Everton have had a tough season, results have not quite gone as planned on the pitch and an endless list of injuries have left them languishing in mid-table.
The Toffees’ draw against Swansea at the weekend means they are unbeaten in the last four but boss Roberto Martinez is still feeling the strain. After dropping out of the Europa Cup after losing to Dynamo Kiev, Everton fans have been looking for someone to blame. It has been an extremely disappointing season – they have struggled to perform and after a 5th place finish last season fans were expecting a lot better.
Martinez is currently 50/1 to be sacked but has been as low as 6/1 during the season. Everton’s chairman is famed for his loyalty but in this day and age no one is immune from losing their job. While things have started improve with their first back-to-back wins since October, many involved in the club are not happy with how their season has progressed.
Recently graffiti appeared at Goodison Park saying “Martinez out” and “Not good enough” which show some fans have grown angry at the way their team is performing. After beginning the season with genuine hopes of being able to compete for a Champions League place and really challenge in the Europa League fans are looking towards the man in charge for someone to blame. While these fans are still in a small minority it only takes one person to think it before others join in.
One of Everton’s biggest issues has been with injury. Since Martinez arrived 18th months ago 13 players have had an incredible 22 hamstring injuries between them. It is clear that something needs to be looked into about the training plans of the squad – something is not right and it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Martinez is seen among many as a stubborn manager. He has shown a reluctance to adapt and change his style when things have been going wrong. Sam Allardyce is another who refuses to change his ways and it looks like he will be heading out of the West Ham door before next season. Could the same be about to happen to Martinez?
When Martinez took over at Everton in 2013 he spoke very clearly about building a team for the long term. This season Tim Howard, Sylvain Distin and Gareth Barry appear to have shown their age while last season’s star, Ross Barkley has struggled to emulate his success. Before fans make their decision on Martinez they need to see how he builds his team in the summer. If they get to Christmas next season and things haven’t changed and problems haven’t been addressed, then the cries of “Martinez out” will be a lot louder.
While this season has been a huge test for those involved in the club many believe that in the long term Martinez’s decisions will pay off. It is unlikely that Martinez will be sacked now. It will be all down to how he plays the summer transfer window as to whether he will still be in a job this time next year.