Watford vs Everton

by | 08/04/2016  107 Comments  [Jump to last]

Gareth Barry is a virtual shoo-in to return to the starting XI after serving a two-match ban

Everton make the trip south to Vicarage Road this weekend to face Watford in what is the second of three consecutive away fixtures in the space of 10 days.

Given how much better their away form has been for much of the season in contrast to their miserable record at Goodison Park, this might have been greeted as a blessing a few weeks ago but last Sunday's tedious and uninspiring defeat at Old Trafford might have tempered expectations.

The 1-0 loss to Manchester United effectively killed any realistic hope that Roberto Martinez might steer the Blues into the top seven or eight in the Premier League to lend some respectability to another disappointing campaign on that front. It also ratcheted up the pressure on Roberto Martinez's shoulders, at least in terms of supporter opinion (even if it is still confined mostly to frustrated outpourings in the digital realm and grumbling over pints in pubs) and sparked a mini-controversy over Leighton Baines's comments in the local media about the very obvious lack of chemistry that is blighting Everton's performances at present.

The manager's response to the inevitable questions about his team's under-performance — apart from a tortuous explanation of how this Everton side can't be under-achieving because it hasn't achieved anything — was to stress that he and his players need to be “obsessed” with their remaining league fixtures and to ignore the “hype” around the looming FA Cup semi-final that he blames for being a distraction.

The cup will be impossible to ignore, however, because anyone selected will be playing for a place in the team that walks out at Wembley against either Man United or West Ham on the 23rd. The supporters who may their way to Watford will be hoping that that incentive, combined with simple pride will be enough to motivate them towards something altogether more entertaining than last weekend's weak efforts.

Martinez rejected Baines's assertion that the team is relying too much on individuals but the manager went out of his way after the home defeat to Arsenal to point out how much the Toffees have missed Gareth Barry. The veteran will almost certainly return to the starting XI this weekend after serving a two-match suspension, possibly in place of Tom Cleverley or, more likely, one of Aaron Lennon or Gerard Deulofeu, but it's hard to see too many other alterations being made. Darron Gibson, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are all rated as doubtful as they nurse their respecive knocks.

The restored central-defensive partnership of Phil Jagielka and John Stones fared pretty well against United and will probably continue in an unchanged back line, while Ross Barkley could be pushed further forward again to support Romelu Lukaku if one of the two wingers that started last Sunday's game are indeed sacrificed.

Quique Flores may be presiding over the least injury-hit team in the top flight at the moment — Valon Behrami is the only doubt through illness and is expected to recover in time — but, despite making an excellent start to the campaign on their return to the top flight, Watford have been struggling for form in the league for the past couple of months.

Though they, too, are in the last four of the FA Cup, they haven't won a Premier League game at home since 23rd January when they beat Newcastle 2-1 and they have slipped beneath the Blues in the table over that time, although a win this weekend would see them leapfrog back above Everton. The Hornets are also the second-lowest-scoring team in the division on home turf with just 14 — only Aston Villa have scored fewer — suggesting that if Martinez's defence can keep Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney quiet and provide some proper service to Lukaku, a morale-boosting victory could be on the cards.

Kick off: 3pm

Referee: Kevin Friend

Predicted lineup: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Barkley, Lukaku

Quotes sourced from ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (107)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 08/04/2016 at 07:25:28
The beginning of two weeks from hell for Everton and Martinez.

Failure in the next few weeks and there is surely no way back for Roberto Martinez.

Chris Gould
2 Posted 08/04/2016 at 07:26:37
Unfortunately, I can only forsee an insipid performance as the momentum for Roberto's removal gathers pace.
Kunal Desai
3 Posted 08/04/2016 at 08:01:18
From a personal point of view i've lost interest in the remainder of the games this season barring those on the 20th and 23rd April.

I've never wanted a campaign to finish so soon and see the back of this pathetic excuse of a manager.
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 08/04/2016 at 08:19:44
Same here Kunai. Tomorrow I will be working and, for the first time, I won't even be bothering to follow the game. Win, lose or draw makes me feel the same - empty!!

I'm just waiting for the season to end so I can re-charge my batteries and try and muster up some enthusiasm for next season.

Hold on, we are being linked to the likes of Nani, Carrick and some nobody from Bristol. I might skip next season as well.

Neil Lawson
5 Posted 08/04/2016 at 08:22:40
The only game some Evertonians were happy to lose was the defeat to Man City two seasons ago.

I suspect none of us will be happy if we lose tomorrow but, if it's the catalyst to rid us of the Catalan, it will at least be acceptable. What a dreadful state of affairs that is.

Maybe a win on the National to improve the day.

Peter Fitzpatrick
7 Posted 08/04/2016 at 08:49:06
The best chance of getting a result tomorrow would be if Roberto told the players to do what they want. But I bet he'd rather sink knowing the players were carrying out his flawed instructions.
Paul Kelly
8 Posted 08/04/2016 at 09:15:04
Kunal, could've been one of the players that first paragraph could.

Keep checking Sky Sports News, they might go live to Finch Farm with some breaking news....

Can't be long, surely.

Andy Stewart
9 Posted 08/04/2016 at 09:36:08
For another weekend of torture, I am making my way down to Watford bright and early tomorrow. Any pubs to look out for likely to contain fellow blues?
Robert Duncombe
10 Posted 08/04/2016 at 09:45:09
Dickie Roper's Watford can be dangerous. I like their forward, cannot remember his name but it isn't Troy Deany.

A Leighton Baines winner for us deflected off his gluteus maximus will do. Now that would deserve a standing ovation.

Kim Vivian
11 Posted 08/04/2016 at 09:57:49
Jim (#1) – are you saying there may be a way back?

God help us!

Patrick Carty
12 Posted 08/04/2016 at 09:58:11
The team for me this week should be:

Robles; Stones, Jagielka, Coleman, Lennon, Barry, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku, Niasse.

Let's play Barry as a holding midfielder and Barkley more forward. Lukaku needs support so it's time to give Niasse a start and see how it goes.

Kim Vivian
13 Posted 08/04/2016 at 10:27:18
Living in Kent I rarely get to watch our boys – but (with thanks to Mike Hughes) I'm getting along to Palace on Wednesday for my third game this season.

Looking forward to this game in these interesting times. Hoping of course for a top performance from Everton but the atmosphere among the travelling fans is going to be mighty interesting to see.


Steavey Buckley
14 Posted 08/04/2016 at 10:28:10
Most probably, with the inclusion of Barry, will be the same team to face Watford tomorrow, that began against Man Utd; which will again include the tossing of a coin by Martinez to decide who plays on the left side of midfield, because that is the only explanation why Martinez does not pick a winger, but anyone else.
John Louis Jones
15 Posted 08/04/2016 at 10:31:29
I am just waiting to see what baffling tactics he uses.

Will be 4 central midfielders and 1 winger? Or 3 central midfielders and 2 wingers with one of them playing out of position and with no Left sided player.

I am not looking forward to watching the game at all.

I have seen a few post's on Twatter that there could be "Martinez Out" banners at the game.

I think the away fans that always support the team will be giving Martinez hell tomorrow.

Brin Williams
16 Posted 08/04/2016 at 10:33:01
Certainly think that it will be difficult for Martinez to drop Baines here is my line up:–

Baines, Baines, Baines, Baines,
Baines, Baines, Baines, Baines,
Baines and Baines.

I only hope he gives them bains in the ass!

Ian Burns
17 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:19:18
Martinez is one lucky so and so. After the utterly disgraceful and wholly unacceptable treatment of "our boy" Bainesy, can you imagine the riot had this game been at Goodison tomorrow?

Somebody said on another thread that a poll shows 82% of people want him out and in excess of 10,000 have already voted, no doubt spurred on by the Baines situation.

Of course nothing would stop me from wanting an Everton win but if Watford turn up tomorrow and destroy our "chemistry", the post match interviews will be interesting.

Phil Jeffries
19 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:23:40
FA Cup semi-final defeat – GONESKI.
Heavy defeat to that shower across the park – GONESKI.

Anything else and it may be the end of the season. Either way, it looks increasingly likely that we will be looking for a new manager.

Man Utd are lining up Mourinho... what about us? Hiddink will feature in many people's thoughts. Who else is out there?

Ray Smith
20 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:28:42
A loss tomorrow may be a blessing in disguise?
Phil Walling
21 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:35:26
Leaving aside all the negative thoughts I have about Martinez, I like to think that I am first and foremost a staunch Evertonian. And I like my team to win.

I have, this week, struck a number of bets based on us achieving a 50 points finish and included in this vision is a win at Watford. This is based on my view that we MUST have a good run soon even if it does save The Philosopher's neck!

Here's to all the right chemistry on Saturday!

Denis Richardson
22 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:35:59
I couldn't be bothered to watch the game last week, just checked the score on the phone at half-time and full-time – I was not surprised in the least by the result.

I won't be watching tomorrow either as life's too short. If the board don't give a shit about what's happening on the pitch, I'm not going to waste my time either. I will get some brownie points with the wife instead by doing some DIY around the house.

I'll tune in for the derby and the semi (hopefully will be there!) but the remaining league games... couldn't really give a toss – unless we have a new man in the dug out.

Even if we win tomorrow and Wednesday (big IF), chances are we'd only go up from 12th to 11th – whoopie doo...

Mark Andrews
23 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:36:56
Who will Roberto blame if we bomb again with another insipid performance. The tea lady, road works on the motorway, the weather?
Sam Hoare
24 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:55:13
Like many I'm almost totally apathetic about what happens to us in the league now.

I'd be keen to look to the future and try one or two youngsters, though Barry has to start. Player of the Season potentially.

Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway;
Besic, Barry;
Deulofeu, Barkley, Lennon;

Bench: Howard, Jagielka, Cleverley, Joe Williams, Dowell, Niasse, Evans.

John Louis Jones
26 Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:59:52
Looking at the Table and then the Fixtures for the teams below us, Tomorrow is a Must win game.

Newcastle and Sunderland all have winnable games between now and the end of the season, Couple that with the experience , Both Rafa and Allerdyce have too.

By 6pm Saturday night we could be in 15th with only 8 points between us and Sunderland. All the teams below us at that point have been is a relegation Dog fight and know what is expected. Everton players however have not. even the players that have been with us for a long time have never had to fight relegation. That is the worry.

If you look at Wigan's results the season they got Relegated they won 2 games between winning the quarter final and the cup. March to May.

Look at our remaining Fixtures:

Watford – Still need points to be safe.
Crystal Palace – Still need points to be safe
Southampton – Chasing Europa... Plus they probably want revenge
Liverpool – Well enough said.
Bournemouth – Dead rubber.
Leicester City – After Silver
Sunderland – Relegation dog fight
Norwich – Relegation Dog fight.


Trevor Lynes
27 Posted 08/04/2016 at 12:05:52
I really do not think that TW polls are indicative of the manager's situation. No one appears to be in the frame for the job if it became available.

Surprisingly, no-one appears to blame the players either!!!

Ray Smith
28 Posted 08/04/2016 at 12:09:33
Moyes and Mourinho were mentioned on TalkSport this morning!
Terence Tyler
29 Posted 08/04/2016 at 12:12:18
Our low points return, from remaining fixtures will finish this manager off. So anybody worried that, if we win the cup, it will save Roberto's job, has nothing to fear. He will be well gone before next season starts.
Paul Conway
31 Posted 08/04/2016 at 12:33:56
The following quote is from Robert Martinez:

"Romelu has been really consistent and is someone you can rely on, he never misses games.

“Oumar Niasse is still adapting to the competition and probably Arouna Kone has been unfortunate not to have more minutes than he should have.

“But he has been working well and I just feel he is getting ready to help the team again.

“Part of the competition of allowing players to be on the pitch and see where they are, I think Arouna has been a little bit unfortunate he couldn't get more minutes than the ones he has had.”


Denis Richardson
32 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:20:52
John 26 -– let's leave the scaremongering aside for a change. Everton are in no danger of relegation this season. We're 11 points clear of the drop zone and Sunderland only have 7 games left.

Sunderland would have to win a minimum of 3-4 games from their remaining 7 (they've won 1 of their last 10 btw) AND we'd have to lose ALL of our remaining games AND the teams between us and Sunderland would also have to jump over us.

Newcastle are 13 points behind us so would need to win 4-5 of their remaining 7 games as well as all the above. That is simply not going to happen.

We're safe – we don't have any 'must-win' games in the league (derby aside – which is more of a 'must not lose' scenario anyway).

Relegation is just not going to happen – nevermind the fact that Sunderland still need to play Leicester, Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea!

Personally I think Newcastle are already down along with Villa (still have Man City, RS and Spurs to play) and they're already 6 points from safety.

Final place is between Norwich and Sunderland imo – who play each other next weekend. Although Palace will be feeling a bit nervous if they can't get a win soon. Swansea and all above are safe.

Peter Cummings
33 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:29:44
During the VERY many years I have supported and idolised Everton FC along with my two sons, we have never been as disappointed and depressed as we are at the decline and seemingly unstoppable slide into obscurity as we are facing today.

Going by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of TW posters we are not alone in fearing for our once mighty club's future prospects, be it in domestic or European competition, and it is all down to one man who's name will go down in Goodison lore as a master of oral manipulation and hypocrisy yet still be supported by an inane bunch of boardroom autocrats.

Our wonderful fans deserve so much better and will, as usual, turn up in their thousands tomorrow and the rest of this Benitez blighted campaign to urge their boys in Blue to a possible Wembley final.

Don Alexander
34 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:30:37
Trevor, the players are required to do exactly what the manager wants. If they don't they get dropped. A few of them wouldn't give a hoot about that maybe, but the vast majority would. Certain players have been dropped but the results have not improved. They've worsened, again, as they did last season.

The notion that the players can take to the pitch and do whatever they want in defiance of their own manager is far-fetched. The fact that they did just that in Kiev last season in the second half was a major sign of "losing the dressing room". That they continued through April and freed our club from a real relegation threat spoke volumes more and Kenwright, if he's the fan he says he is, should have been adding his voice too. Several players (Baines, Coleman, Lukaku) were quoted in the Press saying they'd succeeded by reverting to the old Everton way.

Martinez calls the shots though. It his fault, and his alone that we're in the mess we're in and little or nothing to do with the players. I hope they now just turn on him en masse.

Steve Woods
35 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:40:23
@John Louis Jones #26

"Everton players however have not, even the players that have been with us for a long time have never had to fight relegation."

You are forgetting those star players that he brought to this club from Wigan – Kone, McCarthy, Robles and Alcaraz (now departed) all of whom were indeed in a relegation battle under Martinez.

There would have to be a cataclysmic chain of football results for Everton to get relegated this season. However, if he remains next season, I would fully expect us to be in a relegation fight by Christmas.

Frank McGregor
36 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:42:11
I am waiting in anticipation, from the Everton official website, of "BREAKING NEWS – Roberto Martinez has been removed of his duties as manager of Everton Football Club and has agreed to leave the club as of today."

Hopefully this will happen after defeat at Watford.

John Louis Jones
37 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:45:19
Denis 32.

I am not scaremongering, Just looking at the games we have and what might happen, I didn't say we could go down, however come the end of the season we could very close to the drop zone. That is just a matter of pride really.

We only need to win one more game and we are safe (OMG that hurts to right). So yes this is a must win game.

we are 12th now but if performances don't pick up we could finish the season in 16th.

If that did happen, with 6 or 7 senior players out of contract in the summer and Barkley, Stones and Rom attracting suitors, add in Mirillas that is unhappy, finishing that low in the table, we could be left with 7 first team players at the club come 1st July.

Every fucking game is must win.

I though Martinez was building a new era?

Craig Walker
38 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:48:45
I hate the feeling where you're at work and normally you'd be looking forward to the Everton game at the weekend but instead, you dread it because you know they'll ruin your weekend. Again. I've had that feeling every week in 2016 so far.
John Louis Jones
39 Posted 08/04/2016 at 13:54:48
Steve 35,

Haha never thought about that, Jesus!!

Christopher Dover
40 Posted 08/04/2016 at 14:02:46
I just wake up, look at ToffeeWeb and BBC Sport, hoping for the headline "Martinez Sacked"... not happened but I keep hoping and looking.
Patrick Carty
41 Posted 08/04/2016 at 14:21:07
Relegation will not happen this season but I still want the points on the board. Please play two wingers and only one holding midfielder tomorrow, with two strikers up top.

Every week, there seems to be another nail in the manager's coffin... "He must have some big coffin because that's a lot of nails..."

Peter Cummings
42 Posted 08/04/2016 at 14:21:30
Have to apologise for my post blaming Benitez for our decline instead of you all know who; Benitez is currently in charge of the Geordie's decline.
Jamie Crowley
43 Posted 08/04/2016 at 14:34:08
Love how a picture of Baines was chosen to highlight the article on the home page...

That's the real soap opera. Will he play or will Roberto really choose to sophomorically "punish" Leighton for his comments?

Especially as Baines said nothing wrong or damning in the least!

Denis Richardson
44 Posted 08/04/2016 at 15:09:23
John 37 – fair enough, I also think we may well end up lower than 12th although whether we finish 12th or 16th is not really going to make much difference as to who stays and who goes imo. Both positions are shit and the only consolation with the former is a bit more prize money. For me there is no real pride in finishing 12th as opposed to 16th - both are embarrassing.

The decent players we have will all be getting an earful from their agents and families to leave and go to a Champions League club. I really cannot see us keeping Lukaku or Stones regardless of what happens to Martinez and Mirallas is already half way out the door. Ross will stay as he's a blue, unless we get a silly money offer – could happen if he has a stormer in the Euros. There aren't really any players I'd cry over losing. Jags, Baines, Coleman etc are all good players but not irreplaceable. At the end of the day all players leave at some point, the main thing is to bring in decent replacements.

Wouldn't be surprised if a deal's already been done for Rom to go to PSG and Stones to one of the Manchester clubs.

There will be a massive clear out this summer as about half a dozen senior players are coming to the end of their contracts. Add to that the likes of Rom, Stones and Mirallas and that's a good 10 players who'll be gone come August. I've said on another thread that this summer is the perfect time to bring in a new, quality, manager as he'll have a massive amount of freed up wages to sign the players he wants as well as transfer kitty from the sales of Rom and/or Stones.

Looking forward to seeing a much better, balanced squad come August with a massive amount of old deadwood gone, including our current brown-shoed manager.

Phil Smith
45 Posted 08/04/2016 at 15:59:39
If I had a season I would still go to the games but, as I don't, I haven't been following us in the league since we threw away two points at The Bridge. Been watching the cup games, and will still, but not the league games. I prefer watching Leicester.
James Stewart
46 Posted 08/04/2016 at 16:25:33
Kevin Friend isn't a friend of ours!

Be interesting to see if Baines starts, RM will really be digging his own grave if he drops him.

The slow death continues...

Darryl Ritchie
47 Posted 08/04/2016 at 16:44:48
At the season's start, I can recall looking at the fixtures and thinking "If we can keep in shouting distance of the top four until the spring, with the fairly easy run in, we could surprise a few people."

As it is, what with our fucked up chemistry and all, we'll be doing well to salvage 12th.

Tony Hill
48 Posted 08/04/2016 at 16:45:20
I have decided to coast through the rest of this season and enjoy the Wembley trip/trips. If Martinez goes then great, if he doesn't then so be it.

It's tiring worrying too much and getting as furious as I've been over the last few months. If I stop getting so wound up then everything may start going right.

Or not. Oh well.

Jay Harris
49 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:25:43
In 55 years of following the blues I have never felt this apathetic towards my team.

I couldnt even be bothered to have a go at picking the team tomorrow.

This clowns latest diatribe says that "None of the teams through to the semi finals have won a game since" as if that is some sort of excuse for the teams performance and results.

Roberto you are running out of excuses and if Kone gets a game tomorrow that may well be the final nail in your coffin.

Ged Simpson
50 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:27:55
Tony H: if only it was a choice...
Tony Hill
51 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:29:33
Yes, Ged, it's sad but can't be helped. Though I'm going to do my best.
Bill Gall
52 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:44:03
Steve Woods #35. As well as the players you mentioned, Martinez also brought his coaching staff from Wigan, who were also part of the relegation battle.
James Hughes
53 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:49:10
Watford have lost their last 4 games on the trot and host us next I hope they are really worried. I am still looking at the table and thinking we are not safe yet so please pick up some points.

Phil S, the Foxes aren't playing until Sunday, so get behind your team, young man!!!

Ray Roche
54 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:52:33

"Martinez also brought his coaching staff from Wigan, who were also part of the relegation battle."

Should read " Which is WHY they were in a relegation battle"

Neil Wood
55 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:52:58
Big shout out ..... Does anyone know of any coach travel to Wembley that will have seats from West Yorkshire preferably.

Potentially got two tickets ......

Text me on
07879551102 if you can help.

I MAY have a spare ticket also.

Kev Wood
56 Posted 08/04/2016 at 17:55:29
I'll be heading to five of the next six games (as a London-based Evertonian I'm going to miss the Derby as I guess we will all have our minds on the weekend and it won't be our strongest team- though I usually go to Anfield). It's always great to get behind the Blues and I'll be hoping for another performance like Stoke away.

I particularly want to show my support for Leighton tomorrow and I hope Martinez doesn't manage to screw things up- though you'd be a fool to rule that possibility out. C'mon Everton – Onward to Wembley!

Jim Hardin
57 Posted 08/04/2016 at 18:01:12

It isn't punishment if there is an "injury."

Bill Gall
58 Posted 08/04/2016 at 18:02:11
Nice one Ray (#54).

But they have the excuse that they were just following the managers orders.

Ian Brandes
59 Posted 08/04/2016 at 18:26:28
This is very scary – a demoralised team with a half-wit manager vs a team desperate to preserve premiership status.

Hope for a win, but fear it will not happen.

Joe Edwards
60 Posted 08/04/2016 at 18:27:44
Defeat tommorrow should result in Martinez dismissal and Ferguson appointment until the end of the season
Dennis Ng
61 Posted 08/04/2016 at 18:34:24
Watford are taking a holiday till their semi-final, so this game might be a toss-up between two teams that don't really want to win.
Tony Twist
63 Posted 08/04/2016 at 20:41:51
Good call Joe, Alex Ferguson might give the players the required kick up the arse and get them playing as a team!
John Crawley
64 Posted 08/04/2016 at 20:55:12
Joe if Martinez goes then we bring in Joe Royle, backed up by Ferguson, Sheedy and Unsworth.
Stewart Lowe
65 Posted 08/04/2016 at 20:56:58
I have just worked out why our home form is so so bad. I have been racking my brains trying to work out why home and away form is so different?

Playing at home the opposition expects Everton to have the lions share of possession and because this dick head has us playing so far up the pitch in search of goals, teams are happy to pick us off on the break as we watch our defenders try to run back to goal but in vein.

The reason this doesn't happen in away games is because the opposition expects themselves to have the lion share of the game by being the home side. The result of this means we now have two teams pushing high up the pitch, and because we mostly have better attacking midfielders / strikers, we will end up winning more games away from home than losing.

So my reckoning means NOTHING is going change if my analysis is correct.

Stewart Lowe
66 Posted 08/04/2016 at 20:58:15
Neil Wood #55: If I can get you travel how much do you want for the ticket?
Neil Wood
67 Posted 08/04/2016 at 21:02:10
Stewart where would it be from?

Feel free to text me on 07879551102


Brian Murray
68 Posted 08/04/2016 at 21:03:57
We ain't Gona string two cup games together while he's there so forget that; I'd settle for a win at the piggery. Also, it's time for Moshiri to show some teeth and tell misty-eyed Bill we have to start again, not at the end of summer. The semis seem to be clouding some fans' and media pundits' judgement. Koeman and Moshiri to take us to new heights, pronto.
John Malone
69 Posted 08/04/2016 at 21:04:37
Not even that angry when we lose anymore I spat that much fire when we blew lead's and were so disappointing earlier on in the season I'm just numb to it now!

I only care about winning the FA Cup and seeing Martinez get the sack and seeing us build a new era under new ownership and management!

Hopefully Moshiri has already been lining potential suitors regardless of the FA Cup!

Tom Bowers
70 Posted 08/04/2016 at 21:11:49
Lots of trepidation about tomorrow and upcoming games and rightly so. If they were playing Crewe tomorrow, I would be worried. That's how bad it's got with this manager.

The Niasse situation is unbelievable. Only Everton get these deals. Remember 6 ft 7 in Traore? One game, one goal and gone.

I see Pulis is hedging on a new contract so perhaps he may be keeping his options open. I would give him a shot if the Mourinho rumours is just that.

Stewart Lowe
71 Posted 08/04/2016 at 21:15:29
John Malone: I mirror what you just said, its almost as if Goodison Park and the board are so disconnected from us fans that they may not even feel what we feel. As much as this is a cup and the first one since 1995,

I am struggling to bring myself to look forward or have any anticipation for that semi final because I worry that us winning the cup will see us going into next season with Martinez. We know we have a very emotional co-owner in Kenwright but I expect the euphoria over an FA Cup win means Martinez keeps his job and I just can't accept that.

James Flynn
72 Posted 08/04/2016 at 21:47:47
Just want us to win.

The game's the thing.

Ian Riley
73 Posted 08/04/2016 at 22:17:43
Just let you know Martinez will be here next season. Not bothered anymore. Lost all enthusiasm this season. Started to think along as we don't get relegated, I'm happy.
Xavier Spencer
74 Posted 08/04/2016 at 22:35:48
Tom@70 - Pullis! You're having a laugh aren't you? I would rather watch frigging paint dry then watch the shite his teams play.
Vince Furnier
75 Posted 08/04/2016 at 22:44:54
I would like it to be known that I shall not be watching this match, the first time I will have missed a game for a long time. I hope Roberto therefore seizes this opportunity. If he doesn't then at least I know that I'm not the jinx! :)
Tony Dove
76 Posted 08/04/2016 at 23:17:33
Tony@48. That's the way for me too. Let's worry about next season at the end of this one, and there will be plenty to worry about for sure.
Tony Hill
77 Posted 08/04/2016 at 23:21:50
I was miserable about the Carling Cup semi-final because I wanted Martinez out (and still do) but I'm damned if I'm going to let the FA Cup thing pass me by. To have so many of us there at Wembley together and numerous others cheering around the globe will be cause for real pride and we shouldn't waste it stewing in resentment.

I'm being a bit of a pious hypocrite because I've been vitriolic about the manager but we owe ourselves a break and some simple enjoyment as Evertonians.

Who knows, tomorrow may yet be a break in the clouds – we've got a good record there, remember the 5-4? That's when I knew we would win the title.

Brian Porter
78 Posted 08/04/2016 at 23:47:21
Jay (#49), I'm with you. After following Everton for 57 years, I now admit that Martinez has, for the first time in my life, made me totally apathetic about my team's results. All my hope and expectation has gone, withered on the vine of his ridiculous philosophy.

His public belittling of Leighton Baines shows him to be a spiteful little Hitler and Martinez should be made to apologise to Baines for his ungentlemanly and un-manager like behaviour, totally unprofessional. Also like you, if carthorse Kone gets anywhere near the playing field tomorrow, I vow I will not watch another Everton match this season.

Niasse is a typical example of Martinez double speak. He signed him, told us how great he was and now he may be sending our third most expensive signing to play for the U21s! Something stinks at Goodison Park these days and its name is Roberto Martinez.


Dave Lynch
79 Posted 09/04/2016 at 00:37:14
I've felt apathetic under the last two managers TBH.

Moyes's teams bored me shitless and I still hate the ginger bastard for what he did to us.

Martinez just makes me angry and I gave up caring around Xmas time.

I predict we will get twatted tomorrow, by the way, and I couldn't give a shit.

Ian Randles
80 Posted 09/04/2016 at 01:27:44
Guys... Hiddink – this guy should be top of our new owner's shopping list. No bullshit words, no bullshit training, just straight-forward round pegs in round holes. The guy gets respect and response from his players.

And, who knows... he may actually keep hold of some of our want-aways. If nothing else, he could be trusted to spend £150 million or so, and would have the clout to attract that sort of player? Just a thought....

Victor Jones
81 Posted 09/04/2016 at 01:29:41
Hear,hear, Mr Brian Porter. I was going to make a few comments, but they would have been the exact same as what you just said. This season under Martinez stinks. And I have a feeling that it is going to get worse.... before it gets better.

I really am at a loss, as to why our board are still persisting with Martinez. Do they not look at the League position... do they not notice the disharmony in the team.... do the not notice the decline in some of our better players... do they not notice the shit, losing football that we are now all witnessing... the list is bloody endless.

The players might just have to do their own thing in the Cup semi-final. Because we will not win by playing Martinez's tippy tappy possession crap.The players might just have to take the bull by the horns, and do what is needed. Regardless of Martinez. I would trust our senior players to have enough nous to come up with something, other than Martinez's stifling tactics. Just get things right on the day.

Why the fuck do we need a manager. Especially one who works against the good harmony of the team. Let the players work it out for themselves. They are starting to get the message. And not before time. That is that Martinez is not a manager.

I hope that we win tomorrow. But that's the best that I can do... Hope.

I fear for us in the derby... Again, I am hoping for the best... and right now, I would take a draw.

I am also fearful of our game against Palace. By the end of April,we could be hovering around 14th or 15th in the league,and out of the cup. And Martinez will still be our manager. Will this nightmare ever end?

But there again, we could win our next four league games, and also be in an FA Cup Final. That's the few beers talking.

Martinez out.... Joe Royle in... for now.

Paul Corbett
82 Posted 09/04/2016 at 03:20:01
Ian @80 I'm totally in agreement with you on Guus Hiddink.

Since the news broke on Conte's appointment I've hoped that our board have been doing everything possible to get Guus as our next manager.

He would be that step up from mediocricy to genuine quality with good experience both domestically and abroad.

And as Ian said, a manager who could attract the big names and finally we can challenge the top four.

If Newcastle can get Rafa and Leicester can hire Ranieri, then we too should be looking to this level of manager.

Jamie Crowley
83 Posted 09/04/2016 at 04:09:01
Jim @ 57 -

I smell a dodgy hamstring...

Funny thing is at this point with all the ridiculous chaos, I'd not even be surprised!

My God it's bad...

It's like rubber-necking, watching a train wreck, and stepping in shit all at the same time.

Neil Lawson
84 Posted 09/04/2016 at 07:36:15
Much as I admire Jagielka and his wholehearted commitment and attitude, he is not a natural leader. There is no one in the team to stir up his colleagues and get under the skin of the opposition.

The only man capable is now at Norwich. Naismith may not have been the greatest player but he would have been a shoo-in for this and the successive games. Another great Martinez decision.

Andrew Presly
85 Posted 09/04/2016 at 08:51:51
Lots of negativity on here.

People focusing on Leicester, not caring if we get battered today etc Dear me. Really? We've been in far worse states than this over the years, please get a grip, it's all part of the Everton experience.

Today is vital as an indicator of whether the players are going to back this manager when he's under pressure. Another performance like Arsenal or Man Utd and he should go to save our chance in the Cup.

Like us Watford have nothing to play for in the league but we need a performance today to install belief again even if it's just to get us to the summer. Big game for that reason.

Colin Glassar
86 Posted 09/04/2016 at 08:58:45
That's the only interesting thing about today's game, Andrew, the reaction of the players. Will they come together and fight for the manager and themselves or, will they play like a bunch of strangers who just want to be somewhere else? If it's the latter then Martinez is doomed.

I always want Everton to win no matter who's in charge so, COYB!! Do it for Bainsey.

Ged Simpson
87 Posted 09/04/2016 at 09:02:45
You are right, Andrew. People are just a bit fed up after such hope recently and want to express it quite often.
Oliver Molloy
88 Posted 09/04/2016 at 09:11:34
I agree Andrew, but will the team want to play for this clown – that really is the question.

I think there could be a split in the camp, and Martinez will play players who he feels are on side with him.

If Everton play badly and put In a half hearted performance that ends up with us losing the board must act in my opinion. Yes, the pressure is on....

Damian Wilde
89 Posted 09/04/2016 at 09:28:05
I am desperate for us to win the FA Cup and think it ridiculous someone would not want us to win it. A defeat today would hurt as any does, but I could handle it if it pushes this Spanish clown closer to the door.
Dave Abrahams
90 Posted 09/04/2016 at 09:28:56
Like everyone else I don't know which Everton are going to turn up today, a team that wants to win or the team that didn't look like they were bothered as against Arsenal and Man Utd.

I'd like Cleverley in centre midfield and give Barkley a rest, I think the lad needs a rest and we are better playing with Cleverley who will play the whole game and do a solid job, no he will not have the creativity of Ross but he will compete for the ball all the time and we will be all the better for that. Ross should come good but not under this manager.

Ray Smith
91 Posted 09/04/2016 at 09:53:50
Daily Mail page 100

"Baines is included after apologising to team mates for his remarks about a lack of chemistry in the squad."

I thought he is supposed to have apologised to Martinez, not his team mates.

Unless the Daily Mail have got it wrong?

Phil Walling
92 Posted 09/04/2016 at 09:57:40
A good win today and (nearly) all will be forgiven. The 'Hanging Mob' will just fade away. It always happens like that.

Just football, I guess!

Ged Simpson
93 Posted 09/04/2016 at 10:11:48
Very true, Phil. In many ways, we regress to being little kids and one minute are screaming and the next cheering. (Apart from those who say they have been saying the same thing for decades... and aren't they a laugh?)

I think a win may improve spirits but think Martinez may now have disappointed the Board (who decide his fate). Mistake having a great first season... which is so crazy.

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 09/04/2016 at 10:35:27
Not sure ,Phil, this is different I think. I hope Baines is not carrying any injuries, because he will surely be the first name on the team sheet today. With everyone watching this one, I don't think Martinez, is stupid enough to continue this story, by leaving Baines out.

The game itself is a bit of a non-event, BUT the performance of the players should be very telling today.

Ernie Baywood
95 Posted 09/04/2016 at 10:57:44
I think we'll beat Watford. They're ordinary at home and we still have a good away record.

I can see the bigger talking points being our fans' response, Baines's selection and Bobby's words after the game. If we lose he can't make excuses; win and he can't gloat.

Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 09/04/2016 at 10:59:36
Phil (92) I know you like a bet but don't for a minute have a bet on that, this has lingered for quite a while and it's not going away as quickly as you seem to think.
Brian Harrison
97 Posted 09/04/2016 at 11:12:03

I don't know if someone has hijacked your computer because like me from day one you didn't want RM. But now you are distancing yourself from the hanging mob, yet you were the original Albert Pierpoint.

Terence Tyler
98 Posted 09/04/2016 at 11:12:22
Phil (92). I hope we get a good win today. But as Martinez record of good wins are a rare occasion, I will still want him gone.
Steavey Buckley
99 Posted 09/04/2016 at 11:23:16
Watford will be thinking this is a good time to play Everton; their confidence will be shot, with players speaking out against the manager; Everton can't hold on to 2 goal leads; the manager is bound to pick the wrong tactics and team; mess up the substitutions that will let us back into the game or allow us to carry on dominating) and Everton are on a run of defeats.
Tim Greeley
100 Posted 09/04/2016 at 12:39:04
Watford, and everyone else besides the bottom 3 and Chelsea, will be thinking this is a good season to play Everton, Steavey. It's sickening.

Brendan Rodgers almost won a title for the RedShite yet they sacked him for far less and far sooner than what Roberto has inflicted on us. The entire Everton fan collective has to now wake up on matchday with nothing but dread and apathy. Fucking done with it.

Joe Edwards
101 Posted 09/04/2016 at 12:41:49
I think Moshiri's first task is to convince Pellegrini that he needs to adopt Everton as his next challenge. A £70 million transfer pot , a new stadium blueprint, a top class defensive coach and Ferguson continuing his promising development as his No 2 should be part of the hard sell.

I am not interested in this season any more and I probably speak for most when I say even success in the cup would not be enough to ensure Martinez earns another season. His increasing detachment from rationality,the loss of confidence by the majority of the supporters and by the sounds of it the dressing room as well leaves his position untenable.

Get your coat, Mr Martinez, and close the door on your way out.

Keith Monaghan
102 Posted 09/04/2016 at 12:48:08
My team for today (also for last week v Man Utd):-

Robles; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Oviedo;
Besic, Barry;
Lennon, Mirallas, Cleverley;

Dropping of Baines nothing to do with his statement etc, purely on football, as also the lazy ineffective Ross, & the mediocre Championship player McCarthy.

Roberto out anyway by end of season, whatever the results are in remaining games.

Jim Hardin
103 Posted 09/04/2016 at 13:16:41

The mere fact that somehow beating a team like Watford, with its impressive EPL history, should somehow placate a crowd and a fan set says it all really, doesn't it? Keep the pitchforks and torches at the ready and don't check them at the gate boys!

Kevin Elliott
104 Posted 09/04/2016 at 13:59:28
Phil, if we win 10-0 I'll still want Martinez out.
John Hughes
105 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:05:03
West Ham 2-0 down now winning 3-2 Carroll hat-trick, we will have no chance if WHU beat Man Utd!
Phil Walling
106 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:05:48
No, Brian, I'm still up for the hanging but worry about the judge and jury not bringing in the verdict!

ps: I once met old Albert in his pub at Mere. Seemed a decent bloke!

Dave Pritchard
107 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:07:16
John, we beat Chelsea 2-0 so West Ham have no chance of beating us. What I've just written is daft, as is your comment.
John Hughes
108 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:16:38
Dave, you're probably right!!
Jim Bennings
109 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:19:45
Did Martinez really decide not to pursue Payet ahead of Barkley?????

Barkley isn't fit to lace Payet 's boots let's be brutally honest and not biased.

Paul Tran
110 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:34:27
Does anyone actually know whether we were in for Payet? Would he have come running to us had we go in for him?

I suggest a London club, with money and about to get a new stadium, will have been more of a draw than us.

Stephen Brown
111 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:36:41
Can't we try a different formation? How about 4-4-2? 4-2-3-1- is not working so play players in their best positions in a 4-4-2!!
Jim Lloyd
113 Posted 09/04/2016 at 14:52:18
What I read he's said this morning. then football wise I think he's right.

If he gets the football side right so that for the rest of this season, we become a vibrant, fighting effective winning side, then why would the Board dismiss him?

If his team selection, tactics, substitutions suddenly turn us into a team to match anyone...and beat most, then maybe the alchemist has discovered the right formula for turning base metal into gold.

If, the fans at Goodison roar the roof off seeing the team tearing apart feeble opposition, then maybe we have a manager who has gone through a long, dark, vale and come out leading us into the sunlit uplands.

Maybe Kenwright has got it right and, from now on, the parallels to 1984 could be realistic rather than dreamland; and The Board might be joined by the fans in saying "What a manager!"

If he shows progress to something like the first season's exciting football, then maybe the major shareholder will have enough faith in him to spend tens of millions of pounds for next season's assault on the top 4 places.

So, football wise then, the next couple of months are going to be extremely important for Roberto Martinez...and for Everton Football Club.


If the last half of this season is anything to go by, the signs are not looking good for us to see an invigorated Everton team, tearing into the opposition. Apart fron the Chelsea cup match, it's been point after point and game after game thrown away with no sign of an understanding as to why it's happened

What's worse, in my view, is that he has made this even less likely by his treatment of Leighton Baines because I think that will concentrate the minds of the players wonderfully.

Nevertheless, miracles do happen...so people say!

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