those, and have a manager who is on the same wavelength as the players, we'll be fine. We'll keep the ball better and will be more equipped to get it back when we lose it. I hope we get those players, I hope that manager is Martinez, but if it isn't, fine.

If it is someone else, let's take our time and don't play the 'let's get someone who knows the club' bollocks. I don't care if they know the club; I just want a manager who picks a balanced team, keeps the ball better and has a bit of pace and fight in the team.

This situation reminds me of the 83/84 season, when at the turn of the year, every game was Kendall's 'last game'. I only hope this season turns out in such an unexpectedly fantastic way. I'm not holding my breath...

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Reader Comments (23)

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Joey Brown
1 Posted 29/12/2014 at 19:40:19
I think we already have the midfielder in Besic. A CB, a keeper, and I would argue a winger are what are needed. But even without that, I doubt many would expect us, with this team to play this poorly. To me it’s all about the tactics right now. Roberto needs to get it fixed or get out.
Kunal Desai
2 Posted 29/12/2014 at 19:42:42
Marshall, Shawcross and Witsel would do me in the summer.
Dick Brady
3 Posted 29/12/2014 at 19:50:06
One thing I will say for Moyes is that when Everton had a bad run of form under him and needed a result he could usually organise and drum up enough fight spirit to get that result.

There was a back bone and a hardworking attitude which usually would get results when we were in the shit. Sadly that never helped us much against the big teams but in those ’6 pointers’ Everton usually found enough grit to get a result. Especially at Goodison.

I do have concerns that Roberto isn’t able to organise or find that fighting spirit in the dressing room.

Ant Summers
4 Posted 29/12/2014 at 19:57:12
The guy between the Swansea posts tonight, is the keeper we should go for, IMO.
Peter Bell
5 Posted 29/12/2014 at 20:06:41
Ant, I tend to agree with Kunal @2
The keeper for me we need is Marshall from Cardiff.
Craig Mills
6 Posted 29/12/2014 at 20:09:16
A good read Paul and I whole heartedly agree, with reference to your "what we need" point no.3, "a big strong bastard to partner McCarthy", I note Coleman is heavily liked in the papers with a move to ManUtd, are we missing a big strong bastard like Fellaini? The papers quote Utd tried a swap deal in the summer but it didn’t materialse - would we take it now? I have to be honest and say I think I would, I think we miss his presence and Martinez is still looking for the answer....
John Keating
7 Posted 29/12/2014 at 20:17:58
We can bring in whoever you want and as many as you want. Unless the system works then whoever plays might as well go home.

Unless the manager is able to switch systems and tactics during the course of a game if the plan isn’t working then everything is moot.

If we have learned one thing this season it is that Martinez is a one track pony devoid of any sort of plan B. His determination to stick to an unbalanced team playing shite football with zero tactics will be the ruination of him and possibly this club
Dave Lynch
8 Posted 29/12/2014 at 20:15:21
Other than Marshall who is at a club run by an idiot, why would anyone come to us from another prem club at present?

We probably can’t better the money they are on and one look at the way we are playing and our league position would have any player running for the hills.

We do not hold a the big club " kudos" some on here think we have anymore.

Dave Lynch
9 Posted 29/12/2014 at 20:27:48
On another note, I have half an eye on the darts and the Liverpool v Swansea game.

Liverpool are shite and the atmosphere is like a morgue, the derbies not far off and if we get another kicking off this lot...

Kevin Tully
10 Posted 29/12/2014 at 20:21:10
Ten errors leading to goals tells you all you need to know. I think a few games back, I read that something like 46% of shots on target were getting past Howard. These are both incredible statÂ’s, that all point to one particular problem area. Howard and Distin are both finished for me, with Baines and Coleman playing their worst football for many a season. Jagielka seemed to be getting back into some good form. I really donÂ’t think midfield is a priority, compared to these other areas. We have Besic, McCarthy and Barry as holding midfielders.

If I were Mr. Martinez, I would be offering Petr Cech whatever he wants, and I would also have Distin benched for the rest of the season. Cech is not only the calibre of Â’keeper who can win you games, he can win you a trophy.

Take our individual errors down to a normal level, and we would easily be another 6 points better off - if not more.

Andrew Rimmer
11 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:34:18
John Keating #7 Exactly!

We need a different manager to buy players as this one ainÂ’t working. The guy really does talk a good game full of weirding words that has swayed Lovey Bill.

BillÂ’s question rather than "can you get me Champions League Football" should have been, "What went wrong at Wigan?"

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:41:25
Maybe TW should change its name to Â’Dear SantaÂ’. I want, Cech, Marshall, Valdes, Shawcross, Moutinho, Robbie Savage, Ronaldo (fat one), Bale, Messi, Dyer, Isco, ibrahimovic, Aguero, Ronaldo (narcissist), Kylie, Toure, Matic, Hazard etc.......
Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:50:01
I would also like to know what is going on behind the scenes as apart from the manager and the players there has been very little from our beloved chairman and his cohorts for quite a while. Whilst I donÂ’t expect a statement every week or month, there does seem to be a collective silence surrounding the club in the last few months.

Has RM been told to recoup some of the money he spent in the summer? Is the proposed new stadium requiring an up front payment that can only come from selling some of our star players? January 2015 could be a very Â’pivotalÂ’ month in the history of Everton FC and if the Howard reports are correct we will have to buy a quality goalkeeper which will mean BK will have to spend money, which he doesnÂ’t like doing at that time of the year.

Raymond Fox
14 Posted 29/12/2014 at 21:57:36
Now youÂ’re talking Colin.

Andrew not that Wigan nonsense again, 1st they were poor players, Jesus couldnÂ’t keep Wigan in the Prem for long, if they got a good player and they wanted to leave to a bigger club Whelan let them go.

Lets face it weÂ’ve got the same problem but to a lesser degree, you wouldnÂ’t expect Louis Hamilton to win a Grand Pre driving a Ford Focus!

Plenty of our players are average Prem quality at best IÂ’m afraid + although thereÂ’s 4 or 5 quality players inherited from Moyes he also left the same number of over the hill players that weÂ’re going have to replace somehow.

Same old problem, money.

Christopher Jacobsen
15 Posted 29/12/2014 at 22:19:31
I believe that he has to start to let Baines take free kicks and put Barkley behind Lukaku. Tthat worked well last season.

I also think we miss Alan Stubbs. I believe he was important in organize the defence.

Steve Carse
16 Posted 29/12/2014 at 23:21:16
Kunal (2), would any of these be willing to play in the Championship though?

Kevin (10), Howard may well be letting in 47% of on target shots this season but our keeper on Sunday let in 75%!

Matt Traynor
17 Posted 30/12/2014 at 04:47:12
I think Cech is out of our budget, best we could hope for is Chelsea doing us a favour (still got to play their rivals once, and he can't play against them) and give us a subsidised loan of him. We can't go breaking wage structures as it'll lead to problems down the line (although wage cuts should be on the agenda for half these underperforming pricks).

One other point, I don't think we have enough leaders on the pitch. I never thought Jagielka should be captain - he doesn't give off the right vibe to me. Probably can't remove it from him now, but the likes of McCarthy and Barry seem to be the only outfield players we have with any leadership qualities about them.

Colin Smith
18 Posted 30/12/2014 at 13:52:04
Kunal No.2 I don’t get these calls for Shawcross. Nothing I saw on Saturday said Everton player in the making. Distin is on the slide sadly & Alcaraz doesn’t fill me with confidence, good on the ball, but just too slow in both pace & reaction.

I don’t see any point in spending money we haven’t got on an average centre half; I would

(a) Give Browning, Galloway some games – yes they may make mistakes – but so do older, experienced players

(b) Drop Barry back – he reads the game the well, can tackle & pass & playing him at the back would leave room to slot more dynamic players – Besic or maybe Barkley to slot in next to McCarthy.

Elijah Constantinou
19 Posted 31/12/2014 at 15:53:31

Blooding players that you haven't seen play is annoying and wreaks of Football Manager tactics. I have in recent weeks seen the clamour for Browning and Garbutt to be starting but in reality have people even seen them play that much, opinion is formed on hearsay. Yes Browning did have two nice cameos in big games, but in the Sunderland under 21 game he looked out of sorts and against Krasnador didn't look that great.

Garbutt did okay against Newcastle, I think the clamour for him is just he can cross a ball and injects pace, but he didn't do anything breathtaking for me. I saw him against Tranmere in pre-season and he got rinsed. Whilst both do have potential, I think its unrealistic to think they will both come in and start games. If so, surely Browning would have started in his natural position of CB in the last few weeks, instead of playing the 37 year old Distin for 9 games in a row.

Michael Kenrick
20 Posted 31/12/2014 at 16:04:06
Elijah, what 'clamour' is this? I hear no clamour...

Before Colin's comment above, you have to go back over 1,000 comments before you can find one even suggesting he should start.

I also disagree with the claim that opinion on these players is formed on hearsay. They've both played this season, and most of us can develop an initial impression using our own eyesight without resorting to hearsay.

They are both young players: we are told repeatedly young players do not perform consistently. But to my jaundiced eye these two have excellent potential... and need to be given playing opportunities to bring them along.

Kieran Riding
21 Posted 31/12/2014 at 16:21:32
Chelsea have a very realistic chance of winning 4 trophies this year. Just cant see them loaning out Cech to anyone.
Mark Press
22 Posted 01/01/2015 at 01:27:09
Kunal (2), Ant (4) - What makes you think we could get Shawcross or Fabianski? Shawcross is captain at Stoke, first-choice defender, firm fan favourite. What do we offer him that Stoke doesn't?

As for Fabianski, he only moved to Swansea in the summer and is having the best season of his life, his long-cherished dream of being first-choice keeper. Swansea are above us in the table.

Let's be realistic.

Andy Meighan
23 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:07:23
Mark (#22), the one thing is, we can’t guarantee Shawcross – even if we trebled his wages – is Premier League football next season. I’ll bet Stoke can, though...

I think if we are to act in the window, a lot of players, if they had to choose between us and a couple of other clubs, would at the moment steer away from Goodison. Sad times for our club, these.


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