Everton’s season has been one of under-achievement.
Roberto Martinez looked like a man lost as he stood within his technical area at every match. There appeared to be no Plan B, no hope and now the likelihood of a mass exodus at Goodison Park this summer.
The manager has now left the club, and few saw any possibility of him remaining, truth be told. Martinez was fired by Everton on Thursday with three years left on his contract after failing to get the best out of what is widely regarded as the club’s strongest squad in years.
With a new manager comes new ideas and a new sea of faces. It will take time for the new man, widely tipped as ex-Ajax head coach Frank de Boer – although Manuel Pellegrini and Rafa Benitez have been mentioned by the bookies – to cast his eye over the current squad and make his decisions. With the new owner reportedly willing to invest £100m on a squad overhaul in the summer, whomever is the manager, that money will be burning a hole in his pocket.
There will be plenty of rumours about who will come in, but Everton need to learn from the mistakes of relegated Newcastle. Throwing a ton of money on players doesn’t equal success, if the wrong man is in place.
Moving away from the possibilities of incoming players, what about those departing the Merseyside club. Who may choose to leave and seek fortune, fame and silverware elsewhere? One is obvious…
The Belgian hitman will be in the shop window this summer at the EURO Finals in France. Good performances in the competition will have clubs all over Europe chasing his signature.
18 league goals – 25 in all competitions – shows that Everton will miss his qualities, but the player wants Champions League football and trophies. At 23, time is very much on his side.
Often maligned this season, Stones hasn’t had the greatest campaign of his short career. Left out by Martinez on occasions, he has been held responsible for some of the goals that Everton have conceded. His desire to play the ball out from the back has meant that he has lost possession and as the old professionals will tell you, your first job is to defend.
Will he leave or won’t he? Everton stood their ground last summer and were praised for not being bullied. This summer, he will probably go. He is still learning, but is very highly thought of, with Rio Ferdinand giving the defender his backing recently.
Barkley has looked completely at odds with the team this year and disillusioned isn’t the word. This will be the summer that the 22 year old will surely leave and if he can have a good tournament in France, the big names will be circling like vultures for him. Expect him to stay in the Premier League, but Everton are too small for this player’s talents.
We’re not sure what he did to upset Martinez, but the Belgian has rarely had a look in after almost leaving the Toffees last summer for West Ham.
The midfielder joined Everton from Greek side Olympiacos for £6m and appeared to be a favourite of Moyes, but certainly not of Martinez. Gifted, but hot-headed.
The Irishman has struggled for game time under Roberto Martinez, who brought both James McCarthy and Gareth Barry in when he took over.
The midfielder was a mainstay in David Moyes’ side and was often known as the player that made the team click, but with an extremely poor injury record, Gibson was never able to have a sustained period in the team.