The Twitterverse is awash anti-Martinez rhetoric, #MartinezOut is trending and that suggests the Stoke defeat earlier in the week is the proverbial straw that’s broken at least some of the collective camel’s back. A quick glance at the Premier League table shows that the mighty West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace sit one and two places above us respectively, and both have recently sacked managers in their quest for another season on the top flight.

I cast my mind back 21 months to mid-summer 2013 when Roberto Martinez was announced as our new gaffer. I was unsure he was what we wanted (or needed!) at the time after the glass ceiling/knife to a gunfight, David Moyes era, and confess to having hoped for a bigger-name manager in the mould of, dare I say it (!?) Rafael Benitez, but his friendly, approachable style soon won me over. Stories of how good he was with fans were circulating and two defeats in 22 games into 2014 had me eating out of his hand. I thought he talked a lot of nouveau-managerial bullshit, but that was a small price to pay for the results on the field and the general feel-good factor relating to all things Everton.

Our style then was up and at ‘em, almost in the Kevin Keegan-at-Newcastle mould, you score two, we’ll score three! The School of Science was reborn and the man could do no wrong, Match of the Day was reintroduced to my TV and life was good, very good. The 1-0 reverse at home to Sunderland on Boxing Day when Tim Howard was shown red in the first half did nothing to dampen that, and even somehow reinforced it; we played the Makems off the park and only a world-class display from Vito Mannone and some profligacy in front of goal prevented a thoroughly deserved victory. Fast forward 14 months and that style is a dim and distant memory that has been replaced by a painfully slow, possession-based style that rarely threatens penetration, but at the same time does little to provide the defensive solidity that our manager now seems to crave.

Pre-season this year didn’t seem to be particularly well organised, Roberto was over in Brazil covering the World Cup for TV, but who cared? We’d signed Lukaku permanently, we were back in Europe and the average Evertonian’s glass was very much more than half-full, so five games without a win in the pre-season friendlies certainly wasn’t ringing my alarm bell. One win in the first seven ‘real’ games raised concerns, as did the seeming lack of fitness of our players and an inability to see games out (two up against Arsenal with seven minutes to go, when we snatched a draw from the jaws of victory!) but why worry too much? The man’s a bit of a loon, but he knows what he’s doing, last season was surely proof of that. Wasn’t it?

So what went wrong? I’d be a wealthy man if I could put my finger on the problem, but on the face of it, the ‘possession-above-all-else’, philosophy (Christ, I hate that word now!) is certainly the consensus of my Everton-supporting pals. Round pegs in square holes, an obsession with defensive midfielders, a new-found unwillingness to play two wide men, the dropping of form players for old favourites (Robles for Howard, just as the former was showing some form), an apparent falling out with senior players (Distin, Mirallas), an insistence on playing woefully out of form players (Barry, Barkley) and his downright intransigence are also on my list of reasons. (Perm any or all...)

I’m not by nature a knee-jerker and I don’t think there is any coincidence in our relative stability since 2002 and the longevity of David Moyes’s reign as Manager (my relationship with Moyes was love-hate), so I’m not one for firing a Manager at the drop of a hat. They need time, history shows that. The clubs with the longest-serving Managers are the most successful, and, given the performance of last season, time was always something that I thought myself and other Evertonians would afford him.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. We sit 6 points above the relegation zone, have 28 points from 28 matches – our worst points tally at this stage since Sky invented football and not even the most optimistic blue can look at any forthcoming fixture and predict, with any confidence, how we’re going to reach the magical 40-point mark. Only Roberto himself speaks with enthusiasm about upcoming games, his boundless (and in my view) false positivity, buzzwords, (‘in the moment’, ‘spirit’, ‘phenomenal’ ‘momentum’) and his evident inability to comment on the same game watched by Evertonians is sickening, infuriating and terrifying in equal measure.

Throughout the years, and generally during periods when we’re doing okay, I’ve had the view that Premier League managers actually know what they’re doing and while fans questioning them is entirely natural and acceptable, deep down, I also wonder what qualifies me, or any other fan to question the knowledge of someone who’s employed at the very top of his profession. Me, the Sunday morning alehouse footballer, questioning the Manager of a team in the world’s ‘best league’?

That view has been tested a few times over the years though; David Moyes used to drive me potty on occasion with his mind blowingingly ‘safe’ and uninspiring substitutions and general lack of a Plan B. One particular game at home v Spurs in 2007 sticks out, when the blues were drawing 1-1 with 5 minutes to go, but we were well on top and a needless substitution (Manny Fernandez off, Hibbert on, I think) changed the whole pattern of the game and Dimitar Berbatov netted a very late winner for Spurs.

Perhaps a more stand-out game than that for lack of managerial nouse was before the David Moyes era and was away at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup Quarter Final of 2002, when one of the worst Everton sides I have seen produced arguably the worst Everton performance in a generation and resulted in a 3-0 loss. The travelling blues spent much of the game chanting "You don’t know what you’re doing" at the hapless Walter Smith. Afterwards, and as was standard fayre, Smith expressed his ‘disappointment’ and said he was going nowhere. He was wrong on one count because he was sacked soon after. Was that for the awful display at the Riverside, or was it because we were only a couple of points off the bottom of the league, or perhaps a combination of both? Only Bill Kenwright knows the answer to that.

So here we are in March 2015 and I find myself asking similar questions about Roberto Martinez: does he actually know what he’s doing? I’m saddened to say, no – I no longer think he does. I understand any manager’s wish to protect their players and not openly criticise them, but there comes a point when failure to acknowledge the issues at hand serves no other purpose than to raise questions regarding competence. The embarrassing tripe that he spouts in post-match interviews only serves to reinforce that view and has me muttering at the TV, "Kihnell, Roberto, what game were you watching?"

When asked during his post-match interview following the Stoke game (their first league double over us in almost 50 years, by the way!) whether our squad was too good to be relegated, he replied, "No. What we are is a team who are very confident with the talent we have. It’s a demanding period and a tough period. We’ve got 30 points to play for and we are going to give our lives to get as many as we can. There is not such a thing as fear. Instead there is a strong responsibility that we want to win games.”

What the fuck does that even mean? There’s no language barrier excuse here – his eloquence is admirable and his command of the English language puts the average school leaver to shame. In the style of a modern highly pressurised political interview, he gets nowhere near answering the question but instead chooses to go off on one and answer the question he wished he’d been asked.

As some American guy once said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” And therein lies one of our problems: Roberto’s steadfast refusal to accept the relegation spectre and act accordingly, instead choosing to do what he has always done (now playing with three defensive midfielders FFS!) with the same predictable results, could very easily see our proud record of 61 consecutive years in the top flight blown into meaningless history, seemingly without so much as a furrowed brow from the affable Spaniard. But that’s okay, they’re his philosophies, ya know?!

So what do we do? Social media platforms indicate a broad 50/50 split between fans. Accusations of #kopitebehaviour fly at anyone who dares utter the ‘sack’ word and ‘deluded’ and ‘closet red nose’ are levelled at anyone suggesting he should be given time. But right there is another of our problems. Time. We don’t have any. Failure to win either of the QPR or Newcastle games will see us right in the relegation mire – only the shocking quality of those beneath us has maintained our league position and our ‘haul’ of 11 points from the last 16 league games is nothing more than relegation form.

I firmly believe we’ve reached a seminal point, not in our season, but in our history. Stick or twist? Sink or swim? Go with the romance of the fast-flowing ‘School of Science’ Europa League style, or concentrate on maintaining our Premier League status? Performances over the last few months suggest we could go a bit further in the Europa League, but I think the quality of some of the teams remaining will probably prove a bridge too far. Either way, there seems to be no better man to carry us towards European success... But equally, if Premier League survival is what we want, then Roberto needs to do something and quickly, because I for one am no longer sure he knows what he’s doing.

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Des Farren
1 Posted 05/03/2015 at 14:32:07
One of the fairest, and finest analyses I have read anywhere of our predicament.
It is understandable why any supporter would want rid after so many dismal performances.
It is more difficult to argue in favour of his retention as to do so requires a leap of faith many are not prepared to take.
Either route could be disastrous and I am glad I don't have to make the decision.
David Greenwood
2 Posted 05/03/2015 at 15:03:56
Dave, excellent piece, terrific read.
Alex Crane
3 Posted 05/03/2015 at 14:54:47
I think you hit the nail on the head in your last section.

A good manager should be able to adjust to the Europa league and the Premier league, Martinez, as you say, has Europe sorted although the next opponents will be a tough test, he just needs to find the right formula in the Prem.

I think the formation it the issue we don’t need 2 DM and would like to see us play a 4-1-2-1-2, playing a diamond in the middle. And this would be my Team:

Garbutt or Oviado
Mirallas RM
Besic DM
Baines LM
Barkley AM

There would be plenty of interworking then which would keep the opposition guessing, something they don’t have to do at the moment.

Ross Edwards
4 Posted 05/03/2015 at 15:14:12
The pay off for Martinez could be well over 㾶m if we sacked him now. But, with him looking increasingly unlikely to find a solution, does Bill take a short term hit of 㾶m or however much it is, or does he perservere and, if we go down, preside over a long term hit of well over 𧴜m in the coming seasons?

I'd take option A.

David Harrison
5 Posted 05/03/2015 at 15:32:14
Kevin Rowlands
6 Posted 05/03/2015 at 15:43:04
And therein lies the problem Ross, he should never have been given that contract extension on the back of one good season, there is NO chance that Kenwright will admit to his mistake and fire him, there is also NO chance that we will just simply hand over 10 mill and say goodbye, they are the only reasons Martinez is still at the club today.
Ross Edwards
7 Posted 05/03/2015 at 15:53:48
I know Kevin. Just sums up the mentality of the board. 1 good season got him a 5 year extension and a mural. He should have waited until this season and then judged him rather than giving him the jackpot after 1.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 05/03/2015 at 15:43:59
Whether he stays or goes, the important matter is how do we stay in the Premier League, be cause if we go down I do not think it would be that long before we go into liquidisationand after that would come Bankruptcy, the club in a much more cash problematic state than people think.

Staying up is paramount to the clubs future, it is that serious, and I don't think Bobby can keep us up.

Paul Kelly
9 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:07:51
Very shocked heÂ’s still in a job. To me, this means heÂ’s going nowhere and we are stuck and I can see only one outcome. ThatÂ’s why now, after this post, IÂ’ll be looking at the best odds for us to be relegated and sticking a wager on it.

Never in a month of Sundays did I think IÂ’d bet against my own club, but I see no other outcome. Might win enough to get me to a south Pacific island, but no doubt theyÂ’ll all ready be a scarf around the wrist wearing, tee-shirt over jumper RS all ready there.

Trevor Peers
10 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:05:15
The biggest myth of all this season is we can win the EL Cup. If that's the reason why Martinez wasn't sacked this morning or some time this weekend BK has seriously lost his grip on reality.

Staying in the EPL eclipses all other football matters on and off the field. It's SO important that to lose our EPL status could be the end of the football club as we know it.

When the EL reaches its final stages it becomes a very difficult cup to win. There's no evidence that this manager is equipped to produce and motivate a team to take us to victory; so BK remove the manager quickly TIME is running out.

James Stewart
11 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:55:24
Robert Johnson
12 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:27:17
An excellent write-up, thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am also torn between sticking with Martinez and getting rid of him. We won't get any decent manager now and so basically we will have to rely on caretaker manager who is/are mainly backroom staff. It's a big gamble which may or may not work but the real question is, whether ,with the situation we are in, we can afford such a gamble. On the other hand, there is probably no bigger gamble than keeping Martinez in the job, the man is not only out of touch with reality but he is also tactically inept and a one-trick pony. Martinez is nothing but a smooth talker, a con artist of the first degree!

One thing I am sure though, regardless of what happens till the end of the season (whether he stays or leaves), I don't want him here next season. End of! No more excuses to defend the indefensible, no more hogwash in favor of this con artist's Phenomenal Utopian Philosophy.

You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey - Martinez will never ever be able to create a Barcelona-esque team, what he will do though is a Wigan-esque team. So those who are still daydreaming about Barcelona, Phenomenal Philosophy etc. time to wake up and smell the coffee!

Kevin Rowlands
13 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:55:21
After thinking about this a bit more I realized that this decision may well be taken out of Kenwrights hands. I think most of us suspect that Green and Earle, that he brought into the club have a very big say in what happens. At this point I’m sure there must have been phone calls between them as all three stand to lose tens of millions of pounds in future revenue or on the sale of the club should we go down, they must be getting very twitchy at the moment.
Jay Wood
14 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:37:11
Another excellent post on our plight Dave.

I particularly agree with the opening line of your final paragraph: "I firmly believe we've reached a seminal point, not in our season, but in our history."

It is not just our PL status and this season in isolation that concerns me. I consider the whole Everton legacy is potentially at risk right now, at exactly the wrong moment in history.

All true Evertonians know our rich heritage and history - "Those who Understand Need No Explanation."

That said, unlike other clubs of equal and lesser standing at the formation of the PL, we have not taken full advantage of the commercial opportunities offered by our status as a PL club.

Given the existing and recently announced next bumper TV package that all PL clubs will benefit from, to lose our PL status now will potentially consign us to the dustbin of football history.

Even if we avoid relegation (and as dire as things are, we should - fingers crossed, wood touched, coin thrown down a well), the poverty of the performance this season could see an exodus from the club of not just the manager, but players as well.

Equally, that could impact on future recruitment. We appear a less attractive proposition to better quality managers and players - even investors! (cough!) - now than we did a year ago.

The EL results have deflected attention from closer scrutiny in some quarters of the club, the manager, the players and the results.

For more than 3 months I’ve been waiting for the wake up call, to see evidence, an acknowledgement of our plight, some fire-in-the-belly performances. I’m still waiting.

In top level sport the margins between success and failure can be infintisimally small. The closer you get to the finishing line, the tenser it gets. It is not always the most talented who wins. Quite often, it’s the one who is mentally stronger, with more true grit, the rabid dog, who beats the showboating fancy Dan.

Such high intensity moments have their own momentum which can carry you up ... or ... carry you down.

Joe Royle’s Everton were tagged ’The Dogs of War’ for a reason (even though they were more than mere scrappers).

Much, much less talented Everton squads have sailed extremely close to the wind in the end of season relegation fight, but you never doubted their fighting spirit.

Our current squad, I would argue, are far more skillful than any of our previous relegation-threatened squads. But in all honesty, would you back today’s team, as they are currently playing, to beat those poor teams of our past in a season end, do or die game?

Philip Bunting
15 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:17:02
The manager can certainly be held accountable for this shambles but lets not forget the players...Professional is a word most of them have never understood, id feel shame if I put some of those spineless performances time ur at Goodison let them bloody know about pride not pounds!
Andrew Clare
16 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:26:13
He has got to go. We look like we won't win another game this season.We struggled to draw with the bottom team at home a few weeks ago so why would we think that we can beat any team above them.
He has got to go now.
If we are relegated it will be an absolute disaster. Like someone has already stated we will probably get bankrupted and just fade away.
Act now!
Paul Saleh
17 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:37:16
I think Roberto has lost the plot.His press conferences are something out of a party political broadcast. Excuse after excuse - This time tiredness !!!!! we weren't the only team to play 5 games in 2 weeks.

I don't think we have a leader on the pitch either - Jags is not captain material he avoids confrontation.

Something has gone on at the club - Roberto wont change his philosophies and that is the problem

two wins in 16 premier league games should result in the sack whichever club you were at

Steve Woods
18 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:57:12
A great, well balanced, reasoned and hard hitting article Dave. I honestly expected that today news would break informing us that Martinez had been sacked. I am actually shocked he hasn’t been. What exactly is Kenwright waiting for?

Our perilous league position, dire and worsening performances now coincide almost exactly to the day and month when Walter Smith was sacked thirteen years ago. So why is Martinez still here? Does Kenwright think we might win the Europa league or does he hope Roberto experience some sort of "road to Damascus moment", realise the error of his philosophies, convert and then overnight make everything good on the playing field again? FFS

As has been discussed any contract compensation to him would be dwarfed by the loss of income should the unthinkable happen. Even if we do somehow scrape survival, the loss of income from league placing this season added to what will undoubtedly be reduced TV coverage next season, reduced season ticket uptake and so on, make this a good enough reason to have got rid of him today.

I fear like many others that relegation would in fact be the ruination of this club for at least a generation and possibly even worse. A dead cat bounce after relegation could see the club heading down through the divisions, assuming liquidation and bankruptcy had not already forced the club to close. With the financial stakes so very high, maintaining PL status is the absolute minimum any Everton manager must achieve every single season. This must be put far above any thoughts of a cup win of any description.

So I keep asking myself why is Kenwright playing Russian roulette with our PL status and the entire financial future of the club as we know it by sticking with Martinez. Potentially paying for winning the Europa league (if that's what BK is hoping for), at the cost of Everton's PL status is a price we can not afford to pay. Put the gun down Bill and stop playing Russian roulette with the club but fire Martinez now.

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:12:54
Perform poorly against Kiev and Newcastle and he'll be out. Both are must win (convincingly) games and if not then I think even billy liar will pull the trigger.
Out of Europe and plummeting in the league will be the end of him.
Mike Hughes
20 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:00:19
I'm not a knee-jerker either.
But this fiasco has gone on too long.

The single and most important matter of poor results is enough to condemn him.

Certain misguided people are referencing RM's 'footballing philosophy' as reason to give him time - yet the performances have stunk the place out.

Others point to last season. But what happened this season when he is in sole control of HMS Everton?

Then there is his saving grace - the EL. But, in reality, we're in the equivalent of the 5th round of the FA Cup. The EL is like the waiter only serving ice cream because the starter and main course have all gone - and you're hungry.

There are the little matters of pre-season, fitness, plan B (or A), substitutions, lousy transfers and those intolerable pre- and post-match briefings.

For me, it all points to an out-of-his depth snake-oil salesman. I, too, have waited for the breaking news today that he has left the club.

The longer he stays the further we'll be from the gunfight. The longer he stays, the smaller and smaller this club becomes.

Tom Bowers
21 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:24:26
Whichever way you dissect this you come back to Martinez. He picks the team and the system to play and it has not been working almost from the first game of the season. Even the Europa games they got results in were not really convincing if we are honest.

Sure, they have a lot of possession in their own half but so do most teams these days as that's the way the game is played and it's called not giving it up cheaply. However as soon as they play it forward they inevitably lose possession. They don't have the raiding qualities they had down the flanks last season.

The likes of Mirallas, Coleman and Baines have been stifled by the opposition for the most part. Bringing in Lennon has done nothing and I for one am not surprised. He is a poor mans Landon Donovan.Atsu could have changed things recently but is now on a sick note.

They have not had bad luck anymore than any other team but rather Martinez has absolutely no plan 'B'.

Alan Burgess
22 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:26:23
When you've lost the terraces there's nowhere to hide.

Some great observations from all you Blues.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:36:33
The fans on here saying the Kiev match is a must win game are wrong IMO,If we lose this cup game it wouldn't be a tragedy, if we go out ot the premier league it would be a major tragedy.
Gareth Fieldstead
24 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:35:31
Great article Dave. I mentioned this in a different blog but the sacking of Smith after the Boro game according to Ian Ross was the manner of defeat in front of the BBC cameras, the woeful form for most of the season and the fact there was 9 games remaining.

Kenwright believed he had given Smith as long as he could whilst giving a potential new manager long enough to save us. Anything less than 9 games Kenwright felt it wouldnÂ’t have been fair on a new manager being expected to keep us up. The interview was in WSAG.

I personally think that time is now, but I am glad itÂ’s not me making that choice. There is no guarantee whoever takes over will automatically improve our situation. Who do you bring in?

Brian Hennessy
25 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:05:34
Just heard a stat on Talksport that sums up how bad we are under RM.

Seemingly Bradford have beaten more Premier League teams than us this season.

Mike Hughes
26 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:10:53
Gareth #24 - the question to ask about a new manager is, could he do any worse than RM has done over the past 10 games? I seriously doubt it.
Rob Halligan
27 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:14:14
I heard that as well Brian #25. Think it actually meant this year, since Jan 1st. Also said after beating QPR on Dec 15 we were above the shite. Now we are 23 points behind.
Clive Mitchell
28 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:10:17
Twist. We have no choice if we want to maximise the chances of beating the drop. As I said on another thread, the Kiev games are significant only because of the risk they pose to our results in our 10th to last and 9th to last PL games - the latter a 'must not lose' at QPR. RM has to go because only a new regime can prioritise the PL. None of our key players should travel to Ukraine.
Rick Tarleton
29 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:27:47
Excellent article. Martinez seems unaware of the problem and of the depth of feeling that is engulfing him. How he remains unaware is a mystery.
The Europa League is a frivolous icing , the cake is Premier League survival and this team, despite the talent lacks leaders and spirit. It needs a manager with tactical nous, not a would-be Guardiola hoping that the miracle happens and 70% sideways possession will lead to a five goal bonanza.
Jagielka, despite his experience lacks captaincy credentials, similarly with Baines. McCarthy just might make a better captain.
Marc Sansum
30 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:21:45
So Timmy the beard apparently is going to miss the Newcastle game........
Phil Walling
31 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:25:06
There will be no change of manager unless or until we fall into the 'exit zone'. As was proved at Aston Villa, that really focusses a chairman's mind ! Europe in or out is hardly a factor to take into the equation.

However agitated we get, we are just three wins away from safety with ten matches to go. BK will be looking at the law of averages to deliver those and once safety is assured, he will spend the summer congratulating himself for keeping his nerve and saving all that severance pay.

Will the drama end that way? I'm pretty sure so but it will be in spite of the mess Roberto has made of his job rather than because of all the magic powers of his beloved ticca tacci and all the shite he continues to spout about it.

Linda Morrison
32 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:33:44
Excellent article, very fair and balanced. I think that BK gave him the contract extension because Arsenal were sniffing around him at that time. I'm sure that Martinez, like all EPL managers, will have some clauses in the contract this is why DM did not get the massive handout all thought he would.

I have to admit to finally accepting that he has to go. If he doesn't, Everton are relying on those few teams under them to carry on losing and I can't see that happening.

We need to ask ourselves how can this have happened? I keep going back to Distin and how he was treated by Martinez and I think this has festered on.

I was hoping for an announcement from the board today. I'm not going to get myself all worked up as I used to do as it's not worth it but get rid, put Royle in charge and get Benitez in – which is what we should have done when DM jumped ship anyway.

Ian Bennett
33 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:49:46
He has to start by dropping Howard. Averaging two conceded a game is not helping the situation.

Side for Newcastle




Andy Crooks
34 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:48:14
If any of us were sacked for gross incompetence could we expect five years pay? Martinez is patently failing at his job, let him prove to a tribunal that he is anything other than utter shit.
Dave Lynch
35 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:42:09
He can't be unaware Rick.

That is of course unless he lives in a bubble. I am convinced he is of the opinion he is doing it the right way and his ego will not let him think or admitt otherwise.

Results appear to be secondary to keep ball hence his continual insistence that we have been unlucky and results will eventually happen.

All he needs to do is analyse the teams results since last April onwards and he should, if he has any sort of functioning brain cells come to the same conclusion as the majority of people.

His system and footballing ethos does not and will not cut it at the highest level.

I for one will not hold my breath...

Dave Lynch
36 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:56:14

DM did not get a handout because he left of his own volition. He wasn't sacked.

Rick Tarleton
37 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:58:35
Of course he's aware, my point was rhetorical, but he believes he's right, Dave, and that's why the situation is so dangerous. He believes that his philosophy is right and will be rewarded, because the right is always rewarded. His delusion is obsession and as someone pointed out on a thread earlier in the week madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Dave Lynch
38 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:02:19
Exactly Rick.

I can't fathom the man out at all, I have worked in psychiatry for a very long time and see traits in his personality to suggest he has some sort of personality disorder.

Phil Walling
39 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:59:13
Dave; Moyes was sacked by Man Utd less than a season into a six year deal. He collected just 16 months pay in compensation due to all the break clauses in his agreement.

Whether similar clauses feature in RM's contract here is a matter of conjecture.

Steve Barr
40 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:47:16
An excellent and well thought out article.

Your comment about "Premier League managers actually knowing what they're doing" hit a chord with me.

I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to these modern day managers/coaches. I believe their ability is well over rated and unfortunately those that do possess good coaching skills are stifled by the lack of finances and inevitably end up as also-rans.

It's most irritating to listen to the media fawning all over the few managers of the big clubs as if their coaching skills alone have got them to perennial title or cup winners. Sad to say it's all down to having loads of money.

Notwithstanding, I'm at a total loss to understand how Martinez, talent or no talent, has got us into such a dire situation. We are not the wealthiest club but we have enough resources and talent to be up with the big boys (financially speaking of course).

What do these guys do with their time all day when they are not playing? If things are not going well or to plan you'd think they'd be back at the training ground putting in intensive shifts until they get it right.

I'm sure most of us on TW have had to dig deep in our own jobs and put in long arduous hours when things were not going to plan.

I guess there is so much money in the game now for these players that the spectre of failure has no meaning nor consequences for them.

Not sure why I'm still bothered... but I am.

Rick Tarleton
41 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:08:45
I think he's obsessed with a theory that sounds plausible, but needs so many things to come together at once for it to work. A crap goalie, Barkley's destruction, Lukaku's lack of service and his obsession with defensive midfielders means he's doomed to keep pushing the stone up the hill eternally.

He has to go and very soon or we could go down. My first Everton game was in 1953-54 when I saw us beat Plymouth 8-4, I don't want to see us again in the second tier, but Martinez could be the man to take us there.

Dave Lynch
42 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:11:47

I forgot about that Phil. Apologies Linda, it won't be the first time a woman has proved me wrong.

My wife does it every day, even if I'm right.

Paul Smith
43 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:10:26
Dave Lynch - Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I beleive it exists.
Patrick Murphy
44 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:14:46
Howard Kendall makes some observations in his column, he believes that Everton should defend first and play later, that Lukaku is suffering because he is too often isolated and that it would be folly to play two wingers because they are generally unreliable when it comes to the defensive side of the game.

HK doesn't believe that the Blues are doomed to the drop but that we have to adopt a different attitude in the next period of games.

Helen Mallon
45 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:13:46
I would like to put another spin on this. If we get relegated and win Europa League, we will be in next season's Champions League and that might be straight in and not have to qualify. If this happens, how would we fit in our games seeing as you play Saturday/Tuesday in the championship sometimes Friday/Monday?
Dave Lynch
46 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:26:05
It certainly does exist, Paul.

But that's usually accompanied with bouts of uncontrollable anger and aggression when challenged.

Probably a borderline presentation with mixed traits, if he does indeed have one.

Rick Tarleton
47 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:30:35
Don't worry about it, Helen, just have a look at some of the teams in the Europa League, we've more chance of winning the Premier League.
Paul Smith
48 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:31:59
Yeah, he'd make a great case study, Dave.
Chris Leyland
49 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:33:45
Twist and then twist some more and then twist some more just I case. How anyone, let alone the man who owns the club and is risking his dream pay day from the next TV deal, would stick with the current clown is beyond my comprehension.

Quite frankly, Martinez is an embarrassment. I actually have to turn the radio off when he come on because he makes me feel physically sick.

He has wreaked havoc and destruction on our club in such a short space of time than I don't think any other manager coild have done. Ask yourself this question, would any other top 6 side still keep him as manager if they were in out situation? The answer is an emphatic no. Even shite clubs like Villa didn't stick by their manager after a similar performance and they were actually comparing against a much lower starting point from last season.

If he doesn't go before the Newcastle game then we will have one game less to save ourselves because we won't beat them with him in charge. It is like being 2 down before we even start the game.

For God's sake Bill do something right for once and sack him now.

Brian Hennessy
50 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:43:54
I find increasingly myself clicking on to ToffeeWeb and listening to the sports news, praying for some breaking news that Roberto has been sacked.

This is a dangerous game Bill is playing, if he waits another 2 or 3 games before acting, a new/temporary manager will have just 7 games to save us.

We are not near good enough to win the Europa.

I would pull the plug now, get Joe Royle in till season end and move on from there.

David Hallwood
51 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:58:13
One of the better analyses of the predicament, Dave, and I think you articulate not only the frustration but also the complete bewilderment of where we are and how we got here.

Referring the Middlesbrough cup game is not a bad starting point, because the reason we played badly is because we were a piss-poor side, and a million miles away from Man Utd and Arsenal.

So just how bad is the current Everton side? it's a team full of internationals and at least half of the players have been linked with 'big clubs' points to mis-firing but talented players, and let's face are the same players that wowed the football world this time last year.

For what its worth I point to two problems; firstly I agree with Kendall in that clean sheets are everything and we've kept far too few, and something that I've been going on and on about, the shots to goals conceded is practically at 1:2, and it must drain the confidence out of individual players knowing that most opposition attacks will invariably lead to a goal.

Secondly, what made us strong, possession football,now makes us weak. Because they are terrified to make a mistake players are hiding by offloading a 3-yard pas, so instead of possession football being about opening up gaps, it becomes about passing the buck. And we go nowhere-and slowly.

Should we stick with Roberto? Mmmmmmm tough one, judging by the schoolboy defensive errors in the last two games, Roberto still seems not to have grasp that most fundamental of rules of football-clean sheets are everything.

Guy Hastings
52 Posted 05/03/2015 at 21:25:35
I don't know what they play in the dressing room at the moment but The Caine Mutiny wouldn't go amiss. This is when the senior pros need to make a stand and say 'we go back to last season's basics. We know how to play it. It worked last season'. They have nothing to lose. Either they/he will be gone at the end of the season. Individually/collectively they have nothing to lose and everything to win. Finally, I never thought I'd ever think, 'Where's Steve Round when you need him?'
Craig Mills
53 Posted 05/03/2015 at 21:10:35
I may be in the minority but it's stick from me, he earnt my respect last season and although it's testing at the moment I still want him to succeed. He was a fantastic, charismatic leader last season and if we get behind him, I believe the team will respond........please respond!!!
Phil Walling
54 Posted 05/03/2015 at 21:58:16
How illogical is that, Craig. WE can make not the slightest difference to anything. WE are there merely to pay up and suffer!
Brent Stephens
55 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:01:08
It doesn't work like that, Craig. The lads who travel away provide superb support. And it's effect? It ain't the fault of the crowd. Cause and effect the other way round. Poor performances lead to disillusioned and quiet crowd. I'm surprised in fact that the Goodison crowd is not even more mutinous.
Craig Mills
56 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:05:22
I get you point guys, maybe it's the Martinez' positive outlook but I truely want him to suceed. This season has been a total car crash, and I fully agree he doesn't seem to have an answer to our woes at the moment, but 4 points from our next 2 games and maybe we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ray Said
57 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:14:06
I am Mr Pessimism to my mates but I really cant look at the fixtures left then look at recent Premier League performances and see where the next win comes from? Who among us can confidently state 'we can have this lot'? We are in a spiral of decline and the only momentum we have is that of a stone thrown in a lake.

I think left to their own devices the players could organise the team better than the current manager. The ticket sellers and tea lady could probably do it better as well. He is Uncle Albert from Only Fools... every ship he steers sinks without trace. I truly fear we are done and down unless he goes and goes now but we all know Boys Pen Bill wont do the deed.

Mike Price
58 Posted 05/03/2015 at 21:54:38
I wonder whether the fact, that it's possible, he could get us Champions league this season, means that BK can't sack him yet for contractual reasons. Man Utd sacked Moyes last season when it became impossible for him to get the top 4, hence the breaking point.

Obviously it's just a financial consideration, and if we lose the next two premier league games, surely there'll be just no choice.

Ray Said
59 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:28:43
Anyone can be sacked. You just decide if the price you will have to pay is worth it. Martinez gets sacked and it costs a couple of million tops. Everton gets relegated cost what 㿞-100 million?

Sack him.

Mike Jones
60 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:38:12
Mike Price – good point; I hadn't thought of that. And Ray, of course he can still be sacked regardless... just costs more... and I know we have the balance between that cost and loss of Premier League status cost
Tony Hill
61 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:07:49
It has now been said many times on here but I think one of the main reasons for our malaise is the absence of leadership among the players. We have a number of senior egos but no-one with the focused desire, the authority to command young (and some not so young), self-absorbed multi-millionaires - and to maintain sound relations between the team and the manager.

That role was fulfilled latterly by Neville under Moyes and last year it didn't matter so much because everyone was carried along on the Martinez new wave. This year, with the Distin mess, the Eto'o and Mirallas problems and the apparent discontent with RM's approach there has been a vacuum, and it looks to me as though we now have some cliques and sulkers.

I don't pretend to have direct evidence but this looks like a disunited side without anyone to bang heads together. Jagielka is not an inspiration and, crucially, Martinez seems to be weak/inconsistent as a man manager.

Of course, there are tactical issues and lapses of form to consider but the overarching problem is the lack of hard leadership and, therefore, the lack of co-ordinated will to win. its been there for a while and that's why we are in trouble.

The EL is, I suspect, a welcome distraction for everyone: Martinez's tactics are better suited/haven't been found out, the players get the chance to show themselves off on an international stage. In that context, the absence of leadership doesn't matter.

I think it's too late now to get rid of Martinez this season and that any possible cure is likely to be worse than the disease - we are trusting instead to some return of desire, to luck, and to the crapness of others. But if we don't find someone to grab this club by the scruff of the neck then we will be here in exactly the same position next year or even worse, always assuming that we do not get relegated this time round.

I don't think Martinez can be that person and I want him gone in the summer (i would have sacked him in January), but if he wants to save the stellar career that beckoned last year then he has to prove the contrary. Now would be a good time to start.

Gareth Fieldstead
62 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:52:46
Sorry Phil but your law of averages would consist of one win and four draws from the last ten games, would 35 points be sufficient? Unlikely. As the great John Douglas once said to try and guess how a person will react to a certain situation you can only go off there previous behavior in a similar situation. He will give a new manager at least 9 games as he did with Moyes, presuming he is considering Martinez position. If Roberto is still in charge after a bad result to Newcastle he will be there until the last game.
Tom Martin
63 Posted 05/03/2015 at 22:55:20
Excellent article Dave.

My sons and I were at the Middlesborough game you mentioned, and were so disgusted that we stayed behind afterwards to confront (verbally) Smith and Knox in the Car park. A day or two later Kenwright acted, and they were gone!

He understands finances. Martinez has probably got the next 2 games, maximum, to turn it around.... If not, he'll be gone.

Kevin Tully
64 Posted 05/03/2015 at 23:27:05
If we do somehow manage to fall to another defeat at home to Newcastle on Sunday the 15th, then surely it's curtains at that point?

I know one thing, there will be some ugly scenes inside GP that day if we lose. The crowd would turn en masse against the manager and team, and I really don't think the board would be left with any other logical choice but to call time on the manager's tenure. We all have a breaking point and another home defeat would surely seal his fate?

Phil Walling
65 Posted 05/03/2015 at 23:30:14
Gareth, that was just me trying to second guess BK. I suspect 35 points might just be enough this season but only Hull and WBA have survived with that total this century so the odds are against it.

However, I still think he will take no action as long as we are outside the bottom three as he is convinced the season is a one off!

Joe Green
66 Posted 06/03/2015 at 00:32:56
Sorry to say but I think we are going down.

I was shocked when we conceded 6 at home to Chelsea.
I was worried when we lost at home to Crystal Palace for second time in six months.
I was convinced RM had to go after the appalling Hull away game (BK was there btw).
Now Stoke have beaten us "routinely".

I don’t think the manager or the players care enough. They are all millionaires and will either move on or, in too many cases, retire. RM has realised that he prefers being a pundit on ESPN. He’s not cut out for the all-year-round, 24-hour-a-day grind of being a Premier League manager.

We used to snigger at OFM for scouting center backs at Hartlepool on a Tuesday night in February. But that’s what’s needed sometimes. I imagine RM spends his Tuesday nights curled-up on a sofa watching reruns of Barcelona’s CL wins. RM was an unresearched, unambitious appointment by a management team that has made lack of ambition an art form.

We are going down, no-one cares but us the fans and the Board that has a Chairman that doesn’t have the first clue of what to do. And I have to say that a lot of us fans don’t seem to care too much either. Passions have been dulled by the Premier League’s corrupt money train, elimination of local players, Sky bias, millionaire agents alongside a decrepit stadium.

Stephen Williams
67 Posted 06/03/2015 at 00:32:35
For the first time in my 45+ years, I have bought tickets for matches and not bothered going – my son and I go everywhere and I mean everywhere – home and abroad. Now that is the true sad indictment of the present reality. I really like Roberto, I've met him and enjoyed his company, I have bought into his philosophy that to properly compete at the top level you need to control the football and hence the game (in a way that the 11 years of Moyes never could), but... I've lost faith. In a way, I'm ashamed to admit it and I feel like I'm letting the side down. I'm as low as I've ever been and feel bad.

The lowest point was at Stoke. In my opinion (for the little it's worth) the only player they had that could get anywhere near our squad was their goalkeeper. All of the rest of the outfield players couldn't hold a candle to our's but we couldn't put any pressure on them.

Roberto seems to have lost his way (and in a way I also feel sorry for him) – playing three defensive midfielders away at Stoke!!!! – pure madness. But still he doesn't see it.

I really don't want to bash Roberto (as I said, I like him and his philosophy) but I'm worn down in a way that I never was through the latter years of Catterick or the bad times of Bingham, Lee, Kendall, Smith or even Mike Walker!!

Equally, I don't think we could entice someone in now to replace Roberto – so I believe that we just need to trust in the quality of the players to earn enough points to keep us above three other truly poor teams then assess it again with a clear head in the summer.

By the way, forget about the Europa League, the trips were good but we are nowhere near good enough to go much further.

Daniel A Johnson
69 Posted 06/03/2015 at 09:43:32
There are similarities here with Klopp's Dortmund.

Going great guns in the champions league but who were up until recently in a relegation dogfight in the Bundesliga. Without doubt Klopp is a world class manager and one sudden downturn in form obviously doesn't make him Gary Megson.

I guess I'm saying these things can happen, if it can happen to the mighty Dortmund and Klopp then it could happen to anyone.

This is in no way a defence of Martinez its just that I cant quite fathom whats gone so badly wrong this season. Less than a year ago he was the next Barcelona, Arsenal manager in waiting. Even Man U fans said they got the wrong Everton manager. Which is why a bumper 5yr contract fell in his lap.

Now who in the prem would touch him? His reputation is destroyed, a soft touch who likes his play slow and intricate. Anyone who cant get a run of results out of a spine of a team team containing, Mirallas, Lukaku, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, MCarthy, Barkley is seriously out of excuses.

I feel he needs to go, sometimes things just don't work out. Look at Moyes at Man U or Woy Hodgson at the Shite.

Time to leave Martinez behind bite the bullet with the 10M payoff, prem status will make this figure null and void in a years time.

Kevin Elliott
70 Posted 06/03/2015 at 09:04:12
Some great comments above. The majority of which scream out one word..
Gareth Fieldstead
71 Posted 06/03/2015 at 15:30:45
I think you are right Phil. But it is one hell of a risk either way. I think with Smith it was three previous years of mediocrity that helped him to decide that he couldnÂ’t turn it around. Martinez has got last season to show that we can achieve under his management. A previous article highlighted how the club have not taken advantage of the Premiership era and the billions that has come with it. Look at Goodison and the ground move or rather the lack of it. When Johnson first raised the possibility that we could move who would have thought 18 years on that we would still have been at a Goodison Park without any renovations and the club in discussions for a fourth time about a new ground? We go down and we can forget all that. As this article states we are looking at a seminal point in our history.
Phil Walling
72 Posted 06/03/2015 at 15:57:42
Dan, it would take less than half that to remove Roberto. Manager's contracts are full of 'get-out' clauses.
Andrew Ellams
73 Posted 06/03/2015 at 16:18:58
Moyes was sacked as soon as it was mathematically impossible for Man Utd to qualify for the Champions League. What's our equivalent clause? Mathematically guaranteed relegation?
James Kirrane
74 Posted 07/03/2015 at 00:45:19
A quote from Brenda Rodgers.

There is no-one in the squad who has a God-given right to walk straight into the team,"

"I have shown in my time here that players who are performing well, irrespective of price or status, they play - simple as that. "

A very, very simple lesson for Martinez to learn. How difficult is that??

Jamie Barlow
75 Posted 07/03/2015 at 01:34:01
Colin@16, I don't think we have to win convincingly. A scrappy win in both would do me and should keep him safe.

If we do go out of the Europa at this stage and start winning in the league again, do we go with what many said on here at the start of the season? That Europa was too much for this squad.

Andy Meighan
76 Posted 08/03/2015 at 18:47:28
A lot of people on here saying he should go if we lose the next two games. This mess should've been addressed after Xmas, not now. There's not an earthly Kenwright will sack him. He'll give him another season – that's about the size of it, I'm afraid.

Another thing that riles me is he ll walk away with a fortune... for what? Failure. The world is truly a mad place.

Jim Hardin
77 Posted 08/03/2015 at 23:47:45
Ian #33, I agree that players can be dropped. You are seriously saying Howard let in the last four goals which makes me wonder if you even watched? If we follow your logic though then the real culprits Jags, Garbutt, Stones, Lukaku, and Gibbo) would have to be sacked as they were responsible for the defensive laziness and lapses.

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