Last Wednesday night we saw the end of the Roberto Martinez era at Everton. It may take days, weeks, or God-forbid years to officially end, but Everton's 4-0 loss to Liverpool was real end. The loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup was merely another blow to a dead body. Over the past several weeks the pressure has turned risen on the Spaniard, really it has been rising for the entire season. It culminated in a game that infuriated supporters, made our rivals preen, and even had a director leave his seat at 3-0. None of it is a good look and it may be the only man who doesn't know he's done is Roberto Martinez himself.
A manager has two jobs regardless of the club, get the tactics right and get the squad psychologically sound. Roberto Martinez has done neither. We've detailed the numerous mad moments of Roberto Martinez tactically here, though maybe mad isn't the right word when you are trying to describe something written on the back of a cocktail napkin. Maybe instead we should describe these as befuddling puzzles.Tactics aren't the difficult part of a manager's job. Anyone can diagnose a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1. Despite the claims of some, tactics aren't rocket science, though they could be to Martinez. It shouldn't be difficult to send a team out with a coherent game plan.
These puzzles created an astounding offense, but an equally astonishing defense. If we go by goals scored, Everton should be in 7th and likely competing for a top 4 position with 51 goals. But looking at defense and goals allowed, Everton would be 15th in the table. Currently Everton sits much closer to 15th than 7th and it is because of that defense. Some will point to poor play from the players, but these are more or less the same players from last year and the season before. What causes them to magically forget how to defend? How to even clear a ball? It is down to the manager's performance and it has been lacking greatly.
But even worse than the tactical malfeasance is the psychological ineptitude of Everton. When was the last time any fan saw this team truly compete? Even Wednesday night in one of the most emotionally charge fixtures of the year Everton appeared a bit flat and listless. Yes, there was some fight early on, but the first goal killed this team. These players had gotten "up" for the game, but it was in spite of their manager and not because of it. On Saturday things weren't much better. Evertonians saw a decent 45 minutes in the second half, the first in months, but where was the fight from the kickoff? Manchester United were begging to be scored on and Everton could not muster the courage nor the ability to score.
Three years ago Roberto Martinez's arrival trumpeted a new era for Everton, an exciting time when attacking soccer would bring Everton into a Champions League place. Instead we've seen a regression towards the 1990's, a regression towards mediocrity and relegation battles. It is time to stop this regression by getting rid of Roberto Martinez.