A storm is brewing at Everton, and the quite genuine danger that 12 months of goodwill is fully eroding looks apparent. I haven't felt this weary with Everton in years, and it's not just how we're playing – it's the popular consensus between media, fans and pundits alike on how to solve it.

The seeming agreement amongst the fans is just as unappealing as Martinez's actions over the last few months. I think it's a genuinely dangerous tailspin we're in now, because there is no longer anyone reliable, no longer anyone certain to help us scrape through a stretch of bad form. Sadly last season's reliable standouts Baines, Coleman and Barry have been largely woeful. It's different for Baines, because you can see when Oviedo came on the link-up improved. He's had no outlet for his creativity down the line, without a winger who understands it's more important to get Baines in the game than it is to take on the fullback. Pienaar knows it, but as I recall everyone considered him finished – ridiculous. As soon as he's fit he must go straight in.

Barry and Coleman are less promising. Coleman's crossing and general attacking play has been hopeless; he looks like the player we first sent on loan to Blackpool just pelting down the line until he shins it over the line or floating a pointless cross in. Barry has looked at times quite solid and others quite tidy in possession, but quite often neither and never both – whilst last season I considered him player of the season, he was so solid in defence and effortlessly sensible in possession, looked like he could do it all. I always thought of him as an essential calming influence amongst the rest of them flapping it: if we were under pressure it was always a tackle just at the right time and a clever ball to start the attack from Barry that would alleviate it. It's a huge loss from central midfield.

But worse, really, is the fact that seemingly Martinez considers what we are doing now as our most effective strategy, as evidenced by his refusal to drop Lukaku, Barkley or Barry. The adjustments made to carry this trio have often being irritating to say the least and clearly last night he pushed it too far. This ludicrous shifting has meant even when he was completely dire, Lukaku stayed upfront and Eto'o came on in... attacking midfield. Or out wide. Double whammy: still carrying Lukaku, without the benefit of Eto'o.

Naismith has essentially been Player of the Season – playing with heart, fight, energy and bottle, scoring and making important goals and generally leading the attack going forward. But it's Naismith who gets punted out wide so Barkley can have a run in the middle. Double whammy: still carrying Barkley, but we've lost the benefit of Naismith. Countless times the sub board has gone up and irrespective of performance, it's the replaceable players who are in for chop. I don't know how he explains this to the squad but there's only so long keeping on those playing shite can be justified as part of some grand masterplan.

Equally, I couldn't agree less with the bullshit general consensus. Most fans have been wrong on all of it. Lukaku has been a terrible buy – recently improved but still ordinary, certainly no saviour. Apparently it was all because we had Naismith in the middle, that was the cause of our bad start (fucking rosy by comparison) to the season, even though Lukaku's best game was v Arsenal outwide, he can't play with his back to goal, and Naismith was playing well. Didn't stop that being a big thing.

Then it was Barkley. Why move him out wide? He's got to be in the middle driving at people, he's wasted out wide. No, it was Naismith who was wasted out wide; he looks for the clever pass, flick, good movement. He doesn't want to take a fullback on in a footrace, and seemingly because of that, it's him that has to go. Barkley can play out wide, is strong, fast, good balance but regardless, he was showing none of that anyway. Well he's had a run in the middle now and unfortunately it wasn't the magic cure everyone had hoped – oh well, onto the next thing.

Like how Pienaar & Osman should be retired because they were past it and wouldn't get in the team. Oh how I laughed, and it looks more ridiculous by the day. They play with an intelligence and vision that we're sorely lacking. They'd be criticised for not being big, strong and fast, things they can't control, rather than appreciating if you play to *their* strengths instead of the other way round, they can dominate teams and unlock the game. But no-one's interested in getting the best out of Pienaar and Osman because they are seen as inconsequential. Barkley and Lukaku are the 'matchwinners'.

And here's where it ties in with what it appears Martinez believes in, and thus why I said between a rock and a hard place: people were certain, so certain, that Mirallas, Lukaku and Barkley are these world class talents held back by lesser players, that pace and power are all you need and that setting the team up around them will see us challenging for the league. Mirallas is so inconsistent, and as we saw last night, simply out for himself. He is very good on the counter when space is available but otherwise, anonymous.

Lukaku doesn't win any headers and has spent most of the season on his arse rather than powering past defenders. His touch, his passing, his decision making have been dreadful. Martinez persisted with him for 5 months before we even started to see signs of life. We celebrate his mediocrity as a great leap forward whilst quietly letting Eto'o go without a proper run upfront. Barkley has, not unsurprisingly, become a victim of his own hype.

I thought it was farcical when pundits kept talking about him as this extraordinary talent, just so they could put 'English' before the word talent and make a story of it. Martinez stopped trying to play it down and embraced it, and though he may very well be playing a clever game of upping his value in the hopes Man City do spend some improbable amount on him, otherwise it's just embarrassing to hear about how he's the best English talent this country has, how he doesn't dive (he did, why lie?), how he's too good for the U21s (he isn't).

His plans are so often influenced by the typical player's egomania: they're never at fault individually, any mistakes they do make 'are encouraged', any transgressions are airily dismissed with an authority that looks increasingly ridiculous ('Mirallas wasn't 100% fit'). For fuck's sake, it's not North Korea. His propaganda is useless when people can see that the reality is otherwise, and it's beginning to feel like an insult to our collective intelligence that answers a politician could be proud of are suitable for every question he doesn't like.

But the nonsense that passing football is to blame is just more garbage from idiot fans when clearly Martinez is less interesting in that, and much like the crowd, likes to pack the team with players who do stepovers and run really fast, and that persisting with them until something comes off is the way to win. No-one takes or gives the ball under pressure; no-one plays a 1-2, no-one plays an intricate pass when the get to the edge of the box. (ONE TIME we did it all night in the 90th minute and Oviedo put Baines in and it was the best position we had been in all game.) We use this style in our own half but when we get to the final third we literally abandon it, when it is at its most effective for inswinging crosses that never work and shots from ridiculous angles.

The lack of intelligence, awareness, nous, decision-making, vision, speed of thought, it’s all hopeless with the attacking players at the moment. They never even show a promising hint of any of those qualities. It’s not like they’re trying loads of intricate stuff that doesn’t come off, they can’t even conjure up the idea to execute it badly. There is no hope in this method whatsoever. We are currently relying on injuries in order for squad players to come in and make a difference. Bryan Oviedo was a breath of fresh air when he came on, because he’s not interested in being a headless fucking chicken who plays for himself and does stepovers. He has heart, fight, desire and also class, nous and vision. He actually tried to link up with Baines.

I wonder if we need to reassess the Moyes ‘anti-football’ debate. As much as I loathed watching 40 year old Distin and Captain Yags leathering the ball out for no reason, at least when we got into the final third we had a great grasp of the overload and it produced some lovely football. Cluster the left side with Baines, Pienaar & Osman/Gibson/Arteta and the ball would just go between them at speed and before you know it one of them was free to roll the ball across the box for a tap in. Sometimes in the build-up it would be 3 or 4 one-twos that gave the impression we went nowhere but in reality were creating a little bit of space each time, so when they went for the killer ball, it usually worked. And that, really, is how passing football should be done. Without Baines and Pienaar we seemed to not know how to do it, and so we could look really poor in those circumstances, but at least when they were fit and the ball was on the left-hand side you knew we would create chances.

That plan worked. That idea was good. That is what should be expanded to the whole team; that is how I expected Martinez to revolutionise our style of play. Instead of punting it out of defence no questions asked and having to wait until we won a second ball in midfield to start the attack, we would do away with that terrible lottery and take charge of our attacking play in full. Last season benefitted from a mostly favourable marriage – often outstanding, sometimes shaky. The annihilation of Arsenal was a supreme display of teamwork, confidence, passing, control. The outrageous skills were the icing on the cake, but they were never its foundation. They can’t be, it just doesn’t work.

To actively encouraging the selfish and extravagant aspects of Mirallas, Barkley and McGeady’s game has been an unmitigated disaster. I remember McGeady being brilliant in his cameo appearences last season but the more games he started and the more times he made these very forced runs at the fullback (obviously an instruction) the worse he looked. It destroys confidence (McGeady & Barkley) or it creates a self-destructive arrogance (Mirallas). It doesn’t improve the team or the players as individuals. We are in a serious rut with no sign Martinez has the balls to fuck Lukaku, Barkley and Barry off. We have never played worse football or looked less likely in attack.

We need a miracle. But one thing I know for certain is that salvation will not come in the form of ‘back to basics’ hoofball – and for that reason alone, I’ll stick with Martinez over the fans any day.

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John Keating
1 Posted 20/01/2015 at 14:48:16
Great, Sean – you stick with Martinez. Most of the fans and – it seems the players also – probably don’t agree with you. But hey, it’s your opinion and like Martinez, stick with it regardless.

Ignore this seasons fiascos, ignore the present form guide, ignore all the warning signs, you just stick to your principles and when youÂ’re at Elland Road next season watching us get beat, whatever you do, you stick with Martinez.

James Stewart
2 Posted 20/01/2015 at 14:53:53
You identify some of MartinezÂ’s many failings and yet you would rather stick with him? Strange piece.

Moyes wasnÂ’t anti-football at all. He played the hand he was dealt. Somewhat cowardly at times but he was a percentages man and got results as such. We played some good stuff under him in his last year.

The bottom line is the team he left us with was a damn sight better than the one we have now. Martinez will take us down if left in charge. Maybe not this year but the next.

He was lucky to get the job in my opinion. How many relegated managers inherit a top 6 side? He is single-minded, tactically naive and out of his depth. The bench yesterday was indicative of his tenure. Garbage.

Barry McNally
3 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:00:54
John, Leeds will be in League 1 next season - nailed on.
Jay Harris
4 Posted 20/01/2015 at 14:47:17
Sean
you make some very good points but football is a simple game made complicated by people.

When one or two players are off their game you can put that down to form and make appropriate changes.

When the whole squad is off their game consistently you have to look at the management.

When the statistics run parallel with the managers previous record you have to look at the manager.

Good players do not turn into bad players overnight there has to be a reason.

All the team spirit and comradery that Moyes built up has evaporated.

The whole squad is playing without motivation and in a laborious way.

The players took it upon themselves to change tactics against West Ham and City but you could see Martinez discomfort at that.

He went on record during the week as insisting we will not change our passing game despite the fans and media pointing out it was not working.

He is a one trick pony who has been sussed out and is too obstinate to admit it and change.

He brought all his back room staff and a number of players from Wigan and what have we turned into ....... Wigan.

IMO the blame lies at the feet of one man and one man only.

Pre season preparations were not even fit for Chester City never mind EFC causing fitness and injury problems.

Players brought in did not improve the quality of the squad like we were promised in fact I question Martinez judgement of a player when I see some of the dross he has brought in.

But besides the complacency and stupid "phenominal" statements he does not inspire anyone and that for a Prem Mgr is a massive weakness.

For me there is only one solution to rescue the season and that is to book a taxi now.

Philip Yensen
5 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:00:51
We are scared of Route One football. We have our midfielders coming back to get the ball off a defender, turn full circle, and give it back to him. The defender duly knocks it back to our keeper to welly it up the pitch.

Lukaku and Naismith made good runs last night, only were not getting the early pass. Barkley doesnÂ’t know what heÂ’s going to do with the ball until itÂ’s at his feet, also his work rate for a 20-year-old is pathetic.

Mirallas has had his head turned by Spurs and is not a team player. Barry has run his time now and itÂ’s time for him to pack his boots away, sadly the referees would book him in the changing rooms if they could.

Baines and Coleman seem reluctant to push forward with confidence. I have said all season we are using 15 passes where 5 will do.

Another point: when a player had the ball at his feet, some players are standing still not looking to create space. Ultimately Martinez is the conductor who has lost his baton and hearing. Time for him to leave.

Mark Jensen
6 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:29:10
Have a look at the league table.
We are not daft, well most of us arenÂ’t!
Tony Hill
7 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:30:47
Sean, Pienaar and Osman are both finished.

ItÂ’s not now about permutations and systems, we need a new manager. The key point from the mess of last night is that the speed and energy of the previous couple of games evaporated and the team was incoherent. He cannot motivate the side or not enough of it, and that can only have one ending over the next 16 games.

Dave Lynch
8 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:45:13
"We have never played worse football or looked less likely in attack".

You wanna stick with him! Fucking unbelievable...

Clive Rogers
9 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:47:05
Sean,

You canÂ’t be watching the same Naismith that I am. His form recently has been dreadful, his control poor, his passing all over the place and his workrate has dropped to a meaningless plod and he never gets a tackle in. The stats tell the same story. He has scored 2 league goals since august, thatÂ’s 2 goals in five months. He hasnÂ’t had a single assist all season in all cup and league games. He has not had a shot o goal for weeks. Although he started the season well, he is now one of the worst players I have ever seen in a blue shirt. Next game make a point of specifically watching him and you will come to the same conclusion.

Ian Burns
10 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:56:04
Sean many good points raised in truth but IÂ’m afraid your conclusions do not bare out the facts eloquently pointed out by Jay Harris.

You are fast becoming a minority in supporting RM and it may soon be a case of everybody being out of step but our Roberto!

Â’Sin miedoÂ’ has turned into Â’con mucho miedoÂ’...

Xavier Spencer
11 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:06:28
You make a compelling case for sacking Martinez and then your final line contradicts the whole article. I was with you most of the way until then.
Brian Waring
12 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:16:04
"Most of the fans and - it seems the players also - probably donÂ’t agree with you."

Take it thatÂ’s just your opinion John?

Phil Walling
13 Posted 20/01/2015 at 15:56:38
Sean, you expend about 500 words in criticism of Martinez and then conclude with a vote of support. Strange, indeed.

Surely, itÂ’s hardly surprising that there is little unanimity amongst supporters - there are a lot of us, each one seeing games differently and drawing diverse conclusions !

But what is clear to all is the league table and how this season has been stinking rotten even before it started. Has it not occurred to you that for so many talented players to seemingly forget how to play the game that makes them rich there must have come about a loss of respect for their Â’guvnorÂ’ ?

What did or didnÂ’t happen last summer set the pattern for a gloomy autumn and winter and once they began to see through the sound bites and claptrap of their leader both he and they were doomed.

None of us can possibly know whether replacing the Catalan at this stage will save the day (and the season) but what I am now more sure of than ever is that he was entirely the wrong appointment in the first place.

Bill Kenwright has probably made but one sound decision in all his years in office. And for sure, it wasnÂ’t the appointment of Roberto Martinez.

John Keating
14 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:18:50
Brian, that is my opinion. ItÂ’s also based on my family who go every week, itÂ’s also based on listening to God knows how many people around me last night and other games this season.

But if you think that most of the fans are happy with the dross being served up this season and Martinez in genera,l then thatÂ’s fine obviously IÂ’m wrong and in the minority.

Regarding the players, well that has been well documented already, but then again if you think that Lukaku is lying then that is also fine. Maybe I am just in the wrong place and the other 30 odd thousand supporters love Martinez and the football we are being served up. What do you think?

Jeff Hughes
15 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:16:33
Have to agree with a number of your arguments but they donÂ’t add up to Martinez staying nor do they justify your slagging off of frustrated fans. Martinez has to carry responsibility for the under-performance of so many players; for stubbornly picking unbalanced sides; and for trying to talk bollocks to fans, which if replicated in his dealing with our players would account for the confused and woefully inadequate performances this year.

Should he be sacked? I think Bill and the Board would have more inside knowledge on how far he has lost the players. If he has, he should be shown the door now; if not he has no more than 2 games to get it right. The fans have every right to air their views in defence of their club. We may not always be right but this season their growing anger is not only justified but necessary to help sort out this mess

Jay Wood
16 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:26:56
ThereÂ’s some weird things get posted on TW, Sean ... congratulations! I think youÂ’ve made TWÂ’s all-time Top 10!

As others have noted, you make a compelling presentation of all that is wrong at the club, attributing most of those failures to Martinez, concluding that Â’we need a miracleÂ’ (to what? win another game? avoid relegation?) and then ... BOOM!

"one thing I know for certain is that salvation will not come in the form of ’back to basics’ hoofball – and for that reason alone, I’ll stick with Martinez over the fans any day."

You want to stick with the very author of the failings you painstakingly listed..?

Weird, very weird ...

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:37:35
Phil Walling (13) Phil what was the one sound decision Bill Kenwright made in his years at Everton?.
Trevor Peers
18 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:23:44
Interesting Article, Sean.

I think were all entitled to our opinions as regards team selection and tactics but surely any manager is judged on Results? None of us our professional football managers or coaches and therefore when we look at Martinez dismal record this season and it looks only to be getting worse game by game any sane person would agree there is a tipping point were the chairman must act to protect the clubs position in the premier league.

That tipping point has been reached because its now possible Martinez might not win 1 more single game as manager and that’s a very real prospect.

On that basis the chairman should get rid and install a caretaker manager until the summer Joe Royle plus Alan Irvine seems to be the popular choice. Given the chairman s past form in these matters nothing will happen and we will again face a last game win or bust scenario or worse!

Simon Dutton
19 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:43:37
Sean,
Great article, It seems that you and I are in a minority, at least on this site.

People are entitled to their opinions but at the end of the day the only people who know what is going on inside the club are the players and staff, everyone else is just going off hearsay.

Martinez has lost the dressing room and yet the players have come out and said they are fully behind the manager, who wouldn't be after the success of last season.

I accept that the team has looked unbalanced this season but Pienaar has been out for most of the season so our left side has looked poor, and for some reason Mirallas doesn't want to play on the right after having such a good understanding Coleman last season.

Everytime things go wrong the 1st to get blamed is the manager and yet it would appear that the "professional" footballers can't do what is being asked of them and what they are paid to do, ie run into space, come short for a pass, trap a ball, win a header, beat the 1st man at a corner, the list goes on but its all Martinez fault.

He showed that his way worked last season, and please don't give me "It was David Moyes influence still on the team" nonsense that people like to spout, the players for whatever reason this season have not continued the high standards of last season and should take more of the responsibility for the failures this season.

As someone posted above you don't become a bad player overnight I also suspect the same can be said for managers.

Iain Love
20 Posted 20/01/2015 at 16:13:14
I must admit I was a bit lost trying to find your actual point.
Brian Hill
21 Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:00:01
"I remember McGeady being brilliant in his cameo appearences (sic) last season". Please name one of those brilliant performances.
Simon Dutton
22 Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:19:17
Also its alright saying drop Barkley, Lukaku, Barry, Naismith but who do you play in their place at this moment in time that is fit and not playing out of position, because that seems to be a big bug bear with people, because if you say play Oviedo on the left, he was brought in as cover for Baines.
Tony J Williams
23 Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:23:42
Exactly Brian
Craig Walker
24 Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:16:48
Michael Laudrup was a good manager for Swansea. They played good stuff, were hard to beat and won a trophy which got them into the Europa league. Their form nosedived and Laudrup lost his job. The situation looks very similar for us.

It's never dull being an Evertonian is it? Just as we think we are getting somewhere and it's back to square one.

Denis Richardson
25 Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:14:22
Sorry Sean but can't agree with some of your points.

i) Whether Lukaku is a good or bad buy only time will tell. However, one thing is certain, he has rarely been given decent service. The guy prefers to run onto through balls or attack crosses with pace. His stregnth is not playing with his back to goal, so who's to blame? He's also scored 9 goals so far this season so whilst not setting the world alight it's not exactly a crap return either. Really think it's unfair to say he's been poor - give him decent service and he'll score. The tactics and slow build up play simply don't make the best use of his skills, again who's to blame for that?

ii) Pienaar and Osman. Both of these players were important last year and had decent seasons. However, Pienaar has been injured for most of this season and when he's player has been very poor. Whether that's due to not being 100% fit or his legs have gone, none of us know. Ossie has also not had the same effect as last season and again not sure if it's due to age or fitness. One thing is blindingly obvious though, both these players are proper midfieders who are comfortable on the ball and we don't have the required replacements to fill the holes they've left this season in midfield. Naismith and Eto are not midfielers!

iii) Naismith has a long way to go to be player of the season. Right now I wouldn't give that award to any one of them as none of them has stood out consistently. Whilst Naismith played great before his new contract, since then he's stunk the place out. Another shite game yesterday and he should have been subbed (half the game he was wide the other half central - both times shite). He gives it 100% but he's a pretty average footballer.

iv) Barkley. The guy obviously has the skill, pace and power to be a great player. However, football is alot about confidence and his play has not been helped by constantly being played in different positions as well as constantly being (over)hyped up by the manager and media. He's confidence is shot at the moment (has been for a whiler) to the extent that he no longer wants to run at the oppo and just looks for the simply pass. He played well central and deep against QPR and then gets immediately put out wide the next game. The kid needs a few games on the bench out of the limelight with cameo roles of 20-30 mins here and there until he's got his play back. Then play him central and keep him there. Bad management if you ask me.

We don't need a miracle with this set of players. We just need to play better faster football. Look at the squads of the likes of Burnley, Leicester, West Brom and Hull - these are truly average at best and on paper we should be miles above these teams.

We need a decent manager to pull these players out of their current slump. Sadly I just cannot see RM being that manager at this moment as he seems as if he has no idea what to do.

Paul Smith
26 Posted 20/01/2015 at 17:39:38
So all us idiot fans who last night witnessed our best player by a long way sacrificed instead of bringing off one of his favorites Barry or Barkley. The idiot fans who can see the writing on the wall of relegation and if we all say nothing we go down with a whimper. I for one am not going to sit and let this fella ruin our club because he is so set in his ways that he won't advocate change. If the fans don't show their disapproval who is there at this club to show leadership and change something that is evidently not working.
His philosophy is of Barcelona but you watch them and see how they hunt in packs high up the pitch trying to win the ball back and you tell me when have we ever done that. As I've said before this fella reminds me of Mike Walker in that he's just too nice and hasn't got that bit of a nasty streak in him to manage a football team. So Sean I'm sorry this is just another one of those idiot fans who want change as I fear if we don't we will plummet like other great clubs like Leeds.
Phil Walling
27 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:00:15
Dave Abrahams: As if you didn't know, I was referring to his appointment of David Moyes. In comparison with most decisions he has made that was a stroke of genius !

Had 'well served his time' before his move to MUFC but did a more than decent job for us, all things considered.

Wouldn't you agree ?

Steve Carse
28 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:02:27
Sean, did someone steal your laptop and change your last paragraph before you pushed the button to send it in?
Jon Withey
29 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:07:12
For me, a lot of the anger is just that realisation that Moyes/the media was partly right and that he was doing a decent job to be appreciated for - not the only limiting factor on the club.

We don't have the money to afford a luxury manager who can buy all the players he needs for his system. We are a club who needs a manager who can get the best out of what he's got. Preferably with some long-term vision involving our youth system.

I just don't think Martinez gets Everton as a club it's just a project for his philosophy.

I couldn't name you a replacement right now mind.

McClaren ?

Colin Glassar
30 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:16:53
Maybe building sand castles, and paddling on the beach in Dubai will restore some pride and spirit into this bunch of wimps.
Simon Dutton
31 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:22:16
Denis,

I agree with everything you say except for needing a manger to pull the players out of the slump, the players are paid well enough to do it themselves and should have enough pride and ability?? to do it themselves as they are the ones out on the pitch!

Joe Clitherow
32 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:30:49
Is that the coaching staff Colin? Not much of an incentive to stay in the FA Cup is it, heading for a holiday in Dubai if you lose? Let's hope for some reports of some good old fashioned clear the air, team building, fist fights while they're there, that would show a bit of spirit. Ideally if someone-preferably Dunc- can see clear to knocking out Graeme Jones at least a couple of times that would cheer me up no end
Colin Glassar
33 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:48:51
Joe, Bainsey said they will be training in the morning (cooler temp) and going over tactics in the afternoon. Evenings are reserved for bingo, karaoke, salsa lessons and camel rides. I just hope our paler players e.g. Nessie don't get sunstroke.
Nigel Gregson
34 Posted 20/01/2015 at 19:03:47
I hope they leave Mirallas somewhere in middle of the desert all by himself and a football.
Darren Hind
35 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:58:31
Read it twice Sean and I still cant work out whether you were presenting the case for the Defence or the prosecution.
Andy Cobham
36 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:55:24
Just a couple of thoughts... If the Red Shite, Chelsea, City, United, Arsenal or Spurs had won once in 13 games, been twatted 6-3 at home, been twatted 4-0 by their nearest and dearest rivals, were bottom of the form league, and frankly looked clueless and unable to perform with any conviction. Would their manager be sacked?... We all know the answer.
Add to that if those teams played players out of position, didn't play to players strengths, and managed (key word there!) to create an approach with no balance as a result- again would that clubs manager keep his job?
Why should we put up with something that our rivals in the Premier League wouldn't?
Bye bye Bobby.
Steve Woods
37 Posted 20/01/2015 at 18:10:37
The alleged Martinez style of playing "sin miedo" (without fear) has, for the past ten months has been more like playing "como mierda!" (like shit)!
Clive Mitchell
38 Posted 20/01/2015 at 19:36:24
Colin, 33 - bet Mirallas nicks Bainsey's camel.
Wayne Smyth
39 Posted 20/01/2015 at 19:26:32
When your 20 year old rookie centre back is the first one with the balls and drive to get to the byline to put in a cross because for 70 odd minutes your wingers and full backs have failed, then there is something seriously amiss.

Our game for the last 10 years has rarely been through the middle and much more about wing play, usually involving the full backs. Width is especially important against a side like West Brom who came with the intent of parking the bus.

It's clear the players have no confidence. The atmosphere probably doesn't help. I don't understand why people give Barkley so much shit. It's clearly not working for him, but he's trying. He doesn't pick the team or decide where he's playing and the stick he gets is counter-productive.

We're probably liable to get more points away from home because of the pressure and because teams are likely to come out more and leave space.

On Martinez's transfer record, I would have said the case against him on that front has actually weakened recently. We can see that Robles is actually ok and Howard will hopefully struggle to get back in the side if his form continues. Kone has looked half decent, certainly better than we thought, and Besic looks a complete steal. McGeady and Barry for a combined ١M isn't bad, and McCarthy has proved a good business too.

Martinez's problem transfer wise is that he has not bought wingers. Hence why we can't break down sides like West Brom. Naismith was reverting to type last night reminding everyone but Martinez that when you play players out of position, you get shit performances.

On the plus side, Barry did his job quite well. Besic was immense, Robles did what little was asked of him superbly, including the point blank save from the offside strike and we generally looked more solid at the back apart from one lapse.

I don't think we're far off turning the corner. The width of a post was the difference last night. You need that kind of luck when you're playing a determined side like West Brom who have no other goal than to prevent you from scoring.

If we do manage to scrape a win from somewhere, I think we'll see a completely different Everton. Football is about confidence. Martinez's passing game more so than route 1 football. I just hope that win comes soon.

Sid Logan
40 Posted 20/01/2015 at 19:20:46
Sean, as someone said earlier on TW and after last night I'm weary of being an Evertonian at this moment in time butI can't let your piece stand without adding to many of the sound replies you've had.

No one advocating 'back to basics hoofball' whatever that is. What I think most of us want is a mixture of possession football provided it's played with the crispness and pace that make it work. We also want to see that mixed with long balls (accurately played) when we're failing to break down teams. Long balls are not hoofball. There are short passes and there are long passes both are effective in their own way.

I remain, yours sincerely, an idiot fan.

Andy Crooks
41 Posted 20/01/2015 at 20:09:58
Darren, the case for the defence has been laughed out of court. This fraud will relegate us.
Rob Hill
42 Posted 20/01/2015 at 20:01:28
Sean, I agree with much of what you say but you have to appreciate that emotion will drive much of what is written here. Those who lauded RM last year spew bile in his direction this year. Those that clamoured for Rom & Barry to be signed have written them off. Those that called Naismith a disgrace, now think he sets examples. Etc etc. one thing you certainly can't do is praise Osman. Blasphemy on TW. In my opinion you rightly point out how much he is missed, how intelligent his play is, how he can open up games and defences.

Personally I thought we would have a season like this last year, improve this year. I do this the team are lacking any sort of confidence but I think we will improve. I don't think we will get relegated.
I have enjoyed going to Goodison less and less over the last few years as our so called educated fans seem to just want to go to get angry and hurl insults down the stands. Social media has just made the angry voices louder. But they pay their money and so thats ok. And the players earn loads so should accept it. But don't you dare leave the club as you don't leave Everton.

So keep expressing your opinion Sean as you have every right to do so, and express it far more eloquently than many on here. I'd just not bother putting it on here as you're told you're wrong..... This probably won't get posted anyway as I'm daring to criticise the TW mob. Martinez out. Then the next fella. And where's the Tal money Bill your thief?

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 20/01/2015 at 21:03:00
Phil Wallings,I wanted Moyes to come to Everton from Preston but quickly cottoned on to the negativity in the man, didn’t like him or his style,too many matches to give examples of,although it was a match at Wembley, that we won that really sickened me.

When we beat Man. Unt. In the semi final, the first serious shot we had on goal was Cahill’s penalty in the shoot out, this against a depleted Man. Unt. team.

Jay Harris
44 Posted 20/01/2015 at 21:12:58
Wayne
you conveniently forgot to mention McGeady Atsu and Eto with all three being tried as wingers and failing.

The Jury is still out on Robles and Kone who at 32 years of age and having been out of the prem for nigh on 2 years cannot be considered a decent buy.

IMO Martinez does not do the research that Moyes did before bringing a player in.

Steve Davies
45 Posted 20/01/2015 at 20:35:47
Sean

Interesting article with a contradiction at the end. However, I am with Jay Harris all the way, football is a simple game. If you don't have a reliable, well-organised defense, you lose games.

Ultimately if you were managing a company and the results were poor, you sack the manager. If you are a project manager, you are expected to be given resources (㿈 for a striker?) and you manage the project. If it is looking like the project is failing you expect to be replaced or you change certain stages of the project and avoid it. You can give a 101 reasons why it is failing and blame everyone else but ultimately you carry the can. Results get you the sack and as much as you spoof it for a while it is results that you are judged on and that is what matters.

RM is going through the 101 reasons phase. But the results (1 win in 13) says he should go. We are not Wigan, it is not acceptable. They were happy with an FA cup and accepted going down. They have not got the record for being in the top flight the longest.

Maybe this wasn't the best analogy but the bottom line is do we stick with a manager with poor results hoping they get better, or do we cut our losses and replace him. I for one would replace him. I am one for loyalty and giving people a chance but NOT blind loyalty.

This is based on watching the Blues perform under Mike Walker and Walter Smith. Sometimes you have to pull the trigger for the sake of the club.

Experience tells you that football is a simple game. It is not jumpers for goalposts a la Fast Show anymore. It is big business. I love the old values, but in the modern game you need to get nasty to some extent to win. One lad next to me who is 21, and followed his beloved team to Russia and back, upon the penalty incident said what the f--k was Jags doing? He is the team captain, he should been the leader on the pitch. He should have spoken to Mirallas. Why doesn't he get in the face of referees when they give a decision against us to intimidate the f--k out of them like Gerrard or Terry, so we get the next decision. I agree that he is not vocal enough and saw him nearly have a nervous breakdown against Chelsea. Ferguson as a manager did this at Utd. He was nasty. Roberto isn't.

By the way if Mirallas had scored, people would say he had the balls to take it and would have been singing his name. What it did demonstrate is the lack of discipline in the Team, within management, and lack of leadership on the pitch.

We all have opinions and anybody who is prepared to put an opinion on this site clearly shows that they love this club and MUST be respected. My 15 year old lad can't even discuss EFC at the moment. He was virtually in a state of shock coming back from the match yesterday.

I don't see Roberto pulling it round. He is a spent force as far as I am concerned, like Walker or Smith. I feel he is out of his depth and as the ultimate barometer is your league results and this is the position he must be judged on this. I would settle like one of the posts, for Big Joe and Irvine until the end of the season then get another manager in.

The comments RM makes helps my judgement on this one. He talks nonsense.

"Clean sheets are not a priority!", since when?

"My long term priority is getting into the Champions League" (this week) - just get us 3 points for starters.

"Kevin had a hamstring injury, and was replaced for this" - not for taking the ball from Baines?

He just continually insults our intelligence. If my project manager was struggling, I would listen to him and be understanding, when he gave me a load lame excuses and talked a load of boll---ks, I would replace him.

This time has come......

COYB

Frank Wade
46 Posted 20/01/2015 at 21:46:36
Sean, like most posters, I agree with your main arguments. However, you seem to be saying that the alternative to our current tactics is hoofball and that is why you back Martinez. There are other alternatives to Martinez and hoofball. Even West Ham can outplay us now and not by playing Big Sam Hoofball.
Steve Davies
47 Posted 20/01/2015 at 21:59:21
There is a reason why fans have switched to sites like this and why I used to buy 'When Skies are Gray' on a regular basis.

Dave Prentice has written an article in the Echo tonight supporting the substitution of Besic and he suggests that this was part of the Martinez master plan and even suggests that rest us left puzzled didn't see the bigger picture?

That is his opinion and must be respected.

However, I do get a bit sick of the ex-players and reporters who earn a living from being close to the club and wanting stories from them being continually toadie and not saying it as it is. Have some honesty guys.

They are almost frightened to upset the existing management. They do have vested interests.

Fans are passionate and are the lifeblood of the club. We are the guys who turn up to watch EFC week in, week out. 7,000 going to Switzerland. I ask you?

I miss picking up 'When Skies are Gray' on my way to the Gwladys. I would buy it over the programme anytime. Honest opinions from honest fans who told it like it was.....

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 20/01/2015 at 22:14:41
What did Prenno say exactly Steve?
Derek Thomas
49 Posted 20/01/2015 at 22:06:16
With Moyes, all that was ever needed (IMO and everything on TW is mostly that ) was for him to 'wind it forward a little' in an attacking sense.

With Martinez all that is needed is for him to 'wind it back a bit' in a defensive sense.

But He is too inflexible to see/do it...we've come full circle, or rather gone from one extreme of the footballing spectrum to the other.

One of the reasons we looked a little bit better Vs W. Ham and City is there was no 'draw' option. The Cup games were K.O. / sudden death, so both teams, up to a point, had to attack and no way did City come for the draw, that was what they got yes but they came to win and the 3 more open games allowed us a little scope for improvement.

But it's too late now for Roberto to be flexible. Due to the law of 'Unintended consequences' his obsession with passing has ruined everything else that was working.

He has if you like, thrown the Moyes baby out with the bathwater.

He must go NOW.

There was bad behavior, there should be consequences, not a touchy feelie all get together for a group hug fest in the jacuzzi in Qatar. They should be out in the cold and the snow and sleet, having their arses worked off them.

Roberto; you took it apart to rebuild and Improve it. It doesn't work.

AND YOU DON'T HAVE A 'FUKIN CLUE

Steve Davies
50 Posted 20/01/2015 at 22:44:48
Colin 48. Article is Everton 0.0 West Brom don't mention the R-word.

To me it suggests that to keep Barry on was a better bet.

He must have been watching a different game to me. Anyway, what do I know, I just did a 190 mile round trip to Goodison with my son. Have your own opinion after reading it.

My point is that fans will always be honest and say it how it is. Ex-players and reporters need access to the club and are loathe to make comments that might offend. I suppose you don't bite the hand that feeds you....

Jimmy Kelly
51 Posted 20/01/2015 at 23:41:33
Sorry, but that's possibly the worst article I've ever seen on this site.

You list all Martinez's failings but conclude he knows better than the fans because they want hoofball. Without ever offering any evidence that this is what fans are looking for. From what I've seen, no fans want hoofball, they just don't want endless passing either. They just want a decent mix, like the majority of decent teams play. Maybe with some shape and discipline thrown in.

You also state some absurd opinions as facts. Naismith player of the year? Seriously? I love the lad, he works his socks off and is a great pro, but he is very limited. No assists and one goal in what, 15 games? For a second striker that's spalling. You then criticise Mirallas who has more goals and assists!

There's a lot of people who need to take the blame for our current situation, the fans are prettying the only innocents.

Dick Fearon
52 Posted 20/01/2015 at 23:24:43
I am not a newcomer in my dislike of the ponderous so called 'joined up' Martinez brand. Even before last years Anfield slaughter I had my doubts. It is a bit late in the day for the rest of you to see he is a one trick pony.

Brendan Rodgers was probably the first manager to see the fault in Martinez model and comprehensively destroyed it. He packed his defence and used two strikers. That sounds too simplistic to be true yet its success was so blindingly obvious other managers quickly followed suit.As our fortunes began its long slide I became infuriated that Martinez could not or would not accept that his modus operandi required urgent adjustment.

He seems deliberately blind to the fact that his style is not working and will inevitably take us down. To paraphrase an old saying, to lead one club into relegation might be considered unfortunate but to lead two is unforgiveable.

Daniel A Johnson
53 Posted 21/01/2015 at 07:45:06
Alex Ferguson once said;

"The league table doesn't lie"

In that case Martinez should be sacked tmrw. The current league table is a damning indictment of Martinez.

All this talk of sticking together and the future potential of Martinez. Well right now were only going one way.

TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Daniel A Johnson
54 Posted 21/01/2015 at 07:53:23
the majority of the ex Everton pros are ambassadors or on the pay roll in some form or another.

As a result they don't bite the hand that feeds and don't want to burn bridges with the club that made them.

The only pros willing to speak out are Southall, Gray and Peter Reid.

The rest just tow the line.

Chris Butler
55 Posted 21/01/2015 at 15:49:36
He's going to get sacked eventually, as it is simply unacceptable that in January we were on the same amount of points as Villa.

I gave up with Martinez after Man City away, never have I seen an Everton team less interested in scoring. We just made in easy for their defenders, we didn't make any crosses or really trouble their defenders. We could've quite easily got something in that game under Moyes, however Martinez prefers to lose playing passing football then get points playing ugly football. Moyes wasn't perfect, you never expected us to win at Anfield or win a trophy, but at least the players gave 100% the majority of the time.

In 2012-13 we had a excellent season despite the fact we had Anichebe playing up front for the 2nd half of the season. We beat Man City, Spurs, Man Utd at home, drew at Man City, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool. This season, we haven't beaten any of the big teams home or away. You can't blame anyone but Martinez for our current form.

Colin Malone
56 Posted 22/01/2015 at 13:23:14
Sean, I feel for Barkley. Instead of the manager changing tactics, it's left to Ross to find that pass through 11 men in the box, that not even Messi could do. I would honestly go and get Crouch and give the teams who park the bus something to think about.

Let's get behind Ross, he's our best number 10, he's class. But I suppose Martinez will play him out wide against teams like Chelsea???? no wonder the youngster's confidence is shot.

Chad Schofield
57 Posted 23/01/2015 at 01:51:32
Sean, while I certainly don't think people need to buy into every point presented by one side or another, this does read like the confessions of a sado masochist.

Being an Evertonian might be a prerequisite to be a bit part in 50 Shades of Grey, but there's not much I agree with the blood-baying masses at the moment. While failings are undeniable, the hyperbole wrapping the points are so over the top that even the hammiest Dan Brown/Michael Bay-esque scriptwriters, directors, producers, actors and fluff girls would object to the unrealistic nature of what's being said.

Carl Sanderson
58 Posted 23/01/2015 at 09:17:12
I've only just seen this article - hats off to the writer. Excellent dissection of our current woes.

Only one thing, though: I wouldn't keep "Roberto" for another minute. Everton are unravelling before our eyes and only one man is responsible.

He should never have been appointed and if Kenwright has any cojones he will sack the useless tosser before we are humiliated in the derby and at Stamford Bridge.

Brian Hennessy
59 Posted 23/01/2015 at 09:33:46
Some really excellent points raised in this article and excellent review on our players performances.

But it surprised me that haven basically said through the whole article that Martinez is at fault for his style of play, team selection and failure to drop certain players, the author then says we should keep him.

I'm puzzelled, but really enjoyed the read.

Les Mallinson
60 Posted 23/01/2015 at 09:45:59
I agree with most of what you've said Sean, Except the big one, Roberto! I think he's a great guy, the sort of person you couldn't help but like, except – as we all know – there's something drastically wrong at Everton.

When he arrived he lifted the cloud that had been hanging over us for 3/4 years, as in Moyes, and brought a breath of fresh air that lifted the the team & supporters into Europe once more.

But this season, some of his decisions have given me the impression he's not going to keep us up long term; with the likes of Man Utd Liverpool, Southampton, even though with the squad we have, there's no reason we shouldn't be top 4.

Over Xmas, the teams he put out had me baffled, even young Garbutt announced that the team were unsure of the tactics. Why he's persisting with Barkley when the lad has no confidence and daren't make a tackle in case he breaks his leg again is one of my biggest concerns, the lad needs benching for the foreseeable future and bringing back slowly when / if the team start to pick up.

Why he hasn't got Seamus & Bainesy overlapping to unlock defences (eg, Monday night) – instead, they play the ball backwards, again lacking confidence to play the intelligent ball.

Having just looked at the remaining fixtures, I think we can just scrape 18 points, But we must win the the bottom three fixtures, with Roberto playing a slightly more defence minded midfield of Oviedo, Barry, McCarthy, & Besic in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formation which would allow both full backs to bomb down the wings again instead of tippy, tappy backward balls.

McGeady & Kone aren't good enough, Mirallas can go to the highest bidder in the summer... and don't let Roberto spend anymore money. (Bill obviously agrees with me!)

So, to sum up, you seem a great guy, Roberto, luv the passing football, but team selection / tactics & results are a thumbs down from me. I would love you to prove me wrong & win the next two games; if so, we will all forgive you, come next Saturday night & you will still have a job come the end of May.

ps: Just an afterthought, Roberto's personality reminds me of Walker and look where he nearly took us!

Buena suerte.

Andrew Clare
61 Posted 23/01/2015 at 12:25:25
Andy #36,

I agree entirely. It just shows where we are. A once great club sailing into obscurity. Any major organisation with a manager running things this badly would have removed said person by now. We will lose against Crystal Palace and our neighbours without doubt and this manager will still be here.

For years, we have been a mediocre mid-table team and this has been shown by the complete lack of interest in us by the media. To them, it's no big deal that we are where we are – it doesn't even warrant a mention.

Until we get rid of Kenwright and Co we will be well and truly fucked!

Mike Childs
64 Posted 23/01/2015 at 21:02:30
New year new attitude and if anybody needs a new attitude it's Roberto. Until he grows a pair and drops his favorites (Barry, Mcgeady & Howard) for Oveido, Besic and Robles we are doomed. Also despite his never say die attitude and all out commitment to the team Naisy must be benched so Barkley can start in the middle where he is a game changer.

Actually Martinez must be fired and Distin, Pienaar, and Barry (once JM is healthy) should never see the pitch again.

Bobby Thomas
65 Posted 23/01/2015 at 21:02:08
Les #60

No reason we shouldnt be in the top 4?

Unfortunately we have to realise that in’t the case. In fact for many of this squad last season was the last hurrah.

Its gotten old, its thin in vital positions, is non exitsant in others such as attacking midfield, and isn’t equipped for what we supposedly aspire to.

The managers transfer dealings and contract awards have exacerbated this. The players who are possibly at the right age who have been given deals are bang average, Naismiths 3 year ext taking him to 32 ffs, or McGeady who was given a 4 year deal.

When faced with the level of squad rebuilding we require in the coming years, if we have done our money on Lukaku that is irresponsible management

For years our recruitment was key. We got a lot more right than wrong and we had a solid core & plenty of sell on. The club was ran on this, Moyes ability to buy low sell high & no net spend. This is being eroded.

I always wondered how the next manager could better signing an international back 4, Coleman/Jags/Lescott/Baines (i know they didnt play together) for 㾻 million.

The recruitment, retention & squad age is vital and this fella is getting it wrong. Im very worried about the future. He’s done around 㿞 million on 3 players, and the cheap one was was completely the wrong age, so dead money. The rest are mediocre freebies that mainly arent good enough.

Theres a great article by Gary Neville in todays Telegraph which highlights recruitment:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/11366206/Gary-Neville-The-era-of-the-gaffer-is-over.html

Tony Hill
66 Posted 23/01/2015 at 21:49:44
I think that is true Bobby particularly about Lukaku. Most of us thought we'd overpaid and it's no good saying that the sum is on instalments, it's still money gone for us.

Reading the Statement of Accounts 2014 preamble today, I noticed Bill gushing about the Lukaku buy being a big sign of intent and how this was a big moment. In fairness, I wanted Rom but it increasingly looks like dodgy business on this season's evidence. In fairness as well, we should say that Besic looks a very strong buy but I agree with you that one of Moyes' biggest strengths, perhaps the biggest, was his shrewd recruitment ( though of course he had misfires).

Rob Halligan
67 Posted 23/01/2015 at 22:22:47
A lot of Mystic Megs on this thread. Can anybody give me tomorrows winning lottery numbers because it seems we have lost the next three games already before they are even played! Lot of people seem to have this power of seeing into the future, so tomorrows winning lottery numbers would be gratefully appreciated!!
James Martin
68 Posted 24/01/2015 at 20:06:50
To win football matches consistently you need real quality footballers. You can amass all the athletes you want in a team but they'll never consistently win.

The best football I've seen from Everton in my lifetime (first game I remember was 98 last day of the season - painful) was under Moyes when he would occasionally line up as a midfield Pienaar Osman Arteta and Donovan. Not a holding midfielder in site, barely an ounce of pace or strength, zero aerial ability, yet all with true footballing ability. The ability to take the ball on the half turn and play incisive passes, to make the run for the one two, to control the possession and also the space, to play the ball ahead of players, to delay the pass for that crucial half second to set someone free, to weight a pass perfectly so that it tees up a goal scoring opportunity, to know your own limitations and how you can and can't hurt the opposition.

The more of these types of players you can get in a team the better. Osman and Pienaar created a lot of stuff for us last season, even if its just the ball out to Mirallas at the right time who then crosses for Lukaku who is now free in the box. That ball is not coming this season.

The Barcelona team of 09-12 were the example of what happens when you put out 11 true footballers. There were no utility players in that side. Each single player could take the ball under pressure, release it at the right time, and play killer forward passes to attacking players in space who could all do exactly the same. They could hit you from anywhere, even a full back could play a penetrative pass from deep, there was barely any way to defend against it.

This current Everton side is the opposite as in a regular starting line up only one player is a true footballer - Stones. Gibson, Osman and Pienaar would improve the outlook but they are injury prone/ageing. Barry, Besic. McCarthy, Jagielka, Coleman, Mirallas, Lukaku, Naismith, Barkley - all have their different strengths but I don't think any of them are natural footballers. They can be great offensive weapons like Barkley Mirallas and Lukaku but they can't make the play themselves, they have to be the beneficiaries of someone else pulling the strings.

This is ultimately why we have ground to a halt, all that possession is meaningless because there is no one to pull the strings that will open a defense up. Villa away last year was the perfect case in point. Barkley in the number 10 role bludgeoned away for 70 mins at the Villa defense with no luck whatsoever, we barely created a chance. Osman came on for 20 mins, a clever shift of feet there, an angled pass here,a feint and give and go there and suddenly he'd set one up for Lukaku and socred one for a great away win.

The problem is Osman and Pienaar have had their best days. I still think they are vital to the squad but only becase even if it's only for 20 mins now instead of 90 they can do things that no one else in the squad can. All the other players are purely thinking in straight lines, up or down or side to side. When Arteta Pienaar and Osman were all in their pomp it was just about crafting the ball around, getting the best out of other players, and penetrating the opposition with rhythmic attacking passing. If Lukaku had played in the 07/08 team he'd probably have bagged about 30 such were the chances they laid on.

Moyes brought the afore mentioned players for 5 million combined. Martinez now needs to find two creative hubs to replace them and bring the control back to our game. I genuinely think we can get back to the heights of last season because the defense with Stones in it is sorting itself out, and Robles appears to be a decent keeper. We're blessed with holding mids in Besic and McCarthy and have good attacking options. We just need one or two true footballers to knit it all together again, the way Silva does for City, Fabregas does for Chelsea, Scholes used to do for United, Cazorla for Arsenal, Eriksen for Spurs. These are the players that make all the other players look good and get the best out of them. You'll notice as well as good as these sides are they find it very difficult to win consistently when these players are missing.

To sum up, if Pienaar Osman and Gibson had been fit all season we wouldn't be in this mess. Injuries have cruelly hit to deny Martinez of the only creativity in the squad. His mistake however, is not alteirng the football to a counterattacking style to negate this lack of craft. We've seen how well in Europe just punting it quickly to Lukaku and Mirallas can work. Martinez has tried to play unlock the door but with players who possess 0 craft. To put it into perspective, the least creative player in the great Barcelona side Busquets, the holding midfield enforcer, would be our most creative player. That's how good that team was, that is why attempting to emulate them with 11 non-natural footballers is pointless and increasingly suicidal.

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 24/01/2015 at 21:43:44
A lot of sense in your letter, James, and we could do with a good ball playing, dribbling midfield player. However, the biggest drawback now is the lack of confidence with each growing game without a win.

I can tell you a lot of the players now hate and dread playing at Goodison Park because they can feel the anxiety of the fans and it is being passed down to them before a ball has been kicked, they are literally terrified of making a mistake. This is very obvious when you watch certain players, and it is easy to say they should be able to cope but I think we should all be aware of how the players, or some of them, are now reacting to playing at home.

Peter Gorman
70 Posted 25/01/2015 at 21:12:56
Overall this was a trash article but I suppose there are some crumbs of truth in it.

The alternative was never between Martinez and 'hoofball'; there is another far better way which we saw last season and, dare I say, the season before that under Moyes. Call it 'football with purpose' if you will; a passing game aimed at moving the ball into the opponent's box as opposed to the dross we saw against West Brom where their penalty area seemed protected by some kind of force field such was the nonsense we saw to-ing and fro-ing.

One of your points is that our 'extravagent' players are the cause of this? No, they are the only possible way out. Except McGeady of course who most seem to realise is an atrocious footballer, except you for some reason.

You'll stick with Martinez, however. Good for you. I would rather we didn't because, even if we escape relegation this season, it would be a joke to think he will move us forward the next.


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