We’ve at least shown some mettle, pace, intensity in our last three games – none more so than Tuesday’s FA Cup replay when we were reduced to 10 men for 65 mins of the game.

On the subject of 10 men, even though McGeady hasn’t yet come up to Premier League standards and has disappointed us more than excited us, his first booking was one he took to get Barry out of jail after his disastrous ball which left both McGeady and Coleman totally isolated.

Whilst we have shown improvement in the last three games, we are still so vulnerable through midfield and at the back, and we rarely work the opposition goalkeepers enough. If you look at the main stats for those games in total (Everton first number, opposition second number):

Shots on Goal 39 vs 62
Shots on target 12 vs 17
Corners 14 vs 35

I lost count the number of times on Tuesday when West Ham carved out an opportunity within 5 seconds of us losing the ball near their box,. It was commented upon, that we totally lose any defencive shape when we attack, Baines in particular but also Coleman bomb forward, leaving Jagielka and Stones, Distin or Alcaraz on their own against often two attackers... It's just suicide, particularly when one of our centre backs seems continually to be out of form: Distin, Barry at Hull, Jagielka vs West Ham at home, and John Stones the other night. Maybe Martinez thinks it's Barry’s or Besic’s job to give cover but, with his absence, it’s obvious to all that McCarthy was the one who did that job outstandingly.

On the last defensive point, we cannot cope with any high ball thrown in against us. Three goals at Southampton away, Collins at Goodison, Carroll on Tuesday night... there is only Jagielka who actually competes for aerial balls, Stones hasn’t the physicality yet and may never get it with his frame size, and Baines just doesn’t offer anything thrown over his way, and you might as well leave Lukaku up front as he does nothing at corners against us.

We are in desperate need of a McCarthy return, a new commanding centre half (Shawcross style) and I would also like to see a new 6ft left back (an Ivanovic type), and get Baines upfield.

In midfield... where do you start? In our 4-2-3-1 formation, we continually play three attackers as that middle three... pick one from Barkley, Eto'o, Naismith, Mirallas, McGeady, and to a lesser extent Osman. We discussed ad infinitum that we have three No 10s on pitch when Mirallas and McGeady were injured or out of favour and look better with Mirallas and even McGeady out wide. Assuming Eto'o is going and Osman is out long term, this leaves us with with Naismith and Barkley in that No 10 role and on current form it’s a no-brainer – it has to be Naismith.

Barkley is going missing, losing the balls too often and doesn’t offer anywhere near the first line of defence which Naismith offers when moves break down. We are in desperate need for a strong, creative centre midfield player, with a little bit of bite, nastiness with it... a Rooney, Fabregas, Toure. I’m afraid Barkley is not of that level now – and maybe not even 2-3 years from now.

Upfront, I do believe Lukaku if serviced properly can truly be the 20-goal-a-season man, with a fit and willing Mirallas contributing another 10 or 12 to the total. We haven’t got adequate cover if either of these two get injured and again it’s another area where we need some new blood. Kone might step into Lukaku's shoes for the odd game or so but a replacement for Mirallas isn’t at the club at the moment and there won't be a cheap replacement out there on the market.

Well where’s this all going to – if we continue as we have been over the last six to nine games, we are undoubtedly going to end up in the bottom three and get relegated... The facts are there right in front of us: 4 points from a possible 18 in the last six games... one win in 12 games? Only Aston Villa are worse with 3 pts in last six games with some teams below us like Burnley, Leicester, Crystal Palace, WBA and even QPR taking 3 to 6 more points than us. We again have lady luck against us with games against a revitalised WBA and Crystal Palace to come, though Palace seem to have become our bogey team anyway.

Our last three games, when we all feel we have turned the corner, would only have given us 3 points out of 9 assuming they were Premier League games and after 90 minutes of play. This 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.

I’d go so far as to say we need 4 points from our next 2 games to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

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Adam Luszniak
1 Posted 15/01/2015 at 13:27:22
Mike I agree with most of what you say, and the last line is telling.

One thing I would disagree with is the comments on Stones. It was Valencia and then Cole who scored on Tuesday, due in no small part to the fact that Carroll was being looked after by Stones all night. Stones competed nearly every long ball forward that West Ham threw at us and won a fair few of them, impressive considering Carroll is a bloody huge grock. Stones is decent in the air in my opinion.

Phil Walling
3 Posted 15/01/2015 at 13:56:29
A good win over the Baggies - say 2-0 and the danger fires will go out. As someone pointed out earlier, the general feeling is that 36 points will be enough to avoid the drop this season so what are we worrying about ?

Apparently, the managerÂ’s Â’second season syndromeÂ’ was to have been expected and anyway no side has a good Prem season when they are in the Thursday League.

The appalling fall in individual playerÂ’s form (and fitness?) is all to do with the unusual pre-season necessitated by the World Cup. And who can fail to build in the seemingly endless plague of injuries and every refereeÂ’s natural prejudice against us ?

So, dear Mike, your fears are ill founded. Fuelled by Â’the green shootsÂ’ of recent recovery, gathering those mere 14 points should be a doddle. Then Roberto can get about planning a pre-season of further indoctrination which will make all thoughts of new centre-halves and defence training totally superfluous.

You see, at last, IÂ’ve learned to stop worrying !

Phil Walling
4 Posted 15/01/2015 at 13:56:29
A good win over the Baggies - say 2-0 and the danger fires will go out. As someone pointed out earlier, the general feeling is that 36 points will be enough to avoid the drop this season so what are we worrying about ?

Apparently, the managerÂ’s Â’second season syndromeÂ’ was to have been expected and anyway no side has a good Prem season when they are in the Thursday League.

The appalling fall in individual playerÂ’s form (and fitness?) is all to do with the unusual pre-season necessitated by the World Cup. And who can fail to build in the seemingly endless plague of injuries and every refereeÂ’s natural prejudice against us ?

So, dear Mike, your fears are ill founded. Fuelled by Â’the green shootsÂ’ of recent recovery, gathering those mere 14 points should be a doddle. Then Roberto can get about planning a pre-season of further indoctrination which will make all thoughts of new centre-halves and defence training totally superfluous.

You see, at last, IÂ’ve learned to stop worrying !

Bill Gall
5 Posted 15/01/2015 at 14:00:30
Defense,Defense, Defense ,Defense this seems to be a term that no longer is in any coaching manuals that Martinez has ever studied. Hoping to win games by scoring more than your opponents by not caring how many they score,is simply amateurish, and as has been proved over the first half of the season; suiciidal.

Goals get the points but it is your defense that wins the game.Most supporters are aware that we have decent defenders that with the tippy tappy play across the back line has the opposition pressuring them forcing errors and poor decision making that usually turns into goals.

From practically when the game was first played teams have been made up of defenders, midfielders and forewards used in various systems but usually playing in positions that they have played in from when they were kids. No one wants to see Everton playing with 8 men behind the ball and hoofing it up the pitch for a foreward to run on to; but we would like a defense that is confident on the ball and their marking from corners and free kicks is organized.

Yes the spirit and fight from the players on Monday was admirable, BUT, with organization at the back from corners the result may have been differant. It is no use complaining about injuries as they are unaviodable but slack marking,poor positional play is simply poor coaching and the sooner Mr Martinez understands this the better.

I do not care if his future is dependent on the next couple of games as I only care about Everton F.C.
We talk about getting rid of the so called deadwood players but sometimes the players are not the only deadwood.

Dominic Tonge
6 Posted 15/01/2015 at 14:49:35
Agree that a win against the benefit street baggies will put El Bob in a much better position, but will be papering over the cracks. I text my mate during the West Ham game after mcGreedy was sent off and said that if we went to a back three we would be ok. I felt a tube, but hey.
I do think thatÂ’s the key though, three centre backs with Baines and Coleman as wing backs , Mc Carthy in a holding role, then Besic and Ross in front, we have to play him centrally as it is where he looks best. Then either two up top or a lone striker with two wide men and sacrifice Besic .
Allan Board
7 Posted 15/01/2015 at 14:42:34
We must beat West Brom and Palace!!!!! If not, this "corner turned" will just be set aside till "next week" and the week after, and so on!

Before you realise it, there will be 10 games left and Everton will need five or six wins to stay up! Get the points now! ItÂ’s imperative we beat teams around us as the damage to them can be terminal.

The team must get back to basics when not in possession of the ball. Too much panic, players just run back toward our goal and don’t even face the play! Nobody "stands" on the ball when we give free kicks away – it buys you that split second to become organised and face up.

Find your man at corners and free kicks and keep him where you want him, not where he wants to go! Too nice. The mind boggles, what the hell are these coaches doing to these players during the week!

Cloughie never worried about opposition teams, how they play etc, because his players were given proper instruction and stayed in there positions thus making them a wonderfully balanced side. Balance, Martinez. Pass the ball about as much as you like... but, without a balanced formation, it goes to shit.

Mike Price
8 Posted 15/01/2015 at 15:20:44
I agree that we are in serious trouble, and that will still be the case even if we beat West Brom. We actually need some Â’surpriseÂ’ wins to get out of this.

This must be one of the most sickening seasons ever; just praying itÂ’s not THE worst.

Phil Walling
9 Posted 15/01/2015 at 13:56:29
A good win over the Baggies - say 2-0 and the danger fires will go out. As someone pointed out earlier, the general feeling is that 36 points will be enough to avoid the drop this season, so what are we worrying about ?

Apparently, the managerÂ’s Â’second season syndromeÂ’ was to have been expected and anyway no side has a good Premier season when they are in the Thursday League.

The appalling fall in individual playerÂ’s form (and fitness?) is all to do with the unusual pre-season necessitated by the World Cup. And who can fail to build in the seemingly endless plague of injuries and every refereeÂ’s natural prejudice against us ?

So, dear Mike, your fears are ill founded. Fuelled by Â’the green shootsÂ’ of recent recovery, gathering those mere 14 points should be a doddle. Then Roberto can get about planning a pre-season of further indoctrination which will make all thoughts of new centre-halves and defence training totally superfluous.

You see, at last, IÂ’ve learned to stop worrying !

Eric Myles
10 Posted 15/01/2015 at 15:04:29
"and you might as well leave Lukaku up front as he does nothing at corners against us."

Exactly what IÂ’ve been thinking Mike. After all the criticism of Moyes got for having 11 men defending corners why does Martinez do it too?

If he left Lukaku in the centre circle it would keep a couple of the opposition occupied with the threat of his pace and strength (provided his first touch didnÂ’t knock over the corner flag).

Coupled with a pacy Mirallas or Coleman / Baines it could be a threatening counter attack. But no, 11 men to defend corners, that are not considered by our team to be a serious attacking goal threat so we donÂ’t bother with them??

Phil Walling
11 Posted 15/01/2015 at 15:44:17
Sorry, my network connection is so shocked by this posting that it felt necessary to repeat it !
Eric Myles
12 Posted 15/01/2015 at 15:50:01
"I’d go so far as to say we need 4 points from our next 2 games to stand any chance of avoiding relegation"

That wonÂ’t help us Mike as thereÂ’s another 15 games left to play after that and if we donÂ’t get any points from them then weÂ’re royally screwed.

Steve Carse
13 Posted 15/01/2015 at 15:56:40
The odds are we wonÂ’t get 4 pts from the next 2 games. IÂ’d willingly take 2 from them, at least that would mean they werenÂ’t narrowing the gap on us. Doubtless two draws would keep Bobby in post and that makes me feel uneasy as his record would then be 1 win in 14.............is there any other club that would countenance that as in any way acceptable? Every Evertonian wants the manager to succeed. Why wouldnÂ’t they? But a failing manager must be removed in a timely fashion.
Phil Walling
14 Posted 15/01/2015 at 16:05:01
Now, IÂ’m on a roll !

Dipping again into Anderson/SallyÂ’s Â’Numbers Game Â’ tome, I read that all the stats prove that Â’Simpy trying to win games on the back of a good attack is not enough to take a team to glory. You have NOT to lose them. You are more likely to win a title OR AVOID RELEGATION if you have a better back line, regardless of how many goals your strikers can produce Â’

Apparently, the goals that teams DONT concede are each 33% more valuable than the goals they score !

So how come we have to get stuck with the only manager since ArgentineÂ’s Cesar Luis Menotti back in the seventies who believes the bloody opposite ?

Mike Hughes
15 Posted 15/01/2015 at 16:33:59
Forget 36 points, thatÂ’s too close for comfort.
At the risk of sounding like OFM, we need 40 points bare minimum. ThatÂ’s 18 points from 21 games.

If that sounds easy then the simple truth is that it requires a massive upturn in league form based on the last few games.
Therefore wins against those in the bottom 9 or 10 are a priority.

4 points minimum from the next two games.

And, regardless, this club needs a massive root and branch overhaul in the very near future: on and off-field personnel, methods, scouting policies, fitness regime, medical procedures etc.

This season (which allegedly began in August) has been a total shambles, given where we ended last season.

Charles Cook
16 Posted 15/01/2015 at 16:39:05
A long and generally good post, Mike. One point I do disagree with however, and IÂ’m commenting here because itÂ’s oft repeated is this thing about Barkley giving the ball away. Does he really?

As a general rule, more creative players will tend to because theyÂ’re trying to do that bit more with the ball but, either way, I think his ball retention has improved significantly but the label has stuck. I read somewhere it was 95% against City for example. I would also be interested to see how his retention compares, for instance, with Naismith. Well would be my guess.

Jay Harris
17 Posted 15/01/2015 at 16:44:31
Phil
I wondered when you would recover from that mental lapse or was it just wishful thinking.

Not only are we not practicing defending free kicks and corners (According to Ossie) the set up is all wrong.

The poor preseason is now ancient history and for the most part the players are match fit.

However to continue to play forwards at the expense of MF means we are weak and prone to counter attacks which most coaches including Pulis and Pardew have figured out.

We have started to bypass MF with long balls because of this but it does not excuse the managerÂ’s tactics.

I would play a MF 3 of McCarthy Besic and Barry or Oviedo if any are not fit and play Naismith, Mirallas and Lukaku up front bringing young Ross on later in the game when the opposition is tired.

That gives the full backs time to link up with play and move forward (or Backwards) progressively allowing us to retain the ball and our defensive strength.

I have now seen enough of RM to know that he is a nice guy but a dreamer that is not ready for the top of the Premier league.

Kevin Naylor
18 Posted 15/01/2015 at 16:58:54
Mike sorry to correct you but its 18 points from 17 games.
Mike Hughes
19 Posted 15/01/2015 at 17:01:13
Kevin,

Yes, sorry, you are right.
(ItÂ’s 3 points for a win these days as well isnÂ’t it?)

Nevertheless, the general point I was making remains: we need to move onwards and upwards asap.

Cheers :)

Kevin Naylor
20 Posted 15/01/2015 at 17:17:22
I wish was 17 from 21 I wouldnÂ’t be so worried then.
Mike Oates
21 Posted 15/01/2015 at 17:34:47
Just to add to my article, just picked up on SKY article basically saying weÂ’ve (players and Martinez) have lost the plot completely.... but interesting stat included
Clean Sheets this season , WBA, Sunderland, Villa - 7 , Palace, Burnley, Hull - 5 , QPR , Leicester 4 , EVERTON - 3
Ian Burns
22 Posted 15/01/2015 at 17:41:02
Mike - good thought provoking article I wish I hadnÂ’t read ( meant in the nicest sense!).

I was then taken aback by Phil WallingÂ’s comments and thought the world was turning upside down but I see he has redeemed himself and all is good with the world againÂ’

I live in a world of dichotomy right now. Since the late 50Â’s I have supported my beloved EFC and want so much for them to get out of this hole the present manager has put us in but at the same time I so much want to see the back of him before the damage is irrevocable.

Going to see my phsychologist now.

Denis Richardson
23 Posted 15/01/2015 at 17:24:33
Mike your fears and analysis hit a lot of nails on the head and have been discussed tons on this site.

WeÂ’re in a bit of no mans land at the moment as if we play like we did around xmas we will 100% go down (assuming Booby hasnÂ’t been fired by then). Big IF though and I would be amazed if we play that badly again given the more direct play and increased effort shown in the last 3 games. Keep that up and I just cannot imagine us being near the drop zone come May, regardless of the final points we get.

So JuryÂ’s still out at the moment with all eyes firmly on the West Brom game now the cup distraction is gone. This is a classic performance is irrelevant game, we simply have to get 3 points - no matter how. If we donÂ’t manage a win then the knives are going to be out. This is the true Â’pivatolÂ’ game as Martinez has now mentioned about 3 times. No win in 5 league games, fail again on Monday and itÂ’s got to be taxi time.

The defensive side is a big worry although Baines and Coleman bombing forward is what we all want I thought? The issue is that when they do bomb forward the cover behind them is non existent because either the wide AM is not doing anything defensivly or the two DCMs (who are supposed to cover the gaps) are not doing their jobs properly, or in Barrys case is just too slow to cover the gap if the counter is fast. Which brings us back full circle to the main issue of not having enough decent wide midfielders in the team and constantly playing forwards as midfielders or central midfielders out wide. Playing Oviedo at AML would help to solve a bit of this down the left.

Lot of chat no doubt will happen over the next 4 days but all a bit irrelevant until the 90 mins are up on Monday - then weÂ’ll know if weÂ’re in the shit or just sat on the edge of the bog!

Eddie Dunn
24 Posted 15/01/2015 at 17:48:51
Mike , I agree with most of your excellent post, and only differ on Stones, who I think is good in the air, and given a couple of years, will fill out like the rest of us!
We really do need a win soon, and then we will be fine.
Ian McDowell
25 Posted 15/01/2015 at 18:18:23
Shots on Goal 39 vs 62
Shots on target 12 vs 17
Corners 14 vs 35

Those stats arenÂ’t great reading. Corners are a very dangerous situation. I read a stat that around 30-35 % of goals come from set pieces.

Brian Hennessy
26 Posted 15/01/2015 at 18:44:11
Ian, I agree those stats are worrying and IÂ’m sure that stat (30-35 % of goals come from set pieces) certainly doesnÂ’t apply to RMÂ’S Everton.

NaismithÂ’s goal against City aside, and Everton set piece usually means taking it short, followed by a couple of passes, then play the ball to Barry before the ball goes back to our keeper.

Jay Wood
27 Posted 15/01/2015 at 19:09:56
HereÂ’s another stat to cheer you up ...

If the Baggies or CP or anyone it seems scores against us first, the best we can hope for is a draw.

It is now 47 games, almost a year, since we came back to win a game having lost the first goal ... home to Villa 1st February 2014.

Encouraging, isnÂ’t it...?

Phil Walling
28 Posted 15/01/2015 at 19:18:22
Mike@15:- IÂ’m pretty sure that there were a couple of times in both the nineties and the noughties when Everton failed to get 18 points from the last 17 games so it could well happen.

However, if we lose to the Albion I think BK will act although that may mean only to appoint Joe and Big Dunc on a temporary basis.

Kunal Desai
29 Posted 15/01/2015 at 19:31:21
I agree with whats already mentioned. There is no other way, 4 points from the next 2 games is the minimum we must get. On another note the Everton Â’spineÂ’ needs rebuilding, will that happen in Jan? No. Will it happen in the summer? Probably not all.
Jay Wood
31 Posted 15/01/2015 at 19:49:46
Colin @ 30

DonÂ’t be a dick Colin!

The deeper concerns are for the CLUB, not exclusively about Martinez.

Many posts in this thread and on others do not reference Martinez at all, but seemingly every post of yours does.

Just look how your post tars everyone with the same brush as a Martinez hater when that is far from the case.

In trying to parody others, you just make yourself look ridiculous.

Darren Hind
32 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:02:49
Is right, Jay.
Colin Glassar
33 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:03:52
Have I offended you and your merry band of brothers. Jay? I do apologise most profusely and profoundly. I must admit you have never, ever mentioned Martinez in a derogatory manner before, so I do beg for forgiveness it must have be;en someone else.
Andy Crooks
34 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:10:16
Martinez should, in my view be replaced for his abysmal performance this season. Being given a chance to turn round a situation he has created seems pointless. He is the wrong man for our club and I wish I was wrong. He has all the skills to relegate us.
Barry Stevens
35 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:17:19
Just want to put out a little stat. In this seasonÂ’s Premier League the team with the most goals scored from set plays is a certain team called Everton.
Jay Wood
36 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:10:58
And once again you display your ignorance and presumptiousness Colin.

Show me ANY POST AT ALL by me where I speak in a derogatory manner about Martinez.

On the contrary, I have not called for his head ONCE!

I have REPEATEDLY said I want him to succeed. Because if HE is successful, so is Everton.

YOU and YOUR Â’merry brand of brothersÂ’, by contrast, are tediously relentless in your defence of Roberto, often having to jump through hoops of fire to do so.

And when your arguments have been shown to be fallacies, you whine and complain that youÂ’re Â’tired of the negativity,Â’ failing to recognize - as youÂ’ve done again here - people are not being negative about Martinez per se, but are expressing their concerns for the present and future welfare of their club.

You just donÂ’t get it!

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:18:24
Colin - not sure youÂ’re sarcasm is on tbh. Forgetting the manager and BK, every person who comes to this site wants to see the club do well first and foremost.

I think we can all agree that this season is aleady a write off as far as the league is concerned, which is crap given weÂ’re only in January! We wonÂ’t (shouldnÂ’t anyway) go down and we wonÂ’t be troubling the top 8 or even 10 at this rate. Only aim left is to get to safety asap and see how far we can get in the EL.

Leaguewise this season has been shite. Pro, anti or on the fence re Martinez, it doesnÂ’t really matter. (Am assuming we donÂ’t go on some herculean run of 7 straight wins again like last year).

Come May (if heÂ’s till here) Martinez needs to have a long think about wtf his future football Â’philosophyÂ’ is as the one he used between Sept and Dec Â’14 can be chucked in the bin with the set of players he has now.

Our defence is a mess and the side rarely has the right balance, whether he can sort that out is yet to be seen. Only light at the end of a long tunnel has been our EL performance. However, the oppo in the EL is about to go up a big notch so weÂ’ll see if we can make it to the later rounds.

People who didnÂ’t want him from the off still have the same position. However, I think there are alot of people (me included) who backed him from the off and was amazed by last season but the last couple of months have raised many serious doubts. Am now on the fence and will see what happens over the next couple of games.

Jamie Crowley
38 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:39:27
I think IÂ’m RobertoÂ’s biggest backer, sans a few, on this site and possibly on planet Earth.

But this thread actually is striking fear into even me a bit.

18 points from 17 games...

Puts fingers in ears and shouts, "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA"

Kevin Tully
39 Posted 15/01/2015 at 21:01:42
With our precarious position in the League, every game seems to be more important than the last. Sadly, the next two games against our Â’relegation rivalsÂ’ are without doubt, the biggest since MartinezÂ’s arrival. Two wins would probably take the heat off for the rest of the season, two losses would likely see us in the relegation zone, with Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal the next three up.

ItÂ’s probably all down to the players at this point, do they want to play for the manager and the shirt? If so, Martinez may be able to regroup, and get everyone back on side for a push up the table. Two losses, or even a draw and a loss is unacceptable IÂ’m afraid.

We dare not find ourselves in the relegation zone when March comes around, so we have to act if the next two games donÂ’t produce the required points.

No excuses!

Phil Rodgers
40 Posted 15/01/2015 at 21:09:40
I have not been as worried about relegation as much since 97-98 and that team was at least 6 billion percent worse than this one.

I really, really, really hope I am wrong but I just canÂ’t get behind the idea that he can turn this around.

Phil Rodgers
41 Posted 15/01/2015 at 21:19:14
Also the complete lack of activity in the transfer market is far from encouraging.
Mike Hughes
42 Posted 15/01/2015 at 21:02:20
Phil # 28
I hope it doesnÂ’t come to that. I hope RM succeeds in turning things around. The thing is - he needs to do it quickly. The evidence on the pitch and noises coming out of the club concern me. Two games coming up against fellow, potentially rejuvenated, strugglers makes these two games Â’pivotalÂ’. If he fails then, I havenÂ’t called for RMÂ’s head yet, but I think his number may well be up. There has to come a point when even Jags presses the panic button.

Jay # 31
Spot on. IÂ’m with you on that. This is about EFC, not RM. The club is bigger than the people in it. Some people seem to be sleepwalking towards a cliff while muttering the word, Â’phenomenalÂ’.

Will Firstbrook
44 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:56:52
Agreed with Denis. The current situation is much bigger than just a pro or anti-Martinez debate for most.

I think there are many who would like to see the gaffer and team turn this around but make no mistake, major rethink is needed in the off-season regarding strategy and personnel. My guess is that results over the next few league matches will likely determine whether Bobby will be the one leading that assessment or someone else. The drop would condemn this great club to obscurity and fair to say Bill and Co. will not stand by and watch their Â’investmentÂ’ disappear before their eyes.

While IÂ’ve been encouraged by the spirit shown in the squad over the past few games, we need results to push confidence forward. IÂ’d like to think we are turning a corner but at the moment it feels like weÂ’re doing so aboard the Titanic. 3 points against the Baggies would be a start to getting this back on course.

Dick Fearon
45 Posted 15/01/2015 at 21:37:32
It is quite clear that this manager refuses to recognise that his brand of fantasy football is dragging us down. Does he not see that this is a reality and not a Wiganesque ground hog daydream.

Colin Glassar
46 Posted 15/01/2015 at 21:56:15
Excellent post Will. This is it for us. Like you said, recent performances have been encouraging but now we need to start winning and picking up points. We wonÂ’t get relegated but a bottom half finish could see several players becoming twitchy and the last thing we need is another summer of discontent.

Oh, and every place we drop in the league means a loss of about 500k doesnÂ’t it?

Harold Matthews
47 Posted 15/01/2015 at 18:59:11
Yes Denis. WeÂ’ve reached the Pulis survival stage. "The important thing is to get the team winning again. By any means possible. Only when that has been achieved can we think about a system or style."

Sounds like weÂ’re in for a battle and I hope our lads are up for it. On present form a clean sheet looks virtually impossible but we are due one. They only have one open play goal specialist and will try to hurt us from set-plays. LetÂ’s hope weÂ’re better prepared this time. I donÂ’t fancy chasing 2 - 3 or 4 goals against a very organized defence.

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 15/01/2015 at 22:15:18
Jay, I need to apologise (publicly) as IÂ’ve confused you with someone else. I read through the above comments very quickly and I took you for someone who has a similar sounding first name. My bad.
Ian Burns
49 Posted 15/01/2015 at 22:19:42
We will probably finish 17th and RM will describe it as a phenomenal escape and promise BK from that outstanding performance he has proved he doesnÂ’t need to practise defending set pieces (and presumably attacking set pieces because there is no defence) and a CL place will be an exciting prospect next season.

Thinking about what IÂ’ve just said if God tapped me on the shoulder right now and told me 17th is a given I would go to church on Sunday and sing my head off!

Barry Thompson
50 Posted 15/01/2015 at 22:31:05
Who is the real slim shady?

The 2013-14 Martinez or the 2014-15 Martinez and how long do we wait to find out.

Kevin Tully
51 Posted 15/01/2015 at 22:31:29
We have found ourselves in this position regularly over the past decade or so, but OFM proved he could close ranks, and grind out a few results when required. I think most supporters nervousness comes from BobbyÂ’s record at Wigan. He refused to change, and took them down.

Add rumours of dressing room unrest, medical staff leaving, and lack of fight over the festive period, then we are all quite rightly very worried.

I hope he can turn this around, I can see a successful Everton side built around players such as Stones, Barkley, Besic, Lukaku and McCarthy. ItÂ’s not all doom and gloom, but you live or die by points on the board.

Jay Harris
52 Posted 15/01/2015 at 22:36:33
Colin you may be confusing Jay Wood with me.

I will make no bones about it: I want RM gone... but, like every other true Blue, I just want EFC to do well.

For the diabolical preseason alone and the abysmal start to the season, he should have gone.

For his ignorance about stopping defending practice of free kicks and corners despite the playersÂ’ protests, he should be gone.

For his amateurish team selections and poor use of substitutions this year, he should be gone.

The only saving grace for him with me is he is a nice guy that you want to do well but his track record speaks volumes about him.

He got Wigan relegated with a record number of goals against. Wigan also had a series of hamstring injuries during his reign (ring any bells).

I may be wrong but I think all the clubs he managed did better under other managers.

I wonÂ’t even go into his transfer and loan dealing but IMO he is very laissez-faire about the whole process and then starts to big up some very poor players. Now I am all for motivation but there comes a point where certain comments become laughable and make the person making them seem like a total bullshitter (Â’phenomenalÂ’ springs to mind).

That for me is not the profile of an Everton manager. I want and expect better.

Colin Glassar
53 Posted 15/01/2015 at 23:18:39
Maybe Jay but it was more likely my old mate JC I was confused with (no names mentioned).

Sometimes passions can get the better of us and despite not agreeing with you I wouldnÂ’t, as IÂ’ve been accused of, ever try and stifle debate on here. Shit, IÂ’ve been arguing with fellow blues longer than I care to remember. WeÂ’ve always been a bunch of cantankerous, argumentative bastards but at the end of the day we all want the club to succeed, or not?

Sam Rangle
54 Posted 16/01/2015 at 00:50:16
Bang on, Jay Harris. We all want Martinez to do well but we unfortunately arenÂ’t in his head to see where these decisions go wrong. He seems to be a smart, well articulated "student" of the game but his actions and decisions prove very, very different. If his track record were different, we wouldnÂ’t be so worried...

It is truly remarkable how little he actually learns from all of these repeated mistakes. Must be an interesting way to go through life thinking youÂ’re so perfect and smarter than everyone else.

Eric Myles
55 Posted 16/01/2015 at 04:20:58
I think part of MartinezÂ’s undoing this season has been his unexpected success last season.

If this bad run of results and performances had happened last season would there be calls for Martinez to be sacked? Or would it just have been put down to us being in transition and we canÂ’t expect too much in the first year and he needs to be given time?

Jay Wood
56 Posted 16/01/2015 at 08:59:13
Colin Glassar, I accept the apology offered.

Now, would you like to extend that apology to many others in a Â’merry brand of brothersÂ’ you bracketed together in your absurd parody ?

Oh! And as for your claim in #53 - Â’despite not agreeing with you I wouldnÂ’t, as IÂ’ve been accused of, ever try and stifle debate on here.Â’

Hmmm ... really?

Barely a week ago on the Barkley transfer rumour thread, you attempted just that. I called you on it - the editor Michael Kenrick agreed posting:

Â’Jay, an excellent response to some of the rather strange rationalizations and excuses being offered to Â’justifyÂ’ the current run of dismal form.

Colin, claiming that there is a "general over reaction of negativity and blame on here" sounds like a weak attempt to devalue some very real concerns being voiced by Everton fans who donÂ’t see things in quite the rosy context he seems to share with the beleaguered manager.Â’

I would like to copy-paste your comments in which you clearly tried to deny others to post as they wish that drew my and MichaelÂ’s response, but I canÂ’t.

Why not? Because the editor deemed it fit to delete it.

Draw your own conclusions from that ...

Phil Walling
57 Posted 16/01/2015 at 09:19:20
Good Morning, Colin @ 46 et seq. I think you are a long way out in your statement re Premier League prize money for placings.

LAST YEAR, each place was worth ٟ.2M and I read that this was likely to increase to ٟ.6M in respect of the present campaign. So a drop from 5th worth £ 19.2M last season to say only 12th this, would mean c㾶M less in the pot. No mean hit !

Thus, the price of relegation where 18th spot earns Â’onlyÂ’ ٢.8M would be nothing short of disaster for our club, no mistake !

But itÂ’s about more than money. It MUST just not be allowed to happen !

Ernie Baywood
58 Posted 16/01/2015 at 09:54:21
Sam #54. My take is that he went straight to advanced theory without getting the basics right. Sounds old fashioned but you do start off being hard to beat.

Last year he evolved our style, which is what Moyes could do no more (though our style had evolved under Moyes). This year heÂ’s hit a bump and has seemed unwilling to go back to basics. Finally weÂ’ve gone back to good old fashioned hard work and getting it forward when weÂ’re under pressure. It took too long but weÂ’re finally back to basics.

Now can he go again and take us forward?

Tony Hill
59 Posted 16/01/2015 at 10:01:03
I would feel much more comfortable if we had a fit McCarthy in the side. Has there been an update on him? HeÂ’s a massive player for us and alongside Besic he would give us the steely core weÂ’ve lacked. I think he gives the whole side a lift.

I do hope itÂ’s not going to be another of those mysterious ongoing injury situations in which we seem to specialise.

Jim Hourigan
60 Posted 16/01/2015 at 10:01:51
Just to throw another statistic into the mix, apparently we are the only prem side not to score from a corner this year. However, of greater concern is the number of goals conceded inside the 6 yd box - another at West Ham, City, Hull, West Ham (h) etc etc. Its not rocket science, stop the crosses at source, defend set pieces better - ah ! thats where IÂ’m confused - devote some thought and practice to the other side of the game - defending correctly.

Idealists make us smile, are often engaging and humorous but seldom win anything. Martinez might want to play beautiful, attacking football, and we would all love it as well, but sometimes I just want to win. West Ham last week being the classic example. 10 mins to go, 2-1 up with 10 men and they throw on another centre forward - what do we do? go for a third goal - with 10 men !!!!! No Roberto, take what you have, put on defensive cover to counter their action and shut up shop and come away with a win. Pragmatism and reality over idealism - know when to do this or you will never progress as a manager and we will continue to lose more games than we win.

Laurie Hartley
61 Posted 15/01/2015 at 20:01:48
Colin,

I do hope you will stop looking the other way some time soon. I have to tell you we are in serious trouble and it is going to take some getting out of.

Reeling off possible replacements for RM is not addressing the issue, however the Tony Pulis ship has sailed as I predicted would be the case.

You made this comment in response to a post 131 I made on the "No Christmas Cheer" thread:-

"Omg, now you want some messiah to come out of the desert to save us from imminent doom? Some biblical, gum chewing, avenging angel with a welsh accent?"

Well we will be hoisting "the gum chewer" on Monday night.

I sincerely hope itÂ’s you who is saying " I told you so" after the game. Actually - whatever happens it wonÂ’t be me.

Unlike Phil Walling I am still worried and will stay that way until we get at least 3 points from West Brom and a point at Palace.

If we donÂ’t can you imagine what our teamÂ’s mental condition will be like when we hoist Liverpool at Goodison. It doesnÂ’t bear thinking about.

For all fans able to get to the West Brom game you have to be the twelfth man - get behind the players. It is the only positive contribution that you can make to the situation as it now stands.

Phil Walling
62 Posted 16/01/2015 at 10:44:30
Laurie, you obviously missed the irony in my post. Make no mistake, I am very worried but was just trying to bring some levity to what was becoming Â’a suicide threadÂ’ !
Laurie Hartley
63 Posted 16/01/2015 at 11:02:49
Phil - I didnÂ’t miss it - ItÂ’s just that I have a peculiar sense of humour.

Steve Davies
64 Posted 16/01/2015 at 10:48:24
Great article Mike. It just sums up what we all feel in our hearts. I have seen the highs and lows at Everton. I was at Rotterdam and at the Wimbledon game. This clown of a manager doesnÂ’t do defense, end of. He is a fool. This set of players are being mis-managed by a man who refuses to accept the obvious. His amateurish approach is taking us down.

My son says all I do is moan when I sit in my seat at the Gwladys Street and I am being disloyal. I love this club like we all do and when I see a manager who has obviously lost the plot because of his "Philosophy" I despair. I cannot see us progressing as a club when you have a manager who refuses to accept that having an organised capable defense is a MUST. Set pieces are part of the game Martinez REALISE this and DO something about it.

If we lose against WBA or get a draw he MUST be sacked and put in Joe Royle until the end of the season that get another manager in.

I do not want to be watching us lose 3.4 at home to Spurs at the end of the season and have this clown tell us how proud he is of the players etc......

Phil Walling
65 Posted 16/01/2015 at 12:21:37
Jim @60. Interesting statistic re corners. Â’The BookÂ’ says that on average, only one goal is scored from every 35 corners thus the lack of importance given to them by RM.

Do you know if we have reached that magic figure yet or can we look forward to a goal soon. And have we conceded many goals from corners and how many have we had to defend?

Any help appreciated.

Mark Tanton
66 Posted 16/01/2015 at 12:54:00
Roberto’s press conference being tweeted right now – "clean sheets is not a priority". Jesus, he knows how to wind us all up, does old Bobby.
Eric Myles
67 Posted 16/01/2015 at 13:05:25
Phil #65, I suspect that stat of 1 goal scored every 35 corners is based on the fact that the other team defended them.

When a team doesnÂ’t defend corners, like us, then the scoring rate will be much higher.

Phil Walling
68 Posted 16/01/2015 at 13:07:51
As I indicated yesterday, all records show that over time a 1-0 win will do better for the final goal difference than a 2-1 and a 4-3 even serves to devalue the points haul.

I donÂ’t begin to understand it but I suspect MoyesÂ’s Manual was more efficacious than that of RobertoÂ’s. DidnÂ’t the former once prove the theory by finishing 5th with a minus goal diff!

Ian Burns
69 Posted 16/01/2015 at 14:13:45
From RM - "clean sheets not a priority!" Look mum all those boys marching and every one of them is out of step but our Jonny!

I want to fly over to Finch Farm and scream in frustration!

Brian Harrison
70 Posted 16/01/2015 at 14:10:11
I think we could all drive ourselves mad when looking at stats, and sometimes they donÂ’t always lead to the right conclusions. But 1 win in 12 tells us that we have become a side who are struggling to win games, yes the general performance over the last couple of games is much improved but still hasnÂ’t produced a win.
Monday is a massive game and if we are to get out of this mess we have to start winning games, especially at home to a club lower in the league than ourselves.

I said in another post yesterday I would love to be inside Finch Farm over the last few days, because since the players have requested a change which does seem to be happening so who is deciding what they now practice. I mean the long ball game is an anathema to RM so when is the decision made to go from complete possession football to hitting a longer ball.

Phil Rodgers
72 Posted 16/01/2015 at 14:31:37
Martinez finest hour on Sky right now...
Phil Rodgers
74 Posted 16/01/2015 at 14:43:12
Jamie Crowley
75 Posted 16/01/2015 at 15:35:48
I know itÂ’s getting to be a serious situation by my own actions.

IÂ’m scheduling work appointments outside of game times recently so I can watch them live. Psychologically twisted I think my watching will somehow "help". I also canÂ’t not watch because I know how important the next few games are.

So instead of working like I should IÂ’ll be drinking $1.50 happy hour pints at a local bar urging on the Blues come Monday afternoon here in America.

They have to win... My productivity is counting on it.

Harold Matthews
76 Posted 16/01/2015 at 16:14:55
If we defend like we did the other day and Lukaku keeps tripping over his own big feet and missing absolute sitters, weÂ’ll definitely go down.
Paul Tran
77 Posted 16/01/2015 at 16:45:54
Sometimes thereÂ’s a big difference between being articulate and being smart.

If Martinez is smart, heÂ’ll keep quiet, heÂ’ll incorporate the playersÂ’ wishes into his way of playing, weÂ’ll finish mid-table. He will then reflect in the summer the many fundamental errors heÂ’s made in the last eight months and convince us all that heÂ’ll make changes for next season.

If he keeps telling us heÂ’s right, itÂ’ll end in tears, weÂ’ll be here, he wonÂ’t and will look anything but smart!

Steve Davies
78 Posted 16/01/2015 at 16:43:16
Clean sheets not a priority? I have heard it all now. This is why I have absolutely no faith in RM. If we stay up it is in spite of him......
Colin Glassar
79 Posted 16/01/2015 at 18:03:59
Keep going, Jay. LetÂ’s just say weÂ’ll see who is right at the end of the season.

IÂ’m not going to continue to defend what most of you consider indefensible. They are all grown men who get paid a lot more than me so they can stand up for themselves.

I shall keep the faith and like I said previously, we shall have our final judgement in May.

Mike Hughes
80 Posted 16/01/2015 at 18:58:54
Just wasted 10 mins watching RMÂ’s press conference.

I wasnÂ’t expecting Frost/Nixon but why ask about the Balon dÂ’Or, England U21s and the perennial classic which comes in various forms:
"How important is a win?".

Having said that anything that wonÂ’t fit with the bland media training format will result in a ban for the journalist.

"Aside from injuries, why has this season gone so horribly wrong and how will you put it right?"

"If results donÂ’t improve quickly, Roberto, at which point will you consider your future?"

"Do you think your next job is more likely to be Barcelona or Blackpool?"

"How much do you enjoy reading ToffeeWeb and, besides Mike Hughes, who is your favourite contributor?"

Media briefings = Dullsville.

Tony Abrahams
81 Posted 16/01/2015 at 21:30:17
Good post Colin 79, I hope youÂ’re right so you can act all superior! Leave it at that though mate and realise that Martinez, more than anybody has got us into this mess. LetÂ’s hope like you say that he gets us out of it.

People are getting very worried, and losing confidence by the minute on this great website called ToffeeWeb.

I hope the crowd at Goodison on Monday will be the total opposite, because after getting a bit of confidence back in our last 3 games, the last thing we need now, is a nervous crowd getting through to the players.

Dick Fearon
82 Posted 16/01/2015 at 21:20:25
I tried to grapple with the workings of RobertoÂ’s philosophy and now mentally battered and bruised I am in full retreat.

Barely recovered from 10 years under an over-cautious, ultra-defensive zealot I am now petrified by a manager who puts more emphasis on possession football than scoring goals or defending against them.

The mind boggles!

Paul Ward
83 Posted 17/01/2015 at 03:08:37
(Steve Davies 64) A very good article and a likely scenario against Spurs. I think Martinez is the main reason for our problems and as each weeks slipÂ’s by without any decision by the board fans are getting very nervous. The last two games have given the managers supporters hope and maybe soothed some who want his head.

I see posters bombarding the site with stats of how many goals we have given away, few clean sheets, players out of position and how many points we need to be safe.

Some posters have suggested after we beat WBA we are on our way. Let us hope! Should they lose on Monday, and or at Palace there will wholesale panic and the fallout must result in the sacking of Martinez.

Tony Abrahams
85 Posted 17/01/2015 at 09:59:51
Paul Ward, how can you agree with an article that wants to put Big Joe Royle back in charge?

Talk about wholesale panic and fallout!

Joe Clitherow
86 Posted 17/01/2015 at 09:33:19
Colin 53

Belated response because I havenÂ’t had the wherewithal to post the same stuff recently but I guess it is me you are referring to being "derogatory" about Martinez and that warrants a response.

So let me set some things straight. Firstly I have not been in any way "derogatory" about Martinez as a person; it is not a personal thing at all. "Derogatory" about his capability to manage Everton Football Club? You’re absolutely right – he is so far out of his depth he is looking around Titanic in a wetsuit.

Why do I say this? IÂ’ve set out my logical reasons in great detail in lots of posts and it certainly is not by being just the dogmatic polar opposite to you and a few other posters who seem to base their support of this guy on purely emotional reasons; either some desperate need to be proved right (in at least two cases of posters I could name) or desperate but misguided hope for success for the team (which I can certainly sympathise with and is how I perceive your support for him).

You can believe it or not, but from an emotional place my heart is 100% alongside you on the last point, as are lots of other posters who wish Martinez to be successful, because by implication Everton are successful, but at the same time they also want him gone because the head has to rule the heart here.

IÂ’ll set the record straight too with my timeline:

1. I didn’t want him at all when he was appointed because of his record. I remember my post at the time: "Sin Defendo". I take no pleasure at all at the last because I really had no idea how correct I was – I thought he would have learned on reflection from his relegation. No such luck – it seems to have made him even more dogmatic about his "philosophy";

2. Once he was here, I got right behind him as our manager and, as a match-going fan, he has had that direct support from me too;

3. I started to have severe doubts about him first when he was a rabbit in the headlights at the last Mordor derby;

4. I had more nagging doubts as the results and performances deteriorated dramatically at the end of last season;

5. My doubts crystallised at the absolutely pointless – in every sense of the word – so-called football I have sat through this season. I have caught myself a few times sitting with my head cradled on my hand, both disconsolate and bored silly;

6. The 3-0 Swansea capitulation and his "not bothered" attitude was the tipping point for me.

Since then, yes, I have consistently wanted him gone and this has solidified because, to me, the evidence is compelling and I strongly believe when you have that level of conviction then you need to act decisively. "Wait and see" is not an option when things keep getting reinforced.

The other day, you said I was consistent about this. Well yes I am, but thatÂ’s not dogma, thatÂ’s because my view keeps getting reinforced because I donÂ’t see any change from Martinez in the face of everything that is going wrong for obvious reasons; so yes, my logic is consistently applied.

If I saw genuine change then my opinion would change too on the basis of new evidence but not overnight, because there is not enough data. It would take the same amount of contrary evidence as I outline above to change my opinion.

Do I think Martinez has fixed things in the last few games? Do I think he has gone back to basics? Do I think we have turned a corner? Do I think he has changed any of his views?

Absolutely not! We have started lumping a few long balls up playing to the strength of an excellent young forward and it has started to pay dividends, and I donÂ’t believe it has anything to do with RM. It is only one thing that has reaped some reward and it is that flippinÂ’ simple!!

The horrendous defensive set-up, the criminal ignorance of set play drill and lack of discipline, the negligent attitude to match fitness are all there. The same heart-in-mouth last-ditch defending from counter-attacks and vulnerability from poor to mediocre teams is still all there; the amount of clear-cut one-on-one chances we put ourselves in is still there. It is just, in my opinion, that people are desperate for a positive change and are clutching at any straws.

So hopefully that clarifies my position. I donÂ’t really care about Martinez, I care about Everton and I will be in my seat Monday cheering on the team as always. I reserve my right to want him replaced because he is nowhere near good enough to manage my football club.

Laurie Hartley
87 Posted 17/01/2015 at 10:20:45
Very compelling post, Joe, and you are right – it is your football club. Managers will come and go but Evertonians don’t.

Wish I could be there on Monday night with you cheering on the team. Our team.

Colin Glassar
88 Posted 17/01/2015 at 10:32:56
Great post, Joe, honestly. At the end of the day we all want the best for EFC, we just differ on our opinions how to achieve that.

I must admit that when the attacks on RM get personal it makes my blood boil but when your arguments are well founded and supported by facts then it helps to enrich the debate.

George McKane
89 Posted 17/01/2015 at 10:30:36
We all have the right to scream and it is our indelible right to say No (or indeed Yes).

I was pleased with Martinez’s appointment and of course last season’s performances – generally. Certainly after Moyes’s years of absolute dullness and inferiority.

The current situation reminds me in some ways of Kendall just before he/we/us turned the corner. Then, I thought to myself (no websites then for open and free discussion and differences of opinion – but great discussions in pubs) – "What do I want". This is Kendall. This is without doubt who I want, certainly after the Lee years, but it all seems to be going wrong.

I can honestly say I never ever wanted him sacked; I just believed that he would get it right. He knew what Everton was and what Evertonian’s wanted. Kendall listened to people and knew what fans wanted – hence the Harvey appointment over Mick Heaton (his friend). I knew Kendall then and still do.

So do I want Martinez sacked? Well, no. But I believe that he should be MADE to listen to someone within the club – players or Director(s). I do know that some players went to see him within the past few weeks about their unhappiness with the inflexibility of the style of play. No-one in any football club is bigger that the fans but, when we appointment anyone to take care of our "family", we have to trust them – totally.

One thing we cannot do – and this is what happened under Moyes – is just let things drift on.

We have to be decisive – either way.

See you Blues on Monday and "God Bless You All" said Tiny Tim Cahill.

Jay Wood
90 Posted 17/01/2015 at 09:49:25
Colin @ 79

Very revealing Colin. IÂ’m beginning to see a pattern to your modus operandi.

Your colours are fimly nailed to the mast. That is, Martinez. Admirable. No problem with that. Through thick and thin you stick with yer man. Well done.

But then it starts to unravel a bit. As the season progresses, it is getting more difficult to support and defend him. But you, being the stalwart acolyte that you are, remain TOTALLY faithful to Martinez in the face of much concern and hostility.

Again - excellent! Well done! YouÂ’re still sticking by your man.

But then, you tip over the edge. So absolute is your support for Roberto, you cannot tolerate any criticism of him, even in the face of legitimate and overwhelming evidence, well argued and well presented on these pages.

You stomp around like an angry rhino, trying to put out fires on every thread that you consider derogatory about your demi-god.

You actually donÂ’t engage directly with the arguments put forward. Maybe because, deep down, you know there is no knock down counters to the many valid points others are making, other than ... well ... blind faith, I suppose, that Martinez will come good.

No ... instead, YOU are the one who makes derogatory remarks about fellow TWers (as you did again at post 30 in this thread which, if you havenÂ’t noticed, the editors deemed fit to remove ... another pattern there, eh Colin?).

YOU are the one who dismisses genuine concerns by Evertonians everywhere as Â’negative overreactionÂ’ and attempt to stifle the debate that YOU donÂ’t want to hear.

Now, you are not alone in this. There are others like you on TW, but you do appear the most strident of those in the Â’Martinez till I dieÂ’ lobby.

But what IÂ’m increasingly seeing from you (and others...) is in your DESPERATION to be proven right in your BLIND SUPPORT for Roberto is ...

You prioritize your position - being Â’rightÂ’ about Martinez - over the welfare of the club.

And I find that ... strange. Perverse, even ...

These 2 comments lifted from your last post @ 79 support what I believe.

"... weÂ’ll see who is right at the end of the season ..."

"... we shall have our final judgement in May ..."

Right about WHAT, Colin? WHAT Â’final judgement?Â’

About Martinez? About Everton maintaining their PL status?

WHAT exactly??!!

That we are even contemplating relegation of this squad is a condemnation of how badly Martinez has managed this season. But it is a very stark reality.

Only the extremely deaf, dumb, blind and stupid
... cannot look at the league table
... cannot look at our performances over the season
... cannot look at our form over the season
... cannot look at the damning data and statistics on our season
(as well presented by many TWers on here and in the 2 recent Sky Sports links)
... cannot hear or read the worrying pronouncements by the manager and players ...

Surely, there is no TRUE Evertonian, presented with such evidence, that can be content with the season to date, or cannot be preoccupied with both the present and the consequences for our future well-being.

This squad of players should comfortably be in AT LEAST the top half of the table. Even with the extra burden of the EL (which we havenÂ’t played in for nearly 2 months...), IMO this squad should be challenging for 6-8th, or on the cusp of the top 4.

So ... IF Everton avoids relegation (and we bloody better!), I hope they will be no triumphalism from you and others when it comes to " final judgement in May ..." as if that is some vindication that you were "right" about Martinez.

Because avoiding relegation and its dire consequence for Everton FC should not be cause for praise or celebration. It should be an absolute bare minimal that Martinez should achieve.

No! Let me correct that ... it should be a stonewall guarantee at the start of each season before a ball has even been kicked.

George McKane
91 Posted 17/01/2015 at 11:12:53
Listen to The Lion
Inside me
And
I shall search
My very Soul
For The Lion Inside
And
We sailed and we sailed
All the way up to Goodison Park
And we sailed and we sailed
Looking for a Brand New Start
All around
Looking for a Brand New Start
Mike Gwyer
92 Posted 17/01/2015 at 11:01:56

Tony Abrahams #81.

"People are getting very worried, and losing confidence by the minute on this great website called ToffeeWeb".

I can assure you that the people going to Goodison Park are also getting very worried and fucking pissed off and very, very verbally agitated.

As sure as night follows day, we will concede from a dead ball kick against West Brom, Pulis will make sure of that. For me, we will need at least 2 goals to win on Monday night.

Paul Tran
93 Posted 17/01/2015 at 11:09:30
Jay, IÂ’m not sure whether IÂ’m one of the Â’othersÂ’ you refer to regarding Â’blind supportÂ’ of Martinez?

I’ve always made the distinction between the personal (too positive, took Wigan down so he’ll take us down, lucky when we win, we win despite him, only finished 5th cos the league was rubbish, etc.) and the professional – the obvious stuff that you regularly and accurately point out.

From the outset I liked what Martinez appeared to be doing – keep the solidity, improving ball retention and control of the game, scoring more goals. That’s what I want our manager to do. That’s what I was "defending’.

This season has been an indefensible, negligent shambles. IÂ’ve criticised him for this regularly on here and IÂ’d have no problem with him being sacked tomorrow.... as long as he is replaced by a quality coach that can give us both solidity and flair.

Where we differ is that I think weÂ’ll stay up and IÂ’d prefer to give it some thought and get the right replacement in the summer.

Love the debate, just putting my views in the line.

Jay Wood
94 Posted 17/01/2015 at 11:50:42
Paul @ 93

Your name is NOT on my radar as one who blindly supports RM. Indeed, I donÂ’t see any grand difference in our opinions as youÂ’ve expressed them here.

This is a misnomer amongst MTID (Martinez Till I Die supporters ... dÂ’ya think itÂ’ll catch on..?) assume about TWers who express their concerns for the club and are wrongly accused of being Martinez haters.

I openly admit when I first heard of his appointment I sent an email to friends and family, with the subject line Â’Fucking Martinez???!!!Â’

I wasnÂ’t convinced, given that he had relegated Wigan, that he was the man for us. But I did not hold that against him once last season started and, like the majority IÂ’m sure, I was DELIGHTED with how well his first season went.

But, as you say, this season has been shambolic.

And your penultimate paragraph is wrong Paul. I am of a like mind to you!

I have NOT resorted to personal abuse of Martinez. I have NOT called for his head. On the contrary, I have repeated several times I want him to succeed because if he is successful, so is Everton. I do NOT think that sacking him now is beneficial. There is still time for him and the players to get out of this downward slump.

So I too think a knee jerk appointment (should it come to that) is NOT the best long term solution for EFC. We need, as you say, to reflect and carefully consider our options if BK chooses to replace RM.

And on that front, I am of a like mind to you. I want a quality coach who gets the balance right between solidity and flair.

Again, like you, I too canÂ’t REALLY believe we can POSSIBLY be relegated, but... without wins on the board very soon, all bets could be off. A continued winless run creates its own momentum. Fear and stress of being in a dogfight does strange things to teams and individual players.

Earlier this week, I posted I do not think BK will pull the trigger. BUT! There was a proviso... If this poor form continues into March and April, we are in a Walter Smith situation, with the threat of relegation ever more stark and real. Then, BKÂ’s hand may be forced.

Daniel A Johnson
95 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:20:39
IÂ’m torn – this is the Martinez who got us a superb win at Old Trafford... a great gutsy draw at Arsenal... not to mention the total footballing annihilation of the gunners at Goodison. Yet this is also the same manager who, despite spending 㿈M on one player, has us now in a relegation fight.

There is a good if damning article by Danny Mills on the BBC about Stuart Pearce, saying that Pearce always has a great honeymoon period but, once the players figure him out and they realise heÂ’s a crap manager, his teams plummet down the league.

I think Martinez has had is honeymoon period. Too much damage has been done mentally with the squad and Martinez and his mediocre coaches. I firmly believe last season was a blip never to be replicated.

Forget second-season syndrome. Martinez has been figured out by the squad as a soft spoken idealist whoÂ’s romantic experimental view about football holds no place at Everton Football Club.

If we lose against WBA, sack him immediately.

James Hughes
96 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:29:55
I have to agree with Joe (#86) – his comments ring true for me.

We seem to have the only manager in any top flight who doesnÂ’t think keeping a clean sheet is important. That defending set-pieces isnÂ’t vital and in fact doesnÂ’t practise defending at all.

Roberto is a one-trick pony and needs to realise that we play in the hardest, fastest and most physical league in the world and everyone has spotted his trick.

RM –sort it out or sod off! COYB

Mike Hughes
97 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:31:55
Jay @ #94 – spot on... except for the qualified notion that we can’t really go down. A continuation of current form will have us down in the bottom 3 by the end of January. It’s also becoming very compressed in the bottom half.

Getting out of that wonÂ’t be easy. Other teams may see us as potential whipping boys and set-up accordingly.

This is a slide that needs to be arrested NOW. We need a minimum of 4 points from the next 2 PL games or itÂ’s Â’Adios amigoÂ’. Then we need to build from there.

If weÂ’re also in a relegation scrap and have the burden of EL, then IÂ’m not sure weÂ’ll be able to cope.

When I start to hope the RS get a draw (e.g. today) then something is horribly wrong. If thatÂ’s not bad enough, IÂ’m having a dry January when IÂ’ve never needed a drink more.

Jay Wood
98 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:44:10
@ Mike 97

A loss at home to the Baggies on Monday will have you grabbing the nearest bottle I fancy!

Just donÂ’t let it be bleach!

Colin Glassar
99 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:41:28
90. No comment. Enjoy yourself.
Kevin Tully
100 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:40:37
This season is already a write-off, but there is one possible chink of light at the end of this dark tunnel. I can see a possible emergence of a new, bright young side coming out of all this upheaval.

Make no mistake, we are in transition from the old guard that has been present for many years at the club. Distin, Osman, Pienaar, Hibbert, Howard and even Jagielka are all on their way out. Coleman may go to raise some funds for whatever manager may be in place. Baines seems to be lost this season.

We may see Robles, Besic, Stones, Barkley, Oviedo, McCarthy, Lukaku and Garbutt leading the fight next season.

That’s not to say Martinez hasn’t been responsible for a dire season – it’s 100% on him as the manager to manage this transitional period.

It’s all coming down to next few games, but, if Martinez can adjust and steady the ship – we could come out of the other side with a decent young, talented team.

Personally, I think he is too much of an idealist, and itÂ’s not in his make up to be able tweak his teams to play to their strengths. I hope IÂ’m wrong, because stability is key to building anything worthwhile.

James Hughes
101 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:01:12
Kevin, not a complete write-off yet. We still have the Europa to play for (cross fingers).
Karl Jones
102 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:52:48
Totally agree. Martinez should have resigned or been sacked after the Stoke debacle. He and his staff cannot organize a defence and lack the ability to close games out when we are in front.

Just look at the way they set up for corners: No man on either post. They all seem happy to leave certain opposition players to move freely. If this is zonal marking, it does not work with our players.

Everyone else grapples and takes advantage of the weak PL referees to stop this... When the ball gets cleared, it inevitably gets crossed back in through a lack of closing down. Back to basics indeed.

Contrast that with our poor corners where we mostly end up defending a breakaway.

If we are still in the PL next season, he would be the last manager I would want in charge.

Phil Walling
103 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:20:05
In support of the Martinez philosophy that itÂ’s Â’goals forÂ’ that really matter, it is a fact that no team that has scored 49 in a 38 game season has EVER been relegated!

Everton’s 21 games so far have produced 30 ’goals for’ – far superior to any other team in the bottom 9 (Villa have managed but 12!) so a smidge over a goal a game in the remaining 17 matches SHOULD see us safe on this criteria. Incidentally, Wigan managed 47 in 2013 but were done for by the 73 they conceded!

As some have mentioned above, our clubÂ’s defensive record is, at present, the worst (34) apart from QPR but only Birmingham City in 2006 have ever been relegated having conceded only 50 goals, so we can afford to ship a goal a game and avoid the drop on that record.

So, sixteen 1-1 draws and the odd 1-0 win would do it with bags of excitement (heart failure!) along the way. Yes, stats can prove anything.

ps: ItÂ’s all bollocks, really!

Andrew Ellams
104 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:16:03
Kev Tully @ 100. Biggest fear for me is how many clubs and agents will be circling around those young players if we start to look like a club in decline from the outside.

We already allegedly have Man Utd very graciously deciding whether they are going to take our player or SouthamptonÂ’s.

Wayne Smyth
105 Posted 17/01/2015 at 12:58:48
Jay, IÂ’ve been accused by Darren on here as being a supporter of Martinez and not a supporter of Everton; despite the fact that IÂ’ve got a lot of criticisms of the man. Quite why IÂ’d follow a team for 35 years that I donÂ’t support is probably something IÂ’ll find the answer to at some point.

I usually know when people start trying to create straw-man arguments, or label me as this or that, that their actual argument is weak. IÂ’ve really got no time or respect for people like that and itÂ’s just a pity I canÂ’t ignore such knobs.

ItÂ’s actually very difficult for anyone to provide any positives about Martinez at the moment without being attacked by a rabid mob of posters foaming at the mouth. Quite funny, but also quite sad given this is a discussion forum.

For the record, what really scared the shit out of me this season wasnÂ’t the poor defending, individual errors, slow sideways football... although none of those are great. No, what scared me stiff was the lack of fight and desire shown against Hull City and Newcastle Utd. That kind of shit will get us relegated, and I donÂ’t know why that occurred, although the management clearly have to take a lot of flak for failing to motivate the players.

Thankfully it seems that in the two West Ham games and the draw against Man City, the players are at least now giving it a go... even if the results donÂ’t back up the performances.

If this was MartinezÂ’s first season, I would be a lot more worried. However, I saw enough last season to see that MartinezÂ’s way of playing can be successful with our players when they are confident. I think our current issues are probably more form and confidence related than anything systemic to do with what Martinez is asking of them.

WeÂ’ve had horrendous injury problems all season, Martinez has failed to address key areas such as central defence and our wingers in the transfer market, which leave us with an unbalanced team with no width and no real pace. I think this has affected the quality of our play when players like Mirallas have been unavailable. Atsu is not a patch on Deulofeu and I think that loan has been a waste of time.

However, personally IÂ’d like to give the manager a few more seasons to address those issues and bring in the players who have the abilities to play the system Martinez wants.

You learn a lot when you lose; a lot more than when you win. Martinez will be seeing which of his players are bottlers or which donÂ’t have the quality and which players need replacing because they are too old.

I donÂ’t think youÂ’ll find a poster on here who enjoyÂ’s it when we lose. However, I believe the underlying causes of those bad results and performances are not as clear-cut and singular as some would like to make out... although I do understand the attraction of having someone to blame when youÂ’re pissed off and frustrated.

Mike Hughes
106 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:22:45
Jay#98

If that happens on Monday night, bleach might be needed with some of the obscenities likely coming out of my mouth. Fingers crossed we stuff them and, in doing so, also strike the Fear of God into Palace.

Also, hoping for a Villa- rs draw today with several injuries inflicted on both sides, particularly to forwards and goalkeepers. Morally wrong I know but desperate times call for desperate measures ......

Jay Wood
107 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:23:13
Andrew @ 104

I agree Andrew.

Regardless of if we stay in the PL or not, not only will sharks sniff around to pick off our more talented players, but the better players themselves will be looking towards the exit, thinking they donÂ’t want to be part of this Â’project.Â’

I donÂ’t think some people have fully appreciated how vulnerable a club like Everton is beyond the immediate worries of our current league position and maintaining our PL status.

Phil Walling
108 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:39:56
AÂ’ few more seasonsÂ’ of Martinez, Wayne and heÂ’ll be trying to prove his philosophy can get us out of the Conference !

Modern clubs cannot afford to indulge Â’dodgyÂ’ managers any more these days than supporters will allow them to do so !

Eric Myles
109 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:17:07
Joe #86, I agree with what you say about what has been wrong with our set up but you say "I started to have severe doubts about him first when he was a rabbit in the headlights at the last Mordor derby"

So what went RIGHT for the half season before then? And the 12 of the 17 games afterwards that we won?

Was that despite Martinez?

Andrew Ellams
110 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:53:34
Eric 109, to a degree yes. People could already see the cracks in his philosophy starting to happen. We won home games to Swansea and Cardiff and looked far from comfortable. I will give you the Arsenal and Man Utd home games.
Jay Wood
111 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:28:56
Wayne @ 105

A couple of housekeeping points first.

My post @ 90 did not say that people support Roberto and not the club. What it DID say was in their desperation to be proven right in their blind support for Roberto, some people seemingly prioritize their position - being Â’rightÂ’ about Martinez - over the welfare of the club.

Now, YOU have presumed for yourself that my opinion included you. Your choice.

I have not created straw-man arguments. I am not part of any rabid mob, foaming at the mouth, calling for RMÂ’s head. My opinions are rational, eloquent and well supported with statistical and documented evidence.

I too have a good nose for flannel ... denial and deflection. Your opening couple of paragraphs attempt just that. Giving an air of moral and intellectual superiority, implying you position is the only valid one and everyone else is malicious and stupid.

Now to discuss your footy opinions...

I too was alarmed by the lack of fight and commitment during this poor run. I commented on it here. It is an absolute bare minimum demanded of anyone who pulls on the blue jersey of Everton.

I said at the time this was as much as anything why the crowd was turning against the team in some games. Evertonians forgive many other failings if they see the team and its individuals TRY! And only in the last 3 games have we started to see that again.

You say you are less concerned than if this was MartinezÂ’s first season. A simple counter opinion is, after such a successful first season, why COULDNÂ’T he build on that success?

It is basically the same team, so no great disruption in continuity. This is what bewilders many.

You believe our current issues are more related to form and confidence, rather than anything Â’systemic to do with what Martinez is asking of them.Â’

Well, again, whatever you believe, that is all part of the managerÂ’s remit. And there are plenty who would laugh at your second observation, believing the core problems ARE systemic and that MartinezÂ’s system ... DOES. NOT. WORK!

And unless he DOES get it working, pretty damn sharp, or compromises and finds an effective alternative on how to send his team out to play, your personal desire to give the manager a few more seasons may not be realised, because he will be out of the door and down the road.

And no. Before you leap to the wrong conclusion, as previously stated, I am not calling for his head and instant dismissal. I WANT him to succeed, because if he is successful, so is Everton ...

Andrew Ellams
112 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:08:39
Right, I have to ask. Jay Wood, are you Eugene Ruane under a pseudonym? Your writing style is the same, your prediliction towards long posts and your use of upper case and bold type match too and I havenÂ’t seen Eugene post for quite a while.
Jay Wood
113 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:15:41
@ Andrew 112

Nope!

(short enough for you...?) ;-)

Eric Myles
114 Posted 17/01/2015 at 13:58:01
Wayne #105 "However, personally IÂ’d like to give the manager a few more seasons to address those issues and bring in the players who have the abilities to play the system Martinez wants."

At this rate we wonÂ’t have a few more seasons, and where will the money come from to buy these players of ability? Only from selling our current players of ability!

Andrew Ellams
115 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:25:16
I had to ask Jay, the similarities are uncanny
Jay Wood
116 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:29:59
@ Andrew 115

Â’the similarities are uncannyÂ’

FrigginÂ’ hope not ... heÂ’s a long-winded pain in the ass!

(SFX: self-depreciating manic laughter heard in echoing corridor, fading away to final credit roll...)

Kevin Tully
117 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:28:53
Looking at our current predicament from another angle, is this manager a Â’matchÂ’ for the club? I certainly thought so last season. Putting blank canvases up at Finch Farm for our next trophy winning team, stating our much forgotten history in front of the press and generally giving us hope we could compete with the moneyed elite.

He made us believe that by playing pure football, we could go places. Fine, but if you find the players havenÂ’t got the skill set, or confidence, or we donÂ’t have the money to purchase those players, where do you go from there?

Brian Hennessy
119 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:30:47
I like Roberto as a man and for the joy he gave us last season, but I think if we donÂ’t get at least 4 points from our next two games then Bill needs to act and sack him.

The consequences of being relegated are just too serious not to act.

No manager with this current crop of Everton players at his disposal should be in danger of relegation.

Joe Clitherow
120 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:20:29
Thanks Colin (#88) it is a good job I decided to leave out my opinion that RMÂ’s decision that he was "not the right manager to bring them out of the Championship", and to not even make a token offer to help after getting them into that mess was dishonourable, cowardly, narcissistic and self-serving. :-)

Eric (#109), that’s a pretty easy one for me as I have posted at length on this site. I agree with Andrew in the very next post but my opinion is that, in his transition from Moyes, he added something which was unexpected to the basic solidity of the team, but he has gradually imposed his philosophy since – and it does not work!

Apart from that, once the countering tactics from Rodgers exposed him completely, the game was up in the footballing arms race. He hasnÂ’t countered or evolved since that date though, utterly convinced in his plan, and lesser managers just employ the same tactics and have picked us off with ease and increasing frequency. Not adapting means he will go the way Darwinism dictates.

It is interesting that just reverting a little to mix it up in the last few games away from his purist approach seems to have shown an instant improvement in effectiveness. ThatÂ’s because we actually have good players and partly why I want Anyone But Martinez, because I think even a mediocre manager would get results from the talent we have available.

Jay (Wood), I have to say I find your posts a little confusing. Not from your arguments from a factual standpoint, which I agree with 100%, but in your concluding statement that you donÂ’t want Martinez sacked. It is incongruous to me that you can (correctly in my view) qualify the threat of relegation with RM at the tiller, but then shy away from the obvious conclusion of replacement? Either you think RM will take us down, as it seems you do from your posts (in which case sack and replace him surely), or you think we will actually be OK (in which case... what? Same again next season?)

One of the reasons why I have wanted him sacked for a while now is to give any new manager, even a caretaker manager, the benefit of the January window – even if that was just a few loan signings – and that option is dwindling rapidly. Leaving things to March or (heaven forbid) April is just far too late, the time to act is now.

If you think things are going right up to the wire, then it is probably already too late, because a huge part of the options for change will be gone at the end of this month. Apart from that, I donÂ’t want any of the cash I pump into the club to be given to Martinez as he has spewed away too much already on bad buys and ridiculous contracts.

I think there is little margin for error or contingency – we need to pull away now because, once it gets down to single digit games, the relegation fight is nothing to do with quality, it is down to bottle and pure luck. I have seen and experienced first-hand two incredibly lucky escapes where we did not, actually, deserve to survive on the last day of the season. That’s two more than I ever want to see in my lifetime.

John Daley
121 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:53:15
"My opinions are rational, eloquent and well supported with statistical and documented evidence. I too have a good nose for flannel ... denial and deflection"

Steady on Jay. Sounds like a self-intro from one of the candidates in the Apprentice.

Ian Burns
122 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:48:16
I think pro or against RM or even sitting on the fence getting splinters in your arse - I donÂ’t believe this growing argument about the manager is personal for anybody.

This constant debate on TW and within GP is all about the club and our love/support of EFC.

The fact of the matter is the present custodian of the best job in football has fallen woefully short and for me he has already run out of time. Nothing personal as I love his brown shoes but detest what he is doing to our club.

Wayne Smyth
123 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:05:00
Jay, I think youÂ’ve read a lot of stuff into my post that simply isnÂ’t there. The things youÂ’ve assumed were about you are actually about other people....IÂ’m just telling you about it.

I also know your previous posts werenÂ’t aimed at me; but based on your discussion with Colin, I was simply telling you about similar discussions IÂ’ve had with other people on here where views are polar opposite, and how unfortunately if you donÂ’t hold the widely proffered view that the manager is incompetent, then you open yourself up to a lot of unjustified personal flak, to the point where the actual football discussion becomes entirely secondary to poo-throwing and insults.

I donÂ’t think IÂ’ve tried to give any air of superiority either. I simply hold a different/unpopular opinion, but I think we should be able to discuss those differing football views without turning around and behaving like a bunch of 5-year-olds.

So, with that out the way, down to the footie...

Why couldnÂ’t Martinez build on that success? My belief, as I mentioned, was primarily injuries but also bad transfer decisions.

Due to spending all our money on Lukaku, the side has no balance; no width. Many players are too old and shouldÂ’ve been replaced. WeÂ’ve had a crisis of confidence for most of the season too.

Would I sack a manager because after a record breaking season he has a shit 6 months? No.

Only time will tell if Martinez turns out to be a quality manager or someone who will get you relegated every few years. I donÂ’t know the answer to that one but, based on last season’s evidence and the fact that he wants us to play football in the Â’rightÂ’ way, IÂ’m erring on the side of giving the guy a bit of slack in the hope he doesnÂ’t get us relegated and has the time to correct our issues.

The only reason we have competed with the top 6 clubs in the Premier League is that we donÂ’t sack our managers every few months. That stability is important. This is why we can compete with teams who spend a lot more than us. That’s why we did quite well under Moyes when, after the 17th place finish, it wouldÂ’ve been easy to show him the door.

Sometimes things arenÂ’t always as simple as they appear, either. People heavily criticised Martinez for signing Robles and Kone. Kone was shit and then got injured. Robles was just shit.

Now heÂ’s hopefully over his injury issues, Kone actually looks very, very decent and a massive improvement over Anichebe and Jelavic who Martinez inherited.

Even more unlikely, Robles could also turn out to be someone who is good enough for us in the longer term, now that heÂ’s been given a run in the side... and I donÂ’t think youÂ’d have found one person, including me, who would have said that 3 weeks ago.

When youÂ’re manager of a club like Everton, you need to take risks to get anywhere. You canÂ’t go out and spend 𧴜M on six players and have everything be okay if only two of them are okay. The margin of error is small.

Last season, he took a few gambles in the loan market. Barry, Lukaku and Deulofeu were undoubted successes. Traore was a waste of time. Barkley was also new to the opposition. In short, most of MartinezÂ’s gambles paid off.

This season, Atsu has been a waste of time, and because weÂ’ve been forced to play one of EtoÂ’o, Barkley or Naismith wide, weÂ’re often effectively playing with 10 men.

ItÂ’s a fine line I think between success and failure. Sometimes the gambles pay off, sometimes not. What I hope about Martinez is that longer term he will bring in the kind of young talent that will allow us to compete.

Colin Glassar
124 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:12:28
No one is kidding themselves. We are in a fight to maintain our prem status. No one is denying this. IÂ’ve simply stated that I believe we wonÂ’t go down.

Unfortunately, this season is now a dead duck. Our only hope is a decent finish in the league and a good run in the EL.

We have to rebuild in the summer with either the present incumbent or another, and get our shit together from day one. I donÂ’t think any of us want to go through this again but, this is Everton, this is what we do (sadly). Too many false dawns.

Eric Myles
125 Posted 17/01/2015 at 14:58:44
Joe #120 "once the countering tactics from Rodgers exposed him completely the game was up in the footballing arms race. He hasnÂ’t countered or evolved since that date though, utterly convinced in his plan, and lesser managers just employ the same tactics and have picked us off with ease and increasing frequency."

I partly disagree with that, Rodgers’s tactics last season were to play long ball up to their pacey forwards to get behind defenders when they played against expansive teams, and they struggled against Â’park the busÂ’ teams. Other teams didnÂ’t play that way against us and we won 12 out of 17 after that derby (our previous half-season was much worse win-wise by the way)

This season we have been undone by teams pressing high against our defenders and forcing errors which maybe didnÂ’t happen so much last season. Our defence was good last season and this it has gone to shit, maybe due to the sudden aging of Distin and Barry coupled with the lack of defensive practice which is surely down to mis-management.

Kevin Tully
126 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:19:28
I think Â’EujayÂ’ has let the cat out of the bag with that last post. Classic Ruane fare.
Jay Wood
127 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:15:11
John @ 121

I wouldnÂ’t get past the audition John.

I donÂ’t have the teeth or the testosterone for it. And thatÂ’s just the women!

Andrew Ellams
128 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:25:23
As things currently stand, we are below Crystal Palace in the league...
Joe Clitherow
129 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:27:06
The point I was making, Eric,was the tactics were the same in that they exposed the defence very easily. At Anfield, our high back line, pushing up and (excruciatingly) slow to get back was mercilessly exploited by the pacy forward line from the RS. That has just been expanded on in a far more simple way by just pushing up on the two defenders passing the ball sideways and forcing mistakes whilst the the rest of the team watches this same scenario play out from way up the field.

The outcome is the same – numbers of the opposition bearing down at speed on an outnumbered defence. You just count the number of one on one situations we have under this season – every single game, especially the four Christmas defeats. I will go out on a limb and say there will be at least three next Monday, and they are always great goalscoring chances.

MoyesÂ’s (or anyone elseÂ’s) defence in depth meant this almost never happened as there was always a covering defender. Partly in my opinion this is why Distin has had such terrible press this season as he is no longer agile enough to cope with a forward running straight at him in a one to one. Stones gets away with it more often but he is still very raw and learning his trade.

Eric Myles
130 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:25:44
Interesting comment from the Villa - Liverpool game that I had also read recently "You have to be brave and stick by your principles but Rodgers has changed things and itÂ’s worked."

His team have gone from being worse than us in the first half of the season to winning games. LetÂ’s hope MartinezÂ’s chat with the players produces a similar epiphany.

Mark Tanton
131 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:42:39
Liverpool just seem to tolerate shit far less than us. It is typical that they find a way to return to form and weÂ’re still floundering. WeÂ’re far more happy to put up with it all.
Wayne Smyth
132 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:30:45
Eric (114) – players of ability need not cost megabucks, but they can take time to acquire and you need to know they are required.

I think last seasonÂ’s performances probably convinced Martinez that Jagielka and Distin were good enough to play a passing game well this season. He probably thought Pienaar would be competitive and hoped Atsu would provide depth if nothing else. All of those predictions have thus far proved wrong.

I think our performance last season is why he chose to blow his budget on Lukaku, because he thought we could get through to next season to address the other areas of the team.

Given injuries and the bad form of some of the players, itÂ’s clear we do need better players who are more comfortable on the ball and we desperately need wide players with pace, because at the moment weÂ’re just too narrow.

I donÂ’t think those players are necessarily expensive (e.g. Besic), and I think they are completely affordable if we donÂ’t have any marquee signings like Lukaku.

If we get through this season and if Martinez stays, heÂ’ll have no excuse for not addressing those problems in the summer.

Mike Allison
133 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:50:21
Wayne, our Â’passingÂ’ game is the problem, not the players. No players in the world would be effective passing the ball around as slowly as us, failing to defend set pieces and not being as fit as the opposition.

There seems to be some myth on ToffeeWeb, even among those critical of Martinez, that his ideas are fundamentally sound, but they are wrong for this group of players.

His ideas, including not attempting to take risks with the ball in order to create chances, and not moving the ball forward until the opposition are back in position and set up to defend, are not fundamentally sound – they are fundamentally stupid.

WeÂ’ve got really good players; unfortunately so have lots of teams in the Premier League, and thatÂ’s where fitness, tactics and character come into play. We are failing in all three of these areas at the moment, and the manager is to blame for all three, as we have always been strong in those three areas until this season.

Eric Myles
134 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:43:41
But thatÂ’s two completely different scenarios Joe.

One is the opposition dropping back so we get extended going forward and then long balls to get beyond our defenders with pacey forwards Â’bearing down on usÂ’, which I donÂ’t think has happened much this season.

The other is, even slow forwards are pressurising us outside the 18-yard box and are not Â’bearing down on us" but are in our face from the off when we are in a deep position, winning possession and being in a one on one situation with the goalie.

The difference between MoyesÂ’s side and MatinezÂ’s is that, under Moyes, our defence would hoof it forward; under Martinez, they gift it to the opposition.

Mike Oates
135 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:02:57
Interestingly ChelseaÂ’s virtually unchanged same 11 all season players are destroying SwanseaÂ’s tic-tac football with just pure pace and pressure.

Seems Martinez and Monk are still stuck on BarcelonaÂ’s multi-passing game whilst the world is moving on to BayernÂ’s, Real MadridÂ’s pace and pressuring. Unless youÂ’ve got totally talented defenders who are comfortable with the ball then any tic-tac game will get destroyed by intense closing down.

John Keating
136 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:10:39
Sad state of affairs that IÂ’m watching how the scores are going for the teams below us!

First time in my life IÂ’m hoping that the RS and Man Utd win!!

Martinez, you arsehole!!!

Eric Myles
137 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:02:30
Wayne #132, I can see where youÂ’re coming from with the first part of your post regarding Martinez expecting more of the same from certain players this season but "we desperately need wide players with pace, because at the moment weÂ’re just too narrow". Players like Baines, Coleman, Oviedo, Garbutt, Mirallas and Pienaar (when fit and on form) you mean?

"If we get through this season and if Martinez stays, heÂ’ll have no excuse for not addressing those problems in the summer." And where will the money come from? Who will we sell to get the funds to address those problems? The only players we have worth anything are part of the solution.

Wayne Smyth
138 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:58:20
Mike I disagree that are less fit than the opposition.

How can an unfit team be a goal down against West Ham, then have a man sent off, play 60 minutes with a man less and score 2 to take the lead, playing 120 minutes in total and looking the best side?

We probably were less than prepared in our first couple of games this season against Arsenal and Leicester, but our current issues are not related to fitness.

Also, I disagree that Martinez wants the team to play slow football and not move it forward till the opposition is back in position. That is a quite ridiculous statement, if it is your serious opinion.

When we have the ball, our passes are slightly off meaning players have to check their runs. Players that would last season have taken one touch now take 3 to control the ball. There is a lack of movement and belief. For me this is clearly confidence and form.

When we were taking teams apart last season with fast attacking precise passing football, that was what I believe Martinez wants. Not this slow shitty sideways/backwards football weÂ’ve often played this season.

As you correctly point out lots of teams have good players. ItÂ’s a tight league. You canÂ’t afford to be off the pace, carry a single player or have bad balance to your team. If you also constantly have 6 or 7 first team players injured, any team is going to be fucked.

We had injuries too last winter, culminating in the performance against the RS. People now point out how MartinezÂ’s style of play was found out in that game....without mentioning the number of players we had out injured or the number of walking wounded on the pitch.

Jay Wood
139 Posted 17/01/2015 at 15:26:46
Joe @ 120

Â’I have to say I find your posts a little confusing... your concluding statement that you donÂ’t want Martinez sacked.Â’

ItÂ’s a fair question Joe. Is my position incongruous that I identify our many problems but stop short of calling for RMÂ’s head?

Maybe this is my form of denial. I canÂ’t convince myself that this squad of players can possibly be relegated, as dire as weÂ’ve been for the most part.

Unlike some revisionists, I thought Moyes did a good job in his time at Everton, but during his long tenure there were some very barren spells similar to what we are passing through now ... and I never called for his head at those times.

Now that was maybe because under Moyes you had a sense he and the players would rectify things from worrying positions. And in general they did. There was a resiliance and togetherness that always came to the fore.

Some may deny it, but we were never again under threat of relegation during MoyesÂ’ time with us.

But some how, this season feels ... different. We donÂ’t have the resiliance of a MoyesÂ’ team. We appear flaky and vulnerable. And the spectre of the Â’RÂ’ word is being uttered around Goodison for the first time in a decade.

The reason I reference Moyes in my reply to you is BK had good grounds to pull the trigger on him on more than one occassion, but never did. Things are bad at the moment, but really so bad as to sack RM now?

Maybe itÂ’s the old Corinthian in me that stops short of putting the boot in. He and the team still have plenty of games to turn it around.

And January is a lousy time to be recruiting a new manager.

I donÂ’t necessarily disagree with some of the points you make and as IÂ’ve said before, before much longer BKÂ’s hand may be forced if wins and points continue to be as rare as henÂ’s teeth.

Because one thing I am sure of is, if the choice is retain RM or ensure EvertonÂ’s PL staus, BK will know what to choose.

And his hand may well be forced by results in the next 3-4 games.

Precarious times we live. How on earth did it come to this so rapidly?

Joe Clitherow
140 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:08:28
Eric ItÂ’s the same outcome based on exposing the same basic flaw in our defence. The execution depends on the players available to the opposition.

At West Ham we had a corner and within 10 seconds of that being cleared we had a 4 on 2 situation because 8 outfield players, including the full backs, were at various stages of watching (that would be Ross), jogging back or frantically trying to cover. ThatÂ’s the situation where teams run at the last two defenders straight down the middle. ThatÂ’s the counterattack at speed which has been killing us. Pressing and getting the ball higher up the pitch just means the counterattack has that much less distance to travel. Same problem.

The Bojan penalty versus Stoke is a slight variation, but the same basic problem, which is getting round on the right hand side and driving into the penalty box with McCarthy pushing wide and tackling as a last ditch. This is an exact carbon copy of a goal earlier in the season with an identical outcome but I cant recall who against. Both times McCarthy pulled down the attacker. I think this scenario occurs because McCarthy provides extra cover in the middle when he plays and forces the play wide, and this is an illustration of his value to us as a DM because no-one else seems to provide this midfield cover.

My point is this is exactly the same basic flaw, not recognised by Martinez, which constantly gets exploited, and he hasnÂ’t fixed it. I donÂ’t think he even sees the problem.

Wayne Smyth
141 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:17:50
Mike, the fact Chelsea are destroying Swansea is because of the styles of play?

One team being one of the top teams in Europe having probably spent an order of magnitude more on players, whereas the other has just lost their best player will have nothing to do with the situation...

Eric, Baines, Oviedo, Coleman, Mirallas and Pienaar have all been injured for large parts of this season.

Pienaar is slow and never hugs the line or goes past a player and gets a cross in. His game is about combination play, specifically with Baines. His form and fitness have been awful this season.

Garbutt is primarily a defender and therefore contributes a lesser amount to our attack. If IÂ’m honest I think heÂ’s being playing better than Baines and IÂ’d like to see Baines dropped.

If you look at our left wing and right wing situation, we have no players who generally stay wide, stretch the opposition and get a cross in. Deulofeu did it last season.

Mirallas doesnÂ’t often stay wide, but he does have enough pace and ability to come inside to congested areas and do something good....unfortunately Mirallas has been mostly unavailable this season.

We do have McGeady who sometimes stays wide to cross, but his form has been too inconsistent.

Playing Barkley, Naismith or EtoÂ’o out there is not a solution. They are not comfortable, they all congregate to the centre and itÂ’s not surprising when we fail to break through massed ranks.

I donÂ’t think we need to sell anyone to get new players in. The new TV deal provided a big increase in our turnover. Last year a lump sum went on Lukaku. This season coming, if there are no outgoings - and EtoÂ’o looks like heÂ’s on the way out - I reckon there will be 㿀-㿅M to spend. Easily enough for a centre half and a couple of wingers.

Eric Myles
142 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:17:23
Wayne #138 "When we were taking teams apart last season with fast attacking precise passing football, that was what I believe Martinez wants. Not this slow shitty sideways/backwards football weÂ’ve often played this season."

So why hasnÂ’t he done something about it like put a rocket up a few arses or have the culprits practicing forward passing in an U-21 game??

Jackie Barry
143 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:33:33
It baffles me as to why people think we should be challenging the likes of Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd who spend in excess of 𧵎 million squid each season. I suppose this is the illogical side of the game, right?
John Keating
144 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:37:28
Jackie,

I think most of us would be happy for us to be challenging Southampton, Newcastle, Stoke, Hull, Spurs, West Ham and Swansea! Do you not think we should be above those teams?

Apart from Man City and Chelsea this season, is there for anyone putting a good run together to finish in the top 4? After last season and expectations we were all hoping to be challenging or at least doing as well.

Man Utd may well have spent a fortune but they are absolute shite. We could easily have been in the top 4

Jackie Barry
145 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:46:18
Based on finances, probably not. We get going, have a good season, like last season, and then everyone thinks we should challenging the top 4. We have an expectation as fans, one that far exceeds our resources, but certainly meets our historical standards. BK has a lot to answer for with his small-mindedness.
Wayne Smyth
146 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:38:32
Eric, I think itÂ’s strange to suggest the players who are playing badly need some sort of punishment to sort them out.

Does Naismith or EtoÂ’o deserve U-21 time and a rocket because when they play on the wing, they canÂ’t outpace the defender and get a cross in? TheyÂ’re both poachers.

We need to accept that ultimately these players are playing badly in part because they are being used in a role to which they are not suited, or they are coming back from injury. The manager is playing them out of position because he failed to forsee that Atsu would be shit, Mirallas and Pienaar injured so much, and McGeady so inconsistent.

If IÂ’m right, then it wonÂ’t take much for us to regain our form. A fit Mirallas and McCarthy will be massive.

Eric Myles
147 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:47:07
Joe, it looks like weÂ’re looking at the same problem from opposite directions, you think our defence is too far forward and is getting hit on the counter and I think our defenders are losing it under pressure at the back.

WeÂ’ll have to let the stats decide it!

Ray Roche
148 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:54:47
Wayne Smyth #138

"People now point out how MartinezÂ’s style of play was found out in that game... without mentioning the number of players we had out injured"

Wayne, to be fair, Phil Jagielka, Ross Barkley, Antoli­n Alcaraz and Steven Pienaar all returned for that game, Martinez presumably decided they were fit, and only Coleman and the ageing Distin were deemed unfit. Martinez dropped a huge bollock with both his tactics and team selection.

Victor Jones
149 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:23:59
Some very good comments on here. I donÂ’t like MartinezÂ’s style or philosophy. And I could also state a number of reasons as to why I am unhappy with him still running things at our club, but everything has already been said, and much more eloquently than I could ever have put it. I am going to ask a very simple question. Is football a results based game or is it not ? DonÂ’t answer. We all know it is.

Now are Everton at present winning or losing? DonÂ’t answer. We all know that we are not winning. Now all this stupid talk about not worrying about the defence would be great if we were actually out scoring teams, but we are not. We cannot keep a clean sheet, and when chasing a game we then cannot break a team down. Ok so every Evertonian worth his salt has figured all that out. So what is up with the one man who actually should be working all that out. Martinez and his backroom staff, has the penny not dropped.

Sorry for stating the bloody obvious but we need to start winning football matches. But can we trust Martinez to ditch his "philosophy ", and actually show that he can be flexible and do the right things for Everton FC. What would we not give now for a "dogs of war" approach. If only to see out the rest of the season and secure premier league safety. I just donÂ’t think that Martinez is the man to do all that.

Never thought that I would be wishing for the season to end. But that is exactly how I feel.

Last comments, IÂ’ve been reading rumours that Martinez is looking to go back to raid Wigan for a few players. Really! Is that the height of his scouting prowess. And finally from me, just noticed that most of the results today have been favourable to us. So Mr. Martinez ,the ball is now in your court. No mistakes. Lets start doing the right things for Everton football club. Cause that is all that really matters.

Kunal Desai
150 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:07:24
So looks like for the first time in over a decade weÂ’ll finish outside the top half. Thanks Martinez. Fucking genius.
Eric Myles
152 Posted 17/01/2015 at 16:56:39
So Wayne #136 youÂ’re saying itÂ’s all the managerÂ’s fault.

I can agree with that in some respect, but saying the players are being punished for being given the chance to improve their all round game and help out the team is a bit odd?

Instead of playing players out of position would you suggest we only fielded say 8 or 9 players in a match?

Michael Kenrick
153 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:12:00
I was interested in your post @105, Wayne... that was until I saw this gem:

You learn a lot when you lose; a lot more than when you win.

WTF is that supposed to mean? People putting a positive spin on some incredibly shocking shit is par for the course on here but that stinks of incredible revisionist nonsense.

The more you lose, the more you learn? Yea right... Seems the only thing Martinez was learning is how poorly his Â’filosofeeÂ’ was working.

Jackie Barry
154 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:31:34
Im looking at our points totals from the year 2000 forward and itÂ’s really not impressive at all is it. I really donÂ’t see what the fuss is about we are on course, lol. Moyes was completely unimpressive and so is Martinez right now. Oh my beloved club what have you become.
Phil Walling
155 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:13:28
Citing injuries as the reason for a bad season is a piss poor excuse. They happen to every club although we, as one-eyed supporters, totally discount players missing from opposition sides.

I always used to smile at Moyes who had a habit of saying Â’we donÂ’t use injuries as an excuse but today we were without X, X and, of course, 2X !Â’. Martinez does it too but itÂ’s usually wrapped up in more confusing statements we fail to understand.

Last season Roberto quite correctly got high praise for an excellent season. From last summer onwards the wheels have come off his cart. In my view, mainly because heÂ’s a one trick pony who has been well and truly sussed. To be fair to the guy, he rarely makes excuses as he is too busy extolling the virtues of those who played shite !

Of course, there are those who still think the sun shines from his posterior and that this is just Â’a tricky phase that all manager go through.Â’ As though what happened to his predecessors has the slightest relevance today !

So the argument continues. We ALL hope Everton comes out of this tragic lull but even if we tank the Baggies, I for one, will still be glad to see him gone.

Ian Bennett
156 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:40:21
MK - It depends if Martinez has learnt by bombing the deadwood out at the end of the season. With limited options you canÂ’t do it mid season, certainly not with our financial backing.
Joe Clitherow
157 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:07:42
Eric

No, I think both of those things are occurring at the same time due to the 5-3-2 formation (I use that term in the loosest possible sense as that is how it is applied) Martinez plays. Normally 5-3-2 is not a bad thing but when it is 5 attackers, including 2 full backs, just watching the 2 remaining defenders play out the average 60% possession, without hardly getting a touch then thereÂ’s a big problem. When the 2 do lose it, or get caught by pace, it is usually a goal because half the nominal defence is nowhere near for cover. ThatÂ’s why we are top of the individual errors leading to goals stat

Jackie Barry
158 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:48:48
Good luck with doing that at any point of the season with BK in charge.
Joe Clitherow
159 Posted 17/01/2015 at 17:54:38
Michael

"Seems the only thing Martinez was learning is how poorly his Â’filosofeeÂ’ was working."

I think we – probably most of us at least – have learnt that a while back and are just having it reinforced.

Shockingly, I still donÂ’t believe the penny has dropped with him.

Wayne Smyth
161 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:12:24
Ray(148), who should Martinez have played in the Anfield derby instead? So far as I recall we struggled to patch together an 11. Sometimes you play players because itÂ’s the best you have available, not because you think theyÂ’re ready.

Eric(152), IÂ’m saying Martinez must take responsibility and a lot of the issues are his Â’faultÂ’.

Some of the problems weÂ’ve had are things that he could and should have foreseen, some of the issues are just down to shitty luck, like a lot of the injury problems.

The sudden drop off in form of key players like Jags, Distin and Baines this season have surprised me, so while it is MartinezÂ’s Â’faultÂ’ he doesnÂ’t have quality replacements, itÂ’s difficult to criticise too much given that I think it is something that has probably surprised a lot of us. Jags form last season was good enough to get him into an (admittedly poor) England side.

Michael(153) - what that quote was meant to mean was that last season when things were going well and we were winning, itÂ’s easy to assume everythings fine and youÂ’ve got good players.

You can see why the manager perhaps took a risk that he could make do with certain players this season and spend his cash in one area to get a top striker.

When you go through a shitty patch is when you learn that you have bottlers. Players who wonÂ’t stand up and be counted. Players you need to get rid of. I think Martinez has learned a lot this season.

So, you can read into my statement what the fuck you like and twist it whichever way suits you. But that is what I meant.

Paul Ferry
162 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:11:49
He canÂ’t win can he when someoneÂ’s mind is resolutely and unyeildingly made up: Phil Walling (155) Â’but even if we tank the Baggies, I for one, will still be glad to see him goneÂ’.

Wayne (105) I agree with Michael (Kenrick) about the learning from loss curio but otherwise mate kudos, a great post. It’s sometimes a little odd – if not funny – watching the Martinez haters tying themselves up in knots: on the one hand they want him to fail; on the other hand they want Everton to win.

Bit of a conundrum that. Although I suppose the bright side of that drab cloud is that, if Everton win or Everton lose, you still get something that you want out of it.

Paul Andrews
163 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:35:26
Michael,

That is very unfair to Wayne. I donÂ’t know if you have heard coaches and managers use the phrase "You learn more about your players in defeat than victory."

ItÂ’s a very common phrase to be fair.

Michael Kenrick
164 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:28:53
If thatÂ’s your explanation, Wayne, then IÂ’m afraid to say it amounts to nothing more than hypothetical garbage. I see no evidence that Martinez has been busy through this string of defeats fingering the so-called Â’bottlersÂ’. (Who are they exactly, in your opinion?)

And by all accounts, he’s showing no intention of ’getting rid’ of anyone in the current transfer window (okay, maybe Eto’o) — one of just two periods each season when he ’could’ (in theory) ’get rid’ of these supposed ’bottlers’, if (massive ’IF’) that is what he is supposedly ’learning’ from these losses.

As for Â’getting ridÂ’ in the summer... completely irrelevant to our current situation, and equally as unlikely to happen. (ItÂ’s probably something you do when playing Football Manager, Fifa 2014 or Fantasy Football, to supposedly Â’fixÂ’ a problem.) IÂ’m not sure it has any relevance to what we are seeing, which is poor tactics with the ball, shocking tactics without the ball and defending set-pieces, players not performing well being played out of position (Note: not what I would call Â’bottlersÂ’).

So you think Martinez has learnt a lot this season? One the positive side, we’re only half way through — and by your bizarre rationale, that gives lots more potential for him learning even more from upcoming losses that could take us down to the Championship...

If all heÂ’s going to learn (your words) is who to get rid of come the summer, then I am even more worried than I was before!

Joe Clitherow
165 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:45:18
Wayne

"So far as I recall we struggled to patch together an 11"

I donÂ’t know where or how you arrive at these statements you throw out but your recollection is most definitely deeply flawed. The team in that horrible game was:

Howard
Stones
Jagielka
Alcaraz
Baines
Barry
McCarthy
Pienaar
Barkley
Mirallas
Lukaku

which to me means arguably only Coleman missing from the strongest team we could field if Distin and Alcaraz are looked on as vying for the centre back position – in Bob’s world, not mine for sure. Stones coming in may be seen as a good thing by many, even at right back nominally. Even the Baines/Pienaar combination was available.

Wayne Smyth
166 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:51:04
ItÂ’s not just bottlers Michael. ItÂ’s players where age has caught up. Shit. Unsuited to playing a passing game under pressure. Injury prone.

If we assume Martinez has decided the following:

Atsu : Shit
Pienaar : Old, Injury Prone, Slow
Distin : Old
McGeady: Inconsistent
Jags: Shit

Then who is he going to replace them with? You going to invent 㿞M for him to spend?

ItÂ’s going to be at least the end of the season before he can replace them with decent quality players.

Your post is full of strawman bollocks. Your last sentence as a prime example. When did I say it was Â’all heÂ’s going to learnÂ’. Quite frankly, I expect better from the editor of a site.

We can play a little game if you like. I can insert words that completely change the meaning of things that you write, then quote them to you with little snippets like "your words" to emphasise the point. Shall we have some fun??

Dave Williams
167 Posted 17/01/2015 at 18:55:40
Joe - Wayne is quite right. Most of that team were brought back too soon from injury or played only half fit and boy did it show.
Wayne Smyth
168 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:03:42
Joe, I think quite a few of those players were walking wounded. IÂ’m not sure we had a lot in reserve for Martinez to use.

Ray Roche
169 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:11:11
Dave#167, That is the point I was making in my post #148

Wayne#161.
Wayne, we have seen this season (as well as the Derby) the folly of bringing players back to soon, hence the ongoing problems McCarthy has had with his hamstring, which is an all too familiar theme since Martinez has been in charge. You need only revisit the thread from last week or so about the medical staff leaving. Or being sacked, whichever.

Joe Clitherow
171 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:13:45
Dave/Wayne

I remember it very well, and RayÂ’s point (148) was "Martinez presumably decided they were fit".

Either they were fit or they were not, and another huge criticism of Martinez is bringing back players and playing them before they were fit, compounding injuries and making them much worse down the line. You can look up the recent articles which imply that was a major disagreement ("Not really" - Bobby M) between Martinez and the medical staff.

So again, before hiding behind the "had a lot of injuries" excuse whose door do you want to drop that particular bollock against, coupled with the suspiciously similarly excessive number of hamstring/soft tissue injuries to Wigan? Dennis Compton? (copyright John Cleese, Fawlty Towers)

Michael Kenrick
172 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:14:37
You’re right, Wayne — I completely misread your wonderful assertion. I assumed this losing-learning process might have some relevance to our current situation... our run of poor form and horrible results that sees us sliding relentlessly into the mire.

No need to worry about that, though, as the losing-learning process apparently doesn’t apply to perhaps making changes in the here and now that could correct the current slide. No – it’s all about swapping out the aged and the bottlers over the next few seasons while Roberto builds us the dream.

That make me feel so much better!

Wayne Smyth
173 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:19:43
Ray, I absolutely agree about the nonsense of bringing back players too soon.

IÂ’ll be honest, I missed the thread last week about the medical staff leaving, although I was fully aware that a few had gone.

Do we know any actual facts about the reasons for them leaving or is it all rumour?

Wayne Smyth
174 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:26:27
Michael, what do you think should happen?

Mark Taylor
175 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:21:16
ItÂ’s interesting to see ToffeeWeb now compared to a year ago. Then the Martinez naysayers were roughly 10% of the posts, now itÂ’s the other way round. Not sure whether thatÂ’s because people have changed their mind or that more naysayers have come out of the woodwork.

Last year I felt there was far too much positivity about for this particular realist. Martinez was not the messiah. He was not about to wipe the floor with MoyesÂ’ record at the club, which I felt was being ludicrously underestimated. It is incredibly difficult to deliver the level of consistency that Moyes managed to achieve, even if you didnÂ’t like his football philosophy.

I’ve listened to all the naysayers and I agree with a lot of what has been said. We need to be much more tactically flexible. We need to find the players best suited to play in the roles, not have people up front continually playing out of position. We should have someone who can head the ball defensively. We should not have bought Lukaku unless we were willing to shape our tactics to his (limited) talents. We should not be giving 2-3 year contracts to players on their last legs. We should really have spotted by now that while the likes of Real, City, Chelsea etc, top the charts for pass completion, they also top the charts for goals scored from set pieces versus goals conceded from them. And so on…

I still wouldnÂ’t get rid of Martinez because I think this is a bad time to do it and one would hope (albeit without total conviction) that if Martinez wants a future in football, he is going to have to be flexible and learn from some of his mistakes.

Wayne Smyth
176 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:38:40
Joe(171) - They were fit enough to play, but not fit enough or match sharp enough to play as well as required against an in-form RS.

I would actually like to know who you think Martinez shouldÂ’ve picked instead?

Also, before everyone starts to believe that Martinez is at fault for all injury problems in the Everton squad, I think people should remember that a lot of our injuries occur to fully fit players.

IÂ’m not sure Martinez is responsible when fit players pull a muscle in a sprint as happened with Mirallas, or when John Stones falls on his ankle, or when Ross Barkley is injured in training(by another player if I recall).

Colin Glassar
177 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:54:41
Mark Taylor, a very well balanced post. I agree with most of your comments except about Lukaku. I think heÂ’s a great player who has his limitations but will get better.

Also, I wouldnÂ’t compare us Madrid, Manchester clubs or Chelsea as we canÂ’t go out and spend hundreds of millions on the creme de la creme of world football. What we can do, however, is do the basics properly i.e. defending, something weÂ’ve been woefully poor at this season.

Wayne, keep up the good fight my friend. ItÂ’s hard I know but some of us arenÂ’t prepared to give up on the team just yet.

Joe Clitherow
178 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:01:30
Wayne

"They were fit enough to play, but not fit enough or match sharp enough to play as well as required"

IÂ’m not even going to try and decipher what that even means, let alone what point you are making. As I said, either they are fit or not, and the manager picks the team.

However, if this is yet more revisionist stuff which says we lost because the entire team was injured instead of the shit tactics Martinez employed and refused to alter in-game when it was obvious to everyone except him, then there is no point getting into any kind of discussion about that. I know what I witnessed.

"IÂ’m not sure Martinez is responsible when fit players pull a muscle in a sprint"

Then you do need to read the recent articles around the training methods Martinez has introduced, along with the comparison of the statistically high number of soft tissue injuries since Martinez arrived at Everton and also whilst he was at Wigan

Wayne Smyth
179 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:05:30
Colin, what I find most frustrating is that people who you expect to have standards seem to twist your words, blatantly misquote you, or focus on 1% of the stuff you write and take it out of context to purposefully misrepresent you.

On the plus side, now I know what the editorial standards are like here, IÂ’m going to have a lot of fun!

Michael Kenrick
180 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:04:27
Wayne, you’re looking way beyond the end of the season... my focus is much closer to home: we have 17 games to save ourselves from relegation THIS SEASON — that is the only thing that matters right now.

If we dared to follow your logic for a moment, Martinez has supposedly learnt that Atsu is shit; Pienaar is old, injury-prone, and slow; Distin is old; McGeady is inconsistent; Jagielka is shit. Yet itÂ’s a certainty that three out of five will continue to play a significant part in the rolling disaster that is THIS SEASON.

I’d possibly feel better if I could be convinced Martinez was learning something – anything – useful from our losses. Something that would change the current trends. I just don’t see it to the level needed yet. The best we have is turning these losses into draws... We still have a very long way to go.

Paul Andrews
181 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:23:26
Top 8 finish for me.
Wayne Smyth
182 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:17:57
Joe, do you seriously not understand the difference between Â’fitÂ’ and Â’match sharpÂ’, and how a lack of match sharpness can lead to a shit performance and result?

As for Martinez and soft tissue injuries, I hear what youÂ’re saying. IÂ’ve not seen the facts & figures, although I am aware that some posters on here were saying that MartinezÂ’s focus on training with the ball, rather than without it had some impact?

What IÂ’ve read in the media suggests that the medical department is at fault and that Martinez was unhappy with . ItÂ’s difficult to get to the truth, when you only hear snippets, conjecture and a lot of unsubstantiated garbage.

If we assume youÂ’re right, weÂ’ve still had a lot of impact injuries to players like Stones and Barkley, which are not down to Martinez.

Wayne Smyth
184 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:30:57
Michael, where did I say that the "only" thing heÂ’d learn is who to replace at the end of the season?

The evidence is in front of your own eyes! We are playing more direct. Things are changing. Martinez isnÂ’t the stubborn inflexible idiot people make him out to be.

Now in your post, you said "THIS SEASON — that is the only thing that matters ".

So based on your new editorial standards, shall I misrepresent you by ignoring the "right now" bit and say that youÂ’re happy for us to get relegated NEXT season because only this season counts?

We could have at least 10 posts each where I accuse you of being happy for us to get us relegated next season, and you refute it before we both get bored shitless.

So, I donÂ’t care if you disagree with me about whether Martinez is flexible or not. Go ahead, be my guest. We can discuss that perfectly politely.

But what really annoys me is when you read things into posts that are blatantly not there and not intended. As IÂ’ve said before I expect better from an editor. YouÂ’re not that stupid to mis-understand simple English.

Victor Jones
186 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:34:59
Just a quick word on that pathetic 4 nil defeat by the RS last season, and some people defending Martinez because we had injuries.

Well, every team at some time has injuries. You then set out to improvise, you set up so as not to get beat, you set up to play tight and give nothing away. You leave your philosophy to one side and adapt to try and get some sort of a result. You donÂ’t lie down and get steamrolled.

But sorry, what am I talking about, Martinez doesnÂ’t do flexibility, and he most definitely doesnÂ’t do defending. He would need to start defending soon. Very soon.

Tony Abrahams
187 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:53:16
Mike 92, thanks for the assurances???

ItÂ’s been a horrible season, with little entertainment, but I disagree with you that the crowd as been pissed off and very, very agitated in the last two home games. I thought they got clapped off against Man City, and if you would have read my post properly, I can assure you that I hope itÂ’s the same on Monday night!

Ian Bennett
188 Posted 17/01/2015 at 20:52:04
I said it, and the fact that two centre halves are out of contract will make the pruning that much easier. This season has imploded because the senior players have failed to perform or even fit enough to play. This isnÂ’t going to go unnoticed from any manager with half a brain.
Michael Kenrick
189 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:01:23
Wayne, I think it would not be hard to believe it is the players who have gone more direct – at times against the direct wishes of Martinez, who is not for changing... he’s said as much, after all.

Is just this business of learning a lot when you lose; a lot more than when you win. ThatÂ’s utter bollocks. ItÂ’s manager-speak spin for excusing failure. YouÂ’d better be learning from every game you play, win lose or draw. Otherwise, youÂ’re not doing your job as manager.

Colin Glassar
190 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:13:41
The crowd need to get behind the players Tony. When confidence is low they will need all the help they can get.
Joe Clitherow
191 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:09:05
Wayne

Of course I understand the difference between match sharp and fit, I am just trying to drag out where you are going with your statements. You seem to be saying that we have had more injuries than anyone else, which I just donÂ’t buy except for the hamstring/soft tissue injuries which again seemed to increase with RMÂ’s training methods.

I was about to expand on this but Victor has posted much more succinctly than me.

It is quite funny that on a thread called "LetÂ’s Not Kid Ourselves" that that seems to be exactly what you are doing.

Sorry but it just seems to me that you keep coming up with lame excuse after lame excuse and completely ignore, obfuscate and detract from the possibility of the OccamÂ’s Razor solution which is that the simplest and most obvious explanation is also the most likely.

Ian Bennett
192 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:14:40
Michael - he has a passing philosophy, do you expect him to preach long ball in the press? Do we really believe everything managers say? christ Wegner hasnÂ’t seen a fault in his side in 15 years.

I donÂ’t think it has been against his wishes in the slightest, when he has told defenders to cut down the passing around the back.

The players might have asked to use Lukaku more. But if it is against his wishes then you would expect a lot more in the press that he has lost the dressing room. I donÂ’t think we have got to that, yet.

Lyndon Lloyd
193 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:18:32
If we could stop labelling other peopleÂ’s opinions as "utter bollocks" just because we donÂ’t agree with them, itÂ’s worth noting that the players have not gone more direct "against the managerÂ’s wishes."

There was clearly a dialogue had between players and manager about getting the ball forward more quickly and the result has been a decent mix of passing and longer passing over the last couple of games.

That shows growth on the part of Martinez who is, it should not be forgotten, is only 41 – he’s five months older than I am and I’m learning all the time in life, work, etc. – and we will find out in the coming weeks whether he has indeed adapted and learned from the last few weeks.

Paramount for me is 1) the need to stop rushing players back from injury – a sign that Martinez has been feeling the pressure to succeed in the League and, with respect to McCarthy in particular, prioritise the Europa League – and 2) stick to a set starting XI where possible.

Wayne Smyth
194 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:09:33
Michael, it's a well known fact that the players asked the manager if they could go more direct at times. We can assume because this was admitted by Martinez and the players are now playing more direct, that Martinez was flexible enough to agree to their wishes.

Whether in specific bits of a game, Martinez would like them to play it short, than go more direct, is another matter. I'm sure that it has happened.

It's a well known fact that business people learn more when things fail than when things go well. I've been there and done it. The same is true in competitive sport.

When things go well, cracks are papered over. Assumptions of why things are going well are made. Weaknesses ignored. Everyone's happy, Even Phil Walling!

It's only when things fuck up and people's backs are to the wall that the issues you have surface and your limitations are laid bare.

So, with all due respect, it's not manager-speak spin. It's nothing Martinez has said. It's my own personal experience from life and what I've learned from very successful people.

After last season's honeymoon when most things worked out quite well, Martinez will now be learning things about his players, himself, his coaches and the fans that he didn't realise when we were busy beating Man Utd at OT.

Obviously successful people don't keep failing or aim to fail. This is obvious to anyone with half a braincell.

So, I hope you can understand my frustration when you twist the above rationale, to suggest that I think it's good that because were only halfway through the season there's a lot of losing/learning to go.

Colin Glassar
195 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:42:00
Well said Lyndon. Couldn't agree with you more and have absolutely nothing to add to that.
Michael Kenrick
196 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:37:25
Lyndon, I was thinking there of the evidence provided that Martinez was shouting at Baines to pass it sideways, and Baines was ignoring him, playing it forward.

Just an isolated example, perhaps but the pattern of play these last three games has not convinced me that the manager has changed all that much — I think it's the players taking matters into their own hands a little more that has been the difference.

We've still won just one of the last 12 games, while we've lost and astounding EIGHT of those games. The idea that we are somehow benefiting by 'learning more' from those losses than we would if they were wins or draws – I just find that to be laughably ridiculous nonsense.

Ian Bennett
197 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:48:43
This lady ain't for turning. Regi remove the blinkers.
James Stewart
198 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:47:27
I don't think Martinez is learning at all and the scenario of the players asking to go more direct I find utterly embarrassing. It undermines the manager publicly and sends out the message that he doesn't have a clue what he is doing other than to trying to stranglehold possession above all else. Even when it castrates our best players strengths. Coleman and Baines being the obvious examples. Both rarely put a cross in these days and turn inside or backwards first chance they get.

A tactic opposition managers – even of the calibre of Pardew, Big Sam, Bruce etc have all sussed out. Let Everton have the ball and all we have to do is press and wait for the inevitable fuck up.

He won't change or adapt and is more stubborn than even Moyes was. I can't see any pragmatism in him at all.

John Keating
199 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:38:30
Lyndon, if you make a cock up at work or at home once or even twice then you look for an alternative. Martinez has made the same mistakes over and over again and hasn't changed it until the "dialogue" between the players and himself.

Being 41 or 14 has got sod all to do with it. We all hope that he has learned and has adapted the tactics to get us out of any possible relegation worries, however if we wait in the "coming weeks" then it might be too late.

West Brom and Crystal Palace should be the limit. If we don't get wins against them, then we should thank him and wish him well in the future — then call a taxi.

Michael Kenrick
200 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:59:25
Wayne, I think James Stewart sums up my concern — that Martinez does not seem to be learning much of relevance to this season from the sequence of eight losses suffered in the last 12 games. Indeed the examples cited suggest it's the players who are forcing him to change, while your example of him learning relates to long-term player resources and who to get rid of months down the road.

Perhaps if you could explain something he's learning from these losses that would actually contribute to turning our season around, I might be persuaded to be less skeptical.

Jamie Crowley
201 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:51:16
There's people who are very bottom line.

There's people who see a long-term vision with a visionary leading us.

There's people who see an inflexible, maddeningly stubborn man at the helm, incapable of focusing on exceedingly important facets of football like corners and defending.

There's people who think the man at the helm has recently shown adaptability and has allowed changes to his approach, in consultation with his players.

But one thing's for certain - we need to win the next two games. Not only for Everton Football Club, but for ToffeeWeb to see a return to civility.

And I count myself in that camp, having had a go at Jim Bennings and Jay Wood recently. I've decided, having been quite upset after the FA Cup game against West Ham and after reading this thread, that there's legitimacy behind all the counter arguments to my perspective. And I for one, under the current environment, am done chastising anyone for being "negative" or "combative". Not that those on the receiving end probably give a shit...

This run has everyone in knots. It's not a hell of a lot of fun.

I really hope the ship turns around immediately. I hope we can reestablish ourselves and try to play the game the way Roberto ideally wants it played. In the short-term we look a hell of a lot more effective and direct having diverged slightly off the Roberto path – however that came to pass – be it through player "revolt" or a meeting of the minds.

James Flynn
202 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:57:05
There was a point in the game Monday, where a ball came in that Robles gathered up. As he looked up, someone, I think Jags, immediately pointed up the pitch, and Robles kicked it forward.

One of those random moments watching thru the camera lens. I immediately thought back to the business of Baines ignoring or not ignoring Roberto about long balls.

I can't say for sure what changed our style the last three games, but tika-taka seems to be out of the game plan for now. If it is because the lights gone on over Roberto's head, good for him. Me, I think he got told change or else.

Either way, we're way more talented than the 3 sitting bottom now and if we keep attacking like the last 3 games, we won't drop. They're at the bottom by merit. They're Championship clubs having a season in the sun.

Wayne Smyth
203 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:38:47
Joe, you talk about an Occams Razor solution as if there is one glaringly obvious cause to all our problems.

I'll put it to you that the guy who you think is obviously the problem won the FA Cup a few seasons ago with a side worth probably less than 1/10th the cost of the team they beat. How the hell did he get 11 fit players with his record of ruining hams and his tactical ineptitude and inflexibility? Why would players follow him from club to club knowing the guy's incompetence will have them injured so often?

He took our side to our best ever points haul in the Premier League, breaking other, positive, long-standing records in the process and playing some of the best football we've seen for years. Again, I'm not sure about the hams or how he fluked his tactical setup for so many games that season.

We currently sit top of our very tough Europa League group, and are 13 points off a 5th place finish with a game in hand and with about half the season to play. How shit are the other teams managers to get out-foxed by someone who can ruin a club single-handedly?

So, whatever you think about Martinez and our results this last few months, or our form, the cause of our problems are no where near as clear cut as you would have us believe.

It could be Martinez is guilty as charged on all accounts, or it could be that we're going through a similar loss of form that affects most teams from time to time due to a combination of managerial errors, injury, tactical errors, individual errors, refereeing decisions etc.

Feel free to believe it's all Martinez or mostly Martinez, if you like. I think it's more likely to be a range of factors, including Martinez. I've seen enough last season to hope he can turn things around.

Lyndon Lloyd
205 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:13:11
John (199), I'll admit to having serious misgivings about Martinez's performance and stubbornness this season. I'm genuinely concerned and my confidence in him has been badly shaken.

Working on the assumption that he isn't going anywhere anytime soon, I'm looking for him to have demonstrated some sort of progression and adaptation in his thinking in the coming weeks. So far, since the Hull game, we have been markedly better and if that upward trend continues then we should be OK.

Obviously, if he doesn't and the poor results continue, he's going to run out of rope fairly quickly. Until then, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Will Firstbrook
206 Posted 17/01/2015 at 21:53:39
IF some players are playing the way they see fit contrary to the manager's instructions, as alleged, then we really are in the shit as it would indicate nobody is driving the ship. This is neither the time for a player mutiny nor a democracy. Everyone must be on the same page and pulling together or we are surely headed for the drop.

If this is truly the situation with both manager and players entrenched then a change is imminent. Since we have no means to jettison and adequately replace players, it would seem likely where the change will occur.

OFM always said this team could manage itself. Perhaps we will find out sooner rather than later whether that is true. I shudder to think we are at this point.

Ernie Baywood
207 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:18:51
Of all the discussion points around Everton at the moment I find it odd that so many want to focus on whether it's RM or the players driving the more direct style. It's a non-event.

How can we claim the players are ignoring him now when they blatantly (and maddeningly) played his style until he said OK to a change. If you criticise him for being inflexible then you at least have to acknowledge that the players certainly don't ignore him. Some people seemingly want to charge him with every footballing crime under the sun.

Anyway, 2-1 Monday. Rom and Kev... Back to business.

John Keating
208 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:20:30
Lyndon, giving someone the "benefit of the doubt" can be extremely hazardous – for those giving it!! The problem with that is when do you stop?

In my opinion, we need two wins against West Brom and Crystal Palace and at the same time a continuation in the team's improvement.

The question has to be asked to everyone is: When do you stop giving him the benefit of the doubt? What happens if we don't get positive results over the next couple of weeks? Do we continue giving him the benefit of the doubt until the last game of the season? Or until we're on equal points with the bottom 3?

Last season has gone. This season has been a shambles and we are in a position we should never have been in. His age has nothing to do with it. His reluctance to admit the obvious until the players stepped in has everything to do with it, I'm afraid.

Andrew Ellams
209 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:22:11
I don't think Martinez has learnt anything and the recent changes in philosophy are more despite him than because of him. However this season finishes I firmly believe he should be replaced in the summer. I don't believe for one second that there isn't a manager out there who would come to Everton and get better from these players.
Daniel A Johnson
210 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:30:20
As I type this 17th Jan 22:29 we are 3 points off the bottom 3 after playing 21 matches.

That for me is enough to warrant some serious questions about Martinez.

I'd sack him tomorrow, but either way crossing everything for 3 pts on Monday night

Wayne Smyth
211 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:13:58
Michael, James Stewart states his perfectly reasonable opinion. What he doesn't do is twist someone else's opinion to mean something different, then try to use it against them.

What I stated is that Martinez will be learning new things from this current patch of awful form that he wouldn't have learned when things were going well. He will be learning more things and different things than he would be when things were going smoothly.

My statement didn't mean he therefore wouldn't also learn short-term things this season that he can act on immediately. You cannot infer that from what I wrote.

As to what he's learning, how am I to know exactly what short-term lesson's he gains from what he sees or hears during the match, in the changing room, or on the training fields? I could make something up and state it as fact, as seems popular here, but I won't.

I'm sure where possible he's doing things like publicly backing his players, increasing their confidence, waiting for players like McCarthy to be fully fit before putting them in the squad. Maybe telling one or two privately they need to sort their shit out. Maybe he'll sign a winger or centre half on loan to give us some quality where it has been shown we are lacking. Who knows!

In terms of what James said, although Martinez can seem weak by listening to feedback from his players, I see it in some respects as a strength and it is a sign of flexibility.

When things were going bad for Moyes and we were in 17th, can you imagine him working with the players and being humble enough to take on board ideas from them(publicly or otherwise)? I can't. Any dissention or disagreement would be punished. That attitude only gets you so far.

I think we have a manager who wants to learn from anyone (the Baines/Lahm situation a case in point). Maybe not as quick as we'd like and maybe not with the desired results, but I think it is clear that he is happy to 'appear weak' if it ultimately improves the club.

Mike Price
212 Posted 17/01/2015 at 19:50:15
My issue with that derby game was as well as playing unfitish players, he played a high line against the fastest, most in form strike force in the league. He'd learnt nothing from their recent slaughterings of Arsenal and Spurs to name just two. That, and his frozen demeanour during the match, shocked me, because I thought that we had the real deal and that Rodgers was the fake!
Wayne Smyth
213 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:42:25
Mike, a lot of people have complained Martinez played unfit players during the derby. I agree it's not a good thing to do.

Can you list some players who he should've picked instead? Maybe some of our academy prospects would've helped us to get a better result against the fastest and most in-form strike force in the league at the time?

The fact they also 'slaughtered' Arsenal and Spurs must mean at least one of those managers were incompetent too?

Chris Leyland
214 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:45:42
Wayne, I sort of admire your positivity in an odd way:

No need to worry about being just 3 points off the relegation zone, not when we are '13 points off a 5th place finish with a game in hand and with about half the season to play.'

Your also claim that Roberto will be learning new things From our current form that he wouldn't learn if things where going well. Well, that's ok then. We should all be happy that our pathetic, absymal run is actually just a blessing in disguise as it allows Martinez to learn new things. Just a pity he hasn't seemed to learn how to win a game of football during his learning experience isn't it?

Joe Clitherow
215 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:19:11
Wayne

"Joe, you talk about an Occams Razor solution as if there is one glaringly obvious cause to all our problems"

Spot on, we agree at last.

"the guy who you think is obviously the problem won the FA Cup"

Yep, I saw it. He played us and one other PL side on off days and the other four ties against lower league opposition. Do I think he got really lucky? You'd be spot on again. That's the difference between winning a Cup and the League position. When I watched him win it was within the same couple of weeks I watched him throw away his team's PL status by playing the same stubborn way against Swansea and Arsenal. I think he only needed 3 pts to survive and was 2-0 up against Swansea and refused to change to close out the game. Sound familiar? It was the same thing that drove me mad on Tuesday when he could not close out a game winning position for the last 7 mins. I also note that you coveniently omit again the fact that the guy got his team relegated over the 38 games played?

"a side worth probably less than 1/10th the cost of the team they beat"

Yeah but a lot more than we all thought given the 㿅M+ we've since pumped into Dave "Did you know I broke my leg in the FA Cup Final?" Whelan's coffers since.

"Why would players follow him from club to club "

Let me see.... Money?

"He took our side to our best ever points haul in the Premier League"

You say this like it is some major achievement, along with calling this a record breaking etc etc whatever.
Alternatively you could compare it to the previous year:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2528973/Everton-exactly-position-Christmas-David-Moyes.html

"We currently sit top of our very tough Europa League group"

Have you watched us play in these games? PS We don't sit top of anything, we are in the last 32, equivalent to starting an FA Cup run.

"13 points off a 5th place finish with a game in hand"

Now, come on Wayne, be fair now, there's optimism and there's well I don't know what to call that exactly? Why stop at fifth, why not go the whole way and say we are 30 pts off top? Looks great then. PS it's actually 15 pts. Sorry to nitpick, but you know, those 2 pts, that's, why that's 2/3 of the distance between us and the 19th position.

"How shit are the other teams managers to get out-foxed..."

Do you mean all 5 of the PL managers so far or the managers of the likes of football powerhouses like FC Krasnodar?

"So, whatever you think about Martinez"

I think he is a shit manager, so there's no doubt. I also think we should not be employing a manager who is learning on the job through losses, especially when he has had so much practice.

"the cause of our problems are no where near as clear cut as you would have us believe"

I've set them out as facts, and yes I think they are, I've watched us play. Bizarrely, whilst first talking about ignoring your positives in post 105, you then don't give any, then proceed to set out the same facts in quite a damning and compelling way, and then in a heroic twist declare that your conclusion is that everyone is to blame but Bob. What a fucking episode of Perry Mason that would have been eh?

"It could be Martinez is guilty as charged on all accounts"

Agreed again

"we're going through a similar loss of form that affects most teams from time to time due to a combination of managerial errors, injury, tactical errors, individual errors, refereeing decisions etc."

Are they the teams that mostly get relegated then?

"I've seen enough last season to hope he can turn things around."

And there's the crux of it isn't it? You've seen enough to have..... hope!!! Which actually is not based on any kind of comparative logic or cognitive reason at all, it's just based on hope. And every single week there are millions who buy a lottery ticket and hope and dream they will be banking 㿀M. Businesses, generally, are not run on hope but on sound business principles like periodically checking performance.

I don't have any answer to counter hope, so we will have to agree to differ on the points above.

Ray Roche
216 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:36:41
Wayne, the link (below) appertains to the thread and my comments earlier regarding the medical staff leaving, you may also like to read the Saint Rockwoods Blog found at the bottom of the opening article. Enlightening.

http://ToffeeWeb.com/season/14-15/news/29061.html

Mike Price
217 Posted 17/01/2015 at 22:52:03
Wayne, I didn't call him incompetent. I also don't recall the fully fit players he had available at the time. I do remember thinking though, before the game, that whoever plays, we can't play a high line against these.

The ensuing slaughter was very predictable, they missed a penalty and should have had a few more on top. It worried me that he hadn't figured out a better plan to counter them and didn't react to what he was witnessing.

After this season I now know he doesn't seem to bother with countering the opposition no matter what....bit like our very own Wenger Lite really.

Mike Price
218 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:02:01
Oh, and Wayne, the Spurs boss got sacked and is still out of work, and Wengers a legend who won the FA cup last season and won out against us to get Champions league for the sixteenth or seventeenth time in a row!
Wayne Smyth
219 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:00:44
Chris (214) – Just pointing out that although it's certainly squeaky bum time, things could turn around quite nicely.

Not saying they will; I'm as nervous as the next man that Martinez will get us relegated, but I don't think all the flak directed at him is justified or correct.

I'm not surprised at the criticism he's getting either, people need someone to blame and Martinez is certainly responsible for our problems, if not always at fault....and for anyone who doesn't understand the difference between responsibility and fault, no I'm not going to explain it.

I also I think if we can come out of the other side of this in one piece, Martinez can have us compete with the top 4 in the long run.

Joe, yes my support of Martinez is ultimately based on hope. Unlike some, I know enough to know that I don't know enough. I understand things are not always black & white.

You seem happy enough to see something like a shit league position or bad patch run of performances and as a fan, claim you understand exactly what is going on, despite your grasp of anything factual or objective being insignificant. As fans we just see the end result. We hear rumour. We've no real idea of what is happening behind the scenes.

So, while my support for us this season may be based on hope – as it is every season under every manager – I wouldn't expect the club to be run on hope. Quite why you'd equate the two is baffling.

Wayne Smyth
220 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:21:12
Mike, I also don't recall the fit players Martinez had at the time. I do remember thinking that I didn't fancy our chances given the relative form and resources available to both managers when the game was played.

I don't remember thinking Martinez had made too many errors with team selection hence why I think that particular criticism is probably unjustified, although I would have to agree that playing a high line was bound to give us problems.

If I'm honest though, if we had tried to park the bus I don't think it would've made much difference. We'd probably still have lost quite badly and we'd be sitting here arguing over why we lost 3-0 and how things would've been much better if we'd only 'had a go'.

Joe Clitherow
221 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:25:57
Wayne

I'll leave it after this but:

"You seem happy enough to see something like a shit league position or bad patch run of performances"

I'm not happy at all, be in no doubt

"as a fan, claim you understand exactly what is going on"

Now it is very surprising given your several rants against our editor around putting words in your virtual mouth and twisting your words to see this kind of rank hypocrisy from you Wayne, I'm very disappointed and challenge you to show anywhere where I have claimed any such thing. I am very particular to point out that I may suspect certain things or I have an opinion. Again I am disappointed in you and invite you to apologise for that. I don't want to play your twisty words game.

"despite your grasp of anything factual or objective being insignificant"

Now if I've understood correctly what you have said here then I will state as a fact that you are absolutely, 100% wrong, because I see and am able to analyse in absolute clarity the only thing which has any significance at all, and draw my conclusions from that; and that is the 90 minutes or so every Saturday (ish), It is all the other stuff in between that is insignificant in terms of drawing any conclusions. It is the 90 minutes alone that Martinez is and should be judged on, and in that space, my opinion based on tangible evidence is that he is woefully inadequate and a failure on all counts. But see my post 86 (!) above for my views on hope.

Colin Glassar
222 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:34:04
Wayne, if you were a soldier you'd be awarded the Victoria cross for your efforts tonight. My utmost admiration and respect for providing an alternative view and sticking to your guns. Good on you.
Kevin Tully
223 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:42:25
After 21 League games, has any player got anywhere near their form of last season? In my opinion, not one deserves even a 6/10 for their performances based upon the past 21 games. 5/10 for the majority - that’s the most worrying aspect.
Wayne Smyth
224 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:26:22
Thanks for the links Ray.

If I'm honest I was expecting some big claims, given all the fuss. What I read was a very reasonable and unsurprising article by Donachie written last year where he mentions, in general terms, the tensions between the management and players who want to play, and the medical team who want to ensure the players are actually recovered before they play again.

He could be talking about Martinez, Moyes, or just in general terms about sport as a whole.

The other article is mostly conjecture and I guess you can read into it whatever you like. If you want to believe Martinez is incompetent you'll take that from it. If you want to believe he is blameless, you could also take that standpoint.

You could also read:

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soccer/english-soccer/james-mccarthy-s-injury-problems-have-prompted-Everton-s-medical-revamp-1.2059659

which gives an entirely different spin on where the problems lie.

I suspect only when Martinez or some of the players leave will we find out what has actually been going on.

Joe Clitherow
225 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:45:40
Colin I came up with one to add to your list above:

How about fawning apparatchik?

(joking!)

Wayne Smyth
226 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:47:01
Joe, you have my apologies for misrepresenting your views. Unlike our editor, I'm big enough to apologise when I fuck up.

When I wrote "the cause of our problems are no where near as clear cut as you would have us believe"

Then you responded with a list of reasons why Martinez is shit and appended "I've set them out as facts, and yes I think they are, I've watched us play."

I must've got confused.....

Colin Glassar
227 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:57:59
Joe, for a second I thought you were going to call me a Kulak.
Joe Clitherow
228 Posted 17/01/2015 at 23:53:57
Cheers Wayne.

Just so we are clear the facts I set out are the yawny ones everyone else quotes but I have tried to avoid, such as 1 win in 12, 8 losses in that spell, caught in posession from pressing teams, games which have 1 or 2 shots in total for the whole 90 mins, 11 individual errors leading directly to goals, 3 pts off bottom 3 etc etc blah blah.

I have also said that Martinez went mad at Baines for playing long when he wanted short. I saw that with my own eyes at the game so I think that counts too. Plus you can add to that my utter boredom at lots of games where I have paid a lot of money. That's a fact too.

I don't think there are any arguments that they are facts, unless you are trying to suggest some?

I have never claimed definitively as fact any insider knowledge or speculation such as Martinez has lost the players etc etc 'cos I wouldn't know like

Jerome Shields
229 Posted 18/01/2015 at 00:23:08
I looked again today at the West Ham equalising goal in the FA Cup. For a Club trying to turn things around, this was one bad goal to concede.

Unchallenged cross, no challenge on the forward and a gaping hole in the goal. How can any team win anything with that type of performance?

Like the rest of you, I am a long suffering supporter. Will there ever be any hope, with such fundamental flaws?

Victor Jones
230 Posted 18/01/2015 at 01:17:17
Just another comment in that derby defeat last season. It has been mentioned that had we parked he bus and got beat, that Martinez would have been criticised. And also if he had a go, and lost that he still would have been criticised. Fair comments, except for one very crucial fact. That damping night Martinez did neither. He did nothing. Zilch.

I believe that sometimes in football that you do need to "park the bus". And at other times that you just have to have a right proper go. ThatÂ’s called adapting to whatever pans out on the pitch. Now with regards to parking the bus, Everton under Martinez couldnÂ’t park one on the M25. And as for having a go. Well the last time I think that Everton had a real go was maybe in the 3 nil win over Arsenal last season. (I might be wrong on that).

My point is that all this tippy-tappy style football is counter productive to parking the bus or having a go. Its nothing when played slow. In fact its dangerous when played slow. As teams are now finding out and exploiting.

Anyhow last season has gone. What do us supporters really know about anything. Here’s hoping that the stupid passing along the back four has been ditched for a more direct route, (at least for now). And that Martinez and Everton can find a way to start winning a few football matches.

Last point, IÂ’m going to crack up if from one of our corners, the ball ends up back with our GK. What bloody football manual is that move taken from...

Wayne Smyth
231 Posted 18/01/2015 at 07:49:32
Jerome, I think you can look at the vast majority (i.e. probably 90%+) of goals scored against every team in the world and highlight similar defensive flaws in the passage of play leading up to it.

Playing with 10 men was always going to be difficult against Allardyces bruisers. Especially defending set-pieces against a team who I imagine were quite a bit taller than us. Carroll, Tomkins, Cole, Collins are all 6ft 3+

I'm not by any means defending our performances this season as a whole, but I think the last 3 games have been much, much better. The last 60 minutes of the West Ham game in particular and the full 90 minutes against City.

Ray Roche
232 Posted 18/01/2015 at 08:21:56
Wayne#224,

Whichever way you choose to see it the facts appear to me to be a rift developed between the medical staff and Martinez.

There was also a thread regarding Osman's book, which I haven't been able to find, in which he pointed out how much easier the training was under Martinez, and that is something which I DO believe, because in my opinion we don't look as fit as we did under the previous regime.

Whether the training has intensified over the last few weeks since the reported discussion between senior players and Martinez, no-one on here can say, but we certainly we looked fitter against West Ham.

Wayne Smyth
233 Posted 18/01/2015 at 09:05:13
Ray, a lot of the problem that I have with peoples arguments is that often what I’m seeing doesn’t stack up with what the accusations are.

The fitness thing is a very good example, with people trying to claim we’ve been unfit for a long time. At the start of the season against Arsenal and Leicester where we seemed to lose energy in the last 20 minutes, you can clearly see that a lack of fitness is playing a part. The pre-season accusations that we were unfit at the start of the season are probably justified.

What we also know is that the players are certainly putting themselves about more recently. The tempo has increased and the directness of play at times, even if the team is still not playing that well or getting results.

Given we’ve been mostly playing slow shit football from August to December and from start to the end of games, I fail to imagine that fitness regime has changed in the last few weeks that suddenly allowed us to play a higher tempo game.

If fitness were an issue I’d expect to see much more of the kind of performance as against Arsenal where our performance levels drop off towards the end of each game.

I’m no expert, but over a busy period such as Christmas and the new year I would seriously doubt if there were any serious fitness training going on. It’s probably more about trying to get rest and recovery from a game every few days.

More likely the players are just putting more effort in and are more motivated than previously. We know for sure that is true of Lukaku because he admitted as much and other players were saying it about him too.

Phil Walling
234 Posted 18/01/2015 at 09:58:18
Ray @223: Are you suggesting Ossie's book has been withdrawn from sale to save him (and another) further embarrassment ? That couldn't happen, surely ?
Phil Walling
235 Posted 18/01/2015 at 10:04:54
Whatever the 'green shoots' visible in recent games, I am positive that if Everton get stuffed tomorrow, BK will act. I'd welcome Martinez's removal BUT three points are more important!

So, in some respects, the Albion game is a 'no loser'!

Mark Taylor
236 Posted 18/01/2015 at 11:32:22
Colin 177, apologies for the late reply. The comparison to the cream of Europe (Real, City etc) was not to suggest we can compete with their resources but to reveal (what I think is) the lie about Martinez's tactics.

He places way too much emphasis on ball retention and sure enough, the best teams in Europe have the highest ball retention percentages and – perhaps incredibly – we are also near the top for that stat, despite our poor results.

But you will have heard Martinez's comments about not practising set pieces, defensive or offensive. On this stat, we are rubbish, pretty much the worst in the Premier League. Yet the best performing teams for this are – guess what – the cream of Europe again.

I pick this comparison as an example of what I unfortunately see as RM's weakness: he is a bit of a one-trick pony and rather myopic in his view of the game.

With regard to Lukaku, my point is that he is very far from a complete player. He has an awful first touch, poor vision, a lumpy pass and can't head the ball. What he can do (and do very well) is run at players at pace and shoot with both feet, with a happy knack of mostly hitting the target.

I just don't buy the idea that at his age, he is suddenly going to get good where he is currently poor, at, for example, controlling the ball. He may be fairly young, but if those skills aren't in place by now, they never will be. However the strengths he possesses, he excels in.

A good manager, having paid top dollar for him, would set up the team to play to those strengths and there is surely no-one who believes our normal style of play does that. Instead, I think it shows Lukaku in his worst possible light, asking him to do things that do not come easily.

Lukaku will flourish if we break forward with pace, play the ball in front of him, and give him a chance to get up a head of steam and run at defenders. In the past 3 games, we've just started to do that and he looks a lot better as a result.

Colin Glassar
237 Posted 18/01/2015 at 11:54:45
Mark, just going back to Lukaku for a sec. I continue to make the comparison with a young Didier Droghba who I recall playing for Marseilles in the CL and thinking, 'this guy is another Emile Heskey'. He had the same deficiencies you attribute to Lukaku (without the goal scoring record Lukaku has) but he worked at his game and he turned out okay.

Some players simply develop later than others, Ossie being a prime example. Some (George Best, Michael Owen, Franny Jeffers etc....) develop early but their careers fizzle out by their late 20s. Rom has scored 80(?) professional goals and he's still only a boy. I wouldn't write him off just yet. Give him time, same for Ross.

Jay Wood
238 Posted 18/01/2015 at 11:59:58
WOW! You go out to a family bash and when you come back you find TW has transformed into WW – Wayneweb. An astonishing battery of nearly 20 posts and 5000 words over 12 hours! And more this morning!

I doff my cap to your stamina Wayne! Kudos!

To pick up on 1-2 things...

First, on the question of ’learning’. Putting aside the silly semantics that you are Michael get into, following your statement in #105 "You learn a lot when you lose; a lot more than when you win."

I would hope like anyone in life you simply.... learn! Especially when you are someone in a high profile position such as RM. As you say in #211 "We have a manager who wants to learn from anyone." Good!

It’s in the public domain. We know RM is an extremely keen student of the game. We know even in his domestic life, he has a sofa whereby he can sit with his wife studying replays of games, whilst she watches her soaps, or whatever.

Roberto is on record as saying, every goal Everton concedes he studies intensely to trace back to the source of why we conceded. Leon Osman describes in his book how defensive training, especially at dead ball situations, is neglected under RM, in stark contrast to Moyes.

Taking all this together, add it to the number of goals we have conceded this season and... what is RM doing about it? Is he learning?

Has he identified the cause of all the goals we are conceding?

What adjustments is he making to our training, tactics, system and game play to improve our abysmal defensive record?

What steps is he taking to ensure we start winning again, in the here and now?

His latest utterances are not reassuring, saying defending goals is not a priority ...

As you acknowledge at #166 "it’s a well-known fact that the players asked the manager if they could go more direct at times." I don’t disagree with you that this shows he is willing to listen and compromise, but I also understand the position of some who ask:

Why did the players need to ask him that? Why couldn’t he have seen the need for that himself, studying repeatedly (as he does) replays of our games and how the opposition are negating us?

I’ll address other interesting points you raise in further posts...

Jay Wood
239 Posted 18/01/2015 at 12:31:51
Wayne... to continue...

Injuries — this is an excuse used too often by those intent on defending RM. We have not as you say in #105 "had horrendous injury problems all season".

We have had injuries that have impacted on the side, that I’ll grant you. But no more, no less than most other sides. It is not ’horrendous’.

I like to keep an eye on the excellent The Physio Room site which lists current injuries. For most of the season, we have been mid-table to bottom half, even in that league table!

But on injuries, you acknowledge in #173 that RM has bought players back too soon, thus inducing further injury. I agree with you in that post that reasons for medical staff recently leaving is speculation and that RM isn’t solely responsible for ALL injuries. Shit happens in a game or training.

As for Martinez and soft tissue injuries #182, there does seem an inordinate number of them both in his 18 months at EFC and during his time with Wigan. This data is in the public domain.

We can relate that to acknowledged training methods where greater emphasis is given to training with the ball, rather than more intense physical training. This is indisputable as it comes from 2 reliable sources – RM himself and Osman, as previously mentioned.

What is also indisputable it that RM himself is a fully qualified physiotherapist. There can be no excuse then for ignorance on his part with regard to what the injuries are, how the injuries are occurring, how best to avoid them, and the recovery time a player needs. This marries two issues you raised – on learning and injuries.

On the question of transfers, in #123 you say you believe RM couldn’t build on last year’s success "primarily because of injuries (which IMO is really not a justifiable claim) but also bad transfer decisions."

In that post and in #138 you observe "Martinez has failed to address key areas such as central defence and our wingers in the transfer market, which leave us with an unbalanced team with no width and no real pace... Many players are too old and should’ve been replaced."

If you believe that, who is ultimately responsible for that neglect? I will grant you this comment in the same post: "It’s a fine line I think between success and failure. Sometimes the gambles pay off, sometimes not. What I hope about Martinez is that longer term he will bring in the kind of young talent that will allow us to compete."

The last sentence assumes he will still be around to do so, and yet – other than Besic – he hasn’t achieved that so far. Indeed, his overall transfer and contract extension policy to date is less than convincing.

Jay Wood
240 Posted 18/01/2015 at 12:46:41
Finally, on our style of play, you glibly say in #132 "it’s clear we need better players who are more comfortable on the ball."

In #146 you observe Naismith and Eto’o don’t deserve "a rocket because when they play on the wing, they can’t outpace the defender and get a cross in (because) they’re both poachers. We need to accept that ultimately these players are playing badly in part because they are being used in a role to which they are not suited. The manager is playing them out of position because he failed to forsee that Atsu would be shit, Mirallas and Pienaar injured so much, and McGeady so inconsistent."

At #166 you say again "players ... unsuited to playing a passing game under pressure."

It strikes me, Wayne, in trying to somehow excuse and defend the manager, you only succeed here in highlighting his failures.

Again, if you truly believe some of those statements, then who is at greater fault? The manager insisting on a style and approach unsuitable to the players at his disposal? A manager unable to adapt and adjust to an alternative system that does get results by playing players in positions they are comfortable and effective? Or the players, being asked to do things the manager should know they are not fully capable of?

Personally, I think your argument is nonsensical. The players – and they are pretty much the same squad – showed last season they could play the preferred Martinez way. But football doesn’t stand still, especially at this level. And RM has not come up with counters to the counters other teams have applied to his system this season.

As you admit in #219, your support of Martinez is "ultimately based on hope" and in the same breath add "I wouldn’t expect the club to be run on hope."

Your support and defence of RM is admirable. But if it is "ultimately based (only) on hope", then isn’t that a pretty shallow justification for your support and defence, especially when you baulk at the idea of running the club on hope alone?

In #203 you quote Wigan’s cup success at evidence of RM’s managerial qualities. Now maybe I’m harsh in dismissing RM’s FA Cup victory with Wigan, but... he got lucky! Yes, getting a club like Wigan to Wembley and winning the cup was an AMAZING achievement.

But, IMO, it had nothing to do with the tactical genius you believe RM is. Man City didn’t turn up that day. It is the one and only time as a manager that RM has beaten CIty in getting on to 15 attempts I believe.

We had a great record against Man City in recent years. Since RM joined us we have won 0, drawn 1 and lost 3.

And finally, Wayne... I admire you looking up at the stars, rather than down in the gutter. I’m one of the world’s great optimists as well. But I’m also a pragmatist. When you say "we are 13 points (15, actually) off a 5th place finish with a game in hand and with about half the season to play..."

Well... There is optimism, blind faith and just plain dumb. And I’m sorry, Wayne, but that observation really belongs in that latter.

Just 9 league games ago, before we played Spurs, we were above both them and Liverpool in the league. Now, we are 15 points behind Spurs in 5th and 13 points behind Liverpool in 7th. We are in 13th – a mere 3 points off the relegation places.

Don’t try and polish a turd – we are deep in the doo-dah.

A win against WBA is absolutely essential. The longer this winless run goes on, the more difficult it is to break out of this slump.

But congratulations again on your amazing stamina!!!

Wayne Smyth
241 Posted 18/01/2015 at 12:43:30
Jay, I don't know the answers to most of those questions. Only Martinez can answer them. I will say that things are not as black & white as people will make out.

To take the player meeting thing as an example. To listen to Martinez's comments on the issue he makes it sound as if he's always working with and listening to the players feedback and that this was no different.

To listen to some things people have written, the players confronted him in some sort of extra-ordinary meeting and demanded change. Depending on which version you believe it paints a very different picture of what happened.

I would hope that any professional team still practice things like set pieces, so when people write that it is neglected, I'm not sure quite what that means.

Does it mean we don't do it at all? Does it mean that instead of spending 90% of the time on set pieces under one manager, we spend 20% under the new one? If we really don't practice at all, then I'm worried. If it's maybe 20% or 30% of the time, then I'm less worried.

Without facts and detail it's a largely pointless discussion as people can read into things exactly what they want to read.

Colin Glassar
242 Posted 18/01/2015 at 13:07:11
Wayne, I think we're going to have to read Ossie's book to see exactly what he said. Saying that, do defenders who have spent their entire careers learning a trade I.e. defending, suddenly stop due to some order from above?
Mark Taylor
243 Posted 18/01/2015 at 12:21:08
You think Drogba did not have as good a goal scoring record at Marseilles that Lukaku has had with us? Surely not! He was only at OM for a season and to be honest, I would say he resembled neither Heskey nor Lukaku. Among many differences, he could head the ball way better than Lukaku even back then.

I should be clear, I am not writing Lukaku off. The strengths he does possess are significant and if we play to them, I'm sure he will score plenty of goals. But when we don't play to them, his weaknesses really do get noticed. I'm sure this is why Mourinho wanted rid and to get a much more complete player – which is what Costa is and Drogba was.

With regard to Ross, he is going through a bad spell but nobody for a minute would doubt his technical skills, since he has shown he possesses those. He won't need to learn them now – and at his age, it's a bit too late to do much about it anyway.

Colin Glassar
244 Posted 18/01/2015 at 13:20:57
I will have to google Droghba's goal scoring record at 21 to compare, Mark. What I do know is that at 21, Lukaku has scored more league goals than either Messi or Ronaldo.
Wayne Smyth
245 Posted 18/01/2015 at 13:06:53
Jay, in terms of your second post, you seem to be under the misconception that I'm here to defend Martinez from one and all and not also highlight what I perceive as his failures.

I don't think I'm like some posters on here. Some have very polarised views about things. If they like something, all you'll ever hear is good things. If they hate something, all you ever hear are the negatives. I'd like to think I give a fair view, as I see it.

So, I'm as much a critic of Martinez as many. I don't know if he'll turn out to be a top manager or get us relegated this season. I do believe he's trying to do things the right way and he isn't far off being a success.

He has made mistakes; but all managers do. Some mistakes are things you can put down to bad fortune, some mistakes are more in the realm of incompetence. Again the same is true of all managers.

However, I will defend the guy against things which I don't think are reasonable or fair. At the moment, it's clear he's an easy target. People are throwing a lot of shit around because they're pissed off and frustrated and trying to make out that he's done this or that and that our issues are all his fault.

It's the same thing that happens with BK on this site. People (probably rightly) say he's not made good decisions on the stadium, revenue generation or investment. Then they go and talk complete unsubstantiated bollocks and allege he's pocketing vast fortunes out of the club every year.

If you think I'm an over-optimist then it's probably because I'm of the belief that things are never as good as they seem and often not as bad as they seem.

So when I point out that, despite our position, we're not a massive distance from 5th place, it's just to give an indication that despite the fact many people are overdosing on Prozac, it might only take 4 or 5 wins and we'll be thinking about Europe again rather than the Championship.

Last season, a lot of people who are now slagging Martinez and Barkley were gushing over them. Have they both turned shit on their hols?

There is a reason we we're singing about the School of Science being back. Did he fool 40,000 people? Unfortunately, form changes, luck changes so opinion changes. But we still have the same manager and most of the same players that got us to 5th last season and gave us a lot of great wins, so I think there are enough reasons to believe we can turn our season around and get a respectable finish.

Colin Glassar
246 Posted 18/01/2015 at 13:32:17
Looks like Droghba scored 39 league goals before he moved to Chelsea when he was 24?
Jay Wood
247 Posted 18/01/2015 at 13:40:56
Wayne @ 242, "Without facts and detail, it’s a largely pointless discussion as people can read into things exactly what they want to read."

And yet you took 12 hours out of your life yesterday to write nigh on 20 posts and 5000 words on, primarily, Roberto Martinez and his time at EFC. Go figure!

Wayne, on a footy forum emotions run high and you will inevitably get polarised, often entrenched views. Comments may include hard facts, opinion, speculation and pure fabrication – often a mix of all four.

I don’t pay much attention or give much weight or credence to speculation and fabrication, such as the scenario you mention about the player-manager meeting. At the time I considered it a positive, demonstrating a concern by the players and an acceptance by the manager.

I prefer to deal in indisputable facts when agreeing with or contesting opinions. I have no problem with opinions contrary to my own, but if in the interests of debate I can demonstrate the fallacy and false premises on which people’s opinions are based, I will do so.

That is how debate works.

For example, your ’numbers’ on the time spent on set pieces is IMO a silly one, an obfuscation. We have clear declarations from excellent sources – Martinez himself and Ossie – that time spent on the training ground in defending set pieces is NOT prioritized.

I don’t have the exact quote to hand, but (to paraphrase Ossie) when players asked RM’s assistant Graham Jones why they didn’t do drills on defending set plays, he replied, "Why spend time on situations that only occur 2-3 times a game?" In his most recent press conference RM seemingly re-stated that sentiment by saying "stopping conceding goals is not a priority."

Similarly on fitness training, Ossie said under Moyes Tuesday was the ’easy’ day... under RM, the most intense fitness training day was like a Tuesday under Moyes.

I agree with you things are not black and white. People will and do read and understand what they like from topics that concern them.

But to apply the Ossie quotes and RM’s own public announcements to your comment I quoted at the start of this post, we DO have some facts and details on training and fitness issues and it is NOT a pointless discussion on this forum to debate them.

John Keating
248 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:09:05
Wayne,

I think you are defending Martinez regardless. Some of the things he's been responsible for this season, some people have been making continual excuses for.

If you had a guy working for you who cocked up and lost you money you'd probably have a word and put him right. If he did it again you'd probably be really pissed off. If he kept doing it time and time again there's no doubt you'd bin him. That's life and that's the way it is.

Martinez has made the same mistakes over and over again this season and until the players had words with him he was not for changing.

I just hope we haven't left it too late. Just like winning, losing can become a habit.

Wayne Smyth
249 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:16:14
Jay, unless you can put meat on the bones of Osman's declaration there is not much point discussing those type of things further. It's not an attempt at obfuscation. You might know what he said but I don't think we know what he actually means.

Saying that something isn't a priority is not saying it is not done or not done sufficiently. It just means there are other more important areas to train. Relative to breathing, eating isn't a priority for me. Doesn't mean I don't stuff my face every day, or that I don't eat enough.

So, you could be wrong, you could be right, I certainly don't know; but without further concrete information it's pointless to discuss further.

Equally things such as Osman's comment about Martinez's toughest training being like Moyes easiest only has any relevance if our fitness is an issue. Apart from our first couple of games, I don't think it has been... as evidenced by our recent game at West Ham with one man less for 60 minutes out of a 120-minute game... all on the back of a very busy schedule of fixtures.

Ray Roche
250 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:27:12
Phil Walling #235

Phil, I think you're being a bit mischievous, you little scamp!

Wayne #234

I don't think that there is any argument that we were NOT fit at the start of the season, but dropped points against Leicester and Arsenal, both games in which we visibly flagged in the last 15 minutes, are just as valuable as dropped points in the last two games of a season. And furthermore, any player who misses some of pre season will tell you that it's difficult to play "catch up" with your fitness and match fitness once a season is under way.

Likewise, you say "the players are just putting more effort in and are more motivated than previously." Surely, it's part of the manager's job to motivate the players – just as it's part of his job to ensure that they are fit enough and also injury free when they take to the field?

Jay Wood
251 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:12:16
Wayne @ 246 - "Jay ... you seem to be under the misconception that I’m here to defend Martinez from one and all and not also highlight what I perceive as his failures."

Why would you say that? I very fairly quote verbatum some of your comments critiquing RM.

What I will say is that you have a clear bias in favour of RM and as a result, in trying to defend him, you assume positions it is easy to challenge.

It is honourable of you to "defend the guy against things which I don’t think are reasonable or fair." He is, as you say, an easy target right now ... but ... he is an easy target for good reason!

In my posts today I make, I believe, valid points which counter your own. And essentially, you’ve body swerved them, hiding behind the – what can I call it? – the "it’s so unfair!" argument...? The "it’s not all black and white" argument...?

As for me thinking you over-optimistic, that’s being too generous! I think you’re delusional! I quote: "... we’re not a massive distance from 5th place ... it might only take 4 or 5 wins and we’ll be thinking about Europe again rather than the championship."

Not a massive distance from 5th??? We’re 15 points off 5th!!!

Wayne ... we’ve won five league games all season ... F.I.V.E. If you can guarantee me now five more wins before game 38, I’ll take it now! With no eye whatsoever on a European place, just as long as we are not in the bottom 3.

Finally, as you say, "we still have the same manager and most of the same players that got us to 5th last season and gave us a lot of great wins ... I think there are enough reasons to believe we can turn our season around and get a respectable finish."

And there is the rub for many people. And that is why irritating people like me take issue with people like you who offer all manner of justification as to why we haven’t replicated last season’s performances.

Last season concluded 8 months ago. It has no significance on this which, in the 6 months to date, based on the evidence of our own eyes, and backed up by annoyingly indisputable data, there are NOT good reasons to believe (quoting you) "we can turn our season around and get a respectable finish."

Mike Allison
252 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:38:55
I absolutely agree that you learn more in defeat than you do in victory. But that's the fundamental problem with our season, Martinez isn't learning anything, and instead talking about injuries, refereeing decisions and having a good second half of the season. The fact remains he still believes we should do more of the same.

It comes to something when the likes of Robbie Savage and Sam Allardyce are spelling out the bleedin' obvious. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30783353

The only question is, will Martinez (or Kenwright) realise in time? For the first time in a long time, I genuinely believe if Everton appointed me manager tomorrow we'd improve. We also have a weekend off coming up in which we could address fitness, defensive and set piece issues, I wonder if Martinez will make any attempt to do so.

Ray Roche
253 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:48:15
Wayne, I've found the link that covers Osman's comments about fitness.

http://ToffeeWeb.com/season/14-15/comment/fan/29060.html

Jay Wood
254 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:42:00
Wayne @ 250

"Jay, unless you can put meat on the bones of Osman’s declaration there is not much point discussing those type of things further. It’s not an attempt at obfuscation. You might know what he said but I don’t think we know what he actually means. Saying that something isn’t a priority is not saying it is not done or not done sufficiently."

And you say that is not an attempt at obfuscation and more, a less than subtle attempt to suppress debate not convenient to your point of view...?

Ossie also said basically, the defence has been told to ’sort it out yourselves.’

You want some meat on the bones? 34 goals conceded in the PL ... only QPR (39) and now Newcastle (35 - yippee!) have conceded more ... the lowest clean sheet count in the league (3) ... the most number of games since we kept a clean sheet in the league (12).

This training policy prejudices our chances of winning games. We basically need a MINIMUM of 2 to have a chance of winning a league game. And woe betide us if we go a goal down. Why?

Because the last time we recovered to win a game having conceded the first goal was nearly a year ago. February 1st, a 2-1 win home to Villa.

"... not much point discussing those type of things further ... "

My arse!

Jay Wood
255 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:57:48
Ray @ 254

Thank you, Ray... my recall of how Ossie describes training under RM and GJ is correct.

Phil Walling
256 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:42:55
"Four or five wins from thinking about Europe again"? Are we to believe the eight... yes, eight teams that separate us from fifth spot will pick up NO points in the games remaining, then?

Rather improbable that, given that some of their fixtures will be against each other!

But feck Europe, I'll take the wins to avoid relegation!

Wayne Smyth
257 Posted 18/01/2015 at 14:54:15
Jay, it's unfortunate you feel so despondent about this season. There is nothing I can say or do to alter your view, although I've set mine out as best I can.

All I can say is, for all of our sakes, either I hope Martinez is sacked soon or I hope I'm correct.

Wayne Smyth
258 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:07:52
Phil, in 5 or 6 games time, if we're in 8th or 9th, 5 points off whoever is in 5th, then a few of us might be thinking about Europe.

At this point I'd settle for not being relegated though.

Andrew Ellams
259 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:14:09
Wayne, for us to be anywhere close to pushing for Europe in 5 or 6 games time we would have to win 3 away games including visits to Chelsea and Arsenal.

Whilst I appreciate your determination to see the positives out of this shambles of a season, I can't help thinking that you are building yourself up for a crappy summer. We do of course all hope you are absolutely spot on with everything that you have posted.

Colin Glassar
261 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:16:16
Wayne and Phil are both correct. It's wins and points we need right now. If this happens then we can see where we are in a few weeks time and take it from there.

For the time being, let's just beat WBA.

Mark Taylor
262 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:19:01
Colin (#247),

I was referring to the season he had at OM because that is what you referenced. This is not to denigrate Lukaku's goals record which is good (in fact, his biggest asset); just that the Heskey style guy you say you saw at OM was knocking it in the back of the net with more regularity than Emile!

Colin Glassar
263 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:27:04
Ok Mark, but Droghba admitted on TV a few years ago that many people, including his family, didn't think he would make the grade due to his inability to do the basics. He even said it himself, that it didn't click for him until his early 20s... then everything started to go well for him.
Jay Wood
264 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:24:07
Wayne @ 258 "Jay it’s unfortunate you feel so despondent about this season..." (Sigh...)

Colin @ 262 "It’s wins and points we need right now" (another sigh ... where’s the palm slap smiley when you need it...?)

Colin Glassar
265 Posted 18/01/2015 at 15:31:06
Oh, and he scored 18 league goals and 9 cup goals for OM, Mark.
Kieran Riding
267 Posted 18/01/2015 at 17:11:00
Phil #236
"So, in some respects, the Albion game is a ’no loser’!"

Just so I don’t jump to the wrong conclusion here, could you explain this comment, as it looks like you wouldn’t mind us getting beat tomorrow, to potentially put more pressure on our manager.

Steve Davies
268 Posted 18/01/2015 at 18:23:19
198 - James Stewart was Bang on the money.

Most of the teams in the relegation dogfight have lost this weekend. Results have been kind to us. If we do not get a 3 points against West Brom tomorrow then I would sack him. The reasons for this have been discussed on this site by a great many supporters. I suggested putting in Joe Royle or Unsworth for the rest of the season until we get a new manager. Of course this is a retrograde step for the club and the guy who pointed this out was quite right. However, who can do worse than RM at the moment? In the short term, somebody has to rally the troops. He doesn't seem to be able to do this.

We have some good players but they are not drilled,organised or playing to a system that wins games.

I am nothing I am a pragmatist. If you don't defend properly you lose matches. RM is a bit of a spoofer. No substance. He is a darling of the media so he has received very little criticism nationally. It is only the fans who watch EFC day in and day out that have despaired of his approach because the flaws are so obvious to us.

This guy is bumbling along and is clearly taking us down a la Wigan. The issues are obvious why. They have been discussed on this site. He refuses to change HIS style. The fact that the players are begging him to change speaks volumes. As long as we stay up this season then we should appoint a new manager post season when we have considered our options and we can see who is available.

I have to say I wanted Martinez appointed. I thought we would improve and as a young manager he would learn the game and bring us success. He had potential. At the time a lot of fans said look what he did to Wigan. I genuinely thought that this was because he didn't have enough players of quality.

However, hindsight is a wonderful thing. It appears that it may have been his 'gung ho' tactics and lack of defense that got his side relegated. He is stubborn and I feel he fundamentally will not change this approach. My initial judgement was wrong and I admit to it.

The same thing is now being replicated here at our beloved Everton. I genuinely hope that we beat WBA and he gets it right, realizes the error of his ways and develops a more pragmatic WINNING approach.

Anyway, life is never easy being an Evertonian but to quote Brian Labone, we are still worth 20 of that shower across the Park.

COYB

Nick Entwistle
272 Posted 18/01/2015 at 22:39:03
Lose and lose Roberto, or win and keep Roberto. Hmmm... I mean it's not so cut and dry as the Man City game last season, but every cloud...
Paul Hewitt
273 Posted 18/01/2015 at 22:43:19
You should NEVER want to lose, Nick.
Nick Entwistle
274 Posted 18/01/2015 at 22:53:11
Even the City game?
Phil Walling
275 Posted 18/01/2015 at 23:02:23
Just picked up on your nagging, Keiran!

As always, I want us to win and shall put my usual 'score' on the lads to do so. But what I meant was that every black cloud has a silver lining and, if the worse happens, then perhaps we shall see an end to the Catalan Experiment. Either way, we'll be nearer salvation!

Kieran Riding
276 Posted 18/01/2015 at 23:47:09
Thanks for clarifying that, Phil.
Andy Crooks
277 Posted 19/01/2015 at 00:04:19
I have never known anyone on this site who would want Everton to lose. Ideally we would win tomorrow night AND get rid of Martinez.

Of course it wonÂ’t happen, I fear he is safe no matter what. I would ask anyone prepared to defend him to watch the Southampton game again. Ineptitude on a really scary, for our club, level. He must go.

Colin Glassar
278 Posted 19/01/2015 at 00:12:21
Or Andy, you could watch the arsenal game last season, or the destruction, and humiliation, of OFM in the FA cup game a few seasons ago by little Wigan. We can all play these little games, going back and forth to prove a point.
Kieran Riding
279 Posted 19/01/2015 at 00:25:43
Andy, there are posters on here who have openly said they have put money on Everton to lose recently.
James Flynn
280 Posted 19/01/2015 at 01:15:42
Kieran - Seems to me "posters on here who have openly said they have put money on Everton to lose recently." would have jumped out. Not to mention, theyÂ’d have been jumped on for declaring so.

What TWers said this "openly" recently?

ThatÂ’s not a challenge. I just canÂ’t recall it happening. Who amongst us has said such a thing? They need to be called out.

Kieran Riding
281 Posted 19/01/2015 at 01:43:26
James, it has happened, and it was called out by others, donÂ’t worry about that.
Colin Glassar
282 Posted 19/01/2015 at 09:21:51
Several have stated, James, that they wouldn't mind losing games as long as it meant Martinez getting the sack. Don't ask me to name names as I don't keep a list or have a radar or anything of that sort. And I don't tend to scroll through 1000's of posts so I can copy and paste a paragraph or sentence which I can then bend, twist or manipulate to my advantage.

Even during our darkest days under previous managers I never wished for the club to lose a game just so I would feel some personal satisfaction. Be on the lookout tonight, James, if we go a goal behind or are still drawing in the 70th minute then the swarm will arise on here and you'll see.

Ian Riley
283 Posted 19/01/2015 at 09:21:59
It's too late to moan about the manager now. The chairman is not going to sack him. Please don't waste your energy on that!

It's wins we need and I could not care less how they come. I have been telling Villa, West Brom fans whom I work with we are at risk of going down. Their response is no, too much quality, yes they are right but unless the manager thinks about points rather than his philosophy, it may become reality.

The crowd need to play there part in getting behind the team tonight. Let's stay up this year and sort out this mess in the summer. So many hopes coming into the season by the fans but the pre-season told me it was going to be a bumpy ride. The plan that made us compete last season for top four must be revisited. The manager must be held accountable for this.

The next two games could define which division we play in next season!

Phil Walling
284 Posted 19/01/2015 at 10:22:44
All the bookies make Everton odds-on favourites in tonight's game. One site suggests a draw at even money is good value. But the only fortune that will be made tonight is three points for our team. Priceless.
Brent Stephens
285 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:07:53
Kieran #280 by "putting money on Everton to lose" – do you mean hoping for that? or having a bet?

I don't bet on football. But as an analogy, I have taken out an insurance policy so that, in the event of my death, my wife won't have any debts. I hope not to die (soon) but the opportunity is there to make a financially-sensible decision. The only difference is the relative importance of Everton and my wife and it's obvious who I love most – sorry, dear.

Paul Tran
287 Posted 19/01/2015 at 18:20:43
Phil, have you got an account with Paddy Power? They're offering powerplay odds of 7/4 straight Everton win, or 7/2 Everton win and both teams score. I've gone for the latter - go and fill yer boots!
Darren Hind
288 Posted 19/01/2015 at 18:23:12
#250 "You know what he said, but I don't think think we know what he actually means"

And thus the line between reasoned debate and a refusal to accept all evidence was crossed...

Darren Hind
289 Posted 19/01/2015 at 18:33:10
I took the 7/4 Paul. I figured we have to keep a clean sheet sometime

Law of averages n all that

Paul Tran
290 Posted 19/01/2015 at 18:42:28
Darren, I'm not sure we'd keep a clean sheet if WBA didn't turn up. Still, the way my punting has gone last few weeks we'll probably win 1-0. And I'll wish I'd done both bets.
Steve Davies
291 Posted 20/01/2015 at 00:18:03
Brent Stephens 286 - very funny about the wife. Reminds me of the old one "My wife said you love Everton more than me". My reply was "I love Liverpool more than you!!!!" etc...

The problem is I have just driven back from the game tonight to Yorkshire after visiting my family in Croxteth and I have been listening to Radio Merseyside and Talksport.

The first thing I realize is that those who go to the match and see the 360 degrees sometimes have totally different opinions to those that see it on TV. Jason Cundy ex-Spurs/Chelsea bangs on about the fact that Kone got booed. The reason was that Martinez took our best player Besic off, he was interpreting this as we hated Kone. These pundits who are saying that Martinez is a good manager are not watching the stuff we are watching as EFC supporters.

The lads around me in the Lower Gwladys were saying: "Why did he take our best player off?" "Why have we got the quietest captain in the league, Jags get in the referee's face." "Take the ball off Mirallas and give it to Baines." "Get a set, Jags....."

I think if Mirallas had scored we would have said, well done, confident player. However, it didn't happen that way. The reality is that Baines is our best penalty taker. The lads on the Gwladys couldn't believe it.

I honestly think and I have said this before on this site, we are in disarray. We cannot continue with Martinez. We are plummeting like a stone, he cannot change the mindset. What are the options?

We will relegated if there are not three worse teams. Martinez is not the answer. I think if we stay with him we will go down. The facts tell us that.

I said go with Joe Royle until the end of the season then get another manager. I heard an EFC fan say on Talksport that he wants Roberto gone but hasn't a clue who to appoint. I am the same. But Joe Royle cannot do worse than Roberto......

The atmosphere has gone toxic at EFC, they were singing more for Sly Stallone than the Blues.....

It was a great experiment but being the team 'Longest in the Top Flight' means more to me than admitting I was wrong. I do not want another Wimbledon moment.

The message is Jags and BK grow a set.....


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