Scoreline flatters very poor Everton display

Goals by Christian Benteke and Tom Cleverley end Everton's fine run of form on the back of a Blues performance that will only reignite the questions hanging over Roberto Martinez as Everton manager.

Michael Kenrick 02/05/2015 157comments  |  Jump to last

Aston Villa 3 - 1 Everton

Barkley and Osman started on the bench as Martinexz made what would be crucial changes to a winning side, with Naismith getting the call to play up front with Lukaku and Mirallas started on the left wing with Aaron Lennon continuing on the right.

Everton were on the back foot from the kick-off, Benteke heading wide before he plundered an early goal, well headed in past Howard off a good cross from Delph that Jagielka could not defend against. 1-0 to the Villa.

Everton responded trying to get the ball forward early and playing a high line defensively, which compressed much of the play into midfield as the Blues, playing in their change strip, struggled to impose any level of control on the game. Howard had to be alert to push a deflected free-kick around the post.

Villa should have had a second off a Grealish corner, Vlaar with a point-blank header as Howard stood rooted, but the ball flashed wide as Jagielka completely missed the ball. At the other end, Coleman could only put his cross onto the roof of the net.

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Everton were not themselves, McCarthy losing the ball too easily as Villa kept the pressure on, Everton's passing letting them down all over the park. Grealish put in another good corner and a simple header on from Vlaar with Benteke running in at the far post to score with ease as the Everton defence looked bewildered. 2-0 to the Villa. Not a single shot on Villa's goal from Everton.

Everton kicked off the second half and immediately looked better, Lukaku running at the home defence and taking a half-decent shot that Given touched wide. From the corner, Lukaku should have at least found the target but allowed Benteke to put him off. Everton had a couple more corners but the deliveries from Baines were lacking, and Aston Villa were soon in the ascendancy again.

Lukaku went on another great run but seemed to loose the ball in a poor pass toward Naismith who somehow managed to get fouled by Vlaar and Everton had a penalty that Lukaku stutter-stepped and then rolled beyond Given and just inside the post to give Everton something of a lifeline.

A better move from Everton saw Lennon play in Coleman who played a decent ball forward to Lukaku but he had pulled too far wide to worry Given with a rather lame chip vaguely in the direction of the Villa goal.

At the other end, an excellent throughball from Bacuna beat Barry easily and Tom Cleverley produced an excellent finish under pressure from Howard to restore the two-goal lead

Barry had a chance to shoot but powered the ball straight at Given. Martinez finally reverted to the line-up that had performed so well against Manchester United last week, Barkley and Osman replacing Osman and Naismith entering the final quarter.

Osman and Barkley were both involved in a lively attacking move but no-one could get a shot until Barkley's effort was blocked. Osman was next to fashion a shot but it was weak and straight at Given.

Vlaar fouled McCarthy on the side of the penalty area, giving Baines a chance to set something up: a rollback to Lennon who improvised a chip weakly to the far post, a little too obvious and far too easy for Villa to defend.

Everton got a rather flattering second goal off a corner at the death, Jagielka heading in off the crossbar after Coleman had blocked Given on the line.

Everton were a little better in the second half, after a really abysmal display in the first half that could easily have seen a much greater half-time deficit. A lot of the bad habits that were seemingly banished during the excellent run of results that had seen Everton top the Premier League form table had returned by the end, in a worrying turn of events that will only reignite the questions hanging over Roberto Martinez as Everton manager

Scorers: Benteke (10', 45'), Cleverley (64'); Lukaku (pen:59'), Jagielka (90')

Aston Villa: Given[Y:90'], Hutton, Vlaar [Y:84'], Okore, Bacuna (81' Hutton), Westwood (75' Sanchez), Cleverley, Richardson, N'Zogbia (90' Cole), Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs not Used: Guzan, Sinclair, Weimann, Senderos.

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Coleman [Y:71'], Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas (75' Osman), Naismith (75' Barkley), Lennon, Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Alcaraz, Besic, McGeady, Kone.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Attendance: 37,859

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Reader Comments (157)

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Nick Entwistle
1 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:35:49
Good line up. Looking forward to possibly a real classic.
Ernie Baywood
2 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:42:54
Osman out makes sense. He was there for a specific job last week... Villa don’t have a Mata.

Barkley/Nais selection I can take or leave.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:08:01
Garbutt not even on the bench, not giving this lad much incentive to sign a new contract, or has he given up on the lad signing?.
Chris Gould
4 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:23:59
Why is Barkley on the bench? He was just beginning to get his confidence up. No power through the middle or penetration without him.
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:33:22
If ever Everton Football Club was summed up in a nutshell then it’s the last 7 days.

Outstanding last week, totally commited and first to every ball... yet today, it’s been back to the "bad old Everton" of no movement, no quality, and no passion. You could say it’s back to the Everton we have known best under Martinez this season.

For a team that can put in performances like last weekend against Man Utd it’s amazing and somewhat alarming that we can throw in as many bad displays as we have this season.

Our away form needs sorting out next season. Just 4 away victories and no clean sheet away from home since January.

Mike Keating
6 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:41:44
Half-time: 2-0, this is as bad as the performance against Kiev. Dreadful passing, constantly giving the ball away, poor defending and not one shot on goal.

Embarrassing – shalln’t bother staying in for the second half. I feel sorry for the poor buggers who travelled down to that shithole.

Craig Mills
7 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:51:52
Villa only won 3 games at home so far this season, we turn up and make them look like fucking Barcelona. Lukaku not fit to clean Benteke’s boots on this performance... and don’t get me started with Naismith... shocking 1st half performance.
Ross Edwards
8 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:55:12
Back down to Earth with a crash here. What a dreadful performance. I wonder how our tactical mastermind will retrieve this.
Max Wilson
9 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:50:37
Why last Sundays team has not played again is a stupid mistake by RM. Naismith is getting tons of critiscism from the people watching this debacle live. I’d like to know the effect on our lads when RM told them his team selection. It must have underwhelmed them all, the way they are playing. Were they shaking their heads when they came on?
Mick Wrende
10 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:59:52
Why on earth did we spend £28 million on that useless lump up front and how can any Evertonian think it was a good signing.
James Kirrane
11 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:56:23
It is clear that changes need to be made at half time. Ross and Ossie on? Naismith off for sure. The defending in the first half was diabolical. If we had a man on the post the second goal could have been avoided. This is so basic and we cannot even do the simple things.
Christy Ring
12 Posted 02/05/2015 at 15:53:20
Why change a winning team? We know Naismith is a workhorse but Barkley has the skill especially playing in the pocket with Lukaku. Has to change it at half-time. Disgusted that Alcaraz is on the bench, what message does that give to Garbutt???
Jermaine Jennings
13 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:17:28
Christy, he hasn’t got a clue – that's why!!!

RM is just a lucky man... Personally, I think the players motivate themselves. He isn’t good enough to manage our club

Mike Keating
14 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:30:41
James - we NEVER defend the back post at corners
Brian Porter
15 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:33:09
Utter rubbish. Fifteen minutes left, where are the subs? Has Martinez gone off to the pub? How can we go from last Sunday to this? We have made Villa look like world beaters. Agree Barkley should have been there but so should Osman. No ideas man in there, which Osman would have provided. Forget top half on this performance. I said last week not to celebrate too soon. Martinez just hasn’t been able to motivate them against lower placed clubs. So disappointed in thus tripe performance.
Glen Garrett
16 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:46:23
One word: useless.
Brian Porter
17 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:46:02
Too little, too late. Does Martinez seriously believe Osman and Barkley can inspire a two goal comeback in 15 minutes? The buffoon is back!!
Gavin Johnson
18 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:48:18
Villa had more to play for and it showed.

Benteke, is an enigma - He looks shite for large parts of a season and then he’ll go on a scoring run and he’s been talked of as a 25m striker again.

Gavin Johnson
19 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:53:34
Cleverley scores the winning goal.. Perhaps he had a point to prove.
Mark McDonald
20 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:49:04
That was shite and for the last few weeks just papering over the cracks! Been getting results but the performance is still really poor. Simply not good enough.
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:55:12
Didn’t see the game; there's just no logic to an awful lot of decisions made by Martinez.
Ross Edwards
22 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:58:18
Same old. Clearly Sunday was just a one off performance and today showed the reality of this dreadful season.

The last 6 games yielded great results, but other than that, can you honestly say that, apart from the United game, that performances have improved?

No. They’ve papered over cracks. Nothing more. In the grand scheme of things this game, like this run in meant nothing, but the performance was terrible and reflected the reality of the team and Martinez this season.

3-2 was flattering to say the least.

Terry McLavey
23 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:01:23
Nick #1 It was a classic .....classic shite, I admire your optimism , I think we’ll do well in the next game as well ,but unfortunately the team I support gives me a reality check !
Bill Gall
24 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:58:11
Do not understand why the manager changed the team from last week and then left it so late to make changes after going 3-1 down

I understand that the manager is going to get the usual critical responses but really, the attitude and performance from Everton’s players in the first half, they should be the ones receiving the most flack.

Eugene Kearney
25 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:02:48
I thought we’d found the antidote for the second season syndrome.
It seems that the virus hasn’t been shaken off yet.

Very disappointing - especially after last Sunday.

Anto Byrne
26 Posted 02/05/2015 at 16:47:54
These are the games when you see what players are really made of. Mirallas can go, along with Naismith and Howard who dithered again when that cross came in. Barry does nothing but foul and give the ball away and, as much as Lennon works his socks off, there is no end product.

Seriously, there is no cohesion in the midfield and, with 15 minutes to go, we resort to Barkley and Osman. They were good enough last week to play and now suddenly are benched. It’s not like Ossie has a lot of football this season and it looked like Barkley was running in to some form.

Looking at the bench, there were no kids. Its the same-old, same-old tired formula from Martinez. Why were we defending so high? Where were the bodies behind the ball? If Cleverley is a target for Everton, I thought he played very well and took his goal well. I thought we were utter shite and was imploring the manager to do something about it after half an hour. We do use 3 subs, do we not?

Brian Porter
27 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:06:05
Basic rules of team selection:

1. Never change a winning team.
2. If your name is Roberto Martinez, ignore rule 1.
3. If things aren’t working, use your substitutes in good time to help achieve a positive result.
4. If your name is Roberto Martinez, ignore rule 3 and leave your substitutions until it’s too late to have a match-winning impact.

Nothing more to say really, except we can expect more of this dire crap next season if Roberto Martinez is allowed to continue his ’phenomenal’ tactical experiment at our club. We deserve better!

Patrick Murphy
28 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:11:16
Two Semi-Final appearances and an outside chance of CL football, how would we as supporters greet such a season? Very differently I suspect to our neighbours who had a plane trailing a banner, fly over Anfield, reading "Rodgers out, Rafa in" by the campaign group "Rodgers Out".

Meanwhile over at the real home of football, Evertonians are arguing about being good or bad supporters when for the most part of the season we have been very very poor, seemingly lacking in belief and a manager who can’t motivate his squad.

Allan Board
29 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:14:21
Same old. Soon as a team gives it the beans against us, we shit ourselves and turn tail.

Get Martinez out or the bottom 6 beckons next season. So bloody predictable.

Tony Twist
30 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:16:05
Typical Martinez Everton performance. Roll on next season and more of the same or worse. This bloke needs to go, he is out of his depth. Luckily the results changed for the better recently or we would have been fighting for our premiership lives with players not up for the fight.
David Sheen
31 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:27:27
1 loss in 7 games (5 wins) and posters talking again about Martiney OUT.

Villa played their cup final today, we played ours last week. However we were far worse than United were.

The first half was the worst performance of any team in the Premiership this season.

Martinez should not have dropped Osman and Barkley. He should have kept the team that played so well against Utd.

But let’s take nothing away from villa. They were fantastic.

Phil Roberts
32 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:23:58
Ernie Baywood #2 makes total sense leaving out Osman.

What does he bring to the team? He can’t tackle, has no pace, struggles to make a pass, can’t shoot, too small, too light.

But somehow in the 10 games when he has played more than 45 minutes, we have 23 points
but in the other 24 games we have managed to get only 21 points.

Ernie, you are so right, it made total sense, because none of us can see what he does for this team, and it seems that includes Martinez.

Except perhaps make us a better team overall

Tony Hill
33 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:17:58
Disappointing but predictable, and changes nothing of substance. This season is gone and while I would have liked to see some sparkle and conviction today to show that we had developed some mental toughness, Villa always had more at stake and we have an unhappy history of folding on these occasions.

What matters is whether RM (who will, of course, remain our manager) can get it right for next season and obviously that means sorting our transfer business and player motivation. Boring and frustrating though it is to say so, we have no idea if he will succeed and just have to wait and find out. This defeat, in itself, is meaningless for us.

Trevor Peers
34 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:24:54
Back to the Future by Roberto he just can’t help himself, I thought he had learned his lessons from playing that awful possession football, but not a bit of it.
On the back of a good run of results he pulls a fast one and reverts back to type. He can’t be trusted it’s soul destroying. No chance of him leaving I suppose ?
Michael Polley
35 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:23:11
Disappointed.RM should never of changed the team from last Sunday’s glorious win. Totally shit decision making again. I don’t think we had a shot during the entire 1st half.

Come on for Christ sake Martinez ! Do you have any clue how to set up a team, and employ the correct tactics ??

The last 5 results have saved us, and probably RM’s job, but it’s only papering over the cracks.

RM has got his work cut out this summer. Is he up to it ?

In the meantime I expect us to play better next week, and get 3 pts from off the Sunderland game.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:32:16
Way way too many of these types of performances throughout the whole of the season.

I’m not ignorant to last week’s great win but I’m equally not forgetting the dt.

Jim Bennings
37 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:32:16
Way way too many of these types of performances throughout the whole of the season.

I’m not ignorant to last week’s great win but I’m equally not forgetting the dt.

Clive Rogers
38 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:33:46
Can’t understand why he brought Naismith back for Barkley. Bad team selection.
Mike Price
39 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:23:58
Our home crowd changed our season by not tolerating what was happening in front of them. We had a lucky run thankfully, and I’m just relieved this shocking season is just about over.

Howard stuck on his line, never takes pressure off by coming for crosses and falls backwards on shots. Naismith is a complete waste of space, he looks like an amateur that’s won a contest. Disgraceful performance from top to bottom.

Ross Edwards
41 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:32:48
Don’t just judge him on 6 games David. Judge him on the season as a whole. He has failed in every respect. These 5 wins have bailed us and him out because everyone was eating out of the palm of his hand again, with mass arse licking.

This is us and Martinez back to Earth with a bang after Sunday.

Nick Entwistle
42 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:38:54
Villa tactically nailed it. They pushed our midfield back by pressing right up to the defence. Villa will be a force next season, at least 7th through 10th, but will we?
Joe Foster
43 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:40:50
The Martinez cult can only see the last 6 games the rest of the season does not exist for them.
Patrick Murphy
44 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:39:16
David (31) Next week we should expect to be given a tough match because it will be Sunderland’s cup final as it was Villa’s today and according to you Everton’s last week.

Every match in the Premier League is a tough fixture and it’s even tougher when your team doesn’t show up in the first 45 minutes, it’s happened too many times not just in Martinez’s reign but for some considerable time, we as a club have become used to not winning and now it seems we are going to have to get used to losing on a regular basis, not what I had hoped for in this brave new Martinez world but as long as we only lose to teams who are playing their own cup finals I suppose it’s fine.

Declan Brown
45 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:47:58
So what did we learn today, well for me, that Tom Cleverley can actually score a goal, the boy has it in him after all. Which shold be good news for next season.
Dave Williams
46 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:52:31
I can’t understand why he didn’t try a couple of younger players if he was so keen to change the side. Surely no point using Barry, Alcaraz Howard etc with only pride to play for (which of course we didn’t manage to achieve!).
Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:48:29
The first half was as poor as I have seen. No energy, loose passes, poor marking, and not a single shot. I agree with all of those who are confused as to why Martinez changed a winning team, and why he left it so late to make the most obvious of subs?

I said last week that we can’t expect many teams to do what Man Utd did last match, and wait for us to hit them on the break. We were overun in midfield, and our lack of pace in that area of the pitch cost us control of the game. Individually, I thought that Howard could have come out to catch the cross to Benteke, and should have done better in front of Cleverly.

Lukaku looks too heavy, had a dreadful first touch, and only woke up with 20 mins to go. Naismith, who I have defended on here many times, is just not good enough. He was constantly fouling, can’t pass and has no pace.

Martinez, has at least reminded us of what an ordinary manager he is. One good performance hitting the Mancs on the break was a false dawn. Today’s game showed us up as the mid-table also-rans that we are. We stroll around all first half, with no commitment, no intensity, and make countless errors. We can’t get up for an ordinary fixture. Why is this? I’d love to hear the team talk...

Ralph Basnett
48 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:09:26
Whilst not a great admirer of RM, I have to put this loss straight in the lap of Kenwright!!!

This is his train set and if he has anything about him he should be asking two questions:

1. Why change a winning team?

2. If changing, why not give some of the young lads a go?

If you have a train set at home and a friend starts messing about with it, do you sit back and say nothing? No, you don’t; you would probably say "My train set is working okay at the moment, leave the fuck alone!!!"

ps: Cheers RM, you have just cost me £1.5M!!!

Mike Powell
49 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:06:24
Yes, it was a poor performance, but this was always going to be a hard match – they needed the points. Why does Martinez always leave it so late to make a sub?

Anyway, the best team won, so let's move on... I just hope that buffoon Martinez is not here next season.

Barry Jones
50 Posted 02/05/2015 at 17:57:49
It’s comical that, according to many people on this site, Martinez was a tactical genius last week and now he is an idiot gain. Last week was a happy accident and nothing to do with Martinez being a genius or otherwise.

Just the way that he selected the team and his set up today shows a level of ineptness. He played a 4-1-4-1 system, with only Barry holding. Sadly, he left both Barkley and Osman out of the middle four, the two who could make a difference going forward.

McCarthy is a solid holding player but no more. His movement and showing for the ball further forward was poor, as if he didn’t want it. Also, both Naismith and McCarthy tend to play the ball back from those forward positions as they lack the ability to turn in tight spots, and this reduces our forward options. This was so evident that Lennon played most of the game inside, coming to look for the ball, and then we loose the wide threat that he creates on the counter.

A good honest coach would admit his mistakes and rectify the problem early, at half time. Martinez waited until 75 minutes to make the changes – far too late to influence the game. It was noticeable that we were better going forward after the changes and Lennon pushed out wider again.

Martinez is so stubborn in trying to justify his set up and selection that it has a big negative impact on the team and those players on the bench. This has happened in many games this season. Why did he change the line-up and format today? Does he still not understand the qualities of the players at his disposal?

I agree that Lukaku was poor, but to give him a break, he needs supply from midfield, and the way we set up today, that was never going to happen. So, Martinez a tactical genius? LOL. I don’t think so.

Mohammed Horoub
51 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:15:09
On the same day that Wigan Athletic are relegated to League One, Roberto Martinez delivers another masterclass in tactics and team preparation. Please consider this as karma’s last warning to Everton Football Club, Kenwright and us.

I really hope someone from the press asks that douchebag what he thinks went wrong with his former team. All he talks about is a philosophy and system which is built into the club from the kids to the senior squad. Sounds like a car that can drive itself. Well the last car he built just drove off the cliff into League Two...

We need to wake up because our cliff might be 12 months away...

Paul Smith
52 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:19:26
Nowhere near good enough.

Too many performances like today have been the story of our season and not enough like last Sunday.

As an Evertonian, I am hooked and live in hope that we will be great again.

Andy Crooks
53 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:06:47
David, "one loss in seven games and posters are talking again about Martinez out"’

Not quite. It’s more about the utterly inexcusable shite he has served up for the last year. His relentless ineptitude, his... fuck, I can’t be arsed.

In my view, he is the worst coach in the history of our club and he has all the skills, honed at Wigan, to relegate us. The thought of him being at Everton next season, and listening to every. asinine utterance that he spouts, is just depressing.

I find it beyond belief that a grown man with some semblance of his marbles left would entrust Martinez to spend whatever pittance we have. What he has inflicted on our club over the last year is painful. Some good players, some good prospects, lamentable coach.

Mike Price
54 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:34:28
Jeez Andy #53, that’s really depressed me!

I keep hoping he’ll become the real deal we all hoped for, but the evidence of my eyes and ears, suggests your take on things are spot on.

Colin Glassar
55 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:39:39
Mohammed, the question was asked (about Wigan) and he answered it, I think it was in The Guardian. He managed a Wigan side who consistently sold their better players, a side decimated by injuries and then they had to play a six-pointer against Arsenal three days after the FA Cup Final.

This Wigan bashing thing is very unfair IMO as they are a League 2 team at best. Jewell, Bruce and Martinez performed miracles to keep them in the top flight for as long as they did. So I don’t think keeping on about Wigan is a valid point.

Oliver Molloy
57 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:39:51
Villa always had more at stake than us in this match hence the predictable result.

We have very little to play for from now to the end of the season and that is the reality of the situation, players with their flip flops on is not a million miles off.

Martinez will be Everton manager at the start of next season and he will get at the very least 10 games - that is another reality.

Christopher Kelly
58 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:53:13
Patrick Murphy spot on mate!
14 years of nothing to show. 14 more looking like a real possibility of the same.

2nd place last season, outside chance of CL and a "Rodgers Out" banner. Kenwright picked a good team to bilk. Same would happen most anywhere with a winning tradition. Small time mentality brings small time results.

Paul Hughes
59 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:41:46
Very poor today I think most players are thinking of the beach. A great chance wasted to play a few of the young players.

Anybody listen to Paul Merson on Sky Sports today he said cleverly is joining a London club in the summer.

Barry Jones
60 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:49:35
Another issue to be rectified for next season which has been pointed out by a few people here (Mike Price #39, Eddie Dunn #47) is Tim Howard’s reluctance to dominate his six yard box and attack crosses. This puts considerable pressure on the back four.

Also, as strong and quick as Jagielka is on the ground, he has been woeful at crosses all season (even in the world cup) and constantly loses his man. This combination is a recipe for disaster. Our opponents have scored numerous goals this season from crosses into the six yard box, or from set pieces.

It is a dilemma with Jagielka, as he has a lot of other good qualities, but we cannot keep conceding goals in this fashion. A center half and a goalkeeper should be on the shopping list in the summer.

James Marshall
61 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:55:31
I’m sure it’s been said already in the thread, but to me the problem today looked very simple - Martinez rotating the squad and using Naismith & Mirallas from the start. When he does we have no shape at all because they’re both too free-spirited and Naismith is a very poor footballer, despite all his effort (and being a thoroughly nice young man).

It’s not rocket science - we play badly without certain key players in the team, namely Osman and Barkley, even though the latter has his low-key games/moments more often than we’d all like. They at least give us the shape we lack when the former two play and that to me says everything about our poor performances versus our good ones.

James Marshall
62 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:19:15
Also, I think it’s important to have a sense of perspective as a football supporter – you cannot and will not win every game, and form will fluctuate over a season.

We’ve been generally poor this season, that’s not news to anyone, but there has been an upturn in recent weeks with results clear for all to see. Our run of wins was bound to end, and we lost to an extremely motivated Villa team with an awful lot more to play for than us.

If you’ve ever played sport at any level, or know anything about the psychology of sport, you’ll know that motivation is a key factor in performance of any athlete, and today was a prime example of that.

I’m not really sure why people are quite so upset with us losing today – the first half was bad, Villa were way more motivated than our players were, and the second half was a lot better.

Put it to bed, move on and try not to be quite so attacking towards our players and manager would be my advice. Not that anyone will take much notice. :-)

Jay Harris
63 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:22:08
Same old style under Martinez.

Didn’t even get in their box for the whole of the first half and can't defend crosses because "headed goals are not proper football".

Please someone start a campaign to get this idiot out before he turns us into Wigan.... Oh too late!! He already has.

James Marshall
64 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:27:35
Oh and on the subject of perspective – Man Utd just lost at home to West Brom.

It’s a very competitive league, this.

Jim Hardin
65 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:08:22
Tactics right but selection wrong. Needed Barkley with pace through the middle and Osman somewhere. Naismith looked particularly clueless in midfield and Lennon did nothing playing inside (which is odd since his supporters claim he plays that as a natural position and Tottenham have mis-used him as a wide player).

Second goal was the fault of Stones the wunderkind who allowed Barry to be pushed into him when he should have already vacated the spot and picked up Benteke, although I am sure most will somehow hold Howard accountable.

Amazing that within minutes of Osman coming on the whole offense picked up. He was getting doubled and still held the ball and made some nice little passes. Why was he not in to start or at least at half-time? Barkley allowed Lennon to get wide but Lennon continued to ignore Coleman making overlapping runs and kept trying to cut everything back across the middle. Why?

Couldn’t believe the rest of the bench, all Martinez "not good enough for prime time" players (Robles, Kone, McGeady, Besic). Aston Villa had to know they had this game won looking at that and knowing Barkley and Osman were subs. Why even bring a full set of subs if you will not use them?

Patrick Murphy
66 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:31:07
James - I don’t think many are over-reacting to the defeat at Villa Park but more in the manner of said defeat. There is no reason whatsoever that an Everton team should take to the field lacking a competitive edge; they are professional sportsmen, they have pride in their job, they are in a privileged position and they should show that. Yes they may not be able to reach the highest peaks in every game but neither should they go from peak to trough so quickly.

What Man Utd losing to WBA has to do with an abject Everton performance, I’m not sure, but I take your point that no team can win every match and any team can beat any other but it wasn’t a lack of passion that was at the root of United’s defeat but it was that lack of drive, desire and passion that led to Everton’s defeat. United losing to WBA has sent me further in to depression to be honest as it gives our ’protesting’ neighbours a glimmer of hope even at this late stage.

Karl Jones
67 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:28:34
We at least need to freshen the coaching ideas up for next season. Everton are too easy to work out, especially away from home and just don't have the discipline to defend crosses.

I’d give Sheedy the assistant managers job. He obviously doesn’t take any shit, the way he has the U-18s playing and I’m sure he would be better suited to tightening the defence than the current lot. We’ve made so many stupid mistakes which have cost far too many points.

Ian Hollingworth
68 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:30:23
How dismal to think we will enter next season, the 21st since we last won a trophy, with Kenwright as Chairman and Martinez as manager. In fact, how fucking depressing.

The transfer window will be... well, the usual. Where is the ambition at Everton FC? Stop the rollercoaster – I want to get off!!! Except we won’t and we will put ourselves through the same old same old yet again.

Do we not deserve better?

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:40:35
Karl, I’d get Alan Irvine back. He’d tighten up the defence and Roberto could concentrate on the attacking style of last season.
Denis Richardson
70 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:34:02
Not sure why people are so upset by the performance (the loss was predictable given how much the game meant to Villa). We’ve played at this level for most of the season.

An away game against a side near the bottom, that meant little to us and is at the end of the season.... I was not really expecting the team to pull up any roots. Villa were always going to put in more of a shift.

The Manager should just play the kids and Robles for the remainder.

Des Farren
71 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:26:50
The starting 11 today had 6 (six) England Internationals, not to mention two more on the bench, 2 Irish, 2 Belgian and 1 Scottish International.

Yet I read regularly on here that Martinez should be teaching them how to pass the ball, cross the ball, take corners, defend corners, head the ball, control the ball, clear the ball etc etc etc.

Will those who make such comments explain to me exactly at what stage they feel that players should accept responsibility for their own actions as I obviously am missing something.

Andy Crooks
72 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:39:47
James, I find your advice hard to take. Not as hard, I’m sure, as the good Evertonians who paid good money to travel and watch that sorry sack of shite that disgraced the shirt once more.

If wearing an Everton shirt and earning vast money doesn’t motivate them then they are even more fucking shameless than I thought. The only thing that I can offer in their defence is the fact that, in my opinion, they have an insipid buffoon to provide the arse-kicking they require.

James Marshall
74 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:51:36
Like I said, I didn’t expect anyone to agree with me – people rarely do due to my contrary nature. ;)

Perhaps as I get older, I don’t take it to heart quite as much as I used to, and have trained myself not to get as upset over poor performances, or bad results.

You can’t win em all. It’s a funny old game, etc...

Sid Logan
75 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:32:12
James (#62),

I know you're only trying to put perspective on this but I’m afraid you can’t see today in the context of the upturn we’ve seen recently as against the season as a whole.

In the first place, the upturn has not been accompanied my a massive upturn in our form. It’s arisen from some solid defending and a bit of luck. Luck is welcome but it’s better when it comes when you’re not desperate for it.

The win against Man Utd was sheer joy but again, in the context of the season, it’s a one-off.

Leaving aside some of our Europa performances, our season has been for the most part an endless stream of unmitigated boredom. We have a Manager who is lauded for playing open attacking football but we haven’t seen it. He must have the best PR man since Josef Gobbells!

In almost every game you can count on one hand the number of times we work a goalie. There is a lot about Martinez that worries me but, above all else, is his wet-wipe lack of passion and the fact that he looks like he couldn’t motivate a dying man to draw his last breath.

Imploring Everton fans to see the bigger picture, as if somehow it is better than a whole mass of individual performances, doesn’t do the trick. The point being that most of us can see the bigger picture and from where we stand it’s shite!

Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:55:43
James, I think it’s better not to write what I’m thinking.

I’m sure you mean well.

Tony Hill
77 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:52:24
Yes, Andy (72), it’s our soft centre that is so deeply annoying but, as I’ve suggested above, it’s all rather meaningless for this season – though I entirely agree that the players’ appalling lack of effort in the first half was a disgrace and an insult to the travelling fans.

Martinez needs to get it right for 2015-16 and I am afraid that I, for one, will not be content to hear that it’s all a matter of just seeing the bigger picture if we’re still flopping in October.

Kunal Desai
78 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:25:53
It's a sad indictment of where Everton are in modern day football. Trophyless for 20 years. A small club with a small-club mentality from the very top to many of its match day supporters, afraid to say.

We are just one of 14 clubs in the league looking for Premier League survival or stability. There is no chance of achieving 4th or winning silverware under this regime or management. The worst part is any victory over the likes of Man Utd or Liverpool is celebrated like winning a cup final.

Dennis Ng
79 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:01:09
Colin, it is amazing to me how they have not gotten Irvine back yet. Take a few steps back, reinvent the way we play, and find the winning formula back.

I’m not upset by the score itself. There are no easy games but by no means we should write it off that easily. The way we let in the goals is pretty damning. Two men on Benteke and he scores? No man in the backpost area? What is that sliding "interception" attempt supposed to do? I’m not really expecting much since we have nothing to play for but pride should be a big motivator.

Ross Edwards
80 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:03:13
James, I disagree with you entirely. I don’t share your relaxed attitude to this defeat. The season is over in terms of league position but that doesn’t legislate for a half-arsed display like that.
Darren Hind
82 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:54:36
That was the final straw for me today. I’ve been stalling over renewing my ST, but I can't stomach anymore of this garbage.

How can these players be allowed to be so relentlessly careless with their passes? How can a manager witness this dross and offer only gormless looks.

I see the same faces every away game, diehards who spend all their money to follow this team, only to be kicked in the bollocks with yet another shambolic performance.

Maybe if they weren’t giving up their day, sitting in horrible traffic, and spending thousands of pounds, they would be able to simply "put it to bed "and "move on"

Martinez is doing what even Moyes, Smith and Walker failed to do, He’s killing my love of going to the game.

Martin Mason
83 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:21:36
I think two things determined the result. First thing is that, if you want to keep momentum, you must start with the team that did so well last week, and then bring in new blood as the game progresses, hopefully with us winning. That was 80% of the reason for this disaster.

Second is that Tim Sherwood was a very good player who’s developed into a very shrewd manager; he was treated disgustingly at Spurs and I would love to see him at Everton.

I have to judge RM by his results and now on a game-by-game basis. As he took the praise for that surreal performance against United (Dare I call it an act of God?) then he must also take the kicks in the balls for what I believe was a truly dreadful performance. There are Evertonians in their thousands spending very hard earned money to go and support this team and John Moores summed it up exactly when sacking John Carey.

We deserve better and by God we should be getting it. Unfortunately we can’t afford compensation payments now and I don’t see RM going even if we are relegated as long as he has contract years left.

I’m back to thinking that he’s an incompetent loonie.

Amit Vithlani
85 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:42:13
Having lurked beneath the surface in recent weeks, Martinez’s urge to tinker and experiment could not be resisted, giving us the most appalling 45 minutes of the season. Sensible tactics with a style and shape which suited the players gave way to a ridiculous setup, where our defence pushed up leaving absolutely no room to use the pace of Lennon, Lukaku or Mirallas. Worse, this was compounded by simply no pressing so Villa could enjoy sustained spells of possession. Naismith found himself playing as a CM and for reasons I still can’t work out, Baines played inside Mirallas, who could be found in the left wing back area.

Martinez simply can’t be trusted not to fuck about with odd team selections and tactics. His philosophy of flooding the midfield and playing a low-tempo game with limited pressing will keep rearing its ugly head. My impression is that having secured safety he thought he could indulge once again in his losing brand of football.

The players too could be blamed for a lack of effort but they cannot have been helped by tactical nicompoopery of the grandest scale from our tinkering tactician.

Tony Marsh
86 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:15:39
The win Over Man Utd last week doesn’t quite look the same tonight after West Bromwich have beaten them at OT?

For Evertooday was an absolute shambles., Breaking up a winning team was just the start of it. Please, no more Naismith; sorry, Steven is a cracking fella but he can’t play football at this level. Barry and Howard are also shocking and these three were the spine of the team today.

I have had it with Martinez and his bullshit. It’s becoming too much too bear. It’s turning very Moyes-esque...

John Daley
87 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:13:27

From a personal point of view, the only good thing about today’s performance is that it reaffirmed my decision not to renew for next season. I can count on one hand the games I’ve genuinely enjoyed during this campaign. In fact, Abu fucking Hamza would be able to count on one hand the games I’ve enjoyed this season.

Despite making the decision not to renew a while back, I’ve felt myself wavering in recent weeks. When I got the email through yesterday, saying I had until midnight to guarantee my seat, I nearly cracked. Guilty conscience and a realisation that it would be a big change to my routine almost convinced me to just go ahead and do it in the blind hope match days might be better from August on. Then I nodded off on the settee, woke up about 1:30 am and went to bed feeling like a disloyal, fair-weather wanker.

Then I watched today’s game and felt much better about it all.

Phil Walling
88 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:57:58
Well said, Darren. I’ve taken the same decision. Watched first half in a bar in Pafos and came ’home’ in disgust. I don’t put all the blame on Martinez as we have a right bunch of poseurs on the playing strength and they’ll see less of my money in future.

And Colin, when was Irvine a defender? He played as a winger here and is a totally flawed ex-manager.

Bill Gall
90 Posted 02/05/2015 at 22:09:09
The problem today was Martinez must have seen in the first half the lack of effort, desire and skill... and after 30min should have had the courage to drag either Mirallas or Naismith off to show the rest of them that their performances was not good enough.

We may be safe but to stand and watch players representing Everton stroll around as if they are in a training session and not replace anyone until 70 mins is just agreeing with the performance.

Substitutes are not just there to replace injured players ("was it not Marino that changed 3 players after 30 min") they are also there to change the shape of the game, and Martinez’s use of substitutes was like his tactics that left a lot to be desired .

Steve Alderson
91 Posted 02/05/2015 at 22:19:19
Try again.. Tony Marsh 86 are you the same TM who terrorised Moyes and his backers a couple of seasons ago? If you don’t have the enthusiasm for slagging off performances like today’s, I can’t blame you. Everton are still the disappointing, let-you-down roll-over merchants as before.

For some to suggest that today could be down to our players already being at the beach just shows how little we expect or know.

Darren Bailey
92 Posted 02/05/2015 at 22:55:57
Not many Cleverley haters putting their 2 pennies worth in on here after that! I’m pretty sure seeing a display like that has changed some people’s perspective of the player.

I’ve said many times that the fella can play, is a decent footballer, and has something about him as per the last few England managers have seen. I just hope he’s still interested in joining because he was head and shoulders above every one of our midfielders today. Sadly, I don’t think he’ll join now as he seems to be enjoying being managed by Sherwood.

Patrick Murphy
93 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:13:59
Bill, It was obvious to most people watching that the first 15 minutes saw the players lacking in any sort of urgency and for a man who has been involved in football at a professional level for most if not all of his working life, Roberto should have at the very least had a word with the nearest player to tell them to buck up their ideas, or better still, as you say, take Naismith or Mirallas before or during the half-time break.

To wait as long as he did is mystifying and doesn’t make sense to me, but perhaps he knows more about the game than any of us do. I’m really shocked by Naismith’s fall from grace, not so much by Mirallas who you half expect to be anonymous on any given day.

Re-watching on MotD, it looks to me that Lukaku is another who is playing for himself rather than for Everton Football Club, I don’t mind a player wanting to take the game by the scruff of the neck but it should always be for the benefit of the team and not personal glory alone.

Tom Bowers
94 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:30:52
I agree with you, Patrick, as far as the Martinez fella. He is truly mystifying with his decisions and his comments. He gives me absolutely no confidence for next season no matter what players he brings in.

Today was embarrassing and I can’t even blame my whipping boy Osman. Half of this starting eleven would be out for the next game if I were in charge... and, believe me, I have more ideas than Martinez will ever have, judging on this season’s fall from grace.

Trevor Peers
95 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:31:22
Darren (#92), Things must be pretty desperate if you think Cleverley is the answer to our problems. I've watched him several times this season and he’s been totally anonymous.

Any given week in the PL, a player gets lucky and pops in a good goal; doing it consistently is the trick. How many has he scored this season? He’s not what we need... but neither is Roberto.

Ian Brandes
96 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:49:09
Big Joe to steady the ship. With Oman as his successor.

True blues! Get rid of this quarter wit manager.

Ernie Baywood
97 Posted 03/05/2015 at 00:29:21
A defeat away to a team fighting for their PL lives and we’re suicidal again. Apparently it’s the fans we feel for. Me too, mind you plenty of Villa supporters follow their club too... Teams lose every week.

The tactical geniuses (hindsight only) are on again telling us we should have kept the same team as last week... You wanted Osman on the left? Brilliant. Back to the dark days stuff with central players playing everywhere. Ten years of evidence that Osman can’t play wide and you want to throw it in after one game where he was played there to counter an opposition threat and got subbed as soon as that threat left the pitch.

It was a bad performance. One of many this season, and very consistent with our away form throughout. You’ll get over it; you win some, you lose some. Nothing exceptionally different to get used to here.

Rob Newling
98 Posted 03/05/2015 at 00:51:26
Jermaine [13] just as well they motivate themselves - read the latest on the barcodes? And they’re still challenging for a Champions League place! Sorry, (hip replacement needed) – a Championship place!
Patrick Murphy
99 Posted 03/05/2015 at 01:05:36
Have we really come to this as a fan-base, accepting defeat no matter how it manifests itself? If it had been an end-to-end 3-2 defeat, no complaints from me. But it wasn’t; it was a surrender of the worst type in the first-half, totally unacceptable for any team at any level and especially for the team that I support.
Ernie Baywood
100 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:10:39
Patrick, how many games could be described as both teams playing great with one winner?

Man Utd got slated last week by everyone but Evertonians for being toothless and lacking commitment. Do we believe that there’s a fundamental difference between our losses and everyone else’s losses?

Losing teams don’t often look to have put in a good performance. We got beat, pretty well, by Villa.

Mark Andersson
101 Posted 03/05/2015 at 01:34:50
James Marshall, you contradict yourself in trying to defend Martinez. So Tim Sherwood motivated his team because they had more to play for; well, that’s his job. The same job that Martinez has: he is paid to motivate and win games.

This "can’t be arsed" attitude from the players is criminal, as many point out, they owe it to the fans to give 100 percent.

You miss the point of many here who know that come next season nothing will have changed. You can kid yourself that the deluded one will magically turn it round. Not going to happen and, in the meantime, we go backwards.

Peter Barry
102 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:20:20
Apparently the ’When to make substitutions’ and "Don’t change a winning team’ page was missing from Roberto’s ’do-it-yourself’ "How to keep possession and pass sideways and backwards" Premier League Managers’ book.
Patrick Murphy
104 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:24:59
Ernie - I can’t agree that it is the result alone which dictates whether a side had a good game or a bad one. I’ve seen many Everton performances which have resulted in defeats which merited at least a point and I’ve seen Everton win games when they have been below par and probably sneaked the points.

The first 45 minutes was abysmal and in my opinion totally unacceptable. We could have gone in level or even a goal to the good at half-time and my opinion about the performance in the first-half wouldn’t have altered. I see no signs of improvement, despite the recent results – if we can’t play when our confidence is relatively high, when can we play?

Ernie Baywood
105 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:28:27
Peter, there’s plenty to slate Martinez over but I’m not buying the "don’t change a winning team" argument. He changed it last week didn’t he? He changed it to something that hasn’t worked over and over again but it was right for that match. So is this the change or was that the change?

Strikes me that, after any defeat, he’ll get hit with one of:

It’s simple, pick your strongest team.


Don’t change a winning team.

Basically, that means that there’s a chunk of our support who will whine about selections retrospectively every single time we lose. Seems a bit childlike.

I hate losing as much as anyone but, if I blamed it on the manager not selecting Osman on the wing, I’d be completely embarrassed.

Ernie Baywood
106 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:37:49
Well, Patrick, I think that’s the difference between a close one and one where we deserved to lose. Villa beat us very deservedly yesterday, just as we did to Man Utd last week. Villa will be thrilled with that performance and rightly so. They made us look very ordinary.

There’s no doubt we contributed to our own downfall but let’s give the opposition the credit we sought last week.

Peter Barry
107 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:32:13
If in my previous job as International Sales Director Asia Pacific I was being paid £40 - 70,000 a WEEK and consistently, week after week, didn’t perform and get results, I would have been on the scrap heap pretty damned quickly . As it was, I had to show results by consistently bringing in the multi $ Million plus export orders and squeak by on a lousy Tax Free $120,000 + Commission and expenses a YEAR.

So how come these bashful overpaid underperforming prima donna’s get away with it game after game after game. Oh, and I include the Manager and his Backroom staff in that criticism too.

Ernie Baywood
108 Posted 03/05/2015 at 04:10:54
I’m not sure where to start with that analogy Peter but I’ll try.

Their wage is, just like yours, dictated by the market. Football has a fairly decent following and generates huge numbers. So they get paid a lot. Millions watch them, they are generating revenue.

They ARE performing in their jobs. The current lot sit in 11th in the English Premier League, one of the top leagues in the world. No, that’s not good enough for me either, but I’m not a major shareholder.

Just out of interest, what were the targets in your impressive sounding role? Was there some kind of league system involving better resourced companies who could target improved revenue at a net loss? I only ask because that might bring some relevance to the analogy.

Paul Ward
109 Posted 03/05/2015 at 03:42:10
There maybe great debate on TW about individual players' ability and or performances but the overruling fact is the manager must go. Martinez's soft gentle approach has soaked into the players' personalities and they don’t relish hard or difficult tasks anymore.

Martinez could have ten years to prove his worth and would fail because he is unable to adapt to the rigorous demand of the PL. I think if Martinez had Chelsea’s players he would play them out of position and resort to tippy tappy and no movement. I think we are just destined to wait until Bulshit Bill can’t stand it any longer and that may be too late.

Jay Harris
110 Posted 03/05/2015 at 05:31:09
It doesn’t matter how much players get paid. They need to be prepared, organized and motivated (or replaced if they are having a stinker).

It has not just been one or two players playing badly this season. There is a general malaise throughout the squad.

Last week was a one-off for Phil Carter and shows what the players are capable of when motivated Today was a "where’s my flip-flops, Roberto, I cant be arsed with your BS" day.

Steve Harris
112 Posted 03/05/2015 at 06:47:47
Some of the comments on here are at best ’baffling’, but the few suggesting the return of Alan Irvine takes the biscuit! Even suggesting that he should come in to organise the defence! When did Irvine become a defensive expert?

A piss-poor winger for us in his playing days, he became Moyes yes-man with no evidence that he had any big influence on team tactics etc and left us to become a piss-poor manager at West Brom and Preston! We’ll have someone suggesting bringing in Steve Round next, another Moyes puppet.

Eddie Dunn
114 Posted 03/05/2015 at 07:31:31
Ernie; You bring some perspective to the problem, but the main point of many of the comments here is just how poor we were, especially during the first half. Regardless of the tinkering with a winning side, or the merits of Osman on the wing, the manager somehow provided us with 11 unmotivated individuals. The confidence in the camp was surely as high as at any time this season, and with the knowledge that Villa would be seeking the win, a similar strategy to last week was in order.

There was a lack of fight in some, a lack of skill in others, and a lack of awareness of the most dangerous player on the pitch, Mr Benteke. We were exposed once more by the diagonal, aerial ball. So often the undoing of our defence this season. Jags getting caught again under the flightpath and Stones magnetised to Barry. How often have we seen our defenders sucked out to our right, leaving the vertically challenged Baines to jump with a statuesque brute?

Martinez is responsible for motivating the team. Is he too laid back? Does he tell them that they are all world-beaters and will win easily? Why, when everyone and his dog can see that subs are needed, does he put off the move until it is too late?

These are the things that get my goat. I can’t just blame Nais for his lack of skill, or Mirallas for his poor attitude, or Barry for being too slow. I can live with all of those things, but if they come out flat and disinterested, then I question the manager, and if he isn’t happy, then he needs to change things.

The after-match interview was also annoying. He admitted that we were poor first half, but expected this after the Man Utd win! He also thought we should have got something out of the game from the second half performance. Well, our penalty was fortuitous, our second goal in injury time, and also could have been disallowed, oh and Villa also had several opportunities too!

One final point: Lukaku is so over-rated. never a £28M striker. The only aspect of his game that is up to scratch is his ability to shrug off defenders and surge through with the ball at his feet. However, he often ruins this by taking it too far and being tackled, or plays an over-hit pass in the wrong place. He is slow, lazy, poor in the air and carrying an extra stone. Benteke looks twice the player, quick, can jump and intelligent movement off the ball.

Next season is going to be just like this: more downs than ups and mid-table.

Tony Cheek
115 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:06:42
I've just seen the highlights, and once again notice Stones unbelievably bad habit of not watching the ball at corners. I've actually seen him stand with his back to the corner watching the player he is supposed to be marking. He has done this several times this season and everytime his player gets away from him. Does Roberto tell him to do this? And would someone please tell him that it's more important to have an eye on the bleeding ball.
Laurie Hartley
116 Posted 03/05/2015 at 07:47:37
Some genius posted this on another thread the other day:-

"Jagielka and Stones have been absolutely outstanding over the last 2 months." Actually it was me.......

So what happens the very next match????

To coin a phrase from Forest Gump – "being an Evertonian is just like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get".

I think I’m loosing it.

Dave Abrahams
117 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:45:42
This team and club is going nowhere under this manager. We will be under severe pressure to stay up next season, there is no-one in the club to show the command that will alter the way the club are going. We are in serious trouble without a doubt.
Trevor Peers
118 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:37:48
Ernie (#105), It wasn’t just the fact he changed a winning team that left most fans frustrated and angry, he reverted back to his possession football tactics. That was unforgivable, having played that way for most of the season and it bringing us to the brink of a relegation battle, it’s a system that should of been abandoned.

But it seems to be a dangerous obsession of this manager and something BK has no control of; in the end, it could cost us our PL status.

Joe Clitherow
119 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:55:30
Phil (#113),

I can agree with your general ans specific points but I can never ever ever accept an EvertonIan being thankful for a poor performance and a defeat to prove any point. Please stop as you do yourself a massive disservice and completely invalidate your valid points. Support for the team should never be conditional or tied to an agenda.

Unacceptable in my view.

Michael Polley
121 Posted 03/05/2015 at 09:15:10
This summer is going to be vital for our club. Who comes in, and who departs.
But if Martinez keeps pissing around with his tactics, and sticking to posession football we are doomed. The tactics employed against the Manure was spot on, so why change it again. I’m baffled as are the players probably.

If things don’t improve by the start of next season he should be shown the exit by October.

BK cannot ignore the fans.We’ve been lucky and hit a 5 match unbeaten run that has saved us this season. Also we should be thankful that there has been more woeful teams than us this season

His post match comments are always full of shit. I appreciate motivating players at this stage of the season can be difficult, but our players still have a hell of a lot to prove. You would of thought motivation wouldn’t be a problem after the Maure game.Obviously it was.
Inconsistency,and lack of momentum are 2 key words assoiciated with Evertion ths year

Brace yourselves for next season, and keep the faith

Eddie Dunn
122 Posted 03/05/2015 at 11:09:07
This is probably the poorest quality Premier League in memory. Chelsea apart, and perhaps Arsenal at times, the standard has been lower all round. The teams at the bottom have been awful. It should put into perspective how bad we have been, and what an opportunity has gone begging.

If you think that Liverpool can still get 4th, despite playing so badly, it shows that for us to be so low down the table, surrounded by dross, that we have been utter shite for much of the season.

Andy Veitch
123 Posted 03/05/2015 at 11:15:59
Awful defending for me! Baines turned his back for the first instead of attacking the ball. Stones lost his man for the second, and the third Stones should have got around quicker to fill the gap with Coleman picking his man up.
Schoolboy stuff.
Darren Bailey
124 Posted 03/05/2015 at 11:35:54
Trevor (#95). I don’t believe for one second the "Tom Cleverley is to be our saviour" mantra; what I am saying is that he is a good option for us as part of the re-building process. His experience as a Premier League and international footballer with his ability on a free is a no-brainer.

To answer your question, he has scored 2 goals this season which matches both McCarthy & Barkley, is 2 more than Barry, Gibson & Besic & 1 more than Osman & McGeady.

To me, he’d fit in nicely with Besic, McCarthy & Barkley. Definitely have him in in front of the others mentioned. Just saying!

Jim Hardin
125 Posted 03/05/2015 at 12:12:21
Colin, You are one of the Martinez apologists I was pointing out earlier. Enough with the "Wigan aren’t an EPL team or city" etc. Fact is they were an EPL team and he made them worse over the four seasons he was there.

He was so worried about winning the Cup, knowing Wigan’s position in the League, that he went ahead and won it for his own personal resume – not the team’s best interests. He needed a result and didn’t even try to get it by going all out at the Cup final.

Worse, because of his leadership, Wigan dropped sooo many points from winning positions that he put them in that position. His trademark at Wigan was to lose the lead or the tie late in the game. That is on him and the poor play was on him.

He is to blame. The Owner did not make the player personnel decisions – RM did. If they didn’t have good players, it is his fault... but then why are you accepting of him bringing any of those players (second tier I guess from your post) to this club?

Wigan is now a third-tier team and please don’t tell me that this is not partly or mostly due to the fall from the EPL as it will strain your usual credibility.

James Marshall
126 Posted 03/05/2015 at 12:56:35

Why do you instantly point the finger at the manager? And what makes you think I’m sticking up for him? I was one of the vociferous voices on here dead-against his appointment in the first place, and I still don’t think he’s a good manager – far from convinced in fact.

I do however (and I know I keep harping on about it) have a bit more perspective, and therefore don’t lay ALL the blame consistently at the door of the manager – why does nobody on here blame the players? They are the ones out there kicking the damn ball about, not the manager. How can you say RM hasn’t motivated them? They just won 5 out of 6 games, and then lost one and all of a sudden he’s a useless manager again. A week ago you were all lauding him for beating Man Utd 3-0.

How fickle, the life of a football supporter: hero one week, zero the next – I just don’t happen to go to the same extremes most people on here seem to, so I’m seen as some sort of apologist which simply isn’t true.

I don’t rate Martinez, I don’t rate several of our players, and I make no apology for the shit season the players (and manager) have served up. We are though, better of late than we have been and you can’t win every game. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and praise the opposition as being better than you – yesterday, Villa were better than us, it happens. Go listen to Louis Van Gaal last week for the same story.

Andy Walker
127 Posted 03/05/2015 at 12:53:11
We have been very fortunate to avoid a relegation battle; we’ve had a good run of results but not form – there’s a big difference between the two.

Look back over the recent wins that have kept us safe:

3-0 at home to Newcastle, who have lost 7 on the trot subsequently and we were hanging on against 10 men for most of the second half at 2-0.

1-2 at QPR where we were outplayed most of the game.

1-0 at home to Southampton and again we were totally outplayed.

1-0 at home to Burnley against 10 men for over half the game.

3-0 at home to Man Utd. The only game I didn’t see, maybe we were brilliant or maybe Man Utd are in a slump having just lost three on the trot.

Results are of course important and for us have been critical to allow us to pull away from the relegation zone; however, a poor team can always put together a run based on a bit of luck (opposition red cards) and playing the opposition at the right time, eg, Newcastle and Man Utd.

When you look at the bigger picture, we still have the same problems as we have had all season: poor team selection, tactics, no clear playing style/pattern, bad buys.

We don’t have a top class manager who can get the most out of some decent players. We have a below average manager who is not at the same level as the likes of Pulis, Monk, Hughes & Koemann.

Colin Williams
128 Posted 03/05/2015 at 13:24:52
"Martinez has nothing to offer our club". Just look how he’s running the club! The shite he spouts out every week is painful! The football decisions that he keeps fecking up!! The guy is way out of his league... please BK do the just thing (get rid) before he destroys all the good work that’s been done over the last 10 years.

It really is painful to see a Premier League manager who is so much out of his depth... He tries to cover his shocking decision-making by talking absolute bollocks. Desperately making up the most utter bollocks and expecting the "supporters to believe / support him.

This shite and the pain it causes will not stop until the job is taken from him. BK... Please release him from his misery!!!(Roberto: Go find another club you can exploit!... You’re taking the piss.)

Tony Cheek
129 Posted 03/05/2015 at 15:48:06
Eddie Dunn #122... great post, that's about it in a nutshell. Pity that we didn't have the good season that we had last time. We would have been top 4 without a doubt!
Jay Harris
130 Posted 03/05/2015 at 15:47:27

You only have to look at Chelsea or Newcastle to see why you should blame the manager and not the players. Good managers get the most out of the players. Bad managers make good players into bad ones.

I have been watching the blues for 55 years and while that doesn't give me superior rights, it does mean I have seen more than my fair share of good and bad managers. I can still honestly say Martinez has been by far the worst manager I have seen at EFC.

Paul Tran
131 Posted 03/05/2015 at 15:55:20
Jim, that’s the best I’ve heard yet. Are you suggesting that Martinez concentrated on the cup and threw the league to cement his reputation? Judging by many comments on here, it didn’t work! And that Wigan’s latest relegation is down to him? Fabulous!

Some people on here are like a fox ignoring a chicken corpse and examining the wire fence for food. It’s simple. Mid-table finish and dreadful football = sack. If we keep talking about that, rather than looking for reasons to ’prove he’s rubbish’, maybe our ’directors’ will notice and we’ll be rid of him.

Darren Hind
132 Posted 03/05/2015 at 15:12:42
James Marshall,

Your posts are becoming increasingly embarrassing.

"I do however (and I know I keep harping on about it) have a bit more perspective" – No you don't, you have simply deluded yourself into thinking so.

"A week ago, you were all lauding him for beating Man Utd 3-0. How fickle the life of a football fan" ... That right there sums up just how far away you are from not only understanding the game, but understanding this website. Are you really so blinkered to think all those who lauded Martinez last week are the same people who are slating him and disagreeing with you now?

Football (this website) attracts many different views and opinions, on all things Everton. People will always disagree and not always about the same things. However, if you make enough silly statements, you will invariably have a large number of people disagreeing with you, about a wider range of issues. Unfortunately for you, you just can't put them all in the same box marked "you lot" .

This site has very strict rules about "Better Blue" nonsense, so I will tread very carefully here... Some people here feel very wounded and down when Everton get beat, especially if we have played shite in the process. It will ruin their day... their weekend, In many cases even their week. They simply can't shrug their shoulders, put it to bed and move on. Everton play too big a part of their lives.

Now I know that you feel you have "more perspective" and you are able to readily shrug of a shite day like yesterday, but you clearly don't have a clue how much it effects others.

Ever thought they simply care more than you?

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
133 Posted 03/05/2015 at 16:16:25
Good job walking the line there, Darren.

That ’more perspective’ comment from James Marshall got my hackles up too. ’Perspective’ is one of the words I would ban from here if I had my druthers, along with ’fickle fans’ and claims regarding ’proper Evertonians’.

It comes across as a cheap and offensive way of trying to elevate one’s personal viewpoint over others. His "why does nobody on here blame the players?" is also incredibly asinine. Does he even read the other posts where... guess what... posters are blaming the players?

Ian Bennett
134 Posted 03/05/2015 at 16:27:57
It’s easy to say after the event, but he just overloaded the side with too many attacking players.

Our away form is poor, and really Martinez needs to think about an away setup, and a home setup. Benteke is a talent though, I’d love him in our Number 9 shirt.

Trevor Peers
135 Posted 03/05/2015 at 16:39:31
Roberto doesn’t seem able to motivate Mirallas so why play him? The manager is a poor judge of character, possibly the worst since I started watching in the 60s. There is no fear factor with him, the players looked bored and disinterested for most away matches this season.
Paul Tran
136 Posted 03/05/2015 at 16:52:04
Trevor, he’s just applying the same logic that some on here use – ie, he’s a naturally talented player who is bound to do something good at some point. I think he’s an over-rated player who does it when he wants to and spends most of his time cynically hacking at players when he loses the ball.

If Martinez had any balls, he’d go to Kenwright and tell him he’s getting rid of some of these non-achievers. He might even say ’them or me’. But he won’t. He’ll soldier on as right now he won’t be getting a better job. He’ll play them here and there, won’t try the youngsters and we’ll be in the same boat next season, treading water without any rebuilding.

I think he’ll be here next season. I think we’ll be midtable next season. That’s not good enough for me.

Someone kindly got me a Drop The Dead Donkey DVD for my birthday recently. Martinez is starting to remind me of George Dent. Has a sense that the job’s beyond him, won’t make decisions, won’t make the changes he knows he needs to make, won’t sack the people who aren’t toeing the line, losing credibility all over the place.

Steve Pugh
137 Posted 03/05/2015 at 16:38:33
In amongst all of the doom and gloom, I thought I would mention a miracle. Yes, an honest-to-God, fully fledged miracle.

It was during the Leicester - Newcastle game when some Newcastle fans unfurled a banner. No, the miracle wasn’t that the spelling was correct, although that is a minor miracle in itself. No, the miracle was the accuracy of the sentiment and I think that most of us would agree with it. The banner read as follows

"We don’t demand a team that wins every game.
We demand a club that tries"

Andy Walker
138 Posted 03/05/2015 at 16:57:47
I agree with that, Trevor. I was thinking at half-time yesterday the players need a rocket up them, but I can’t imagine Roberto is capable of ever doing this. Yet selective bollockings have their place if used sparingly.

Firstly, the shock effect it will have on players who may be used to a calm, measured response, will have an effect on them. Secondly, it will get the players angry, which will create some adrenalin and impact on their performance.

When the second half started, the players looked just as relaxed and casual as they did at the start of the match. I don’t think Martinez has the man-management abilities to do this (deliberately appearing to go nuts with the players still requires control and skill to do it properly); genuinely loosing the plot it is no good.

The whole team plays like there are no real consequences to playing poorly and for me that can only be attributed to the culture created by our laid back Spaniard.

Paul Tran
139 Posted 03/05/2015 at 17:29:19
How do you know, Andy? Maybe he does shout at them... and they don’t notice... don’t agree... don’t listen? I remember at the West Ham replay after 90 mins, he was talking to Coleman who was clearly arguing with him. Martinez clearly went toe to toe and wasn’t taking any lip off him. We still lost the game. Maybe shouting at players just doesn’t work anymore? Certainly didn’t bring any silverware under the last guy, did it?

Yesterday looked to me like a cocktail of a manager not knowing his best team/formation, not being able to get his ideas across to the players, the players lacking motivation and basic passing ability and another team better set up and fired up.

This season’s problems start with the manager, who is being aided and abetted by some pretty spineless players. He needs to go and some of them need to go.

Colin Glassar
140 Posted 03/05/2015 at 17:56:04
I’ve seen Martinez go ballistic on the touchline many times (he even chews faster than Fergie when he’s mad) and he very rarely looks happy, even when we’re winning. So I don’t know where this ’soft touch guy’ comes from.

Yes, he talks too much to the media; yes, he’s too positive at times... and yes, he talks gobbledygook too often – but this doesn’t make him a soft touch behind the scenes.

James Marshall
141 Posted 03/05/2015 at 18:12:39
Darren and Michael

Am I not entitled to my opinion, without being abusive or offensive? Have you tried your arm on the live forum for example, where the level of abuse aimed at fellow posters, players, and the manager are off the scale?

When I refer to ’you lot’ I of course generalise, and my opinion is no less valid than anyone elses.

Darren - I’ve been a blue for 33 or my 41 years as I recall, so to say I ’don’t care as much as others’ is both an assumption and indeed offensive. I would suggest that you tread that line very carefully as you’ve said because your comments are aimed directly at another poster (me), whereas mine as as mentioned above, a generalisation regarding the posters on TW.

Clearly you don’t want to get into a slagging match any more than I do, so thank you for refraining from taking it further but to call my comments ’embarrassing’ is in my opinion a little much. My opinion on club/team/performance matters are no less valid than yours.

Michael – all football fans are fickle, that’s a fact of life. You only have to look at the way players are lauded and cheered one week, and derided the next – just like the manager. That’s a comment I wholeheartedly stand by. We’re all guilty of it, regardless of who we support. Football is an extremely fickle beast. To compare it to the ’proper Evertonians’ line is way off.

Also using terms like ’asinine’ would seem to me to be beyond acceptable as well – you’re basically calling me a fool and I thought direct abuse was banned on ToffeeWeb.

Michael Kenrick
142 Posted 03/05/2015 at 18:28:41

Of course it's all about opinions and of course you are entitled... But when you say you have 'more perspective' than others, that is arrogant, offensive and derogatory.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for fans to react differently from one game to the next, in response to how the team play. If that is being ’fickle’, yes, I guess you’re right. Unfortunately, it becomes a derogatory label, though, as if (according to some) they should not react differently as circumstances change. For that reason, I would avoid it.

I would also avoid making generalizations about posters. The range of posts is very wide, so your generalization is likely to cause offense or be wrong.

Case in point, it was your generalization: "why does nobody on here blame the players?" that attracted the description ’asinine’. If numerous posters are indeed blaming the players, what else should I call it?

James Marshall
143 Posted 03/05/2015 at 18:48:28
Fickle is not a derogatory label in any way - it’s a fact where football support is concerned. It’s used daily by journalists and supporters alike.

I’ll try not to generalise, especially if others have noted that the players were at fault. Fair cop.

As for the ’asinine’ retort - perhaps you could merely have mentioned that other people had mentioned the players being at fault without resorting to any sort of label or abusive term. I’d be happier with that. Thanks for responding.

Michael Kenrick
144 Posted 03/05/2015 at 18:57:37
Thanks, James. Maybe we should have a poll on use of ’fickle’ then!

My feeling is it’s used very cheaply as a label to condemn fans for daring to react differently to changing circumstances, and to imply therefore that they should instead be constant in their views. In my opinion, such demands of honest fans whose reactions are genuine become completely unreasonable. And that in my view makes it a derogatory blanket term to devalue the views of those fans.

Correct me if that is not the way ’fickle’ is used.

James Marshall
145 Posted 03/05/2015 at 19:07:14
I honestly don’t use it, and don’t think other people use it (the term ’fickle’) as a derogatory term at all – I see it as a part of being a supporter of football, and the nature of the game lends itself to all of us acting in a fickle manner often.

The team wins, we praise them. The team loses, we attack them. Fickle, no? Our affections for individual players can go from genius to moron in seconds during games – again, the fickle nature of the sport.

Andy Walker
146 Posted 03/05/2015 at 19:05:57
Paul 139, I said that I couldn’t imagine, not that I knew. What’s the point in picking your words carefully eh?

I’ve seen him get animated with officials, but not as aggressive as some managers, although I’m not saying he should be harder on officials. My opinion is that based on his public/touch line persona he’s not a hard man capable of scaring the crap out of players when needed. I can imagine however Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger and others doing so even though I don’t know if this is the case. They have an edge to their personalities which can be seen in the various run ins they’ve had with other managers and each other over the years on the touch line and in the media – that’s something we’ve all seen. We saw it in Moyes too occasionally, but I’ve never seen anything that suggests Martinez has this side to his character.

We all have to make judgments about all sorts of things, you must do the same too, Paul. In those situations we don’t know the reality of a situation for sure and we may never, but we weigh up the situation based on the available evidence and come to a conclusion. I’ve reached mine on Martinez based on seeing him manage us for nearly 2 years; if I see anything in future that changes it fair enough, but I’m not expecting to.

Darren Hind
147 Posted 03/05/2015 at 19:54:23

I know people who really do see our results as life or death. I also know people like you who can shrug off a defeat and – as you say – "put it to bed".

I think we all care to varying degrees and I think that has been clearly demonstrated by you on this thread.

Your claim that you have "more perspective" did embarrass me – that's not an opinion, it's a boast. You are right about one thing though. I’m not interested in a slagging match.

Looking back on the thread, I’m more concerned about what PW + JD had to say; both passionate Evertonians, they are often opposed in their views... Yet they have come to the same decision. Don't you think that's worrying ?

James Stewart
148 Posted 03/05/2015 at 18:49:05
I found yesterday completely embarrassing, especially the first half.

Some commentator on the BBC made an interesting and misplaced remark that Everton "don’t really have anything to play for anymore." Could not be further from the truth. The players and even more so the manager have an awful lot of making up to do to the fans for this season’s dismal performances.

The past 2 games sum up Martinez perfectly. Sublime to the ridiculous. Forever tinkering, forever undoing his own good work. I thought perhaps after the Man Utd game a corner had been turned... but no: I find Martinez even more infuriatingly easy to predict than his predecessor.

James Marshall
149 Posted 03/05/2015 at 20:48:06
Darren – what I meant be having perspective, was about seeing results at the moment for what they are – pretty much meaningless, and also coming off the back of 6 good results. Losing away to a Villa side who are on form and need the points so badly wasn’t the end of the world, and means very little to us at this stage. That’s all I meant.

I understand that some people take a loss to heart – I used to be one of them, but the older I get, the easier I’m able to take a defeat, and I do feel I can look at results in context as per yesterday. That’s a change that’s taken me many years I can assure you!

Anyway, I didn’t mean it to sound like a boast, merely a commentary on my personal position so apologies if it sounded like I was having a dig at people. I wasn’t.

Paul Tran
150 Posted 03/05/2015 at 19:42:40
Andy, I wasn’t trying to twist your words or be clever. ’How out any do you know?’ is a question I use regularly,:withmalice intended.

Since Martinez was appointed I’ve seen all manner of presumed/imagined character defects prescribed to him. I don’t have any inside knowledge, so I just go on what I see on the pitch.

Of course, we’re all unhappy with this season, especially after the raised expectations. Because we don’t really know what’s going on, we can fill the gaps in our own way.

I think that our league position, the quality of football and the lack of any sense of forward planning is enough to warrant his dismissal. The relentless pursuit of supposed character defects, selective quoting and selective historical references that get passed off as facts don’t help anyone and don’t, in my view, add to the case for his dismissal. I’m not suggesting you’re doing this; I just find it a very frustrating side of this site at the moment.

I hope I didn’t cause offence. I’m sure we both want the same things for the team – maybe we’re expressing our frustrations in a different way!

Andy Walker
151 Posted 03/05/2015 at 21:04:46
Fair enough Paul, no offence taken mate. As you say we both want the same, a successful team!
Patrick Murphy
153 Posted 03/05/2015 at 21:04:40
Paul (150) "I think that our league position, the quality of football and the lack of any sense of forward planning is enough to warrant his dismissal."

That single sentence should be sent to the people running the club as it succinctly encapsulates this sorry season and what the future may hold if Roberto is allowed to continue in his position as manager.

The lowly league position could have been forgiven if it had looked as if the team were progressing on the pitch, but the quality of football for the most part has been shocking and sadly not completely out of place in the current Premier League. The apparent lack of forward planning is a club issue and not just a managerial issue, but the charge at the moment is a fair one.

Gavin Johnson
154 Posted 03/05/2015 at 21:14:29
Colin, just to add to what you say. I also think Martinez prepares for games as much as any high profile manager. You only have to take a look at the in-depth instructions he gives to substitutions. If anything, I get the impression he overloads players with information.
Callum McNab
155 Posted 03/05/2015 at 21:22:56
James Stewart, well said sir. I would also add to what you said is, the higher we finish, the more money we get. As a club that is always struggling financially due to our inept board, this was of great importance. Surely Martinez would've been told that.

As regarding some of the comments on here, my god, how low have we become for that shite, that has been churned out for most weeks, to have become acceptable. After watching for 50 years, I would like to think the reality of not winning the league or a major trophy has become harder each year. But what I will never except is a team wearing the Royal blue Jersey not giving a shite.

Brian Wilkinson
156 Posted 03/05/2015 at 23:02:04
Could not agree more with posters on here, never change a winning team unless forced upon through injuries or suspensions.

The same happened when we pasted Newcastle at home, then he changes it for the Europa league game, ok Lennon was cuptied but others were dropped and like the Villa game, we got turned over.

All those who previously slagged Osman off, take a good look at our results when Osman has been in the team.

Paul Ward
157 Posted 04/05/2015 at 04:37:59
Patrick Murphy(153) with the help of Paul(150) absolutely epitomises the situation at Goodison park today.
Joe Clitherow
158 Posted 04/05/2015 at 14:36:45
James 149

Your "superior perspective" is deeply flawed on every level.

"seeing results at the moment for what they are – pretty much meaningless" is just so completely wrong.

On an emotional level, I am older and have been watching Everton longer than you, and no game involving Everton is ever meaningless. I take it you don’t attend many games, or at least not the "meaningless" ones? Because no fan who does thinks like you.

But even taking your deluded emotional superiority out of the equation, with each league place worth around £1.6M to a relatively cash strapped club, you’re so deeply wrong on a completely practical level too,

Mark Andersson
159 Posted 04/05/2015 at 14:41:18
James Marshall, in response to your comments and defence of them, I have expressed my opinion many times over the lack of commitment of the players. I read every post written on here, simply because I get a better perspective of what the majority think. There are many well educated football fans that indeed enlighten me. I value all people and their opinions.

My concern is that these overpaid players decide what games they’re up for and what games their attitude is well below the expectations of us as fans and the heritage of Everton FC. So the manager is to blame because he has not got the respect of the players.

The players proved a point at Goodison by uping there game and spanking Manchester United. With the right attitude from the first whistle, we should have given Aston Villa a harder game. I fear Martinez will have us all repeating the same thing come next September.

Jim Hardin
160 Posted 04/05/2015 at 15:36:38
Paul #131,

I was pointing out that Martinez keeps being given a free pass at Wigan. He did not improve the team over four years and yes, did go all out to win a cup at the expense of the season. Yet, all the press could talk about was the Wigan effort in the cup run and how Martinez was a genius.

He was rewarded for the Cup win... not the Wigan finishes in the EPL over his time there, and given a free pass and did bounce to Everton (a step up over Wigan) without anyone caring about hiring a manager who had just been relegated due to his inability to find good players on a limited budget (sound familiar) over a four-year period rather than a team newly promoted with no investment in new players and then going back down. Everyone seemed to make excuses blaming the City, the Club’s fanbase, etc instead of looking at the man who managed them out of the EPL.

As for Wigan’s plight, yes, in part it is due to the relegation. He took a few of the better (this term is relative) players with him and others left for higher wages. It is not uncommon to see teams struggle in the Championship after relegation and finish lower table and maybe get relegated again (Wolves did it). Not every club is like QPR paying EPL wages in the Championship to keep players in order to go up again.

Ross Edwards
161 Posted 04/05/2015 at 16:28:22
The bizarre thing about Martinez at Wigan was that for an entire season they’d be shambolic getting smashed 4-0 one week, 6-0 the next, then they’d suddenly be able to win at Anfield, the Emirates and beat Man Utd.

Martinez I think is a ’big game’ manager, but nothing more.

Paul Tran
162 Posted 04/05/2015 at 16:24:55
Fair enough Jim. My take on his time at Wigan is that he took over a side thought of as perennial relegation strugglers and had to sell his better players when Pegleg was reducing the funds (please correct me if I’m wrong, Phil Walling! ). His team was known for a surge in form in the last three months of the season. The year they were relegated, you’re right, they had cast iron opportunities to save themselves and blew them.

Where your ’free pass’ argument stands up is the indulgence he got off Pegleg and the media. He was lauded for failure. Maybe Pegleg knew he’d stitched him up re selling players, maybe he was talking him up to sell him, who knows.

Most managers use their time at smaller clubs to further their reputation. I’ve got no problem with that. Everton was a step up for him. If he leaves us to get a better job it will be because he’s done well for us.

I’m not convinced that he sacrificed the league in order to win the cup. More that he pulled it off against us and City in the cup and their final league position reflected his ability to get his players performing consistently through the season. Sound familiar?

Brian Harrison
163 Posted 04/05/2015 at 16:56:51
Paul 162

Both Paul Jewel and Steve Bruce did better at Wigan than RM, and their budgets were just as low as RM's.

Now if you were asked would you have either as manager of Everton? I think you would say no. But our board decided that a manager with a worse record than Jewel or Bruce should be our manager because he won the cup, absolutely ridiculous. He hasn’t improved one player since he has been here, his transfers (apart from McCarthy) have been very questionable.

Paul Tran
164 Posted 04/05/2015 at 17:16:30
That’s a fair point Brian, except I didn’t mention Jewell or Bruce. If you want my view, I’d prefer Martinez at Everton to the pair of them, even after this season. If I was at a club in Wigan’s position three years ago, I would have preferred Bruce.

Watch out with your selective hypothesis - I don’t think Bruce or Jewell have ever got a club to finish 5th in the table, have they?

Roger Helm
165 Posted 04/05/2015 at 18:46:25
As a club we are about the sixth biggest with about the sixth biggest wage bill and sixth biggest turnover. Or something like that; I haven’t looked it up.

Therefore, we should be expecting to be about sixth in the league, with a good cup run (ie, semi-final or final) every few years and even a trophy once or twice a decade. Obviously we can’t hope to win the League with English football set up as it is.

We over-achieved a bit last year and this year we significantly under-achieved. I will wait and see what next season brings. Two bad seasons running has to be a P45 IMO.

Jim Hardin
166 Posted 04/05/2015 at 22:22:24

Agreed but I sometimes think that by focusing on the Cups one can overlook the day to day preparation required to perform well in the season. Martinez took over a team slotted to finish 15th to 20th at Wigan and the problem for me is he did not improve the team on a season long basis. He didn’t get more out of the players collectively than perhaps individually they were capable of over a season’s run and isn’t doing it here either.

Wigan needed a good manager who could get them to 10-14th. Everton need a manager that can take a team that should finish 6-10th and make them push for 4th and I do not see him doing it; I give the credit for the finish last seaason more to Moyes’ players and discipline than to Martinez.

Having said all of that, I do not want him here over the summer but given that I feel that most managers need 3 seasons to find their level, I suspect he will be given more time and games at Everton. I can only hope that if the last two seasons have been like a roller coaster ride then the third season helps him find his feet and produce consistent preparation, training, results and efforts (and tactics?).

Ant Dwyer
167 Posted 04/05/2015 at 23:03:12
Let’s face facts: Roberto Martinez has been found out to be a fraud. His buys are mostly poor and he’s forever tinkering with a winning team, that’s quite simply poor management. As well as dropping players for the Villa game after a good performance against Man Utd a simple example of a useless manager couldn’t be summed up any better than our right midfield fiasco.

Kevin Mirallas is our main right mid, he buys a no-mark to replace him in McGeady, he loans Atsu to replace them both and then needs to loan another player in Lennon to fix a problem we never had!

Lennon has helped pick us up but if Martinez had a brain we would play Mirallas on the right and we would have bought (not loaned) a pacy player for the left.

Paul Tran
168 Posted 05/05/2015 at 07:29:36
Jim, I completely agree with that, other than I think it’s unfair to attribute Martinez’s first very good season more to Moyes. We needed a good centre mid and striker. He sold Fellaini, replaced him with two better midfielders and brought in Lukaku.

For all the deserved criticism he’s getting now, I’d have been more than happy to see him build on his good work last season. He didn’t and I think it’s going to be hard for him next season unless he has a big clearout or gets the players genuinely back on side.

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