Saturday's game at Arsenal was always going to be tough: the spending power of the Gooners should always give them the edge over a team like Everton where financial constraints always preclude us from bringing on board a player of the calibre of Sanchez for Arsenal. However, even a club like Everton should be capable of producing the 'basics' on a regular basis, given the quality that at least seven or eight players in the squad possess.
Martinez's team selection has left me baffled at times this season: the selection of Barry and McCarthy in the same side continues unabated, but clearly isn't working. I'm not a fan of McCarthy, I have to admit: being able to run and run and run shouldn't guarantee you a place in the team; when do you ever see him make a defence-splitting pass or a 40-yard ball over the top? Barry, for all his critics, is a better player, despite the advancing years.
Without doubt, we have a real issue with the goalkeeper's position; how have we arrived at this stage of the season, with no real alternatives to hand, and praying that January comes around sooner rather than later? Every man and his dog could see pre-season that Howard was not the answer. I believe Martinez made a big error of judgement in dropping Robles after three pretty flawless games, to put his old favourite back in.
As a club, we have found ourselves in the situation where a 'select band' of players are on quite lucrative contracts, but will never effectively play regular football for the first team again, basically because they're permanently crocked or simply not good enough anymore. They include Hibbert, Osman, Gibson, McGeady and Pienaar, to name a few; how much are these guys costing us each year collectively? Get shut, Roberto; they are simply deadwood.
On the subject of the manager's performance in the transfer market, again big questions arise: Did we really need Lennon in the summer? Sure he was cheap, and 'tracks back'... but we already had three specialist wingers on the books &ndash why add another? He was largely anonymous on Saturday and is an average Premier league player at best. Meanwhile, Mirallas (bad attitude and all) gets splinters in his arse on the bench.
Martinez might have got lucky with the injury to Jagielka against Arsenal, because it looks like in Funes Mori he has bought a centre-half who likes to attack the ball, especially against big burly centre-forwards, neither of which Stones or Jagielka are capable of doing.
I get the feeling we are sliding towards a comfortable mid-table finish, which means our better players will once again be courted by the offer of Champions League football. If you were a young inspiring player, wouldn't you be tempted?
I hope I'm proved wrong with Martinez, I would dearly like to avoid the process of looking for another manager and the merry-go-round that accompanies it. Prove me wrong, Roberto.