A lot has been said over the past 18 months regarding the true abilities of Roberto Martinez. We have seen a steady sliding decline in stats and standings over the seasons the Spaniard has been at the helm. But, for me no stat, standing or statement has quite struck home as significantly as that of the ever-deteriorating relationship our fans now have with the players on the pitch. It has never been that way. Even the dark old days, I don’t remember a time where our players have been so consistently scrutinized by the fans, it’s never been the Everton way. I accept that the eleven players that walk out on to the pitch week in week out should take a degree of criticism for bad results, but, Everton fans must dig a little deeper than outright sledging of any one player and instead look for the cause.
We have all probably witnessed at one point or another this season, all members of our 25 man squad take the flack for a range of pretty much anything. The cause of that is due to the constant uncertainty that surrounds the performance the fans see. One week we go from playing a team off the park, to turning up at Goodison Park and looking like the proverbial rabbit in headlights. It’s a spill-over of sheer frustration that instantly brings the reaction of anger followed shortly by a wanting for answers. I know for a fact I have followed that exact process so many times this season and last, that I’ve now lost count.
Unfortunately, the biggest failing of Martinez is his inability to instill or regain faith from the fans in the players and his ‘project’. David Moyes might not have been the best tactician the club has ever seen, but he knew exactly what was needed to keep the fans on his side. During the Moyes reign we saw some low moments, times when the team looked as though they had no direction and were destined for relegation. Even during those moments, the Scot kept the majority of the faith and never pinned blame on the Evertonians that watched at Goodison Park. What manager does that? Well, it appears Roberto Martinez has found that an acceptable scapegoat for our horrific home form on one occasion already this season. The book of excuses the Catalonian has must surely be running out of room to write any further derogatory or laughable reasons as to why his side can’t perform at their own stadium.
The line must be drawn. Even if Everton go on to win the FA Cup, I have personally seen enough. Winning a cup shouldn’t come with the detrimental downturn to our league standing like it has this season. Everton are renowned for not taking the easy road, but even this is way beyond that particular dirt path. This is like taking a detour to Australia and eventually ending up in your desired location of Scotland, none of what the fans have experienced this season whilst watching at Goodison has been acceptable. A successful FA Cup run should not overlook the fact that Roberto has failed the ‘bread and butter’ of English football, the league.
The manager's disregard for the weekly rounds of the Premier League is now as obvious as ever after two season of finishing in what appears again to be a mid table finish. The club doesn’t earn as much money finishing in 10th as it would with a standing somewhere in the top 6, the fans see a below expectations season and poor performances with a league finish in the middle of the table, rather than a finish in the expected European places. But above all, will the bulk of the squad start to look elsewhere for European football after failing to reach those top 6 spots themselves? So, just who are Roberto Martinez’ priorities aimed at? What is he hoping for by discarding the Premier League for a cup run? Who is he pleasing?
The Spaniard’s time at Goodison must end after this season if we are to truly move forward as a club with the new investment through owner Farhad Moshiri. Otherwise, we will see a lot of money and quality on the pitch but misguided to the point of further destruction. Thanks, but no thanks Roberto. We don’t need a cup manager, we need a manager that is capable of playing good football and putting Everton back at its rightful position once more at the higher end of the table. If we fail to make our move in terms of our manager, we will start to see players come and go as if they’re on a super speed conveyer belt, we will see more mediocrity attempted to be cover with poor excuses. Everton has always been an honest club, sometimes too honest, but unfortunately as it stands we don't have an honest manager.