I've read with great interest the vast amount of (very well written) comments from concerned Evertonians on Toffeeweb pages over the last couple of weeks. Roberto Martinez's Everton world seems to be falling apart on the pitch. Off it the pressure is mounting. It's hard not to be worried about our current plight as we tumble down the Premier League table.

It seems to me the crux of Evertonians concerns are :

- Roberto Martinez losing the players
- Lack of player fitness
- Inability to defend
- Effectiveness, or lack of, with set-pieces

My sister bought me Ossie: My Autobiography for Christmas and over the last week I've had my head in the book. Now Leon Osman doesn't skirt from it, he has a lot of respect for David Moyes and he makes this very clear in the book, it's actually a decent read, though I digress...

The problems we currently have aren't answered in the book but it does indicate where some of the problems may lie...

- Roberto Martinez losing the players

There's talk of a few "bad apples" in the squad among some of the Toffeeweb comments, Sylvain Distin seemingly being one of them. Well, of Distin, Leon wrote:

"Big Sylv is a consummate professional who everyone looks up to. He's the foreign outfield player with the most Premier League appearances, and you can see why. He works so hard in training that you can't help but be inspired. He is a very big figure in the Everton dressing room and he's like the 'daddy' for any foreign player."

Obviously we don't know what's happened in the dressing room or if indeed Distin is one of the "bad apples" but it seems to me that Sylvain has a lot of influence and isn't one of the ones you want to fall out with. Said that if I was Distin I'd be in uproar if Alcaraz got picked ahead of me. Alcaraz is hopeless and though Distin may be past his best he is always committed. I don't see that in Alcaraz.

- Lack of player fitness

Leon covers typical training sessions under Martinez in contrast to when David Moyes was at the helm:

"Under Moyes, the usual schedule was training Monday, Tuesday; off Wednesday and then in again on Thursday and Friday. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, every session was hard and lasted a long time. Friday was more low-key in comparison but a Friday under David Moyes can be like a Tuesday under Roberto Martinez, which is the hard day."

To keep this fair, I should point out that Leon does explain this in a bit more depth, stating that Roberto "prefers to work at a high intensity for short periods". I can understand this but there's been a few games of late (Southampton and Newcastle Utd in particular) when I've watched Everton try (!) to recover from a deficit and wonder exactly what they were doing. The fitness seems terrible to me, and if a "low-key" Friday under Moyes is "like a Tuesday" under Martinez then I worry about how competitive we can stay. Let's be honest, fitness was never an issue under Moyes.

- Inability to defend
- Effectiveness, or lack of, with set-pieces

Inability of defending is not covered as such in Osman's book but set-pieces is. To be fair, Leon wrote about practicing defending set-pieces. Whilst this is also a problem at the moment it is a lack of creativity from set-pieces which is a concern. What Leon wrote scared the life out of me:

"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."

Lack of practice with defending set-pieces brings me to the assumption that we are not practicing attacking set-pieces either... which would explain why we seldom score with set-pieces. That's criminal for me. Indeed, by my reckoning, four of the nine goals we conceded over the Christmas period have been from set-pieces (one against Stoke effectively from our own set-piece!). "Find out, think for yourself" just isn't good enough for me.

As I write I've just watched Real Sociedad defeat Barcelona in La Liga due, in the main, to a defensive masterclass by David Moyes's team. They seemed very well drilled, fit and playing for each other. Sure it was backs to the wall, a smash and grab, but they were playing Barcelona. Could you imagine us trying to play Barcelona under Martinez?

Nothing would please me more than for Martinez to turn this around and I think he deserves more time yet. I'd at least give him the next two games as we've some real six-pointers after that. Perhaps January can bring the opportunity to bring in a few bodies which better suit his style but let's be reasonable, he's already spent a generous transfer kitty last summer. It's a tough call for Bill Kenwright. Get rid of Martinez and who do you get in? Options are very limited.

However there is one manager of a Basque outfit who I think would join us. I may be wrong as having watched them tonight he seems to have a bit of a project on the go, but I'll leave the final word with Leon Osman on why I think he might be tempted back.

"I think, as fans, we should find it easy to forgive him. He loves our club, he really does. He's an Evertonian. He left on good terms and he should be able to come back on good terms."

If I was Bill Kenwright and it comes to the crunch, that's the first call I'd make.

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Reader Comments (93)

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Kunal Desai
1 Posted 06/01/2015 at 06:27:37
None of that is surprising in the least. Fitness issues and poor at set pieces has been highlighted in various threads this season. If he has clearly neglected these areas then Martinez will eventually pull the final trigger on himself. If he fails to beat anyone of Man City, WBA or Crystal Palace the club will have to act. As for Moyes, no thanks!
Jay Wood
2 Posted 06/01/2015 at 06:58:36
Fascinating yet disturbing insights Paul.

For all the flack Moyes gets on here, IÂ’m not a revisionist. He did a good job for us, leaving the club and squad in a far healthier state than when he arrived. He left Roberto a rich inheritance. We were never seriously threatened with relegation under Moyes and he had us looking up rather than down.

I believe Everton remains strong in his affections, but given his subsequent conduct and declarations about Everton early on in his tenure at Manure, a recall to the club...? We could do worse, but ...

NAH! That bridge is well and truly burnt.

Matt Traynor
3 Posted 06/01/2015 at 06:55:56
Because he was here for such a long time, IÂ’ve always felt that some of our younger fans were, naturally, more of a fan of Moyes in some regards than of Everton. He did a good job during a difficult period, but to my mind stayed far longer than he should have - he was going through the motions for a large part of his last contract, one that made him one of the top-12 highest paid managers in the world.

Also, his ego is such that he would see it as some sort of vindication if he came back, and I would fully expect we would see the back of some players sharpish, but not the ones some of the fans might want.

Everton was perfect for Moyes, because there was little to no pressure or expectation, other than keep them in the PL. This persisted for most of his tenure, hence the defeatist talk that drove so many against him. To my mind, whilst he was on a hiding to nothing at Man U, he was always going to struggle to achieve anything of note there. HeÂ’s a good manager to stabalise a club, IÂ’ll be interested to see how he does at RS (!) I will be surprised if he ever gets a crack again at an established CL club, certainly in this country.

Mike Green
4 Posted 06/01/2015 at 07:57:36
Not for me Paul.
Joe Clitherow
6 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:05:35
If they donÂ’t practice defending set pieces what do they practice defending?

Three opposition set pieces is generally three goals against for us.

All sounds very lazy and criminally negligent to me. Will get well tested by Big Sam tonight...

Jermaine Jennings
7 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:05:25
Very Interesting article, Paul, and one which causes many concerns. I think he still needs to the end of the season so long as we are not flirting with relegation. It would make no sense to get rid of him now or in the next two games.

Not to practise set pieces and a lack of fitness is awful for any professional football club. So what if we may face 3 corners in a game, still practice them.

RM and GJ downfall is that they think they are in Spain and cannot adapt there style to the English game. Look at Swansea and how they have progressed in terms of there football.

I personally think he has lost the dressing room. When a player says we are behind the manager then heÂ’s doomed. ItÂ’s like the dreaded vote of confidence from the Chairman.

If he was to go in the next 3 games, then I would happily have Frank De Boer, coaches Bergkamp, Ferguson, Rene Meulesteen.

James Byrne
8 Posted 06/01/2015 at 07:50:28
Another really worrying insight into the shambolic way the manager does his job at Everton.

One thing IÂ’ve said all season is that our fitness levels have been a problem; as well as that IÂ’ve believed for a while now that our style of "tippy tappy" pass the ball a thousand times a game etc, is one of the root causes of so many player injuries. ItÂ’s hospital football at best sometimes.

I have to thank Martinez for one thing though; since his arrival IÂ’ve studied all kinds of football tactics in all types of levels and leagues. I watched Aberdeen at the weekend run wild at Motherwell and was so impressed with how every player seemed to be able to pass and hold / control every ball. They can score, win and keep clean sheets and have ended up at the top of their league. It was also refreshing to see OFM turn over Barca with an almost identical old Everton style performance, gritty and busy.

IÂ’m not saying I want Moyes back but I do want back a team that is fit, can pass a ball and go through the 90 without conceding so many goals.

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:21:20
IÂ’ve read the piece and was going along saying yeah, yeah, yeah, Â’kin right, until you got the punchline.

Then it was NO FUCKIN WAY.

But then I thought, if the options were a Moyes-esque clone, then why would you bother, then I thought NO FUCKIN WAY.

Been there, done that, got the 7th-ish trophy. What we need is the Â’Goldilocks optionÂ’ ... not too Martinez (hot), not too Moyes (cold)... but just right.

Where and Who is our Ghost (of Moyes & Martinez) Buster. That is the Question.

(Moyes, Paul... really, REALLY?...nah.)

Brian Harrison
10 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:34:34

Those extracts from OssieÂ’s book says everything you need to know about RMÂ’s lack of organisation. We are constantly told that football is a business so why would a multi-million pound company employ a man who got his last club relegated.

I noticed even MotD highlighted WiganÂ’s first 20 games and goals conceded in the year they got relegated and our first 20 games this season.

Wigan played 20 conceded 35
Everton played 20 conceded 33.

Dick Fearon
11 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:38:36
From what I can gather there is a stipulated number of hours for training. Surely there cannot be a contractual reason that prevents a few extra hours on practicing what is quite clearly a deficiency. Then again, it may be that our coaches are not up to it.
Sam Hoare
12 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:48:48
I was a fan of David Moyes and think that some of the abuse he received on here when we were seventhish in the league was bordering on laughable. It appears more so in the current gloomy light around Goodison. However, there is no doubt that things had gone stale and I would certainly not want him back. Yet.

I think Derek Thomas is right. What we need is someone in the middle. someone able to combine the organisation and intensity from Moyes with the positivity and attacking emphasis from Martinez. As I wrote that it felt a little hollow as we have hardly shone as an attacking force in the last year or so but still the point remains that think a balance should be achievable. Ronald Koeman and to a degree big Sam Allardyce have shown the way this season, building organised teams with solid defences that are more than able to break quickly and move the ball around till its in the back of the oppositionÂ’s net. To be fair, WE were that team last season but it look increasingly like that organised defense may have been the residual Moyes affect.

Can Martinez be that man to find a balance? It looks more and more unprobable as he refuses to budge from his Â’possession at the cost of organisationÂ’ stance. He will almost certainly be given more time to get it right as Kenwright has only sacked one manager in the last 15 years, though his hand may be forced if we fall any lower down the league which seems horribly possible at the moment.

Mark Tanton
13 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:33:04
I have been a big fan of Martinez but am teetering on the brink of joining the "sack him" brigade.

My main reason for doing so - we have spent 㿈m on a striker and weÂ’re not playing to his strengths and weÂ’re wasting him.

Who would I turn to? Christ knows. WhoÂ’s out there? I honestly think Pulis might have been an option.

Kevin Tully
14 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:37:34
A 7th-place finish is Â’parÂ’ for us. Why would we want to go back to being Â’gratefulÂ’ for that? It was clear when the likes of Neville was here, he and Moyes thought they were performing miracles finishing 7th. Â’A top half finish is really good for a club like Everton.Â’ Ring any bells?

If Martinez had alienated this bunch, and he canÂ’t turn this around, I would be tempted to give Laudrup or McClaren a call.

Les Fitzpatrick
15 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:33:16
I just want this joker gone. The little faith I ever had in him has now gone.

All this crap about relegation is disturbing my sleep, and I cannot even forget about it in work, I am surrounded by Man Utd and RS fans, laughing their faces off at us.

Come on, Blue Bill, you know what you need to do.

Dominic Tonge
16 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:53:56
Who would I call?

Paul Clement at Real Madrid.

Phil Walling
17 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:29:03
I always felt that Davey did a good job. Dour, downbeat and dogged he may have been but he delivered on budget and only rarely had us looking down the table.

All the stats available show that sustained success is determined by the resources available and EvertonÂ’s income is decidedly seventish. Why then should we have expected him to deliver finishes above that mark? But we all did.

Moyes is a pragmatist who did well here but was set up to fail at OT. And did so. I wish him well in Spain but have no desire to see him back here because, stupidly, he burned his boats.

I think Martinez was welcomed here because he was so different. A football romanticist bordering on fantasist. Perhaps more suited to management in his own country than here. But, for certain, never the man to manage Everton.

Throughout the game, history will show that Boards will usually appoint managers whose approach is diametrically opposed to their predecessor. ThatÂ’s why I thought Pulis would get the call. But almost certainly the next man will be no chancer.

WHEN is really the question.

John Keating
18 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:26:23
This morning, Martinez says that more or less he doesnÂ’t give a shit about defending as long as we score more goals than the opposition. Now that is his philosophy and heÂ’s sticking to it regardless.

Unfortunately, he and the players are not practising it this season. We go ahead and stop playing. We go behind and give up!!

This guy, in my opinion, is a complete arsehole if he thinks any team can go out and think they can win anything with that attitude. He is totally sold on winning the stats and then making excuses if the result doesnÂ’t reflect it.

I cannot believe any other team in the world do not work on set pieces! My bloody grandsonÂ’s team works on them and theyÂ’re Under-11s!!! I think I would call any psychiatric unit that would take him

Sam Hoare
19 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:36:58
Kevin, last season a 5th place finish was celebrated similarly. The glass ceiling is as present as ever.

I think a lot of us would take 7th at present.

Phil Walling
20 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:37:42
John, I agree, but I understand that the stats Roberto works with shows that, on average, goals only result from 1 in 35 set pieces – and that includes corners. Thus they are not deemed ’areas of primary concern’.

Personally, I find it hard to believe but, correct or not, our team’s current approach to set pieces – both in their execution and defence – looks decidedly slipshod and unprofessional.

Kevin Tully
21 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:45:35
Sam, of course there is a Â’glass ceilingÂ’ in place, but some managers want to reinforce that glass!

Look, Moyes is a good manager who will guarantee organisation, hard work, and some decent football once certain targets are met. First and foremost he is a pragmatist, no better than Allardyce, Pardew, or any other journeyman Premier League manager you care to mention.

We will probably never find someone to take us to Â’the next level.Â’ That doesnÂ’t mean we should settle for 7th, just so Phil can collect at the bookies every season!

Phil Walling
22 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:54:55
Bloody spoilsport, Kevin!
Brent Stephens
23 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:52:14
"Martinez doesnÂ’t really do that. ItÂ’s rare for us to work on set-pieces. YouÂ’re given your roles, youÂ’re supposed to understand them and if you donÂ’t, find out, think for yourself. That was a big changeover for us."

WOW!!! Find out for yourself!! FFS!!

"We questioned why we werenÂ’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."

And WOW again!!! LetÂ’s not practice defending set pieces!

These two bits are news to me – more pieces in the jigsaw!

James Morgan
24 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:42:00
I would call The A Team, because Robertos plan isnÂ’t coming together! Or maybe the Ghostbusters to exorcise his relegation ghosts. But not David "letÂ’s get to 40 points" Moyes. Not for me.
Though it wouldÂ’ve been interesting to see him work with a stronger strikeforce then he ever had.
Sam Hoare
25 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:01:51
Kevin, I think Moyes is a little better than the likes of Pardew and Allardyce as he showed by finishing above them year after year.

The fact is that taking a non-monied club to the Â’next levelÂ’, by which I assume you mean Champions League, is a Herculean task that basically very few if any managers have achieved in the PL. In fact EvertonÂ’s 4th place finish is the only real gatecrashing I can think of if you include Spurs as a monied club which I think they merit.

That doesnÂ’t mean we should not strive for 4th or higher but perhaps we should acknoweldge that someone who keeps us knocking at the door is probably doing a pretty good job. Right now it does not look like Martinez is even capable of that.

Tony Hill
26 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:53:39
7th would be wonderful from where we are now.

I have begun to think that tonight may be a lot more important for RM than it appeared to be, given that most of us are concentrating on the PL. If we were to lose badly then I just wonder if that would be the point of no return. The nature of the performance, more than the result, may be significant for the decision makers (BK); if we are again tired, sloppy and uninterested then the omens for Saturday against Man City and against WBA and Palace later in the month can only be read one way canÂ’t they?

As discussed last night on another thread, the transfer window makes BKÂ’s timings very tight if any change is going to happen and he would need to give himself maximum time to make an appointment and let the new man have input on the squad. That is to assume that BK is considering the dangers to EFC in the way that he ought to be.

Never Moyes again for me. Is Hoddle a possibility? Not an Everton figure on the face of it and his history is difficult but he has considerable strengths as well. Probably wouldnÂ’t fit in truth. Otherwise, Benitez would be my choice but canÂ’t see him coming to us.

Anyway, lÂ’ll wait and see what happens tonight before I get too carried away.

Ray Said
27 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:06:53
Phil@20. You state that the ’stats Roberto works with shows that, on average, goals only result from 1 in 35 set pieces – and that includes corners. Thus they are not deemed ’areas of primary concern’.

Those stats are influenced by the fact that most teams DO work on defending corners/free kicks thus lowering the number of goals scored. The stats for teams that DONÂ’T work on defending corners will be higher in terms of goals conceded.

It would be interesting to have the stats for the rate of Everton goals conceded from corners/free kicks...

Linda Morrison
28 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:25:19
IÂ’ve been told by two people that Roberto does not concern himself with defence in training, itÂ’s all attack. One of them plays golf with Joe Royle.

In todayÂ’s Echo, Martinez is quoted as "Looking for a safe pair of hands until Howard returns". IÂ’ve so far wanted to give the manager time but statements like that are crass. How much confidence is that going to install in Robies?

The answer is that the players are unhappy at the way blame has been unfairly laid at Distin while Alcaraz can do no wrong. Â’Nuff said.

IÂ’d call Alan Irvine for the rest of the season and get Benitez in the summer, providing we are still in the EPL. I canÂ’t see Martinez turning this around

Nick Page
29 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:32:49
Things are becoming clearer.... woeful. WeÂ’ll get twatted tonight. And continue to until this man is shown the door. Everton FC are not a fucking project.

Koeman would by my choice but thatÂ’s just lazy as IÂ’ve seen him work. There must be similar coaches working in Europe, that would be more ambitious than Moyes but lacking the misplaced positivity of Martinez and his bizarre approach. Moyes continually placed above Pulis, Hughes and all the other big grocks so I think weÂ’d be wrong to go down that road again.

James McPherson
30 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:45:41
Well, as someone said, itÂ’s another piece in the jigsaw. All these pieces are coming together and though still circumstantial in some ways, the evidence is looking overwhelmingly bleak, for Martinez, for EFC and for us. Some aspects are so surreally bad itÂ’s hard to take in.

However, above all this, the most worrying aspect is the Kenwright will be way behind the curve in planning any exit strategy for Martinez. I recently commented around the finance required on moving a manager on and the careful planning involved in making your move when you have a replacement in hand with funds for that person to use – all within what could be a three week window.

I personally would like Benitez... but just canÂ’t see Kenwright dedicating 1 minuteÂ’s thought (as yet) to building a way out of this now seemingly god-awful mess.

James McPherson
31 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:57:53
On a more specific point regarding set-pieces and the building of training routines ..."we only concede three a game" well, that is probably the case given how few tackles we make.

Although, even if it is just three a game, it only takes one to score... IÂ’m sure we all remember John TerryÂ’s last-minute winner at Stamford Bridge last year... or SturridgeÂ’s derby equaliser?

Steve Sweeney
32 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:07:34
He (RM) looked a very worried man under a lot of stress at his press conference on TV this morning.

A Defeat tonight is inconceivable; lose the next two and he has to go.

Jon Withey
34 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:09:45
Lies, damned lies and statistics.

No wonder we are losing to well drilled lower-league opposition if set-pieces arenÂ’t taken seriously.

IÂ’m all for quality in attack, but what do you do when the ball turns over?

Anyway, IÂ’m looking forward to the game tonight, it should begin to clear things up one way or another.

Steve Carse
35 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:08:59
Thing is, if youÂ’re not bothered about stoutly defending against dead balls, then itÂ’s likely that that mentality will pervade throughout the rest of your defensive play. So you end up with a lack of discipline and rigour in all defensive areas.
Phil Walling
36 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:57:04
Linda, you keep advocating Alan Irvine as a defence coach but he was never that.

A winger by trade, he was first Assistant Manager to Moyes and on his return Manager of the Academy.

Moyes is recognised as a leading authority on defence strategy – even writing booklets for the Scottish Football Association on the subject – and naturally took responsibility for that aspect of training himself.

Perhaps he could spare Bobby the odd Tuesday morning!

Dave Lynch
37 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:27:52
All these rumours, if true, have me more worried than ever.To my mind, if there is no improvement tonight, then he HAS to go.

ItÂ’s not as if this situation has suddenly reared itÂ’s ugly head. It started to manifest the back end of last season; if the training regime is as piss poor as rumoured, then that will be about the time fitness levels started to drop.

The result does not really concern me tonight; itÂ’s the cup and anything can happen. ItÂ’s the quality of the display we have to look for: lack of creativity and tactical awareness from the manager will be scrutinised to death on here and in the media.

Michael Penley
40 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:39:55
"Think for yourself" might be appropriate instructions for a team used to that approach (Barca) but for one who is used to having strict roles to play, practiced set pieces, and an understanding of what everyone on the team is meant to be doing, itÂ’s suicide. Our players look clueless and to me that quote from Leon says it all.
Peter Barry
41 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:54:50
Who you gonna call? The answer is obvious...


John Daley
42 Posted 06/01/2015 at 13:09:30
"In todayÂ’s Echo, Martinez is quoted as "Looking for a safe pair of hands until Howard returns."

Where was that quoted then? In the Echo piece I read yesterday, Martinez stated that he would not be looking for a short-term solution between the sticks: "I donÂ’t think short-term would be a good solution for us right now."

Then, the piece today, which rules out Al Habsi as an option, further reiterates the managerÂ’s preference for a long-term option:

"Martinez will instead target a "long-term" recruit but insists that, if the right goalkeeper is not available in the January transfer window, then he will not make a signing.

The Catalan sees little point in signing a keeper just to provide cover until Howard is fit again, and will be happy to keep faith with Robles – as well as Academy understudies Russell Griffiths and Jindrich Stanek - until the American is back."

"...blame has been unfairly laid at Distin while Alcaraz can do no wrong."

Distin was dropped following a string of error-strewn performances. How is that Â’unfairÂ’? His performance this season have been appalling for the most part.

Also, Alcaraz as the golden boy who gets a big hair ruffle in contrast to SylvainÂ’s rollicking is just pure speculation on your part. Firstly, heÂ’s surely not been on the pitch enough times for players to start pouting and pointing the finger over preferential treatment. Secondly (despite being so slow you half-expect the Halloween theme tune to start blaring out every time he moves), when Alcaraz has played, his horror show moments have been nowhere near as numerous or as fatal as the self-inflicted Â’slice and diceÂ’ Distin has seemingly been specialising in this season.

Ernie Baywood
43 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:58:34
Phil, you say that we are 7th (ish) in income so how could we expect more of Moyes... The answer is that he raised our expectations. He had the ability to put together teams that were worth more than he paid for them. Then he got them working to a level that was greater than the sum of its parts.

I think the frustration with Moyes was well founded. He was great to a point. Could someone else move past that point?

I didnÂ’t want Martinez but he showed us last year what a manager who was prepared to have a go could do. He bettered MoyesÂ’ points total and took the game to the teams above us.

Unfortunately he seems to have failings, just as Moyes did. We gave Moyes the time to learn and to build his team. He did evolve his style over the course of his tenure.

Does Roberto get the same time to work on his faults? Sadly his failings seem to be the basics... ItÂ’s like he skipped football management 101 and went straight to advanced theory. IÂ’m not sure we can afford that.

Moyes back? Not for me. But we do need to get back to basics again... Hopefully with someone who can then progress beyond the Moyes level.

John Daley
44 Posted 06/01/2015 at 13:16:56
I donÂ’t understand not working on set-pieces at all. Ok, so maybe youÂ’re not willing to sacrifice endless hours on drilling people on where they should stand and on who they should be picking up etc, but surely you should be able to find a happy medium between Â’too muchÂ’ and Â’ah, just toss it offÂ’. Especially if the players have real concerns about cutting out something that has always been a fundamental part of their past coaching.

Furthermore, the ridiculous Â’you only have three to defend against throughout a gameÂ’ rebuttal is utter bollocks. Is he not counting corners as set-pieces or something?

Ernie Baywood
45 Posted 06/01/2015 at 13:32:00
And even if Roberto gets us playing again his next job is to buy a Centre back and Goalkeeper.

So far his attempts at those positions have brought in Alcaraz and Robles. They might be the two worst IÂ’ve seen at Goodison in those positions.

Has he bought a good keeper or centre back in his career?

So whatÂ’s the point of him?

Brian Waring
46 Posted 06/01/2015 at 13:53:57
So our experienced defenders (whose job it is to defend) and our other experienced footballers need training to be told where to stand at set pieces, how to head/attack the ball, etc?
Kevin Tully
47 Posted 06/01/2015 at 13:50:34
ThatÂ’s a little unfair Ernie - we are talking a free transfer, and what was Robles? Something like ٟ.5m?

ThatÂ’s the market we are in, so to say the manager should be signing superstars for that sort of money is plainly wrong. LetÂ’s not hang him altogether just yet.

Brian Waring
48 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:05:32
Ernie, as I was always told when Moyes was here, every manager makes some bad buys.

James Martin
49 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:10:49
I loved Moyes when he was here. Name me another prem manager who has taken a relegation threatened side and established them in the top 7 despite selling his best players most years and going whole windows without paying a fee for a player. Shouts of Allardyce and Pardew are nonsense, they are not even in the same league as Moyes.

That being said would I want him back? Probably not. We need someone extraordinary to smash the barrier. Moyes is just very good, but perhaps not good enough.

Will he come back? I think yes. I think him and Kenwright both see it as a job unfinished. If things go south in Spain a backhand deal could be struck seeing a Moyes interim like Neville or Weir take the team and then Moyes return.

Would it be a bad thing? A more rounded Moyes with a renewed focus and energy with a point to prove. Rather than Anichebe Neville Distin and Odman heÂ’d have Stones Barkley and the top striker heÂ’s always wanted. We could do a lot worse. We may currently be doing a lot worse....

Chris Leyland
51 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:54:23
But James, If Moyes did come back heÂ’d only ruin Lukaku like he did with ever striker he has ever had apparently. Oh wait, Martinez has already done the job for him
Bill Gall
52 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:00:09
I am not surprised with what Osman says about Moyes feelings about Everton as it seems anyone that leaves the club they mostly have good things to say about the club and their time here.

Regarding the headline --Who Will You Call.--- I think the thing is Who Will Come--- that we believe can put us back on track is a better headline.

I do not think that BK is going to fire Martinez and I may be wrong, but; if it is in his mind ,giving him 2-3 more games before he decides to do it is stupid as he is either good enough now or he is not. Everton are in the result business and we have to have someone who will get the positive results now not in a months time.

No one likes to see a person fired and in MartinezÂ’s defence his philosophy and style is great to watch when working but the problem he seems to have, is that when it is not working he seems at a loss with what to do.

Last season when his style was working may have given him a false hope that he had the squad to continue with his style of play but for reasons that we mostly speculate on it is not working.Changing the style of play in players takes a number of seasons and to perfect it you have to intergrate it with other styles until all your players are on the same page.

Matinez most probableÂ’y is aware of the criticism that he is recieving and realise that to have a long term future at Everton he will sometimes have to alter his stratagy to get results. The premier league is a cut throat business and their is no sympathy for failures no matter how nice a person you are. Supporters regardless of the result need to see 100% effort from their players especially if you are privileged to wear the royal blue of Everton. .

Mark Tanton
53 Posted 06/01/2015 at 15:13:10
Perhaps the question should be "would you like a new manager in time for the derby?"

I am dreading that fixture more than usual this time around. I think Martinez will still be here, as Kenwright will drag his feet. If results are still poor and they wipe the floor with us, that will the trigger.

In fact IÂ’ve just convinced myself right now that it will be the derby performance and result that compel Kenwright to get rid. 0-3 to them and picture of him looking stern on the big screen followed later that evening by a yellow bar of Â’breaking newsÂ’ on SSN.

Rick Tarleton
54 Posted 06/01/2015 at 15:24:10
Three set pieces a game, that includes corners and free kicks, I take it. That sounds a very small number to me and itÂ’s that cavalier attitude to defensive organisation that is causing so many of our problems. In theory we have international class defenders, Stones, , Baines, Oviedo, Coleman, Jagielka, the outstanding goalie from the last World Cup, at least according to the American media and so we donÂ’t bother to practise our defensive routines. ThatÂ’s criminal coaching and if it is true, the man and his team of coaches should be shown the door, without delay.
Gareth Fieldstead
55 Posted 06/01/2015 at 15:21:14
Cannot believe we are even talking about Moyes. He steadied a sinking ship, played some good football and signed some top class players. However, he did make numerous mistakes and for long periods we were dreadful to watch. As mentioned in other posts we need something that is a blend of our previous and current manager if Martinez cannot turn it around. I agree Bill, he is either good enough or he isnÂ’t, but I do think he will give Martinez as long as possible. Not sure if there is any funds available and that could have an impact on any decision to be made but I think like a lot of supporters we do have a good squad and Kenwright probably thinks the same, therefore I am not sure he would feel he would have to get rid before the end of January to allow a new manager time and funds to shape the team accordingly. I think you are right Mark, if we fail to beat West Brom and Palace I think his last game could be Liverpool, 14 games left to avoid relegation.
Robin Cannon
56 Posted 06/01/2015 at 15:25:47
While thereÂ’s lots to criticize, I think thereÂ’s a degree to which anything and everything that is perceived to be wrong is being jumped on as RMÂ’s fault.

Set pieces are a case in point. We scored more goals from set pieces (12) last season than we did in MoyesÂ’ last (10). WeÂ’ve scored 9 from set pieces already this season. That actually puts us well into the top half of goals from set pieces in the Premier League. IÂ’m not sure that means our set pieces are good (and weÂ’re certainly conceding more from set pieces this season, so it basically cancels out +/-), but it certainly doesnÂ’t demonstrate that thereÂ’s some huge RM caused problem.

James Stewart
57 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:10:12
Thanks for posting this, Paul. As someone who hasnÂ’t read OsmanÂ’s book I couldnÂ’t believe what I was reading. The Graeme Jones quote is utterly terrifying and indicative of our current malaise. The fact that a EPL team cannot find 2 hours in a week to practice defending set pieces is beyond belief.

Complete negligence and incompetence from Martinez and his band of idiotic coaches/yes men. 3 set pieces a game is very often the difference between winning and defeat.

Martinez is a cancer and the sooner we get rid of him and his entire outfit the better. I was no fan of Moyes but, the more I learn about the inner workings of MartinezÂ’s reign, the more I am disgusted.

James Martin
59 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:26:22
I would also say thereÂ’s something wrong with how we approach any new management decision. ItÂ’s always Â’who is available who would come to usÂ’. Then we name a load of unproven championship managers or out of work dinosaurs or ex players with 0 experience.

Van Gaal was considering Spurs before Man U. Apart from money what do they have that we donÂ’t? We should be courting some of the top managers abroad because weÂ’ve got a lot to offer. We have some of the best young players in Europe and a great draw in the FA cup and Europa League. Any top manager would look at that and see 2 trophy opportunities. I genuinely think the lure of the premier league means there would be top managers who would be desperate for a big job. Instead weÂ’ll narrow the search to northwest based championship managers and cringily interview them. Do other top clubs interview? They pick someone, target them, and get them.

John Audsley
60 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:42:39
Distin has been shocking this season and doesnÂ’t deserve a place in the side. We have no idea if he is causing trouble behind the scenes but his time as a regular at this club is past. Jagielka and Stones for the rest of the season please as we certainly wonÂ’t be buying a new CB.
Mo Guindi
61 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:57:13
Peter Reid - Evertonian through and through and knows what success means at national and international level. Need to get back the dogs of war mentality.
Paul Thompson
62 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:57:21
Please letÂ’s not have another Moyes debate. HeÂ’s not coming back even if we wanted him to.

As for the Ossie piece in the Â’why have we become so shitÂ’ jigsaw, I sometimes wish I didnÂ’t know these things. IÂ’m going to be crapping myself even more than normal whenever we get a set piece against us. As for Â’think for yourselfÂ’, well thinking was never a lot of playersÂ’ strong point was it?

Phil Walling
63 Posted 06/01/2015 at 17:13:18
Mo, I hear Gordon Lee is still alive and kicking, so why not turn the clock right back ? After all, didnÂ’t The Cannock Kid get us up to third in 1978 ?
Steve Carse
64 Posted 06/01/2015 at 17:14:23
Rob Cannon, what is the definition of a goal from a set piece? Does it include goals scored direct? Does it include goals that come in the same Â’phaseÂ’ of the attack , maybe even after the opposition have half cleared the ball? Or is it just the total of goals scored when the cross from the free kick or corner is put into the net without anyone other than the scorer having touched it?

I ask because last season I can only recall us scoring once direct from a corner (Lukaku in the derby), and although we scored quite a few from direct free kicks courtesy of Baines, Mirallas and Barkley, I canÂ’t recall us scoring direct from a cross or through ball from a corner/free kick.

James Joseph
65 Posted 06/01/2015 at 17:23:15
Yes Phil, I can confirm Gordon is still very much alive at the grand old age of 80. And youÂ’re right, we finished 3rd in Â’78 and were also top scorers. Happy days!
Brent Stephens
66 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:09:14
Robin #57 " WeÂ’ve scored 9 from set pieces already this season. That actually puts us well into the top half of goals from set pieces in the Premier League. IÂ’m not sure that means our set pieces are good (and weÂ’re certainly conceding more from set pieces this season, so it basically cancels out +/-)".

The point about set pieces was that, according to Leon, Roberto has said no need to practice defending set pieces - but you say weÂ’ve conceded more this season.

Rick Tarleton
67 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:29:09
ItÂ’s not attacking set pieces thatÂ’s the issue, itÂ’s defending against the opposition when we are atrocious.
Ian Burns
68 Posted 06/01/2015 at 17:50:51
Bill Gall asks the question not who would call itchy would come. Paul Clement is a good call and De Boer is another but would they come?

What alarms me about this excellent article is that Osman had to ask the question of RM as to why no sessions on defending set pieces. GJÂ’s answer is an abrogation of duty and shows this is a project for this management team and not a vocation. GarbuttÂ’s recent remarks are making more sense.

RM is the manager every other team wants EFC to keep because they have worked him out and they know where he is taking us and it personally breaks my blue heart.

Darren Hind
69 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:31:01
I posted several times on here lasr season that I didnt think we put any practice at all into defnding corners and set pieces. My claims were shouted down by the usual suspects, but I could see it. We were all over the shop, sometimes a man on the post, sometimes not. The players would do something different every time we conceded one. Nobody did/does know what they are doing. We were/are neither zonal or man for man. were had/have nobody free to attack the ball. we were/are a complete shambles.
Evertonians everywhere held their breath everytime we defended a deadball situations. Now a player confirms what was obvious to all but the Robbie-can-do-no-wrong
Set He does not give a flying fuck about defending these situations.

Robbies meathead assistant justifies this by asking how many times do we defend them in a game ? whats the point of putting the work in ? talk about half arsed.

I cant stomach anymore of this semi commited corner cutting, everytime a player opens his mouth we are given more proof of it

How many times a game? . . . . HOW MANY TIMES A FUCKING GAME??? if we had just done the basics in matches like the home game against the shite or away to Spurs and Chelsea weÂ’d have been playing Champions league football this season.

You really would not belief this went on in proffessional football never mind in the top flight

Brian Waring
70 Posted 06/01/2015 at 19:03:24
So Moyes was given 11 years, finished in 17th place in his second full season with us, but Martinez who had us finishing 5th with a record prem pts haul in his first season, is slagged to death for our start to the season and should be sacked???
Colin Glassar
71 Posted 06/01/2015 at 19:11:56
Brian Waring, this is like whistling in the wind. Minds have been made up only results can save him now. God help him if we lose tonight or, donÂ’t win by at least eight goals.
Daniel A Johnson
72 Posted 06/01/2015 at 19:16:38
Bobby Robson said: "You can learn everything about a team by what they do when they havenÂ’t got the ball. ThatÂ’s the test of their attitude, fitness, honesty, organisation and confidence."

We donÂ’t work hard enough off the ball. No pressing no effort and organisation. ThatÂ’s the difference between Moyes and Martinez.

At the moment were so half arsed

Raymond Fox
73 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:51:46
Our defence in general defended well last season under Martinez and Co.
The only thing thatÂ’s changed this season is that our regular back 4 which is the most experienced in the Prem. have individually played shite, they have been in position to deal with the danger but have failed to do so.
Nobodies suggesting that they should be told how to defend a corner etc are they?

Jags and Distin are over the hill and Baines and Coleman have never been the best in defence.

Andy Crooks
74 Posted 06/01/2015 at 19:26:31
I would like Martinez gone. To hold that opinion some supporters require the naming of an alternative. While I think this is a little unfair, I would expect our chairman to avail of top advice, I know who I would rather have than Martinez. MCClaren, experienced and in my view very capable. Neil Lennon, our highly paid hired hands would just not dare turn in the dross they do for the current coach.
Steve Davies
75 Posted 06/01/2015 at 22:28:24
Excellent article Paul. The irony was that West Ham scored from a set piece. He needs to get a defensive coach to sort them out. If you cannot do the basics and mark Â’touch tightÂ’ at corners and set pieces, you have no chance. School boy stuff. They need to keep Jags and Stones in the centre as a partnership, work on defending set pieces in training and put in more fitness work in on the training ground. This is not rocket science.

Using wingers and actually putting the odd ball in the box earlier would not go a miss either. This will suit Lukaku.

I still think that the next two league games will define the season. I am still not convinced about Martinez and his defensive frailties may still come back to haunt us. His Â’gung hoÂ’ attitude worries me. He should be doing better with this set of players.


Des Farren
76 Posted 06/01/2015 at 23:47:54
An alternative strategy, I suppose. But in the present football context at Everton FC?

DonÂ’t continue playing the ball on the ground if there is an opposition player near you. We donÂ’t have players good enough to do this. I know we have a team of seasoned International footballers but really... expecting them to be able to string a few 5/10 yard passes together in our own half? Really?

Or a gopalkeeper with a bit of savvy? No. We need to change tack. We need a plan B.

Hoof it. Long and hard. DoesnÂ’t matter if the ball goes straight to the opposition or Row Z. We still have 11 men behind the ball donÂ’t we? We adopted this strategy for yonks and never went down.

But I thought football was played on the ground, not in the air?

I thought we were entering a new era. I thought the School of Science might be on way back. I thought this manager had a vision where better facilities would produce better youngsters and, long term, a world class academy.

Well fuck him. I would have Moyes, Allardyce, Pulis in a heartbeat. All betrayals start with friendship, donÂ’t they?

Geoffrey Caveney
77 Posted 07/01/2015 at 02:37:45
Who would I call? I rather like Murat Yakin.
Nigel Gregson
78 Posted 07/01/2015 at 12:21:23
Love your posts Paul, but here I totally disagree. Des Farren #77 sums it up perfectly.
Darren Hind
79 Posted 07/01/2015 at 18:41:30
Brian Waring

What has MartinezÂ’s half arsed approach to corners got to do with Moyes ? TGT fucked of a long time ago and very few people want him back.

Your post 47 reveals just how simplistic your views are. No wonder you defend Martinez so stoutly every time somebody levels a ligitimate criticism at him.

If you really believe defending corners and free kicks are just a case of "Senior players knowing where to stand " you have either only just started watching the game or you want to defend your idol despite the overwhelming facts.

In case it escaped your notice we conceded yet again from a deadball situation last night.it was almost inevitable. Failure to adress corners is not an oversight its a deleriction of duty.

Face facts lad and stop trying to defend the indefensible just because you donÂ’t want to be wrong. Its football. . .we all get a turn of being wrong

Paul Tran
80 Posted 07/01/2015 at 19:12:48
Once again, all the faults of this season were laid bare.

Shocking marking at corners, compounded by switching off for short corners. Glaring gaps in midfield, meaning that West Ham won most of the second balls.

But hey, we actually looked interested, we moved the ball with pace at times and the long - overdue inclusion of Oviedo gave us a bit of impetus. And guess what, this meant we had a bit more space and Lukaku could play something like his natural game.

We still looked like a far more ordinary side than the team sheet suggested. There needs to be more than this before I can think of getting genuinely encouraged.

Who would I call? A defence coach, an effective fitness coach and someone in the club hierarchy to bollock Martinez and tell him to do his job properly - like he did last season.

Gavin Ramejkis
81 Posted 07/01/2015 at 19:18:11
Some Moyes apologistas going full blown on this thread with amazing statements of deserving seventh delivering to budget etc etc, the man was a self serving egotistical fraud who built up this man of honour badge when he was just lining his own pockets to the tune of millions and had the audacity to decry the cost of football but never once took a pay cut - if you are going to chat shite like that then move to a bigger club, bigger wage, see your arse within months and even then still walk away with another ٣m compensation then you are full of it.

He was an employee of the club, nothing more, nothing less, he had a gravy train to ride for 11 years and won the some total of absolutely fuck all. Every major crunch game at the big four thats 44 times he shit himself before a ball was kicked and that has to have rubbed off on his players with an attitude that stank - "lucky to get out alive". If you are seriously happy with mediocrity and just being another number to hand points to the teams that win things then you should just give up, the game is a competitive sport and you should at least aim to win.

Martinez is frustrating the hell out of me and have posted here and elsewhere at his scary OCD tendency to repeat behaviours despite them not working over and over. I despair of his reluctance to drop players making mistakes week in and week out, I find the statement of no attraction to trying to score from corners completely crass as a goal is a goal and they win games and not fannying about with a million crablike phenomenal passes to nowhere or a ball going from the opposition box back to our keeper without a single opposition player touching it.

In precis I donÂ’t want to see Moyes ever step foot back in Goodison, his long odds football was mind numbing and not what I want to see, I want a team with a spark to carry a fight to whoever they are playing no matter who they are playing, so Martinez season 1 yes but season 2 god no

Gavin McGarvey
82 Posted 07/01/2015 at 20:02:13
It really is disappointing to read these comments. The gap between winning, drawing and losing can be so fine that it beggars belief that we are not doing everything we can to win games of football. I certainly hop the backroom staff have woken up now.
Rob Halligan
83 Posted 07/01/2015 at 20:29:30
There was an incident in the first half last night which probably highlighted the reason behind players not knowing what to do. West Ham had an attack down our right. Oviedo was just outside the penalty area, just left of the D. There was an attacker near Oviedo but another one wide right (our left). Robles appears to shout to Oviedo "man left" and also pointing out to the attacker. Astonishingly, Oviedo looked at Robles, arms stretched out and shrugged his shoulders, as if implying "Yeah, what do you want me to do about it"?

Call somebody back to stay close to the wide attacker would be a good start!! Luckily nothing came of this incident, but it does appear to show the lack of communication between players and maybe the lack of numbers when defending?

Anthony Flack
84 Posted 07/01/2015 at 21:03:46
Alarming Rob as I guess Robles, Oviedo and Roberto all speak Spanish......
Steve Harris
85 Posted 07/01/2015 at 21:50:05
CanÂ’t believe that there is actually some fans on here that want a man who, not only is an ex redshite manager but also the horrible sneaky fucker who thought he was being clever by calling us a "small clubÂ’! Have we really sunk that low?
Gavin Johnson
86 Posted 07/01/2015 at 22:02:41
Steve, IÂ’d second your post.
Brent Stephens
87 Posted 07/01/2015 at 22:18:58
Gavin #82 "Some Moyes apologistas..."

As bad as Moyes hateistas.

David Ellis
88 Posted 08/01/2015 at 05:35:52
So short term knee jerkers are back in force. Its far to early to suggest changing the manager. Fortunately the one thing Kenwright does do well is pick and then protect his managers - and this has caused us to outperform our financial status pretty much every season in the last 12 years. Want more than that - yes I do. Expect it? No - maybe a freak season when we win something, but we canÂ’t expect a consistent position above 7th. This board is impressively delusional.

Change the manager now and you are increasing the odds of our own destruction.

Gavin Ramejkis
89 Posted 08/01/2015 at 07:58:17
Hey Brent, your poster boy just got dicked by Villarreal, normal service resumed...
Paul Andrews
90 Posted 08/01/2015 at 08:10:18
He kept a clean sheet though, Gavin. ThatÂ’s 5 clean sheets in 7 games
John Zapa
91 Posted 08/01/2015 at 10:41:08
I think Paulo Sousa would be the perfect manager. He has already taken over a Martinez team (Swansea) and improved it. He has won the league in a few smaller countries and seems ready for a step up.

The way Basel dominated Liverpool home and away shows how well he can get his team to play. He is a major upgrade on Martinez and would be very realistic target for the club.

Andrew Ellams
92 Posted 08/01/2015 at 10:51:06
Good call that John Zapa. I think we will be seeing him make a step up to a bigger league in the summer.
Gavin Ramejkis
93 Posted 08/01/2015 at 18:11:11
Paul Andrews they conceded a goal, how is that a clean sheet?

Villareal 1 - Real Sociedad 0

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