(Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Everton blew Champions League-chasing Manchester United away at Goodison Park last Sunday with a perfectly-executed game-plan but struggled to get going in the first half against Tim Sherwood's relegation-threatened side this afternoon.
Poor defending allowed the Midlanders to take a commanding 2-0 lead heading into half time and though Romelu Lukaku half the Blues' deficit with a penalty just before the hour mark, Tom Cleverley effectively secured the precious points with a well-taken goal five minutes later.
Phil Jagielka's injury-time header came too late for Martinez's men to grab an equaliser and Everton dropped back into the bottom half of the table on the back of today's results.
"I was worried about exactly what happened," Martinez was quoted as saying by the Associated Press after the game, "coming here and not having the engagement or stimulation after having such a fantastic performance and result and atmosphere at Goodison.
"It happens in football — the intensity and tempo we had in our last game maybe made it a bit difficult to start the game in the same level. I did feel in the first half we were second best in everything we did.
"It's fair to say Villa were the better side in the first half and we were the better side in the second.
"We couldn't get through that poor period without damage. I thought the damage of giving a two-goal lead was huge."
The manager took comfort from his players' response in the second half, however, even if they weren't able to claw back a point.
"The reaction was very good, there are dressing rooms which maybe cannot react or find that intensity but we did that and performed in a completely different manner."
Reader Comments (73)
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1 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:21:36
2 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:26:32
3 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:30:10
4 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:32:49
Also a new keeper is a must in the summer. When have you seen Howard coming for a cross?
5 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:43:07
"I was worried about exactly what happened," Martinez was quoted as saying by the Associated Press after the game, "coming here and not having the engagement or stimulation after having such a fantastic performance and result and atmosphere at Goodison.
I saw the possibility of running out of fuel when I passed the last service station, unfortunately I was proved correct and had to walk miles to find the next one. Roberto, you identified the problem so how come you didnÂt find the solution?
6 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:45:07
7 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:48:04
"I was worried after I saw them warming up before the game."
Bizarre comments by both managers.
8 Posted 02/05/2015 at 19:56:15
Those that say we should give him ten games at the start of next season are only clutching at straws. He had ten games at the start of this season, then till Christmas, then till after the Europa League, and now to the end of this season, and still he makes the same mistakes. I really feel sorry for our supporters Â– especially those who spend hard earned cash on away day.
10 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:08:30
13 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:14:45
14 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:25:49
The manager had other ideas and put our game on instead (although I donÂt live there, I always visit when I am flying back, and he knows IÂm a Blue).
So the RS fan decides to sit next to me to watch... to his credit he wasnÂt rubbing it in. He didnÂt need to. The first half truly showed the "Ugly Everton" weÂve had to suffer too often this season.
IÂm very much in favour of giving Martinez another season. To my mind heÂs less of a problem than the board. He canÂt defend that today though, and if he tries to then IÂll hope he gets his P45 asap. I stopped listening to his post-match shite last season when we were doing well. ItÂs only got worse since.
19 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:23:47
It was obvious that Villa would be up for it today; it would have been the ideal game for Besic to start instead of Barry. As much as Martinez got his tactics right against Man Utd last week, he got it wrong again today. We've seen it too many times this season.
21 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:30:14
22 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:29:14
People discussing their worries or being pro this or anti that on a website has no influence whatsoever on the players or indeed the club and in no way does it determine how good a supporter of the club they are.
If an argument is flawed then by all means put up a counter argument and if the manager has some abilities that others are not seeing or are unwilling to see then point them out and highlight them by all means but to rubbish somebodyÂs love for the club because they are having a go at the manager or players is unjustified.
It can be a bit tedious at times when the same arguments are trotted out by the same people but that isnÂt as tedious as some posters questioning other posters loyalty to the club when they happen to disagree with a particular viewpoint.
24 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:37:25
But we got Martinez. My fear would be if we got shot now, who could we realistically go for? WeÂre a corner shop operation. Next season weÂll probably be outspent by Bournemouth (ok maybe not). What manager worth his salt would come to us with a Chairman whoÂs more ambiguous than ambitious?
25 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:39:04
There are several players who only get themselves up for big games and canÂt do it two weeks in a row. If they canÂt do that they donÂt deserve to play for us and if we have a manager who canÂt inspire them then he shouldnÂt be here either.
Like in any situation, the way forward is for us to protest, and that is what the real fans are doing now.
26 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:36:17
Happy to put ya swimming gear on, lads, the season is over for the players, so let's fuck off somewhere sunny for the next 10 weeks. ..........
27 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:45:05
28 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:42:33
"proper fans always back the team and the manager" Â– Is that some sort of a joke?
The backing the players and the manager had today was fantastic.
In return, our fantastic fans were ONCE AGAIN let down and betrayed by yet another clueless gutless performance.
How much patience are you expecting from them?
29 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:19:16
I understand Villa have been rejuvenated in recent weeks but they were 2 points off a relegation spot when the game kicked off and we made them look like fucking world-beaters.
Christy Ring (4) you ask ÂWhat does Naismith offer?" Well, I think weÂre agreed heÂs limited, but at least he looked like he gave a shite and won us a penalty (albeit one he was looking for). He got us back into it and we should have taken advantage of that.
As for Kevin ÂChampions LeagueÂ Mirallas, you might as well have played me (and as someone mentioned above, Howard appears to be glued to his line).
A shocker imo.
30 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:38:17
31 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:50:53
32 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:54:49
33 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:04:58
34 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:09:41
35 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:18:39
You know what, IÂve nearly had enough of fretting about hired hands who donÂt give a flying fuck. Can you imagine the response of a proper coach to that garbage?
36 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:16:30
What bugs me is that it is clear that the players only play for Martinez when they feel like it. Can you imagine any Mourinho team playing like we did today? It can happen to anyone once or twice a season, but when it happens a dozen or more times in a season, then something is very seriously wrong.
Martinez doesnÂt have the ability, charisma or respect to inspire these players, week-in and week-out. For this reason alone, he will never be good enough for Everton.
37 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:25:11
38 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:18:48
Neither was I at the game today, but it sounds from some of the comments above that we were shut out of the game by a hungry Villa outfit. Maybe itÂs a case of them needing it more, and (as RM has alluded to) our players being on a "come down" after the magic of the United result. Either way, they outdid us, and any hopes of a top eight finish are banished.
All we can hope for now is that Martinez is better prepared for the new season, and we hang on to key players, most the younger ones. Sadly, I feel this is our destiny under Roberto: runs of good and bad form, punctuated by the odd stellar result (United) and the odd shocker (Hull away).
I believe Villa will be safe, and could even come out of he end of a generally desperate season with an FA Cup. At least we donÂt have to sweat on the last few games, but I fear that we may show up similarly demotivated at home next Saturday.
39 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:32:02
You will notice I use the term Âonce-greatÂ as we sadly no longer bear a place among the great teams of the modern day, but Martinez is dragging us down even further and if we, as loyal supporters, just sit back and support the manager as you suggest, then we become complicit in his failure because, as I see it, it is the job of us Âproper fansÂ who unflinchingly follow the team year after year to tell the manager, the players and the board just what we think when they or any one of them is taking any sort of action that threatens to destroy the status and reputation of our football club. ÂProper fansÂ have a role to play, and that role does not include blindly following like lemmings as a totally unsuitable manager leads our team slowly but irrevocably towards the spectre of relegation to the Championship.
OK, end of rant, but please, remember us fans will still be here long after Martinez has moved on, and we are the one constant in this great institution that is the family of Everton FC. Managers and players come and go, but we the fans, go on forever, or at least, for as long as we live, and therefore have a right to demand something better than we have in charge at present.
40 Posted 02/05/2015 at 21:42:47
I just canÂt forget the away games at Southampton, Hull, Stoke and Dynamo Kiev or the home games against West Brom, Hull or Leicester...
It's too easy to look at the mini run we have had and say the garden is rosy because itÂs obvious itÂs not. Martinez fails to bring continuity or consistency to the team which then results in a loss of confidence from the players.
He also fails on too regular a basis to rouse the players for the occasion.< How next season will really prove much different remains to be seen.
41 Posted 02/05/2015 at 22:14:50
42 Posted 02/05/2015 at 22:18:40
Remember him dropping Robles after all those clean sheets and he was brilliant in the cup against West Ham. We beat Man Utd 3-0 and he changes the team! He picks up around 㿲k a week to make those shit decisions and his interviews... FFS! Send him back to Wigan Â– I'll drive him myself.
43 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:14:37
The summer is of course pivotal but no matter who we sign or who we lose, we simply canÂt afford to start the season slowly with lethargic performances and sloppy results.
I appreciate he will be here next season but we canÂt be blindly optimistic if itÂs not happening.
44 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:33:02
It's imperative you keep a solid defence away from home but this season we have been weak and simply easy to score against.
45 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:44:43
46 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:47:49
All of our cup exits have come away from Goodison this season and we have only beaten Burnley, QPR, Palace and West Brom away from home, which is just as well because we would still be in some trouble if we had failed to beat those teams at their grounds.
47 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:57:13
48 Posted 02/05/2015 at 23:55:24
The goals at Southampton and Newcastle in December were schoolboy stuff, the Hull game on New Years Day, the Stoke game at the Britannia in March, the shocking horror show in Kiev.. It really has been too easy to score against Everton at times this season.
49 Posted 03/05/2015 at 00:02:40
50 Posted 03/05/2015 at 00:27:46
IÂm an RM fan and reckon he deserves the first 10 games of next season to see which Martinez is the real coach: first or second season.
Just wish heÂd give some of the kids some game time.
51 Posted 03/05/2015 at 00:47:10
BTW, these so called dead rubber games Â– do the supporters get to see them for free and have their travel costs reimbursed? Just curious.
52 Posted 03/05/2015 at 00:46:05
I hope he was misquoted. I didnÂt get angry. Felt sad, though.
If having the players up for ANY game isnÂt the specific business and duty of the manager, why have one?
53 Posted 03/05/2015 at 01:10:24
Also, going by his asinine post-match comments (again), I guess if we are going to have this kind of reaction as he says he expected(!), after a good result like last week, then surely the answer in his mind, in the world of La La Martinez, must be simple. Just donÂt win any games, then you wonÂt have the reaction of over expectation in your next game.
ThatÂs obviously how he managed to do such a fantastic job of getting Wigan relegated. I feel as if heÂs taken us through the looking glass and weÂre now all living in the land of the Mad Hatter. Find me a straitjacket, please!!!
54 Posted 03/05/2015 at 01:23:22
HeÂs not going to be fired after "guiding" us to safety. But, ffs, he canÂt be allowed to manage our decline for much longer, surely.
The first 30 minutes of our first game of next season will indicate everything for me. Team set up, player selection and ideal tactics. IÂm predicting that heÂll be gone by mid-September.
57 Posted 03/05/2015 at 02:40:57
59 Posted 03/05/2015 at 07:28:19
What a fantastic approach to any kind of proactive management that is.
Usually also I leave his quotes be Â– but itÂs really difficult to sometimes:
"It happens in football Â— the intensity and tempo we had in our last game maybe made it a bit difficult to start the game in the same level."
Cos, yeah, thatÂs exactly how top managers think, isnÂt it?
Followed by this piece of genius insight which must have lots of journalists tapping their noses and giving each other knowing looks in press conferences:
"I thought the damage of giving a two-goal lead was huge."
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Roberto Martinez
60 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:19:53
Whilst, sadly, I donÂt believe Ross Barkley will become the player we hoped, there is no doubt in my mind that he is a confidence player. So, given that he had a decent game against Man Utd last week, the idiot promptly goes and drops him Â– for Stephen Naismith Â– for apparently "tactical" reasons in the very next game. A gesture which can only be interpreted by Ross as "I donÂt trust you".
Just a single incident of rank bad people-management which gives an insight into exactly why Martinez cannot motivate a team in my opinion, because, letÂs be clear, he didnÂt have to do that last week, the players motivate themselves for the big games.
61 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:14:27
People who want to give Martinez 10 games to prove himself at the start of next season must already have doubts about him to suggest such a thing; I have no doubts whatsoever Â– he will not change and he is just not good enough to manage Everton. DonÂt ask me to nominate another person to take over, I just know absolutely, that Martinez is not the one.
62 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:36:44
He might have clung to some semblance of our respect if heÂd been man enough to admit, "I made an error in changing the team after last weekÂs superb performance. The blame for todayÂs reversal in fortunes was down to me, and also to the players seriously under-performing. Rest assured, strong words will be said behind closed doors as I will not tolerate such abject surrender from an Everton team."
Sadly, Martinez has proved consistently that heÂs unable and unwilling to admit to his mistakes. We are all human and prone to make mistakes but he just refuses to admit it when his decisions lead to calamitous performances and results. After that abject first half, a decent manager of a League Two side would,have gone ballistic in the dressing room at half-time and made the substitutions that he instead left until it was too late.
The man is a buffoon and a prime candidate for the role of court jester. Might be good if a few thousand fans turned up next week wearing jesters hats in honour of our ÂphenomenalÂ manager.
64 Posted 03/05/2015 at 09:34:54
Any good footballer anticipates play naturally, this fella doesnÂt know the meaning of the word. Imagine what itÂs like playing Infront of Tim?
Barry is a good enough player. ItÂs just that heÂs to slow. He might have anticipated CleverleyÂs run. But he was either to lazy, Or to slow to do anything about it. Take your pick, but neither are good enough.
65 Posted 03/05/2015 at 10:17:29
Erm, isnÂt that your job to motivate the players and make sure they are in a position to take to the field to at least compete for 90 minutes??
66 Posted 03/05/2015 at 10:42:07
Martinez is a tinkerer and canÂt leave well alone.
67 Posted 03/05/2015 at 10:52:03
Good old Everton, always there to let you down. Anyone who thought we would go on an unbeaten run till the end of the season was just being delusional.
68 Posted 03/05/2015 at 11:21:59
We are an absolute mid-table side this season. So itÂs not about performances in big games. There are no key games. ItÂs just the performance over the course of a full season.
And we havenÂt been good enough for this club. WeÂve been shit to watch and a soft touch to play against. So the Man Utd and Aston Villa games mean nothing in isolation. TheyÂre just part of an overall score Â– a score which should see the manager booking a taxi.
69 Posted 03/05/2015 at 11:41:31
I watched the flypast at Anfield and thought how times have changed: they finished second last year and almost won the league. This season, despite losing Suarez and having Sturridge injured for most of the year, they still have a chance of making the Champions League spot. Meanwhile, we have just escaped a relegation fight and yet we still have quite a few fans who think he should be given another season. I think we should have the Red Arrows fly over Goodison all with banners saying "Martinez out and anybody in".
When he became our manager, many thought he would play a more attacking style of football; also, many thought we might see some of the younger players getting game time. Some even thought he might unearth a latin talent that nobody had heard of.
Sadly none of the above happened; he played much of this season with two defensive midfield players, no new young player has emerged under Martinez, and no new latin talent either.
70 Posted 03/05/2015 at 08:06:15
71 Posted 03/05/2015 at 12:40:30
The problem today was our defenders didnÂt do their jobs. I know Stones is the wunderkid but he messed up badly on the second goal and Naismith didnÂt help. Jags erred for the first goal leaving Baines to try to outjump Benteke. The third goal, Barry let his man go and missed the block on the slide and Howard did leave his line and did go out to take away as much of the goal as possible (made himself big) but it was a very good shot.
Obviously you donÂt rate Howard but stop blaming him for every goal. Put the blame on the players who messed up and the manager who doesnÂt practice defending and correcting individual defensive flaws.
72 Posted 03/05/2015 at 12:58:27
If he canÂt motivate his players sufficiently, he shouldnÂt be in charge. Simple.
73 Posted 03/05/2015 at 13:34:12
74 Posted 03/05/2015 at 13:48:02
By the time he leaves, the attendances will have halved. Hope IÂm wrong, but just look at his record, apart from last seasonÂs blip, when he was left a consistent top 6 team full of potential.
76 Posted 03/05/2015 at 14:27:40
77 Posted 03/05/2015 at 14:17:24
Again, Martinez was too cautious, playing the ÂsolidÂ option of Naismith, when the guile of Osman would have been better. As usual, the ÂsolidÂ option resulted in a lack of shape and cutting edge going forward. Villa had a good shape and played with all the intensity we lacked.
The players arenÂt blameless here. Free from the Âmental pressureÂ of the EL, buoyed with a run of 16 points from 18, they went a goal down and just disappeared. Again. They couldnÂt pass water and looked like strangers. Again. They forgot how to defend. Again.
Villa looked pretty good at times yesterday. Delph was superb. Cleverley played well again Â– if he wasnÂt ex-Wigan, people would want him here on a free. Benteke was everything Lukaku wasnÂt. For all that, the moment we put them under a bit of pressure, they looked like a brittle, ordinary side in a dogfight. For all the plaudits Sherwood is getting, they havenÂt left a genuine relegation fight and they still beat us.
Nothing wrong with losing a game. Everything wrong with no energy, not competing, poor passing and movement.
78 Posted 03/05/2015 at 14:42:09
And the idea of Baines being asked to defend and attack by himself is really a flawed idea that is not lost on the opposition, who will quickly move the ball wide when Baines is out of position.
79 Posted 03/05/2015 at 15:34:22
While Howard was not directly at fault, when the ball is so far in the air as it was for the first, then he has to come for that; and the second was scored from about 4 yards... He takes no pressure off the defence whatsoever; we will never get anywhere with him in goal.
80 Posted 03/05/2015 at 17:01:13
This is just another symptom of the failure in the clubÂs leadership. If heÂs not careful, he might find himself in a Newcastle-like situation, God forbid, with campaigns being started to oust either him, the manager, or both. Is that a sign of just how important Everton really is to him?
Whatever else might be said about him, I always thought he truly loved this club, but for me, his silence in the face of this appalling season, when other clubs would have got rid of a failing manager long before now, makes me aware just how little he really cares about the club he professes to love. With BK in the chair, and Martinez in charge of the team, my crystal ball predicts a long, difficult and heartbreaking future for those of us who really care about our football club.
81 Posted 03/05/2015 at 18:27:12
Listen mate, you have professional players at your disposal, not children who need teaching the basics. Your job is to identify what each player does really well, encourage them to keep doing that whilst moulding them together as a balanced side which has a good shape and discipline.
This has a two-fold positive effect as the players think you trust them and they are not being confused by your stupid, useless tactics and being forced to play in a manner totally unsuited to their abilities.
Yet another cardboard coach who talks too much and is Mr Pretentious when it comes to teaching players. Bottom six next season if he stays.
82 Posted 03/05/2015 at 20:59:39
83 Posted 03/05/2015 at 22:35:50
You are spot on. The thing BK loves more than anything else is BK. He is putting himself before the club. We are going backwards and are in decline. Almost every other PL club has a new stadium or are redeveloping. Just what has he achieved in 16 years in charge?
84 Posted 03/05/2015 at 22:29:48
And to prepare against it do you did what exactly?
The answer to the second question is, he failed again.
Last season we had to be perfect to win a game of football, this season is more of a laissez faire attitude and approach to the games.
ItÂs the same set of players. If Martinez stays then we must expect some wholesale changes to the squad, how can he rely on these players when they have performed so poorly for him?
85 Posted 04/05/2015 at 08:14:55
I'm glad you feel the same. If something is going on behind the scenes, Ross, I hope itÂs along the lines of BK working out how to tell RM heÂs had his chance and blown it. IÂd be making the point that he took over a team with a solid infrastructure put in place by David Moyes (love or hate him, itÂs the truth), and as a result was able to guide an established team to a great position last season. Left to his own devices this season, his insistence on playing his ticca takka slow moving possession brand of football has been a total failure, unpopular with fans and players alike.
IÂd also be saying to him that his failure to address the problems his ÂstyleÂ brought in terms of results carried us into a relegation fight and we only achieved mathematical safety with five games of the season left Â– an unacceptable level of performance all round. His inability to stick with a winning team and formation when he finally found it and went back to tinkering and bad, late substitutions also compounded his naÃ¯vetÃ© and is on the verge of turning us into the PL's laughing stock.
"Thanks for your best efforts, but they simply arenÂt good enough for our club, and we will be releasing you at the end of the season..." Please!!!
I know, however, that IÂm only dreaming. BK just doesnÂt have the guts to make the tough decisions, and therein lies the root of all thatÂs wrong with our once-great club.]
86 Posted 04/05/2015 at 11:05:47
87 Posted 04/05/2015 at 19:53:07
The problem if BK did get rid of RM is then that I would have no confidence in his next choice. He certainly wonÂt go for a top manager, (too expensive), but a young up and coming relatively inexperienced option (cheap). The two managers he has appointed were from Preston and Wigan, which tells us everything about where we are now IMO.
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