You might have read Brian's article on why sacking Roberto Martinez won't save Everton's season; if you haven't, go read it. Brian's article contains a more fact based argument that the one about to be put forward.
Looking at the facts within that article gives a pretty compelling message, but look at them closely and it gives you a slightly different picture. Everton are underachieving, massively. It would be tough to find anyone that disagrees with that statement. That means that when looking at stats you need to look at the relevant ones, maybe look at L****pool, West Bromwich Albion, and Bolton Wanderers. It could be argued that each of those teams was underachieving in a big way, their improvement with a new manager? Six, five, and four places. For Everton that's the difference between mid-table and Europe.
Then there are the intangibles, the gut feelings. And the most obvious to improve from there are the players. Despite a couple of half decent performances recently it looks more and more like they've lost faith in the manager, rumours of Sylvain Distin and now Samuel Eto'o not seeing eye to eye with Roberto Martinez have been rife and one is sidelined, the other about to be sold.
The Kevin Mirallas debacle on Monday and the lack of leadership on the field all smack of players not believing in their manager and themselves. Then there's the substitutions; Muhamed Besic was the best player on the pitch against West Brom and he was taken off, how does that boost his confidence? And it's not the first time. The continued use of Ross Barkley out of position, after building him up to be the new Gascoigne, has now got the crowd on the youngsters back. Again confidence, Martinez's supposed strong point.
Then there are the injuries, the shining example is the apparent misuse of James McCarthy, now seemingly injured indefinitely, and the semi-injured penalty snatcher Kevin Mirallas. When will either of them be fully fit again?
Equally important as the players are the fans. The first signs of discontent were heard way back in early December, in fact the last time Everton won, at Goodison Park against QPR. Despite the 3-1 win there were boos when a free-kick in a dangerous position went all the way back to Tim Howard. That now feels like a watershed moment, when the boss lost the crowd and maybe the players. Since then he's had substitutions questioned - again there was booing against West Brom for Besic's departure - and Barkley is being booed now, unthinkable previously.
All of this leads to a toxic atmosphere, on the training ground, and most importantly, on match day at Goodison. The Old Lady is not a nice place to be at the moment, the team seem unable of performing any better away from home too.
It feels like a watershed moment for the Spaniard's reign at the club, the next two games are away to Crystal Palace and at home to Liverpool. Two defeats would surely spell the end for Roberto Martinez; and no-one would have seen that coming in August.