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Knackered – Physios' warnings going unheeded?

05/01/2015  Comments (110)  jump
Many reasons and ideas are put forward for Everton's current demise and plenty of solutions are proffered but it doesn't matter how much ability a player or a team have — if they're not fit, they won't be able to reach their full potential.

The Saint Rookwood blog links the departure of three key medical staff, chief among them Danny Donachie, at Everton to the mounting problems of injuries and lack of fitness that have blighted this season. The article concludes:

Put simply, if there's one consistent change from last season to this for Martinez's men, it's this; they look knackered, often even as they start. “Lethargic” has been an over-used word in press reports on the Blues this season. Last season, Everton played attractive, expansive football but they did so with pace and purpose, driven forwards by the physical capacity of the players. The men who oversaw that capacity are now gone.

Why Danny Donachie chose to go now, rather than with Billows and Tashjian in the summer, we can't know for certain. Everton started the season with the manager stating his objective as challenging for a Champions League spot; after four straight league defeats and having taken only four points from the last 24, the team are clearly not fit for that purpose.

Why these three men left the club, two of them in the last seven months, isn't a matter of public record. But whilst Martinez's Everton continue to suffer injury after injury and to limp from one lethargic performance to the next, it will surely remain a matter for speculation.

Via Patrick Murphy. Read the full article at Saint Rookwood Blog


Reader Comments (110)

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Paul Tran
2 Posted 05/01/2015 at 11:51:38
An interesting read, particularly when you think of Phil WallingÂ’s phrase Â’academic chancerÂ’.

His mismanagement of player fitness has done for us this season. It will either cost him his job, or a forced change of direction. But then who is there to force him?

IÂ’m beginning to wonder if Martinez got his physio qualification from a market stall.

Kevin Tully
3 Posted 05/01/2015 at 12:05:46
ThatÂ’s an incredible read. It was obvious there was falling out when Donachie left the club after 10 years, but this takes the conspiracy theories to a whole new level.

I argued with many on here about our pre-season preparations, saying that professional outfits do not leave these things to chance – it looks like I was completely wrong (again!)

Not looking good, is it?

Derek Thomas
4 Posted 05/01/2015 at 11:55:53
ItÂ’s all Â’alleged Â’ and Â’circumstancalÂ’ then we weigh in with the Â’rumoursÂ’ of bust-ups and player disatisfaction. Plus the Â’self incriminationÂ’ from Martinez eg not changing etc. Plus the evidence of my/our own eyes

Not that I needed any convincing, the evidence of my own eyes was enough, the rest was just the Icing on the cake as it where.

Roberto Phenominal passit Martinez, this court finds you GUILTY!

CLANG

Michael Penley
5 Posted 05/01/2015 at 12:21:32
This part is interesting:

Martinez instead preferred ball work, telling Everton fansite GrandOldTeam.com that he thought that "to get the footballer fit, means you need to work with the ball; if just thinking, youÂ’re going to do a run, running action without the ball, is going to use different muscle than you do with the ball so for me itÂ’s pointless to run and run and run or to do an exercise that is not linked to football."

So when in possession, the 10 players who donÂ’t have the ball and are running arenÂ’t playing football? What about when not in possession? Are the same "ball" muscles used then? It just doesnÂ’t make any sense.

Brent Stephens
6 Posted 05/01/2015 at 12:40:24
All should read! That really adds weight to the view about our lack of fitness and the questions as to why we have so many soft-tissue (hamstring) injuries. Now we seem to have a very strong argument as to why.

"The 18 hamstring injuries directly correlate with the time Billows [one of the medical men] has been absent from the club." - WOW! MÂ’Lud, if I may explore this further?

Paul Thompson
7 Posted 05/01/2015 at 14:10:13
This is a bloody important piece of the puzzle... What a convincing and depressing read.
John Zapa
8 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:01:52
The perfect storm has hit this season.
1: Incompetent manager
2: poor preseason
3: old squad
4: new signings flop
5: lots of injuries, which the article somewhat explains.
6: plenty of bad refereeing decisions

I still donÂ’t think it will end in relegation, only because there are at least 3 worse teams below.

Liam Reilly
9 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:09:36
Pre-season for me is the biggest culprit.

IÂ’m a supporter of RM but he got this horribly wrong. The side started way back in the fitness stakes and have never truly recovered. When the stats show just before the QPR tie that Everton were second in the table on first half performances; itÂ’s clear that the players are not reaching the same levels in the second halves and overexertionÂ’s are leading to these injuries.

Now coupled with fitness problems; the players have no confidence on the football then itÂ’s a recipe for doom.

We need an ugly win from somewhere and quickly.

James Stewart
10 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:19:49
Interesting but deeply depressing read. Considering we used to be one of the fittest teams in the league under those coaches and now look like a bunch of geriatrics...
Mark Rankin
11 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:29:08
Gone through gutted phase and I now accept we are not going to trouble top half of the table.

I Think ToffeeWebbers need to do the same and get behind the manager and the club and stop bleating.

John Keating
12 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:30:29
There may well be something in this interesting article.

We all have our different opinions on Martinez regarding tactics and team setups, however, one thing I think nobody can disagree with is our appalling fitness levels.

Maybe we need a clone of Moyes and Martinez?

Max Wilson
13 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:24:35
It might be weÂ’ve had put into place another important piece in the puzzle. Can we now see the picture? It could be that our players need protection in the light of the current lack of expertise. Van Gaal is supposed to work his players very hard in training but one doesnÂ’t hear of influencing medics and physios.

The loss of backroom staff at GP has been a worry for lots of us supporters. If only we knew the full story.

John Gee
14 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:13:35
Explains a lot. Although the players are professionals so maybe MartinezÂ’s view is that their levels of fitness is their responsibility and training is not for stamina but for practise.

Whatever, heÂ’s had 6 months plus to figure all these out. LetÂ’s face it, weÂ’re forensically examining a corpse not diagnosing a patient. HeÂ’s got 3 games maximum left and thatÂ’s only if performances improve.

After the 72-point haul last season it really did look like he might be "the one" but, like Mary Jane Rottencrotch, heÂ’s just breaking hearts.

Andrew Ellams
15 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:44:29
Mak Rankin @ 11, if this manager canÂ’t get even the current crop of players into the top half, which for me wouldnÂ’t even achieve the minimum objective, then he should be gone. If this article is even close to how things are, then again, he should be shown the door.
Ray Roche
16 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:54:02
Myself and others have commented on our complete lack of fitness and shambles of a pre-season and this article confirms our worst fears. Martinez must be the most arrogant tool weÂ’ve had, dispensing with what were clearly important members of our set up because he thinks he knows best.

The proof is on the pitch. Unfit players, injured and obviously unhappy with things as they are and wondering where the next win will come from. If I had any doubts about Martinez, then that article has just made my mind up.

Phil Walling
17 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:28:52
I suppose that if you are going to play Â’passenaccioÂ’ at a snailÂ’s pace there is little reason to be super-fit.

Most of us can think back to testimonial matches that used to employ long retired stars as the opposition to the current squad. We wondered at their fabulous ball control and ability to pick a pass and all agreed that the likes of Glen Hoddle and Martin Dobson Â’retired too soonÂ’!

But, of course, they didnÂ’t. Because if such skills as tackling and closing down had been allowed, most of them wouldÂ’ve left the field in a trice.

Martinez is right. Players hone their ball skills by playing with the ball. But when was the beautiful game just about ball skills?

All the successful sides we have seen over the years have been blessed with supreme fitness, football nouce and, would you believe it, the ability to shoot and take an effective corner and free-kick.

So, take any of these out of your teamÂ’s skill-set to focus on just passenachio and you are immediately at the mercy of all those old-fashioned coaches who see some merit in mixing it up and who – God forbid – still like to see their players fit enough to run about a bit.

Mike Allison
18 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:07:10
Wow, and I thought attacking, defending and set pieces were the only basics of football Martinez didnÂ’t understand. It turns out he doesnÂ’t understand basic fitness either.
Colin Glassar
19 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:34:19
18 posts, so far, and not one of you has pointed out that it may be the other way around. We are notoriously slow getting players back to full fitness. Maybe, just maybe, it might mean these guys aren't up to the task and have had a few easy years when no one has challenged their professional complacency? There's always two sides to a story. When it's convenient of course.
Les Fitzpatrick
20 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:25:48
A deafening silence from Blue Bill, as usual.

All the evidence is there, for all to see, and sitting down in London or wherever twiddling thumbs will not make the problems go away.

C'mon, Bill — it's time to take drastic measures and boot this loser of a manager out.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:38:43
Colin, I'm always open to other interpretations but I'm probably being a bit obtuse and need that one explaining further. Are you saying they are actually being pushed harder in training than under the Scottish manager? Wouldn't McCarthy (now with said soft-tissue injury) have been trained at Wigan in the same way as now? I really don't understand.
Ian Burns
22 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:32:31
Since my open letter to RM on TW last July/August about his appalling pre-season and it being the precursor to a disastrous campaign and my recent posts for him to leave, this piece leaves me simply shaking my head in disbelief.

I thought the Garbutt remarks were enlightening but this takes the biscuit.

It is not a question for any true blue to want him to fail – we want nothing but our club to be successful and that includes RM at the helm but the fact is that it is not going to happen and the rest of this season of debacle will be watched through my fingers just knowing where we are heading.

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:45:23
No Brent I'm not talking about training/fitness issues. I'm saying that going some way back now, probably to the Rathbone era, when our players get a "knock" they tend to disappear for months on end.

This is not a new phenomena. Why is Gibson always injured? Why has Pienaar disappeared? Wtf is wrong with Hibbo and Ossie? It's not just this season, it's been going on for years.

Martinez did say a few weeks ago he was going to look into the delays of certain players coming back and the reasons why. Maybe he interrupted a poker game and a fag break?

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:54:23
Colin, if you're saying the number of soft-tissue injuries are similar to previous seasons, then you might be right but my gut feel is that we've never had so many. Any stats, I wonder? (sorry, I'm lazy!).
Dave Hall
25 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:59:08
Thank God for you Colin Glassar – couldn't agree more. Maybe it's the medical staff who weren't doing their jobs and were managed out deliberately instead of the contagious opinion of everything Martinez touches must be shite?

Truth is we don't know and whether they left in protest or were forced out after poor performance with injury management and rehab is impossible to find out without more facts and less inference.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:58:26
Not sure about stats for soft tissue injuries, Brent. All I'm saying is that our physio dept has generally been pretty slow (to put it mildly) in getting our players out of the treatment room and back onto the pitch.

This has been a problem for a long time now and it might be a case that something's being done to solve this.

Steavey Buckley
27 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:59:49
Nothing can excuse Everton players from making so many mistakes and not passing the ball properly. A good team is always first described as a team that passes the ball well. Everton after all beat Wolfsburg, home and away, so the fitness of the players can't be all that bad.
Brent Stephens
28 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:05:46
Colin, ok I see what you're saying. But I'm still left with what we're told in the Saint Rookwood Blog – that we've had the most hammies in the Prem in the last 18 months; that those 18 injuries coincide with the time medicine man Billows has been gone from Everton; and that Donachie referred to the perennial problem of having to guard against players and managers who want a player back from injury too soon.

Maybe I'm adding those things together and getting the wrong number?

Sean Kelly
29 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:05:18
Fitness is only one aspect of whatÂ’s gone wrong. Wrong tactics and playing players in wrong positions also are featured this season. Players are making too many mistake with the chief suspects being Barry and McGeady but keep making them knowing Martinez wonÂ’t drop them. This has led to players being pissed off as Roberto had his favourites.
Dave Harrison
30 Posted 05/01/2015 at 16:43:10
I agree Martinez is making mistakes and he seems to have lost his balls to make tactical attacking changes.
But who says Martinez fired these three guys? Who says that Danny Donachie didn't get on with Martinez and his team and was waiting to get another opportunity before resigning....by the way, was he in the set up with Baz Rathbone (who Moyes sacked after years and years at Everton and Preston) and since when is the physio responsible for fitness and training programmes....yes I'm sure he feeds into it but...
Yes, I think fitness coach left in summer but was he sacked or resigned for a better opportunity or a change of scenery.....if he resigned, did we have a back up instantly available...probably not....
I believe our goalkeeping coach resigned for pastures new last summer so it does happen...and no one complained about that during last season....(is goalkeeping coach a bad example after this season???).

Could it be we are suffering from a hangover from the world cup...certainly our key players in the spine of the team are suffering this season with form, injuries or both (Howard, Jags, Baines, Berkley, Miralas, Lukaku)......all of them would have reported back to training after rest of team......so wouldn't have been in the hands of this great physio in pre-season anyway. Besic has been playing well recently but to be fair although he was at world cup we didn't play him until November so he had plenty of time to rest!!!
Our small squad has had three players coming back from long term and serious injury - Kone, Gibson and Oviedo (do we add Alcaraz to that list too)
Three players who just seem off the pace this year (Distin, Barry and Pienaar)
Atsu and Eto'o weren't part of our pre-season anyway.
By the way, I have named 16 of our 25 first team squad...only ones not mentioned are Scottish or Irish (and/or sh1t)!

So two teams are flying away in the league.
Man United -> no European football and not many injuries to key players
Southampton -> ditto and no world cup players either
West Ham -> ditto
Swansea -> ditto
Tottenham -> have a massive squad (and not many at World Cup) and have struck lucky with Harry Kane

Season ticket holder at Blackpool tells me Lundstrom couldn't get in the team, and Kennedy was sub for 10 of his 16 Hibs games...so lets not think their returning has anything to do with being the answer, its more to do with finding them a League One club to get some game time!!!

COYB

Tony Waring
31 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:07:41
If this is true and the article is based on fact I would like to know if the same symptoms were visible at Wigan and Swansea. The other thing that intrigues me is that RM knows a bit about Spanish football. Whenever I watch La Liga on TV I am struck by the intensity of the players approach and nonstop running. Does RM take nothing from that ?
Ben Howard
32 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:04:45
I haven’t suddenly completely given up on Martinez but I do feel foolish fo being so sucked in at the beginning. I distinctly remember hearing his statement about working with the ball early in pre-season and thinking it another masterstroke and as far removed from our previous ’PE teacher’ as possible. However, I’m not a physio and have no real idea about how to prepare a prime athlete for the rigours of a premiership season. Others within the club obviously did though and maybe did speak out and found themselves ostracised for not towing the line.

I never chastised our former manager like some did but I also feel guilty for not recognizing some of his positive attributes in the early dawn of our new manager’s vision.

Maybe it’s a trait of all managers that they are unable to deviate from their vision, as Moyes was also guilty of this, but Moyes desperately needs to learn from his mistakes if he is going to be a great manager.

I still believe that his ethos (with some tinkering) is worth pursuing, especially because it seems to encompass an ’academy up’ playing style, but he desperately needs to get a win soon or I feel he is doomed and will totally lose the dressing room. And we all know it’s game over when that happens.

Brian Hennessy
33 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:04:44
Colin, On the evidence we have so far, McCarthy, Stones and Pienear were all brought back too soon from injuries and we are now paying the price.

I take your point that there are always two sides to the story but based on their workrate and the fact that we seem to fade in games, I really think there is no argument that this current side are nowhere near the fitness levels we saw during the Moyes years.

Gibson is a different matter entirely, i'd say if he was a snooker or darts player he would still miss most of the season with injury.

Ben Howard
34 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:18:34
'But Martinez desperately needs to learn from his mistakes if he is going to be a great manager.'
Mike Oates
35 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:22:47
Interestingly, Newcastle with Dave Billows in charge of fitness have the highest number of players out at moment and most with Hamstring / Soft tissue injuries. What next ?

http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php

Kevin Tully
36 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:22:01
If you ever want to compare injury lists, this is a good site ; Link

At least we are second in this table! Seriously though, some of this can be down to pure bad luck, but 18 hamstring injuries does point to some sort of underlying problem.

I wouldn’t hold up Man Utd as a good example though, they have had the most injuries this season I believe.

Ray Roche
37 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:17:42
Collin Glassar, Dave Hall, I think that the stat (below) from the full article indicates that methods changed after Martinez’s arrival. And with Martinrz seeming to rush players back from injury, as witnessed in the Derby game debacle last season and McCarthy coming back too soon this, professional medical people employed by the club appear to be at odds with him and his methods, don’t you think? Whether they were sacked or resigned due to a fall out with him is open to question.

"One stat which went unheralded until recently was that in the 18 months of Martinez’s tenure, the Everton squad had been hit with 18 hamstring injuries – more than anyone else in the league – whereas previously Everton had a good record in this area."

Martin O\Sullivan
38 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:14:36
Arguments, disagreements etc. set aside, a club as big as us should not be allowing these things to happen, we should always be looking for the next best thing, and as we always say no one is bigger than the club. We should be operating In the elite of sports science and fitness, so for whatever reason these people left, if they are the reason for our fatigued and lazy players we should never of allowed it to happen or to effect us. Just another gross mismanagement from board and managers and not preparing ( like pre season ) for events to come. We are the makers of our own failings.
All the fans knew we needed a European winger, defender and a new keeper to seriously challenge Howard, so we spent all our money on lukaku!!! Just wow!!!!
Lyndon Lloyd
39 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:35:01
Tony (31), Chris Smith touched on his injury record in issue 2 of 1878 Magazine in October.

Regarding the issue over Donachie's departure specifically (and in light of the above linked article), I'm led to believe you need look no further than Wolfsburg away when McCarthy had to come off after half an hour. He should never have started that game.

Colin Glassar
40 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:40:03
Ray, if they're the stats for hamstring injuries then something is definitely wrong on the training side. I think arsenal have had similar problems as well recently.
My point was, traditionally we've been slow getting players back from 'minor' injuries.
Brian, I agree that some players appear to have been rushed back but I'd like to know if this has been a managerial decision or has it been taken after consulting with the physio's?
Whoever is to blame its been handled very unprofessionally IMO.
Mark Griffiths
41 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:27:06
Off-topic but I heard a rumour today from a physio (believe it or not) who gets bits of news about the club through his dad and it maybe that coleman to utd in jan with janjuaz (spelling) coming in on loan?
Alan Peake
42 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:53:12
Stones was definitely brought back to soon – when he blocked a cross in front of where I sit in the Park End, he winced with pain when the ball hit his foot, and now I hear he is fit again for tomorrow.
Ray Roche
43 Posted 05/01/2015 at 17:59:17
Collin, click on the blue "Saint Rockwood Blog" at the bottom of the article at the start of this thread for the full article. Disturbing reading.
John Keating
44 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:01:09
If we forget the injury aspect of the article for a moment what is the excuse for players being knackered after 70 minutes ?
I seem to remember last season, also seasons under Moyes, that we scored a hell of a lot of late goals coming on strong in the last 15 minutes.
We stopped playing after 70 minutes or so in the first game of the season at Leicester, the Arsenal game...well unbelievable, and nothing seems to have improved.
Wayne Smyth
45 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:25:36
Did Wigan have shit fitness levels?
Mark Rankin
46 Posted 05/01/2015 at 15:31:25
Surely age has got to come into it, whilst Martinez is not without fault a few important players have fallen off a cliff in terms of form. Hope we have a bit of luck and turn it around with Roberto becoming a Goodison legend.
Dave Harrison
47 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:20:26
There is no doubt fitness is playing its part - whether injuries meaning people aren't on the pitch or energy levels when they are on it.....
However, why is the assumption that these guys were forced out and that their methods are right?
I've just read more and more about Billows and Tashjian.....Billows has got a bigger job (he was after all reporting into Danny D), and Tashjian has gone home to US to a pretty lucrative number in MLS......and looks like he moves jobs every couple of years to freshen up...
Who says Billows was a positive influence...read the Newcastle fan site blaming him for their injury list! He's that good I'd never heard of him before this thread!

I assume last seasons energy levels were due to the pre-season preparation that David Moyes left us with and Martinez happily came in and just let happen.....I seem to recall Jagielka praising Martinez for new training methods and training at times of matches etc to acclimatise...

I'm as worried as the next, but don't think fan negativity at GP tomorrow will help the blues!

Allez, Allez, Allez oh....

Darren Hind
49 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:54:13
Colin Glassar

Read the report mate.

You got all upset yesterday when somebody used the word Aplogist, yet you come and vigourously defend Martinez without knowing what you are defending him against

Do as Ray #43 suggests. It really is worrying stuff

Steve Harris
50 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:55:40
I keep reading about "there's 3 teams worse than us" but who are they? Hull, who beat us in a canter last week? Leicester who just gave a more impressive performance at Anfield than we have for 16 years? Burnley who are showing more grit and determination (and pace!) then we have at any time of the season? I really hope you are right but it sounds like, on current form, a very blinkered view
Lee Gorre
51 Posted 05/01/2015 at 19:11:47
Dave Billows went to head up Newcastle's fitness set up, they have a lot of players out don't they?
Peter Laing
52 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:57:31
The situation seems to mirror to some extent the problems Moyes faced at Man United when he virtually cleared out the back room staff and was left with poisonous and divisive influence of the senior pro's in the squad who evidently did not buy into his new methods. One issue I have though, if we are to site James McCarthy as a prime example it is evident that Martinez is over reliant upon the Glaswegian - expecting / willing him on to play almost every game. This in my opinion is in part due to the lack of adequate cover in this area with the perennially crocked Gibson offering little if any in the way of competition.

As with all problems there are likely to be multi-factorial problems at play, the lack of strength in depth and Everton's paper thin squad in terms of quality once again comes back to bite the Club, Manager and supporters on the arse with sub standard performances.

Sid Logan
53 Posted 05/01/2015 at 18:35:52
After reading this, apart feeling even more depressed, a number of things come immediately to mind.
The first is that it convinces me that, despite being a very personable guy, Martinez is completely up his own arse. He seems to think that because of his superior knowledge he can dispense with support people without any problem.
Losing fitness coaches isn’t a problem because, of course, he is a qualified phsiotherapist.
Secondly the belief that training mainly with the ball, which has been a deep rooted Spanish footballing philosophy for some time (particularly at Barcelona) is appropriate to the rigours of the English Premiership as it is today. Personally, and recognising the success of German teams, I very much doubt if in the wider football world whther it continues the same credibility that it was once afforded.
Thirdly it’s not only fitness people who have not been replaced - there are well respected coaches such as Alan Stubbs and Alan Irvine who have apparently not needed to be replaced.
In the latter years of World War II Adolph Hitler took to taking over the duties of many of his generals (who had previously brought him great success) with increasingly disasterous results. The sign of a huge egotist.
In Martinez’ case he is starting to look like both an egotist and - because of his inflexibility in the face of a newly emerging football concepts - a bit of a dinasaur in a modernist cloak.
Ian Riley
54 Posted 05/01/2015 at 19:38:32
Complete lack of discipline!

A season with70+ games and we couldn't get the players fit. How does this happen? The players face another 25+ games with the pressure of staying away from the bottom three. Its to late to think about fitness levels, no time with games coming so quickly.

Pre season sums up the half way point of the season. A mess!

Dave Harrison
55 Posted 05/01/2015 at 20:00:57
Sid, have you spoken to Martinez to know all that?
How do you know he is being manager, fitness coach and physio due to his superior knowledge?
How do you know Stubbs and Irvine haven't been replaced?
Maybe people are already in post and you don't know
Maybe he has sights on various coaches, medical staff etc but they are currently contracted elsewhere or serving notice

A lot of assumptions being made to disparage the manager with no foundation or fact ...

Steve Guy
56 Posted 05/01/2015 at 20:20:13
I didn't think I could get more depressed... then I read the Blog. Followtonian podcast then takes me to the edge... if Ped can't see a half full glass we are in trouble.

Anyone who thinks what we are seeing at the moment is not relegation form... please think again. RM may get it right in the end (though I doubt it) but our Club can't afford to wait and find out.

RM and ostriches are displaying similar behaviours. Get your head out the sand, Roberto, or get in the next taxi passing Goodison for all our sakes!

Sid Logan
57 Posted 05/01/2015 at 20:24:44
Dave, #55
Only by observation and everything I've read plus the disaster I've seen enfolding on the pitch. But please, if you have information that things I've said are incorrect, let me know!
Harold Matthews
58 Posted 05/01/2015 at 20:38:14
Difficult to understand how a squad with so little acceleration gets so many hamstring problems. Something is definitely not right.
Peter Jansson
59 Posted 05/01/2015 at 20:49:16
Just face the facts. Everton have a problem with fitness now and they have had it since the summer.

Another fact is that under Moyes no team in the League could not run us out becuause the players fitness and stamina was great. The only mistake Moyes did was to train the players too hard in the summer, so results at the beginning of the campaign was bad. But as the season went on Everton started to play better and better. We always had good second Seasons.

Now I don't see that the fitness levels will be good at any point this season. As with football strategy we seem to be totally lost.

The lack of point is not coincidence or bad luck, it is statistics. We let the opponents get too many good chances over 90 minutes, so the likelyhood that they will score is too big. On the other hand we don't create so many chances we should to produce enough goals to win. To win games in the long run you need to create more goal scoring chances than the opponents. That does not happen at the moment, and has not happen for a long while.

The reasons for this are plentyfull but the main reasons for this are as I see it:
1. Fitness levels are not good enough.
2. Not using a good football strategy (playing the same and same strategy again and again no matter if it works or not).
3. Players are not used at their best positions.
then you can break all these this down to more detailed problems.

To say that training running without the ball is pointless is one of the most stupid comments I have heard in my life. It does not matter how you train as long as you run as hell when there is a game. You win football games by running over your opponents. That is how you create chances... running, running and running. The more you run the more confused the opponents become and the more chances you are likely to get. The more chances you get, the more goals you score.

Peter Jansson
60 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:06:34
#56 Steve, I am seriously worried about relegation. We were Lucky to get beaten only 2-0 to Hull. It could definitely have been worse, due to many individual errors, specifically in the beginning of the first half.
Peter Jansson
61 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:08:12
And one more thing. Jelavic looked totally unfit his last season at Everton, being exhausted after only 20 min. Now he looks fit again.... how come?
Clive Rogers
62 Posted 05/01/2015 at 20:52:03
Colin,
Surely the Osman, Hibbert and Piennaar injuries are age related. The first two will be 34 by the end of the season and the latter 33.
Clive Rogers
63 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:10:28
By the way, they'll all be there next season!!!
Kunal Desai
64 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:09:07
Isn't it so refreshing to watch some of these lower sides like AFC Wimbledon. They press high up, play a high intensity game, close down the opposition, the players are hungry for the ball, set pieces and corners are well delivered as well. These are the basics and we are failing on all these aspects. Can you imagine Barry in midfield against these lot, he would get torn to shreds.
Sam Hoare
65 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:25:42
I'm less concerned by injuries, which surely are determined in large part by chance, than I am by general fitness.

This season we have lost several points from winning positions. We have recovered very few from losing positions. We always look a bit knackered around the 70 min mark. And most worryingly there is a general lack of sharpness and intensity permeating all our play. I'd like to see the stats but I bet we cover less ground than a lot of prem teams (especially when missing McCarthy who has a fantastic engine).

Paul Dark
66 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:38:28
The odds really are stacking up against Mr Martinez. I hope he can prove sceptics like me wrong.
Tony Abrahams
67 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:49:35
Peter, I think Moyes had good first half, or good second half to a season, but never a prolonged period over nine months.

I remember his last season in charge when we lost to Norwich away, late February, and we looked shattered. I was at the time saying, that he flogged dead horses, and this was after a great first half to the season.

It was obvious to everyone that Everton were not fit at the start of this season, and maybe Martinez was trying to hold us back for the second half of this season? If that was the plan, it's backfired badly and unless results pick up quickly will probably cost him his job.

Remember our warm weather training last January, and everyone thinking the players would be flying when they returned. We looked lethargic then, but later went on a very good unbeaten run, and beat Man Utd who hadn't played for a fortnight, after playing our third game in a week.

Every manager rushes key players back from injury, but Jagielka wasn't rushed back when Stones came on the scene last year. For me, the two centrebacks and the keeper let the manager down early in the season, and maybe the senior pros might be the manager's biggest problem now? That is after himself of course, because if he doesn't get us out of this slump soon, he will be following the physio out the door.
I hope he gets it right because I think there is a very good manager in Martinez, but now is not a time for anymore talking, especially since he's even having a bad time doing that!

Sean Kelly
68 Posted 05/01/2015 at 22:18:06
Our fall from last season is mostly down to Martinez. Crap pre-season, crap tactics, crap defending as fuck all defensive training along with his refusal to drop players that clearly donÂ’t give a shit. New Year is with us and letÂ’s hope a new approach by Martinez.
Jim Lloyd
69 Posted 05/01/2015 at 21:58:32
Hang on a tad. Some posts have indicated that all our hamstring injuries coincided with the departure of Billows. He left before last season started according to a post on the original article. The writer accepted the point and agreed to amend the article.

There's a lot of issues here and I don't think the injuries we've had are the blame of Martinez. The hamstring injury to McCarthy has really shown up how much he protects the defence and the cover he provides for Barry.

Miralles was injured for a considerable time during Moyes tenure, so it's not a new thing for him to be out injured. Pinaar has been out for a long time (or several smaller runs) so we've had, well, I've said it before. we've had a lot of injuries to men who weren't injured as much last season.

I think that's the major problem we've had. I can't argue about the fitness as I'm not a fitness expert. All I'd say is that we look pedestrian a lot of the time now. Partly, I think it's because other teams have worked out who are our key men and closed up on them. partly to fairly lengthy injuries to those key men at times. Then the defenders, especially Jagielka and Distin are left passing the ball to each other until they eventually lose it in many cases.

I'd love to see us really go at teams and get right in their faces. Whether they don't because they're under Martinez' orders or whether we haven't had Pinaar and Miralles fit at the same time, for most of the season, is a debatable point but at the moment it is depressing, as I think we waste the talent that Lokuku has. Our defence is shown up without Barkley and McCarthy running from midfield.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on McGeady but it seems to me that he is one of the worst culprits I've seen for ages in regularly losing the ball, quite often without any tackle form the opposition To me that's deplorable but maybe he's always done that, I don't know.

So we have Miralles at the moment who I would consider a good winger. Even though Pienaar is maybe coming to the end, I think we miss him as well. That is why I think Baines has been nothing like as effective as last season. I don't think McGeady is good enough (hope I'm wrong) and we don't have any other wingers at the club until Pienaar is fit

I do think Martinez has to change our style, certainly while we have McCarthy injured. I'd hope we would use Besic more but the quicker Stones is back in defence and perhaps Oviedo can provide pace where we need it, going forward. Mind you, we need it in defence as well.

The technical term is we're up shit creek until we get everyone fit.

Brian Hennessy
70 Posted 05/01/2015 at 22:35:26
Got an email today from Everton FC - "Up to 75% OFF Sports Nutrition at The Protein Works"

Anyone got an email address for Roberto and Bill so I can forward it on to them, I know 15 or so players who could do with a lift...

Andrew Presly
71 Posted 05/01/2015 at 22:39:42
IÂ’m still just about pro-Martinez but this is worrying and does suggest some chaos behind the scenes. 3 genuine questions:

- Who ended up replacing Irvine as Academy head?
- Who are the current fitness coaches?
- Is Unsworth permanent u21s manager now? Stubbs brought him in as assistant and it seems like he has just kept turning up, never heard it confirmed he was taking over permanently.

These are all important roles which need doing properly by the best people we can get. WhatÂ’s going on?

James McPherson
72 Posted 05/01/2015 at 22:44:31
The hysteria around every aspect of this club is reaching new levels. We have nothing other than conjecture connecting injuries sustained to Martinez's regime. Forming opinions on matters such as this requires factual analysis. We know that we are not the most transparent of clubs so, sadly, we remain none the wiser. Having said that, I am in no way enjoying life under Martinez. Think the hysteria we are witnessing is borne out of sheer frustration and the extrapolation of Martinez's Wigan coming home to roost at Everton. Unlike this particular story, the evidence for this potentially happening is far more concrete. Certainly alienated as many fans as Moyes did...in a fraction of the time!
Anthony Jones
73 Posted 05/01/2015 at 23:39:42
If our players are generally unfit when compared to other PL squads then the competence of our management team has to be questioned. If it is true that Roberto does not believe in fitness training without the ball then we are well and truly shafted. The average player has the ball under their control for around 3 minutes per game.
Laurie Hartley
74 Posted 06/01/2015 at 01:23:01
Harold at 58 - that is a very pertinent question. Trust you to get straight to the point! Please don't think I am being trite when I say maybe the reason they are getting so many hamstring injuries is because they are not being trained to accelerate.

Now before anyone asks - I have no medical or training qualifications but I have had some personal experiences which involved me increasing my own flexibility, which when I read the Saint Rockwood Blog, rang some bells with me.

I am now 66 years of age. When I was a teenager I played rugby union and football. At the age of 20 I was as fit as a fiddle and had a good turn of speed. Despite that I was never able to touch my toes. I can now, in fact I can throw either leg up past hip height and touch my toes without warming up and without hurting myself. This is because my hamstrings are now longer when at rest than when I was 20.

Let me pause here for a moment and say that I believe if anyone is telling James McCarthy to stretch his hamstrings using conventional methods, they are doing him a great disservice. In fact they are compounding his problems.

This belief is founded on the philosophy of the great Moshe Feldenkrais. Have a read of this:
Link

Feldenkrais was of the opinion that stretching your hamstrings using conventional methods actually created microscopic tears in the muscle which when they healed had the effective of shortening the muscle.

Muscles work in pairs. They are designed in such a way that when one muscle contracts your brain tells it's partner to elongate. Feldenkrais' method is about reorganising your cerebral cortex through a system of simple an gentle exercises to improve your flexibility and quality of movement.

Many professional dancers use this method as part of their training regime.

Some may be interested in reading his quotes:
Link

Harold Matthews
75 Posted 06/01/2015 at 03:35:48
Laurie. Thanks for pointing the way to enlightenment on this intriguing issue. The thoughts and words of a master are always to be treasured.
Laurie Hartley
76 Posted 06/01/2015 at 03:52:44
Aww thanks Harold (I wish you could put those smiley things on a ToffeeWeb post).

Up the Blues!

Cindy Cole
77 Posted 06/01/2015 at 04:37:24
Laurie, you say "in fact I can throw either leg up past hip height and touch my toes without warming up and without hurting myself."

But can you crack walnuts at the same time?

This Feldenkrais seems to know what he's talking about. It could explain why half our team have one leg shorter than the other. Maybe they should do more dancing during training.

Laurie Hartley
78 Posted 06/01/2015 at 05:36:05
Cindy, I knew I shouldn't have said that. Smiley Thingy.
Chad Schofield
79 Posted 06/01/2015 at 06:23:08
Hmmm, well I read all of the comments here, the article and the original article. In my opinion many of the "facts" cited and conclusions drawn show massive signs of confirmation bias.

The original physio article does not seem angled, and yet the blog turns "...when players are over or under-worked" into a clear indication of "The 18 hamstring injuries directly correlate with the time Billows has been absent from the club."

So how about we correlate this to the extra games of The Europa League... as in over working rather than under working? Sounds like I'm changing the narrative right?

But let's look at two stories featuring Leon: "Our form hasn't been great recently. We have had injuries..." Britton, from around this time last year when Swsnsea were in The Europa League. What you don't know is everything he's ever said? Probably Martinez's fault for not bringing him to Wigan and then us. Please read both articles in full before responding:

Article 1 Article 2

Anyway, I think there's a pretty easy way to answer the questions raised, and here's the conclusive proof!

Danny Donachie moved on only last week, but if he was so highly regarded by Moyes, then why was he not part of his backroom staff at Man Utd? This sounds harsh against someone who's served our club for a decade or so, but it's the easy thing to point out... I mean it's not even like he's been a part of The Moyesiah's big Barcelona win either. For what it's worth, I wish Donachie luck.

What of Steve Tashjian? Well he's back at Columbus... but perhaps he could be blamed with Saha, Rodwell and Vaughan injuries given he arrived 2009-10. He also didn't go with Moyes to Man Utd, probably fortunately for him – but it begs the question, right?!

Finally, Dave Billows who joined Newcastle in the summer. Yeah, they had a brilliant start didn't they.

Again, none were taken with Moyes, Irvine didn't swoop in while at West Brom and neither Man City/Chelsea/PSG or even Oldham Athletic stole in to get these guys. Yet they're made out as some kind of crack team to shoehorn in an attack on Martinez.

Yes, I respect these guys for helping Everton... but I have no idea if they're realky any good because I never worked with them nor do I work in their fields. Instead a fairly generic article about the holistic wellbeing of players v's the commercial pressures of working for a professional club in an ever-evolving big pharma/sports science landscape, has been sliced into "proof" that our manager us an idiot.

Sorry, I don't buy it.

James Kirrane
80 Posted 06/01/2015 at 08:49:50
Does anyone know who or if anyone has replaced the physio and fitness coaches? What really surprises me about our players who suffer from hamstring problems such as Coleman, McCarthy and Mirallas is none of them wear compression tights under their shorts. I am not certain about the accuracy of their claims, but according to the Skins manufacturer the compression tights:

SKINS A200 men's compression half tights with gradient compression do more than just moisture transportation and temperature regulation like a normal sportswear. They offer support and put gradual pressure on the muscles around the targeted area. They help improve blood circulation and increase oxygen supply to the muscles. As a result, these tights help build speed, power and endurance and aid in faster recovery. They also help reduce muscle vibration, offer relief from muscle pain and reduce the risk of injury.

I have worn them for a couple of years after tearing a hamstring playing amateur football and they feel great and I have had no recurrence of the injury.

Maybe somebody could recommend them to the Everton medical department, that's if we still have one.

Ray Roche
81 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:26:59
Chad@79.

Re Donachie, Billows and Tashjian not following Moyes. Maybe they were happy at Everton. Maybe Man Utd, in particular, wanted to keep their own backroom medical staff and made this clear to Moyes. And not everyone would want to uproot families etc. and go off to Spain even if they were asked.

What IS unarguable is Everton's poor fitness levels, high injury list and rubbish pre-season.

Tony Abrahams
82 Posted 06/01/2015 at 09:29:13
Sounds like a quote from Martinez, in the middle of all them Laurie. "What I'm after is not flexible bodies, but flexible brains!"

Chad, I agree that injuries have stopped us gathering any momentum, but neither has the manager helped us so far. The difference between us and Swansea last year is that they had to play a qualifier to get into the Europa League, whereas we had already qualified. If we would have had to play a qualifier, then the manager would have had to have us fitter at the start.

I'm probably wrong, but let's hope the manager did gamble at the start with our fitness and we are now going to get a lot stronger. Problem is that when confidence goes, life becomes very hard, and it could be down to the crowd to lift the players. For this to happen, Martinez, has got to get his head on the present, and stop fucking about with all this rotation.

Nick Page
83 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:00:40
Why pre-season DID matter...
http://www.sos1878.co.uk/uncategorized/pre-season-results-shouldnt-worry-Evertonians/
Ian Burns
84 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:00:41
Thanks to Laurie Hartley 74 and Cindy Cole 77 - I will be watching tonight's game lying on my back having tried the high kicks whilst trying to crack walnuts!

In fact, given our recent attempts trying to play within RM's straight jacket, I might simply turn over!

Anthony Jones
85 Posted 06/01/2015 at 10:42:38
Chad, 79: good insight. Without randomised controlled trials it is impossible to definitively draw conclusions on the effect of player training on the frequncy of injury. However, anecdotal as it may be, countless observers including Roberto himself have commented that we have lacked in energy in multiple games this season, already.

If you have played football yourself you will know how important tough fitness work is to you having a good enough engine to last 90 minutes. Shuttle runs, running up hill, skipping etc are conventional forms of training for a reason, and so it is rather worrying (referenced in the comments above) to hear that Roberto rejects the concept of fitness training without the ball. Barry and Distin may be getting on but the manager should be providing them with the best possible preparation.

Karl Masters
86 Posted 06/01/2015 at 11:38:01
I agree with Chad.

Far too much guesswork in all this. Possibly some truth that the training is not right, but Arsenal and Man Utd have had far more injuries this season, so maybe all clubs need to look at their methods?

Players these days are athletes first and foremost. The game in this country is played at such a pace they play right on the edge. Like a racehorse, when something like a hamstring twangs, it's usually quite severe.

People go on about playing 70 games a season in the eighties with only 16 players etc, BUT the game was slower then, pass back to the goalie a regular tactic so he could pick it up and delay things. Many of those players played on with cortisone injections and are half-crippled today.

Personally, I just think our gameplay is wrong. Too much concentrating on possession and not enough on getting the ball forward where we can do some damage. We need to mix it up a bit more, play the long ball over the top for Lukaku to run on to some of the time, be less predictable. We are one-dimensional. Sort out the players' heads and sort out your own, Roberto. The fitness thing is secondary and, although I agree the pre-season was crap and he accepts defeats to Swansea and Krasnodor far too easily for my liking, we also have a bit of second season syndrome as well. Moyes came 17th in his, 4th the year after, so we shouldn't be panicking just yet.

Ray Roche
87 Posted 06/01/2015 at 12:03:06
Karl, a few points if I may, if Arsenal and Man Utd have had more injuries, and I would like to see the stats on that one, considering we've been unable to name the same team twice, apparently, there can be no argument that they are a lot fitter than we are and that is down to training methods.

In addition, you remark that "People go on about playing 70 games a season in the eighties with only 16 players etc, BUT the game was slower then". I think you might do well to revisit some of these "slower" games via YouTube.

Sure, the ball was played back to the goalie but he didn't hang on to it, he played the ball out to start an attack. Same with goal kicks, you didn't see a goalie wandering across his area from one side to the other to take a goal kick from the opposite side from where the ball went out, time-wasting.

I think you'll find that the ball was in play for longer than it is today. No writhing in agony before jumping up and running like a stag, no kicking the ball out because a team mate had broken a finger nail or lost an eyelash. Players (but not us) may be fitter today and may be able to run faster for longer, but the game itself has more stoppages than ever.
I agree with some of your last paragraph, but fitness is not secondary, it's paramount and second-season syndrome is all in the mind. Being found out by better coaches is not second-season syndrome.

Harold Matthews
88 Posted 06/01/2015 at 13:18:26
I didn't realise just how knackered we were till Oviedo came on and started buzzing around like a fresh as a daisy 2yr old. A real eye-opener and no mistake. Maybe one or two of the lightly used youngsters would provide similar impetus.
Keith Glazzard
89 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:06:10
My dear late partner Carol taught Danny Donachie A level Chemistry, and in my first job a mate taught Willie, his dad, in an evening class - English, but I can't say which level. Carol said that Danny was an excellent student, a very decent young man.

Whatever, we need an injection of pace, stamina and fight plus a plan B.

Karl Masters
90 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:42:47
' 90% of football is played in the head' Peter Reid said that.

Confidence is low, our support is needed tonight, not hysteria. Second season syndrome is in the head, Ray. It happens a lot when players and teams ease up after initially being desperate to impress. The trick is to kick start yourselves again. So the next few months are crucial. Get it right and next season will be a good one, get it wrong and we may even be relegated. Over to you Roberto, time to earn your money. Senior players also need to do more organising on the pitch.

Dave Abrahams
91 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:30:33
Peter Jansson(57),you say under Moyes we always had a strong second half to the season, well in his last season here in the last eight away games we lost three and drew five, scoring four goals, that's five points from twenty four.

Maybe he had lost interest because he was going elsewhere,but those are the facts.

Karl Masters
92 Posted 06/01/2015 at 14:49:36
Ray, living in the South, I know a lot of Arsenal fans and they are all bemused as to why they get so many long term injuries. Surprise, surprise, they put it down to training methods! Too soft apparently.

When we had loads of injuries in 2000/01 it was put down by fans as being down to Archie Knox training them too hard. We had many seasons under Moyes where we had chronic injury lists, again fans said his training was too intense.

When we moved to Finch Farm fans blamed a too inflexible surface in the artificial pitches as being the cause if injuries!

Now, we supposedly don't train hard enough. Meanwhile Van Gaal is training his Manure players too hard causing all their injuries according to their fans.

Laurier Hartley's hamstring explanation makes sense. It's based on logic, reason and facts, not a desperation to blame somebody or something, when frankly the tactics have not been good enough and as you say other coaches have sussed our way of playing, as they usually do in a second season.

Raymond Fox
93 Posted 06/01/2015 at 15:09:14
Karl a couple of good posts mate.
I don't buy into this their unfit malarkey, I've not watched the team and thought their unfit.
Not good enough, yes, we've not been good enough for 20yrs!
I don't think we should be too surprised.
Ray Roche
94 Posted 06/01/2015 at 15:37:55
Karl@90. Good points, mate, pretty much what I said earlier re second season syndrome.

@92. Funny isn't it, how we all see our clubs differently to how other fans see us. I was reading a thread on the BBC Sports last week and several fans of other clubs came on to say how much respect they have for Everton " a proper football club run the right way with a good chairman" etc. They obviously don't stray onto ToffeeWeb!

Raymond, I think you might be in the minority there,mate, just about every thread contains comments about us flagging after 60-70 minutes.

And we were good enough last season to gather a record number of Premier League points (for us) a number that would have got us into CL Football in just about every other season. Something is definitely gone wrong this season.

David Sheen
95 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:38:03
Everything has seemed to wrong this year. But one thing we can point to, is the opening game against Arsenal. Everton started great, but on the 70 minute mark they were absolutely nakard. It was shocking how they just fell apart. And I think most Evertonians were worried. After the first five games Martinez seemed to be the only one that wasn't.

1.) Our pre season prepartations were not good enough. We started behind the rest of the other teams physically.
2.) Leicester and Arsenal coming back to draw in games that they should never have. Mentally effected us.
3.) Our attack suffered because of this. Coleman and Baines do not go forward as much. This has resulted into over a hundred less crosses this time than last season.
4.) Lukaku has had the ball behind him mostly this season, rather than crossed in front of him. Coleman and baines do not get into the box (not fit enough, or told to keep back). Drawing more defenders to them, and so our attackers are always marked.
5.) Everton have been very very unlucky with the refs.

This has resulted into the shambles we have right now. A squad that is physically, mentally, and tactically not there.

I think we should keep faith with Martinez because half of it is his doing. Hopefully he will learn from his mistakes. You learn more when times are hard.

Raymond Fox
96 Posted 06/01/2015 at 16:49:09
Ray 94, its how I saw it, could be wrong of course, but I think some do climb on the bandwagon of popular opinion which adds credence to 'their unfit'.
As far as the slow and sideways passing goes there's, no one at the moment good enough to spot the forward pass allied to the fact that's there's not a lot of movement up front to make themselves available.

Osman and Pienaar are on there last legs now, and as I said elsewhere its a quality attacking midfielder and a solid centre back that we badly need right now.

Ray Roche
97 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:03:51
Raymond, we all see things our own way, doesn't mean either of us are right or wrong, in our mind we call it correctly.

You're still wrong, though.:-)

As for a midfielder, someone with the guile to spot a forward pass, a through ball, someone to help Lukaku out, that, and a centre back are required. I've also mentioned before that with a decent central defensive pair, Howard might look a better keeper.

Ray Said
98 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:15:25
Michael Penly @5 references Martinez tellingGrandOldTeam.com that he thought that "to get the footballer fit, means you need to work with the ball; if just thinking, you're going to do a run, running action without the ball, is going to use different muscle than you do with the ball so for me it's pointless to run and run and run or to do an exercise that is not linked to football."

One thing I have noticed is that some of the players are faster with the ball than without the ball-especially if they are tracking back. This compartmentalising of football into different bits -like how some teams have specialist attack or defence coaches- doesnt seem right as the game is a holistic exercise in which all parts must function as part of the whole.
Yes Roberto, work with the ball but always remember football is a running game and sometimes the running when you don’t have the ball is also an important part of the game-reference the way the great Barcelona team ran their opponents ragged with their pressing and chasing.

Harold Matthews
99 Posted 06/01/2015 at 18:58:08
Have to agree with Raymond on the lack of movement when in possession. It's also hard to argue against his belief that we are simply not good enough. We'll see.
Jerome Shields
100 Posted 06/01/2015 at 19:53:53
Martinez had a degree in physiotherapy. He probably said something that pissed them off. It wouldn't be like him.
Roger Helm
101 Posted 06/01/2015 at 21:41:35
I have noticed that when they lose the ball our players don't seem that bothered to get it back - they just jog back to their own end. Remember how Rooney used to tear back to win back possession? (and still does).

I don't know if it's down to coaching, poor morale, poor fitness or fear of yet another hamstring injury. But we will not start winning again until we compete properly for the ball. And as for training methods, surely Martinez must realise that footballers spend 95% of the game running without the ball?

Mike Dolan
102 Posted 06/01/2015 at 22:19:23
This article does not say or suggest any of the things that Patrick Murphy seems to gratuitously read into it. I believe that what the team lacks is not so much fitness as it is confidence.
Everton suffered for years under the last coach by being an unimaginative team that only had fitness going for it. I think its very important that all of you physio's out there are careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The reason that confidence and subsequently energy is so low is a snowballing effect of a dreadful loss of form of Howard Jags and Distin and Barry at the heart of the team. Guess what they are all at the end of their careers.
Injuries come in clusters its Murphy's Law . Martinez is the same brilliant manager that he was last season he will come out of this an even better manager. I for one would hate to us to go back to the kick and run and scared football that you guys all constantly complained about under Moyes.
We will get better. We will be better.
Patrick Murphy
103 Posted 06/01/2015 at 22:42:48
Mike - I’m sorry mate I made nothing out of the article or tried to claim anything - indeed I qualified it by saying it could be merely coincidental. What others have taken from the blog is up to them, all I did was to flag it up for others to read.
Mike Dolan
104 Posted 07/01/2015 at 02:21:09
Not being a physio myself I don't really know if the players are fully fit or not but just from the evidence of my own eyes I would say that Howard looks totally rippling fit but still suffers from the same mental lapses that he had when he was 24 and totally rippling fit. Distin Barry and Jags all look like the fittest old men around and for their age they are marvels but Distin should be patrolling a school crossing at his age . Barry and Jags are on their last legs but its age not the lack of fitness.
Given the troubles at the heart of the defense the fullbacks become more static and we end up with inadequacies surfacing all over the field.
Final point McGready who was horribly out of shap when he arrived last year looks like a lean mean machine bursting with vitality a fitness this year. He's still just as useless though.
Physio's actually don't make a hell of a lot of difference
Trevor Lynes
105 Posted 07/01/2015 at 20:21:02
Last season we played attractive football and finished with the highest points total we have ever attained so far. This season has just entered itÂ’s second half and already, although in 13th place, certain fans are calling for RobertoÂ’ head ! Surely the Â’endÂ’ of the season should be the time the manager is measured.

I am sure that something will happen to check the fall from grace before we get dragged into a relegation scrap. Until then the harbingers of doom should stop filling these sites with remarks that could be deemed as libellous if unsubstantiated.

We are mid table with a lot of injuries. Our squad is too small and I accept that fact. I for one do not know what is going on behind the scenes, so will not speculate. I reckon those in the same position should wait until they know, rather than write about what they think they know.

Robbo Colby
106 Posted 08/01/2015 at 06:58:57
Michael@5 That comment was from the Followtonians podcast, done around the same time last season...you know, when we were on our way to our highest points tally in the PL era. Nobody was complaining about this then.
Ray Roche
107 Posted 08/01/2015 at 10:02:43
Yes Robbo, but the Saint Rockwood Blog, which this thread is also covering, is from Jan 5th this year, not last year. And if you haven't read it I suggest you do. It's very interesting.
Colin Glassar
108 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:52:44
Matt Connery, no relation to Sean I'm told, is to take over. Roberto was very gracious towards Donachie but reading between the lines it's obvious he sacked him.
Kieran Riding
109 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:55:51
Hope Robertos sackings continue Colin.
Colin Glassar
110 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:59:31
I think there'll be a big clear out in the summer Kieran. Gibbo, Howard, Distin, Pienaar etc.... Roberto might even sack BK.
Kieran Riding
111 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:01:34
"Trust" is the word, Colin.
Snakes in the grass gibbed off.
No wonder Roberto surrounds himself with people he knows / trusts.
David Ellis
112 Posted 09/01/2015 at 04:41:05
Nothing in this article points a finger at Martinez. 3 medical staff have left and there is a correlation between that and all the hamstring injuries (although hang on one of them left after we had the 18 hamstring injuries ...so not quite such a neat correlation).

Clearly there is a fitness problem - by which I mean inability to last the full 90 minutes. Martinez must take responsibility for that. The soft tissue damage is being looked into and may be to do with training methods. Or may be corrected by better medical staff that hopefully will be brought in.


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