It doesn’t look good to anyone when your team has just been beaten and you can’t be magnanimous about it.
Step forward Roberto Martinez, the soon to be departing Everton boss. You heard it here first.
Martinez joined Everton from Wigan in June 2013 and has done precisely nothing of any note. He must thank his lucky stars that he has Romelu Lukaku playing for him because without the 23-goal man, Everton would be lower in the league and the manager would have been clearing his desk earlier in the season.
Toffees boss Martinez’ side threw away a clear two goal lead to eventually lose 3-2 at home against in form West Ham. Fans were left scratching their heads when his dreadful substitutions changed the game towards the men from London.
Time and again this has happened this season and Everton have begun to drop points to teams that have fought back harder and showed more passion – which Everton were on Saturday, right up until Lennon was taken off. Everton fans were calling for Martinez to take the blame, as this is something that appears to be always someone else’s fault. Fans were questioning the new striker, Niasse, who looks to be a fish out of water.
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Goodison’s once formidable fortress has been eroded, with a solitary defeat in a calendar year transformed to seven in 15 this season. Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United have all been unlikely beneficiaries of Martinez’s unrelenting approach, where process and philosophy continues to overrule pragmatism at a time when the latter is a more precious commodity.
Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion, both winless on their travels in the three months prior to visiting Merseyside, were similarly afforded an unlikely shot in the arm. Consolidation is no longer key, with 45 points lost from winning positions under his stewardship — 14 of them in the current season alone.
Everton’s seeason is all but over if they lose this weekend to Chelsea in the FA Cup and at a club where the expectation is success, Martinez is now walking a very thin line with one year of his contract remaining. Kenwright might be forgiving, but Moshiri, the new owner, won’t be.
Martinez told a press conference, as show on the club’s YouTube channel: “We’ve seen outstanding signs this season of the squad we’re putting together and that’s why it’s so frustrating in games to win the game and then throw it away and lose it.
“They (Chelsea) are the current league champions, this is the type of game we want to be involved in. I think you need to look at the overall season, you’ve got a long period in this campaign, we’ve been very consistent in our away form, the home form – I think the consistency in our performances has been there.”
When asked about whether the side has underachieved – as they currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League table – Martinez dodged the question a little by saying: “I think we have to wait until the end of the season.”
There is unrest amongst the Goodison faithful at the amateurish way in which Martinez goes about his job. Fans claim he is tactically naive and threw away three points against West Ham last weekend.
It’s worth noting that only Aston Villa have lost more games at home in the Premier League this season and Everton have now conceded more goals at home (26) than any other top-flight club. The note of underachievement at the club is there for all to see and as the club’s 14th manager, the current incumbent has some illustrious managerial names and winners before him.
Without success at some level and without European football next season, Everton will find it hard to keep hold of the players that shine. Lukaku, Stones and Barkley will all be tempted away in the summer, as Everton win nothing once again.
His comments encourage ridicule and heaping praise on certain players seems to have added extra pressure and now the whispers are that the players are starting to question the Spaniard’s philosophy. Martinez labelled it as “speculation” and insists the Blues squad are united in their bid to keep the season alive with victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final this weekend.
Responding to the reports of player discontent, Martinez said: “I don’t think there should even be a concern about that. We are a very tight unit. Every player needs to do what they are very, very good at and that is the only tactic.
“You have to do things for the team and that is where, clearly, we need to be clear in what we do. But the only tactic in football that matters is giving everything you’ve got and play for the shirt and representing Everton in the best possible manner.”
Time will tell, but Evertonians aren’t holding their breath. It seems ironic that with the inconsistent season, the dropping of points and the lack of results, that the club has a Latin declaration that nothing but the best is good enough.