I've attended nearly all of Everton's home games this season, and a few away. The season started with a number of our key players being away for the World Cup, and many thought this was the reason for the appalling lack of fitness displayed by the team in the early draws against Leicester and Arsenal, after seemingly coasting to leads in both games.

The absence of Roberto Martinez for much of the summer on media duties, in fairness, raised few eyebrows, as he was able to bask in the glow of an impressive first season. However, what became apparent was the absolutely shambolic pre-season, culminating in hastily arranged midweek games against poor opposition.

The lack of goals scored during this period, and even more worryingly, the lack of victories, should have set the alarm bells ringing in the mind of our manager. I can only guess what involvement he actually had in arranging the pre-season game schedule, and more importantly, the lack of real quality opposition.

I ask these questions, because I believe the rot set in that early at Everton this season. We got off to a mediocre start to our Premier League campaign, and things gradually deteriorated to such an extent that, in the last six/seven weeks of the manager's tenure, serious questions have been asked.

Will we be relegated? Probably not. Could we be relegated? Yes, I think we could be.

We have a manager who exudes positivity from every orifice, to such an extent that it is now becoming nauseating. Most fans simply want Roberto to 'tell it as it is'. We don't want to hear the word 'phenomenal' used to describe any member of our team, especially when we have played shit.

Nor do we want to hear about a 'special group of players', particularly when there is open discord amongst certain individuals who are concerned about the style of the team's play, and the recent Mirallas penalty fiasco when both Lukaku and Naismith were visibly upset when he decided to take matters into his own hands.

While Martinez's style of management is to play the 'nice guy', do modern players, or those of yesteryear, really respect that mode of operation? As much as I thought Alex Ferguson's man-management style was 'old school', absolutely no-one took any liberties with him and those that did were quickly shown the door. That's all very well, you may say, when you're winning trophies, but I can't help feeling a few of our players are taking a few liberties of late. Deep down, I wonder how many of them really respect the manager?

I'm not a great tactician, but what really worries me about Martinez's current playing style is his absolute resistance to change. When teams come to Goodison Park, every single one of them has played with two 'banks of four' across the middle of the park. This means it's almost impossible with our pedestrian style of play to put them on the back foot. The tempo of our game is so slow, it's unbelievable.

It's so easy for defenders to defend against, it's almost like watching a practice match at times. We neither possess the ruthless pace to go at teams, nor the type of player like an Iniesta or Messi capable of making a killer reverse pass on the edge of the penalty area. I'm convinced the players he has at his disposal don't enjoy playing this way. They may be highly paid individuals, but they're not thick.

Ironically, our one young player capable of picking out a pass, or running straight at the heart of a defence, is being destroyed by a frustrated home crowd venting their anger on him. The manager should have taken Ross Barkley out of the frame a month ago and rested him. It's this stubbornness which I find most disturbing: "can't change / won't change".

One win in thirteen games should set the alarm bells ringing for everyone. The next four Premier League games see us face Liverpool (h), Chelsea (a), Leicester (h) and Arsenal (a). I honestly see us only picking up three points out of that sequence of games. So that could give us 26 points out of 27 games played, with 12 games left.

Relegation for Everton would be the ultimate disaster, given that 70% of our current turnover comes from TV revenue. Playing in the Championship would almost certainly be the end of any hopes or prospects for moving to a new ground, certainly in the short term. We simply couldn't provide the sort of guarantees to any financial institution for even low-level borrowing by the club, let alone sponsorship or naming rights, God forbid.

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

It's great fun being an Evertonian...

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 24/01/2015 at 21:20:06
Steve, we really cannot afford to have our season defined over the next four weeks. If we continue playing as poorly we could, in four weeks, be almost beyond saving.

I do not think there is a team in the Premier league playing as poorly right now. Our financial status demands that we require a coach who will get the very best from our players. For most of this season our coach has got nowhere near this. In fact, he is threatening to relegate the best squad we have had in years. He has shown absolutely nothing to suggest he can turn this round.

Bill Kenwright has a chance to do something right. He must find the courage to stop the rot and put Martinez out of his misery. No club with a shred of ambition would tolerate the utter ineptitude that Martinez has shown this season. We are a bigger and better club than this. Have our expectations sunk so low that this is acceptable?

Ross Edwards
2 Posted 24/01/2015 at 21:32:18
Lose to Palace and we’re in big trouble. I just look at Roberto now and I just don’t see him getting us out of this.

Relegation is possible, but only just. It is going to be a close one, that’s for sure.

Kunal Desai
3 Posted 24/01/2015 at 21:27:34
I like Martinez as a person and he comes across as a very polite person and really want him to succeed at Everton; however, I believe it really will all end in tears for him in the not-too-distant future.

The first signs when Martinez didn’t appear to be taking his managerial position at the club seriously was when he stayed at the World Cup right up until the semi-finals. I think his idea of pre-season was the players will just turn up, appearing fit as fiddles and carry on from last season. He underestimated the whole pre-season programme, the fitness, the preparation and the lack of games. that’s haunting him now and will eventually cost him his job.

Paul Hewitt
4 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:01:48
If we are talking about relegation then surely that means we have the wrong manager?

I really thought this was a thing of the past but not anymore... Even if we survive this season, I wouldn’t bet against another one next season.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:08:27
Never heard of second season syndrome guys? It’s a common ailment amongst managers.
Paul Hewitt
6 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:10:20
Sorry, Colin, I don’t go with that. We have a great squad – just rank bad management.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:13:54
It happens, Paul.
Joe Clitherow
8 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:15:00
More first season syndrome – that’s the blip. Two wins and a draw different to his predecessor with essentially his squad, then gradually returns to resume his normal service.
Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:17:47
Well it shouldn’t, mate, finish 5th then spend a record fee and find yourself near the bottom.

Rumours of squad unrest. Not good.

Andrew Ellams
10 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:21:08
Too many negatives for this to end well...
David Holroyd
11 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:11:04
It’s been a bloody fiasco from the end of last season. Under-prepared and a poor transfer policy. What was the manager and chairman thinking of? Just look at the mess we’re in, and it looks like to me anyhow a trip to the Middle East to save our season.

Players like Distin, Kone, Hibbert, Alcaraz, Pienaar, and Gibson who are costing us a small fortune in wages. Add to that players who have had very poor seasons, there is a lot of clearing out in the close season. But is Martinez the right man to do it? Not for me he isn’t.

Watershed time after the derby match. Roberto... lovely man but just not ruthless enough for the Premier League.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:25:37
Well I’m expecting them to come back rested, relaxed, fired up, sunburnt, ready for a fight and fit as a fiddle.

According to Roberto, the second half to this season is going to be phenomenal. I can’t wait.

Mike Price
13 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:23:05
It seem like everyone’s in shock about this season. We all thought he was better than this, and he thought he was better than he is.

Last season led to overconfidence, and we are seeing the product of lazy, arrogant management. Preseason has been done to death, we all know it was shocking, but his purchases of last season’s loanees, and extending contracts for very average players really set alarm bells ringing.

The style of play doesn’t suit the players and doesn’t work. It’s ruining very expensive individual players, team spirit, and club harmony between the team and our support.

The lack of leaders and aggression from top to bottom, players and management, is the worst it’s ever been at this club. It’s not just bad luck that we get so many shocking refereeing decisions against us, there’s no pressure and no consequence of them screwing us.

Our low intensity in everything we do has us strolling towards relegation. Every other team in this league looks like they have more fight, intensity and will to win than us. I really doubt we’d be in the top half of the Championship at the moment.

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:54:08
I’ve seen it all now, Mike. Many on here have been predicting the ’R’-word for some time now but you’ve gone one step further.... relegation fight in the Championship!!!
Victor Jones
15 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:07:40
I keep on saying that, despite the comparatively good season Everton had last year, l believe that it could have been much better. I expect Everton to win every game they play. I expect them to have a go. A number of times last season, Everton were very disappointing. And I blame the manager.

The games I refer to are defeats to Sunderland, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Southampton in the league. Also going timidly out of the League Cup and also the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup. My reason for mentioning those defeats is simply that warning signs were there for all to see. A sort of forewarning for this season. Martinez for some reason did nothing to address those defeats. And because we all got caught up with a few really good performances (myself included), his poor tactics were not scrutinized or challenged. That has continued with an amateurish pre-season and complete disaster of a league and cup campaign.

I am not trying to be wise after the event, but I never wanted Martinez at Everton. I now want him out. Should Everton avoid relegation, I still want Martinez out. Does anybody really think that Martinez is going to take Everton into the Champions League? And yes, I know that was just Bobby boy just spouting nonsense. But I would at this moment prefer a manager who can steady the ship. Keep this great club in the Premier League. Build in the summer. Have a good pre-season. Hammer a few lower league teams in pre-season. Build some momentum. Strengthen in the right places. (㿈 million would get a few half decent players – not just one). Start next season fit and firing on all cylinders. Take the cups seriously next season. And adapt to suit every game. I don’t think that Bobby Bollocks is the man to do all that. l don’t want much, do I?

When Martinez stood clueless and made no substitutions in the defeat to Southampton. That was when I wanted him out. What did he expect to happen in that game? Whenever his tactics were clearly not working.

As stated I want Everton to win every game. If they were playing in the pitches down the road from me, or even if they were playing in my garden, I want them to win, or at least bust a gut trying. That isn’t happening under Martinez. Surely Blue Bill is keeping his gun sight pointed in the right direction, ready to pull the trigger. Surely this poor run must be brought to an end.

Just pay him off and lets get this great club back on track. Can any other manager be any worse.

FOREVER EVERTON.

Conor McCourt
16 Posted 24/01/2015 at 22:10:27
I’m actually getting sick of our fans. I understand the real concerns of our supporters and the disastrous season we have had but it is just over half-way and we could even fucking win the Europa League for goodness sake, so it’s way too soon to call for the manger’s head.

Steve, like most, outlines many of the mistakes Roberto has made but there are other factors that have contributed to our poor season including support from the board, first time dealing with the Europa League, terrible injury situation, players’ individual performances and even ourselves.

Don’t forget the real rot set in after the QPR game where we were 3-1 up and players were getting booed. Recently there was the ridiculous treatment of the most likely player to make a breakthrough against West Brom with no wingers on the pitch or Osman.

Certainly Roberto has a lot to answer for but don’t forget what we witnessed last season and how we dominated a tough group in the Europa League this (a group tougher than Chelsea’s CL group). Anyone who thinks he’s a soft touch has never seem him play and he’s been a captain then manager from a young age.

I keep hearing rubbish about how teams have worked us out. Why did managers not study Roberto’s methods for the last 10 years or something because, except for a small period at Wigan when he played 3 at the back, he has deployed this system and style for most of his career.

There is no doubt that this year there has been a problem but it’s not with the style – it’s with the execution of it. The RS too struggled in the early part, perhaps with the World Cup hangover, to press like last year and similarly our tempo has been all wrong this season. Whereas they have picked up in the last 2 months, we have gone from bad to worse and December we were awful, a team devoid of confidence.

I keep hearing about our great squad but, thanks to the TV money, every other team has their best squad in ages. We have 7 or 8 great players at this club and for most of them we have Roberto to thank: McCarthy, Lukaku and Besic were all bought by him and Stones, Garbutt and Barkley were all given their chance. One could argue though I wouldn’t that many of the poor performers – Coleman, Howard and Distin – were from the previous regime.

This man needs time and we need our supporters to get behind the team even if most don’t believe in the manager. This season has been tough for us all but, even since Stones has come back, we have improved enormously defensively. Hopefully with an addition or two plus the return of McCarthy, Osman and Pienaar, we will improve again.

Finally don’t be afraid of playing the bigger teams in February as our best performance recently came against Man City when the fans were right behind the team and we gave them a right game. Points in the Premier League don’t always come as you expect and the pressure will be off the players at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge.

Sorry rant over... I just feel no-one is speaking up for our manager on this website anymore!!!!

Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:07:16
Conor, you’re getting sick of the fans? An appalling comment. Save all your anger for the manager and team – they’re the real problem.
Mike Price
18 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:12:23
Colin, I’m saying that this team doesn’t have enough fight and aggression, period. Without that, as a bare minimum, you won’t be winning much, whatever the league.
Colin Glassar
19 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:14:37
I’m with you, Conor. It’s been a shit season but still plenty to play for (Premier League survival and the Europa League). I’m sure that in a few weeks time all this incessant pessimism will be a thing of the past.
Clive Lewis
20 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:34:45
If we do survive – and that’s a big if – then we will definitely go next season. I cannot see the confidence changing anytime soon.
Joe Clitherow
21 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:20:11
Colin,

Yeah you’re right, shame everyone else can’t see the eternal source of optimism we now should have going into that exciting Premier League survival scrap in the remainder of the season. What a treat to look forward to, eh? You’ve no idea how depressed I’ve been with that chasing Top 6 rubbish for the past decade.

And yeah we have a great chance of winning the EL, well certainly on the basis of at least being in it at the last 32 (the same place we started the FA Cup) as opposed to being bombed out at the first attempt, like the other competitions. Just those pesky CL clubs to add some spice too, and over two legs so we can assert the natural dominance of Bobby’s system and minimise the chance of a fluky win from an inferior side eh? Who would want that in a Cup competition?

So much cause for optimism under our iron-fisted, straight-talking tactical genius.

Steve Carse
22 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:46:30
Conor (16), I take all your points about what’s wrong this season – but the ultimate responsibility ALWAYS lies with the manager (even in our case it would appear, in respect of some of our injuries).
David Holroyd
23 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:42:02
Colin and Conor,

Yes, we have plenty to play for... but have you seen anything in the last 12 games to suggest we will get out of this mess.

Colin Glassar
24 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:46:26
Joe, it must be horrible waking up every day and the first thought that comes into your head is, "We’re doomed I say, doomed".

Honestly, how long have you supported Everton? Is this really the worst you can remember? I’m not trying to be funny. I’ve said it time and time again, I hate what is happening to us this season but, unfortunately, I’ve seen it all before so experience tells me we’ll probably be okay.

It doesn’t make matters any better but this is like déjà vu for those of us have been following Everton for some time now.

Paul Hewitt
25 Posted 25/01/2015 at 00:10:00
Wimbeldon and Bolton come to mind, Colin, now they were nervy games
Michael Winstanley
26 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:47:33
So what if we beat Palace and the Redshite? Keep clean sheets in both games. I’d be expecting a result at Chelsea, we’d have half a chance...

In that scenario Roberto has re-focused the group, brought a unity and drive back to our play. The players have responded and are now playing at the top of their game, confidence is high and results are starting to stack up for us. Rather than relegation, we start looking at who we can catch as we maintain our form. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out until we play Palace.

One thing I would say about our current form, it’s nothing new. It’s always been part of our game. Norwich away and at home under Moyes. The draw against the mighty Baggies had 1-0 to them written all over it, how many of us would really have been surprised?

There’s a lot of inexperience in our team at the moment. We clearly need a leader on the pitch, I’d give Coleman the armband. He’d play with his pride and he’s not shy in coming forward.

Joe Clitherow
27 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:54:16
Colin, in order:

That’s not how I wake up and it’s No, I have a very full and varied life with lots of interests and responsibilities. What I do think would be horrible, though, is to live in some bubble where I couldn’t make proper judgement calls. That would truly be hell for me.

My earliest actual memory of anything is being at the parade of the 1966 team – I was aged 1 which I’ve been told is incredibly early to have any sort of memory so it must have made an impression. My first memory of a game would be a 1-0 victory against Stoke in midweek game, Joe Royle scored against Gordon Banks. I don’t know when that was exactly but I’d guess around 1971.

Have I seen worse Everton teams in that time? Yes, absolutely. I’ve sat through Wimbledon and Coventry and both times I thought we’d had it. They were shite sides BUT there were extenuating circumstances because we were potless and chronically sick.

I still saw more fight and, actually, entertaining football in those teams than under the buffoon we have now. I sit bored stupid at matches these days with the utterly mindless predictability Martinez has introduced. I can’t actually remember a piece of skill, or a challenge, or even an outstanding bit of fight in a match that made me applaud; he’s taken that pleasure from me.

But do you know why I am so angry with this idiot you want to keep on? It is because he has no excuses, despite the pathetic list his supporters keep giving. He has inherited a better set up, a bette.r set of players than any other manager with the exception of Colin Harvey. The club is not chronically sick; it wasn’t lurching from crisis to crisis when he took over; he didn’t inherit a poisoned chalice but a much coveted management position; the club suddenly had some funds again and we could pay big bucks again, and he has spent it with some gusto and total abandon. ("I’d have paid 𧴜M for Lukaku.")

All this genuine optimism and positivity about my club has been taken away by this guy in a few short months and suddenly we are back in that dark tunnel again, and I have never ever posted as much as I have on sites like this until recently because to me it is imperative to campaign to remove this guy at every opportunity.

Has it been worse? For sure. Have I seen worse football? I honestly don’t recall any. Have I ever seen a worse manager of my club? Absolutely, unequivocally 100% NO.

Victor Jones
28 Posted 25/01/2015 at 00:12:57
I still think that Everton will be okay. But it will be as a result of the players getting stuck in and getting some sort of form back. It might even just be okay because there happens to be three teams worse than us. I doubt very much that it will be okay as a result of Martinez suddenly becoming a bloody footballing genius. I think that it was mentioned on here recently that in a must-win game for Wigan, his team went a goal up against Arsenal. Martinez refused to park the bus (as it’s against his philosophy) and Wigan lost 4-1... and were relegated.

This man is not going to change anything at Everton. Here’s hoping and praying that we don’t need a result in our last match of the season. He will still be playing the possession game. I have no faith in Martinez to change. But I have faith that the Everton players will have the good sense to do the right things and play their way out of this mess. Then Mr Kenwright sees sense and gives him the boot.

This great club will be okay. And Martinez can go ply his trade in the Spanish second division.

ps: With regards to the main article, I saw Martinez play in Scotland. He wasn’t that good, take my word.

Conor McCourt
29 Posted 24/01/2015 at 23:54:33
Steve, I definitely wouldn’t disagree with you but my rant came from the fact that on every thread it’s now become "let’s slag the manager", no matter what the topic, I think he’s getting blamed for the ’who shot Phil Mitchell’ debacle.

Let’s be clear: I really respect the job David Moyes did and was always a supporter of his too, even though I didn’t like the style of football. He did a remarkable job in establishing us as a top 7 team.

Joe makes the point that we were continually top 6/7 but we never had a season like last year when we went to Old Trafford and the Emirates and played them off the park. We previously played risk-free percentage football and not only did I not have hope of becoming a top club – Moyes himself couldn’t see us becoming a top club.

When Roberto made the CL comment, he was laughed out of the room yet he nearly pulled it off in his first year with a very mediocre squad. This is a manager who has a long-term vision and has brought through this core of young talent and wants to add to it year on year.

You’re right: Martinez will invest all of our budget in Lukaku and Besic as our team hasn’t had a 15 goal striker since Lineker. Perhaps we would have been happier with another Jelavic. This guy hasn’t paid his way so far but I’ve no doubt he will. He was an investment for the long term good of the club.

Steve, our current form is abysmal but we have been here before with all our previous managers and Roberto and these players got us here so they’d better well get us out.

Time might make me look a fool but I have still have faith in Roberto.

Andy Crooks
30 Posted 25/01/2015 at 00:49:47
Conor, I agree with you about Lukaku. I think he is going to be a great player. Also, I admired the fact that Roberto had a long-term vision. Unfortunately a vision most be balanced with short-term pragmatism. Roberto sees Champions League football as the end result and a fine ambitious vision it is. However, he does not seem to have pragmatism in him, he appears to have a totally unjustified arrogance. He does not grind out results and sadly his ineptitude has put us in position where that is what is required.

Colin, I have a hunch we will win at Palace and I do believe the break will do some good but we just should not be where he has brought us. This squad, this season, would, in my view, have done better with a different coach. Who? I could write out fifty names, but I’d take any other coach in the Premier League between now and the end of the season.

Eric Myles
32 Posted 25/01/2015 at 00:53:14
Colin (#12),

"According to Roberto the second half to this season is going to be phenomenal. I can’t wait." – As pointed out on other threads, the second half of the season started 3 matches ago; did you miss them like our manager apparently has?

Conor (#16), you mention our best performance coming against Man City... that would be the game when we weren’t playing the manager’s favoured tippy tappy tactics but the tactics the players dictated? Our one game since then has reverted to the Martinez tactics with the same predictable outcome.

Conor (#29), under Moyes we also outplayed Arsenal and Chelsea at times, just never got the results.

Victor Jones
33 Posted 25/01/2015 at 01:07:12
The topic as I read it is that the next four games are vital or else Everton will find themselves in a relegation dogfight. I think that Everton are already in a relegation battle and will be unless they start putting points on the board. The football this season has been bloody awful.

The Everton board is not blameless, but we all know what this board is like. And that is another issue. But the sole responsibility has to lie with the manager. And for that reason he should be criticised and be made accountable for the rubbish on the pitch. His tactics, and his alone. And he talks crap. Complete and utter crap.

As for saying that he has a vision. Good for him. But is taking Everton into the Championship part of his vision.?

Does Martinez ever watch any of his team’s defeats? Because, if so, he never seems to react to anything. He just goes and proceeds with the same old tactics.

And before anyone reckons that I HATE Martinez – Wrong! I hate his style of management, his so-called philosophy, his lack of flexibility, the results so far this season, the exits from two winnable cups, the low league position, the slow predictable football, his refusal to acknowledge that his style needs changing, and this phenomenal pile of rubbish that he comes out with after matches. Geez-U-s Christ. Give me strength.

Of course we can criticise Martinez. And heÂ’s lucky that he is at Everton. Cause he would have been long gone at most other clubs. He would be history.

Joe Clitherow
34 Posted 25/01/2015 at 00:51:38
Conor IÂ’m a bit tired now so probably wonÂ’t post much more but I really do need to pull you up over some of your unsubstantiated inaccuracies and soundbites in your last post. IÂ’ve set out my stall over Martinez but I do think that guys like you are genuine 100% committed Evertonians just as I am, but I think you are just falling for something called attribution, where you genuinely, honestly want RM to be this genius manager for us and, unfortunately, you fill in the gaps between what you really see and what you really want to see. ItÂ’s how clever, intelligent people fall victim to cults; itÂ’s how women on the Internet fill in the gaps so they think they are talking to Brad Pitt when its really Eddie Yeats. The stuff you think youÂ’re seeing with Martinez, itÂ’s really not there, itÂ’s hollow. Just cause he spouts shite doesnÂ’t mean itÂ’s real. There is no system, no substance, it was only ever in his head.

Last year, I am convinced more than ever, was just MoyesÂ’ side and his plan plus 2-3 really good players with something to prove, plus the fillip of a change of manager with apparently a fresh attitude. That got us two more wins and a draw and thatÂ’s it. As Victor Jones points out in his excellent post elsewhere, all the cracks and points of reference were there last year, you just couldnt see them properly until you see the results and additional data this year where it is all taking its horrible shape.

Other points? Well playing Man U off the park wasnÂ’t really what happened was it? It was a tight game where both sides had chances - they had more and probably better that they missed until we got the winner late on. Probably the season highlight but given how crap United were and that West Brom, Newcastle and Swansea all beat them at OT it took a bit of gloss off and suggests it wasnÂ’t all down to Martinez. Arsenal? Yeah we were really good for 45 mins, not so good for the second half and grabbed a late equaliser after they scored first and missed a chance for the winner. We didnÂ’t win that one or play them off the park either. We certainly didnÂ’t in the 4-1 demolition in the cup, which was one of a number of heavy defeats we suffered also last year once the cracks in the "system" really started to appear. IÂ’d say they played right into the system and the real, genuine strengths of Lukaku in the 3-0 at our place, no fluke there for sure. But the 3 pts there were the same number we didnÂ’t take from an abject Crystal Palace side at home.

YouÂ’re kidding yourself by the way that he nearly brought us CL football. It all started to really crack Boxing Day with Sunderland and continued with our worst derby defeat in years, worse even than the shameful Gerrard hattrick one. We collapsed from March as he was comprehensively stuffed and finished 7 pts off Arsenal in 4th, which is a gulf at the end of the season.

Not had a 15 goal striker since Lineker? What was Yakubu messing about at then?

As for Martinez bringing youth through, well if you want to believe that itÂ’s up to you, but youÂ’re wrong. He has taken the average age of the team right up since he came here and off the top of my head only Lukaku, McCarthy and Besic are under 25 (maybe even 27-28 I think).

Joe Clitherow
35 Posted 25/01/2015 at 01:36:42
That should have said only Lukaku McCarthy and Besic of the players he has bought. Atsu doesnÂ’t count for any number of reasons.
Paul Ferry
36 Posted 25/01/2015 at 01:49:46
I think that you mean Wimbledon and Coventry Mr Hewitt sir (#25) – not Wimbledon and Bolton!
Dick Fearon
38 Posted 25/01/2015 at 01:55:47
What angers me most is that it took reaction from supporters and belatedly the players plus our very poor results was needed to show Martinez what he should have known months ago.

John Gee
39 Posted 25/01/2015 at 00:59:23
Right, this thread has become an exercise in spitting hairs. The facts are weÂ’re playing shit and have been all season, we finished top of our EL group because of 2 inexplicable wins against Wolfsberg, confidence is shot and the manager is sending us out with a philosophy instead of organisation.

If we were picking up points then fair enough but weÂ’re not and donÂ’t look like. Relegation will kill us because itÂ’ll result in a fire sale of all our marketable assets, namely the players. When that happens we wonÂ’t be bouncing back at the first attempt.

I like Martinez but heÂ’s painted himself in a corner and shown nothing over the last 20 games that would indicate he has the ability to turn it around. So, with a very heavy heart, I have to say Martinez out.

(Please prove me wrong bobby)

Peter Barry
40 Posted 25/01/2015 at 02:58:25
"He who hesitates is lost’ and we forget that old saying at our peril. Roberto does not need more time, he has had far too much already. And if Billy Liar does not act very soon, then it will indeed be too late and relegation will be on us.
Clive Lewis
41 Posted 25/01/2015 at 05:46:32
I cannot sleep, had a nightmare that I was stuck in a dilapidated caravan and I was bitten by a dog-sized big black ant.

I blame Roberto, I think it was a reference to the season so far – the caravan was Goodison and the ant was Martinez. I screamed and woke up. This must be a reference to relegation.

BK, please end this nightmare... get rid now. We want to move to a new stadium and carry on as an established top side.

Harold Matthews
42 Posted 25/01/2015 at 05:47:55
Mike P @13.. Top post. Says it all for me.
John Zapa
43 Posted 25/01/2015 at 06:24:14
Relegation will not happen unless Martinez decided to play a 4-4-3 –without a goalkeeper. Relegation will be avoided inspite of Martinez and his philosophy. Even if the next 3 matches are lost, Everton will still be out of the bottom 3 because there are still some very poor teams in the league.
Paul Hewitt
44 Posted 25/01/2015 at 07:27:54
Sorry, Conor, I was OTT with my comment last night; no offence meant.
Gary Collins
45 Posted 25/01/2015 at 08:13:11
I see Alan Stubbs doing well with Hibs... he could be worth a punt. Bring back Alan Irvine to work with him, surround him with Everton people, and get back to playing with some pride and passion
Gavin McGarvey
46 Posted 25/01/2015 at 07:09:51
Joe, to some extent I agree. That being said, it’s not all Stockholm syndrome with those who support Martinez.

He did try to play the game differently to Moyes, with the decision to play two holding midfielders to try and control the middle of the park. With that came less reliance on the longer ball and going down the wings. Also he played more positively later on in games rather than defending deeper later on. It’s easy to forget that now.

On the other hand, as to remembering worse football, the fact that it’s tough indicates how bad things are this season. I feel a strange mixture of envy and pity for people who have been able to make it to Goodison Park this season. The football reminds me of Mike Walker’s or Walter Smith’s days... not something I wanted to be reminded of, to be honest.

As for relegation, well, we are in a relegation fight so we’ll see how we get on. If we can win a couple of games when we get back from our mid-season break, then we can probably play our way out of it. If not, then I can see Martinez going and it being backs-to-the-wall stuff until the end of the season.

I think what Paul Ferry said on a thread the other day was right. Bill Kenwright isn’t changing manager anytime soon so we need to get behind the team. Maybe he (Bill) is right. Maybe Martinez will get through this and learn from it (as Moyes did).

That being said, I don’t see the harm of talking about whether we can get in a top class coach, and buy some exiting talent in this transfer window. It’s what football fans do when they’re in the bottom half. Is there really no chance of us getting in Deulofeu?

Joe Foster
47 Posted 25/01/2015 at 08:30:24
I hope we don’t have to mention the Roberto word soon. Roberto and relegation... the two words seem to go together a little too nicely for my liking.
Karl Jones
48 Posted 25/01/2015 at 08:23:48
The 2-2 draw during pre-season with possibly the worst Tranmere side ever was the first sign that there were major problems. The shambolic defending during that game, which subsequently became the norm for the first half of the season, showed a manager that didn’t know how to set up a side to defend. The know-it-alls in the local press told us it was only pre-season etc etc.

Even now, if you watch the way they set up from corners with no men guarding the posts – and the way, if we do clear the ball, there is no-one there to gain possession so it is crossed straight back... it just shows that they cant even get the basics right.

Martinez should have gone after the Stoke game. Every game since then has become must-win and he has failed miserably, culminating in the complete lack of discipline which probably cost us two more points against WBA.

I really fear for Everton’s future under this man.

Darren Hind
49 Posted 25/01/2015 at 09:04:56
Joe Clitherow, you are absolutely on the money.

I reckon People like Conor and Colin are just too embarrassed to face the truth. They are slowly realising that they have nailed their colours to a cardboard mast and now desperately holding out hoping for change, and "being right" is getting to be more important to some than the season itself.

Colin Glassar
50 Posted 25/01/2015 at 09:08:54
Eric #32, I was being sarcastic, mate. Maybe Roberto’s suffering from ’second half-season syndrome’ commonly known as SHSS.

Joe C, never for a second have I doubted your concern for the club and, honest to god, we both have them. Where we do differ is in our optimism or lack of. This is a bloody good team, Joe. The manager and the players had lost their way but I honestly think they will come back stronger and united as a unit.

They need our backing, guys. This is not a time for back-stabbing and recriminations, that can come after we are safe. Right now, our priority has to be survival as the alternative is just too horrible to contemplate.

Nick Entwistle
51 Posted 25/01/2015 at 09:26:10
I’m all for lobbing the chorizo of disdain towards the way Roberto has gone about this season, but I can’t blame the World Cup.

Wegner was at the World Cup. Van Gaal was with he Dutch right up until the third place play-off. Mourinho didn’t even see it, he was playing Mother Teresa with the kids of Calcutta or something and was entirely absent from his own football world in the summer.

If you can’t get your pre-season fixtures ready and the fitness coaches putting the team through their paces, then that’s a problem in itself, not the World Cup venture.

Mark Tanton
52 Posted 25/01/2015 at 10:22:45
This is indeed a bloody good team, Colin; and that’s what makes Martinez’s failings more unforgivable. I was a vocal supporter of the man and was desperate for him to be appointed. But Premier League survival to a club of our finances is football life and death. We cannot get this wrong.
Colin Glassar
53 Posted 25/01/2015 at 10:29:50
Mark, he’s not going anywhere. He’s not going to get sacked and he’s definitely not going to resign so my plea to all fellow blues is, love him or hate him, he is now insignificant in the larger scheme of things. Our only priority has to be survival.

I don’t give a damn if Martinez or Miss Piggy is the manager right now, I just want the team to start winning.

Brian Hennessy
54 Posted 25/01/2015 at 10:52:04
Colin, just wondering. Is there any point at which you think Roberto should be sacked or should we just keep him no matter what happens?
Colin Glassar
55 Posted 25/01/2015 at 11:04:57
I’m giving him until the end of February, beginning of March, Brian. If we lose our next 4 games then we will have to make a decision.
Phil Walling
56 Posted 25/01/2015 at 11:12:27
I have just posted the latest relegation betting on the Eto’o thread in error. For interest, Everton are still listed at any price between 22-1 and 25-1 with EIGHT clubs seen by the bookies as more likely to go down.

Let’s hope they are right !

Brian Harrison
57 Posted 25/01/2015 at 11:03:04
I like all Evertonians are desperately hoping that we can get enough points this season to survive. I sadly don’t think BK will sack RM, mainly because he may well believe that he cant sack a manager who got us to 5th place last season. Although if results don’t pick up BK might have no choice but sack him, but I believe he will delay that choice unless we drop into the bottom 3.

Me personally RM is the worst manager we have had and I go back to when Johnny Carey was the manager, the only one that I can compare RM too is Mike Walker he had 1 good season with Norwich but he just wasn’t up to the job. As I have said before I couldnt imagine us ever appointing a manager who had just got his team relegated.

Joe Foster
58 Posted 25/01/2015 at 11:41:41
I don’t think RM is the type of guy up for a scrap. His comments for one about not being the one to help Wigan bounce back made me think WTF.I think he will persevere with his "style" of play and we will suffer for it
Phil Walling
59 Posted 25/01/2015 at 11:37:32
Colin and Connor. You seem to be saying that avoiding the drop will mark down Martinez as some kind of genius manager. That might well have been the situation at tiny Wigan but it sure falls a long way short of what we’ve come to expect here.

For all the talk of non-investment in the team, the owners have invariably spent according to THEIR means against income marking us as a seventhish club. I’ve learned not to expect trophies but hallowing a manager for keeping us in the Prem defies belief.

I also resent the constant sniping at match-going Evertonians. I don’t ever think I’m better than you who watch from afar but if I don’t get the decent level of entertainment I pay for, I reserve the right to show my displeasure to those in charge. And I don’t mean hissing at Barkley.

Colin Glassar
60 Posted 25/01/2015 at 12:01:46
Stop twisting my words Phil. I’ve never called him a genius. I’ve said I think he has the potential to become a top manager.

Phil, at least you’ve been consistent in your distrust/dislike of Martinez. I seem to remember he came in for a lot of stick on here at the beginning of last season when we drew our first 3 games and the knives were already starting to come out. Then we beat Chelsea and went on a run and the guy quickly became a genius in some people’s eyes.

This continued until the new year when, due to a small squad and injuries, the wheels started to come off and once again the doubts started to creep in. This has continued this season but, like you say, neither this manager nor his predecessor will be provided with the funds to remedy this so we chug along, blaming the manager, the players, each other for our failure to succeed while Chairman Bill and his cronies have a little chuckle behind our backs.

Conor McCourt
62 Posted 25/01/2015 at 11:08:50
Paul, thanks for that, it’s much appreciated... we all get too emotional when we hear things we don’t like, me more than most. It wasn’t meant to offend, just to challenge.

Joe, I was talking about the panache we played with and reckless abandon of who and where we were playing. I also think 7 points on top of Moyes was magnificent given that I think season on season we overachieved given our resources with the previous manager.

In terms of youth, he has bought players for the future such as Galloway and he also brought Stones and Barkley straight into his team. Moyes had nothing to do with McCarthy, Lukaku, Barry, Stones, Alcaraz, Barkley and Deulofeu in terms of performance which is about half of last season’s squad. Even Naismith became a different player under him. So Roberto deserves credit for last season just as much as criticism for this.

When I speak of his vision, he got all our young players signed on long term contracts except Garbutt and intends to build the club around them. His idea is to add 2-3 quality players through production and purchase per year until we have a squad capable to compete with the top 4. I agree Kone and Distin don’t fit this brief and hope they were the last of his short-term purchases.

Joe, Yak did score 15 goals one season but only something like 25 in 4 seasons all told. I’m hoping Lukaku will hit 15 per season as is 1 in 2 his whole career.

But, as most point out, having a vision is useless if we don’t back it up on the pitch as those players that our crucial to it won’t want to stay.

Paul Tran
63 Posted 25/01/2015 at 12:05:52
Of course we should mention the R word. I’ll mention it again; we won’t get relegated.

I’d rather mention the F word. Failure to strengthen and prepare the team for the season. Failure to play to our 㿈m striker’s strengths. Failure to maintain player fitness. Failure to play a balanced team. Failure to motivate the team. Failure to get top six (my own benchmark for any Everton season).

How anyone can regard this season as anything but a failure is beyond me.

We have a non-sacking chairman working with an intransigent manager who will have to be pretty special to come out of this with his job and any credibility. ’Beating relegation’ isn’t enough for me.

Conor McCourt
64 Posted 25/01/2015 at 12:27:32
Why are you assuming that I don’t attend matches Phil? I get to as many as I can. And when I do go to watch my beloved Everton with my family, it costs me a lot more than the average Everton fan.

So don’t use that rubbish to make you out as a more diehard Evertonian just because you can logistically can get to more games. You are entitled to your opinion as am I... I just don’t think booing the manager or players during matches serves any positive purpose.

Stephen Brown
65 Posted 25/01/2015 at 12:46:06
The season is quickly getting to a point where I’m hoping we can sneak 3 wins and a couple of draws and then build towards next season. Really frustrating!

With all the RM debate, I believe as with most debates on TW the truth lies somewhere in the middle – I don’t think he is a genius as some thought last year and I don’t think he’s the joke he’s portrayed as either. For one reason or another, he probably deserves – and for financial reasons, he will get – more time. Therefore it’s in everyone’s interests to get behind him in the short term.

On another note, I look forward to the day there’s a positive story on TW as like most on here I read it 15 times a day and its doing nothing for my depression!!

Brian Hennessy
66 Posted 25/01/2015 at 12:43:42
Paul@63

"we won’t get relegated", - these are the kind of comments that annoy me most on here.

Nobody knows if we will, or won’t get relegated. You might "feel" or "think" we wont go down, or others might have the opinion that we "could" go down.

But blanket statements that we just WILL, or WILL NOT be relegated are foolish. Yes, we have a proud tradition of Premier League survival, but no team has a god-given right to think they are "too good to go down".

History is littered with teams that people though would never get relegated.

I’m a bit sick too of anyone on here that suggests we could get relegated being branded as "pessimists" or, "not supporting our team".

We are "realists" and most of us can remember how close we have come to the drop in the past, eg, that day against Wimbledon, and we all can see with our own eyes that at the moment, it is difficult to see three teams in as poor form as us, despite us having a better team "on paper".

That is why so many think getting rid of RM may be the best thing to do.

Paul Thompson
67 Posted 25/01/2015 at 12:39:07
Have I watched worse? Oh yes. Plenty. I sat bored and desperate in the late 70s watching Mick Lyons & Co in front of dwindling crowds. (1980-81 average 26,000).

But frankly does it matter? We are in the shit and have been really poor all season. We ARE in a relegation struggle and no wins in the next 3-4 games means we are unlikely to get out of it. I’m hoping against hope that the week in the sun will recharge the physical and tactical batteries. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Kevin Tully
68 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:00:02
Normally, I would be screaming for any Everton manager to be shown the door after witnessing the worst downturn in fortunes in recent memory. Make no mistake, we have been a shambles this season. There are huge divisions in that dressing room, anyone can see that even our captain is seriously pissed off. Martinez’s blind loyalty and the crap he spouts isn’t helping either, please stop waxing lyrical when we’ve stunk the gaff out, Bobby!

Now, the case for the defence. Who are we bringing in to turn this mess around? Even if there are better options, who says they will come to us mid-season? Forget about any reserve coaches, back room staff managerial appointments - they always end in tears.

It will take any manager 6-8 games to stamp his style on the playing squad, look at those games. Two in Europe and tough games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

The cost. Probably anywhere between ٣-7m. Money we just can’t afford.

Transition from old to new. Besic, McCarthy, Barkley, Lukaku, Robles and Stones in. Distin, Osman, Pienaar, Howard, Hibbert and possibly others (Mirallas) who won’t tow the line out. Part of the division in the dressing room has been the ousting of the old guard and the style of play. We don’t know names, but clearly senior players are poisoning the atmosphere. (Sorry – I don’t have hard evidence of this.)

All guesswork, but if we can somehow integrate these new players with a couple of decent additions, then I can see some light at the end of the tunnel under this manager.

However, he has to win some fucking games to earn that time. Lose the next two, and I’ll have to go with the majority on here, and call for his head. The threat of relegation is ridiculous with the talent we have in this squad. If Martinez can’t mend the divisions that exist, or motivate the players to give their all, it’s over anyway for him.

Phil Walling
69 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:20:32
I never said I was in any way a more diehard Evertonian than anybody else. But I reserve the right at the end of matches to let Kenwright and Martinez know I haven’t exactly enjoyed what’s been on offer.

Howls of anguish at misplaced places, tackles miss-timed and wayward shots at goal have been part of crowd behaviour since the game began. All I’m saying is how easy it is to sit in an armchair and deride fellow Evertonians for daring to show their displeasure!

Andy Crooks
70 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:15:06
I think back to the relegation of a West Ham side with a lot of good players. Too good to go down? Well they weren’t and I believe they were relegated with a record number of points.

I believe that right now there are not three teams playing worse than us. We are in a relegation fight right now and I wonder at what stage will some supporters admit it. I have no faith in Martinez to take us forward even if the players do get us out of it. This crisis is utterly down to his total arrogance and incompetence.

Absolutely spot on post from Joe Clitherow at # 34. I was totally hoodwinked by Martinez last season and wrote some nonsense lauding him on here. He’s a hollow man who is destroying our club.

Colin Glassar
72 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:42:00
Which WHU side are you talking about Andy as historically they’ve been a yoyo team?
Wayne Smyth
73 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:12:22
To be honest, Brian, I bet if you counted the number of people who have posted "Martinez will get us relegated" against the number who post that he won’t, Paul will be in the minority view.

Both viewpoints are wrong for the very reason you mention. I’m with you; I just have no idea but relegation is an increasingly likely possibility unless we start winning soon.

I think you’ll also find that it’s almost impossible to write anything positive (about our manager in particular) without being targeted like some kind of heretic, or being told you don’t support the club. So it cuts both ways.

Like Stephen (#65), reading this site does nothing for my mood, especially when I’m pissed off after another game where we lost, dropped points or played shit, so I simply don’t come here as often as I would like.

For those determined to see the back of Martinez, one thing I will remind people is that Moyes ended one season in 17th, lost his best player, then finished 4th and went on to give us a very decent 5 or 6 years afterwards with continual progression in both league position and the quality of our squad.

I bet few predicted that renaissance in 2004 and I suspect most on here were baying for Moyes’s head. Stability is the only thing that has allowed us to compete with richer teams over the years.

At this point with Martinez, it’s unclear if his FA Cup win with Wigan and our 5th place finish with all those good performances and results was representative of his abilities, or if relegation with Wigan and our current Premier League performance is more typical of the man. Only time will tell...

Kunal Desai
74 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:55:01
We’ll have to break a few hoodoos – that’s for sure in the next few games. We’ve not beaten Palace in the last 3 games, they’re becoming a bit of a bogey side for us... Not beaten the RS at home since Woy Womble was in charge five years ago... Not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1995.
Colin Glassar
75 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:58:29
Thanks Kunai.
Brian Denton
76 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:54:13
And talking of West Ham, were they Â’destroyedÂ’ by going down? Were Newcastle? It may be that Everton would follow the Leeds/Sheff Wed path and never be seen again, but I think it unlikely. So please, stop this Â’relegated and we are lost foreverÂ’ garbage.

And for the record, I donÂ’t think weÂ’ll be relegated.

Wayne Smyth
77 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:56:22
Kevin, talk of the cost of removing Martinez being too high is nonsense. If we think the guy will take us down, then we’re liable to lose 㿨M+ from the TV deal and probably about the same again as players like Baines, Lukaku, Stones, Coleman, McCarthy and Besic are likely to be snapped up for a fraction of their true value.

Spending ٣M - 㾶M getting rid of him if we can save the club from the drop is well worth it.

Paul Tran
78 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:52:20
Brian, apologies for the grammar error, I don’t think we’ll get relegated.

My instinct tells me we haven’t put a run together yet, so when we do it’ll be enough for us to finish mid-table. I’m honest enough to say it’s based on my instinct and nothing else, rather than putting together skewed, one-sided statistics to ’prove’ my instinct.

I’ve backed us to stay up and have bets with five other Blues who are of the opinion we’ll be relegated.

I’m neither defending Martinez, by the way, nor criticising those who have a similar instinct that we will get relegated. It’s all about opinions and I’m enjoying the debate, just wish we were having a different one!

Sean Patton
79 Posted 25/01/2015 at 13:46:16
I don’t care where we finish in the league as long as we stay up which we WILL (sorry Brian) as I have had my fill of finishing 5th 6th and 7th and meandering along behind the top 4 behemoths, I want a trophy not a top half finish!

I am judging Martinez this season by Europe; I think he has gone all out for the Europa League, where Everton have done great this season. If you don’t believe me then try and remember beating a better team than Wolfsburg 2-0 away from home, that is up there with the club’s best ever European results.

Kevin Tully
80 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:07:21
Wayne – the cost issue was mentioned in relation to getting rid of the manager today. The choice of relegation, or sacking the manger is not that clear just yet, and was part of just one issue to consider in the overall picture.
Paul Tran
81 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:14:42
All out for Europe, Sean? Do me a favour. Do you really think Martinez has sacrificed the Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup to win the Europa? I think the first half-decent team we’ll meet will knock us out.

We played well in both games against Wolfsburg, but they didn’t convince me. They ran and ran and ran and ran and kept smashing the ball into our box. We defended well and picked them off – a perfect opponent for our current team. Possibly food for thought for those hell-bent on replacing Martinez with an "up and at ’em" hard man ex-player from the past with minimal coaching experience?

Apologies for those who want my views verified by science/mathematics. It’s what I think.

Phil Walling
82 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:25:03
Sean, you may be excited by our progress in the Europa but, for sure, BK, his chums and bankers won’t see it that way!

Under the revised ’Prem places for pounds’ the difference between 5th and 15th will be a reduction of about 㾻M in the Club’s income. When, as is often quoted, Moyes visited the league’s nether regions, it was a ١M drop.

Massive increases in generosity to players under Roberto means the Club’s commitments are now as high as any club outside Sky 5, so even a lower-half finish, let alone relegation, will have a serious impact on the budget for next season.

And how will that be addressed? No doubt by the sale of all those players whose reputations remain untarnished by the tripe they’ve served up this season!

Colin Glassar
83 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:49:19
I can’t argue with your financial prediction, Phil. This will set us back a few years unless.... We win the Europa League and qualify for the CL. [Pity I can’t put a smiley on here.]
Sam Hoare
84 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:54:53
The Europa League seems a long shot to say the least. We had more than a fair share of luck in the group stages with our only convincing display in my opinion being the victory against Lille. The Wolfsburg matches were fairly bizarre – and certainly not controlled by us – though great results obviously.

We are playing worse now than we were then and, though we should be able to get through Young Boys, there are a lot of good teams left in the Europa League and, unless we play CONSIDERABLY better, then I reckon the Quarterfinals will be as far as we can hope for.

Kevin Tully
85 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:54:10
One more thing (as Columbo used to say): if you are going to get rid of Martinez, you’d better be sure his replacement is good enough to turn things around. No matter what you think of this board, it’s by no means an easy decision. It could make things worse, as witnessed at many other clubs. Their saviour has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

That’s another problem I have with pulling the trigger too soon.

Colin Glassar
86 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:01:43
Just daydreaming on my part, Sam. Wayne Smyth, forgive me if I’m wrong but weren’t you backing Martinez last week? Might’ve been another Wayne but I thought it was you.
Kunal Desai
87 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:00:29
I said in a previous thread, Martinez HAS to treat the Europa League now as least important, string a second team out if need be, because we now have Sunday games against Leicester and potentially Newcastle and Burnley all at home and we are in a relegation battle, whether you accept it or not.

We simply cannot afford to draw or lose these games. The Premier League is paramount.

Phil Walling
88 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:00:50
More betting news with Ladbrokes having marked up Martinez to fourth favourite to be the next manager to be chopped behind Harry, Bruce and Lambert.

His odds have dropped from 33-1 to 11-1 since New Year’s Day and gone down 5 points in this week alone!

The odds makers must be reading ToffeeWeb!

Colin Glassar
89 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:11:06
Getting excited, Phil? At the start of the season what odds were you given? You might be sitting on a small fortune if your dream comes true.

Does this mean Worthington, Bruce, Dyche and Poyet are safe?

Clive Lewis
90 Posted 25/01/2015 at 14:59:56
I don’t really expect anyone to know if we are or are not going down. The reality is, if we continue as we are, we will go down. If I was to make a judgement now, then relegation is the only conclusion.

Betting is all about probabilities, Now the bookies think we are better than the teams below us, they are correct. However, form is saying a different thing. Something has to change quickly and it might be too late if left until March.

The reality is, we have a few games to show we can stay up or Martinez has to go!

Sam Hoare
91 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:18:09
Maybe it’s a bonus we lost on pens to West Ham. Watching their match, I reckon Bristol City would have beaten us!
Colin Glassar
92 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:16:55
Sorry, I forgot to mention Pardew and Pulis as well as they are also involved in the ’R’ scrap and currently below us.

Clive, if we maintain our current form then yes, we could feasibly go down but as we all know, form is temporary. It could go either way but I prefer to believe we will, sooner rather than later, hit a good run of form and dig ourselves out of this mess.

Ross Edwards
93 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:15:10
In the Europa League, we looked like a different team. Compare our performances recently to Lille for example. YouÂ’d think it was totally different.

I do agree with Kunal that he has to treat the League with more importance, at least until weÂ’re a safe distance from the bottom 3.

Not sure about winning it... then again, if Fulham could make the final as they did in 2010 with the squad they had, it shows that itÂ’s not impossible.

Steve Carse
94 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:17:06
The bookie’s odds are crazy at the moment. We’re 25/1 with many yet those same bookmakers have Crystal Palace, on the same points as us, at just 9/2! But they seem to know things aren’t right at Everton at the moment and that it could go completely to pot shortly. Hence the shortening of the odds on RM getting the sack.
Paul Kennedy
95 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:26:36
On present form, we are the worst team in the Premier League... ergo, we will be relegated unless we improve. Simple.
Sam Hoare
96 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:25:45
25-1? Is it bad that I’m tempted?! Call it an insurance policy?

As Colin says Pulis and Pardew have added momentum to west Brom and Palace. Burnley have been unfortunate and Leicester have splashed 10m on a new striker who may help. Luckily QPR, villa and Hull are pretty atrocious.

We have a tough run coming up though and it’s difficult to see where a win is coming from...

Eric Holland
97 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:41:11
Us 25-1; West Ham 10,000-1 with Ladbrokes.
James Martin
98 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:38:37
On the plus side, a result at Palace would make it 5 unbeaten? What’s all this relegation nonsense?

On a serious note, though, even midtable mediocrity (which would be gladly welcomed now) is still a woeful woeful season. For the past few seasons, the top 7 have been so entrenched, I thought the worst we would finish this season would be 7th. We might have a few cup runs but the main thing would be another season of growth for our talented young squad.

Martinez has ruined all that. Everything we have been building for ten years is in danger of being lost unless some drastic turn-around happens. If the football improves significantly and we get back to the best of last season for the remainder of this season and we put up a fight in the Europa League, then maybe we could say there’s hope for next season. If we just avoid relegation and whimper out the Europa League, then that is one of the worst managerial performances in Premier League history and Martinez should rightly be fired.

A 㿊 million striker upfront ahead of England’s brightest prodigy, the best full backs in the league and some top players both in youth and experience and we’re in a relegation battle and out of both cups at the first attempt? Disgraceful. I would have fired him for the team he sent out at Swansea in the League Cup. Throwing trophies away.

Wayne Smyth
99 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:33:11
Colin. It was me...and my opinion hasn’t really changed at all in the last 2-3 months. The problem is that people on here tend to try to pigeon-hole you. If you offer any support at all for the manager, you’re a Martinez-apologist and don’t support the club. There is no grey area for some. Saying he’s done some good things and some bad things doesn’t seem to be allowed.

My gut feeling is that Martinez is a good manager trying to do the right things for the long-term benefit of the club, but things have obviously gone badly this season. My best guess is that long-term injuries to key players and some bad transfer decisions by Martinez have hurt us. The lack of leaders in the squad have shown how fragile the players are mentally too.

I don’t think he’ll relegate us, but the lack of fight shown in 2 or 3 games recently really put the shits up me. It was indicative of a split dressing room or some other systemic issue between the manager and players. If that had gone on, I think removing Martinez would’ve been a necessity. Thankfully the last 2 or 3 performances were better, if not the results.

Darren Hind
100 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:22:36
The famous Wigan FA Cup run:

3rd Round – A lucky home draw against Bournemouth was followed by an even luckier win in the replay.

4th Round – A strongly contested penalty was the only goal of the game as Wigan scraped past none league Macclesfield – against the run of play

5th Round – A comfortable win at League One Huddersfield.

6th Round – A comfortable win against a shambolic Everton lead by Phil Neville giving possibly the worst performance ever seen by anyone in an Everton shirt – so bad, he never played again... Southport would have beaten us that day.

Semi-Final – A hard fought victory against mid-table Championship team Millwall.

Final – A richly deserved victory against a bunch of bigheads who thought they only had to show up... Ironically this game was won from one of them there corner thingys... You know, the ones Martinez now chooses to look down his nose at.

You can be lucky in a cup but You will always be found out over the course of a long hard season. Our boy is living proof of that.

Colin Glassar
101 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:47:28
Well, I have to agree with both James and Wayne. Likewise, I’m disgusted and angry with a lot of the performances, decisions, subs, formations, injuries etc... this season. Of course Martinez has to take the lions share of the blame but I just have this deep down belief that, if he can survive this (so far) shambolic season, then he will come out of this much stronger and wiser.

I think we can all agree that we have a young core of players who can only get better with time and IF the lessons are learnt then we will see a dramatic improvement next season.

In the summer, a few of the old guard will leave and the incoming players should be more open, and comfortable, with the football Martinez wants to play. I for one don’t believe he is happy with the slow, ponderous style we are utilising this season. I’ve often seen him screaming at the players to quicken the pace but they won’t (sabotage?) and these will be the ones to get the boot in the summer.

It is possible to play possession football and be successful but it needs to be done (like last season) at a quicker tempo.

I was asked the other day how much longer I’m prepared to give him. Well, if we stay up comfortably this season ,I would definitely give him another season to turn this around – but only after he: A) gets rid of the deadwood in the squad, and B) replaces them with players who have the skill and brains to play his style of football. It’s no use trying to turn a blacksmith into a ballet dancer after all.

Nigel Gregson
102 Posted 25/01/2015 at 15:53:52
Darren – that long hard season last year where he got found out and we attained a record points haul of 72?

Oh, sorry, that was Moyes’s squad – and contained key players like Lukaku , Barry, McCarthy, Barkley and Deulefou?

Ross Edwards
103 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:05:03
At least they won the Cup, Darren. Knowing us, if we would have got to the final, Moyes probably would have bottled it, like in 09.

DonÂ’t completely disregard what Wigan did because they went down. Brian Clough got relegated in his last season at Forest. Does that make all his past achievements irrelevant and a load of flukes?

Darren Hind
104 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:12:03
Just so I’m hearing you right, Nigel: The guy who has only ever known relegation battles in the Premier League takes over a squad of players who had challenged for European qualification and you put the good progress down to the guy who was relegated?

Fair enough, if that’s your view... but I’d have another look at the table if I was you, mate.

Your boy has spent north of 㿷 Million in 18 months to add to the squad he inherited and he has still managed to drag them down to his level.

Andy Crooks
105 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:15:14
Wayne (#73), I wouldn’t describe any supporter of Martinez as a "heretic". No, just an Everton supporter with a different view to mine. Also, I, and I believe the vast majority of his detractors, would be very happy if you and Colin had us eating humble pie.
Colin Glassar
106 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:26:15
Thanks Andy. I honestly hope, for all our good, that you are eating humble pie in May because, if you aren’t... Well, it doesn’t bare thinking about, does it?

At the end of the day, we all want the best for our club and that means staying in this league for many years to come. If that is with or without Martinez, that is beside the point. Survival is paramount right now.

Darren Hind
107 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:23:06
Ross Edwards,

I don’t think I’ve ever read a more ridiculous comparison.

Cloughie was relegated when his health was failing. The guy had won League Cups, European Cups and League titles... not just six games (four of which were against lower league opposition).

John Keating
108 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:25:02
Colin,

I asked you the other day when you would say enough is enough. You say at 101: "IF we stay up comfortably, I’d give him another season." — And if we don’t stay up or escape on goal difference?

I reckon he should have gone Monday evening after the West Brom game. To me, that was a must-win game; we were pathetic to say the least.

Palace away is a nightmare. New manager, 4 games unbeaten, a great result yesterday and a team that will fight.

The RS. Well they have definitely turned the corner and sorted themselves out – unfortunately. On a good run and have the Indian Sign over us.

Chelsea away. Definitely the best squad. Jose will have them in today reading the riot act and I have no doubt they will now go on a roll.

I just can’t see us getting a point in these games. So when is enough enough?

Ross Edwards
109 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:34:09
I was just giving an example, Darren, of a successful manager that had been relegated.

On another note, Martinez has actually won something Cloughie didn’t: The FA Cup.

Phil Walling
110 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:22:08
Ross, Wasn’t Cloughie said to be pissed for most of his last season? Certainly that was the common allegation at the time.

But to compare Martinez with one of the most charismatic and successful managers ever is stretching it a bit far, don’t you think?

Colin’s faith in ’his man’ is most touching and let’s hope it’s well founded. Who knows, he may bring the lads back from Arabia re-invigorated and adept at his tactics and put Palace to the sword. Stranger things have happened.

And then ........

Ross Edwards
111 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:43:16
Maybe I was over exaggerating a bit too much, Phil, yes.
Colin Glassar
112 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:33:31
Okay, John, as we are dealing in hypotheticals, let’s say we do survive the drop by 1-2 points or even worse, on GD, then I would say, adios Bob. With the talent at hand, that would be unforgivable IMO.

As for the upcoming games, well none of these teams will try and park the bus as Jose likes to say. This could, just could, be to our advantage as it could allow us to play on the break unlike against some of our more recent opponents.

Was it a coincidence that our game improved, however slightly, against Man City and West Ham? Neither of them defended deep, unlike WBA, and we seemed to be more comfortable in those game.
I’m not trying to make excuses for the Xmas horror shows but there’s a pattern there somewhere.

Andy Crooks
113 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:46:25
Colin, the West Ham team that were relegated had been in the Premier League for ten years. They were relegated with 42 points. Their squad included: De Canio, David James, Jermaine Defoe, Glen Johnson, Michael Carrick, Les Ferdinand, Trevor Sinclair, Kanoute, Joe Cole.

They were relegated because a losing run up until Christmas, albeit with some injuries, sapped confidence. Morale faltered and there was dressing room unrest. A late mini-revival under Trevor Brooking was too late.

I accept that no two situations are the same but there are enough similarities to our own situation for me to be worried. It is not too late for us but the end of February might be.

Ray Roche
114 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:46:42
Ross Edwards (#103)

"Knowing us, if we would have got to the final, Moyes probably would have bottled it, like in 09."

Spectacularly stupid statement, that, Ross. That day Everton were without the spine of our team, Jagielka, Arteta and Yakubu and Anichebe was also missing. In addition, the prick of a referee, Webb, booked Hibbert after 8 minutes for a "nothing" foul, leaving him shitting his kecks for the rest of the game for fear of being sent off.

After that, every rent boy attack came down our right side. Hibbert was substituted at half-time. Make your point, Ross, but don’t make things up.

John Keating
115 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:50:48
Fair enough, Colin, I’ll ask again after the Palace game, then RS, then Chelsea. There has to come a point where the Club just cannot allow the present situation to continue.

I repeat, I reckon it was after West Brom. To allow Martinez to continue as we are at present and we leave it until the last/second last game to escape – or not – would, in my opinion, be a dereliction of duty on the part of Management.

Ross Edwards
116 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:55:38
Maybe ’bottled’ was the wrong word to use there. But the point is, no matter who Wigan played, they still got to the Final and won it.
Colin Glassar
117 Posted 25/01/2015 at 17:04:43
Fair do’s John. Let’s wait until after the Palace game but I bet you, even if we win, there will be people saying, "Oh that was just against a shit Palace team. We will get hammered by the RS etc, etc, etc....." This will just go on and on and on now.

People’s minds have been made up on here and whatever we do between now and May won’t make an iota of difference. I’m talking about if we improve, of course.

There’s just too much anger and bitterness towards the man now and that won’t change anytime in the near future.

James Martin
118 Posted 25/01/2015 at 17:05:00
Ray, let’s not forget that the Chelsea team we were facing were within one minute of beating possibly the greatest ever club side in the Champions League and were injury-free with players like Cech, Terry, Cole, Lampard and Drogba all in their prime. They were one of the top sides in Europe and we were missing our three best players in Jagielka, Arteta and Yakubu.

Midfield that day? Neville and Fellaini holding with Cahill ahead of them. We didn’t have a chance. Yes, we scored first but they were absolutely rampant.

The Liverpool semi was a choke, the wigan QF a choke, and other cup disappointments like Reading and Leeds as well as some away derbies, but the 09 final was not a choke. We just got well and truly battered.

Even considering that if Neville hadn’t’ve slipped and Lampard curled in his usual worldy, we might have made it to extra time and won on pens. We wouldn’t have been the first rubbish team from Merseyside to defend an entire final and fluke it on pens.

David Harrison
119 Posted 25/01/2015 at 16:55:45
The list of crocks got me thinking about us as a wounded animal. Every team smells our blood at the moment and we still don’t seem to have much fighting instinct for survival. Yes, the R word is a real concern but it seems only the fans have sensed it yet.
Tony Marsh
120 Posted 25/01/2015 at 17:24:37
If Martinez is to continue as Everton manager, playing with the same team, he needs to adopt a different approach.When teams come to Goodison and park the bus, if not the whole depot, we need to sit back and invite them on. Counter attack sides with Baines, Coleman, Barkley, Lukaku breaking at pace.

It’s the only system that will work with this squad. We need to give up possession and play defense to attack quickly. All this pissing about around the D is creating fuck all and is turning the fans against the team.

We will not be relegated as there are too many shit teams below us.

Paul Tran
121 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:00:41
Darren, you’re right when comparing the cup to the league and, comparing Martinez to Clough is sheer madness.

I would love us to be as lucky as that. I do remember our cup run in 1984 being pretty ’easy’ and we didn’t play against much on the way to Rotterdam in 1985. Didn’t stop me celebrating like mad. Didn’t devalue the cups in any way.

I know finding any shred of evidence against Martinez is the only thing that keeps some people on here going, but what happened at a tinpot little club in Lancashire makes fuck all difference to us.

He is managing a talented squad very badly and is unable to do basic things like motivate them and keep them fit. We are in the bottom half of the league when we should be top six minimum. That’s your case for the prosecution. Being lucky for winning a cup at another club pales into insignificance. Oh yeah, he smiles as well, and he’s positive. Let’s stick to the important stuff, eh?

Colin Gee
122 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:11:00
Don’t mention the R word?

One win in 13 games, 4 points off the bottom three.

When should we start mentioning it then?

Ray Roche
123 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:11:11
Good post,James. The biggest sickener for me was the semi-final against the RS, Distin trying a back pass... still makes me sick to think about it. Has there been another Merseyside team that’s fluked a final... on pens, too? Another nightmare that was.
Nigel Gregson
124 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:07:38
CG 117, DH 104 - that’s exactly right. The opinions have already been made and any result / fact will be twisted around to suit that story.

Why let facts get in the way of a proper manager-venting rant? 5th place 72 points last year – oh yeah but that was fluke or Moyes’s team. Never mind Moyes never achieved 72 points in 11 fruitful years.

FA Cup win – yup got a lucky run – I suppose Moyes had 11 years of bad luck with a so called top-7 squad, and this lucky joker won it with the poorest squad in the league.

The gods of football must have really gone bonkers, how dare a no good idealist with airy fairy ideas about trying to play good football deserve his own chapter about tactical mastery in a published football book. Excerpt here :

http://www.soccerbythenumbers.com/2011/11/Roberto-Martinez-insurgent-leader-or.html

Le’ts just wait for the next three losses and send him packing back to Catalonia!! COYB – cos that’s how we support our boys in times of strife.

Darren Hind
125 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:15:39
TBH Paul, I kinda regretted the way I worded that post. It came across as Churlish. Wigan’s acheivement was absolutely fantastic.

I was trying to say that, whilst luck can play a big part of any cup campagne, a league table will not lie.

I would give my right arm for some really good luck right now and I cling to the hope that, despite his shortcomings, Robie is ultimately a lucky guy and our European tour is jut begining.

Napolean only ever wanted lucky Generals.

Colin Glassar
126 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:34:56
French generals, Russian officers and British soldiers and I would conquer the world was what he said, I think, Darren.
Chris Leyland
127 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:39:32
Nigel Gregson, I’m not quite sure what last season has actually got to do with this one if I am honest.

I assume that, following your own logic, should the worst happen and we finish in the bottom three, we can console ourselves that at least the year before the manager got us 72 points and he once won the cup with another team?

Football is all about the present and right now we stink the gaff out each and every week and have done for a while. The manager seems to be unable to motivate his players, he seems to not know how to use his substitutes effectively during a game, and he also seems to want to play certain players no matter what.

But it is okay, because there is a chapter in a book about his ’tactical mastery’...

Nigel Gregson
128 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:56:49
Chris (#127) – I couldn’t agree with your more, the only difference of opinion is, I still have faith in him whereas you don’t (reading between the lines).
John Keating
129 Posted 25/01/2015 at 19:16:34
Sorry Nigel I have to agree with Chris. Last season has long long gone this season so far has been a disgrace.

Obviously you are still upbeat regarding his success of last season and of his ongoing football philosophy. It appears the issues we have seen from preseason until today haven’t affected your belief in his ideas.

Can I ask you if there would be any time or circumstance that would change your opinion and faith in Martinez?

Dave Abrahams
130 Posted 25/01/2015 at 19:33:14
Phil (110), Cloughie had a drink problem for the last few years of his life. His face would have told you that, it redder and blotchier as each year went by and it did have an effect on the way he acted in his life and also on the way his teams performed.
Wayne Smyth
131 Posted 25/01/2015 at 19:34:31
The only reason Martinez’s past performance is relevant is when trying to determine at which point we get rid. If he’s really a shit manager we should get rid now. If he’s just having a shit season or shit 6 months, and if we can survive this season, then I’d give him another summer and another transfer window to sort things out. Maybe get rid next October if things haven’t improved. Who knows where we’d be now if we’d have sacked Moyes in 2004?

While he has made mistakes in the transfer market by putting so much of the club’s cash into Lukaku, and neglecting other areas, generally Martinez has bought good quality players that have improved on what he inherited. McCarthy, Besic, Lukaku, Barry, Kone and perhaps even Robles.

So provided we can survive I think we can afford to give him another window to get us some decent wingers and centre halves and put right all the mistakes he and the players have made this season.

Phil Walling
132 Posted 25/01/2015 at 18:58:44
I’ve been trying to second guess BK. Because there has been hardly a whimper in the media, he has not found it necessary to issue the customary ’vote of confidence.’ Only when they start putting the question to him will he believe he is in crisis. Two jounos of my acquaintance (both fans of Roberto ’who gives good copy’) tell me that they see the present situation as temporary although a bad loss at Palace may see the national boys ’getting excited’!

With only a point a game needed for safety, it will then take at least another couple of defeats for Bill to make a decision – encouraged, no doubt, by another poor home performance at which the faithful show displeasure. But will it then be too late?

What makes this interesting is that the view espoused by Colin and others (that this is merely a lengthy blip) seems to be the received wisdom of the media guys – and, no doubt, embraced by our chairman.

So don’t look for action any day soon. And mere survival will be enough to see Bobby getting another year to prove his way is what this game is all about. God help us!

Nigel Gregson
133 Posted 25/01/2015 at 19:49:47
John 129 – relegation certainly would. But I don’t believe it will come to that.

I am genuinely curious about would some of you folks who are calling for Martinez’s head be saying if you were Dortmund supporters, at what point would you call for Klopp’s head?

Darren Hind
134 Posted 25/01/2015 at 19:58:46
Nigel, I’m really not sure why you think favourable comparisons to Moyes excuse the shortcommings of Martinez. Thankfully Moyes left years ago.

Martinez did not win the cup with the poorest team in the league. He got a decent group of players relegated.

Martinez got relegated with a more talented group of players than the one Moyes took to CL qualification ten years ago.

Colin Glassar
135 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:07:05
Darren, I don’t understand your last two paragraphs. Please explain.
Tony Draper
136 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:08:55
We are in a sad position and only a reversal of fortunes will change this.

In the PL you have only two things to worry about.....

Learn here...............

Charlie Chuck on James Whale

I think that sums it up, very succinctly

Paul Hewitt
137 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:23:12
I have to say, Darren, Moyes’s top 4 team was much better than Martinez’s relegation team... Just my opinion.
Nigel Gregson
138 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:38:48
Tony 136 - Hilarious! Thank you for bringing back some humour into TW.
Mike Hughes
139 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:40:01
Wayne #131

If heÂ’s really a shit manager we should get rid now. If heÂ’s just having a shit season or shit 6 months, and if we can survive this season, then IÂ’d give him another summer and another transfer window to sort things out.

Great if you have a crystal ball and can see into the future. Give Derek Acorah a call.

At what point do you assess Â’if heÂ’s a really shit managerÂ’?
Equally, your Â’double ifÂ’ approach based on a shit six months but with survival is ludicrous.

Decisions are made in the here and now.
Another defeat and another defeat and itÂ’s too late.
After that WBA game and the preceding few weeks, IÂ’d take the Â’ifÂ’ out of it and pull the trigger now.

Ian Riley
140 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:12:36
Don’t mention the R word. Our manager has got off likely due to Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers at the bottom. Every pundit believes Everton will be fine, "too much quality". The manager took his eye of the ball in the summer. Did he think we will carry on from last season, well the cracks were there at the end of last season. That is why we never got fourth place.

Post World Cup with players tired and lacking confidence, together with injuries, led to pre-season games shipping goals. This has carried on during the first half of the season, Do I think the worst? No based on other teams having to improve greatly and the improvement in recent games.

I do hope the holiday, the team have had will bring them together and the manager listens to the players. My concern now is wins not performances. The manager is not going to be sacked so don’t keep wasting your energy on that.

I hope the manager is learning from this period, he is still young at a big club! The next five games will indicate if our fears may become a reality!

Paul Tran
142 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:34:32
Fair enough, Darren. Over the last season and a half, I’ve got increasingly irritated at the level of spurious, half-arsed selective statistics chucked at Martinez, when there’s plenty of genuine stuff to be criticised. Even last season, I thought he was inflexible and over-cautious.

The thing is, people who don’t like Martinez over-egg the pot so much that I find myself forgetting the pertinent points they make.

It’s simple. He had this team performing well and he’s fucked it up badly this season and lost the players in the process. Bill’s decision is based on whether this season or last season is going to be the norm.

For many on here, his position is untenable regardless. I can understand this, I felt the same about the last guy. It’s annoying when people call opinions ’facts’.

Richard Dodd
143 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:59:42
I think Phil Walling’s prediction and those of the rest of you are well off the mark. Bill will stick with Bobby even if we get relegated as he is waiting for Davy Moyes’s contract in Spain to be served.

The break and foreign experience will have done much for our best ever Premier League manager and he will come back to his natural home a much wiser man.

By then, the experience with an apprentice manager will have demonstrated how good he was and the Scot welcomed back by us all with open arms!

John Keating
145 Posted 25/01/2015 at 21:23:45
Nigel (#133), I would get rid of any manager who compromises the league status of my Club. In Martinez’s case, I would have binned him after West Brom.

Our performances are unacceptable and he shows no sign of changing. It is getting too far into the season and the teams form is so bad that something needs to be done.

You ask about Klopp. Well, if I were a Dortmund supporter, it would be exactly the same. Players and Managers come and go but the Club is forever and us halfwit supporters with it.

Doesn’t matter about last season, it’s gone. Only now is a concern. Same at Dortmund. Klopp has been great for the Club but even he can’t stay if they are in survival trouble.

Colin Glassar
146 Posted 25/01/2015 at 21:45:50
John, just out of curiosity, how many managers would you be prepared to go through a season? What would be your parameters for a man being sacked? If say we sacked Martinez back in December and the new manager continued with the bad run, how many games would you give him before you started looking for a replacement?

I’m not trying to be facetious, I’m just trying to understand how patient you’d be with a manager?

Raymond Fox
147 Posted 25/01/2015 at 20:52:43
Too many ’bottlers’ on here?

While I can’t pretend I’m happy with our situation, we are still in 12th at this moment. The bookies appear to have more faith that we will survive, they still have us at 25/1 to go down! Newcastle are 25/1 also, with 8 more teams deemed more likely to go down than us!

Admittedly we have a tough run of games to come, and things could get even more tense than of now, what with the Mirallas glory-seeking episode (Baines should have refused to let him take it), we just can’t seem to get a break this season. Add the refs’ decisions in the Stoke and Newcastle games and we could/should be in a better state than now.

Okay, that’s could be’s and maybe’s, we have to deal with the position as it is. Nothing’s gone Martinez’s way this season and he has to shoulder blame, but he’s also been let down by most of the players this season for a large part of it. It seems if a team comes to close us down, the players haven’t the skill/nous, call it what you will to score goals.

What we need is 2 or 3 class players that can go past defenders and make that vital difference in the result, but that happening is looking like pie in the sky at the moment.

Do I think we will be relegated, NO but there’s certain to be more nervy times to come and it will probably go to the wire. Would sacking Martinez make us a better team? Maybe, but I doubt it; which ever way you go, it’s an almighty gamble at this stage.

John Keating
148 Posted 25/01/2015 at 21:59:39
Colin, I wouldn’t have sacked Martinez in December. The disastrous festive programme up until West Brom was my cut-off point. You are trying to be facetious asking me how many managers I’d go through in a season. Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Martinez should have gone on Monday.

Whoever came in has to be given a bit of time to improve things. In my opinion, anyone, whoever they may be, could not be any worse than Martinez is right now. I would have accepted either a temporary or permanent replacement; at this stage, I imagine we could only have got a temp in.

Our present form is that of relegation candidates and if Martinez’s replacement can in any way improve it then great. So two managers: one to fuck up – Martinez – and one to get us out/improve things... anyone.
Can you honestly say that nobody could improve on our present form? And as for you, would you stick with Martinez regardless? Stick with him until 5 games to go... 3 to go???

Kevin Tully
149 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:11:58
The break the players are now enjoying could be a turning point either way. If they can’t settle their differences, and get back to playing for each other, then the situation is probably irretrievable.

Two meek losses against Palace and the RS would seal his fate with the majority of the fanbase. And who could blame them?

Neil Lennon may be the most ’gettable’ choice at that point.

Mike Hughes
151 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:15:28
Raymond #147

Too many Â’bottlersÂ’ on here? While I cant pretend IÂ’m happy with our situation, we are still in 12th at this moment.

The position is irrelevant at present. We’re 4 points off the relegation zone – and playing crap.What possible grounds are there for not ’bottling it’ as you put it?

Where is the evidence? The performances? The great use of substitutes? The tactical prowess? The heart and character of the team? The professional way our players are prepared for matches (free kicks, corners, fitness, soft tissue injuries, Plan B)?

Or is blind faith the order of the day?

Colin Glassar
152 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:17:40
Now you’re being facetious, John. I said earlier if this bad run continues into February-March then I’d seriously consider pulling the trigger.

I still think my question is a valid one. You didn’t make your mind up about Martinez on Monday surely? There’s no guarantee a manager would come in now and stop the rot is there? Alan Shearer couldn’t stop Newcastle going down, neither could Harry Redknapp at QPR; there are other examples of managers being drafted in to save clubs and it simply hasn’t worked.

In light of that, I think the safest bet is to stick with this guy and pray he can turn it around.

Mike Hughes
153 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:27:19
Now prayer is the safest bet...

ThatÂ’s how desperate things are.

FFS.

Paul Hewitt
154 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:31:11
Colin, that’s far to late, mate.
John Keating
155 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:31:51
So Colin you’d also have two managers a season?

I never made my mind up on Monday. I have been concerned for a couple of months – totally pissed off since Leicester, to be honest. Once the rot started mid-December, I thought mid January would be my D-Day, that was West Brom. Once I saw nothing had really changed, my mind was made up.

You, on the other hand, have decided that we can continue this present form through until April and then "consider" getting rid. Bit late in the day, isn’t it. If this form continues until April, there will be no chance for us. Still, we would have at least give him a good chance, eh?

Colin Glassar
156 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:40:35
Figure of speech, Mike.
Colin Glassar
158 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:46:35
What is this John? The Spanish inquisition? Don’t twist my words as we are talking about hypothetical situations which won’t happen. We aren’t going to lose our next 4-5 games so this is all redundant.

It’s very sad we are even having this conversation tbh.

Colin Glassar
159 Posted 25/01/2015 at 22:56:47
The good news is that McCarthy will be ready for Saturday, so cheer up.
Dave Lynch
160 Posted 25/01/2015 at 23:13:34
Did someone mention the Spanish inquistion?

Here are our 3 demands.

We demand a win
We demand a derby win
We demand a cup
We demand we do not get relegated

This are our 3, no, 4 demands...

Colin Glassar
161 Posted 25/01/2015 at 23:23:02
That made me laugh, Dave. Like someone said earlier, we need a bit of humour on here to lift the gloom.
Keith Harrison
162 Posted 25/01/2015 at 23:26:41
No one expected the Spanish Inquisition, Dave.

Anyone for Lupins??

Raymond Fox
163 Posted 25/01/2015 at 23:21:43
Mike (#151),

Call it blind faith if you wish, but who is going to wave a magic wand over our team? Looking at the League, there is very little to choose between the 8-10 teams in the bottom half, but the 4 points we are above the bottom 3 still counts as valuable. We are struggling but so also are most of the other sides towards the bottom, which is a help.

ThereÂ’s no easy games in the Prem and results will be all over the place till the end. We could do with a few Â’lucky goalsÂ’, deflections and the like for a change, I donÂ’t remember us getting many if any this season. Â’Match of the DayÂ’ is full of them every week; they can be the difference.

Mike Hughes
164 Posted 26/01/2015 at 00:06:38
Raymond #163

It must be blind faith as you didnÂ’t answer my question.

Where is the evidence that RM can turn things around? We’re in a free fall of his making. Forget the ’lucky goals’ – that’s clutching at straws in addition to blind faith.

As to who will replace him – that’s BK’s decision. I wouldn’t offer any names. I just know the current one isn’t the man to take Everton forward.

On our recent form, could a Dairylea Cheese Triangle do any worse?

Neil Quinn
165 Posted 26/01/2015 at 00:27:33
One of the most "nail on head" posts IÂ’ve ever read on TW.
Steve Carse
166 Posted 26/01/2015 at 00:24:51
Colin (158), at least I’m with you in the belief that we’re not going to lose the next 5 matches –because lose the next 2 and RM will be out.
Darryl Ritchie
169 Posted 26/01/2015 at 05:59:49
Just curious. What is the farthest any club has fallen down the table in consecutive seasons? Fifth to relegation would have to be close to the record... wouldn't it?
Ross Edwards
170 Posted 26/01/2015 at 09:44:34
Ipswich in 2001-02 Darryl. 5th the previous year to relegation.
Ray Roche
171 Posted 26/01/2015 at 09:46:56
Darryl, I believe Northampton Town went from the (old) 4th div to the (old) 1st div and back again between 1960 and 1970.
I also think Carlisle went from Div1 to Div4 in consecutive seasons from 1975. They beat Everton home and away in the year we missed out on being Champions by four points and they were relegated.
Phil Walling
172 Posted 26/01/2015 at 09:53:21
We shall be arguing these points until the end of the season, I fear, but I'm sure that BK will put off any decision unless or until we are actually in the relegation slots.

Of course, he may already have feelers out about a replacement although that may be too much to hope for. He tends to react to the masses and, to date, public displeasure has been muted although the loss of all that 'place money' may see 'others calling the shots.

For sure he won't be influenced by anything we say on here although the trust and confidence in Martinez shown by Colin Glassar would be of great comfort to him.

Nigel Gregson
173 Posted 26/01/2015 at 12:41:41
Phil - don't forget my support :-)
Martin Mason
174 Posted 26/01/2015 at 13:11:55
I think that the most risky and disruptive option now would be to sack Martinez between now and the end of the season.
Dave Abrahams
175 Posted 26/01/2015 at 13:17:07
And some of mine.
Phil Walling
176 Posted 26/01/2015 at 13:41:08
OK, guys I'll let BK know he has your support for his inertia – although if we do go down, I promise to remind you of your posts today!
Brian Harrison
177 Posted 26/01/2015 at 14:09:36
Phil, don't you mean Iniesta?
Ross Edwards
178 Posted 26/01/2015 at 14:18:34
Phil, who could come in now? Who in your opinion would come in and be better than what we have now?
Steavey Buckley
179 Posted 26/01/2015 at 14:34:28
The big problem of having an Everton team that over exerts themselves in the tackling – there will be more yellow cards and sendings off. That is why Everton are playing at a less physical and aggressive tempo, even though Barry is on 9 yellow cards.
Phil Walling
180 Posted 26/01/2015 at 14:40:20
Ross, it is not for me to name future managers of Everton. I have no access to information as to who is available, interested in the position or more suited to it than was Martinez. I would expect BK to have more worthy advisers than a common or garden speccy like me. If you are implying no-one could be an improvement on this clown then you must be deluded!

On a brighter note, my pie-eating brother-in-law has just pointed out that Roberto never won less than NINE games in his four seasons at Wigan and in 2011-12 actually won 11. Given, he says, our far more talented players, he must be able to win another 4 or 5 to bring his tally 'up to normal' and that should be enough to see Everton safe.

I told him not to intrude on private grief!

Brian Harrison
181 Posted 26/01/2015 at 14:49:33
Ross, you ask Phil who could come in and be better than we have now? Well, in the short-term, I am sure Joe Royle could do a job till the end of the season – at least they would show more fight than they are at present.

I know changing the manager at this point doesn't always guarantee success, but Pulis hasn't lost a game since he was appointed and since Pardew was appointed, Palace have won all their games. Even Pepe Mel kept WBA up last year even though they got rid of him quite quick, not forgetting that Pulis got Palace out of jail last season.

For the long-term, I would love Diego Simeone; sadly, we would have to be in a Champions League place to lure him. I think he will be on his way to Man City.

Frank Rijkaard would be a good choice having won league and Champions League with Barca. Failing that, I would offer the job to Frank de Boer, who is doing a good job with Ajax.

Ross Edwards
182 Posted 26/01/2015 at 15:01:31
De Boer would be a good one, Brian. Let's be honest, Ajax don't look like winning anything this season so he might think about leaving.

I'm sure he would love to work in the Premier League at some stage. I'd put my money on him going to Newcastle at the end of the season though.

Andrew Ellams
183 Posted 26/01/2015 at 15:07:40
I think if we did replace our manager sooner rather than later, Bill would go for a home-based manager with something to prove and we would see names like Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche and maybe even Phil Parkinson linked. Not my choices – just how I see Bill going next time...
Ross Edwards
184 Posted 26/01/2015 at 15:31:06
Moyes came from relative obscurity when he replaced Wally. I can imagine if we did sack Roberto we'd probably get someone like Karl Robinson or as Andrew says, Howe or Parkinson.
Brian Hill
185 Posted 26/01/2015 at 15:34:29
Walter Smith recommended Moyes, that seems to be an accepted fact. Left to his own devices, Kenwright appointed Martinez. Would you trust Kenwright to get it right next time, if, indeed, there is to be a next time in the near future?
John Keating
186 Posted 26/01/2015 at 15:56:18
Ross, you asked who could come in and do a better job than the clown we have at present?

Well presently available, I understand, is Paul the psychic octopus last employed in the 2010 World Cup – did a great job.

Someone with more recent experience is Ariel the psychic fish from last year's World Cup. Unless they've been scoffed I would imagine one of them would do. Failing them, any woodland log couldn't be worse.

Dave Pritchard
187 Posted 26/01/2015 at 16:02:00
Paul the Octopus is dead. RIP
Brian Harrison
188 Posted 26/01/2015 at 15:58:57
If or when BK looks for a new manager, I think he will go for someone with a tried and trusted record. I don't think he will go for a manager from the lower leagues. I know he appointed Moyes from Preston but I think that was mainly because of Walter's recommendation.
Andrew Ellams
189 Posted 26/01/2015 at 16:03:05
I think Robinson's dark side connections would count against him. I live near Milton Keynes and know a few people who watch them regularly; he seems to flatter to deceive each season and they fall away at the end.
Andrew Ellams
190 Posted 26/01/2015 at 16:06:15
I suppose the concern is that, if he gets to the point were he is forced to dismiss Martinez, we are probably going to be in a pretty poor state of affairs. Which experienced manager with some sort of relative success is going to want to come in and try to fix things with very little financial help and the very real possibility of some of his best players looking to jump ship?
Ray Roche
191 Posted 26/01/2015 at 16:30:48

Dave Pritchard #187

"Paul the Octopus is dead. RIP"

I met Paul once. Shook hands with him. Took all fuckin' day.

Colin Glassar
192 Posted 26/01/2015 at 18:06:06
So is Demi Roussos. R.I.P. Big Man.
Bill Gall
193 Posted 26/01/2015 at 23:15:08
I cannot uderstand why we are in so poor a league position as, according to Mr Martinez, we have nearly a full team of phenomonal players.
Steve Carse
194 Posted 27/01/2015 at 01:20:40
Andrew (130), Everton is still a big club within football circles if not with the media. Obviously no manager of a regular CL qualifier would likely be interested but nearly all others would be I'm sure. As for financial constraints, as a manager I'd rather have the players already available -- and we have.
Mike Childs
195 Posted 27/01/2015 at 02:28:55
I got to admit, Phil, your replies are great (#180)

"I told him not to intrude on private grief." – One of the best lines I've read on this site.

Conor Waters
196 Posted 27/01/2015 at 15:09:33
I wasn't keen on the appointment of Martinez. But was pleasantly surprised by some of the football we played last season, our record points haul and some of the results achieved. However the expectation was that we could do even better this season, as we'd still had a couple of shocking results last year (the humiliating derby, conceding late in the first derby, home defeats to Sunderland & Palace, no wins against the likes of WBA/Palace/Spurs, the pitiful league cup defeat to Fulham - no change there).

I'm not one who favours a constant chopping and changing of managers, but I think Roberto's days are numbered if we don't pick up some crucial points in the next month. A derby victory is almost a requirement in my eyes.

Just for the record, I wanted Vitor Pereira in charge. I see he's just popped up at Olympiakos a few weeks ago after a dubious spell in the middle East...

Sam Bull
197 Posted 29/01/2015 at 16:32:29
I tend to agree with everything you have said in the OP, especially the pre-season fiasco.

The situation regarding our finances and being relegated, well that depends on Bill Kenwright... Don't we get more money if we come back up? Maybe that's part of his plan (shudders)!

Colin Glassar
199 Posted 01/02/2015 at 09:59:46
Can we now put the 'R' word to bed? Phil, if I was you I'd change family.
Colin Glassar
200 Posted 01/02/2015 at 13:21:59
I highly recommend everyone reads Lee Carsley's article today.

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