My Christmas message to Roberto

By Brian Porter 20/12/2015  0 Comments  [Jump to last]

Dear Mr Martinez,

I was born in 1953, became a fan in 1959 when my Dad and Uncle George took me to Goodison Park for the first time. Since that time, I have been privileged to witness our Championship winning teams of 1963, 1970, 1985 and 1987. I was at Wembley for our stunning comeback to win the FA Cup in 1966 (have you heard of Mike Trebilcock?), saw us win again in 1984 and 1995 and watched on TV as we lifted the European Cup Winners Cup, also in 1985, as well as a few close-run title challenges and losing finals along the way.

I mention the above purely to illustrate not only my own history of following this once great club, but to make the point that you seem incapable, despite your continued rhetoric and talk of the club's history, to realise that you are rapidly losing the fans' belief that you are capable of emulating even one of those historical achievements.

I have seen pretty much the good, the bad, and the ugly of our teams over those years... but, even in our darkest days under Mike Walker, our team had fight and tenacity – though not always the skill to bring results as we wished – but then Mr Walker did not have at his disposal a £28 million striker or the wealth of talented players you have to select a team from.

I'm sad to say that it is becoming an embarrassment to watch our team (note, the 'our team' – not yours), imploding week after week when players of this calibre are capable of so much more. I blame you, Mr Martinez, because, as a former business manager, it is my belief that in any business, success or failure is measured by the performance of those in charge. Good management invariably leads to good results in any type of endeavour; poor management produces poor results. A very simple equation but one you are failing to live by with your inability to see what the fans have seen for a long time.

You 'play favourites', ie, you insist on backing a goalkeeper who the fans and indeed many pundits around the world can plainly see is no longer fit for purpose; you insist on playing 'your man' Arouna Kone, week after week when he obviously is no longer 'in a good moment' as you call it; and you refuse to use players such as Kevin Mirallas who at least offers you a different option. Steven Naismith scored a hat-trick against Chelsea but is now talking of leaving the club due to lack of game time, which leads to my next point: your record of (non-)substitutions.

Again, you often appear blind to what is happening on the pitch and have a tendency to wait until the last 10 minutes (if at all), before making substitutions which are usually (as against Leicester) a case of too little, too late. Perhaps if you had used players like Mirallas and Naismith over the last few weeks with at least 30 minutes to play, not only might they have made game-changing contributions but they might not now be on the cusp of leaving the club. Who's going to score the goals in the second half of the season if Lukaku gets injured?

In short, you have had 2½ years to mould this talented squad into a top-four challenging team and have failed miserably. No defensive organisation, no plans to make the most of set-pieces, and no instilling of pride and leadership on the field. Abject capitulation appears to be the hallmark of your teams and all the rhetoric and words like 'phenomenal' and "we must learn" mean nothing any more because we are not 'phenomenal' and we are not learning – at least not under your blinkered and arrogant style of management.

So, thank you for making an old(er) fan very unhappy this Christmas – unhappy to see the shambles you have made of the team I have supported and loved for longer than you have been alive. I hope you and your family enjoy your Christmas but I assure you that not many Evertonians will be enjoying the usual festive fare we are likely to see on the pitch over the holiday season. Peace on earth, goodwill to all men does not extend to gifting goals to the opposition. Please try to remember that as you make your team selections in the coming weeks.

Sincere regards,

Brian Porter

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