It appears that these articles won't be bringing much happy reading for Everton fans any time soon. The doom and gloom has well and truly set in.
The players, more worryingly, no longer seem to be bothered or react to goals conceded, their heads just drop a little further. Against Hull we looked beaten before we'd even begun. We contained Hull for the first 25 minutes but never looked close to scoring, so much so there was one shot in Everton's favour through the whole first half.
I'm concerned as I can now no longer see where our first Premier league win of 2015 will come from. Manchester City are next at Goodison Park, followed by a West Brom side that have begun their transformation under a new manager and then we travel to Crystal Palace who are another side with a new boss and are ready to show what they can do.
Neville Southall said on Twitter that this coming transfer window might just be the most important in our club's history and I wouldn't go to far away from agreeing with that. A left sided winger is a must as we can't keep playing Barkley or Eto'o out of position, a centre back would be great but honestly I can't see Martinez even entertaining that idea with Alcaraz, Jagielka, Distin and John Stones in the squad. Finally we need a central midfielder as Gareth Barry isn't up to the job. He is slow to react, slow on the ball and has become sloppy with his passing, he piles pressure on the central midfielders around him as well as the defence behind him.
So the ratings:
Joel Robles- 6- It would be so easy to blame Robles for the goals but frankly neither were his fault. Okay, some would say he went down to quickly as Jelavic chipped the ball into the goal. That particular goal was another case of Gareth Barry finding himself strangely as our last man in defence. Robles controlled his area a little more off corners and free kicks but there is still a lot for him to improve on.
Seamus Coleman- 6- The Irish international had a much better game against Hull but I felt was once again held back by Martinez' tactics and set up. He at no point had anyone in front of him to link up with, nobody he could over lap to beat the opposition fullback, he was stranded. He got forward as much as he could but with nobody in support it was a vain attempt. The reason for there being nobody in the right wing position time and time again was Naismith, Kone and Mirallas where constantly shuffling their positions and often in doing that found themselves bunched in the middle.
Antolin Alcaraz- 6.5- Despite being sent off in the latter stages of the game, Alcaraz put up a fair performance. His positioning was head and shoulders above what we've seen from Distin and he attempted to join the attack in a John Stones kind of fashion along with working hard to get back and cover. Alcaraz made good efforts to cover the runs of Hernandez and I felt covered him well.
Phil Jagielka- 5.5- I just don't know where to start with our captain at the moment. He isn't leading the team around the pitch, he isn't having ago at someone when they make an error that leads to a goal. The centre back looks as though he has lost his edge and determination and unfortunately he was one of the players that looked beaten before we even got going. Jagielka struggled to cope with Jelavic and didn't help in holding our defensive line. He needs to start showing why he is captain and lead people around the pitch. Coming out and talking in the press doesn't make up for his lack of talking on the pitch i'm afraid.
Leighton Baines- 6- I'm still unsure as to how Luke Garbutt didn't once again make the starting team. Saying that Baines didn't do a lot wrong in the first half when he was at Left back, he as was the same with Coleman tried to get forward but had no winger in front of him to make that link. Where Roberto has got the idea of playing Baines in central midfield I don't know. The game passes him by, he isn't quick enough on the ball to play centre of the park and above all he is a left sided player.
Muhamed Besic- 6.5- One of our best players on the pitch until he was substituted at half time. Ok he picked up a yellow card in the first half, but so did Kone. Gareth Barry once again should have been the player taken off and replaced as everything he did was wrong or delayed. Besic was one of only two players along with Naismith that gave us a little fight and determination to get the ball, to take him off was a shocking decision.
Gareth Barry- 3- And thats a generous 3. If he was as professional as he is made out to be by his fellow colleagues then he needs to walk into the managers office and inform him he just isn't up to it at the moment. His form his holding the team back and causing us more issues than solutions. Why Martinez can't see what every Everton fan can I won't be able to understand. Darron Gibson has to start getting a look in if nobody is brought in for that position in January, i'm unsure as to what Gibson has done not to deserve even a sniff. Barry was at sole fault for Jelavic's goal as he played the former Everton player onside by about two yards, Barry keeps finding himself the last man to get out in our defence, if i'm not wrong his position is central defensive midfield, not sweeper.
Ross Barkley- 5.5- Ross just constantly tries to do to much, he tries to score a world beating goal that we've seen him do but sometimes its crying out for a pass to someone else or for him to get his head up and find a simpler option. I still feel the best we've seen of him this season is at a central midfield position, not a central attacking role, the way we're playing just now it can't be any worse! Our team should be centred around Ross in a central midfield role and not centred around a floundering Gareth Barry.
Kevin Mirallas- 6- Why oh why was Mirallas taken off at half time? Another ridiculous change. I fully agree that changes were needed that doesn't excuse for bringing off our better players in order to try and get back in the games. Lukaku should have replaced Barkley and Naismith dropped back into centre attacking midfield and Oviedo should have replaced Barry and moved Mirallas to the right and Oviedo down the left. Do you need a defensive midfielder when your already 2-0 down? Kevin took us forward and looked like the only likely player to score for us, funnily enough he was the player that had our only shot in the first half.
Steven Naismith- 7.5- The best player in our side on the pitch. The only player to look really down and upset by our defeat at the end of the game. When the full time whistle went he dropped to the floor with his head in his hands as if we'd lost a cup final. He cares, he wants us to do well and he hurts when we don't. Naismith has the mentality of a fan, something our captain should have. He will win almost everything you put in his direction and if he doesn't he'll make it hard for the opponent to get there. Every single one of the players need to take a leaf out of his book and get that Everton spirit he has.
Arouna Kone- 5.5- Not the same Kone we saw at Newcastle, he made fewer penetrating runs and he didn't win many balls in his direction. Another of the three players in a forward position that was constantly on the left, the right but rarely in the middle when it mattered. The reason that Kone had to come to the wings is simple: we have no wide midfielders, everything is played down the middle and when we do attempt to get in down the right or down the left we can't as there is nobody there.
Romelu Lukaku- Sub, 3- He deserves nothing more than Gareth Barry as he had the opportunity to come on and once again stake a claim for his position, but frankly he didn't seem bothered. He didn't look like he cared and he made no attempt to get on the ball. I feel just at the moment we've been robbed of £28million. Lukaku has a horrible look of Yakubu about him, not what we paid a club record fee to see.
Bryan Oviedo-Sub, 7- A top effort from Oviedo when he came on, he ran and ran and ran, he helped us move forward down the wing and had fight about him. Oviedo looks like a player that wants his place in the team and is willing to fight for it and that has to be commended and eventually rewarded.
These performances are soon to catch up and Martinez. He needs to stop the back slapping, stop the encouraging at 2-0 down and begin the honesty and let players know their performances aren't up to the standard they should and we do expect of them. Please sort this mess out Martinez!