Is it Martinez’s selection policy – constant 4-2-3-1 formation home and away, except for thedebacle at Hull? Or is he trying to accommodate too many similar players – Barkley, Naismith? Or has he got too many favourites he always wants to play – Howard, Baines, Barry. Are we just a poor team or is Martinez much worse than our original season would lead us to believe? Whatever you think it’s probably all of these and more issues.

We constantly have all this talk that why can’t we replicate our Europa Cup form in the league, but I personally feel we have had it lucky and easy in the Europa Cup. Our really one true test was Wolfsburg and even though we won 6:1 on aggregate (I still don’t know how) we honestly all know it could have been 10:6 to them. They had 66 shots, 20 on target in total , it just wouldn’t go in for them.

None of the rest we faced would hold their own at all in the Premier League. The other excuse is that Europa clubs struggle with the Thursday, Sunday schedule, well I don’t see that with Spurs who presently are 7th in the League, 16 more points than us.

Sorry, but in my eyes last season was a one-off, never-to-be-seen-again season with Martinez and we are just an average/poor team, probably finishing between 12-15th place. Is it Martinez’s fault? Well, yes it is. Forget about his nonsensical after-match interviews where I cringe to the point I find it embarrassing being an Evertonian. He and his staff have seriously underperforme. He has in the media built players up to supposed world-class levels and to some extent over pressurised them – the Barkleys, Stoneses, Lukakus, Mirallases – and it's obvious they are not, and may never be.

He neglected his duties back in June and July when he should have been ensuring we had a balanced and fit squad for the forthcoming season. He in hindsight went overboard on Lukaku and, to be fair, any successful club needs a 20-goal a season man, but just don’t spend the whole kitty on him. We knew that we needed – more pace, more creativity and he just didn’t find it. And don’t get me going on our lack of preseason preparation – it was a joke.

The real downer for me is that even though we will survive the season and remain in the Premier League (and that’s a best guess, not a certainty), and get another game or two in the Europa Cup, the effect this season will have with the few decent players we have – Coleman, Lukaku, McCarthy, and maybe the youngsters Barkley, Stones, and Garbutt – will make them realise that this club is not a “Big Club” and they won’t win anything with us.

I can see us losing a few of them as well as Mirallas, and Atsu who want bigger and better. We will be stuck for a few years yet with the ageing Howard, Baines, Ossie, Gibson, Hibbert, Pienaar, Alcaraz and also Barry, Jags, Naismith (though I do feel these three are still good enough for a couple of years).

There are signs in recent interviews that the players have known there are problems about the way they play, but just can’t find a solution and that’s where they look to the manager. But Martinez’s only solution is to play his trusted eleven in his trusted format, with an edict that the ball must be retained at all costs. It doesn’t work, it will only ever work if you somehow get a decent run going and players have belief and confidence, but we haven’t been able to do that at all this season.

He has never trusted change, either in system or players, the likes of Robles, Alcaraz, Garbutt, Besic, Gibson, and Kone are only given 15-minute cameos or the odd game when someone is injured. He just doesn’t see them as replacements when his first eleven dip in form. There is no pressure on his first eleven to perform week in week out.

I think we will stay up but only due to our player character and the belief that there are 3 teams out there worse than us QPR, Aston Villa and Sunderland. Hope that Sherwood doesn’t turn Villa around.

The real serious work – who replaces Martinez and development of a new squad – will take place in May.

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Seb Niemand
1 Posted 23/02/2015 at 07:21:52
The misery only has a chance of ending when we rid ourselves of this deluded, second rate manager. Your key question at the end nags: we have limited time to decide who to replace him with and I do not trust Kenwright to make a good choice.
Paul Olsen
3 Posted 23/02/2015 at 07:34:52
Don't really disagree, but I just want to add this about our current European opponents. Young Boys trashed Basel 4-2 last night. That is the same Basel that knocked Liverpool out of the champions League. They did not get thrashed in the round of 16 either against Porto. 1-1 at home, away game to come.
Young boys are currently 5 Points trailing Basel in the Swiss League. They are not top class, but certainly no pushovers.

Young boys finished second in their Europa League Group as well, one point behind Napoli. A run where they beat Slovan Bratislava 5-0 and 3-1, 2-0 against Napoli at home and 2-0 at home to Sparta Praha.
At their home, our result is quite a feat.

Apart from that, Yeah we suck.

John Keating
4 Posted 23/02/2015 at 08:15:04
Well I've calmed down from the anger and emotion of yesterday and after a good kip can look at things a bit more rationally.
The sooner this clown of a manager and his staff piss off and leave our Club the better.
The guy is an overrated, incompetent arsehole who is slowly making our Club a laughing stock.
Mike I fully agree with your article and I only hope you are correct regarding us keeping out the bottom 3.
Martinez should have been shown the door the minute the West Brom at home match finished, not one thing he has done since then could not have been done by my grandkids.
The thought of us escaping relegation this season and putting up with his shite next season is an abhorrence.
Maybe he is a nice guy but not a manager for my Club.
Helen Mallon
5 Posted 23/02/2015 at 08:26:56
I have said on another thread its time to start making waves by not going to games or public slating of the manager kenwright and the board through social media. There should be banners calling for all the above to be kicked out. This will be the only way 90% of the fans feelings will be heard, because the media don’t really give a rats arse about us especially the Echo. Bloody cheek to have season tickets for sale to watch that.
Phil Walling
7 Posted 23/02/2015 at 08:25:36
Whilst agreeing with much of Mike's article - although I do think you can add Leicester to the teams we shall finish ahead of - a re-look at yesterday's game shows, without doubt, that was Lukaku a true £28M striker we should have won by a hatful !

Because we fail to put home so many chances, every frailty is diagnosed and poured over and whilst on yesterday's form, Howard handicaps us from the off, the real failure was up front.

Never one to be slow to criticise Martinez, I somehow feel sorry for him that the guy he has backed with the family jewels so flatters to deceive. In a way, I think our manager is in awe of his team - particularly those who have played for long at a level to which he never aspired. His exaggerated praise almost tells us as much, although it certainly fails to inspire them !

Perhaps others now agree that he was never right for the job in the first place and that a less philosophical man could get more out of some talented players. Especially Lukaku.

Trevor Peers
9 Posted 23/02/2015 at 09:34:05
Don't expect the manager to be replaced in the summer except if we come close to getting relegated!

That is the conclusion I have come to despite playing the most inept football I can remember by an Everton side since watching the team from the late 50s. From what I have read Roberto has forged such a strong relationship with BK he is virtually fireproof.

So it will be a real roller coaster till the end of the season; after witnessing yesterdays game the main problem is the lack of confidence and cohesion that has become the teams hallmark in the managers second season and I think it can only get worse, the individual mistakes by some players is alarming. In my experience all these factors are a direct result of the managers influence on the team and clearly Martinez is out of his depth.

Make no mistake he will start the new season as manager so we have to suffer this for a long time before he leaves and god knows who BK will pick as the new manager its all very sad.

James Martin
10 Posted 23/02/2015 at 09:47:19
People can say what they want about Moyes but by the end of his time he had developed a consistency at home that other top clubs have. Losing only once at home in a campaign is good going. We scalped quite a few top sides to the point you were almost expecting home wins v City every year and always fancied a chance against Chelsea or United. When the dross rolled into Goodison unless we were really unlucky or messrs Howard and Distin were doing their comedy routine, if we were in good form we'd just destroy them.

Now there's just no consistency. A team like Leicester can come to Goodison and quite easily take three points. Yet we could quite easily go to Napoli and win away. Such is the Martinez model. We may yet win a trophy with him, but we will never win anything consistently without good home form. Van Gaal has United in the top 4 on the back of nothing more than decent home form and drawing away. That could easily have been us in previous seasons. There's no control, rhythm or style to our football. From one game to the next you don't know what you are going to see. whereas in the past you could guarantee combination play between Baines and Pienaar, Osman and Arteta, even a style of play involving Fellaini, now there's no combinations. Every team is Barry, Howard and 9 others and they could be any 9. We sailed through the Europa tie, had a must win against Leicester at home and you find Mirallas, our most potent attacking weapon on the bench. I just don't understand it. For me, after close to 2 seasons and 4 full transfer windows a manager should have some idea about his best 11 and a recognisable style of play. We have neither. Its the law of averages management. If we keep the ball enough we might win we might not. Its the individual quality of our players that have stopped us being relegated. A good back two and a 15 goal a season striker mean you're just about not going down. The midfield and wide positions are a total mess though, the fullbacks have no idea what they are doing anymore and look completely shot of confidence and the keeper is absolutely woeful. If Lukaku is not on fire, we normally lose, that is the reality. With Robles in goal we were good for a clean sheet. With Howard though we are 1 down before the game has started. I really thought we'd just hit a bump in the road but the home performances against the like of West Brom, Hull and Leicester have been atrocious. The players are not good enough to self motivate, and Martinez isn't good enough to motivate them. Like children, rather than an educator as a manager they just need a dictator like Mourinho or Moyes. They cannot think for themselves and cannot be trusted enough to perform without being given idiot proof tactics to follow. Multiple formations, passing combinations, covering runs, they have no clue about it sadly. An extraordinarily stupid group of players with an extraordinarily naive manager 'leading them'. Will only end in tears now.

John Keating
11 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:01:56
You're right about the Echo Helen.
Prentice, O'Keefe et al are in a fantastic position to ask Martinez the questions we would like asked. These guys have daily access to the Club but do they ask anything relevant ? No chance.
Why would they jeopardise their treble G.T s and grub on Matchdays ?
They are supposed to be supporters in their own right but supporters with an alternative agenda.
No whilst they're at the Echo we'll only get stories about Bainsys music preferences and Atsu enjoying life on Merseyside.
Dick Fearon
12 Posted 23/02/2015 at 09:51:24
I agree with just about everything said by previous posters.
To think Roberto turned down the RS. The jammy sods certainly dodged the bullet.
Like most I am sick to the back teeth with his ridiculous media comments.
Any excuse that our mid week Euro game caused our debacle at home against bottom of the league Leicester was put to bed by the RS away win against high flying Southampton.
Colin Glassar
13 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:05:49
I can't defend what happened yesterday, in fact I can't really defend anything that has gone on this season. It's like watching a horror film in slow motion, it just won't end!!
We will limp over the finishing line between 10-12th as there are at least eight teams worse than us but it will continue to be nervy from now until late March. I can't wait until this season is over.
Even though I have to agree with Mike Oates, in the main, I do think he is being a bit unfair when it comes to the Europa league. That has been our one shining light in this dark, dark season. We have played with confidence and swagger In Europe but why this hasn't been transferred to the league is baffling.
I also have to agree with Phil W in regard to Martinez's inability to drop his underperforming 'stars' e.g. Howard, Baines, Barry, even Barkley and Lukaku need benching occasionally but he seems terrified to use his squad. Whatever happened to rotation?
I continue to give him the benefit of the doubt as I think right now he is paralysed by indecision and fear. Give him the summer to reorganise his mind and tactics, and freshen up the squad and lets see where we are in December. If we continue to cough and splutter then it will be time to pull the trigger and move on.
Ross Edwards
14 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:18:20
No dares to speak out. Those with their comfy positions at the club won't say anything or ask anything critical to Roberto. Kevin Sheedy for example tweeted yesterday that it was 'a good point'. Clearly not wanting to jeopardise his position at the club

The only locally based journo that possesses the courage to nail Martinez is Phil McNulty. Although any 'tough' questions to Martinez about team selection or anything like that would probably be brushed off by Roberto with some usual rubbish.

Dick Fearon
15 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:11:56
To give Kopites their due, had they suffered half of what we have under this clown there would be mass demonstrations, pipes drums banners and CDs in and around Anfield. They will not accept second rate stuff from players, managers or directors.
Our complaints on ToffeeWeb is the only outlet for our frustration.
Or is it, did I hear faint booing after the game.
Nigel Gregson
16 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:24:05
CG - injuries happened to rotation. In fact I'd bet we'd be whining about overuse of Osman - had he been fit (and frankly right now I'd take him over Ross any day). Howard still being in the team is sadly inexcusable. Even I wont be defending Bobby about that.
Ross Edwards
17 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:25:03
Good point Dick, we were all laughing and mocking them when they were marching against Gilett and Hicks and when they started turning against Hodgson.

Could you see us doing similar against Kenwright? I can't.

Colin Glassar
18 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:27:29
Injuries have indeed affected us Nigel. The problem being in at least two cases, Howard (Robles) and Baines (Garbutt/Oviedo), however well the replacements have performed they are inmediately dropped and the senior players are reinserted. This must be damaging to morale.
Barry Stevens
19 Posted 23/02/2015 at 09:53:53
Only got to see first half yesterday as was on holiday and had to catch flight home. Then missed the re run on sky this am, but did catch Roberto's after match usual bullshit. Trying to convince us that we should be content with the fact of a last minute equaliser and packing the box against the team bottom of the league. Seriously thinking of giving my ticket away for next week at the Emirates and maybe just stay away for the rest of the season.
James Martin
20 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:38:59
Ross that is because their is an entire culture of mediocrity surrounding the club. The RS's last title is almost as ancient history as our yet one club acts like its a serial league winner, the other club acts as though its thanking its stars every single day the premier league is gracious enough to allow it in every year. Sadly that has permeated through to the fans. Boss support is singing the school of science is on its way back at our one decent away performance of the season. If you voice any discontent, god forbid boo, apparently you're a terrible supporter ruining the match day experience for 'proper blues'. The football is irrelevant to some of these so called 'proper blues' they'd get bladdered watching us lose 5-0 away to Kharkiv or something and would still sing the school of science song.

We had our time of giving support. As we lost four game son the bounce over Christmas we endured it with barely any mention. And how did we get repaid? With a penalty debacle against West Brom, with the most cowardly derby performance in recent memory, with Howard throwing the ball in his net against Chelsea and Leicester, with Lukaku missing tap ins from a yard out just trolling us every week, with Martinez laughing about the whole thing because he's not getting relegated and don't worry all the fans are still singing his name. The whole thing is a joke. I'm not saying sack the manager (although that is one way to do it). I'm saying someone at the lcub should have said to Roberto ' stop messing around picking out of form players all the time like Howard, pick your best 11 and stick with it and get us some points otherwise you're out the door'. Instead the absurd experimentation every single game has continued and the club are happy with it because they'll survive for the TV money and this image of community friendly Everton with nice smiling Roberto persists. If the board aren't upholding the standards then the fans should be but sadly some people are happy with one decent away European performance every season and if you say anything else to the contrary you're not getting behind the team and you're not a 'sound blue'. When will people realise this team stopped playing for the fans a long time ago. Martinez is managing for his own profile and the players are playing for their own careers. If either were working for the fans then they wouldn't have tolerated the abysmal results and weekly embarassments we have endured. Sadly Martinez is on a theoretical ideological field trip and half the players are playing for their next move and half are seeing out their retirement, and no one has a word to say against it. Disgraceful really.

Ross Edwards
21 Posted 23/02/2015 at 11:13:50
It is James. Spot on as ever. A mentality that will never be removed until Bill and his cronies are kicked out, something which more than likely will not be happening any time soon.

Kenwright would probably take 12th-15th and a Europa League Last 16 defeat. He's so lucky Martinez that we don't have an owner like Daniel Levy because he would have been sacked months ago. 6 wins in 26, with 2 since November would never be accepted at any club. Yet at Everton, one good season gets you an embarrassing mural on a stand and a new 5 year contract.

Denis Richardson
22 Posted 23/02/2015 at 10:56:14
Sorry Mike but I don't agree that we're a poor team. Players like; Barkley, McCarthy, Baines, Stones, Mirallas, Coleman, Lukaku, Jagielka, Besic, Oviedo etc are not poor (despite how they've played recently). These are top professionals and most (if not all) of them are full internationals.

I lay 100% of the blame for the performances and results of this season at the manager's feet. These players can perform much better but there is something clearly wrong behind the scenes. Be it training, selection, tactics, motivation or a combination of all, I don't know. However, until the manager is gone this will not end. It's gone on for far too long now to simply be down to injuries or form.

I firmly believe that RM has no idea how to get the best out of these players and this is shown time and time again with the exact same formation and tactics being used every leaue game, with the exact same result - crap, slow, insipid performances. If things are not working a good manager will try something different (tactics, players, formation etc) but every game we line up 4231 with virtually the same players, given what looks like the same instructions. Surprise surprise, almost the same performances result.

Every now and then comments from the players (e.g. Garbutt in Dec, Lukaku before) highlight how bad things are behind the scenes. I truly believe that if RM isn't gone in the summer, a lot of our better players will look to leave as I just don't think they're convinced he knows what he's doing and won't want to waste another year of their short careers playing for him. Like them or not, the likes of Mirallas, Lukaku, Barkley, Oviedo and Garbutt are not happy. Rumours also around that Baines is not happy. How long before you can add to that the likes of Robles, Coleman, Besic and Stones?

This guy needs to be shipped off once we're safe in the league and out of the EL. RM may have what it takes with another set of players but fact is we don't have the cash to buy an entire new team. We have to work with what we've got and he clearly cannot manage that. The results this season speak for themselves. The EL has barely papered over the cracks, agree that once we draw a decent side we'll be out (am dreading playing away to the likes of Napoli or Sevilla!).

Not to mention the crap he comes out with in interviews, not practising set pieces, lack of work on defensive play, poor team selections, favourites over in form players....

It would be interesting if Michael and Lyndon could put up a poll to see how many people would like to see RM gone. E.g. three options; gone now, gone in the summer or keep and give him more time.

Unfortunatelly RMs new contract may make him simply too expensive to sack after we (hopefully) avoid the drop. Maybe low season ticket sales will give BK a clear message.

Kevin Gillen
23 Posted 23/02/2015 at 12:51:45
I'm not an advocate of managerial merry go rounds or of "sack the board" protests. You make your bed and then you lie in it as an Evertonian. If you want instant karma go and support Chelsea or Man City (I remembered as I drove past Huddersfield on the way back from the match last night Man City being beaten by Huddersfield in League 1 not so very long ago). My patience though is being severely tested in the same way that many of the above are. I do believe that Martinez is trying to make us a better football team with his methods but I have to take him to task on several points that are glaringly obvious.
The first is the goalkeeper. I thought that Howard's performance earlier in the season at home to Crystal Palace was just about the most abject performance I have seen from an Everton keeper but yesterday's performance was at least the equal of it. How on earth Leicester scored from either of those balls in to the box is almost against the laws of physics. I think he has cost the club at least twelve points this season and he must be dropped.
Secondly the formation and tactics, yesterday showed with Gibson in a quarterback style of passing role that there is no need for two defensive midfielders at home. The first half played in that formation resulted in some of the most boring football imaginable, as it was at home against Hull City and against WBA. I was going to renew my two season tickets this week but I have to say that I am now going to keep my powder dry as I'm not spending £1200 on a season in the Championship, a very real possibility as Burnley, Leicester and QPR are all capable of escaping relegation and we are incapable of winning a game at home. I don't accept the Europa League as an excuse, it's 90 minutes for goodness sake.
I haven't been impressed with the selection of the teams on occasions and like many of the fans cannot understand the substitutions.
Martinez has to make some bold moves to improve the current situation or we risk ruin, losing all our young talent. He must start with the goalkeeper, if Howard had been anywhere near the races yesterday, all the opprobrium expended this morning would not have been aired.
Mike Childs
24 Posted 23/02/2015 at 13:20:17
Denis, I do hope you're right because sadly only low season ticket sales maybe the only way we get rid of RM other than relegation and by then it's to late.
Tony J Williams
25 Posted 23/02/2015 at 13:33:53
But there is no way Martinez will abandon his principles in the intense scrap for points.

"I have never been tempted to change," he said.

"From starting as a manager at Swansea in 2007, it hasn't been easy.

"Everyone looks at Swansea now and thinks they have played that way for 20 years. It took six months.

"It was very new and people had to be educated.

"But since I left my country to join the British game I would never change my football beliefs."

Groundhog day? Wigan April 2013

Adam Luszniak
26 Posted 23/02/2015 at 13:40:56
I agree with a lot of what has been posted here. Not sure i'd say it's time to sack him yet, he has proved he can set this squad up right and play some decent football. Unfortunately he has also proved he's going to stick with Howard despite his form being much worse than Robles. One glimmer of hope was the introduction of Gibson yesterday. As has been highlighted above, there was little to no need to play 2 defensive minded mids against Leicester. Disappointing that it took Martinez so long to realise this.

Perhaps rightly people are highlighting the money he spent on Lukaku. For me, he's a total enigma. He was awesome against Young Boys and abjectly poor against Leicester. He should have been replaced by Kone at the break. Again only Martinez to blame for that one.

James Martin
27 Posted 23/02/2015 at 13:42:16
Tony he says this but apart from monotonous low pace passing I don't know what his philosophy is. Last season it was flying full backs with inside forwards and ball retention in the middle which I could half get. Yet in big games we were playing 4-3-3 with a striker on the wing (admittedly it worked) and at other times three at the back. This season we seem to play 4231 but without marauding full backs, in fact the recent purchases of Lennon Atsu and McGeady would suggest Martinez is not actually looking for his fullbacks to overlap. Again we've flipped back and ofrth between 4-3-3 with Barkley or even Lukaku preferred on the wing when McGeady Atsu and Mirallas have been sat on the bench. I've tried to understand it but with each starting line up it just poses more questions. He's even now praising Gibson for passing the ball forward early and quickly which is the exact antithesis of everything Martinez has implemented since he came in. The big one for me is that in Europe when the opposition have the ball we are fine playing on the counter and Martinez is willing to accept that as a good by product of his philosophy, unfortunately that says more about the individual talents of a team rather than the managerial philosophy. When we are at home needing to break a team down however we are woeful. This suggests whatever the philosophy is is not working. There is no recognisable style, formation, or way of approaching a game, everyone has been different. If he just said 'we play on the counter away from home but we get on the front foot at home' I could accept that, but whereas one week in europe we'll play truly on the counter with Mirallas Lukaku and Barkley running at pace. The next we'll be paying tippy tappy at Anfield, or trying to play counter with Etoo and McGeady, two players if ever there were any who were designed for only playing at home. It's just baffling. I don't think there is a philosophy, there's just a lot of tactics that the players are not intelligent enough to understand or implement, so many in fact that the fans can't recognise them, and that's me being nice to Martinez. On the evidence displayed its equally plausible that he's just a moron with no tactical brain whatsoever.
James Martin
28 Posted 23/02/2015 at 13:42:16
Tony he says this but apart from monotonous low pace passing I don't know what his philosophy is. Last season it was flying full backs with inside forwards and ball retention in the middle which I could half get. Yet in big games we were playing 4-3-3 with a striker on the wing (admittedly it worked) and at other times three at the back. This season we seem to play 4231 but without marauding full backs, in fact the recent purchases of Lennon Atsu and McGeady would suggest Martinez is not actually looking for his fullbacks to overlap. Again we've flipped back and ofrth between 4-3-3 with Barkley or even Lukaku preferred on the wing when McGeady Atsu and Mirallas have been sat on the bench. I've tried to understand it but with each starting line up it just poses more questions. He's even now praising Gibson for passing the ball forward early and quickly which is the exact antithesis of everything Martinez has implemented since he came in. The big one for me is that in Europe when the opposition have the ball we are fine playing on the counter and Martinez is willing to accept that as a good by product of his philosophy, unfortunately that says more about the individual talents of a team rather than the managerial philosophy. When we are at home needing to break a team down however we are woeful. This suggests whatever the philosophy is is not working. There is no recognisable style, formation, or way of approaching a game, everyone has been different. If he just said 'we play on the counter away from home but we get on the front foot at home' I could accept that, but whereas one week in europe we'll play truly on the counter with Mirallas Lukaku and Barkley running at pace. The next we'll be paying tippy tappy at Anfield, or trying to play counter with Etoo and McGeady, two players if ever there were any who were designed for only playing at home. It's just baffling. I don't think there is a philosophy, there's just a lot of tactics that the players are not intelligent enough to understand or implement, so many in fact that the fans can't recognise them, and that's me being nice to Martinez. On the evidence displayed its equally plausible that he's just a moron with no tactical brain whatsoever.
Clive Mitchell
31 Posted 23/02/2015 at 14:02:49
Two key problems: chocolate goalkeeper; the fact that the manager puts him in the team. The second problem is the more worrying. Either RM is playing that situation long, to try and cut our financial loss on Howard's contract with an MLS move in the summer, or his position must be too weak to address it. Or he's incompetent.
Bill Gall
32 Posted 23/02/2015 at 14:06:57
To me we are all looking at what Martinez achieved last season as a yardstick to his abilities as a manager instead of looking at his overall performances as a manager in the premier league .
Last season he did achieve the highest points total for Everton in the premier getting them into 5th place and a place in Europe.
But with all his free flowing football and goals scored they only sored 6 goals more and had 1 goal less against them than did our previous manager who finished 6th in his last season.

This will be Martinez's 6th season in the premier with 5 of those spent in the bottom half of the league. this is not good enough for a premier manager.

Paul Tran
34 Posted 23/02/2015 at 14:46:27
I think there's a good manager in Martinez. Last season wasn't purely down to luck or inheriting a good team.

For me, his big issue is that what he clearly regards as strengths, we clearly see as weaknesses. Stubbornness can be an excellent quality in anyone, but you also need a level of self - awareness to understand when it really is you that's got it wrong.

Every Everton manager in my lifetime (Catterick onwards) has had at least one poor season. The good ones have all made mistakes, learnt from them and put them right.

I don't expect our manager to slag off the players, or even openly criticise his own performance. I do expect some signs that he realises where he's going wrong and how to put it right. I can't see those signs with Martinez.

All the best managers get their arses kicked. I thought he'd got his when he got relegated. He's certainly getting it kicked now, probably for the first time in his career and he's not not dealing with it at all.

We can debate all we like on here. The big issue for me is whether he has any credibility with the players, whether he can look them in the eye this summer and have them believe in him.

That's the question Kenwright, the board and the Echo should be asking right now.

Phil Walling
35 Posted 23/02/2015 at 14:51:49
Rather than screaming for Martinez to be sacked, I have always maintained he should never have been appointed in the first place.

His achievement of winning the FA Cup with Wigan ( and the defeat of Everton along the way) was enough to convince BK he was the man for the job albeit that his league record with Wigan was abysmal and had ended in relegation. Significant that he abrogated all blame for that by saying he was not the man to repair the damage at the DW and it was time to move on. You bet it was !

Yet we cannot deny that he did well here last season and I have no doubt that the new contract he was awarded as a consequence greatly reinforces his safety. On the back of those considerations, I suspect he has only to avoid relegation to avoid the sack and get the chance to restore our fortunes next season.

Can he do that ? I suspect not. So before the axe falls we will have to suffer a great deal more pain. It's the price we all will pay for a sloppy appointment in the first place.

Ross Edwards
36 Posted 23/02/2015 at 15:39:45
If Martinez relegates us his career as a top flight manager is finished. 1 relegation is careless, 2 is totally unacceptable.
Kevin Tully
37 Posted 23/02/2015 at 15:28:32
Precisely, Paul. If he's lost the dressing room, then no amount of money or tinkering with the side will fix it. Personally, I think most of his signings are on his side, but a lot of the old guard such as Jagielka, Baines, Distin, Howard, Osman and Pienaar have disliked his methods from the beginning.

You only have to look at Jagielka, every sinew desperately wants to hoof it as soon as the ball reaches him. You can't blame the players for not wanting to play his way if it doesn't suit their game. You must remember, these players all have massive ego's, they don't want to be made to look foolish in front of millions of viewers and supporters alike, which you can understand. It's down to the manager to motivate and get the players playing for you. It's probably the most important facet of the job.

Martinez may well be a good manager, but if the players don't want you in charge, the game is up. Two prime examples are Hodgson at Liverpool, and Villas-Boas at Chelsea.

One thing I will never change my mind on however, is how I want Everton to play football. Last season we had glimpses of what was possible. Arsenal in their pomp were thrilling to watch. Just because we haven't got hundreds of millions doesn't mean we should give up wanting to see 'the joined up stuff' as Ken would say.

There are managers who can achieve this, I'm sure - look at Koeman at Southampton. The shouts for Pulis should embarrass every Blue out there. Are we really aiming for a manager like him?

If Martinez is to go, that's understandable, but I would like to see another continental type manager brought in. Possibly Laudrup, but he was even more laid back with the players than Martinez, if the stories in the press are to be believed.

The likes of Hughes, Allardyce, Pulis and Pardew and all one and the same. Football by numbers, nothing new to add.

Tony McNulty
38 Posted 23/02/2015 at 15:38:44
We aren't going to be relegated – the team has too much talent, however I have six concerns:

1. The positivity movement has many adherents (although it has also been discredited by some researchers). Done to excess it's like pissing down your leg – it provides a momentary warm feeling but does nothing to, or for, anyone or anything else. If you keep singing, 'always look on the bright side of life' whatever happens, in the end people stop listening. I wonder if some of our players have stopped listening to our manager.
2. Players are loyal to managers who defend them in public. I don't expect our manager not to defend our players in public (Howard yesterday) but he does need to ensure anyone's weaknesses are addressed behind the scenes during training. I see little evidence of this: for instance, is there an Evertonian out there who thinks Lukaku can control a ball passed to him at speed? Get Lukaku to spend two hours a day practising this skill so that the muscle memory kicks in. Manure man Ferguson would make sure any player's weaknesses were addressed by repetition in this way, and if they complained of boredom he would tell them to get unbored. Lukaku's potential is enormous but at times he reminds me of Brett Angel.
3. Possession football is fine but vary it a bit. The way we play right angle passes repeatedly just gives the opposition time to marshal the defence and get behind the ball.
4. I sense a stubbornness in our manager which worries me – it reminds me of the sea captain in "Kind Hearts and Coronets."
5. Some of the basics need to be addressed, for instance some plans for handling corners, both when we are defending and when we are attacking. At times we look all at sea.
6. Assess the mood of the defence and how they feel about the keeper, and then change him if necessary. Cloughie had it right: a great goalkeeper makes everyone else feel confident; if the goalie is no longer up to it, then it spreads panic (by the way, we all learned that when we played schoolboy football).

Brent Stephens
40 Posted 23/02/2015 at 16:15:30
He's got very good footballers "playing by numbers". All the creativity, spontaneity, initiative has been trained out of them. Learn your role and stick to it. Where's the passion? Where's the leader busting his lungs shouting at people. Where's the freedom to try something out of the ordinary, off-message, intuitive? 11 good footballers become less than the sum of their parts. For me it explains what has become of Baines, Coleman, Barks, Jagielka, Distin, Lukaku-as-potential. A disgrace. A shocking disgrace.

If he wants to play his tactics, at least tell them to bloody move around up front. So often they could just be sprayed with gold paint and start to collect a few bob in a hat.

Brian Harrison
41 Posted 23/02/2015 at 16:20:58
Tony 38
How many times have I heard the immortal words this team is too good to go down. I wish I had a fiver for every team that people thought were too good to go down but managed to get relegated.
We have won 3 of our last 13 home games and that is relegation form, now we may get lucky and there may well be worse teams than us that will keep us safe.
This is the manager who told everyone that Barkley would become Englands best player and that Lukaku would become the best centre forward in the World.
He also said when Eto was sold not to worry as we had the perfect replacement in Kone, I don't think Kone has played a minutes football since he made that statement. Now if Eto was still here does anybody believe he would not have played 1 minutes football.
I have said over and over again RM is a charlatan it must have been like winning the Euro millions 4 weeks on the trot for him to have got the Everton job. His league record was woeful before he came and he is endorsing that form again this season.
Tony McNulty
42 Posted 23/02/2015 at 16:48:15
#41 Brian - are you saying we are going to be relegated?

I am saying we definitely won't be, and will apologise to you on these pages if I am proved wrong. If that happens I will not, however, wear a red shirt for the day nor sing the Gerry Marsden dirge.

Brian Harrison
43 Posted 23/02/2015 at 16:58:14
Tony I am not saying we will go down but I was mainly referring to your statement that we are too good to go down. Believe me I will be mortified if we go down, as having watched the Blues for over 60 years I have only ever seem them play in the top flight.
I well remember when Man Utd got relegated in the 70s and Brian Cloughs Nottingham Forrest went down when everyone said these teams were too good to go down.
John Keating
44 Posted 23/02/2015 at 16:55:38
I'm sure you apologising to Brian if we get relegated will make everything phenomenally great for Brian !
Well worth getting relegated just for the apology.
Do you think any supporter could ever leave his house again ?
Could you ever go the pub again, or work ? Walk down the street ?
Life as we know it would be finished.
We should not ever, never, be even talking about relegation but that is where we've finished up with this clown.
"We aren't going to be relegated, this team has too much talent"
So why are we hovering above the relegation zone playing the most dire football seen for years ?
Won 3 home games this season.
Too much talent ?
Sorry mate you're as deluded as Martinez
Phil Walling
45 Posted 23/02/2015 at 16:57:44
Tony, its odds on us avoiding relegation - 8/11 last time I checked but until we have more than say, 38 points none of us can be certain.

I have to say this is speculation few of us expected to be involved in this season although some are still saying it has little to do with poor management. Perhaps it's your fault !

Brent Stephens
46 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:03:27
Brian, where did you grow up as a lad? It wasn't Old Roan, was it?
Tony McNulty
48 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:07:52
Lots of frustration around which I also share.

John, some of my answers to your question as to why we are hovering above the zone are contained in my original post - my six reasons.

"As deluded as Martinez" - an interesting thought. I genuinely cannot make up my mind whether he really is as positive as seems to be conveyed by his post match interviews. As I implied in my original post, I think he has to defend the team most of the time, but I would like him to come out and say, if only once: "Today, we suck like a vacuum cleaner. Tomorrow, we practise corners and forward passing."

Kristian Boyce
49 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:04:18
It was well known that Moyes was stubborn, but I think Martinez has him beat on that. I can't see Kenwright sacking him even if we get relagated, as he's been duped into Martinez's philosophy just as Whelan did. In the Premier League he's pretty much been found out as a one trick pony, and any team can set up to negate his tactics. I think in Europe no one knows how to play against us, and his style suits the European game. I could see though him being lured back to Spain if we continue to do well in the Europa. So performing well in the Europa could be a bigger benefit than we first though!
Kevin Tully
50 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:15:52
I think there has to be some element of truth in the theory that other P.L. managers know how to nullify us in the P.L.

How else do you explain the difference in performances between Europe and the P.L?

Bill Gall
51 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:14:49
Tony # 38 -------The 6 concerns you have, would have been addressed by now by any premier manager apart from are own who has repeatedly stated that he will not change his philosophy or style of how the game should be played no matter the consequence's .
Trevor Peers
52 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:28:35
Kevin I think the EL performances are irrelevant the Domestic EPL Is the benchmark of all the managers, this season the teams displays have gradually deteriorated match by match.
Paul Tran
53 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:39:59
Tony - being positive isn't about pissing on your leg and saying its marvellous. The likes of Wiseman and Holden have proved statistically and clinically that people who are more positive/ believe they are lucky have significantly more chance of being happier, healthier, more successful.

Of course, an industry of bullshit has ridden on the back of this and professionally, you need to be good at whatever you do, or excessive positivity makes you look a bit of an idiot. You also have to modify your approach with people who are resolutely realistic/instinctively negative.

No doubt Martinez would tell you that he started turning things at Swansea and that he kept Wigan up against the odds until the inevitable relegation, but he needs to up his game with us. He did it last season, hasn't done it this season.

Funny that there were no stories of 'player unhappiness' last season when things were going well. I've got no problem with his positivity, but it looks hollow when results and performance have been so poor and so little has been done to change things.

Bill Griffiths
54 Posted 23/02/2015 at 17:44:01
When he was appointed I was doubtful whether he was the right man for the job and was willing to give him a chance. After last season I thought he was definitely the man for the job.

For a long time this season despite the way things were going I was still confident he was the right man for the job and would get things right and this was still my opinion after Thursday nights game.

However yesterdays game and hos post game comments regarding the hapless Tim Howard are the straw that broke this camel's back.

I now think that it would be better for him to go sooner rather than later though I can't see Bill sacking him.

Andy Crooks
55 Posted 23/02/2015 at 18:12:38
To move the club forward we require a coach who can improve young players and get the very best out of the others. At present Martinez is bringing out the very worst in every player at the club.
Jermaine Jennings
56 Posted 23/02/2015 at 18:04:29
James Martin.10.

That is a superb post and spot on, I could not have explained it much better. All the footballers as this level need a dictatorship as everything is done for them from such an early age. They are completely lost otherwise.

To tell them to work it out for yourself will only end in disaster and this is showing. This was especially evident yesterday when defending set pieces, they looked so scared as they didnt know who to mark. Baines was marking the tallest player it was and is a shambles.

I don't think they're stupid though. I just don't think they're being trained probably with not enough authority or direction of what the style of play is. To be honest I couldn't motivate myself with being told work it out for yourself by RM for almost every scenario.

Paul Hewitt
57 Posted 23/02/2015 at 18:19:15
I simply can't believe that Martinez is still in a job.If this was any other club he would be gone.
His tactics and team selections this season have been terrible the guy is way over his head.A change is needed now to give us a chance of staying up,who that should be I don't know but not Martinez.We are not to good to go down(I hate that saying).
We have some great players and given the right coaching we would easily make top 6.So come on BK do the right thing a get rid NOW.
James Stewart
58 Posted 23/02/2015 at 18:49:08
@57 I think you are spot on. I have been vocal about the need for him to be sacked since the Hull game. Had he been in charge of the RS or Spurs then he would have been. BK has no ambition other than to stay in the league though which is why he hasn't been. All the talk of getting us into the CL was hot air. I don't see us taking any points in the next couple of games though which will increase the pressure. Counting the days til he is gone.
Paul Thompson
61 Posted 23/02/2015 at 18:39:41
We are a poor team. That is irrefutable by the criteria of performance, points and trajectory. We are certainly not too good to go down as there are too few signs that we can win enough games to ensure that we do not fall into the bottom 3 places.

We are predictable and lack creativity and teams have sussed Martinez out. Our success last year was built down the flanks and that's what has either been nullified or lost the players/form to reproduce it. Barkley has talents, but even if you set aside loss of form, he is not a playmaker. Gibson made a big difference yesterday and if Osman and/or Pienaar return they might provide the missing creative spark in the middle/on the flanks. But it will be a very nervous time and I am not that hopeful.

Tony McNulty
62 Posted 23/02/2015 at 18:17:59
Paul - although I can see where you are coming from (I don't like negativity either), your second sentence is slightly too happy clappy for me; there are always plenty of smiling faces amongst the terminally deluded. Notwithstanding, I agree absolutely with your last sentence, which reflects what I have already said. There is no point spouting the same positivity, if you never address the problems (don't practise corners; don't play to Lukaku's strengths; do nothing to help him address his inability to control the ball (that's why he missed the last sitter on Sunday); keep passing sideways etc. etc.)
Jay Wood
63 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:02:12
John Keating @ 44 ...Oh, how I can relate to your post!

Now I have my concerns the direction the club is going, but I’ve never resorted to gratuitous abuse of Martinez or the players, nor have I stated we WILL be relegated.

But the other week some simpleton who couldn’t engage in the debate but was far more forthcoming with the personal insults told me I was probably hoping Everton would be relegated so I could take some ’perverse pleasure’ in coming on TW to tell people "I told you so!" A belief that says a great deal more about the vanity of the individual than me... because:

1) I couldn’t come on TW to "perversely" tell people I told you so when ... I never told anyone so at all!

2) If, horrors of horrors, we ARE relegated, my first thought will not be to get on TW to indulge in someone else’s imaginged ’perverse pleasure’ to give it out ... I will be very much as you describe: in a complete state of shock, bawling my eyes out in a darkened room, thinking the world and life as we know it has ended.

Rick Tarleton
64 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:23:10
The basis of a good manager is a philosophy, but it's also a pragmatic approach. If Martinez had taken over from Guardiola at Barca, he'd have done brilliantly. However, that same philosophy at Goodison with our players is a joke, unless it's allied to the ability to see alternatives when it doesn't work.
I believe if Barkley had been handled sympathetically and consistently, he'd have developed into a new Bobby Charlton, as it is he looks lost and totally lacking in confidence. Lukaku is left to battle on his own. He isn't a player who can bring the ball down and hold it while the midfield arrives, he needs a quick ball or a good cross, neither of which he gets.
Marinez lacks flexibility, he believes certain players are indispensable (Howard, Barry ) and he hasn't the willingness to change. I'm afraid he has to go.
Tony Rutherford
65 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:31:52
John (#4), if that’s you calmed down, I would love to have seen your comments straight after the match!
Simon Dutton
67 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:33:55
Another 2 points dropped to a team we should beat and all hell breaks loose again on ToffeeWeb.

People need to put this season into perspective, every team this season has taken points off each other, who expected Burnley to draw with Chelsea this weekend.

For whatever reason this season things are not going Evertons way.
Barkley suddenly cant do anything right compared to last season, Lukaku is missing more whereas everything he hit last season was going in, Howard spilling or missing the ball where as last season he stopped everything the list goes on and on and yet all these things are Martinez's fault and he should be sacked.

I don't get it

Paul Hewitt
68 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:53:41
Simon@67 so if its not Martinez's fault that we are struggling this season then you cant praise him far last season either.
Trevor Peers
69 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:46:20
Simon look at the managers record this season 6 wins in 26 EPL games, that is relegation form. Of course the buck stops with the manager ! What's there to get ?
Phil Rodgers
70 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:01:57
"All hell breaks loose on ToffeeWeb."

Did you hear the reaction at half time and full time?

I don't think its limited to this site..

Simon Dutton
71 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:58:46
As I said last season everyone was playing at their best, see previous post re Barkley, Lukaku, Howard and everyone else, this season as I said it is just not clicking and although some of the blame should be laid at the managers feet, the players should shoulder as much of the blame as him, so lets sack all the players for underperforming, oh no just sack the manager as that is the easier shout so people can say I never wanted him anyway!!
Helen Mallon
72 Posted 23/02/2015 at 19:46:53
Paul Thomson, Barkley is a play maker, he should be played in center midfield with Mc carthy next to him. He ran the show against QPR and thats where he should be played from now on. It wont happen under Martinez but that’s where he should be played.
Paul Hewitt
73 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:14:23
Simon @71 this guy is paid millions to coach and motivate these players,he's doing neither.
Keith Harrison
74 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:11:20
Does anyone NOT think Garbutt should be playing instead of Baines. Or that Naismith and Barkley canÂ’t dovetail into the same tem. Or that Robles should have kept his place whilst playing very well and keeping clean sheets. Or that our midfield is totally devoid of goals unless Mirallas is on the pitch? What I cannot understand is why Roberto does not seem to get it. If, however, you do not think along these lines, you are no worse nor better Evertonian than I, and am perfectly entitled to your own opinion. I personally think Martinez is not the man - but IÂ’m damned if I can think of anyone realistic who is!
Simon Dutton
75 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:16:24
Barkley maybe a playmaker but he is not good enough to play in center midfield, at the moment,his work rate isn't good enough, he seems extremely lazy.

He should be playing behind Lukaku, further up the pitch.

Paul Tran
76 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:10:59
Tony - in my second sentence, I was going out of my way to move away from positive bullshit to referenced, clinical results. If you look at Wiseman and Holden's work, plus some of the statistical work of Taleb and Kahnemann, you will see that there's a lot more to 'positivity' than 'happy clappy' clichéd nonsense.

The problem with Martinez is that he's in a results business and he isn't getting them. So he keeps dropping points and telling us everything is great, which pisses me of, so heaven knows what others are feeling.

The players aren't under-performing because Martinez is 'positive'. They're under-performing because either Martinez can't explain his methods to them effectively, or because they think his methods are bollocks and are caught between two stools. Either way, he's culpable.

So, to me , Martinez's future with us is based on whether he can get his credibility back with the players.

Simon Dutton
77 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:20:41
Just to go off yesterday we created 18 chances, only 3 were on target, we scored from 2, Lukaku had 2 one on ones with the keeper and a couple of tap ins but none of them were on target this is the difference between this year and last year, but Martinez is to blame.

His philosophy must be working to create that many chances bit players make mistakes, its all about fine lines.

Jay Wood
78 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:25:39
Simon ... we’re in the big boys’ league. It’s very much a results driven business

The buck stops with the manager. Ultimately, it is down to him to select the tactics, select the players, motivate the players and to get results.

Aesthetically pleasing performances and pretty football are a bonus, all the more so in our current position.

Barring 1-2 performances, the results and performances this season have been nothing short of disgraceful.

One man has greater influence over that than any other person on the planet.

Guess who it is ...?

Paul Tran
79 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:32:14
Like I keep saying, Simon, the 'philosophy' is fine. The defence looked fine yesterday apart from two keeper errors. We created loads of chances and our marvellous striker kept missing them. He keeps playing a keeper who makes mistakes. He keeps a striker he bought and keeps praising on the bench. Gibson was a godsend yesterday, the minute he came on we were faster, more direct, the forward players were making runs and we caused them all sorts of problems. What's the betting that Gibson will be replaced by Barry on Sunday?

Nothing wrong with the 'philosophy', but if it's teamed up with incompetence, poor selection and an inability to see what is/isn't working, people are entitled to ask questions.

Tony Hill
80 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:27:55
Simon, yesterday was unusual with regard to the number of chances we created. For the most part this season we have been sterile.

I suspect many will agree with you about the players, I certainly do, but Martinez has not been simply let down by them. His lack of preparation, tactical adaptability, his peculiar selections and his stubbornness have been often analysed on here and with much justification. I'm afraid that can't be ignored and its a damning list of shortcomings.

It is always for the manager to ensure that his players do their job. If he cannot do that then he is not fit for his own job.

Robert Miller
81 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:29:10
To try to answer the question. The misery will end when we get back to winning, both in style and ugly. To do that we need:
- Pienaar back. To make his penetrating runs and link up with Baines.
- To defend solidly without resorting to he sort of play where that's all we do
- To give Lukaku a bit more time. He could have had 4 at the weekend and he didn't miss because he's a bad player. Confidence.
- To bring Miralllas in from the cold because his passion makes a difference.
- To stop losing 20 mins every game turning and passing the ball backwards
- Martinez needs to work this team harder. You can't Bollock a player if you haven't told him exactly what you expect.
- Want it more. We have been suckered into believing we are better than we are. Only the team and results matter.

I'm still believing. Just

Mike Oates
82 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:47:24
The one thing which I meant to add into my article was the issue of the players becoming almost frightened to play at Goodison. I really do think there is a fear factor, especially with Barkley, he's absolutely petrified to try anything and he ultimately plays it safe, by passing sideways, backwards , any which way rather than use his strength in attacking the opposition with the ball at his feet. We took about 6 minutes yesterday to get into their box, 6 mins and all it did was agitate those in the crowd who relish the time they can start to slag off.
I don't know if anyone noticed it but Lukaku really had a go back at the crowd in the 2nd half, swishing his arms trying to get the crowd into supportive mode rather than destructive mode.
Its becoming ugly at home, and Kenwright will know that,as do his Ambassadors like Snodin, Sharpe and the cockney lad whose name I cant remember Stuart... who are finally writing, commenting the truth on our performances. Add Andy Gray into that "What the Hell is Going On Group"
Steve Hogan
83 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:57:25
Ross Edwards (14)

Phil Mcnulty now lives near Oxford and works for the BBC Sports website.

He has long severed his links with Merseyside and the Echo, but still maintains a passing interest in local affairs.

Andy Crooks
84 Posted 23/02/2015 at 20:47:12
Simon, you don't want to attribute too much blame to the manager. You think " it's just not clicking", " for whatever reason things are just not going our way". I disagree. Of course players have to take responsibility and Martinez cannot be blamed for individual howlers. However, there are, in my view some problems for which he is pretty much to blame.

Our preparation for the season seems to have been poor. Players who commit howlers on a regular basis are still automatic choices. Our tactics are one dimensional. He adheres to a system that our players seem I'll equipped for. He shoehorns players into positions they are not comfortable in. His substitutions change personnel but rarely tactics. The players often appear to lack motivation. In my view, Simon, this to some extent explains why things haven't been clicking. I believe our current position could have been avoided.

I hope he gets us out of this. It is my view that a new coach would be better. Martinez seems a really nice man and I hope I am totally wrong but I am anxious .

Tony McNulty
85 Posted 23/02/2015 at 21:23:01
Paul (76) I don't wish to turn this thread into a space for citing academic studies (these would bore most readers, I suspect). However if you wish to discuss some of this stuff off line I am happy to do so (you will find me fairly easily on Linked-in).

I am certainly not familar with all of the detail of the studies you cite, but I do know (as I suspect you might as well) that the conclusions from some of these studies are not considered to be unproblematic.

As for good ol' Roberto, I become less sanguine about his leadership as his tenure progresses. On current league form we are certainly a long way from the Champions' League.

James Martin
86 Posted 23/02/2015 at 21:33:09
For me it hinged on his decision to bring Howard back in. The defense was coming together with Stones returning then Robles shored it up. I thought if we could get a bit of creativity with Gibson and Pienaar returning we'd get the consistency back from last season. Martinez's refusal to drop Barry or Howard though shows that he cannot see which players are contributing to improved form. If he hadn't fell out with Distin would Stones be playing? He is picking purely on reputation, experience, and big names, not on form, and that is inexcusable.
Simon Dutton
87 Posted 23/02/2015 at 21:55:47
I agree entirely with the Howard return, I too would have stuck with Robles, I also agree that either play Barkley or Naismith, as they both can't play in the team.

Other than that I'm not sure what other changes I would have made to the initial line ups that Martinez has put out.

Mirallas doesn't look like he can last 90 minutes, I suspect he only played the full game against Young Boys because Lennon didn't play.

Gibson has only recently been fit to be on the bench the last few games.

Besic I suspect he doesn't completely trust yet as he still gets caught in possession, but he should be forgiven for that.

Other than that I'm not sure what other lineup he could have played with the injuries we have had

Chris Jones
88 Posted 23/02/2015 at 22:29:54
To play Roberto's preferred style of football, you need quick, incisive passing and lots of movement off the ball. This needs nippy feet and an equally nippy footballing brain. None of our current fit players, for all their qualities, are that sort of player. Pienaar and Osman are, but they are rarely available now and are both entering the twilight of their top-level careers. Gibson is our best passer, but works better in the deeper role with a grafter next to him. We all saw the difference he made when he came on against Leicester (apart from one awful cross-field ball, which I'll forgive).

So, can someone with a better understanding of the game than me please explain why we persist with a style that doesn't suit our players' strengths?

James Martin
89 Posted 23/02/2015 at 22:50:51
Simon can you ever imagine Martinez fielding a line up like this? Normal back five, a midfield pairing of Gibson and Barkley. Lennon on one flank, Mirallas on the other. Lukaku upfront with a second striker next to him such as Kone or Naismith. I'm not talking about a lazy number 10, I mean a genuine second striker. At home we could play this formation and just tear into teams like Leicester. Instead Martinez will never play two natural wide men at once, one always has to be a player to come infield like Naismith or Osman, Etoo or Barkley. He will also only play two holding mids. He will never just put Barkley or Osman next to Mccarthy and let bomb forward and run the game. No it always has to be two of Barry Besic and McCarthy in there. Martinez will also never go with two upfront. It's not always possible to do it of course but can you honestly say we'd play any worse than we are now if we just went 4-4-2 and went for it? How many teams would have a better midfield than Gibson and Barkley, or McCarthy and Barkley? How many would enjoy trying to mark Lukaku and Kone being supplied by two natural wingers? None. Instad they no they are in for a holiday when they see the team sheet and not one of our midifelders can pick a forward ball, we only play one wide man (who won't get it in any decent position anyway because of the midfield problem), the player they fear the most running from deep is trapped in number 10 with his back to goal so won't be running past them, oh and the 28 mill striker who is almost impossible to handle on the move, will not be getting serviced at all, and will be another one static in the box with his back to goal. You could do whatever you want with this squad. The one thing it is missing is creativity in the number 10 areas, a Silva or Mata type. That is sadly the one thing that Martinez's way of playing demands. So why doesn't he change it to play to our strengths?
Simon Dutton
90 Posted 23/02/2015 at 23:52:51
I think playing that lineup you suggested we would get over run and with the way the defence and keeper are currently playing I don't think they would get any protection from Gibson and Barkley.

I would though be quite happy to start with the team that finished Sundays game, Martinez is happy to play them for 15/20 minutes when we need a goal so why not start with it?

Andy Crooks
91 Posted 24/02/2015 at 00:12:31
James, I can absolutely imagine that lineup. A vote of confidence, a statement of intent, a dispelling of the cowardly myth that we need two holding midfielders against the worst team in the division.
Kunal Desai
92 Posted 24/02/2015 at 10:15:37
I said before the start of the season we were still short of a few players and that is still part of the problem during this current campaign. We needed another keeper, a centre back and a create midfielder. Im in agreement with #5 - Helen. As dispicable as many would seem, kopite behaviour from the masses is required. Evertonians have to start getting ugly. They are too nicey nicey like the players. BK is cancer and the only way to erradicate that is to remove him by getting the message across'get out of our club now'....he is no longer wanted at the club!
Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 24/02/2015 at 14:20:36
I think Cambiasso would have had even more of a field day if we would have only had two midfielders, James.

I agree that we could have made there back four work harder with two forwards, but playing with natural width (as you also suggest), would also have made there defence have to work harder.

It baffles me sometimes, especially the positions Coleman sometimes takes up for a fullback, but the whole top and bottom is we donÂ’t get enough men in the box. I’m not sure 4-4-2 would work much in the modern game though. look at our nieghbours, they have sometimes been playing with five midfielders, plus two wing backs, and you would get completely overrun playing against those numbers.

I do agree that there are times we could have played the last twenty minutes with two forwards, and actually think Kone and Lukaku could be a good double act.

I know itÂ’s a long shot Mike, and IÂ’m also aware that some people donÂ’t care for Europe, but letÂ’s pray the misery ends in Warsaw, on a sunny night in. May!

Robert Miller
94 Posted 25/02/2015 at 00:27:02
This team don't trust eachother. Night out.
Enough talent to work out what works
Alll the egos out on the table and agree how to play to our strengths.
Spirit of 85.
Derek Thomas
95 Posted 25/02/2015 at 01:07:04
Robert #94 Throw in a meal at a Chinese and we have a sure fire winner.

Not that any of it will happen, 60K a week for sitting on the bench or 10 -20 mins. here and there, why would you even bother.

If it comes down to the players having to sort it out then the Manager needs sorting out... RIGHT OUT.

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