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Martinez's Everton facing 'challenge of the season'

by | 28/12/2014  Comments (32)  jump

Roberto Martinez has acknowledged that his Everton side are at a pivotal moment of their season as they look to arrest a worrying run of form.

The Catalan takes his team to Newcastle United to close out a year that is ending on a sour note after the Blues lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season on Boxing Day.

Though the growing consensus appears to be that the players look tentative and that fear has crept into their play, Martinez isn't willing to concede that point, insisting that his team is struggling as teams set themselves up to nullify their threats.

I don't think in general we are lacking in confidence," he said. I think the expectations, and the opposition giving respect when they're coming to Goodison has maybe played a bit of a part but I think it is a moment of the season that is pivotal for us to see how we can react.

We have another game 48 hours later but when we assess the [Stoke] game it was a bit of an unfair reward in the performance of the two teams.

I do think that reaction now calls for us to know what we're doing, we've got real understanding of how to perform and if we can keep doing that the results will come.

Football gives you those sort of challenges and this is the challenge of the season.

We need to make sure that we get through this period stronger than ever and that could really give us a strong second half of the season.

Gareth Barry, meanwhile, expressed the team's frustration at the way recent results have panned out.

Overall we are disappointed and frustrated," the 33 year-old said after the 1-0 defeat to Stoke.

"It was one of those games. We had a few chances in the first half that we didn't take and a couple of decisions didn't go our way and off the back of them we find ourselves going behind to a penalty and that proved to be the winning goal.

We are frustrated but at the same time we know we can do better. We are trying to do exactly the same things as last season but we know football is all about results and at the moment they aren't quite going for us. It is important now that we stick together and keep doing what we believe in."  

Reader Comments (32)

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Jay Doyle
1 Posted 28/12/2014 at 08:29:08
Maybe Roberto Martinez needs to acknowledge that He also is at a pivotal moment in His season?
Craig Mills
3 Posted 28/12/2014 at 09:13:17
A huge test of character for the team and Roberto today as we move onto the next "must win" game, the problem I have is I cannot see where that next win will come from as performances do not merit wins at the moment. We need a significant change in our style and pace of play to have any hope of 3 points today. COYB
Joe Foster
4 Posted 28/12/2014 at 09:20:43
Roberto,s BS management speak is really getting on my nerves now.
Mike Allison
5 Posted 28/12/2014 at 09:21:20
"We are trying to do exactly the same things as last season"

Aye, there's the rub. Everyone knows what we're going to do now. We need more alternatives, we need to move the ball into forward areas, ahead of Lukaku, at pace and we need to be a threat from set pieces.

Michael Penley
7 Posted 28/12/2014 at 09:37:06
"a bit of an unfair reward in the performance of the two teams"

How many shots did we have again? How many times did we get even close to creating a decent chance?

Joe Clitherow
8 Posted 28/12/2014 at 09:53:56
Still deluded thinking he has been unlucky rather than outwitted. You canÂ’t fix a problem until you properly acknowledge it and I donÂ’t see him doing this.

Plus IÂ’ve not seen this respect from other teams at Goodison he mentions; quite the opposite.

Sam Hoare
9 Posted 28/12/2014 at 10:05:11
'We've got real understanding of how to perform'

What is he talking about! The performances this year have been as bad if not worse than the results. These media soundbites are really rankling me at the's all well being uber positive when life is rosy but these darker times could use a dose of reality sprinkled onto his sugar filled philosophy.

Lose today, which seems highly likely, and it's time for BK to start drawing up a list of possible replacements in case things go from bad to untenable. Saw Mclaren linked today...could do worse? Would certainly pick him above Pulis. Just about. Otherwise maybe Eddie Howe? Laudrup? Stubbs? Not many inspiring names but if Martinez has lost the players then the die will be cast....

Nick Entwistle
10 Posted 28/12/2014 at 10:11:25
He does remind me of Tony Blair, especially when he said "Now is not the time for soundbites, but I do believe the hand of history lays firmly on our shoulders".

Neil Roberts
13 Posted 28/12/2014 at 10:49:40
A defeat today and he will be living on borrowed time the media are already waiting with bated breath some rumours in the rag today Martinez to be replaced by Steve mclaren one to watch
Clive Rogers
16 Posted 28/12/2014 at 11:14:12
Not Steve McClaren.
Ron Sear
17 Posted 28/12/2014 at 11:11:58
I don't know if anybody else noticed it during the Stoke game but I happened to glance up at the screen at the moment when the camera had turned onto Bill K's face during the second half. It wasn't just the look of a guy who was pissed off, there was unmistakeably real anger in the expression as well. This is after all a guy who has been in the entertainment business all of his life and he knows when to pull a show if it isn't working. Time to start thinking the unthinkable Mr Kenwright.
Clive Rogers
18 Posted 28/12/2014 at 11:23:47
If he looked at the Gladwys St 10 mins before the end, his expression would have got even worse. Emptying fast with lines of people in the aisles. That’s a new one for GP. There weren’t enough left at the end for a decent boo!!!
Anthony Jones
19 Posted 28/12/2014 at 11:45:00
Recent performances have been very frustrating, but our salary expenditure and transfer fees should land us at around 8th in the table relative to the clubs we are up against? Perhaps Roberto has made a rope for his own neck by hyping his players to statuses that they do not yet deserve.
Mark Rankin
20 Posted 28/12/2014 at 12:24:03
The pivotal point in the season has already passed, that run of three games in one week staring with ?spurs away. We still had a chance of being in the mix and took one point from 9.
As far as the league is concerned we need to now avoid being drawn into a relegation battle and I hope we have good cup runs. Martinez deserves another chance into next season as he is relatively young and I hope, still keen to learn, the main lesson - keep outside Everton pre-season interests to a minimum and get the team ready to go from the first game.
Dave Lynch
21 Posted 28/12/2014 at 12:31:06
McClaren has had more success than Martinez in the game as a whole.

His only real failure was with England and let's face it, no manager would have success with that load of shite...

Frank Crewe
22 Posted 28/12/2014 at 12:38:47
" insisting that his team is struggling as teams set themselves up to nullify their threats."

Well isn't that what teams are supposed to do? Talk about stating the bleeding obvious. It's up to him to find a way to overcome this. They call it management.

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 28/12/2014 at 12:58:31
So you're an ABM (anyone but Martinez) man then Dave?
Derek Thomas
24 Posted 28/12/2014 at 12:34:49
We're getting near the tipping point, or maybe shuffling towards the brink, i'm not sure which, to go all is the winter of our discontent and it is not being made glorious by this son of Catalonia. We can't move here on TW for slings and arrows.

*ends classical mode...sort it f'kin sharpish Roberto: and Bill, if he can't you better had, before the Young Boys bury us in cuckoo clocks and chocolate.

Knee-jerk? no, a realisation that we CAN do this, the whole break the glass ceiling thing...if it's done properly

Dave Lynch
26 Posted 28/12/2014 at 13:13:51
Not at present Colin.

I was just pointing out that McClaren has a pretty decent record.

My opinion has been posted on other threads in that I think we should reach the safety of 40 points and then review the situation.

One things for sure, we cannot go through another season like this and I fear he will only get worse in the next campaign.

Barry Thompson
27 Posted 28/12/2014 at 13:30:57
I can hear McClaren's post-match interviews being delivered in a faux 'scouse' accent and I think my blood has just iced up following the cold shiver that sent right down my spine.
Steve Guy
29 Posted 28/12/2014 at 14:02:28
I would appreciate the view of Mr Tony Marsh. Not seen a lot of posts from him of late since his Béte Noir left and RM came along to save us.

RM is increasingly coming across as delusional and he needs to take a large inhalation of coffee. It will fall to the supporters to make The Dear Leader's decision easier or harder. The next few results will probably mean RM gets til the end of the season or see the fans calling for change.

Steve Guy
30 Posted 28/12/2014 at 14:07:48
Béte Noir.
Al Reddish
31 Posted 28/12/2014 at 14:03:02
The worrying thing for me is the lack of movement up front. Nobody runs into the space behind the defence; instead, they just wait to see how far the ball bounces back off Lukaku before trying to pick up the slow build-up again.

Martinez is deluded if he thinks our performances are not far off what we need. We have played really well in the League in the first 45 against Arsenal and that's about it!

No more Naismith, Barkley and Eto'o in the same team please and let's try and mix it up a little.

Michael Upton
32 Posted 28/12/2014 at 14:44:09
For some reason I can't put my finger on I resent the Press jumping on the RM Out bandwagon.

Results haven't been good enough but with a couple of refereeing decisions and some clinical finishing we could easily be further up the table.

Sacking a manager who took his side through Europa group with a game too spare having secured European qualification would also show a distinctly short memory.

But the fact remains RM needs to conjure some results from somwhere and that should mean stronger defending and more pace in attack. Penalty calls and own goals only go so far. Passing, finishing and marking all have to improve.

Frank Crewe
33 Posted 28/12/2014 at 15:36:12
I've noticed some of my more "critical" posts have been removed from this thread. Are we getting censorship of dissent now?
Charles Barrow
34 Posted 28/12/2014 at 15:57:41
I agree with Michael. Things are not great and Martinez needs to be more flexible with his tactics and play people in their Best positions But a lot of overreaction all over this site.

We will not be relegated but end up mid table. Yes not a great season but hopefully our manager will learn from this for next season.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 28/12/2014 at 16:05:38
Michael Upton and Charles Barrow, yes thanks for a bit of sanity on here,Martinez needs telling that the performances have been below par but to start pushing the panic buttons is way,way too early.Give him to the end of the season at the very least.
Raymond Fox
37 Posted 28/12/2014 at 16:14:09
I agree that we are not clicking as a team at the moment, but we have scored 27 goals which is 8th most, but conceded 28 goals.
As far as goals against are concerned in 3 games we have had 12 put past us, which distorts the overall picture.

I know you cant pretend those games didn't happen, but 2 of them were against Chelsea and Southampton, and the other against Palace which was a poor result.
In the other matches the defence has pretty much done its job!

Even though we are struggling to find a way forward the goal tally is respectable.

Darren Hind
38 Posted 29/12/2014 at 05:06:27

After what turned out to be a tortuous journey back from the North East, I was convinced I would log on here and find the excuse factory had closed for good, but I now realise it will never close.

We could end up in League One and you'd still be claiming the picture was distorted.

Ever considered the possibility that you, along with other members of the excuse factory (Andrews, Glassar etc) are the people who are distorting it?

Smell the coffee, lads, we are in free fall, Martinez got us into this shit with his brainless approach to this season and he needs to get us out – pronto.

Steve Guy
39 Posted 29/12/2014 at 10:26:04
Ray we are just short of letting in as many goals as we did in the whole of last season. How can the defence be doing its job?

Frankly no-one is doing their job effectively, manager and players alike.

Graeme Souness (God help me) called it right yesterday after the game. We are being pressed into making costly mistakes by constantly playing it out from the back. We need a Plan B and C. But at the moment we donÂ’t even seem to have a Plan A. See Luke GarbuttÂ’s final comment on preparations for yesterday; it beggars belief...

Raymond Fox
40 Posted 29/12/2014 at 10:38:40
Fair enough, Darren, I'm just attempting to look for positives out of our bad run. The manager is trying to play a style of football that most of our team are proving is beyond them, as Steve states. It was worth a try, wasn't it, because we were hitting a brick wall / glass ceiling what ever you want to call it every season playing the Moyes way.

Moyes was only interested in results and on our budget did a hell of a job, but we were always honourable losers each season which is better admittedly than the position were in this season. Its' going wrong this season for many reasons, not just the manager's decisions, which are not coming off I concede.

Putting the poor form at one side, the refs have screwed us in the last two games, they're effing useless most of them, we could/should have 6 pts more than is the case now.

It's the refs thinking "It's only Everton" though, you can see that even the media regard us as surplus to requirements!

Kevin Rowlands
41 Posted 29/12/2014 at 15:31:30
Martinez has done himself no favors whatsoever in his ridiculous press conferences after garbage performances, I'm honestly starting to think he's just to nice to be a manager and should stick to media where he is very polished and good at it. Can anyone really see him getting in anyone's face?
He also made a big mistake spouting off how Barkley's going to be Englands best ever, Lukaku's world class etc, these two have been so shite recently they could only make the bench yesterday.
No matter how you slice it and dice it 21 points from 19 games is relegation form, things need to improve very quickly.

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