Everton and Martinez

Pagnell

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His honeymoon season over and now he has 3 wins in his last 18 league games. And on the back of Everton's biggest ever summer spend.

Is it time to accept Wigan going down wasn't all about the comparative lack of finances, as many people claimed?
 

Super_horns

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#2
Style of play not suiting their squad?

The defence has been a real issue all season which is unusual for Everton.
 

Madejski

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#3
They've had near enough the same back 5 for five years now. Distin 37, Howard 35, Jagielka 32, Baines 30 are past it/best years are behind them now. Other than Coleman in his peak years at 26 and Stones an inexperienced 20 year old their defence has needed a new shape for a long time.

I reckon Martinez will get to the end of the season, and then he'll have to reshape that defence. Though it took him a long time at Wigan to sort out the defence there (if it was ever sorted out properly).
 

AFCB_Mark

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#4
There were/are far bigger issues at Wigan than Martinez, seeing as they're on the cusp of another relegation.

Everton will limp to the end of the season, Martinez will be given the summer to refresh the squad (at the back) and they'll be better next season. I'm sure with hindsight he would have used all the Lukaku cash to get 2-3 other players around the field, but at the time everyone raved about how it was the signing to push Everton on. That defence is creaking with age and their star kid from last season Barkley is having a quiet spell as many kids do, and he'll probably come good next season as well.

No reason for them to panic too much IMHO.
 

Smudge

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#5
The main reason the defence has been shocking is down to Howard and Distin disappearing over the hill very suddenly at the same time, hence we had a dreadful start to the season. I think any trust the players had in Howard has gone completely, hence we were the best defensively we've been all season once Joel had a few games in goal, and we reverted back to the Keystone Cops within 90 minutes of Howard being reinstated. Thing is, the damage has now been done again, I dont think simply putting Joel back in goal will solve our problems, as we are now totally back to square one all over again and confidence at the back is all over the shop. I think the lack of confidence in the defence is also affecting the attacking players, their confidence seems to have dropped too, as if they know that when a chance comes their way, they have to make sure they take it, as its likely we'll concede more than we score.

Take away Howard though, and thankfully Distin has already been banished from the first team squad, and the defence is fine for the time being, though we will need to start thinking about strengthening it. Garbutt is Baines' natural successor, and his contract is up in the summer. We need to make sure we keep hold. Jagielka is 32, which isnt a terrible age for a centre back, especially when he has relatively young players all around him. Though we need to start thinking about his long term replacement now. Injuries have played a part too, our squad is pretty small, and we've gone long periods without important players like McCarthy, Coleman missed a chunk early in the season, Stones missed a few months etc. so they havent helped, and at times, we've been forced to bring players back into the side when they're not 100% fit themselves, so their form isnt the greatest either.

Martinez has to foot some of the blame for other things though. Some of the stuff Ive highlighted above just cant be helped and we cant blame the manager for it. We can however blame him for reinstating Howard. He has been utter shit this season, and his injury on Boxing Day was one of the best things that could have happened to us. It gave Joel a chance to get a run in the side, and by the time he kept 3 clean sheets in a row in his last 3 games, the defence were looking more solid than we've seen in a long time. The confidence was back in the defence , not just having a competent keeper. But the second Howard was fit enough to play, Joel was dropped, and that was completely the wrong thing to do. We havent kept a clean sheet since in 5 games, and I think yesterday was the first of those 5 games where none of the goals we conceded were directly Howard's fault! But the damage has been done to the defence now, and they have reverted back to their early season panic stations form. All the good work Joel did, and the defence did in his run in the side, has been undone.

In the same vein, Martinez' loyalty to some players is borderline scary. We have 4 out and out wingers at the club, Mirallas, McGeady, Lennon and Atsu, and he just will not play two of them together at any time. Despite the fact we play a system with a winger either side of Lukaku...no, he has far too much loyalty to the likes of Naismith and Barkley, both of whom should play in the attacking midfield position behind Lukaku, or not at all, and will try to shoehorn them in at the expense of the rest of the team. Our full backs are getting forward and having no support in front of them because our 'wingers' are too narrow, Barkley's attitude has absolutely stunk this season yet he still starts more than he misses, and we are now compromising our attacking players by playing 3 holding players in midfield because our defence are playing so badly. Most of these are problems that are now coming to a head because problems werent solved earlier on. Dont reinstate Howard, our defence doesnt need all this extra protection. Drop Barkley like he deserves, and we can play 2 wingers. As shit as McGeady, Atsu and Lennon are, they at least make us look more balanced, and allow our greatest strength, our attacking full backs, to flourish.

Go back to early December, I could have told you what our problems were and how easily they could be fixed. Now, they have escalated and escalated and Im not sure what the solution is. A good start though would be ship out Howard and Barkley, and start Mirallas and Atsu/ Lennon at Stoke.
 

Destruction

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#8
Makes me laugh after how one good season Martinez was being talked about as a better manager than Moyes. Don't get me wrong, I do like Martinez, but Moyes did what he did for ten years at Everton, including rebuilding sides.

Martinez blew a huge amount of money on Lukaku which was a mistake IMO, he needs to spend any money he has this summer far more shrewdly.
 

Smudge

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#9
Makes me laugh after how one good season Martinez was being talked about as a better manager than Moyes. Don't get me wrong, I do like Martinez, but Moyes did what he did for ten years at Everton, including rebuilding sides.

Martinez blew a huge amount of money on Lukaku which was a mistake IMO, he needs to spend any money he has this summer far more shrewdly.
No way, we'd be in even greater trouble right now without Lukaku. Kone is our only other striker on the books. And these days if you want a decent striker, you gamble on a foreigner or lower league player on the cheap, or you pay the big money.
 

BlueBee

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#10
Everton are lucky there are at least 4/5 team worse than them in the league or they'd have a very uncomfortable last few months of the season.
 

Smally

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Pretty much agree with everything Smudge says, only difference of opinion for me is with Barkley. His confidence is shot to bits and has been ever since Martinez thought he could play left wing.

At the moment Martinez is lucky to have the Europa as our league form has been dreadful. He doesn't help himself though with some of the nonsense he comes out with after bad games/defeats. If we stay up he'll have til xmas to sort things out
 

Leewilson

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#12
Smudge has nailed it. I do laugh at how quickly people turn on managers though. Earlier in the season, Rodgers had gone from hot to flop in a matter of weeks and now he's back at being hot again.

Martinez isn't perfect but he's a good manager. If given time, I believe he'll get Everton back on track next season if he does good business in the summer. This summer was an issue as a lot of the success of last season was built on loan players and young players stepping up in a World Cup year. Key players as mentioned by Smudge are a year older including Barry whilst I do think the spark of Deulofeu is a miss although in the grand context not a massive massive one. Barkley and Stones should be a big part of the spine of the team next season and with a small reshuffle I expect them to be good to go. On the note of Barkley though, I'm not sure it's his attitude but more the fact he's playing out of position and seems to have lost his identity a touch. He'll get that back, most likely with a good pre season in the right position behind him.

Everton will stay up comfortably albeit probably not spectacularly. Really now though, the ultimate priority should be to try and win the Europa League. There's no reason why they can't.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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#13
Rodgers has had bad patches and then found solutions though, he gets there in the end. How often has Martinez turned a rut around?
 

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#14
Last season they looked so balanced with a brilliant Barry/McCarthy partnership, Mirallas and Deulofeu either side of Lukaku and Barkley in behind. Too many players out of position this season such as Barkley and Naismith. They could have got someone like De Vrij in the summer. Think they just need freshening up.

Really impressed by Besic though and Garbutt looks good.
 

G-Dragon

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#15
Funny how people tried to put Rodgers down by saying all the good work he did at Swansea was not because of him but Martinez.
 

Toffee_Joe

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The main reason the defence has been shocking is down to Howard and Distin disappearing over the hill very suddenly at the same time, hence we had a dreadful start to the season. I think any trust the players had in Howard has gone completely, hence we were the best defensively we've been all season once Joel had a few games in goal, and we reverted back to the Keystone Cops within 90 minutes of Howard being reinstated. Thing is, the damage has now been done again, I dont think simply putting Joel back in goal will solve our problems, as we are now totally back to square one all over again and confidence at the back is all over the shop. I think the lack of confidence in the defence is also affecting the attacking players, their confidence seems to have dropped too, as if they know that when a chance comes their way, they have to make sure they take it, as its likely we'll concede more than we score.

Take away Howard though, and thankfully Distin has already been banished from the first team squad, and the defence is fine for the time being, though we will need to start thinking about strengthening it. Garbutt is Baines' natural successor, and his contract is up in the summer. We need to make sure we keep hold. Jagielka is 32, which isnt a terrible age for a centre back, especially when he has relatively young players all around him. Though we need to start thinking about his long term replacement now. Injuries have played a part too, our squad is pretty small, and we've gone long periods without important players like McCarthy, Coleman missed a chunk early in the season, Stones missed a few months etc. so they havent helped, and at times, we've been forced to bring players back into the side when they're not 100% fit themselves, so their form isnt the greatest either.

Martinez has to foot some of the blame for other things though. Some of the stuff Ive highlighted above just cant be helped and we cant blame the manager for it. We can however blame him for reinstating Howard. He has been utter shit this season, and his injury on Boxing Day was one of the best things that could have happened to us. It gave Joel a chance to get a run in the side, and by the time he kept 3 clean sheets in a row in his last 3 games, the defence were looking more solid than we've seen in a long time. The confidence was back in the defence , not just having a competent keeper. But the second Howard was fit enough to play, Joel was dropped, and that was completely the wrong thing to do. We havent kept a clean sheet since in 5 games, and I think yesterday was the first of those 5 games where none of the goals we conceded were directly Howard's fault! But the damage has been done to the defence now, and they have reverted back to their early season panic stations form. All the good work Joel did, and the defence did in his run in the side, has been undone.

In the same vein, Martinez' loyalty to some players is borderline scary. We have 4 out and out wingers at the club, Mirallas, McGeady, Lennon and Atsu, and he just will not play two of them together at any time. Despite the fact we play a system with a winger either side of Lukaku...no, he has far too much loyalty to the likes of Naismith and Barkley, both of whom should play in the attacking midfield position behind Lukaku, or not at all, and will try to shoehorn them in at the expense of the rest of the team. Our full backs are getting forward and having no support in front of them because our 'wingers' are too narrow, Barkley's attitude has absolutely stunk this season yet he still starts more than he misses, and we are now compromising our attacking players by playing 3 holding players in midfield because our defence are playing so badly. Most of these are problems that are now coming to a head because problems werent solved earlier on. Dont reinstate Howard, our defence doesnt need all this extra protection. Drop Barkley like he deserves, and we can play 2 wingers. As shit as McGeady, Atsu and Lennon are, they at least make us look more balanced, and allow our greatest strength, our attacking full backs, to flourish.

Go back to early December, I could have told you what our problems were and how easily they could be fixed. Now, they have escalated and escalated and Im not sure what the solution is. A good start though would be ship out Howard and Barkley, and start Mirallas and Atsu/ Lennon at Stoke.
This is pretty much spot on. Howard coming back into the team has been an absolute farce. Robles had been brilliant the last few games. At the very least there should have been a wait until he had a bad game. Then swap him out. I have been a massive Howard fan in the past but this season he has not been good enough.

The Naismith and Barkley point is key to our season in my opinion. I would include Eto in that when he was here. Playing two or in some case three players who don't offer any width absolutely kills us creatively and totally negates our full backs which are our greatest strength. I still give him next season unless we look to go down. This is partly because of how good we were in Europe and partly because he is trying to implement a system. I want to see something like this for the remainder of the year.

Robles
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
McCarthy Besic/Barry/Gibson
Mirrallas Barkley Oviedo/McGeady
Lukaku
 
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#20
He never / very rarely throws Kone on to play upfront WITH Lukaku, which is something you just have to do sometimes when chasing a game. Go two up top. Have a go.

RM always seems to sub Besic before Barry too, even though I'd say Besic is better when chasing a game, can dribble/keep the ball out of a tight spot, and is faster chasing back if there's a counter. How McGeady has played as many games as he has is beyond me. I think Barkley is better in a deeper CM role, driving forward with the ball in front of him and drawing fouls, he doesn't seem to have a position at the moment. That's my two pennies worth anyway.
 

Smudge

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#21
This is pretty much spot on. Howard coming back into the team has been an absolute farce. Robles had been brilliant the last few games. At the very least there should have been a wait until he had a bad game. Then swap him out. I have been a massive Howard fan in the past but this season he has not been good enough.

The Naismith and Barkley point is key to our season in my opinion. I would include Eto in that when he was here. Playing two or in some case three players who don't offer any width absolutely kills us creatively and totally negates our full backs which are our greatest strength. I still give him next season unless we look to go down. This is partly because of how good we were in Europe and partly because he is trying to implement a system. I want to see something like this for the remainder of the year.

Robles
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
McCarthy Besic/Barry/Gibson
Mirrallas Barkley Oviedo/McGeady
Lukaku
Right on Eto'o, 3 players who all wanted to play in the number 10 role, all in the same side...Southampton away being the absolute trough of all time.

Gibson has been a big miss, we've all forgot how good he can be when he's been out so long I think, but the last 2 games he has come on and given us something so different, basically what Barry was last season. Good passer Gibson, and despite being a defensive player, is actually pretty forward thinking when he's on the ball, always looks to go forward rather than retain possession for the sake of it.

My point about Barkley and his attitude is exactly why I think he needed a longer spell out of the side when he was dropped against Palace and Liverpool. We've played better without him in the last few months, because I think when he's got the ball, he's trying to do too much, yet when he hasnt got it, he does absolutely nothing. If ever a player needed taking out of the spotlight, and told to just get his head down and start doing the basic things right again, is Barkley. Id happily see him dropped from the starting lineup and used as an impact sub for a few weeks, I think we'd get more out of him.

I agree overall though that getting rid of the manager is the wrong thing to do, and like Ive said before, Kenwright is pretty loyal with his managers. Moyes survived more than a few dodgy spells, and Smith only got canned once we went out of the FA Cup as that run was the only thing keeping him alive. Even if we did go down, I dont think he'd sack him. This season has just been one calamity after another in the League, and we basically just need to see it through, get to the end and start again next season. The biggest thing we need is a freshen up. Barry, Lukaku were good signings last summer, but I dont think it can be underestimated how much a few new faces can freshen up a squad, provide competition etc. Besic, Atsu and Eto'o were the only 'new' players we signed in the summer, and none of them were involved straight away, so we effectively started this season exactly the same as last, just a year older. As has already been said, we need a bit of a clear out of the older squad players, hopefully get rid of the dead wood like McGeady, and just overall freshen things up.
 

Smally

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#23
He deserves the sack at this rate. We lost the moment Howard was in goal and Naismith was on the wing. He's been pulling shit like this for months now and it doesn't work but he won't accept it. We're going down
 

Pagnell

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Everton might be a pile of donkey shite but there are at least 3 teams that are worse.
 

PUSBCCFC

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#28
Having watched all of Everton's matches in the Europa I am shocked about how awful they are in the league. Lukaku is a completely different man during league games.

Tonight Everton were really poor against a Stoke side without their best players.

Glad I backed Stoke tonight, won me some money!
 

SALTIRE

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#29
There is no danger Everton will get relegated, but there does have to be some questions asked in the summer about Martinez and the squad.
 
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#30
Europa League or not 28 points from 28 games is embarrassing and nowhere near good enough. We can all see the problem but if Martinez refuses to change the system then it will carry on. There were signs in the second half of an improvement yesterday when Osman came on but our defensive frailties cost us again.
 

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