Death By a Thousand Cuts

by   |   19/03/2016   Comments  [Jump to last]

Excuse the corny headline, but that's what watching Everton feels like at the moment.

In a previous post, I stated that in every manager's tenure at a football club, he reaches and passes the 'point of no return' in the eyes of the fans. I think Martinez has long gone past that stage, and it's now getting embarrassing for him and the club.

After about 20 minutes of the Arsenal game, I just knew we would get absolutely nothing from it, nor did we deserve to.

It's now patently obvious, and to many fans, it has been for a long time, that this manager does not have the ability to take us forward. Today's game just about epitomised his reign so far: poor team tactics, even poorer substitutions, and a team quickly running out of faith in the manager.

Did anyone notice, around 5 minutes before the end, Seamus Coleman had absolutely no options available to him as he brought the ball forward, simply no-one made themselves available. Many of his team-mates had simply given up the ghost at that stage, and didn't really want to be there in all honesty. Coleman was furious.

And to think last week, Kenwright in true 'luvvie' fashion, with his arm wrapped around Moshiri, baulked at the idea that anyone should have the audacity to question the manager's performance this season. Unbelievable.

What was particularly galling as a spectator, was to see an Arsenal team, fresh from a midweek mauling at the Nou Camp, outplay us completely on the pitch, not only in a technical sense, but in speed of thought as well, we simply looked slow and ponderous in our build up play, as we have done all season.

I don't have a coaching badge, but the much maligned Wenger simply 'did a job on us', pushed three forward to press the Everton back four, and we never looked comfortable all afternoon.

That, coupled with a nervous Robles (who was brutally exposed throughout the game) but should have done better with both goals, made the game a recipe for disaster

I'm struggling to think of a player who came out of the afternoon with any credit, McCarthy and Cleverley were able runners, (so was Linford Christie) but that's all, it wasn't just an off day for them, their individual ability levels never once matched the 'one touch' football of their Arsenal counterparts, they never once came close all afternoon, again placing question marks over Martinez's insistence on two holding midfielders in the same team.

The 'Martinez effect', is now starting to materialise in the player's comments off the pitch, with Lukaku starting to make predictable comments to a foreign journal about the team 'underachieving' and his wish to be able to play Champions League football.

In all honesty, who can blame him, as one of the hottest properties in European football, why shouldn't he be entitled to think like that?

If you were an aspiring young footballer, would you put your trust and playing future in Martinez?

What is more alarming off the pitch, is that Kenwright has managed to influence the new majority shareholder (and effectively the owner) to promote the much-maligned Robert Elstone to the board of directors. So, are we to continue in the same 'jobs for the boys' fashion, and settle for mediocrity which has been our trademark for the last twenty years?

The season's end could yet see us win a trophy and in doing so, prolong the lifespan of the manager. I hope not, I just don't see any hard evidence that this manager is capable of change, or that he has the inner ability or acumen to do so.

Maybe he is beginning to realise as well that he is nearing the end of his Everton 'journey'? For the first time in a long long time,in his post match press conference, he was openly critical of the team at the end of today's game. No inane utterings of 'fine margins', 'phenomenal individual performances', 'fine moments', just the plain truth, and maybe the first signs of a manager running out of excuses.

Statistics don't lie, we have the worst home record in the Premier League, and all those at Goodison will have only seen four home league wins in fifteen months. Steve Mclaren got the sack from Newcastle for less.

There are just nine league games left. Roberto said, 'Judge me at the end of the season'. For many people, Roberto, they have already made their mind up.

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