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Boss may make changes for Cup tie

04/01/2015  Comments (126)  jump

Roberto Martinez has hinted that he will make further changes to his team when West Ham visit Goodison Park in the FA Cup Third Round on Tuesday.

Everton haven't won since mid-December and have fallen into the bottom half of the Premier League on the back of four straight defeats. But while the manager didn't directly address any need to change things up in order to arrest his team's slide, he did suggest that he will use the break from the pressures of the League campaign to increase competition in his squad.

I do feel that it is a game in which we have to perform well and have to win, says Martinez, a winner of the tournament as his last act with Wigan Athletic in 2013. The FA Cup is the best cup competition in world football in terms of a domestic tournament and we look forward to it.

It is a good time, not to experiment because it is not a word that I like, but to open competition for the players and do it in a different tournament. We are playing at home and against a very good side who will come with an open approach.

The Blues showed on New Year's Day in their 2-0 reverse against Hull just how low their collective confidence has fallen, buckling to two poorly-conceded goals after making a decent start to the game.

Martinez now faces the task of rebuilding the morale that carried them to such heights last season and his latest comments may hint at some behind-the-scenes soul-searching among the group:

It is important now we have a little bit of time to get together, to share emotions, get back to our standards, and react in the manner we have to, he concludes.

Quotes sourced from The Mirror

Reader Comments (126)

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James Stewart
1 Posted 04/01/2015 at 01:39:18
IÂ’ll believe it when I see it. Most likely Barry will still be deployed as a wrecking ball against his own side.
Tim Greeley
2 Posted 04/01/2015 at 01:35:29
Good. But, ya know he changes the team every single game already...

Anyway. How about:

Hibbert Browning Distin Garbutt
Atsu Besic Baines Oviedo

Bench: GK, Stones, Coleman, Pienaar, Ledson, Henen, Kone, Lundstram.

Tom Loughrey
3 Posted 04/01/2015 at 01:52:19
Tim, interesting team selection, but IÂ’d definitely have GK in ahead of Robles.
Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 04/01/2015 at 01:59:38
Very amusing, Tom. Methinks GK = Russell Griffiths, who seems to be preferred as understudy before Jindrich Stanek... which is odd. IsnÂ’t he older and more experienced? I know he canÂ’t play in the Europa League games... did they forget to register him for the Premier League?

And Tim: convention dictates that you can only have seven subs, IÂ’m afraid.

Dick Fearon
5 Posted 04/01/2015 at 02:05:34

Big Sam will do what all other managers have successfully done against us. He will have his team well drilled into packing his defence and hoofing long balls to Carroll.

Roberto will then pull his master stroke. HeÂ’ll pack our own defence with orders to hoof long balls toward Lukaku. Imagine the utter confusion in West HamÂ’s ranks. Andy Carroll, who will be expecting to face a lone defender will be baffled that he is swamped by half a dozen of emÂ’.

Big Sam will be frantically trying to reorganise his tactics while Roberto might, just might, be wondering why he has stuck so rigidly to his patta-cake tactics...

I am only dreaming because you and I know that Roberto will do no such thing. He will set us up as he usually does and the Hammers will happily blow their bubbles all the way down the M1.

Mark Andersson
6 Posted 04/01/2015 at 02:03:36
Not a hope in hell will we all of a sudden go from shite to good enough to beat a inform West Ham. Even if fat Sam plays his reserve team, they will have more fight than this bunch of charlatans.

I hope IÂ’m wrong, and the Old Lady is rocking because those fans deserve it.

Martinez should go in goal as they could never get through all that bullshit.

Tom Loughrey
7 Posted 04/01/2015 at 02:12:15
Michael, check out Stanek in the two links below:

Apparently these are not the only 3 howlers he has made for the Under-21s this year. IÂ’d be happy to give Griffiths his chance without knowing anything else about him to be fair.

Bobby Thomas
8 Posted 04/01/2015 at 02:02:07
I know he has had plenty of injury bother over the last 12 months, but prior to that Pienaar was first choice when fit for Martinez and was always very important to the balance of the side, being one of the few vision/ball retaining attacking mids who could join things up.

Unsure quite whatÂ’s been going on, if heÂ’s been nursing him along as heÂ’s rushed him back previously, but if we can move towards getting him match fit and contributing again, I think it would help, especially with the balance of the side. Ossie is missed, knitting everything together, as well.

Naismith, good squad man that he is, just cannot do it and if anything more of a Cahill type, commitment & endeavour.

The attacking midfielder positions badly need overhauling in the summer. We have virtually no options and those that we have are either on the finish or there already. And thatÂ’s before wide players.

And by the end of this season, the only effective wide player, Mirallas, will have only 12 months left and will be worth about ٣ million.

Bill Gall
10 Posted 04/01/2015 at 03:06:43
This sounds like he is telling us he intends to put more square pegs in round holes.
Ernie Baywood
11 Posted 04/01/2015 at 03:19:20
Originally read this as though he was considering fielding a weakened side and thought he must need his head checked.

But, realistically, his first choices have been dire for so long that a Â’weakenedÂ’ side might be better.

Either way heÂ’d want to take this game seriously... ItÂ’s a big game for the club but itÂ’s a bigger game for him personally.

Darryl Ritchie
12 Posted 04/01/2015 at 04:41:00
HeÂ’s got to do something, because what heÂ’s doing now sure as hell isnÂ’t working. ThereÂ’s no way an "open competition" squad can be any worse than what weÂ’ve been treated to lately. At this point I just want to see a spark of life.
Brian Wilkinson
13 Posted 04/01/2015 at 06:04:05
Tim@2 great team selection, only change I would make is Jagielka in goal in place of Robles.

Pretty decent between the sticks is Jags...

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 04/01/2015 at 07:12:58
Martinez to ring the changes?? WhatÂ’s new there? Every week this season he has continually chopped and changed anyway.

WhatÂ’s the point these days in worrying, we all know that Everton donÂ’t take winning trophies or do winning trophies as success anymore. Success sadly these days is finishing in a league position like 5th, although thatÂ’s nowhere near likely this season.

I wonder what the money men are going to think of that?

Keith Meakin
15 Posted 04/01/2015 at 07:22:02
"Barry the wrecking ball" – nice one James, made me chuckle that did.

Talking of chuckle, it made me think, Martinez could sign Barry and Paul (Chuckle Brothers) up and play them in defence... couldnÂ’t be any worse.

Harold Matthews
16 Posted 04/01/2015 at 07:45:40
More worried about the League but would welcome a good solid performance with no holes at the back and movement up front.
Roman Sidey
18 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:19:04
I will come straight out right now and admit I know absolutely nothing about assessing goalkeepers. Obviously I can tell a very good one from a very bad one, but can someone explain to me (apart from the flapping in the air) what is wrong with Robles. This is in no way a taunt or challenge, I just genuinely do not know what to look at.
Gary Collins
19 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:36:02
Play 4-3-1-2:

Robles; Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines; McCarthy, Besic, Barkley; Mirallas; Kone, Lukaku.

Steve Alderson
20 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:34:03
IÂ’m no goalkeeping expert either but I do know we havenÂ’t got a reliable one. The defence will feel more confident in front of Howard , but only because theyÂ’re used to him in goal but Taliban Tim has dropped more clangers and cost us more points this season than Robles , so far...

Joel looks scared to death and doesnÂ’t havenÂ’t any presence in the area. Whether he is truly rubbish or not remains to be seen. I hope we donÂ’t find out the hard way.

Ian Bennett
21 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:57:06
YouÂ’d hope that a manager looking down the barrels of the sack, would be experimenting with his strongest side that can win and keep a clean sheet. A load of changes is not going to help an already disjointed team.

A win under the lights will do a lot. A defeat (and possibly heavy with their form) against a side we usually beat at home could get really ugly. I canÂ’t see him making the West Brom game at this rate.

Jim Bennings
22 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:55:59

Bad times indeed really isnÂ’t it?

Comes to something when we are saying the defence would feel more solid with Howard behind them, itÂ’s like the slightly lesser of two clowns but not by much.

Some of HowardÂ’s antics this season such as the Sunderland game away, lying on too of the ball outside the penalty box, too many other errors to even mention, nearly pole axing John Stones when conceding the penalty at home to Palace, even CreaseheadÂ’s free-kick at Anfield, weak wristed attempt to keep it out.

IÂ’d suggest this is the worst defensive unit, keeperÂ’s included, that I have seen for many years at Everton.

Amit Vithlani
23 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:54:37
He can ring all the changes he wants but, if we continue to approach basic defending and closing down the opposition with lethargy and a lack of conviction, we will get beat.

There have been a few days since Hull to work on basic defending in training and we must see improvements in this area on Tuesday. (Crossing fingers, toes and other body parts...)

Phil Sammon
24 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:05:31
ThereÂ’s very few young keepers that come in and look immediately assured. A goalkeeperÂ’s Â’presenceÂ’ is so valuable in both the mind of his own defenders and also that of the oppositionÂ’s attackers. You donÂ’t get a presence without experience. Unfortunately there is nearly always a learning curve.

Robles has looked poor, but IÂ’m afraid weÂ’re going to have to stick with him while Howardis out. Maybe this is the big chance heÂ’s been waiting for. I hope he can seize it...for our sake.

Dan McKie
25 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:12:06
So basically he is going to treat the FA Cup with the same level of disrespect that he has shown pretty much everything and everyone else so far this season. I hope he doesnÂ’t see February as Everton boss.
Jay Harris
26 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:03:04
A lot of the problems we have had have been because of the changes in personnel and positional play.

This sounds like Martinez last hurrah to me.

Lets hope we salvage at least a draw so the new manager is at least still in the FA cup.

I was also told last night that there are big problems with the backroom staff including punch ups with some of the physios. How true it is I donÂ’t know but this comes from an insider who is not the "gossipy" type.

If and when I get more information I will post it.

Joe Clitherow
27 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:16:07
Amir 24

Yeah been a few days since Hull but Roberto doesnÂ’t bother working on defence, or corners, or any other set pieces of canÂ’t see how that makes much difference. As he said himself, he doesnÂ’t care about conceding goals. He doesnÂ’t realise either that most Evertonians like me hate losing a throw-in.

Never mind, I suspect that last point will be made very very clear to him on Tuesday night.

IÂ’ll be there Tuesday (the club billed my season ticket as soon as the draw was made and now I can see why) but it already has the ominous feel of several other cup ties I have unfortunately attended which had big consequences.

IÂ’m thinking Tranmere, Bradford, Sheffield United and Middlesborough.

We shall see.

Paul Andrews
28 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:24:55
Dan McKie,

How did you arrive at that conclusion?

We have had a lot of poor performances recently; he is going to make changes.

Allan Board
29 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:25:18
He will play his favourites, as usual, and bring in others. And play them in the wrong positions – then we will blame those players, while he gets off Scot-free because he will say "I play all my squad".. blah fucking blah.

I can't believe this muppet and his useless cohorts are still at our club. This guy is going to take Everton down. If it's proved I was wrong, I will be the first to hold my hands up though.

Surely all this bullshit drivel can't suddenly turn into Nirvana?

Colin Grierson
31 Posted 04/01/2015 at 08:10:52
LetÂ’s hope Martinez uses this game to show us fans that he has what it takes to turn things around. We all know what a good performance in the cup can do. Our best period of success started with a morale boosting FA cup run!
Ant Summers
32 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:31:14
This is a joke! Right? It was EvertonÂ’s choice to play on Tuesday, they were given four days to play, then the telly picked their fixtures. West Ham put a strong preference for Monday, EFC as home club chose Tuesday. So with that in mind RM was always going to play a second 11 in the most with maybe 3 first teamers.
I ask: is this to protect the flops who have really let our club down in the last month and his eccentric style of play? Maybe.

I feel sorry for those who have already bought tickets. WHU will come here with a full 11 and turn us over. RM has just raised the white flag, IMO.

Lastly, if he sends out a overly weakend side, and we get embarrassed, it wont be long before a full on protest to remove RM materializes.

Chris Matheson
33 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:53:29
Of course, one other explanation behind this talk of dropping players and rotating the squad is to give cover stories for absences of our top players who are on their way this window whilst ensuring they are not cup-tied and so their value diminished.

For example, the Coleman-to-Man Utd rumours persist, so letÂ’s see if he plays. If not, you can be sure Kenwright is looking to sell him.

Ant Summers
34 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:00:47
If your heart does not rule your head, the 3/1 on offer for WHU on Tuesday would look very tempting.
Mark Dunford
36 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:58:41
IÂ’m just hoping we sign a keeper before this game - even to sit on the bench. WeÂ’ll be in desperate trouble if Joel is injured or sent off.

Oh, and as the line up changes every game at the moment, the prospect of more disruption and confusing formations is scarcely news. A more surprising announcement would have been a sensible one about the stability brought by a settled side where everyone knows their role, etc, etc

Jim Bennings
37 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:05:39

What money is that exactly?

We wonÂ’t finish in the top 8 or probably even 10 so if you think thereÂ’s going to be real money available in summer your dreaming.

The only thing that can possibly make fans look back in May and say that this was a good season is if we win a trophy, as there will be no Champions League challenge and more than likely just a finish between 12th being kind or maybe relegation being unkind but maybe realistic.

ItÂ’s funny how we won the Cup in 95 with a team that was in a relegation battle until April and those were the dayÂ’s when you played 42 league games not 38, plus we had a smaller squad.

Helen Mallon
38 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:53:16
Why would anyone in their right mind want Distin in the team? Seeing as everyone on TW has slated him for being the worst defender (which he has been), itÂ’s not the changing of the team, itÂ’s changing tactics and his approach to games. That is what will get us back on track.
Denis Richardson
39 Posted 04/01/2015 at 09:29:11
It’s an odd time to be a supporter. I donÂ’t want us to lose but then again that would bring about a change faster and that is exactly whatÂ’s needed right now.

If Roberto wonÂ’t focus on defense, continues to dismiss set pieces as irrelevant and wonÂ’t budge from his philosophy, then long term I just donÂ’t see how this will work.

I just donÂ’t think this guy is the right answer anymore and rumours of serious unrest behind the scenes between players and staff would seem to back that up.

I just hope we donÂ’t lose on Tuesday so the new manager can still have the FA Cup to play for when he takes over.

I am finding it hard to imagine that Roberto will be manager for much longer. Stranger things have happened, of course...

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:30:26
I know what you mean Denis. It almost feels like a few more losses now might be better for us in the long run, but then how bad would it have to be to force Bill to spend some money on anew manager?! Just finding it so hard to see Roberto turn this around for good. Even if he did heÂ’s shown himself to be extremely inflexible and unresourceful when things are going badly which is not a good trait for a continuing manager.
Ray Roche
41 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:32:06
Goodison rocking? I said on another thread that tickets are not selling and things havenÂ’t changed according to the Official Site ticket section. Fans appear to be voting with their feet. Or bums.
Robert Duncombe
42 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:41:55
Making a change would be keeping the same side for once. It would also be nice to see that the players actually give a fuck for a change!!
Howard Parr
43 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:08:35
The point of changing for less-prioritised cup ties is to help the league position. SURELY anyone can see our club is desperate for a win in ANY match right now. So this game should be about picking the team to play City and letting them build understanding and mutual trust.
IÂ’d go

Robles, Shea, Bainesy, Stones,Jags; Mo and Jim; Naisy, Ross, Kev; Rom.

But I fear it will be a hotch-potch that will get mullered and City game will thus seem even harder...

Rob Halligan
44 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:27:09
Roman #19 & Steve #21. I played Saturday and Sunday football in goal for many years, and while IÂ’m no goalkeeping coach, the main basics of a goalkeeper for me are, in no particular order, 1) saving, 2) catching, 3) kicking, 4) dominating penalty area, 5) organisation for corners, free kicks etc.

Our two seem to be ok at shot stopping, which is probably the most important aspect of a goalkeeper. Whilst Howard can catch a ball, but is also prone to punch, even when not under pressure, Robles couldnÂ’t catch a cold, which in turn leads to panic in the defence as the ball could land anywhere near our goal. The pair of them are useless at kicking. There always seems to be a back spin on the ball, particularly when kicking out their hands, and a goal kick, pass back, always seems to be sliced which usually leads to the ball maybe going out for a throw in. Bad kicking invariably gives the ball back to the opposition. Neither of them dominate their penalty area. Rarely do you see our two coming for a ball and catch it on the edge of the penalty area, particularly for a free kick. Defenders know this and as a result tend to sit deeper towards our goal, which can then lead to overcrowding and confusion. Same thing applies for corners. Probably 99/100 a goalkeeper will win a free kick for himself if he comes for a corner and is blocked by an opponent.

How many times do we see teams concede from a corner, when a header goes in right by the post? I always demanded a player on each post, whereas most teams, not just us to be fair, rarely have any. The amount of goals that could be prevented with a bit of organisation at corners? Communication is also very important, but very basic. Whilst I cannot hear Howard from where I sit, it appears to me he doesnÂ’t talk as much as he should. Prime example being the penalty conceded against Palace this season. If Howard comes screaming his bollocks off for that ball, thereÂ’s a good chance Distin and Stones would have left the ball for him. There were times when I was almost physically sick during a match through shouting. Let defenders know youÂ’re there, and this in turn will install confidence in them, knowing their goalkeeper will be dominating his penalty area.

As I say, IÂ’m no goalkeeping coach, so there may be a few things people disagree with me about or maybe can add too?

Les Fitzpatrick
45 Posted 04/01/2015 at 10:52:10
Mrs F heard me telling my mate next door that I was not going to the West Ham game and she reminded me that although she had only been to Goodison on 9 occasions, she had never, ever seen them lose... though her games have been spread over our 23 years of marriage.

I immediately said youÂ’re coming to the match with me on Tuesday.

I will not be able to use my season ticket so I will pay on the night and hope she brings good luck.

Antony Matthews
46 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:19:34
Personally I would have played the same squad who have got us in this mess and if they give another abject performance they need to be told to stand in the middle of the pitch at the end so that us fans can vent our anger. I would also like to see Jagielka putting a serious face on before kick off and show what leadership means instead of laughing with officials.
Alan Brown
47 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:18:54
ItÂ’s important we have a little bit of time to get together and share emotions. Really? ThatÂ’s the important thing is it? Do they come off the pitch after losing to another crap team and say nothing to each other?

If Roberto thinks they need to share emotions then perhaps a short walk up the pitch to the Street end, or any other part of the stadium and I am sure those fans who paid to see the skill and commitment displayed would be keen to share their emotions as well. Maybe we could have a group hug.

Steve Carse
48 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:36:58
This is a match against a strong PL opposition. It provides a perfect opportunity to put your Number 1 line-up out against them to afford the players a chance to get their game together, to improve communication, improve understanding, to form partnerships on the pitch, to further understand what their manager wants of them etc.

Why waste such a golden opportunity with frivolous team selections? Our PL status is in peril. This game should be used as a way of trying to improve our survival hopes.

Adam Luszniak
49 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:40:17
I think during the Hull game we looked better with 3three at the back and two up top; however, Barry and Kone shouldnÂ’t be involved in my opinion:

Browning Stones Jagielka
Coleman McCarthy Baines Oviedo
EtoÂ’o Lukaku

Derek Thomas
50 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:15:09
When youÂ’re in a hole stop digging; more rotation / experimentation or any other sort of Â’ationÂ’ or cunning plan is not what you need to get the punters back onside.

Lets face it Roberto, you donÂ’t even know what your best 11 is and itÂ’s Football 101 (or it should be) that you get a system that fits the players, not try to shoe-horn the players into a system... change the players if you want to get those who can play your system, but you know itÂ’s going to be a slow job.

What you want on Tuesday is a win with attitude... the correct attitude. We donÂ’t mind (too much) if we donÂ’t get a win, shit happens in the cup, but if the correct attitude is not there, neither will you be for much longer.

Gerard McGregor
51 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:55:12
Adam, I really like this line-up but would prefer Naismith for EtoÂ’o.
Bob Heyward
52 Posted 04/01/2015 at 11:57:11
Two things. First, this is classic Martinez naivety. Â’TheyÂ’ll play in an open styleÂ’. No Roberto, theyÂ’ll do what everyone else in competitive sport does; theyÂ’ll play in a way to frustrate the opposition. Cue post Swansea-like Martinez sulk, i.e. Â’they didnÂ’t play the way they should and I donÂ’t think thatÂ’s fairÂ’.

Secondly, weÂ’re not Â’experimentingÂ’ but we are Â’introducing competitionÂ’. Aaaaaaaaaargh! Good God man! Stop it! ItÂ’s like Tony Blair meets Positive Pete. So, what you mean is that weÂ’re playing relatively few first teamers and, qed, the paucity of our squad means those players will be kids (Garbutt, Browning, Stones and Galloway for defence?), so, in other words, weÂ’re de-prioritising the Cup in favour of the League and hoping against hope that the kids will pick up a system that doesnÂ’t work.

All in all, a vision of great management. Thanks, Roberto!

Apologists enraged responses to this post 3...2...1...

Tom Bowers
53 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:07:28
ItÂ’s another Everton game like all the rest and we want a victory but every game is a real test on present form. If he picks the same old players, then they have yet another opportunity to get their groove back or just disappoint again. Take your pick.

Personally I see it as an opportunity to blood one or two more youngsters such as Browning and also Oviedo at left back. I really am not sold on BainseyÂ’s defending anymore.
He will probably do the usual thing and play Hibbert and Distin as the Premier League games have suddenly become more vital thanks to the bad run.

Adam Luszniak
54 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:13:57
Gerard, yeah you could be right, I see this as a flexible way of getting our best players on the field. If Mcarthy is unavailable, then I would play Barkley and Baines at CM, with Naismith behind the front 2. I could see Mirallas playing as part of a front 2 also.

Baines seems to be one of few players who actually bust a gut to get to the ball recently. IÂ’ve been a staunch advocate of giving Martinez more time on TW recently, but one area I would say heÂ’s going wrong, is the absence of pressing from our game. Baines seems to at least chase the ball. Naismith too, actually. We all know that Mcarthy is a total monster when heÂ’s on his game, heÂ’s everywhere.

If we press West Ham, we can win the game.

Nigel Gregson
55 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:21:58
Hint hint - heÂ’s basically sacrificing FA cup to experiment and turn the team around.
Adam Luszniak
56 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:27:45
Bob Heward, I love the term Â’apologistÂ’, itÂ’s a clever way of insinuating that anyone with an alternate opinion to your own, is inherently wrong, owing to the implied error or mistake which necessitates the Â’apologyÂ’.

The beauty of it is you can use it to back up an opinion, and make it look like itÂ’s fact.

John Keating
57 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:31:36
Is it not possible for this clown to just pick his best 11 and use this game as a way forward to PL survival? If we get a result, then great.

If he chops and changes the team as he has done all season and we play as we have been doing, then Big Sam will go home smiling and team confidence will be hit again.

Aidy Dews
60 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:42:42
I think chopping and changing players is the wrong way to go if IÂ’m honest. Right now we need a set team with continuity and rotating here and there isnÂ’t the answer for getting us out of our current mess.

I know injuries etc donÂ’t help with that but with whoÂ’s fit, go with your strongest team possible right now and try and gain some stability and confidence within those players and hopefully it will help us turn things round.

WeÂ’ve chopped and changed all season and not picked the same side for 2 consecutive games and cos of that with had no rhythm or continuity and itÂ’s shown in performances.

ItÂ’s time to start picking a set formation with a set group of players and sticking with it, rotating as been a problem for us this season, not an help.

Ernie Baywood
61 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:46:45
Adam 57. ItÂ’s a term I despise on this site, particularly now it is being used completely incorrectly.

People did make excuses for MoyesÂ’s failings (myself included, at times) but itÂ’s now become a term for any contrary opinion. What exactly is the relevance of Â’apologistÂ’ to any alternate view currently being given on Martinez? Who is accepting or excusing our current form?

There are some great opinions on this site but there are a few flashing their internet tackle around too.

James Byrne
62 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:01:36
LetÂ’s just see what the plan is when we are going in two-nil down at half-time.

Martinez can change the team as many times as he likes but heÂ’s already stated that he wonÂ’t change his tactics and style of play.

Stephen Brown
63 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:10:40
I fancy a good cup run could be key to building confidence in our league form.

RM should stick to his strongest team in all games and only change when necessary.

CanÂ’t wait until McCarthy is fully fit as he could be leader we desperately need.

Colin Grierson
64 Posted 04/01/2015 at 12:56:10
People on here have been asking for changes of personnel and that is what heÂ’s said heÂ’s doing. I canÂ’t believe some are suggesting it would be better if we got beat as it would speed up the demise of Martinez. If he canÂ’t turn it round and the team continue to play with such a lack of passion then the inevitable will happen. If I had a choice though it would be for Martinez to succeed. Lots of people were calling for KendallÂ’s head shortly before we went on to win the FA cup and we all know where that led us.

As for Â’apologistsÂ’ I agree with Adam that this term suggests an arrogance of opinion for those who are willing Martinez to fail. At present MartinezÂ’s post match comments and pre-match press conferences are being poured over and IÂ’m sure that if I did that with any Prem manager I could highlight whatever suited my argument. His positive style is not my cup of tea but aim not that arsed about that so long as results improve. I will never wish for my team to lose as that is not supporting your club. LetÂ’s not get back to the Moyesesque days of pro and anti manager and split... although it can be quite amusing.

Eric Holland
65 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:17:06
Does this mean Everton are under achieving now?

After all the years of punching above our weight, Or did we all expect so much more from this season with probably the best squad at the club for years?

Hopefully a few good results will get us back to punching above our weight again!!

Colin Glassar
66 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:24:51
Colin Grierson, I wouldnÂ’t change a comma of your post. IÂ’ve been saying the same for a while now.

Some call me an apologist. IÂ’m not. I hate whatÂ’s happening to us right now but most teams go through bad patches (see yesterdayÂ’s Liverpool Echo when we lost 10 of our first 12 games in the 2005-06 season). We might have to write off this season but we wonÂ’t go down.

I gave OFM the benefit of the doubt after that season and he was able to turn things around. I donÂ’t see why Martinez canÂ’t do the same and whatever happens I would never, never hope the team loses just because IÂ’ve got a personal agenda against the manager.

Dave Abrahams
67 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:21:46
IÂ’m going on Tuesday and I really couldnÂ’t care less what the team selection is, all I want to see is energy, movement and some spirit and devil in the team. LetÂ’s see them hustle and bustle West. Ham... let them know we are giving them a game.

IÂ’ll be behind them from the start and I hope the rest of the crowd start that way, then itÂ’s up to the team to keep us that way.

Max Wilson
68 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:36:04
IÂ’m in agreement with those against too many changes at this stage.IÂ’d like to see Pienaar and Ossie back IF they are fit enough to do it. Most of my Toffee mates and I donÂ’t want to see the following names on the team sheet: Robles (but no choice), Alcaraz, McGeady, Naismith and Atsu.

Neil Wood
70 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:39:52
Colin and Colin I concur. How can supporters actually will someone to fail? That to me is a ridiculous state of affairs.

I think Martinez has made and is making mistakes but I happen to believe in the style he is promoting as a lot more people were also doing when it was going successfully last season..... A lot of people on here muttering "School of Science" and so on...

Realistically, I feel the problem lies in the playing personnel and their technical abilities and I think that Martinez has to understand that. The possession game is all well and good when you have players such as Xavi and Iniesta. These are players who have been brought up playing this style and it is embedded in them.

I donÂ’t think you can suddenly turn players like Jagielka, Distin, Barry etc into this type of player. These are very very good footballers but have had different styles of football embedded in how they play.

I suppose what I am saying is these things take time to build; people on here tend to jump on bandwagons and to hear names like Mark Hughes banded about troubles me...

As Colin rightly said, people were calling for KendallÂ’s head... Look what happened.

Your not just backing Martinez, you are backing Everton Football Club.

Matt Melia
71 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:45:57
Been in the Gwladys Street since the days of the Boys Pen 1957, now in the Lower Gwladys. Seen some great teams/players, quite a few trophies, talked double-dutch in Rotterdam (fell asleep at the wheel on the M11 carrying on to Wembley!), put up with Walter & Walker BUT, this way of playing is the worst ever and the sole cause of our demise.

Worse than that is; RobertoÂ’s drivel of after match interviews, I think he was sold a cheap Spanish-English Language Course, Â’cos none of it is related to the games weÂ’ve all seen.

We can (and are entitled) to scream our heads off but, that will not get rid of Roberto Canute. Only Big Bill can do that.

I dread Martinez being given all available funds to plug the holes in a sinking ship, but a Keeper is a priority and not another Pie-Eater.

ItÂ’s been said in many articles, these, in the main, are the same players who finished 5th last season. Some have got ridiculous contracts and now lost interest, but is it the style of play Roberto wants, thatÂ’s turned them off?

The cheapest and easiest way out for Roberto is to accept that; his Continental Plan for our team ainÂ’t going to work (I canÂ’t see him doing that though). We rapidly need to get back to basics and prioritise survival in the Premier League and for GodÂ’s sake, let the opposition know weÂ’re on the park!

I know IÂ’ll take some flack, so here goes; let Barkley go, for the right money. IÂ’m not a world class coach but, the similarities to Jack Rodwell are there. His progress appears to have come to a halt, after his back-page headlines of last year. I know Roberto has occasionally played him out of position, like many others, but heÂ’s become very lazy, seems to have put on too much beef and looks disinterested.

Get back to playing players in their position, not gap filling. We have decent young lads occasionally given a cameo role, who a lot of other Premier League sides would sign at the drop of a hat, why do they play one game and disappear into the ether? Is it because they criticise RobertoÂ’s training regimen?

WeÂ’re back to the old 40 points again. Stuff the FA Cup and Europa League, without Premier League survival, weÂ’re fucked, look where Wigan languish!!!

And, going back to my earlier point, signing for the sake of signing could be a disaster. Get someone on the park to be a proper leader and get a grip

Love being a Blue, but running out of heart tablets.

Tony Draper
72 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:41:21
Bob Heyward #53
Please reread your own words and fairly judge just how pompous you appear?

You do (to me at the very least) seem smugly pleased that things are shite at the moment, though I can see no reason why any Evertonian would behave like that.

I want Everton to win every single game which we play and in some style, we managed that last season and IÂ’d like for us to return to those winning ways (and do so sooner rather than later).

DM made his own bed and did so without class, so I was glad when he finally scuttled off.

RM has been a breath of fresh clean air and has proved that we can play stylish winning football. I really want him to rediscover our winning ways.

If by expressing these views you decide that I am a "RM Apologist", then fine. Better that I want our manager to succeed than to fail.

Bob Heyward
73 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:04:08
Ah, Adam, Colin and Ernie...

Apologist: Â’a person who offers an argument in defence of something controversialÂ’ (Oxford Dictionary)

So, saying Â’Bobby is a good manager that needs time at EvertonÂ’ when the Club are 3 points off the drop, letting in more goals than practically everyone, have the worst form in the Premier League, and are facing Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in their next six games, could be labelled as an Â’apologistÂ’ point of view.

While I donÂ’t target that word specifically at individual members, I can see from your comments that you donÂ’t like the label Â’apologistsÂ’. That said, attempts to deny its validity though are futile. As shown above, it is an entirely appropriate word to use.

The trouble is that some – just like Roberto himself – can’t change their view according to changing fact patterns, rather like a ship’s captain steaming along at full speed into an ice field...

Throughout his tenure, the rabidly pro-Martinez crowd have attempted to stifle debate about our manager, with Phil WallingÂ’s consistently brutal treatment being exemplar of this. I find it a shame that even now, at MartinezÂ’s nadir, some voices still attempt to control, deny, stifle and censor any questioning of Martinez.

I know that some feel that they had to justify their ancient anti-Moyes views by supporting, to the hilt, the change in manager that they argued for. But really, while there was a time for such vanity arguments, eg, post Anfield drubbing 2014, we are now WELL past that stage. ItÂ’s approaching the time for ALL Evertonians to unite and admit that, while Martinez had a purple patch, ultimately, he is not the right man.

Clinging to increasingly marginalised, fig-leaf, Â’them-and-usÂ’ arguments is not the way forward.

To the apologists, I say this: Come back aboard, fellas. WeÂ’re all Blues. Stop being daft. You were grossly wrong, while we were right. HeÂ’s useless. So be quiet, take your medicine, and donÂ’t be so gullible in the future.

Ant Summers
75 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:52:05
Too many posts believe 40 points will be the line; look around the table and you start to realize that 40 points wonÂ’t be enough. More like 44 points will be safe... IMO 42 points will go down.

Now look at our remaining games and be brutally honest with yourself, try and see 22 points. I get it to 20 points without being under- or over-optimistic. Hope IÂ’m wrong.

Sean Kelly
76 Posted 04/01/2015 at 13:58:35
With all the rumours of players pissed off and losing faith in Roberto maybe just maybe heÂ’s will rotate again as he is running out of players that buy into his philosophy. I could care less about Tuesday.
James Marshall
77 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:05:07
Of course heÂ’ll make changes - he hasnÂ’t played the same team twice in the Premier League once this season, the fucking idiot.

Part of his downfall is his pointless tinkering with the team, even now, at a time when he should be working on settling the lineup.

James Marshall
78 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:06:23
Having just read a little of the thread - IÂ’m one of those who was gutted when Martinez arrived, and was terrified at the prospect but then ate humble-pie last season with great glee at how brilliant it all was.

Sadly, now it is coming to pass that he is indeed the one-trick pony many of us thought he was. Weirdly though, I also donÂ’t think sacking him (yet) is the right thing to do.

John Keating
79 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:02:36

You say "we might have to write off this season but we wonÂ’t go down." (I hope youÂ’re right.) However, on a previous post you said you would give Martinez until mid February in order to turn it around.

So, if you believe we wonÂ’t go down, why not leave Martinez there, full stop?

Having the utmost faith in the manager will only stop when it is mathematically impossible for us to stay up. Bit late then... eh?

Colin Glassar
80 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:13:27
Bob Heyward, what a load of pompous bs.

John K, I meant if by mid-February we are in free-fall, then even I would have to consider cutting him loose. I donÂ’t think it will ever come to that but IÂ’m hedging my bets just in case.

I want all of you to eat humble pie but if IÂ’m wrong can I have mine with some clotted cream?

Kieran Riding
81 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:24:17
When youÂ’re playing shite, you name your strongest possible side week in, week out until it clicks again. Sounds bloody obvious, but that way, at least you know what your strongest side actually is!

Saints did that, and have played themselves back into form, and today they have named their strongest side again in the cup. (Certs to get beat now like...)

Steve Rees
82 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:16:14
I personally would like to see us approach this game like an old-fashioned cup tie. Play 4-4-2 with Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Garbutt, in defence; Besic and McCarthy in centre the park with instructions to batter anyone who comes near them, win the ball and play it straight to the wings at pace; Baines on the left, Mirallas on the Right.

Baines and Mirallas should be given the remit to do everything they can to hit the byeline at pace and get crosses in to Rom and Kone upfront (who are given instruction to actually face the goal and move forwards to attack the crosses).

Passing back should only be an option in an emergency and we should grab they game by the balls and attack West Ham all over the field at pace and with aggression. In defence no West Ham player should be allowed more than two seconds on the ball without being harassed.

I would also like to see a number of our players affected by cramp from running themselves into the ground but sadly I canÂ’t see it happening!

Adam Luszniak
83 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:20:10
Bob Heyward,

"To the apologists, I say this: Come back aboard fellas. WeÂ’re all Blues. Stop being daft. You were grossly wrong, while we were right. HeÂ’s useless. So be quiet, take your medicine, and donÂ’t be so gullible in the future."

I appreciate that everyone has an opinion, yours is quite clear. I for one, hope you to be entirely wrong, firstly because it will mean that Everton start winning again, and secondly because IÂ’d love to see you eat those pompous words on ToffeeWeb.

Your post states that the Â’apologistsÂ’ as you have termed them have stifled any debate about Martinez. Not only do I think this is untrue, I would also point out that I canÂ’t see anyone wanting to actually debate anything with the kind of person who would flatly refuse to acknowledge even the vague possibility of another personÂ’s opinion containing some validity.

You may be right, Martinez may be totally useless. On the other hand, you may be wrong. ThatÂ’s the nature of debate.

Ben Howard
84 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:25:45
Adam, I similarly hate the Â’apologistÂ’ term. ItÂ’s so bloody smug and, as you rightly say, renders a difference of opinion completely secondary in the argument. It's point-scoring before a point has been made.

Also, could we please stop quoting EinsteinÂ’s beautiful definition of madness as a way to beat Roberto. ItÂ’s become very dull and strangely doesnÂ’t gift the quoter the desired IQ theyÂ’re desperately trying to convince you of.

Colin Grierson
85 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:00:38
Thanks for clarifying, Bob. You might use the same dictionary to define arrogant, elitist, fact and opinion.

A 72-point Â’purple patchÂ’ achieved with an attractive style of play IMO gives RM a little grace. I donÂ’t have to agree with you to be on board as an Evertonian. You are no more an Evertonian than anyone else on this site and if you think you are then I have no need to debate with you.

I am not convinced that Martinez can turn it round, far from it, but I think he deserves the chance. HeÂ’s made some glaring errors but letÂ’s see what the next few games bring before we sharpen the axe. The players have a lot to answer for. ItÂ’s not just the style of play but the manner that it is being deployed that is killing us at the moment.

LetÂ’s see if the right players get dropped for the Prem games. If RM perseveres with Barry and continues playing players out of position then we will mostly likely continue our dire form and then, with regret, I would accept his demise.

John Keating
86 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:27:17

Sorry mate but it sounds as if you are suggesting we are not already in freefall! Your post above is very specific in that we will not be relegated. You canÂ’t have it both ways.

We are not relegated until mathematics dictate otherwise. That may well not be as early as mid February. If so why not give him another 2 weeks, 3 weeks etc. If we leave it too late..........

Bob Heyward
87 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:26:17
Ah, Colin showing us, very academically, that denial isnÂ’t just a river in Egypt. Nice one, ColÂ’...
Colin Grierson
88 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:37:11
A question for those who want Martinez gone ASAP...who do you suggest comes in and why them?
Bob Heyward
89 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:38:50
Adam. Debate? From a polemicist? Really...
Joe Clitherow
90 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:34:24
Please can we stop with this lazy, clutching at straws, faux pattern matching between Roberto Martinez and Everton FCÂ’s greatest ever manager. As I have said, the only comparison is proximity to a sacking and that is it.

If I knew nothing about dressing room fallouts, philosophy, lack of work on set pieces and defence, delusional press conferences, etc etc, I would know enough having watched enough 90 minutes between 3pm and 4:45pm on a Saturday to see how completely out of his depth Martinez is and that he should be terminated forthwith.

I actually find comparisons with Howard Kendall and what he has achieved for this great club quite offensive.

John Keating
91 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:39:31
Colin Grierson 89,

Colin, can I ask you if there will be a time if we continue in our present situation you would consider getting rid of Martinez? If you want him to continue, would you be happy to keep him in place until we are relegated?

Regarding a replacement. Could anyone be any worse than the present incumbent? Our football, tactics, fight, leadership is virtually non-existent so who could be any worse?

I would love Martinez to start turning things around, starting against West Ham, but if he continues tinkering with the team and playing the same way as we have since the season started, then I can see only one outcome.

Adam Luszniak
92 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:46:07
Joe Clitheroe can you tell us what you know about dressing room fallouts? IÂ’m intrigued.
Colin Grierson
93 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:42:56
The comparison between RM and HK is precisely based on the proximity to a possible sacking?!?! Lots of Evertonians were wrong then so why not now? Why else would the comparison be made and how is it offensive?
Bob Heyward
94 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:42:31
John calls the ball, perfectly, when he calls Colin out. Colin, how many more weeks shall we give him? Shall we ignore the fact that his problems (large numbers of Â’injuriesÂ’, exceptionally poor defence, doggedly playing the same one dimensional philosophy, having no plan B, players out of position) all match his time at Wigan?

LetÂ’s see. With City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all coming up in the next six games, where do you see it turning around under Bobby? How long should he have? Long enough for the next guy to have virtually no time or no margin for error? The last two months contained a hat full of games we should have won...somehow you think it is going to turn around under Bobby?

Get real. Tough decisions are needed, or weÂ’ll end up like Wigan, led to relegation by the Pied Piper of BS and his apologist followers.

Adam Luszniak
95 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:52:29
Bob Heyward, who in your opinion is the right man for the job?
Colin Grierson
96 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:50:16
John 92

I would give him up until the derby to show things have changed. We play some of the teams down and around us so if we are not winning those games against West Brom and Palace then we accept his fate, as IÂ’m sure he would himself.

If he does go, I canÂ’t see who we will bring in as I donÂ’t think anyone but him is a decent answer.

Michael Gregory
97 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:53:56
IÂ’m hoping for a good cup run but I fear not... The defence lacks confidence and Robles is about as agile as a tortoise, which doesnÂ’t inspire confidence in the rest of the team.
Brian Waring
98 Posted 04/01/2015 at 14:59:49
"With City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all coming up in the next six games"

So which manager is out there who could come in and turn things round Bob, and who could get us something out of those games you mention?

Colin Grierson
99 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:03:04
Bob, I hope it will turn around under Martinez. You think it will be turned around by who exactly? Your solution is not really a solution without the name of someone who we will be likely to employ and who you know to have the required attributes. Who, realistically, would you want?
John Keating
100 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:04:51
Adam, Brian – I seriously doubt there is a "long term" replacement out there at this time. A manager would probably be looking at a long-term plan and money to get his own players in. Anyway what named manager would come into the Club at this time with us in this situation?

I think the only option we have at this stage is a short term appointment until the end of this season to get us out of this shit/rut. Some of our own ex players/managers have been mentioned on various threads. Could anyone be any worse than what we have at present?

We need someone who has no compulsion of putting the club before any player or faction. Someone who is quite happy to tell us, the media and the players exactly how it is and none of this 'phenomenal' positive shite we get now.

So, you guys, name anyone and he will do! Even the goldfish!

Joe Clitherow
101 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:01:22
Adam, I know nothing specific about dressing room fallouts beyond rumours on here and elsewhere.

I do know though that any such failure of discipline is ultimately the failure of the manager, as it would be in any comparable corporate or military situation. As is failing to turn out a team that is fit, is motivated, organised, clear about their game plan, adaptable to situations, or in any way properly prepared to effectively compete in the English Premier League.

I also know that if that is all you picked up on in my post then you are either not following this current debate very closely or you are attempting some kind of ad hominem deflection which is entirely consistent with the general denial that some posters are displaying. In my opinion, of course.

Michael Gregory
102 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:07:39
Dan Brierley
103 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:03:45
I would personally like to see someone brought in that can give these lads a real kick up the arse, and reminder of just how fortunate they are to be wearing the club's colours. Someone like Joe Royle or Peter Reid on an interim basis would give the team more passion and spirit to dig ourselves out of this mess.

Ideally we would see Martinez showing a more flexible mentality, and leading us through this difficult patch. But, based on his track record, can we afford to give him this chance?

Colin Glassar
104 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:12:08
Sorry lads, canÂ’t destroy your defeatism with my usual wit, sarcasm and pathos. IÂ’m watching my Xmas prezzie (Game of Thrones box set) trying to pick up some pointers from the Lannisters on how to defeat Mr Evil aka Big Sam. Laters.
Adam Luszniak
105 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:16:39
Joe Clitheroe, I picked up on that part of your post because I was genuinely interested in where the rumours of dressing room unrest come from, and to see if there is any proper basis for them or if theyÂ’re just rumours.

I suppose what iÂ’m getting at is that itÂ’s unfair to base an argument one way or other on rumours alone. I didnÂ’t highlight the rest of your post because I agree with it in the most part. As you say, there a plenty of obvious problems that are self-evident and need to be sorted asap.

Joe Clitherow
106 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:13:12
Colin 94

"Lots of Evertonians were wrong then so why not now?"

If you are seriously asking that question then IÂ’m really not going to give you my opinion as an answer except to say that at the time you could see that Howard KendallÂ’s team did have something, but for a while couldnÂ’t score. If you read HowardÂ’s books you will also see that he states he had behind the scenes backing from Sir Phil so the sacking stuff for him is pure conjecture. You obviously think RM has something to offer and I absolutely do not, thatÂ’s where we differ. I have asked for reasons why we should persevere with RM and the answers seem to be either silence, "a feeling" (means nothing), "we got 72 points last year" (likewise ) or "we are Everton we donÂ’t do that" (tell it to Johnny Carey).

But please, no nose tapping, knowing wink comparisons saying Howard had time so so should RM (IÂ’m filling the gaps in here). IÂ’ve watched the performances this guy has turned out and defended.

Joe Clitherow
107 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:30:01

Apologies then for any of my attribution

Max Murphy
109 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:37:41
I really donÂ’t care about what RM is planning to do for this cup game. If we win, it will be a fluke, and unfortunately may delay his exit from GP. If we lose or draw, normal service resumed and hopefully it will expedite his departure.
Steve Carse
110 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:18:35
The main cause of all our defeats is pretty clear – we don’t press in any area of the pitch. Accordingly any experienced manager who has already shown how to put this in place and prevent the opposition attacking and scoring with the ease they are doing so this season will do for me.

LetÂ’s face it, we arenÂ’t in a position to be in for the best available long term manager so weÂ’ve got to appoint to meet the most immediate objective of ensuring survival.

Names? Well they’re not the sort we’d normally want to consider but needs must – Hughes, Lennon, Strachan come readily to mind.

Colin Grierson
111 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:31:20
I remember the HK days well and I remember a team low in confidence and after that 0-0 with Coventry couldnÂ’t see where our next win was coming from.

You are right that he had the backing upstairs but I also remember those days well with season tickets being lobbed onto the pitch and the team being booed off the pitch in a half empty ground. The crowd were split as to whether they wanted HK to go or stay. There were rumours even then of a mess behind the scenes.

Where we differ is that I do base my hope that RM can turn things around on what he started at Swansea. He changed their style of play completely when they were in the 4th tier and laid the foundations of the club that is now an established Premier League side. ItÂ’s not just a feeling nor a belief but the hope that he can sort it out.

There is a comparison, whether you like it or not, and I hope that it ends well, like it did for HK, as nobody is offering any plausible alternative.

Derek Knox
112 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:07:30
Colin Glassar# 105

Glad youÂ’re into Game of Thrones, think we have too many JoffreysÂ’ in our team at present, we need The Hound and a few Starks (preferably with heads intact) to tackle Sam Lannister.

Declan Brown
113 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:14:48
(start of sarcasm) By Dear Lord above, IÂ’ve just had an epiphany like those who think Roberto will turn it round at Goodison on Tuesday night.

Song will make a bad backpass and Lukaku will round the keeper late on for an equaliser. Those who tossed their season tickets will be scrambling to get them back again because...

WeÂ’ll win the FA Cup in May, next year weÂ’ll win the league and the Europa League, get beat by the pesky reds in extra time in the Cup Final and go on a run for a few years clearing everything before us with pride, passion and skill...

Meanwhile back in the real world... (end of sarcasm)

Gerry Quinn
114 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:25:43
If anyone lives in Doha, I just heard from my niece living out there that Everton will be there at the end of the month - you heard it here first!
John Keating
115 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:25:41

I think people are offering a plausible alternative. Ship Martinez out now.

The standard of football we are playing and have played all season is phenomenally crap. The tactics and team selections have been phenomenally abysmal. And two of our main attributes – defending and attitude – are phenomenally lacking.

As I stated in a previous post, at this time anyone at all could equal MartinezÂ’s contribution to our season so far, so therefore anyone could replace him; unfortunately at this time it would more than likely be a short-term appointment.

As far as I am concerned the West Ham game is the deciding factor. If we see no appreciable change to the tactics and players attitudes, then Martinez should go.

Richard Lyons
116 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:25:28
LetÂ’s face it everyone, Kenwright is not going to sack Martinez next week, even if we get knocked out of the FA Cup and lose our next three games.

He always backed Moyes to deliver, and he will be the same with Martinez... until itÂ’s too late.

On the subject of this thread: I really think that this tinkering is the opposite of what we should be doing, which is steadying the ship.

IÂ’m afraid - very afraid...

Dave Abrahams
117 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:21:40
A lot of us think Roberto is struggling to get it right at the moment and we are all getting anxious at the way he will not change. All Colin Grierson is doing is trying to be fair to Martinez and saying "give him a chance". IÂ’ll give him ten out of ten for that and I hope Colin is right.

I think he (Colin) is being browbeaten by one or two on here.

Mark Wilson
118 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:14:14
Adam, #57 spot-on re the use of the word "apologist" on here.... it all started in the height of the Kenwright hating, then spread during the Kirkby debacle and was used a lot alongside "sheep" etc against anyone who ventured a view not in keeping with the current "anti" feeling... whatever that was/is. ItÂ’s daft as often here thereÂ’s a cracking "row" with very different views without the need for sneering abuse.

Things are a lot better these days and frankly I canÂ’t find another site like TW that allows you to vent, debate, and even inform around all things EFC in such a detailed adult manner so, stick around and ignore the rubbish, the rest is good stuff, well mostly!!

Gavin Johnson
119 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:14:20
Colin (#113), was that the game when Kendall made the players run a lap of the pitch due to the abject performance?

Unfortunately I canÂ’t see us getting a win anywhere at the moment. I donÂ’t think weÂ’ll beat West Ham or Man City. So how long does the board leave things before they take action? Sadly the situation seems to have a certain inevitability.

Personally I hope Martinez is given sufficient backing this month so he can bring in a centre back at the level of Stones and Jags. As well as a goalkeeper. I know IÂ’m being greedy but a loan to replace Atsu could also make a difference, as Mirallas is the only player offering us any real quality in the wide positions at the moment.

Whether you support Martinez or not, we need a couple of additions this January and IÂ’m inclined to believe that BK and his friends of the club wonÂ’t sack a manager and then pay severance pay and compensation for the new manager. So I hope Roberto gets funds. ItÂ’s a lot to think about and I hope that Martinez can prove people wrong, starting this Tuesday.

James Byrne
120 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:05:34
For all of the RM faithful on here, how do you explain the comparison to the Wigan points tally while under Martinez to the almost identical points we have now in the league. Those results at Wigan until he relegated them are identical to ours now for each season he was at the club.

This isnÂ’t just about points but also about our performances; can anyone actually say weÂ’ve been unlucky in any of our recent losses! The answer is NO. WeÂ’ve played some of the worst football IÂ’ve ever witnessed.

Not only are we losing games but we are kick starting other average teamsÂ’ seasons every game we play. Opposition players who have never scored in their careers are scoring against us! What does that indicate? Alarm bells?

I couldnÂ’t care less about any of the cup games we are in coz I see Premier League survival paramount to our existence. Every PL game we play from now on where we donÂ’t win puts us closer to being relegated under this complete clown of a manager.

Steve Barr
121 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:42:50
It doesnÂ’t seem to matter which approach we take regarding our managers.

Allow them long run to implement their plans, or a shorter knee jerk reaction to a run of bad form.

WeÂ’ve tried both since our last era of success in the mid-eighties and both have come to nought.

The sad, harsh reality is that unless you have a rich benefactor you are not going to mount a real challenge for silverware, particularly over the long haul.

Our immediate challenge is which approach do we take now with relegation a serious threat. Which is my opinion based on what IÂ’ve seen over the past 20 to 30 games under Roberto.

Paul Andrews
122 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:47:41
We all have our varying opinions. We are all fully entitled to them. Get behind the lads for the 90 minutes; our backing them doesnÂ’t gaurantee we will win the game.

Our not backing them guarantees we will lose the game.

Bob Heyward
123 Posted 04/01/2015 at 15:56:27
A few people asking me to name a name. An interesting request, perhaps showing the lack of any insight that some have. I mean, having to ask others for names is a little embarrassing, showing a lack of any vision beyond the broken dream that Roberto has peddled them. Are they so blinkered? That said, IÂ’ll try and help them.

1994. WalkerÂ’s open style was drawing the same results as Martinez. The Club made the brave move, in late November they axed him. The solution to the defensive problems of Walker? A manager that focused on defence AND, within his limited resources, attack. We stayed up and won the FA Cup, with an (all due respect) average Championship level manager. ItÂ’s a pertinent story; we find ourselves in a similar situation today.

If it is not born of blinkered post-Roberto ignorance, then to ask me for a new manager’s name is the kind of childish argument that some must now resort to. It’s an attempt to prevaricate, perhaps helping some to deny just a bit longer, in the hope their Roberto will turn it round, and so save the their egos – that way they won’t have to say they were wrong.

That said, for those who canÂ’t think beyond Martinez, IÂ’ll sketch a view of what we need. We need a manager who can organise, playing a canny game that takes advantage of our strengths and the opponentÂ’s weaknesses. The quality in the team is there, so I donÂ’t think weÂ’re talking a mega-task for the new manager (though that will change as time drifts). Would they be a long term solution? Not necessarily. TheyÂ’d need to keep us safe, with style as a secondary competence. Once we got 40 points, then they can show us what they have. In the summer, we regroup, take stock and then plan for the future. In short, I think a half-competent manager could get that team organised and hard to beat, with a decent enough array of attacking options.

Could such a manager squeeze some pips out of the challenging fixtures we face? Yes. The Roberto apologists seem to think that all games must be won in Barcelona style. News flash for them: a ground-out, bus-parked point against a top team would, in our position, be be very useful.

So, instead of writing off Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal, as one of the chief apologists does, we instead target them for useful draws. It is not a question of panicking and shrieking "But it is Bobby or nothing...without him weÂ’re doomed, DOOMED!!!!" Such people need to get a grip. Everton is more than one man.

Nor is it a question of being cowed by those who trumpet, "But what of the long term vision, what of our culture? Only Bobby can deliver that. A replacement would kill the great oneÂ’s new School of Science!" What rot. We are in deep trouble. If you want culture in the Championship, go support Wigan. I, as the majority of EvertonianÂ’s agree, want pragmatism today and culture when weÂ’re ready. There is no Bobby School of Science. He almost made one, but messed it up. Maybe thatÂ’s something to aim for in the closed season, once weÂ’re safe. But now we need points, not meaningless possession stats.

What those in denial donÂ’t fully appreciate yet is that we are in a relegation fight, that the clock is ticking, that every point counts and that the time for half-measures, patience and positive-Robertoisms is over.

In 1994 we made a gutsy call, early. Wigan swallowed the Roberto BS, with his team of apologists winning him the time to drag Wigan down. Their chairman dithered, despite saying in January 2013 that heÂ’d sack Martinez if he had to. Blue Bill canÂ’t make the same mistake.

LetÂ’s make sure we stick to our history, make the tough call, and ignore those apologists that prevaricate with specious, ego-centric arguments. Their time is done. COYB!

Ian Bennett
124 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:51:11
Gavin 163 - I agree on the three players needed. Whether Martinez or someone else manages the rest of the season we will do nothing relying on Howard, Robles, Distin, Alcaraz, and diddy squat on the left wing.
Jamie Barlow
126 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:41:10
How about instead of not really being bothered if Everton lose a few more games on the bounce so Roberto gets the sack, we can hope for a few wins on the bounce so we can see some confidence come back into the side. We might even start to play as we did last season. Might.
Kieran Riding
127 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:06:37
Come on Bob, give us a name ?
Bob Heyward
129 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:07:37
@ Kieran when you justify the statement Â’our dressing room is in tatters, TWO of our big players want out, [but] I wonÂ’t name namesÂ’. Come on, Kieran. Name names!
Mike Allison
130 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:11:27
Jamie, apparently Martinez isnÂ’t that arsed if we lose, and as long as he maintains his principles, thatÂ’s all that matters.

All I really want is some acknowledgement from him that he needs to learn and adapt, and maybe do things differently, but he seems to think he knows everything there is to know about football already, and that heÂ’s realised defending and pressing are obsolete when all those other idiots still practice it.

All Evertonians would back their team through a bad spell, but this current regime almost seem to be denying that there is a problem, and putting it down to bad luck.

Bob Heyward
133 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:13:40
@Jamie - that time has been and gone in December. HeÂ’s out of time. Go through the fixture list and see how you think Roberto will do... and remember, we canÂ’t beat Hull away or Stoke at home, have shipped more goals than anyone except QPR, and currently have he worst form of any team in the Premier League.

Whistling against the wind is no longer an option. He has to go.

Andy Walker
134 Posted 04/01/2015 at 16:09:28
I think the use of the word Â’apologistÂ’ needs to be put into context.

It was first used by anti Moyes fans to describe anyone, including myself, who used to defend Moyes against fans who attacked him for such crimes as:

Not winning a match by more goals, just winning.
Winning using the wrong style of play.
Only ever finishing 4/5/6th in the EPL.
Having ginger hair.
Being dour.

Now call me what you like, but I donÂ’t believe labelling fans who felt Moyes was doing a decent job, Â’apologistsÂ’ was remotely justified. It was the mentality of dreamers and the prejudiced who just didnÂ’t seem to want to be happy watching our team win most of the games it played. I still have no idea why Moyes was vilified by some and then we had the BU who came onto the scene and stuck the knife in at the time we were doing very well, again what that was all about I will never know, but it served to support the anti fans at that time.

Moyes was not beyond criticism, the debacle against Wigan being an example, but the criticism should have been based on reasonable, thoughtful opinion, not the bollocks listed above.

Now the situation is very different. Our team is performing the worst in the league on current form, loosing 4 league matches on the trot for the first time in 10 years, relegation being a distinct possibility if it continues, a manager looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights when interviewed and making no cohesive comment, (rather a contradictory diatribe), picking players out of position, an inability to adapt the style of play, overseeing the building of the oldest squad in the EPL, and a series of terrible buys in transfer market. In other words itÂ’s now clear to many fans that we are in the shit due to mismanagement.

At the current time there is a shed load of real hard evidence that can be seen and used to justifiably criticise Martinez. Simply choosing to ignore the reality would in my opinion be akin to criticising Moyes for winning 1-0.

Of course the negatives against Martinez need to be balanced against the positives, but I have to say I think the case for Martinez is extremely weak. Winning the FA Cup was down to a very kind draw and ironically, our team and a City side that didnÂ’t turn up on the day. The record points total last season was due to there being many very poor teams in the EPL that were simply fodder for the top 7. 34 points kept a team up and 40 points got 13th place, so a truely unique EPL season unlikely to be repeated for many years. The performance last season was good, but the inherent culture from the Moyes era will certainly have played a significant part, culture doesnÂ’t get changed in a few weeks, it takes months. This season itÂ’s MartinezÂ’s team, his backroom staff, his culture and the responsibility for our teamÂ’s performance lies firmly on his shoulders.

So I donÂ’t think there is much weight in the case for the defence of Martinez. Should fans apologise for defending him? Of course not we all have our opinions, I just think the evidence speaks volumes.

Rob Halligan
135 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:16:48
Kieran, it implies to me anyway, that it means Everton are playing there, or going there anyway, at the end of the month. Though, I suppose Gerry doesnÂ’t say which month?
Tony Dove
138 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:27:44
Sorry to interrupt the chat between everybody. I tend to make a point,which gets ignored, so donÂ’t establish a thread. West Ham will play a weakened side on Tuesday as they are beginning to show their true colours in the league.

If we donÂ’t get a result then or in the games against Man City and WBA, Roberto will have to go. I donÂ’t really want to this happen but RM has to show heÂ’s got some balls. If not Joe Royle and maybe Sheeds or Unsworth as assistant to save us.

Colin Grierson
140 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:40:23
Tony, I think they might rest a few players and I agree it is a game we need to win. RM has to get his team to fight for the ball and then move it quicker. I would also like to see him mix it up a bit. Play the odd ball over the top for Lukaku to run on to. If things stay the same.... We'll just have to see what BK does.
Colin Glassar
141 Posted 04/01/2015 at 17:38:16
That's the spirit Max Murphy #110. If we win it's a fluke, if we lose or draw it reinforces your call to get him sacked. Cutting off your nose to spite your face comes to mind.
Sean Price
142 Posted 05/01/2015 at 07:02:50
Watching Arsenal vs Hull City.... nice to see players trying to score from corners.

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