Martinez: We shouldn't fear losing our top talent

01/04/2016  171 Comments  [Jump to last]

Roberto Martinez has played down the speculation regarding his best players, and Romelu Lukaku in particular, saying that Everton shouldn't be afraid of losing its best players.

The manager was asked this morning in his press conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Manchester United about the talk of Lukaku leaving the club this summer in search of Champions League football.

While he said he that individual situations would be dealt with in the summer, Martinez suggested that the Blues' position on the back of the new broadcast rights deal and Farhad Moshiri's arrival as Everton's new majority shareholder puts them in a position to rebuff advances for his best players.

"What we shouldn't be afraid about is losing payers because we are in a position where financially we can compete against anyone in world football at this time," he said.

"Things have changed radically in that respect but at the moment it's the wrong time; it's pointless to talk about individual situations because we have two months left to finish the season strongly.

Asked whether the club should be concerned about losing players who feel that they can no longer realise their ambitions at Everton, the manager reiterated his point about finances and stressed that such matters would be addressed during the close season. "You need to understand that at this point all that matters are the remaining games," he said. "In the summer we will have time to speak about individual situations.

"We're not in a position where we should be fearful of losing anyone because financially we can compete with anyone."

"At this present time it doesn't bother me what the individual situations will be in the summer. At the end of the season we will reassess how the season has gone. At the end of the season these individual cases will be approached and we can speak about that then. But this is the start of a new financial era at Everton. We are very, very strong and have our own ambitions."

Next two months are vital

Lukaku's situation has become of particular concern among Evertonians following the comments from his father, Roger, his agent and the player himself over the international break which suggested strongly that he could be looking for a move in the summer that would allow him to play Champions League football next season.

Martinez accepted that such talk was "normal" when players go away to play for their countries and he betrayed only slight annoyance at the trend with a wry smile.

"Every time we lose the players for internationals we get attracted to what they have to [say, as well as] family members, fans, people, affiliated to [them]," the Catalan continued. "Nothing will take us away from our concentration on the next two months of the season which for us are vital.

"Rom is having a really good season — he needs to make it an outstanding season with the two months we have got left and that's the only talking that I'm looking at — the talking that he [does] on the pitch.

"The speculation is always because of how he's performing on the pitch and people always want to talk about that."

Asked whether he found Lukaku's specific comments about being ready for the Champions League from next season unsettling, Martinez said that he welcomes that kind of ambition:

"It's not unsettling at all," Martinez replied, "because that should be the aspirations of everyone. Wanting to be the best you can, aspiring to be in the best competitions. At Everton, we've got that aspiration. We want to be in the Champions League. I've said it openly for a long time — we want to be winning titles.

"We've just been in the semi-final of the League cup and marginally knocked out by eventual winners. Now we're in the semi-final of the FA Cup. We want to be in those sorts of situations. Clearly, we're relying the performances of the players. We need ambitious players who can carry the expectations of our football club."

 

Reader Comments (171)

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Mike Hughes
2 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:24:12
"You need to understand that at this point all that matters are the remaining games."

Oh yeah, like the previous 12 were all that mattered.
And the 12 before that.

Jam tomorrow.

I'm happy we're apparently in a strong financial position. But don't let this bullshit merchant spend a penny of it.

Gavin Johnson
3 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:28:05
He's got to try and put a positive spin on it really. Amongst the usual bluster, I do like the line where he says we can compete with anyone in world football now. So at least we should be buying better players than Michael Carrick and David Marshall this summer.
Brian Harrison
4 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:28:07
For his own good and the sanity of the fans, the club should really stop him doing press conferences. Surely there must be someone with half a brain who can go before the cameras, and not make an idiot of themselves like Martinez does.

"Don't be afraid if we lose our best players" or even better "we can compete with anyone in World football".

Well, if we can compete with anyone in the world then why would Lukaku or Stones even think about leaving? I hope somebody at Finch Farm hasn't showed either of them our current league position.

So I can look forward to us being able to bid for the best players in the world. Mr Moshiri, can we start with bids for Messi and Neymar?
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:32:54
We can compete with anyone? Define 'compete'. Hey Messi, we will offer you £500k a week, you want to compete for him, Everton? Yeah our competing offer is £50k a week. Okay, Everton, you lose.

That's technically "competing" but I'm hoping he means we will actually be competitive as opposed to just competing. Eddie the Eagle competed but he was not competitive.

Kevin Judge
7 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:33:46
Well, said Martinez. You already proved that with John Stones... and, although a lot of your critics have no faith in you on this site, I for one believe that.
Mike Hughes
8 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:35:04
Saying we can compete with anyone in world football is total bullshit again.

Top players want to win top competitions.
They will be tempted to move on that premise.

Clubs like NUFC have paid top dollar in transfer fees and wages for years. They have to – even to attract mediocrity.

Everything has to be aligned to success, not just the finances.
We're way off the mark of a top, top club where it really matters.

Disagree? Check the current league table and our trophy haul these past 3 decades.

Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:37:25
"We can compete with anyone in world football" my arse.
A mid-table club about to bleed players.
Sam Hoare
10 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:38:32
Some teams are able to lose their best players and compete. Athletic Madrid have done it for a few years now, Southampton have done it recently and we did it once upon a time with Rooney.

However all these teams had or have managers able to implement a successful plan to replace the stars with a system that fits the team and gets results. That's what I'm worried about, Roberto.

Mike Hughes
11 Posted 01/04/2016 at 16:43:45
When the absolute highlight of your manager's week, the platform for him to demonstrate his key talents, is the pre-match press conference, it really is time to be concerned about the future.
Nick Page
12 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:01:39
I feel like we will get one more season of this drivel whilst the majority shareholder beds in and has Bill in his ear. And by that time, we will be so far behind the "pack" it will take a good while to re-build, assuming we don't do a Villa (who sold their prize striker). What a shame it is that it's come to this after all the hard work to make us competitive again.
Mike Powell
13 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:21:00
A bloke in work told me this morning that Martinez had been sacked, we were all doing the conga and singing "Things can only get better."

Then he shouted "April Fool"... and I went back to being a depressed Evertonian. I don't listen to anything he says anymore.

Iain Love
14 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:21:29
One would assume that Lukaku will want to leave in the summer and with Martinez at the helm I can see his reasons.

To be competing with the top clubs, the first thing we need is a top manager. Martinez has done well to assemble our squad but has shown time and time again that he can't manage a game or out-think his peers.

We can keep hold of Lukaku, look at the Stones saga or Berahino at West Brom, but I feel the only way we can get him to want to stay is a change of manager.
Oliver Molloy
15 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:30:42
"At the end of the season we will reassess how the season has gone. At the end of the season these individual cases will be approached and we can speak about that then."

Let's hope that includes you too, then!

Christy Ring
16 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:33:05
I have to give credit to Bob, he spent our full budget of £28m on Lukaku, a huge gamble. He's worth double now, but the big man must be fed up of his tactics, one man striker force, and conceding so many at the other end.

The best chance of keeping Rom is getting in a top manager, who knows what he's doing, and get rid of this bullshitter.

Allan Board
17 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:33:11
Really? I'd leave if I had to endure 3 years of complete bullshit from this guy and his entourage.

Sell who you like and buy who you like, this club's got The Championship to look forward to if this muppet stays next season.

Darryl Ritchie
18 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:48:46
While Kenwright continues to have a say in the running of the club, Martinez isn't going anywhere. That will probably/hopefully change when Moshiri has more control, but that's not for another season at least. Another season of boring, midtable football.

We might have the means to compete financially, but we will remain uncompetitive, even if we were able to bring in a mess of galacticos, with Martinez on the sidelines.

Ian Burns
19 Posted 01/04/2016 at 17:57:14
The biggest disappointment with regards to this latest bullshit press conference is not the usual embarrassing utterances but he is talking like a man who has his feet firmly under the table for this coming season. By the time I got to the bottom of the article, my weekend was ruined.
Ian Hollingworth
21 Posted 01/04/2016 at 18:22:10
Sorry but the man is a tit and we are stuck with him.

FFS, when will this nightmare be over.

Michael Penley
22 Posted 01/04/2016 at 18:32:11
Typical Martinez bullshit. Pretending that every question is about finances is the classic verbal obfuscation from Roberto that got him the job in the first place.
Roger Helm
24 Posted 01/04/2016 at 18:44:55
Come on lads, get a grip -– nightmare? weekend ruined? I don't think the Villa or Newcastle fans would have much sympathy just because our defending has been a bit below par recently.
Anthony Flack
25 Posted 01/04/2016 at 18:48:01
I have lost faith in Martinez, the Arsenal game was my equivalent of what Moyes did, ironically against Wigan.

However, what else can you say? You can sort of sympathise as you know what he means. He can hardly say, "Yes, we are shitting ourselves about Big Rom buggering off".

Some training in communication would not go awry....

Still, sack him before the derby... and the semi-final. If we win both he will be elevated to staying status by BK.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 01/04/2016 at 18:51:17
I truly despair these days whenever I hear Roberto talk. It's always about the future, always tomorrow. It's like he's suffering from premature dementia.

I admit I bought into his "Philosophy" for two-and-a-half seasons but, with the players he has at his disposal, we are going backwards. It's hard to admit that you were wrong but looking at results over the last 18 months the signs are worrying to say the least.

It's obvious that he refuses to acknowledge his shortcomings so I can't see how he is going to turn this around.

Oliver Molloy
27 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:11:39
Anthony....

The manager or the club could come out and say something like....
"We will determine if WE WISH to sell Lukaku NOT his Dad nor his agent – he's our player and may remain so for the remainder of his contract" or words to that affect.

Of course they won't, most likely because a deal has probably been agreed at that now infamous meeting at Finch Farm around the start of the season with his agent, Rom and Martinez – Champions League or Rom is off, let's shake on it.

I was wondering to myself the other night, would it be great if we took a "Stones" stance?

Steve Hopkins
28 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:18:55
Don't beat yourself up about it though, Colin, because you, me and several tens of thousands of others bought into his philosophy but it does feel good to admit to it, almost cathartic. It's like an AA meeting: "My name's Steve and I once had a problem and couldn't get enough of Señor Bob's football but now I've seen the error of my ways."

Has there been another Everton manager who's had such a promising start and pissed it up the wall as badly as Martinez?

Conor Skelly
30 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:27:23
I don't see a lot wrong with what he has said here. He's been put in a difficult situation by Rom running his mouth and he has come out fighting.

Basically he has said if Rom wants to go then he can fuck off as we are now in a position to replace him. Basically what we've all wanted to be able to say to any Big Time Charlie in the past but weren't able to.

Conor Skelly
31 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:27:50
I don't see a lot wrong with what he has said here. He's been put in a difficult situation by Rom running his mouth and he has come out fighting. Basically he has said if Rom wants to go then he can fuck rar off as we are now in a position to replace him. basically what we've all wanted to be able to say to any Big Time Charlie in the past but weren't able to.
Neil Steele
32 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:29:00
Good comments from the gaffer. Our fans are embarrassing the club at present.

There is every chance within 6 weeks we could have ended the season in the top 8 and have another FA Cup in the cabinet – you'd think we were in Villa's position.

If Lukaku thinks he is better than Everton, good luck to him... we have lost better than him (Rooney immediately springs to mind) and moved on.

With money to spend, and potentially huge money to spend if Lukaku and Stones move on, we have absolutely nothing to fear. There is a world market out there, fans need to realise that there is life outside of our bubble.

Les Martin
33 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:29:22
"We shouldn't fear losing our top talent"! His comments just get more ridiculous. He would be better trying to understand the core problems, of why our top talent are getting itchy feet. We the fans know, the manager is living in a dream state.

Money is irrelevant now in the transfer game, all teams thanks to Sky have pots to buy who they want within reason, that 5 years ago they could only dream of.

As I have said before, the summer is going to be the most exciting and interesting in Premier League history, the spending will astound and dwarf anything you could imagine.

The possible sale of Lukaku and Stones is a £90m deposit, plus what Mr Moshiri may put in. One can only hope that, whoever is the Manager, he has scouted replacements in advance prior to the mad rush.
Paul Mackie
34 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:33:26
Or Oliver (#27) perhaps Martinez is being diplomatic as he wants to keep on the good side of our best striker in 20 years.

I'd like Martinez out the door in the Summer, but I can't see how he could have handled the question better.

Ged Simpson
35 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:41:40
Neil S - absolutely bang on. But you will be accused of being a mindless optimist or having low standards.

With you in your thinking.

Mick Davies
36 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:41:46
Neil 32, I admire your (typically Everton) optimism, but I'm afraid you're confusing ambition with ability.
Andrew Presly
37 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:43:33
It's misleading to take the verbatim quotes from the manager's press conference and then review it as if he wrote it as prose.

Yeah the league has gone this season but we were 20 mins from the League Cup Final and are 90 from the FA Cup Final.

Colin Glassar
38 Posted 01/04/2016 at 19:52:56
I'm not feeling happy admitting my mistake, Steve. As I've always said, if he fails we fail, and we are failing miserably right now. Now, if he stays, and if he can turn it around, then I will be made up.
Patrick Murphy
39 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:12:47
Neil (32) 'Our fans are embarrassing the club at present.'

Are you sure about that? Are the Everton board cowering in a corner of each and every boardroom up and down the country, avoiding eye contact with directors of other clubs because they are embarrassed by Evertonians?

Does the manager and his players spend most of their time trying to convince the media that the fans are sometimes a little over the top but explaining that they don't mean any harm, as if they were talking about an embarrassing uncle at a wedding?

Now I'm not saying that some comments on here and elsewhere aren't sometimes comical and hyperbolic but perhaps on reflection your comments could be taken in a similar vein.

Ending the season with the lowest number of league wins in a season, on home soil – now that would be embarrassing for the club and its fans.

Oliver Molloy
40 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:20:53
Paul,

Probably the diplomatic approach is the best option for the manager; however, just for once I would love the club to have the balls to just tell them all to shut the fuck up – we are in control here, not you guys – JUST ONCE!

The penny has dropped with Rom I would say that Everton are going nowhere with Martinez, so no-one can be surprised of all this paper talk, it is all part of the process!

Chris Leyland
41 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:21:40
Neil Steele "Good comments from the gaffer. Our fans are embarrassing the club at present."

Shameful comment. The person causing the most embarrassment to our club is Martinez with his inanne utterances and his appalling management. There is nothing embarrassing about fans who pay significant amounts of their hard-earned cash expressing dissappoitment at the inept on-field performances or indeed the cringe-worthy press conferences.

You have displayed classic Martinez-style traits with your own comments here with "in 6 weeks we could blah blah blah"

Always jam tomorrow with the disciples of the bull-shitter.

Neil Steele
42 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:27:06
Patrick (39), no... I am commenting based on the evidence that I see and hear, not just recently but for 12 months.

The 'issues' with our team at the moment are extremely clear, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to analyse rank amateur defending do you!?

But where is the balance? Where is the credit for the fact that we are the 4th highest scoring team in the EPL with 51 goals (almost all from open-play), just a few goals shy of the highest – a huge factor in the burgeoning reputation of Mr Lukaku?

Where is the credit for our fantastic away form? Where is the credit that the manager was generally questioned for shelling out £28m for Lukaku to start with... but has doubled his value in two seasons?

Where is the justification of our fans having booed Ross Barkley at times last season and this? Detestable!

Patrick, there are many justified frustrations and very obvious reasons for criticism... but as a group, Evertonians have lost the plot. There is little or no reason, little or no logic being applied and a regular manifestation of blinkered and misguided arrogance of the type we used to ridicule Kopites and Geordies for carrying.

6th (Moyes) is losing. 10th is losing. We were losing then, we are losing now... you would think Martinez had taken us from champions to relegation the way some people are going on though.

I would simply suggest the rejuvenation of some old-fashioned values; support the team. Support the manager. Put this FA Cup ahead of 'hate'.

Roberto needs to do better, for sure, but less than 24 months since securing a record Premier League points haul, a subsequent excellent Europa League run, now two domestic cup semi-finals... it is far from all doom and gloom, it just depends on your outlook, I think!

Andy Walker
43 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:28:10
Are we now all agreed that Moshiri taking 49.9% is significant or are there still any 'he's not invested any money/makes no difference' dissenters?

Moshiri could be the best thing that's happened to us since the days of the Moores.

Players may leave but so what – we can replace them with similar class. Just need a new manager, then Bill's and our vision can become reality.

John Keating
44 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:32:05
"The fans are embarrassing the club."

Absolutely unbelievable and insulting!!

We have sat through dire shit for two seasons and we are embarrassing the club?

I know everyone is entitled to have an opinion but this is crazy.

First it was the fans' fault that the team is playing shite... and now we are embarrassing the club!!

Oliver Molloy
45 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:34:00
Andy,

He's done nothing yet and until he does I'm afraid I am in the dissenter corner.... Talk is cheap as we Evertonians know only too well!

Christine Foster
46 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:37:31
In the absence of a "he's going nowhere" statement, or "He has a contract and we expect it to be honoured" then comments such as those made are just deflections from answering. He has deliberately turned the emphasis onto finance rather than performance as the reason for the club to be unconcerned with comments made. He is either missing the point or deliberately trying to deflect the reason for players wanting to leave.

He is unable to answer a direct question with a direct answer. So... Roberto,
Can you confirm or deny that any player under contract will only be allowed to leave the club if you wish it to happen?

Was an agreement been reached pre season in discussions with Rom's agent, the player and the club regarding his ongoing commitment to the club should we not qualify for the Champions League?

It's not a question of blame, or of commitment, it's what has been agreed, if anything, and the club's stance on letting players leave.

But I will probably get an answer on the current weather in Barcelona...

Chris Leyland
47 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:38:05
John Keating, don't worry –it is classic Martinez-worshipper deflection and denial tactics.

12th in the league after finishing 11th last season? Mention that we finished 5th a few years ago.

Keep throwing away leads to drop points? Mention that we have scored loads of goals.

Lose the majority of home games? Mention the away form or, better still, blame the fans for the losses.

Neil Steele
48 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:42:33
John Keating; "We have sat through dire shit for two seasons".

The whole problem with our fans in a nutshell. You must be registered blind and getting a really duff commentary if you consider the free-scoring football we are playing 'dire shit'.

When did we turn into a bunch of short-termist cry babies? Two seasons when our league form has been below that which we would expect, yes... but 'dire shit'??

Take the two words I will use repeatedly in posts on here and try to keep them in mind – reason and logic.

Emotion is turning people into blathering fools, I am afraid.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:43:02
Neil (42), are you honestly saying you are happy with the team's performances at Goodison Park? I have seen all the matches at home this season; I have never heard Barkley getting booed; moans of frustration, yes.

Neil, you are very loyal to Martinez, so I admire your loyalty. How long are you prepared to put up with the way he runs the club? Do you really and honestly think he will turn the team around? And if you do, what makes you think he can do this?

John Keating
50 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:44:06
Chris,

A few have mentioned this "fantastic" away form.
We have won FOUR – at Southampton, West Brom, Newcastle and Stoke!!!

Is this really how low our supporters' expectations have got ? If so, then we really are fucked!

I'd best stop here as, if I continue, I'll have Michael and/or Lyndon banning me again!

John Keating
51 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:54:25
Neil,

I do not understand what commentary you are talking about? I sat there last week watching us getting out-thought, out-classed, out-played by Arsenal. All around me was quiet, none of these boos you seem to have heard by the way.

The supporters are embarrassed by the management and players – not the other way around. I would suggest, Neil, that you actually go to the match and point out all this booing that apparently goes on.

Of all the games you have sat through this season which ones were free-scoring? If you are happy to see us being beat consistently at home and finishing mid-table, playing boring slow football, making schoolboy errors on a weekly basis, and NOT learning from our errors – then good on you.

Some of us have bigger expectations. It is not me that is blind, just you and your hero.

Oliver Molloy
52 Posted 01/04/2016 at 20:56:47
Neil,

Supporters of Everton love the club more than Martinez will ever know – it's in our DNA.

Martinez's first season was a breath of fresh air for all of us and what a roller-coaster season it was, we just missed out on Champions League; yes, it was quite a ride and all was positive for the most part. Everyone was looking forward to Season Two with Martinez and we were back in Europe!

However, when you really look at what happened it was that the players and the manager were all in a win-win situation. Our return to Europe was achieved with no pressure in my opinion. Because, after all, the style of football we were going to play was the complete opposite from 12 years of Moyes.

So, in fact, Martinez's debut season with Everton was no pressure; the players had their get-out clause also because of the changes in our style etc.

We all know that most the time we perform better when not stressed and under pressure, and that is exactly what happened in his debut season. Now, Martinez is being found out in his total lack of tactical smarts regards we set out to play – the players are being found out because of the coaching.

As I have said many times, we are not Wigan (with respect) and I suspect there are players at Everton that are realising that Martinez is out of his depth. I was a supporter but I have lost all faith in him; Sunday will be interesting!

Neil Steele
54 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:06:16
Dave Abrahams (42), I am not happy, not at all... but I temper my expectations with a cold-light-of-day analysis of where and what things are going wrong (and right).

I didn't want this manager before we appointed him, he wasn't on my list and I had a poor opinion of him. Some of what he has done since he arrived has justified my concerns... but in other ways, he has hugely impressed me.

What I did promise when we gave him the job, though, was that I would put my preconceptions aside and give him a fair crack... and that I will.

There are things (really obvious and frustratingly basic things) wrong, but there are plenty of things right too (our composure on the ball, some of the great play... the goals from open-play etc).

The margins between tangible success and perceived absolute failure can be very fine sometimes... I am willing to invest some more faith and give them man more time. I think he deserves it, and as Evertonians, once over, it wouldn't have been in question at this still relatively early juncture.

Once you become a 'hire-and-fire' club and start pandering to the knee-jerk ramblings of fans, you are in a bad spot... a very bad spot.

The remaining games this season (and he will see them out) will undoubtedly decide the manager's fate, so the constant sniping is utterly pointless. Wouldn't it be nice if the fans would actually support and hope for him to succeed, rather than undermining our attempts at winning a trophy by creating a frankly poisonous environment around the club?

We once enjoyed a justified tag as 'classy' and 'knowledgeable' fans at Everton – not any more. Wahhh wahhh... I want it now mummy. Seriously lads, come on.

Kunal Desai
56 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:19:40
Can we have those boring England friendlies back, I quite enjoyed not listening to this buffoon spouting shite for two weeks.

Neil - Are you sure your post isn't an April fools post, as it certainly sounds like one. "We have fantastic away form" – what? 5 wins and 7 draws – I'd hardly call that 'fantastic'. Only 5 more points than our dire home form which you fail to mention.

As for getting to cup semi-finals and and a good Europa League run, so what? Moyes also managed it. It didn't get him any silverware. Potentially we could still win a cup this season, but let's wait and see what happens in the semi-finals before you start lauding Martinez up.

Maybe you're happy with pass, pass, pass football and it gets nowhere other than back to the goalkeeper or a defence who haven't a clue how to defend because the manager has no interest in learning and addressing this part of the game; however, thousands of Evertonians aren't prepared to put up with this rubbish much longer. Martinez's days are slowly diminishing by the day.

If he gets to next season, which I sincerely hope he doesn't, then I can see it getting very ugly for Roberto and where the board make a decision because of the fans.

Steve Hopkins
57 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:23:35
A 'hire and fire' club would have quite possibly sacked him at the end of last season and most definitely before now during this season.

As soon as Mourinho started racking up bad results to go with the nonsensical bullshit he spouts – not to mention blaming it all on someone else (the doctor) – he was out of there like a shot, less than half a season after they won the Premier League.

David Moyes at Man Utd – less than a season with their poorest team for decades and fired. That's hiring and firing. Arguably Mourinho had the pedigree and Moyes the excuses to be given more time and turn their respective situations around.

Martinez has had the most exciting Everton squad for decades, financial backing, time and little pressure from above... so I for one would have no no guilt or 'what-if's in my mind if he was sacked tomorrow.

Steve Hopkins
58 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:33:55
When Moyes left, I was genuinely apprehensive for the future, it felt like splitting up with a girlfriend of over a decade.

Martinez was the rebound who was fun for 30 seconds behind the bike shed but won't stop calling and has left me with a nasty itching sensation. Get rid before he leaves us with something that a couple of weeks worth of tablets can't fix...

Joe Foster
59 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:38:54
Ha ha ha ha cough cough ha ha ha. Wipes tears from eyes.
John Keating
60 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:49:24
Neil,

He has been here almost three seasons and I would suggest that is a "fair crack at the whip". Can I ask what has "hugely impressed" you? You are certainly entitled to your opinion but it is just that, your opinion.

My opinion is that, in the main, the last two seasons have been dire shit. Just because you do not agree doesn't mean I am registered blind and getting "duff commentary". By the way, as far as I know, we don't get commentary in the Gwladys Street.

What really pisses me off is Everton supporters blaming Everton supporters for being the reason that this imposter is orchestrating this team to produce this dire shit we watch. If Martinez was producing this "great play... composure on the ball... etc" do you think the atmosphere at Goodison would be like a morgue??? Do you think there would be so many threads and posts slagging off Martinez and the team?

You should be looking at the reason the team is as poor as its league position reflects. I can assure you it is not due to the embarrassing supporters.

Jamie Crowley
61 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:50:10
After reading Rom's comments earlier in the week, I was incredibly fearful he's off.

I don't think Martinez said anything wrong here and acquitted himself well.

In fact, that stubborn streak of his that has so many Blues not only frustrated but damn pissed at times, may actually prove to be very beneficial in potentially holding on to Lukaku.

I think Roberto is prepared to dig his heels in.

Don Alexander
62 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:52:23
By his very own template, Martinez can be judged a washout. His template was to achieve Champions League football and common-sense dictates that he must have planned it within the span of his first contract.

Unlike the fans of "major" clubs like Spurs, Leicester and West Ham this season, for whom Champions League is a very real prospect indeed, we're a washout, again.

Those others who have failed this year, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea amongst them, are all getting new management in to try to rectify things for them. If you don't know what Neil Steele knows about the value of complacent loyalty against accountability for your very own mandate, you might even think other professional clubs won't stand for (a) shit.

"Shame on them" might be the refrain of Neil and some of our really really nice supporters of the (allegedly) really really nice man that relentlessly shows zero change as our status continues to nosedive.

And if the Europa League campaign and a semi-final or two floats your boat, you too, in my opinion, are complicit with the mediocrity that's been flowing out to us fans for way too long.

Sometimes, Neil, a chap has to be, ahem, beastly to succeed.

Michael Williams
63 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:55:11
Neil (#54). I'm with you. Especially this: "Wouldn't it be nice if the fans would actually support and hope for him to succeed, rather than undermining our attempts at winning a trophy by creating a frankly poisonous environment around the club?"

Martinez can do no right. Supporters here ripped him after the club won a cup game 3-0 because they did not score more goals.

Steve Hopkins
64 Posted 01/04/2016 at 21:58:58
This is the third year of his tenure so HIS squad, HIS tactics, HIS training and HIS responsibility if it fails.

I know Arsene Wenger isn't universally loved among Gooners but who of us would turn down a Champions League place most seasons and the odd FA Cup thrown in?

I, for one, would have more respect for Martinez if he did what Wenger did and said "You know what – I'm not that fussed about defending, so I'm going to bring an old top level defender like Dave Watson in to sort that side of things out."

I know Arsenal didn't go and win the title as a result of bringing Steve Bould in but it made them a damn sight harder to beat and earned Wenger a bit of respect from the restless fans by showing a willingness to change his approach.

Martin Nicholls
65 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:04:29
Look on the bright side guys – Niasse is now up to 50-60% fitness!
Ray Smith
66 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:09:48
I don't think Moshiri is going to plough his money into non-entities. This thread contains some absolute Martinez nepotism. Martinez's latest comments indicate that he will be with us next season!!!

In this day and age, it's not the financial rewards, but trophies that count! So another mediocre season beckons unless Moshiri wields the axe before the end of the season, not after.

The financial rewards these days are such, that the top players are only looking towards playing in the Champions League. It appears we can offer the wages, but no Champions League, so who will join us? Players on the way down!!!

Steve Hopkins
67 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:26:52
Even if Moshiri does put money into the club, where has this idea that we're going to be super rich come from? All we've done is level the middle of the playing field, financially, with teams like Leicester and Bournemouth who've already had significant foreign investment and will also be reaping the rewards of the new TV deal.

Of course, Leicester will soon benefit from Champions League money and quite possibly be winning the Premier League as well.

Paul Holmes
68 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:30:43
Martinez earns more money in one week than most of our fans earn in three years. Let's be honest, it's a results-based business and we are Wigan, but with more money to spend. Chelsea and Liverpool both changed their managers because of results, and they are above us. Swansea also changed their manager because they feared relegation and they are only two points behind us!

Stop listening to the Martinez propaganda and send him back to play his type of football to a middle of the road Spanish outfit! He's been here for three years and the consensus on ToffeeWeb is that he's no Klopp. ADIOS, ROBERTO!
Patrick Murphy
69 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:37:02
Excuse me... where is this "poisonous environment" that surrounds the club? I didn't see it against Arsenal – it was certainly quiet but not poisonous; it certainly wasn't apparent in the FA Cup tie against Chelsea; and I imagine it won't be at Wembley in the Semi-Final.

In fact, during all my time in watching the Blues at Goodison, I don't remember too many 'poisonous' atmospheres surrounding Everton. Yes, there were stay-away supporters and the odd leaflet here and there but 'poisonous'? Never – not towards the team at any rate.

It's the very fact that Mr Martinez and his team are not succeeding or indeed looking as if they might not succeed or worse, fail miserably, which is at the heart of the matter and not the fact that a pretty patient crowd has turned on him or the players. But give it time, as patience will run out eventually and then you might see an extremely unpleasant atmosphere which none of us want to witness.

Andy Crooks
70 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:48:10
Neil, the fans you believe are embarassing the club have an emotional commitment that will remain long after a hired hand like Martinez has gone. To me, it's the arms-folded, bewildered coach who is an embarrassment to the club.

I think that blaming Evertonians for another dreadful Premier League campaign is just astonishing.

Trevor Peers
71 Posted 01/04/2016 at 22:53:48
Steve @ 67, Roberto will never take on a defensive coach, he's a one-man band of a manager – anyone who thinks differently from him is quickly isolated and then discarded.

Maybe he's right that we don't need to sell in the summer, with the extra revenue. But that doesn't make him a better manager, it's just simple economics. Roberto is just stating the obvious.

Nick Armitage
72 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:01:48
The only thing we should fear is not losing the manager.
Phil Walling
73 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:03:11
Non-matchgoers are making these allegations against long-suffering season ticket holders who dare to utter criticism of the manager and team.

I don't go anymore but I have only admiration for those that do.

Steve Hopkins
74 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:05:50
Yep, Trevor, and it's that inflexibility and unwillingness to learn from his mistakes which makes it incredibly unlikely that he would ever reward the (commendable) patience of people like Neil. It's sad because look how well he complimented the residual organisational and defensive skills and fitness levels left by Moyes, if only he would accept some extra critical input.

I genuinely don't mean this as an insult to him but I believe that his skills would make him an excellent member of the youth team staff; he clearly has an eye for talent and his positivity and encouragement has led to improvements in our younger players. Without extra tactical and defensive input ,I just don't see him as a top-level manager.

Bill Gall
75 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:08:46
Trevor I have argued with people about bringing in a defensive coach to help Martinez to keep his philosophy with a strong defense. The last person I argued with told me he had a defensive coach that he had at Swansea, took him to Wigan, and brought him to Everton when he came... "Figure that one out."
Phil Walling
76 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:29:04
I do feel that the utterings of Neil Steele above accurately reflect the views of the club's hierarchy at this time. Theirs is a different perspective on the scene than that taken by most on this site but it is the one which will hold sway.

Roberto has clearly been promised maximum support in his methods and transfer dealings – money is no object, he seems to be saying. But it's what he'll do with the players he signs that worries me.

That's after they've all had four or five months to settle in, à la Niasse!

Ernie Baywood
77 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:37:18
Martinez says some ridiculous things, but this wasn't one of them.

Yet we have people deliberately misquoting him in the comments and then attacking their own misquote.

He said "financially, we can compete" not just "we can compete". And then people have the nerve to say Martinez twists questions and talks rubbish.

If we can compete financially, then we lose contracted players by choice, or because the offer is ridiculous. I'd hope that's where we are at.

Steve Hopkins
78 Posted 01/04/2016 at 23:40:55
I second your player management concerns, Phil. The way he treated Naismith stank – the guy was our second most natural goalscorer and never got a look-in after scoring the hat-trick against Chelsea. Instead, he persisted with Kone. In games/debacles against Swansea and West Brom, we were crying out for a goal scoring foil for Lukaku, someone who could be in and around the 6-yard box. Fair enough, we got a good price for Naismith but what price for not having a Plan B in games.

I know Mirallas has proved himself to be a brainless tit against West Ham but I still believe he could have been handled better for the last year and a half, either by selling him or giving him more of a role in the team.

Andrew Ellams
79 Posted 02/04/2016 at 00:17:00
It looks to me like Roberto will be here next season so now is the time to get shut of his useless backroom staff and bring in Gary Neville as his number two. That might show some kind of ambition and convince some of our young talent to give it at least another year.
Phil Sammon
80 Posted 02/04/2016 at 00:20:16
Steve 78

That's not true, regarding Naismith. He was given opportunities after the Chelsea game and was largely anonymous.

He's a natural finisher, you're right, but he is a very awkward player to fit into a team who do not play with two strikers.

Mirallas has been criminally underused, as has Deulofeu lately. Barkley, Barry, McCarthy are all guaranteed 85 minutes regardless of form or circumstance. It's so frustrating to watch.

I've pretty much stopped posting on TW and feel almost no sense of excitement/nervousness about our upcoming fixtures. I just feel it's all so irrelevant with Martinez in charge. We are going nowhere – and 79% of the fans seem to agree. Get this guy out of our club!

Phil Jeffries
81 Posted 02/04/2016 at 00:27:16
Martinez will never get sacked while we still have a chance of winning the FA Cup. His future will be decided in the summer, so let's just get behind the team and hope that we lift a trophy for the first time in 20 years! I support Everton FC, not Roberto Martinez.
Andrew James
82 Posted 02/04/2016 at 00:37:28
The crowd gets nervous and quiet because it knows what went before. At home we are shockingly bad.

Moyes made Goodison somewhere teams didn't like coming to. Martinez has literally made the "Welcome to Goodison" into "welcome here and leave with points"...

He must go and if the board don't do it, there needs to be demos... the last 2 seasons have been unacceptable.

Anyone defending the fact we are in the lower half is stupid. We should be in the Top 8 at least with two players who have scored in double figures!

Derek Thomas
83 Posted 02/04/2016 at 02:58:36
Best get used to it... it won't be too bad, think of the cash as financial Vaseline. Deals are more or less, in principle, DONE...just the timing and usual fine print stuff left to sort.
Jay Harris
85 Posted 02/04/2016 at 05:48:47
Martinez's statements smell of a man under severe pressure.

Do we ever hear any other manager saying, "We can compete with anybody in the world financially"?

Roberto, finances may help but it's good management and motivation of players that count – not bullshit statements that you can't back up.

Take a leaf out of Ranieri's book a simple man who promises nothing but delivers much without getting backing from Fort Knox..

We do not want jam tomorrow – we want it today. Your time is up.

Steve Bingham
87 Posted 02/04/2016 at 08:16:22
He doesn't seem to understand that we are not scared of losing anyone but actually terrified of having to keep him!!
James Byrne
88 Posted 02/04/2016 at 08:31:27
I really struggle to even try and take in anything this idiot talks about. This is a really worrying period for Everton FC.

For the manager to come out with shite like this his statement will have been carefully worded and prepared so god knows what is being schemed up between Moshiri, Bullshit Bill and the Manager.

Very uncertain future ahead.

Phil Walling
90 Posted 02/04/2016 at 09:14:38
James, don't be surprised if FA Cup success is followed by news of a new and improved contract for Roberto.

ps: I still want us to win it, though!

Gary Edwards
91 Posted 02/04/2016 at 09:15:19

"Don't be afraid if we lose our best players" ... because:

Gibson, Osman and Hibbert have signed new 3-year deals? We've got a great crop of youngsters coming through the ranks whom, given time with your coaching 'methods', you'll fuck up too?

Enough from this charlatan. Why is it so obvious to everyone who knows / cares about football that this man is an embarrassment to our great club... yet the club apparently don't see that ? If our new major shareholder is half the businessman he appears to be, resolving the manager 'situation' should be top of the agenda.

Get a proper manager in, clear the deadwood, show desire to progress, and the top players will want to stay.

Joe Foster
92 Posted 02/04/2016 at 09:26:26
I think I may have said this before but he just doesn't talk, act or come across as an Everton manager to me. He used to anger me but now he leaves me emotionless, like I could not care less what he says or does.
Phil Walling
94 Posted 02/04/2016 at 09:31:16
Gary, it hardly bears repeating but BK retains responsibility for football matters whilst Moshiri will concentrate on ground and commercial matters.

Bill bought into Roberto's philosophy and trusts him implicitly to deliver 'success' within the period of his contract. Success being determined by 'top four', I guess.

The new money raining down on all Premier League clubs may have changed the dynamic somewhat and I'm sure a real flirtation with relegation might be re-acted to. But not much else.

Tony Waring
95 Posted 02/04/2016 at 09:52:10
I reckon we should offer defensive coach position to Mr Moyes! Assuming Gary Neville is not available.
Steve Davies
96 Posted 02/04/2016 at 09:56:24
Steve Hopkins 58, I love the analogy. I am waiting in this queue for SF tickets, position 29.

I will ask EFC for a season ticket for the last 12 games of the season, as under that bullshitter they are the only games that matter. Phenomenal....

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 02/04/2016 at 10:41:45
I don't want Martinez to stay, but I don't think he's said anything wrong here. Dammed if you do, and dammed if you don't, but before Martinez came to Everton, we would have been lucky to get our money back on Naismith!

He's so frustrating, this manager, because he's made the squad better but he doesn't seem to know how to use it.

I believe that any team that sets up like Everton do in most games will eventually suffer a terrible fate, because the first rule of any sport is you have got to be hard to beat. His team can only really compete when they go against his philosophy. If you look at our last two home matches for an example. Why change a system that worked against Chelsea, when you are playing the best passing team in the country the next week?

Neil Steele
98 Posted 02/04/2016 at 10:49:47
The thing I am picking up from this comments thread is that the modern football fan is simply obsessed with statistics. I remember a time when people used to assess games (and players) based on visual evidence, not just numbers on a page.

Our team hasn't been playing badly this season – quite the opposite, actually – but we have repeatedly shot ourselves in the foot through rank amateur defending and naivety.

I have no problem admitting the latter, and placing the blame at the manager's door, I just don't quite understand why people are unwilling to deal in reality and comment on what they see rather than simply leaning on 'statistics', which make us seem like a far worse football team than our performances would suggest?

I would put it to people that, despite having dropped a few points and league places in the last 2 seasons, we are actually a team that looks much more likely to win something now, an actual tin pot, than we ever did under Moyes.

The reason that managers like Moyes, Pulis and Allardyce set their teams up as they do, is because that is the EASY thing to do! Poor coaches spend the majority of their time concentrating on 'how to stop the opposition', rather than how to go out and control a game, win on their terms. It works, to an extent, as these managers develop reputations for offering a club 'security', and quite often the promise of a few league places above their actual ability... yet none of them ever have, or ever will, actually amount to anything, win anything, or be capable of managing a top club.

I am not dismissing the benefits of defending properly in the slightest, in fact I think Roberto should perhaps have some new coaches FORCED upon him if he is to retain his position, but make no mistake... being comfortable on the ball, being able to retain your composure under pressure because you train ball retention every day, being able to score goals from open-play freely... these are all FAR more valuable attributes, and attributes much harder to come by.

Moyes got us to Wembley a few times (finally, after many, many years)... and we froze. We couldn't keep the ball... we had literally no idea how to go out and win a one-off all important cup match. When we did get ourselves in front, we couldn't handle the situation, because we were trained only how to 'stop the opposition', and hope to 'nick one', which on a scorching hot day on a big Wembley pitch, just isn't going to cut the mustard.

This manager (frustratingly) works on the exact opposite philosophy; it is nothing about the opposition, everything about playing our own game, on our terms.

The pitfalls of the latter are clear, but it disappoints me greatly how our fans are driven far more by fear and negativity than they are by hope or belief.

It feels very much that after 11 years of David Moyes (a dreadfully negative and downtrodden character), that we have developed a fanbase in his image??

I will leave this thread with a thought back to the West Ham United home game as the perfect example of Roberto Martinez's pros and cons. We played exceptionally well, scored two beautiful goals, and even managed to control the game for over an hour (adding to our lead) with 10-men. The play, the control of the game, was something that we would never have been capable of pre-Martinez, that is an absolute cast iron fact... the way we were able to play, unaffected, a man light and still control the play was a joy to behold. We then miss a penalty kick to go 3-0 up, and plagued by the mental fragility that comes with having thrown away so many wins this season, we collapsed like a deck of cards. Some of that was down to individual errors, some down to a collective loss of belief. Some, importantly, also down to a pretty horrendous substitution choice by the manager. Somehow, we managed to throw the game away and lose.

But that is where I get over my anger, I sit and review, and I think clearly and logically. Is it harder to train a team to be able to do what we did for the best part of 80 minutes, or is it harder to coach a team to have the basic defensive organisation and resilience to not concede 3 goals in 10 minutes?

For me, clearly the former is where the value lies..and the latter is something that any decent manager should be capable of putting right. I would be absolutely loathe to let our knee-jerk reactions, fear and negativity part us from an excellent technical coach, because he seemingly has a blind spot and total naivety when it comes to the very basic (but essential) 'dirtier' parts of the game.

Get him some new coaches... shout at him to wake up... do whatever we need to do to turn the 50% genius 50% buffoon into 80-90% perfection that will deliver us real success. There is no need though, none at all, to be wielding the axe at this stage.

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:11:44
Neil, very good post, in your defence of Martinez. He used to give me bipolar, until we played City, in the second leg at the Etihad.

West Ham was a terrific performance and is another great example of Roberto's shortcomings. Know your players is what I say, because if you don't, they will only let you down.

I think the players will be feeling exactly the same way about the manager now, because for all the positive and correct things you say about the manager, it's his defensive neglect or niavety that is really letting this team down right now.

Stephen Brown
100 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:17:58
Some good points made there Neil! I hope you're correct and these mistakes can be rectified!
Michael Williams
101 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:19:57
Neil (#98). You have put into words almost exactly how I feel. Martinez is trying to build something special, a great European team, not just a successful, results-oriented Premier League team. He is trying to build a team that forces others, no matter who they are, to play on Everton's terms. When it works, it's beautiful. See the closeout at Man City. No Row Z but controlling the game through the end, even with ten men.

I will add this: The players on this team with great talent are young and inexperienced. What Roberto is trying to do is get his young players to reach their maximum potential and that sometimes cost us games. For him, I think this is more of a development phase of the team as opposed to playing for strictly results. He is playing a longer game.

I agree with many here that Martinez should learn to close up shop at the end of some games and sometimes his philosophy gets in the way of a result. I understand the supporters' frustrations. I have seen signs he's getting this and I hope he does it more.

As for what Martinez says in this article, I don't care what a coach says 90% of the time because it's just meaningless "coach speak." What I do care about is that Martinez's project for Everton is extremely ambitious and I for one would like to see it go further.

Ste Lewis
102 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:31:41
Thank goodness for Neil Steele speaking up on here. My opinion too so it's not a piss-take. I reckon one Evertonian is now only worth 19.5 Liverpudlians. ;-)
Phil Walling
103 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:32:14
Great manager, indeed, Neil. He just needs some decent coaches 'forced upon him'. I've read it all now.

You set him up to be some Professor of Football who only requires a staffroom of coaching practitioners to take responsibility for actually garnering a few points.

Like your hero, himself, you are obviously addicted to viewing 'the beautiful game' rather than having much interest which team actually wins games!


Neil Steele
104 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:38:14
Stephen and Michael (101, 102), I'm so glad that there are others who see what I see and retain some belief!

There are no guarantees in football, and ultimately we may have to make a change at some stage... but I know that I would rather invest some more patience and faith in a man who is at least trying to do it the right way – the way that is proven across european football to be the route to success – than some dour 'percentage' hoof merchant who will maybe secure an extra 10 (ultimately useless) league points by employing a brand of football that will never take us anywhere.

If we can go ahead and win this FA Cup, coupled with the arrival of our new investor and the promise of a stadium project on the horizon, it could be the dawn of a beautiful new era for this football club.

For now, I am still willing to dream Roberto's dream and believe that when the penny drops, we will be left with something very, very special indeed.

Ian Robert
105 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:47:16
Can someone get me a packet of the drugs Neil is taking please?
John Keating
106 Posted 02/04/2016 at 11:51:16
I stopped reading after the first paragraph

"...the modern football fan is simply obsessed with statistics"

For 3 seasons we have had the idiot in charge telling us week after week that we had more passes, more possession, better completion, on and on and on. And this is AFTER we've been beaten – again!!!

It is the supporters who react to what they actually see every game. It is the fans who, week after week, complain about Martinez's obsession on statistics and not what actually happens. The fact he ignores mistakes and poor slow build up as long as his statistics are in the positive. Martinez is the statistician – not the fans.

Again, another post by someone who obviously doesn't go to a match and is obsessed by the failed retrograde tactics of a man out of his depth in the real world.

Yes, we got beat... but we had more possession and more passes.

Unbelievable!!!

Tony Cheek
107 Posted 02/04/2016 at 12:12:19
There is only one thing I fear – Roberto. That you are our manager at the start of next season!
Phil Sammon
108 Posted 02/04/2016 at 12:26:38
John (#106),

Thank God somebody finally said it!

The fans looking at statistics??? It's the absolute opposite!

Martinez is the one who has midfielders thinking about pass-completion percentages before they make probing through-balls.

Talk about misrepresenting the evidence laid before you. This manager is currently making a living arguing that statistically we're actually a hair's breadth from being a great team. Meanwhile ignoring that stat in the final column... you know, the one that matters.

Dave Abrahams
109 Posted 02/04/2016 at 12:45:35
Neil (#98)...

Well good luck to you and your opinions. You have absolutely convinced yourself that everything is going to be fine in the future under Roberto... I don't think you will change many fans' minds on here.

Rob Dolby
110 Posted 02/04/2016 at 13:17:32
I don't think anyone wants Pullis or Alladyce to replace Roberto not unless we are in the bottom 3 at Christmas. What's wrong with wanting a progressive footballing manager who also values clean sheets and the art of defending, or doing the dirty stuff as someone has posted?

There are two nets on a pitch not just the one that we try and score goals in. Someone should point that out to Roberto and Dennis Lawrence. I am fed up of our 'After you Claude' tactics.

Tony McNulty
111 Posted 02/04/2016 at 13:25:15
A season of underperformance and squandered opportunity.
Brian Williams
112 Posted 02/04/2016 at 13:41:51
Neil (98).

Mate, you contradict yourself so many times in the first paragraph and a half that it made me dizzy.

In the real world now for a minute... football is a results-oriented sport, like it or not. If you play like Barca every week but get beat 5-4, 7-6 or whatever and end up one of the three teams in the Premier League with the least points, YOU'LL GET RELEGATED.

Nobody will say "Ah they played great stuff though so they can stay up." I think you've really bought into Roberto's ideals... unfortunately we don't live, and never will, in an ideal world.

Mark Andrews
114 Posted 02/04/2016 at 14:11:20
The more I read "Phenomenal Bob's" bluster and diatribe, the less I believe him.
Nick Armitage
115 Posted 02/04/2016 at 14:11:52
Neil, try this statistic: 4 home wins all season. Professional football is about winning.

Martinez was out of his depth at Wigan. He is so far out of his depth at a big club, it's untrue. He has no history of improving teams at the highest level. The sooner he goes the better.

It is beyond me why some Evertonians are still supporting the idiot.

Barry Jones
116 Posted 02/04/2016 at 14:41:57
The delusional statements of Martinez, the delusional statements of Kenwright... and now the delusional statements of Martinez's disciple. It's all too much for me.
Brian Williams
117 Posted 02/04/2016 at 14:45:21
Get rid now, I say. Look at Chelsea's change of fortune since they got rid of Mememourinho.... not lost a game since.

Get someone in who'll get us set to win the FA Cup... because Roberto won't.

Martin Mason
118 Posted 02/04/2016 at 14:58:44
I read a very good article on Leicester City today which may pierce the concept of possession football being the European way to achieve success. Leicester's success this year has been based on low possession rates (<45%) but a tigerish will to defend, tackle, get the ball back and counter attack quickly via Route 1. The majority of their goals have been scored during attacks that involved the least number of passes. This was also true of other unfashionable sides that did well in European leagues. It's in today's Telegraph.

The message is that, if you are a billionaire side, then perhaps possession football works but, if not, then hard work and direct attacking may be a better bet.

Ray Said
119 Posted 02/04/2016 at 15:14:22
It's a digression from the main thread but I read an article in yesterday's Guardian on the challenge facing Benitez at Newcastle and some of it bears repeating as it strikes a chord with what Martinez's 'philosophy' seems to be;

"Arguably, part of McClaren's failure was down to a bold attempt to alter the team's philosophy, with his introduction of the subsequently abandoned so-called “six-pass rule” proving especially disastrous.

The idea was that the team made six, normally sideways, passes to ensure they “controlled the phase of play” before advancing, with this policy not only failing to enable them to “pass through” opponents."

This is contrasted with Leicester's route to success as mentioned by Martin Mason (#118). Passing for passing's sake is is the route to the Championship and seems to be practiced by coaches who have no real idea about how to win a game.

Neil Steele
120 Posted 02/04/2016 at 15:26:32
I think to stand Leicester City up as 'proof' of an idea contradictory to a much, much wider evidence sample of years and years is far more delusional than anything Roberto Martinez has come out with!

They are an exception, not the rule. By all means, if they are still here next season doing this (let alone in 3 or 4) then come back and tell me I am wrong.

Until then, I will stick with my common sense.

Don Alexander
121 Posted 02/04/2016 at 15:36:05
I'm now sure "Neil Steele" at #104 is an April Fool spoof identity because his "extra 10 (ultimately useless) league points" would actually now have us 3 points behind Man City in 4th (and a Champions League) place with a game in hand.

Well done, whoever you are, for such a wicked sense of humour. You are "incredible"!

Phil Walling
122 Posted 02/04/2016 at 15:39:11
Neil, to settle the argument, name half-a-dozen teams to have achieved success ie. won things using the tactics Martinez and your good self hold dear. (Wigan excepted.)
Neil Steele
123 Posted 02/04/2016 at 15:43:57
Don (121), I didn't think I had to cater for such pedantry! 1. Obviously (I thought, seemingly I credited too much sense) this was based on a season, not a point in time 2. How could it be exact? It is a generalism..you can pick the gap yourself at the end based on a comparative against Moyes.

No Everton manager has taken the club into the Champions League, so if we come right back to the beginning, and Romelu Lukaku's desires... any counter argument is spitting in the rain. He desires what this club has never thus far delivered... so I'd say it's better that we work together to improve, rather than deserting as the fans are (generally) doing now.

Kevin Judge
124 Posted 02/04/2016 at 15:56:51
Well put, Neil (#98). What is it about people on this site, the calling of names, slagging off a man who is our manager?! He is in his 3rd season. Granted we have not performed at home which is very frustrating.

The facts are, for one, our greatest ever manager, Howard Kendall, took just over 3 years to turn it around. Alex Ferguson the most successful manager of all time in the premiership took just on 4 years to bring success.

People say on here about Martinez: look what he did with Wigan! Can any of you on here name one manager or coach that would have done any better?

Mourinho, Guardiola, Benitez and all the other so-called top class coaches would never in a million years achieve what Martinez achieved there. They all need money to achieve anything.

It's a disgrace what some so-called men on here calling Martinez disgraceful, and no need to.

The same treatment was targeted at our most successful manager too; people do have very short memories. Coyb.

Jim Bailey
125 Posted 02/04/2016 at 16:03:16
Barry@116, I feel your pain.
John Keating
126 Posted 02/04/2016 at 16:29:53
"Neil Steele" or whatever your real name is. Since the inception of the Premier League, without doubt Ferguson's Man Utd have been by far the most successful team.

No way and no how could they be aligned with your (and Martinez's) pathetic tippy-tappy.

The nearest we have seen to Everton's pathetic efforts is Arsenal; however, trying to compare Wenger and Martinez is like night and day. Wenger has a proven history in the top league... Martinez is a proven failure.

Neil Steele
127 Posted 02/04/2016 at 16:36:18
John, I am not trying to convince you... I realised a long time ago that you cannot put sense where there is none!

I shall leave it for reasonable people to consider the merits of our relative posts and 'arguments' and decide for themselves which sound more considered, logical and coherent.

Good day to you, squire.

Ray Said
131 Posted 02/04/2016 at 17:01:08
John Keating (126) RM is like a Wenger tribute act- a really crap one. Like the fellas who wear a black suit and trilby and pretend they are the Blues Brothers
Don Alexander
133 Posted 02/04/2016 at 17:40:38
Neil, try this for an analogy;

Me and 'most everyone else sees a crew that can all too rarely unfurl its sail to success.

Why then is it all too rare an event?

The crew's more or less the same, the winds are more or less the same too, but the sail just doesn't always work. So, it might just be the mast.

If the mast isn't big or strong enough for the job it has to be replaced for one that can stretch that fucking sail (and crew) to its limit, in order to get the most out of it. It really is that simple.

The alternative is drifting in the doldrums....... until we sink.

Using the same mast for three years and still hoping it'll yet come good is bizarre, especially when it visibly shrinks year after year.

If you're wondering, the sail is the game plan in football, the crew are the players. Hopefully you can identify the plank that thinks he's a mast.

Aye-aye!

John Keating
134 Posted 02/04/2016 at 17:45:01
Neil,

I'm just asking you to explain a few of your comments, which you have not.

As is accepted, the Premier eague table does not lie.

Martinez' history does not lie.

You are not talking sense at all as you are so focused on ignoring any criticism of your hero you are unable to talk sense.

Before you condemn genuine match going supporters and accuse them of things they are not doing may I suggest you actually go to a home game after which we will await your apology.

Christine Foster
135 Posted 02/04/2016 at 17:47:05
Neil, the object of the game is too win. How you do so is up to the manager and players. Really simple.

The fact is, we can play some great football, but we are also blighted by poor defensive tactics and player mistakes.

It's up to the manager to ensure the tactics used ensure a win, it is also worth noting that such tactics are fluid during a game, depending on whether you are winning or losing. This is something our Inspirational One has failed to do with alarming consistency – not just at our club but at his previous clubs as well.

Winning games in the Premier League requires teams to attack and defend with equal ability; once again, we have failed to do so and have paid the price of such inconsistency.

If we have experienced players making mistakes, it cannot all be due to misfortune, take Stones's slip on England duty, the common sense thing to do was pass it back to the keeper to clear. But he is either being allowed or encouraged to play this way.

The point is risk. If you have outstanding players, you can take risks based on their ability. If you have good or average players, then it's a question of percentages, and more often than not, mistakes are made. Goals are lost.

The style of football is good to watch but totally lacks pragmatism. Players are making mistakes because they are being asked to do things which they simply aren't good enough to complete.

Neil Steele
136 Posted 02/04/2016 at 17:50:54
John, I have explained every comment I have made, and I have balanced them with glaringly obvious (justified) criticisms of the manager - do you not read too well?

Unlike you, however, I am able to temper all of my assessments of the man (positive and negative) with some perspective.

If you introduced as many facts to your retorts as you do cliches (Wigan, 'tippy tappy' etc), they may be mildly more stimulating!

As it is, you just read like an emotion-driven typical run-of-the-mill knee-jerk JCL Premier League fan. Wahhh, wahhhh..now, now, now. No?

Ray Said
137 Posted 02/04/2016 at 17:52:12
Well put Christine (135). I would want my goalie and defenders to be risk averse and not take chances, I would want one of my central midfielders to be risk averse and one to be a risk taker and would want my attackers to be risk takers.
Sam Hoare
138 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:00:18
Neil 98. I totally agree.

You say 'For me, clearly the former is where the value lies..and the latter is something that any decent manager should be capable of putting right.'

And yet Martinez has not put it right all season. Ergo....

Neil Steele
139 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:03:55
Christine, Ray...I think we established the hugely obvious defensive issues about 70 posts ago - this is not rocket science.

But to say it is about 'results', to the extent of implying a complete and utter blindness to style or performance levels is naive in the extreme.

West Brom came to Goodison and got a 'result', through a combination of luck and utterly dreadful football. A few weeks later, they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Reading – a team we smashed to pieces in the League Cup. You see, when you play 'not to lose', and to upset better teams... it will often work and you'll feel really clever and like you have got one over on the big boys, but the trouble is, that turgid style also levels the playing field and puts you at a significant disadvantage against poor sides who will play you at your own game.

And Ray, man, defenders to be risk averse and defend... similar in midfield. You are stuck in a bygone era mate.

Tune in to El Classico tonight and take a lesson in modern football and reality! No team in the world buys players and just turns up and plays champagne football... if you want it you have to believe in it, you have to practice it every day and you have to remain committed to it when you face bumps in the road.

Otherwise, get Moyes back; fab... we'll be 3 or 4 places higher, never have a chance of a cup, and play turgid hoofball. But hey, at least we can all crack open the champagne corks and celebrate our defensive record hey!!! Laughable.

Darryl Ritchie
140 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:18:35
Neil re #136

If not now; when?

Don Alexander
141 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:28:19
But Neil, there is no evidence at all of Martinez producing what you desire! Quite the opposite, in fact, even after his stock of get-out excuses has all but now run dry ("Coming back from an exhausting World Cup stretched us" / "taking part in an incredible Europa League campaign stretched us" / "erm, refereeing decisions went against us").

Just what has he ever done in seven years of Premier Leagyue management for anyone to think he can do what you, and the rest of us in terms of what we want NOW for the club, want?

And spare me the "it's a project over several seasons" line. Several of those now competing right at the top of our league did anything remarkable last season but hey presto, with new managers in Ranieri, Bilic, Pochettino and Koeman they've left Bobby Brown Shoes in the dust.

Christine Foster
142 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:33:39
Neil, your comments are both arrogant and naive; like our team – style without substance.

The point is, whether you agree or not, we have a manager who cannot, will not change a style of play that is at odds with our ability to play it on a consistent basis.

I, like many others, have no wish to return to a Moyes-based manager who can fashion half a philosophy based on defence. With Martinez, we have the polar opposite.

I would love Martinez to adopt some pragmatism into his philosophy as he would become the finished article he thinks he is. For without it nothing changes.

As for your dismissive appreciation of our team's failings some 70 posts ago, I suggest it was made more like 7,000 posts ago. Alas, no-one of importance is listening.

Martin Mason
143 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:38:32
Arguably Everton's best performances this season were against Southampton and Chelsea where we didn't have all the possession but we attacked directly, sweeping out of defence with the ball in the net in just a few passes.

At Mam City we didn't have possession and played well without scoring. I'd say that the football that I see as possession for the sake of it is, like 3 at the back, alien to how we can play.

It's impossible to generalise but I see no decent sides now playing this type of game. Jurgen had nothing to do with it at Dortmund and doesn't at Liverpool.

Trevor Peers
144 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:43:06
Neil, I genuinely feel sorry for you if can't see Roberto's shortcomings as a manager. Not to realise that he is a failure is extraordinary.
John Keating
145 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:47:21
Neil, just a couple of your balanced comments:

"Our fans are embarrassing the Club." – Possibly it is Martinez and his team that are embarrassing our Club.

"I am commenting based on the evidence I have seen and heard, not just recently but for 12 months." – Well I go the match and haven't heard this so where do you sit and what games where they?

"Where is the credit for our fantastic away form" – Five Wins but let's not mention our home form.

"Give him a fair crack of the whip" – THREE seasons. No signs of improving. No signs of rectifying the mistakes that were obvious in his first season.

"The modern football fan is simply obsessed with statistics"... "I remember a time when people used to assess games and players on visual evidence, not just on numbers on a page." – Martinez is the biggest exponent in statistics I have ever heard of. It is he who continually goes on about possession, pass completions etc. It is the supporters who use visual evidence, hence the disenchantment with the manager and team. You have this completely upside down.

"Our team hasn't been playing badly this season, quite the opposite actually" – Hence our challenge for Champions League places!! Have you actually watched any games? Check out the last game at home and then mention the above.

"People are unwilling to deal in reality and comment on what they see rather than leaning on "statistics" which make us look like a far worse football team than our performances would suggest." – Unbelievable. We are commenting on what we see every bloody game.

Neil, I just can't go on with any more. All your posts are filled with your opinions. The above is just a taster of your balanced arguments. Some of them are "phenomenal". The one where you talk about the West Ham game where the manager and team controlled the game, great football etc. We actually lost that game, Neil.

Then you revert to the personal insults. Such as, I do not agree with you as I do not see at the match what you see on the telly so I am "registered blind".

You have your opinion which I do not support in any way and I personally hope your hero is shown the door sooner rather than later and before he completes his Wiganisation of our great Club.

Gary Russell
146 Posted 02/04/2016 at 18:54:47
Rather worrisome when someone shows up and responds more or less, to every message, when they haven't posted before. OR maybe it it's just me. Man of Steele, give it a rest lad. You are sunk.
Kim Vivian
147 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:01:22
I have a question....

Who is Neil Steel.

(Don't agree with everything but you write good stuff.)

Tom Bowers
148 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:04:13
Most knowledgeable fans know that Martinez is limited by his own ability and hasn't moved this team to the next level after 3 years despite having arguably the most talented squad available for the last 10-15 seasons.

He has in a way produced a team like the old Hammers team that was always attractive to watch, scored lot's of goals but lost too many games.

Everton have a good blend of youth, skill and experience but is all over the show when it comes to a defensive formation,and that has cost them dearly, as we all know.

The game tomorrow promises to be wide open but the result is anyone's guess. Much depends on which Everton team shows up and how many times they can dodge the bullet.

Hard to believe Bournemouth are level on points with them.

James Hughes
151 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:07:31
Amazing thread that I have just caught up with and would have to say that 'Neil Steele' must be a defence lawyer or clerk or of that ilk.

I say that as nobody else, but a defence lawyer, could argue that wet is dry and pretend he has common sense and we are all missing the point and are all blind to glaringly obvious.

No, your Honour, when the gun went off, it was just unlucky – and it's the fourth time as well!!!

Martin Mason
152 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:32:22
Please remember that Neil is entitled to his views and they are equal in value to anybody else's.
Brian Williams
153 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:33:01
Neil. You commented on Christine and Rays posts, you said. "But to say it is about 'results', to the extent of implying a complete and utter blindness to style or performance levels is naive in the extreme."

Saying "it's about results" implies none of the things you mention. It merely states a fact that you fail to understand. You're wrong....end of Mr Martinez, now go and prepare for tomorrows game. You must be Roberto because nobody else could spout so much bullshit and be so wrong while thinking they're so right.

Do us a favour and do on,e Bobby boy.


John Keating
154 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:50:14
That's right Martin, as are the rest of us.

Thing is when someone acts in a " I know everything and you plebs are fuckwits"... well, not on really.

David Greenwood
155 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:58:23
Maybe Neil could let us know if he wants us to win the cup this season, Martin.
Patrick Murphy
156 Posted 02/04/2016 at 19:58:34
Aston Villa, Aston Villa, Aston Villa... if the Everton FC board don't at the very least examine the issues that have beset the club on the pitch, particularly at Goodison Park, don't be surprised if we find ourselves in a similar position to Villa this time next season. It's all well and good highlighting a five-year plan or some ongoing, unfinished project but, until the results begin to improve on home soil, we have to be very wary of the situation getting out of hand.

Aston Villa don't forget were matching Everton on the pitch for many years and began to slide about four years ago, not a catastrophic fall from grace, but a gradual inability to win enough matches on home turf. Of course they sold their best players along the way – which hopefully we won't have to... and if we do, it will be on our terms. Having the wrong manager at the wrong time can eat away at the core of the club; opposition clubs often take full advantage of any lack of confidence among the players and anxiety from the home support.

Everton FC shouldn't even be considering another season of failure in the Premier League or having a team that doesn't enjoy playing on home soil; the owners and directors have it in their power to assess and address the issues – and the quicker they do that the better. Points have to be earned by the team under the guidance of the manager, whoever he may be; results matter and I bet those Villa fans would have sacrificed an appearance in an FA Cup Final last year for a place in next season's Premier League.

Ray Said
157 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:02:08
Neil (139) thanks for the comments?

I am proudly stuck in a bygone era. The era when we set out to win games, when our defenders defended, our midfielders tackled, harried, pressed and passed the ball FORWARD and our wide men crossed the ball.

The aim of competitive sport is to WIN not fanny around making six sideways passes then passing it back to the goalie. Like I said, that is the route to the Championship.

As to your suggestion that I 'Tune in to El Classico tonight and take a lesson in modern football and reality'. Sorry, I wont be doing that as I don't really like Spanish football and it's not what I want to see Everton playing. I want my club to stay true to its own traditions – not become Barça lite. I want Everton to win playing stylish football but its Everton style football I want.

I want defenders to clear the ball like Watson, midfielders to snarl and tackle like Reid and pass like Bracewell or Dobson, widemen to either pass like Sheedy or sprint and cross like Thomas. That is what I want.

Paul Tran
158 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:26:21
Neil, there are many comments about Martinez on here that irritate me, but only because they take our eyes off his real shortcomings.

Some people on here would criticise Martinez for having a pulse, but there's no place for criticising match-going support for passing comment on the rubbish they pay to watch.

I like what Martinez says he wants, but not what he's delivering. You can't argue with what the Premier League table has said for two years. Jam tomorrow is getting less convincing every week we're offered it.

John Keating
159 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:28:32
Ray
well that's the first half of El CLASSICO over.

You missed nothing.

I think Neil asked us to watch it to prove to us that the Spanish giants can play equally as bad as Everton.

Don't know if you were at the West Brom at home match, bit like that.

Boring shit.

Mind you at least the Barcelona and Real players are, in the main, passing to their own players, unlike us.

Like you if this is the future then time to pack it in.

If it improves in the second half I'll let you know – that is unless I happen to doze off...

Brian Williams
160 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:32:02
The Premier League table doesn't lie!
Steve Bingham
161 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:34:02
Mr Steele, do I take it from your numerous comments that – hypothetically speaking, of course, – if Jose Mourhino was our manager and we gained a Champions League place next season by winning boring and ugly... you would be distraught?
Barry Jones
162 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:40:47
I have my scrabble set out trying to work out if Neil Steele is an anagram for Dave Whelan.
Kim Vivian
163 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:56:28
Good, Barry...that's good.
Jim Knightley
164 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:56:44
Neil..some interesting posts.

There are clear differences between Moyes and Martinez, but the most important one can be summed up in one sentence: Martinez has underachieved whilst Moyes did not.

Moyes took a bottom 7 club and turned us into a top 7 club on a shoestring. Martinez took a top 7 club, spent records amount of money, and has turned us into a bottom half club. We are massively underachieving because of tactical errors which have been glaringly obvious for well over a year.

Our decline began in the pre-season of 2014. It was so glaringly obvious and many of us saw it. I wrote a piece in pre-season claiming we would start badly because we were not fit. Some others were similarly concerned. Many were frustrated about the lack of directness and creativity last season, which left our record buy and one of the best young strikers in the world frustrated and isolated. Despite our impotence, we also failed to defend effectively and conceded far too many big chances (in my opinion we had been riding our lack at the end of Martinez's first season in charge too in that respect, despite our superb defensive record).

This year Martinez has improved our attacking football in one obvious way: He has given the attacking players almost complete freedom to attack. Unsuprisingly this has resulted in an absurd amount of goals conceeded. The CBs are constantly pulled out of position because of attacking wide players, and our full backs are often left one on one. The unsuprising result of this is a high level of opposition chance creation from wide areas. I will not credit Martinez for allowing us to attack, because there is a clear cost to this attacking. Namely, until a few hours ago, we had conceeded more home goals than anyone in this league. That seems even more remarkable given the quality of defenders at our disposal, and because we generally utilise 2 DMs! This is both a product of structural naivity, because of individual decisions by Martinez, and because of his failure to restrain our attacking players even when we are holding a league. The embarrassments of the Stoke, Chelsea, Bournemouth and West Ham games provide plenty of evidence for this, as do a plethora of statistics.

Neil, if you accept Martinez you accept failure. We have been piss poor for 2 years and have squandered the best chance for top four football in years because of a flawed tactical approach which has incomprehensibly lead to WB, Southampton and an injury ravaged Stoke being higher in the league.

Martinez does develop young players superbly. Martinez has brought well. But Martinez has failed as a manager. We've been incredibly inefficient under him, and now face the prospect of losing Lukaku and Stones in the summer. Our financial situation will not help that. We will not find another CB with Stones' potential, or a player as good as Lukaku, to replace the likely departures. We will not be able to attract the best because we will not finish in the UCL places or in the Europa League places. And in a league awash with money, the top 4, United, Liverpool and now even West Ham will be bigger draws than us.

I would get rid irrespective of what happens in an FA Cup. He has failed time and time again. His previous record against big teams, a big plus from his Wigan days, has not been carried over to this Everton side. He seems unwilling to address the clear issues which he conceals with a public positivity which borders on embarrassing at times. I have no problem with positivism, and I think some of the criticisms have gone to far, but look at the league table. Look at the final league table from last season.

Martinez has failed and 3 years is long enough to prove himself as our manager. Now it's time for someone else.

John Keating
165 Posted 02/04/2016 at 20:58:37
Ray

Just an update from here in Barcelona. It appears both teams were bollocked by their managers at half-time. The players were told to stop playing like Everton and to ignore the Martinez philosophy.

Apparently they were told to play a bit more "English" way by looking for the forward pass first, move the ball quicker and press when not in possession.

Hopefully, if Martinez is watching, we may change our tactics soon.

Ray Said
166 Posted 02/04/2016 at 21:06:26
John (165) your post cracked me up mate.

You can imagine Zidane at half time' Midfield I want a bit more 'Reid and Bracewell' from you and get after their midfield. Pepe when Braca get near the box 'Watson' the bastards. Modric go long when you get the chance so Sharpy – sorry, I mean Ronaldo – can have something to run onto and stretch them'.

John Keating
167 Posted 02/04/2016 at 21:28:57
Well Ray

That's it; all over here in Barcelona. Neil Steele has – as we stay in Spain – shot himselfo in the footo.

First half was all the Martinez Everton way. Half-time, both sets of players were told straight: "If you want to play the Martinez way, then you will all be sold to Everton this Summer."

Obviously they all shit themselves.

Second half totally different and the football was anti-Martinez entirely. In fact, it was football most of us would recognise... well, maybe not Neil.

Anyway Ray, I must be off down to Las Ramblas for a few San Migs.

ADIOS

ps: Thanks, Neil. Just proved how far behind the times Martinez is with his outdated and incompetent tactics.

Amit Vithlani
168 Posted 02/04/2016 at 21:40:13
I just watched El Classico and an advert for the beautiful game it was not. A game punctuated by players diving around, off-the-ball skulduggery that Luis Suarez and Pepe specialize in, and dreadful defending from both sides. What's more, Barca scored from a corner whilst Madrid netted twice from the old fashioned ploy of getting the ball wide and knocking in dangerous crosses. They had a third wrongly disallowed from exactly the same ploy.

Other than the levels of diving and cheating, I am not entirely sure that the moments that mattered in this game were anything not seen in the average Premier League game.

As for what Martinez had to say, for once I applaud his sentiments. He has sent a message to Lukaku and his representatives that we will only sell if the price is right. He is also sending a message to his players that they may well be playing for their futures. Perfectly good sentiments.

Ray Said
169 Posted 02/04/2016 at 21:41:07
Cheers John, have a drink to a 'bygone era'!
Joe Clitherow
170 Posted 02/04/2016 at 22:56:37
Great post Jim (#164).

ps: John K, just in case you were wondering, there isn't any commentary in the Paddock during matches either, must be somewhere else in the ground, and I don't recall ever having heard it when I've gone away either.

Strangely, I don't hear the constant booing that other obviously much more perceptive people on here tell me is always going on at the game.

Wait just a cotton-picking minute, you don't think there may be another explanation do you.....?

John Keating
171 Posted 02/04/2016 at 23:25:25
Think there must be, Joe.

I've asked Neil where he goes but he hasn't come back to me yet.

To be honest, a couple of posters have implied he may be another "guest from the establishment".

They may be right.

Brendan McLaughlin
172 Posted 03/04/2016 at 00:23:54
Sam @ 138

Spot on... even Neil has identified the "elephant in the room" but refuses to acknowledge it!

Ian Riley
173 Posted 03/04/2016 at 00:39:06
If you sell Stones, Lukaku, and Barkley, which world class players will want to come, Roberto? The point in having investment is to keep our existing players. Everton cannot complete world wide for players. Our wage structure won't allow it.

No Champions League, no Europa League, and bottom half of the table. How the hell do you sell that! It is the quality of the players that have kept us out of the relegation fight this season.

If quality players are sold this summer, we are in real trouble next season. I don't expect Martinez to go in the summer. Next season, the promoted teams will have money and sadly better managers. Interesting times are ahead.

Ian Linn
175 Posted 03/04/2016 at 02:05:37
I don't judge Martinez on what he says, I judge him on how we perform. Based on that, he is shit manager.

He has an eye for a player, that's true... but if we didn't have Lukaku, we would be in the relegation fight.

Don Alexander
176 Posted 03/04/2016 at 02:36:40
I join with Joe Clitherow in complimenting Jim at #164.

They both speak the truth, totally, and whilst I don't like criticising fellow fans, any who say the opposite are deluded gobshites.

I just hope Mr Moshiri is taking in what most of us fans are saying from the heart, and head (which includes the eyes for the information of "the steele man").

He needs to act very very soon if he values his investment, and preferably without input from BK and/or Elstone.

Neil Pickering
177 Posted 03/04/2016 at 08:09:23
The thing I just don't get is the fact that absolutely no journos, local or otherwise, seem to ask Martinez any real searching questions, or offer any criticism of him. I don't like LVG but he got dogs abuse a few months back, and in my opinion he is presiding over an inferior squad, so why does Martinez just get off the hook time after time?

Do the journos go in there beforehand thinking 'right let's have him today' but then when he starts spouting absolute drivel do they just think 'no we can't say anything, this lad isn't well, and we can't pick on the afflicted'?

Ken Jones
178 Posted 03/04/2016 at 09:36:45
Not often I'd agree with stuff written in the Daily Mirror but I think Andy Dunn is spot on in his column today about Lukaku & his agent.... It's plainly obvious what will happen, the agent will only get his wedge and one for his client when he's moved on and all this bullshit about Champions League football is the excuse they need to justify it.

I hope Everton play it like they did with Stones, and if the inevitable happens then the maximum fee is extracted in exchange for the gamble taken on him when West Brom were the only other club interested in his services.

Colin Glassar
179 Posted 03/04/2016 at 11:48:52
I'm not one for believing in the drivel printed in the press regarding our players being linked to other clubs but, if more than one of our young stars ask to leave then that will be a damning indictment of the current regime.

Stones, Lukaku and Barkley should be the core of our team but most of us expect at least one of them to leave. If two of them go then I think that would undermine Martinez greatly. If all three are allowed to leave, that could be catastrophic for us.

Jay Wood
180 Posted 03/04/2016 at 14:26:47
As others have suggested, I see nothing wrong in Martinez's comments here. In fact, I think he is bang on the money.

There is no need to address the Lukaku question (or any other player, for that matter) at this closing stage of the season.

Wait until the last ball has been kicked and then review the season and individual players' situations.

Those comparing the Lukaku situation to that of Stones and the Chelsea bid are being disingenious. The Chelsea bid came in the open transfer window, with the season already in progress.

There is no bid for Lukaku to consider in this closed window as the season runs to its completion, so there is absolutely no need to make any sort of statement on the issue beyond what Martinez has said here.

Some people are clearly determined to put a bad spin on every utterance from the manager and will misquote and misrepresent his actual words to achieve this.

Peter Roberts
181 Posted 04/04/2016 at 13:00:09
If you don't want to play for Everton then GO. My simple response. We will get good money and buy players who respect the shirt – not ones who set up their next move before the season ends.
Michael Forshaw
182 Posted 04/04/2016 at 13:55:55
This is my first post. I have been coming to TW for years but have never felt obliged to post anything as you guys basically cover most things. That being said I am at work and not very busy so I have started a petition to parliament for the removal of Roberto Martinez.

I am by no means expecting the government to step in and remove Bobby but if it gets some traction with local papers etc then it might encourage a conversation between Moshiri and Kenwright.

Anyway here's hoping. So if you copy the link into your browser and sign it I would appreciate it greatly. Assuming you agree that Martinez needs to go.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/126537/sponsors/12DuyieTnt4MLRX5B98m

Andrew Clare
183 Posted 04/04/2016 at 13:57:22
Get the right manager then we won't hear any talk/speculation of players wanting to leave.

We are only hearing this stuff because we are so badly run/managed. In fact we have been badly run for many years now accepting mediocrity and hiring low grade managers who might be OK for some clubs but certainly not Everton.

The people that run our club have let standards and expectations drop so low. For example, I bet the Man Utd fans are unhappy about being 5th whereas we would be delighted. I remember a time when our managers position would be under threat if we were 5th but not any more our managers still safe and we are 12th.

It's just not good enough. I blame the Chairman he's just no good at running a football club.

Patrick Murphy
184 Posted 04/04/2016 at 14:01:04
Antonio Conte has been confirmed as Chelsea's next boss and the Echo are reporting that Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wants Romelu Lukaku to spearhead his Stamford Bridge revolution.

If Everton allow Rom to return to his beloved blues perhaps they could ask Gus Hiddink to come to Goodison asap.

Jay Wood
185 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:23:37
What an astonishing sequence of posts by Neil Steele in this thread, elevating himself to the most omnipotent of Evertonians, who 'sees' and 'understands' things on a higher plane to other Blues, thanks to his superior powers of reason, logic and rationale.

His acute insights (and I quote verbatim from his posts)allows him to describe fellow Blues as:

* embarrassing the club at present
* detestable for (allegedly) booing Ross Barkley
* having lost the plot
*having little or no reason or logic
* displaying a regular manifestation of blinkered and misguided arrogance (that) we used to ridicule Kopites and Geordies for
* short-termist cry babies
* blathering fools
* knee-jerk ramblers
*creating a frankly poisonous environment around the club

And as this complete quote shows, Neil evidently considers Evertonians lack class and knowledge: "We once enjoyed a justified tag as 'classy' and 'knowledgeable' fans at Everton – not any more. Wahhh wahhh... I want it now mummy."

By contrast, the all-seeing, all-knowing Neil isn't like other "modern football fans" who, he believes, "are simply obsessed with statistics ... (unable) to assess games (and players) based on visual evidence, not just numbers on a page."

Neil, putting aside your sweeping condemnation of fellow Blues, your generalizations and dismissal of opinions that don't correspond with your own, for you to make the allegations you do is evidence of 2 things IMO:

* your own inability to effectively apply the 'superior' reason, rationale and logic you claim to hold over others

* your own intolerance and dismissal of the many eloquent and well-reasoned alternative opinions offered on this very site

As it is, your own reason, rationale and logic is deeply flawed. Your allegation that fans are only obsessed with statistics and numbers on a page, rather than assess games on visual evidence, is FALSE!!! Every week, following every game, contributors offer analysis on passages of play, or make tactical evaluation of the team and individuals over the course of the 90 minutes.

Yet you fail to acknowledge that, and further, you try to devalue and dismiss contrary opinions that present statistics in their posts when expressing concern for their club. It may not be convenient to your position Neil, but statistics determine our standing in the league and also informs us of our strengths and weaknesses.

Data and statistics have also become a mainstay of top-level football clubs. And two of the main exponents of it in recent years ..? A certain David Moyes and ... Roberto Martinez.

Don't believe me? Read this excellent article from The Guardian:
Link

As RM himself acknowledges in the article, stats (as provided by the likes of Opta and Prozone) do not give the whole picture, but they can inform you of certain metrics you otherwise would not be aware of.

You yourself Neil turn to stats to support your opinion, pointing out we are "the 4th (now 5th) highest scoring team in the EPL with 51 goals," bigging up "our fantastic away form" (only 5 away wins does not correspond to "fantastic" in my book, Neil).

Then of course you offer examples of the "visual evidence" you demand others also apply, alluding to the "free-scoring football," "our composure on the ball," "some of the great play," "the goals from open-play." Well ... rather, you write of these things but don't actually list examples.

I've just scanned down our PL fixtures for the season. Our standout games for me were away to the Saints and Stoke, home and away to Chelsea (with another frustrating draw away when in a commanding position), with good passages of play away to WBA, Bournemouth and Norwich (resulting in a single win and 2 draws) and a couple of thumping (but sketchy) home wins against Sunderland and Villa.

My own "visual evidence" and assessment of this and last season is that far from looking composed on the ball as you claim, our possession-based football is ponderous and slow and actually invites greater pressure on our defence, as is evidenced by those annoying stats you evidently despise, such as goals conceded at home and the number of losses at GP.

So forgive me Neil, but I disagree with your assessment that "Our team hasn't been playing badly this season - quite the opposite, actually."

To paraphrase your own words: "I just don't understand why YOU Neil are ONLY willing to deal in YOUR reality and seeing only what YOU want to see which make us seem like a far better football team than we actually are, whilst IGNORING the 'statistics' that clearly suggest otherwise."

There is much more I could critique about your posts in this thread, but I'll close on this note:

Your appeal "I would simply suggest the rejuvenation of some old-fashioned values; support the team. Support the manager. Put this FA Cup ahead of hate” is, to put it crudely, a crock of sanctimonious shite.

The paying public that attends Everton games have ALWAYS, ALWAYS supported the team. Look back to just 3-4 games ago to the support given in the WHU game after being reduced to 10 men and the partisan atmosphere for the cup game against Chelski.

There is NOT universal or continual 'booing' of players or manager at GP or elsewhere. Rather, nowadays there is more often a universal silence amongst match-goers, bewildered and subdued as they frequently are by the "visual evidence" of passionless and disjointed performances offered as 'entertainment.'

If anything, when you compare to how the supporters of other clubs have reacted to the perceived failings of their manager and their team's results, match-going Blues have been incredibly restrained.

You want to grant the manager more time Neil. Fine. You are entitled to that opinion. But for you to ridicule your fellow blues for not sharing that viewpoint strikes me as arrogant and pompous in the extreme, all the more so that the justification for your support is based on … well … nothing really, other than empty, sneering rhetoric towards fellow Blues.

Ged Simpson
186 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:30:57
The irony of your last sub-clause, Jay. And after such a post!
John Keating
187 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:37:38
Jay

We went through all that with Neil but he refused to come back.

A couple of the lads "suggested" he may be of the establishment – which I believe we have had in the past – and it would not surprise me if he was.

As you will see by the earlier posts, he just ignores questions.

Hopefully we won't see him back after he told us to watch El Classico which shot his theories out the water.

Ged Simpson
188 Posted 04/04/2016 at 16:43:37
Crap (with the greatest respect to a fellow Blue John K). He has a different view so is a plant and you don't want him back.

Jesus, get over it... or are you that thin-skinned. Obviously all said with knowing you and everyone on here are my brothers and sisters!

Jay Wood
190 Posted 04/04/2016 at 17:04:56
Ged @ 186

"The irony of your last sub-clause, Jay. And after such a post !"

No irony at all Ged. Neil makes a blanket condemnation of fellow Blues. I address Neil personally and directly, using the self-same rationale and reason he demands of others.

Feel free to join the debate and offer a more insightful opinion rather than you usual one-line mockery any time you like, Ged.

John Wilson
191 Posted 04/04/2016 at 20:57:00
What we need is a Manager!

We've got to protect Moshiri"s Money from this wastrel. Cholo Simeone will do nicely, he'll build a team of fighters we can all proud of.

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