Everton in urgent need for points have to travel to the Britannia Stadium to meet an inform Stoke side and, considering our last victory there was in 2008, then the omens were not good. None of this put off the travelling faithful as a full contingent was present and in good voice.

The game was to be a scrappy affair with the Blues looking decidedly edgy. Gibson and Naismith started along with Lennon and although we started with some intent it was 15 minutes before we had a chance when Garbutt slid one to Gibson on the edge but he didn’t really get hold of it and the ball went tamely to the keeper. Just after this Stoke were forced into a change when their centre back went off with what must have been a pull or strain but we saw no benefit as Stoke just carried on in their normal manner.

The Blues had a good twenty-five minute spell playing more of a cup tie game than any possession stuff but that final third is a real bogey area for us, always nearly but never striking. Howard had his first touch on 25 minutes and that was from a back pass so many of us thought that maybe we could at last fashion a win.

But then Stoke had a spell and Moses strode forward and hit a screamer, luckily straight at Howard, but the keeper only had time to get his fists to it and send it back out. We then had a bout of handbags between Naismith and Bardsley which Garbutt foolishly joined in by pushing Bardsley, but Clattenberg, our Ref for tonight, just warned Naismith and Bardsley and issued no yellows.

Straight from this incident Stoke had a throw in and Adam fired a cross-field pass across goal and Moses unmarked in the box powered a header home. Great to see if you were a Stoke fan but very hard to take for a Blue. We looked all at sea defensively and our lively start had been in vain. We slowly got ourselves more together and started to press again but Stoke are well-drilled and getting in behind them was looking difficult but we tried and indeed finished the half strong.

Garbutt and Coleman had good runs and crosses that were cut out and Lennon had a shot saved by the sprawling keeper. Two minutes added and Coleman has a cross headed away and then the Irishman gained a corner and Barry had a header that was weak and straight to the keeper as the whistle sounded. Not the best of halves for us but we did show more endeavour than of late... but, oh, that final third. There must be an invisible brick wall there.

H/T and the chat was of being drawn into a relegation battle as no one seems to know where the next point might come from.

Second half started and from the off the upping of the tempo was evident. Lukaku was put in on goal from the left channel but his attempted curler just missed the far post and must have deflected off his marker as we got a corner, which again came to nought. Our pressing was laudable but we just could not fashion a clear chance despite Naismith covering every blade of grass to try to get us going.

He got a bit too enthusiastic and got booked for accumulation. The Stoke players certainly knew he was about and he was geeing up our players but again and again we floundered on the rocks that were the Stoke defence.

On the hour mark our manager decided to try a change to see if that would help and Osman and Kone replaced Barry and Lennon. Barry had been booked in the first half and now is not available for the Newcastle and QPR games. They made a big initial difference with Osman feeding Kone who had a blast that caused the keeper to bat away, then Osman’s quick feet got him in the box but yet again the Stoke defence crowded him out. The faithful are the twelfth man, though, and were roaring trying to suck one in.

70 minutes came up and it had been almost all Everton but we just can’t seem to click in that box. And with a very well-drilled Stoke defence it was all frustrating especially when a move did break down Stoke were ever ready to counter quickly and with us pushed on some hairy moments were noted.

Time seemed to be flying by and we just couldn’t fashion the move to get us at least a direct shot on goal. Osman was making quite a difference in terms of getting us in the box but always the excellent defending of Stoke created the illusion that they had more players on the field than us.

Our need was great and our players were trying everything they know, philosophy had gone out of the window now and we seemed to be making it up as we went. Into the last ten minutes and Stoke were now having a good spell as we seemed tired which caused more frustration both on and off the pitch as we couldn’t get the ball off them to attack ourselves.

The manager played his last card and subbed the tireless and non-stop Naismith with Mirallas and we all crossed fingers and hope for a Kev special but it was all Stoke now and we cracked as a tired Lukaku booted the ball high but the wrong way. That put our defence under pressure in a two-on-two break and the Stoke man from the right channel beat our keeper but the ball hit the post. In keeping with our misfortune at the moment it rebounded to his team mate Diouf who tapped home.

Two nil down, very little time left so we needed the finest five minutes we have ever had but really we all knew that was it and game over. Fans had been leaving in a steady stream and now it was almost a flood. Many of us stuck it out but we had to witness Stoke playing keep ball and their fans dishing out the ‘Ole’s’ to accompany them. Our lads got R.As from us.

4 minutes added went up but all we had from that was Walters felling McCarthy on the edge. Garbutt took it and brought a flying save from the keeper for a corner that came to nought. All over bar the shouting then and the whistle brought to an end another game that provided no points toward the 40. On leaving the ground you could not just feel or sense the despondency but touch it.

M.o.t.M. – I will give it to Naismith for non-stop work rate and endeavour.

Overall a frustrating game that did provide a more intense display but without ever looking as though we had the opponents on the rack or create any real goal bound efforts. We can’t carry on losing and drawing games without paying a penalty. I imagine many a Blue will tonight applaud the results in the other matches far more than their own team. How have we come to this? Still ten games to go and ... what?

For my part I believe we have good players and I will support them but I have to rely on our present manager and his staff to lift them and get them playing to their strengths in a way that suits them and they are happy with. It can be sorted, so good luck to all. Kiev next, then the grind begins starting with the Magpies. We always beat them at home... don’t we?

I wonder if fans will now hang on before renewing season tickets. My bet is they will until we are safe.

UP THE BLUES

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Steve Carse
1 Posted 05/03/2015 at 02:08:06
Naismith MotM??? The guy’s a headless chicken. He insists on playing a lot of first time passes but continually misplaces or over hits them. Last night was no exception. We shouldn’t mistake work rate and a willingness to mix it for a good performance.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 05/03/2015 at 02:10:50
Condolences on having to travel to see that mess, Ken.... hard to watch I’m sure... but thanks as always for the report.
Victor Jones
3 Posted 05/03/2015 at 04:31:24
Good report. Looking forward to the day when you next report on an Everton win. Let’s hope it’s this season. And let’s hope that there are a few of them.

As for always beating Newcastle at Goodison Park, we never lost to Swansea before this season. And was it something like 48 years since Stoke did a double over us? And I think that Hull broke some record also against us. Teams are setting up to stiffle us. Records are being broken against us. Players who never score, are scoring against us. Bloody depressing.

Goodison Park is no longer a fortress. It is no longer a ground for teams to fear. So god knows what will happen in our remaining home games. ’Cause I sure as hell don’t.

Matt Traynor
4 Posted 05/03/2015 at 04:59:09
Victor #3, Goodison is a ground for teams to fear – unfortunately that team is Everton.

Good report, Ken, as usual. Was depressing staying up into the wee hours to watch that.

Jeff Hughes
5 Posted 05/03/2015 at 06:06:10
Thanks Ken for the report. I didnÂ’t get to the game and couldnÂ’t bear to watch the short highlights on MotD but the Guardian reports: "Stoke were worth their win if only for the excellence of Moses’s first-half goal and general attacking play. Moses was one of the few players on the pitch willing to take on opponents and on several occasions proved capable of beating them too. Everton are going to have to fight harder than this if they are to climb away from trouble.

"The visitors neither battled like a David Moyes team nor passed like a Roberto Mart­ínez one, with the result that Stoke, who keep things relatively simple and know what they are good at, saw them off with surprisingly few alarms."

A lack of attacking intent and a general lack of belief is what the Â’Mart­ínezÂ’ philosophy has created. I wish he would go but now is not the time, unfortunately, for attracting a new coach. I have defended the right of Blues fans to criticise. The passion that makes Goodison Park a bear pit at times is the passion that leads us fans to feel frustration and hurt, particularly this season as a high quality squad has descended too rapidly toward the trap door.

The hurt is now deafening but I believe we have to realise that our current plight has reached a critical position and the home game against Newcastle must be a time to roar the blues towards premier league survival. Once the game has finished we can resort to sharing our views but for the 90 + minutes the barcodes should wish they were back on the Toon. COYB

Harold Matthews
6 Posted 05/03/2015 at 06:28:31
Yes Steve. Naismith shows plenty of desire but he’s just not good enough.
Christopher Dover
7 Posted 05/03/2015 at 07:59:51
Why does Naismith get so much stick? Without him the opposition would have even longer on the ball to cause us damage, without him we would not win the headers he does both in attack and defence.

If a few more showed the drive and energy then we might not be in that position, who will replace his energy Barkley? Osman?

They may be better on the ball (not Barkley this season) but they will not win the headers and do the chasing.

Dick Fearon
8 Posted 05/03/2015 at 07:53:04
Has he gone yet? If not why not? Him and his half-baked philosophy plus our atrocious pre-season that resulted in the entire squad being clearly unfit and unprepared. For most of the season to date we have been struggling to play catch up. While other managers were on the job he was working as a TV pundit on his second job.

Despite all his ridiculous and endless bullshitting to the media he has not offered a scintilla of apology or any kind of explanation for that pre-season debacle.

Early on this season it was clear that other managers plus most supporters had identified weaknesses in his boring and pathetic tactics. Despite that this idiot could not or would not accept that fact.

He has tried to respond to the predicament his catalogue of errors by cutting down on the stupid and useless ticka-tacka between the backs and keeper. The players heads have been so messed up by this charlatan it will take a stiff broom to clear the cobwebs.

To preserve our premier league place we cannot afford any delay.That is why I asked.

Has he gone yet?

Mick Wrende
10 Posted 05/03/2015 at 08:46:15
Yet again, we have a comment from a player – Jagielka this time – that the players must start performing. So why aren’t they and when is it going to happen? And when is Martinez going? The club board and Billy Liar are completely silent. Are they just going to let us sink into the championship without a whimper. Shame on all of them.
Ray Robinson
11 Posted 05/03/2015 at 08:53:44
Ken, great report as usual but I must take exception to your making Naismith Man of the Match! Effort alone does not qualify him for such an award.

One small incident last night highlighted how ludicrous the Martinez ’pass at all costs’ philosophy sometimes is. Howard takes a goalkick on the left hand side of the goal, rolls it to Jagielka on the edge of the box who is immediately closed down, so plays it with his left foot back to Howard who then is closed down and has to clear it hastily with his left foot. Any fool can work out that that is pointless.

Mike Oates
12 Posted 05/03/2015 at 08:55:07
Kenwright won’t get rid of Martinez until we are out of the Europa Cup , and if we are still in it after this round against Kiev I think it will be too late with too few games left for any new manager to change the slump. So the crunch is the next two games, lose by two goals aginst Kiev and lose against Newcastle and he’ll be gone, leaving 9 games for Joe to sort us out.
Murdo Laing
13 Posted 05/03/2015 at 08:47:39
It seems not, Dick, and RM was his usual pukka self in the post match interview, would you expect anything different? I noted one comment on TW on another thread in which the writer expressed glee that the Villa had appointed Steve Sherwood on the inference that he will take them down. I am not so sure.

I feel Sherwood is the antithesis of Roberto and that although he does blow a gasket sometimes, his honesty as a manager is visceral, and I think you will see Villa going one way, and us in the reverse direction under this "snake oil salesman" manager.

I do not see how he is going to turn this desperate lack of form and confidence around, as our good, experienced pros in that dressing room must know that RM’s tactics are redundant, the results speak for themselves.

Thanks for the report Ken. I was at the corresponding fixture last season (New Year’s Day 2014?) and all I can remember is coming away cold, wet and miserable, and that was when we were playing well!

The only consolation to take is that six of our remaining games are at home, if the players can lift themselves for the run in, there is a chance that with the Goodison crowd behind them, we can eke out maybe nine points from those six games. We will get little or nothing away from home, not even at QPR on current form.

Brian Mahoney
14 Posted 05/03/2015 at 09:17:39
Accurate report, Ken, I was one of the many who started streaming out straight after the second goal went in. It’s so embarrassing I could hear the oles from the stoke support as I walked to the car park which I was stuck in for a good hour.

I heard a comment from a Stoke fan on the radio saying he didn’t realise how bad Everton were and why was Lukaku always coming back for the ball when he should be running on to it which ultimately resulted in their second goal. I hate going to Stoke anyway and, on yet another dire display, it looks like I won’t be going there next season as we’ll be in a different division.

Peter Barry
15 Posted 05/03/2015 at 09:52:56
Roberto has been well sussed by all the Prem teams this season, they just allow to Everton play their tippy-tappy football and have lots of possession knowing full well we are toothless in the final third. Then all they need is a couple of breakaways, which happen every match, and bobs your uncle and flippy-flappy Howard does the rest.
Franny Porter
16 Posted 05/03/2015 at 10:22:13
The worst thing for me is the fact the players don’t seem to have a clue what to do and that is down to the manager, I almost feel sorry for them.

Look at Lukaku, he gets fucking zero service, he has three defensive midfielders sat miles away from him and as a result the fans are on his back. Watch the difference in him when he gets a ball to run onto, sadly he gets one of these once a game if he’s lucky.

I don’t think there is any point on sacking RM just now, we will stay up just because there are at least three shitter teams than us. Rethink in the Summer is needed though.

Mike Gwyer
17 Posted 05/03/2015 at 10:00:24

Chris Dover #7.

Chris please, Naismith is shit. End of. He has no pace and no football brain. He fucks up so many passes, either by hitting it to long or to short or best still, just straight to an opposition player. Yeah great, he wins the occasional header but where the fuck does the header go to, usually straight to the opposition or out of play.

The Championship is full of players who give their all and continually run about just sticking the boot in or being a pain in the arse. For me, that’s where Naismith belongs.

Last night Lukaku was getting marked by at least 2 sometimes 3 defenders, the boy needed help and that is what Naismith should’ve be doing. So what the fuck was he doing helping out our 3 midfielders? What is he doing fighting for the ball on our corner flag when he should be up top, either giving Lukaku options or at least sticking the boot into a Stoke defender or two.

No doubt about it, the boy is shite and he does a good job of fooling people just by covering every blade of grass or sticking his head or boot where it probably shouldn’t be going. You know what, at the end of day Naismith does what his manager does best, talks a lot, but gives you absolutely fuck all.

John Barnes
18 Posted 05/03/2015 at 10:38:58
Christopher #7. I’d argue that the opposition get a lot of the ball directly because of Naismith’s lack of control, petulant fouls, mishit passes and general lack of a football brain etc. The counter argument for him is that he pulls his tripes out and weighs in with the odd goal. How many this season? Marcus Bent could win headers and chase all day long.....

Have to agree in the main with Mike Gwyer, perhaps not as strongly, even though I do applaud the lad’s effort which other, I’d say better, players would well for us to adopt.

But 10 headless chickens and a poor goalkeeper will not be good enough to stay up. Just check out all the teams who actually get relegated and look at the reasons why? First up is Lack of Quality, even though the effort is there, and probably a dodgy goalie.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 05/03/2015 at 10:42:47
Another good report Ken, as usual, feel sorry for you and the thousands of Blues who went last night, it seems the players had a bit of a go but it wasn’t enough.

You have to wonder when the players come out at the start of the game and see that massive support why they don’t run until they drop, but I suppose a lot of them are not wedded to the club like us. I hope you get better performances to report on in future games but if Bobby is still in charge I doubt it.

Phil Walling
20 Posted 05/03/2015 at 11:35:46
Whilst I’m one who is still hiding behind the 6 point ’margin of safety’, that could prove no more than an illusion as it’s ’the direction of travel’ that’s getting us ever deeper into the doo doo.

A win anywhere will calm the nerves - let’s just hope the lads don’t leave it too late !

David Hallwood
21 Posted 05/03/2015 at 11:46:28
Another outstanding performance......from Ken;it’s a pity the players didn’t have your passion and commitment to the cause. The problem is Ken that you’re starting to sound like a relative who’s visited the granny and is trying to put a positive slant on the visit to the rest
David Hallwood
22 Posted 05/03/2015 at 11:50:02
Sorry half way through Bleedin smartphones. To the rest of the family knowing the old gal ain’t getting any better.

I’ve said this on every thread my concern is the rate we are concedIng-stoke 3 shots on target, 2 goals,arsenal 4 shots on target,2 goals. I remember a time when teams would have to batter us before we’d concede;now it’s just too easy.

Quite why we’ve gone from the best defence to one of the worst with the same players can only be down to the management. For instance the first arsenal goal from a corner with no one on the posts-schoolboy stuff. Stoke’s 1st;player allowed to cross with no pressure on the ball so he could pick his spot.

If these games were an aberration, you could excuse it, but this is happening in game after game; it’s just too easy to score against us.

All season I haven’t seen us outplayed with shots raining down from all angles, and I suppose that’s thank god because the way we’re shipping goals we might have run up some cricket scores against us.

Like you I can’t see where the next win’s coming from.

Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 05/03/2015 at 12:10:31
David - Three of last night’s back four are relatively young and inexperienced and two of them are being asked to provide the ammunition for the front-men, that may explain the overload in midfield. But it would be far better to have two outright wingers on the pitch that would allow the two full-backs to concentrate on defence rather than being caught between two stools and doing neither adequately.
Christopher Dover
24 Posted 05/03/2015 at 12:19:25
Hi in response I am not saying Naismith is a wonderful player but without him in the side playing the way RM sets us up if he was not doing his headless chicken runs to close people down then who else at this time will do it?

The opposition get enough time on the ball now and if the main chaser is removed they will get even more, also who will win the headers? when Howard kicks long do you let Barkley or Lukaku win them? if so we will even less than we do now.

Please do not take me wrong way, the team is play crap and its because RM sets it up that way, and with most want to see him go, just feel that some of the knocking is unfair, my opinion and not agreed with most perhaps but there we go.
Forever hoping for a better result (but not holding my breath)

Andy Crooks
25 Posted 05/03/2015 at 12:27:16
Fine report,Ken. I reckon you’ve seen more of this team and coach than most of us. So, what’s your honest opinion? Are we in danger? Would you welcome the immediate appointment of say, Peter Reid? Do you think Martinez has lost the dressing room?

I’m not trying to put you on the spot,Ken, but most on here respect your views.

David Hallwood
26 Posted 05/03/2015 at 12:46:34
Patrick (#23) I did highlight the last two games but I did say that’s it’s been going on all season, and taken it like that it’s only Stones who’s the newcomer
Ernie Baywood
27 Posted 05/03/2015 at 12:53:55
Credit to you and anyone who went, Ken.

This team has bored me into near submission. There’s just nothing about them worth watching.

I could deal with watching a team fighting a relegation battle but this lot can’t even be arsed to do that.

If we stay up it will be a huge let off by the other clubs because if we actually need to fight our way out of trouble then I’d back us to fail.

Dave Ganley
28 Posted 05/03/2015 at 12:43:00
Dick Fearon #8 spot on mate. Everybody who keep saying now is not the time to replace a manager is clearly deluding themselves. Whoever we get to take over, either interim or permanent, cannot do any worse than we are doing already. Nothing we have seen over the last 3 months suggests that we are going to turn a corner and start winning games. Results and performances are clearly getting worse so at this stage what does it matter if somebody else has a go? We are on a downward spiral here; unless the manager is changed and even just one or two new ideas are tried then we shall keep on losing.

As has been suggested on other posts, the players clearly have to take some kind of responsibility for the poor, poor effort we have seen all season. The fitness levels for instance, whilst I think everybody agrees that the pre-season shambles lies at the door of the manager, surely a top level professional footballer knows if he cannot last a full 90 minutes then it is up to him to put in the extra work to make sure he does in the future. If I had played in the Leicester/Arsenal games early season, professional pride would make damn sure that I wouldnÂ’t be chasing shadows in the closing stages of a game for the rest of the season.

However, all this detracts from the fact that it is the manager that sends the players out with a gameplan and from very early on this season, it has been apparent that the players do not like/feel comfortable with this gameplan. Unlike a lot of people, I believe that we have changed our gameplan from last season, in that we do not do anything at pace. Last season, we had a dynamism that teams found hard to live with, we hit teams with such pace and verve that before they knew what was happening, the ball was in the back of the net. This season we have shown nothing like that, everything has been so pedestrian that we may as well telegraph any kind of move we make. Is this down to not being fit enough? Who knows, but whatever the reason, its something we do not do this season.

I also do not buy the argument that ALL season last season, we took teams by surprise. Premier league managers do their homework, and after the first few games, would know what Everton were all about. The problem for other teams was that we did everything with such pace that they had no answer to our attacks... in one respect, MartinezÂ’s philosophy does work if you do it correctly, only he hasnÂ’t done anything correctly this season. Preparation, player motivation, picking form players etc has all been sub standard and, for that derelict of duty alone, he should be fired.

This season has felt like EFC are MartinezÂ’s pet project, that he can tinker and play around with us as though we donÂ’t matter. Well we do matter. Rightly or wrongly, I expect Everton to win every game, especially at Goodison, and I donÂ’t think Martinez has appreciated how much expectation there is at Everton. This is not Wigan, Swansea et al where if we get a good result we are happy with a pat on the head, this is Everton, a club with a rich and proud history. Do not forget that we are still the fourth most successful club in England... lets start behaving like one!!

I really hope we get behind the lads against Kiev/Newcastle but also I am an advocate of a demonstration before either game to let the manager/board know how unhappy we really are. We are Everton and under no circumstance should we be in this position...

I feel like crying when I read of some supporters suggesting we should just bow out of the Europa to concentrate on the league... I understand their reasons for saying so but the fact that they are having to say these things in the first place make me nearly want to weep. Again, we are Everton, surely we want to win ANY kind of trophy... is this not the business of football, to win things?

I just hope and pray something happens to turn this around, but am not holding my breath. DidnÂ’t Kenwright pledge after the last real flirtation with relegation that this must never happen again???? Over to you Bill
Up the blues

Jim Harrison
29 Posted 05/03/2015 at 14:13:10
And we moaned about Moyes being stubborn........
Jimmi James
30 Posted 05/03/2015 at 14:19:54
Great report as ever ken, one thing we all get confused about is players who seem to have heart with being good footballers, totally untrue obviously. Can anyone seriously look at the games left and say there are any "bankers" in there?. Even QPR is now looking a real tough game and it shouldnt have been should it?. Its difficult to see where our points for safety are going to come from but to be even talking "safety" in the first place is so sad. Changes will have to be made and quickly.
Jim Hardin
31 Posted 05/03/2015 at 14:24:52
David #22, Forget about reasoning with most of these posters. to them Barry is awful even though his experience calms and helps make up for a lot of errors by fan favorites and future all-stars ( to them) Garbutt aand Stones and Besic. If you run around and use a lot of energy then it doesnÂ’t matter what your actual skills are.

Funny that the same defensive lapses time and again are let off because players are young (same mistakes though time and time again) but when those mistakes kill us it is Barry is awful, Baines should sit or move to another position which he will make mistkes at, Jags is past it, Distan is past it, and Howard (better stats last season the De Gea, Cech, and Hart) is now and has always been awful.

Saw one "learned commentator" on another Everton site give Howard a five, not because he did anything wrong, but because two goals were scored yet gave the defenders and players responsible for the lapses leading to the goals equal or higher ratings. Even the article writer here indicated Howard got beaten on the second goal. This is not a save situation, it is a make the player miss situation. Howard did the only thing he could do and came out trying to hurry the shot and to take away as much of the goal as is possible to try to make the shot go wide (wait I know Robles would have saved it all) which he did off the post. At that point, it is a defenderÂ’s job to clear it.

I would love Lukaku, Pienaar, Osman, Jags, Howard, Mirallas, Distan, and Gibbo (yes he was being dismissed as injured excess baggage by fans) to leave and then they can play Garbutt, Besic, Naismith, Robles, McCarthy, Lennon, Kone, Browning, Atsu and Coleman and whoever else and watch the points roll out. But hey they can pass backwards and sideways per RM, and they run and give effort so they must be good.

Matthew Williams
32 Posted 05/03/2015 at 16:50:43
Things are not going great but am I alone in thinking its not as bad as many of the keyboard warriors would have you believe?. Look at the stats, in the last 12 games we have lost three games to Chelsea,Arsenal and Stoke. Granted Stoke last night was hard to take but the loss to Chelsea was harsh and we played well in parts at Arsenal...We have not gone to Chelsea or Arsenal expecting to win for many a year so we should not hold those defeats against the manager especially as they were tight games, we certainly were not battered by either of them.

I don’t think we are playing that badly, certainly not to the low of Walter Smiths final weeks or even some of the Moyes era. it was not all good stuff under Moyes and a lot of fans forget the yo yo times under him.

The problem is we are drawing too many games, I am still shocked that many fans now want Martinez sacked. Granted a lot of fans didnt want him in the first place so they are all coming out of the woodwork now. I still expect us to stay up rather comfortably as I don’t expect the bottom 3 to get to 40 points. Our run in has at least 4 wins and a few more draws which will make us safe.

Looking on social media a lot of fans are saying go for Dunc or a Royle/Dunc combination. Considering our form seems to have nosedived since Dunc took up his role on the coaching team I don’t see the logic in that.

I personally back Martinez and will give him the chance to redeem our fortunes next season. I expect a much tougher pr-season and a few of the older players to be shipped out. That is what I hope anyway.

Now is the time to back the manager and the team unless there is a real feeling of he has lost the dressing room which does not seem to be the case to me.

Patrick Murphy
33 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:12:03
I laud your loyalty Mathew and yes we did endure some difficult periods under Moyes and granted we have better individuals available now than in those other bad seasons.

But the one thing that David Moyes was above all else was pragmatic, sometimes to our frustration but often it was the correct way at a wobbly part of the season or during a bad run.

His mantra was lose a game but don't dare lose the next one and preferably win the next one, it didn't always transpire that way but it was a clear and easy message for everybody to understand..

I'm not sure you can describe our recent run as an unfortunate run of games or that we have met the form teams at the wrong time, we have played Hull twice, WBA, Leicester and Palace during this period and won just once we also travelled to Southampton and Newcastle when both were mis-firing and failed to grab a point, not to mention playing a West Ham team who are also having a pretty poor 2015 and we failed to beat them although our performance at their place was a stand out one in relation to everything else we have witnessed domestically this year.

When you hear the manager saying the same things at Goodison as he was saying at Wigan two-three-four season's ago it rings alarm bells as the two clubs are very different and the talent pool is vastly different but the manager never seems to live in the now, it's either what will be done in the future or what has happened in the past, that isn't good enough for me.

Given that Everton will survive this season, just, my fears for next season are not calmed by Roberto and his methods and I also have to admit to worries about his ability in the transfer market all in all I don't see this particular man as a suitable manager for Everton at this stage of his career, I don't know who will be, but my head and heart says it isn't Roberto.

Jay Wood
34 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:20:52
Matthew @ 32 "Things are not going great but am I alone in thinking its not as bad as many of the keyboard warriors would have you believe? Look at the stats, in the last 12 games we have lost three games to Chelsea Arsenal and Stoke."

Yes Matthew, things ARE as bad as the keyboard warriors would have you believe. Why do you only mention the defeats to Chelski, the Arse and Stoke when we have lost SEVEN of our last 12 games and SEVEN of our eight last away games? It is 2 1/2 months since we won at home in the league.

Here is the full record of our last 12 games:
P 12 W 1 D 4 L 7 F 6 A 17 GD -11 Pts 7

A single defeat in any of our 6 pointer games against Villa, QPR or Burnley could well tip the balance against us.

Our plight is that precarious.

Paul Smith
35 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:42:04
Patrick Murphy, the voice of clarity once again. I very rarely listen to BBS, never have. I pick up bits on these boards and Twitter.

Your observation that he's always banging on about the past or how amazing we're going to be in the future makes resonates with me. Surely underneath he knows how bad we've been this season or is he in that much denial and delusion ?

The first part of change is accepting where your reality, warts and all. Then and only then, can you truly affect change and address the real issues. I fear the cloak of denial is too thick to shake off.

Paul Smith
36 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:55:34
Apologies for typos' using my mobile.
Chris Gould
37 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:50:36
Matthew 32: what makes someone a keyboard warrior?
Are you implying that fans of our great club who fear that RM is out of his depth and not fit to be manager....are keyboard warriors?

It is meant as a derogatory term and is usually used when someone is acting tough from the safety of their home computer.
I'm not sure why you would apply the term to fellow blues who simply have a different opinion of our manager to you. Your facts don't add up so you throw insults.

Phil Hamlin
38 Posted 05/03/2015 at 17:21:36
Our present player formation clearly isnÂ’t working, even RM must know that. Why not try the following:-

A back 3 of Jagielka, Alcaraz and Stones
Garbutt and Coleman as wingbacks
3 midfielders - Barkley, Gibson and McCarthy (NB only one defensive midfielder required as we have 3 centre halves to defend supported by 2 wing backs)
2 strikers - Kone and Lukaku (Lukaku slightly deeper so he doesnÂ’t get caught offside and can run onto through balls from Gibson and Barkley.)

We need to try something different before we run out of time. Be positive, Roberto! I for one hope you get it right, turn this around and are here for years to come.

Keith Harrison
39 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:18:13
Hi, Bobby Ewing here - just got out of the shower. I had a nightmare that Everton were just above the bottom three with an intransigent manager. And true blue fans were at each others throats. Phew.
David Graves
40 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:19:16
Oh dear Matthew where to begin?
"The problem is that we are drawing too many games" Really? Do you honestly think that is the only problem? Is it not the inability to win football matches that is the real problem?
Do you also believe that we will "Stay up comfortably"? WTF are you basing that on? Current form?
And I'm sorry but if you honestly think that our run in has at least 4 wins and a few draws then you are clearly deluded.
If this rant makes me a keyboard warrior then so be it but I've paid good money this season to watch probably the longest run of piss poor football I have ever seen at Goodison and I'm entitled to express my opinion.
Finally please don't ask people to "look at the stats" because in case you haven't noticed they make horrible and desperate reading.
Keith Harrison
41 Posted 05/03/2015 at 18:30:37
Sheee-it, itÂ’s true!! I hope Â’Ol JR (Joe Royle) can get us out of this doggone mess before itÂ’s too late, or weÂ’ll miss the Oil BaronÂ’s (Sky Money) ball.
Matthew Williams
42 Posted 05/03/2015 at 19:54:43
Apologies for my last post. I was using my mobile and failed to check some of the grammar. A few responses to my post which I expected. gonna hide away from the internet for a few weeks as Martinez out posts are depressing me... By then I expect a win in Europe and four points from the Newcastle/QPR games.

Stephen Brown
43 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:02:29
The most worrying thing for me are the the post-match interviews. Just a load of gobbledegook! Just say it as it is, please! In fact, start slagging players! It could provoke a reaction from them?!

Another worrying aspect is we have played the same stupid formation (if you can call it that) in nearly all the games! Back to basics required: 4-4-2.

Jay Wood
44 Posted 05/03/2015 at 20:12:07
Matthew, I respectfully suggest it shouldn’t be the ’Martinez Out’ posts that should be depressing you, but rather, the very precarious position EVERTON is in at this time.

But ... each to their own.

Lee Brian
45 Posted 05/03/2015 at 21:09:50
Matt (32)

What the hell are you on?

We are crap & RM is like a rabbit caught in the headlights!

Point for point, after 28 games, this is our worst season since 1927-28 FFS

The only way we can get this idiot out is quite simple: "DonÂ’t buy Season Tickets!"

Simples!!!!!

Trevor Lynes
46 Posted 05/03/2015 at 21:29:44
Once again a very good report without singling out individuals as scapegoats. Plenty of endeavour but a total lack of confidence. None of our supposed better players showed up well and it was obvious that Osman has been missed. Whether he ever returns to his full fitness and best form is unfortunately unknown.

We also miss an in form Pienaar as we now have a punchless left flank which ironically was our most potent strength last season. The board must invest in the squad if we avoid relegation, otherwise we will continue to struggle. Our manager is the fall guy for this failure to invest.

Andy Meighan
47 Posted 06/03/2015 at 05:01:02
Franny (16), Great post but re your comments on Lukaku: yes, your're right about the service into him but does that really excuse his abysmal first touch and his chronic inability to read the line?

Also we could have been 2 points better off had he taken one of many chances that came along against Leicester. As it is for me he'll never be the great striker he himself thinks he's going to be.

On another note, I'll stick my neck out and say I don't think we'll score another away goal this season so that leaves us the home games to get the required points, and given our dismal home form this season I can't see it happening. What a nightmare.

Martin Mason
48 Posted 06/03/2015 at 14:48:00
Do you know what is really disappointing? A few months back the RS were dreadful and heading down. They have worked hard on skills and tactics and against City they were magnificent. We just don't seem to have that capability.
Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 06/03/2015 at 15:18:05
Lee #48 - I wish it was a season that was similar to 1927-28 as Dixie scored his sixty and Everton won the title. David Prentice has suggested that this season's point tally thus far is the same as we gained in 1949-50, the season before we got relegated.
Frank Crewe
50 Posted 06/03/2015 at 18:43:10
@Trevor Lynes

Lack of investment? RM spent 28 million quid on Lukaku. 13 million on McCarthy, 6 million on Kone, 4.5 million on Besic. That's 51.5 million quid on 4 players. How much more investment can they realistically put up.

Maybe if he spent it better we wouldn't be in this shit.

Phil Walling
51 Posted 06/03/2015 at 19:49:49
Failure to invest, Trevor? That's an old line we well rehearsed in the days of Moyes. And it was justified. But an old pro like you must know it's a weak argument given our present squad and how much they cost to put together.

But a Martinez fan only hears - and trots out the bullshit !

Trevor Lynes
52 Posted 07/03/2015 at 12:31:47
Patrick, in the days before our relegation it was just two points for a win.No subs and injured players were not replaced. The number of points gained cannot be compared to today! My argument over investment is valid when it is compared to the big profits made.

The players sold, more than paid for who we signed and the club pocketed a lot of money. Our squad was not increased in numbers and that is what was required to deal with the heavier fixture list.

Roy Steel
53 Posted 07/03/2015 at 15:13:03
If our players were having to be helped or carried off the park after a game due to exhaustion, having run themselves into the ground for the club, the cause and the fans then you could empathise, admire and even be proud of them after dropping points to so called better teams.

But this is not the case with this Everton team. (I use the term loosely.) We are dropping points to every team we face. The desire, fight and sheer bloody guts are missing from some of these overpaid, overhyped prima donnas. We all know who they are, so once we are safe ship them out, make a few astute buys and give some of the young lads their chance.

It might have been the great Jock Stein who said if they are good enough, they’re old enough. Cant possibly be any worse.

Come on, Everton.

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