I feel that I should start this article saying that I am fully behind Martinez and have no desire for him to leave the club in anyway and think these are just temporary problems
Now that’s out of the way let’s crack on to this season. If this was Martinez’ first season in charge of the club then people would be calling for his head, and with a fair amount of justification. Five points from five games in the league and out of the League Cup? It has been a terrible start and could get a lot worse with our next two Premier League fixtures being Liverpool and Man Utd away.
For me this poor start initially came from Martinez’ handling of the World Cup players with Mirallas and Lukaku only being bit part players for their country. A country that went out in the quarter finals, but somehow they were unable to be fit for Everton’s first game of the season whilst the German players who won the final were able to play in their clubs first games. The likes of Toni Kroos was able to win the World Cup Final, get transferred and less than a month later win the European Super Cup. Yet Baines, Jagielka, Mirallas, Lukaku and Barkley could hardly manage a pre-season game between them. This led the Everton players playing catch up in order to gain match fitness and us losing points in the process
Then there was the fatigue of the other players. Despite having long rests, the likes of Barry and McCarthy came back from the summer break sluggish and not performing to their high standards and only now are looking back to their form of last season. This fatigue led to some puzzling substitutions that have carried on all season to this point. In the Leicester match for example it was clear to see that Barry was struggling and he nearly picked up a second yellow. The team ended up losing their lead due to tired legs, when it was clear more energy was needed in the middle of the park. These baffling substitutions led into Tuesday nights League Cup match as McCarthy and Osman were bought on when we were losing. More attacking substitutions were needed.
Selection has been an issue as well. After two wins in a row and looking like our season was turning around, Martinez was complacent vs Crystal Palace, rested players and tried a new formation. Mirallas being left out was truly baffling as if he played it would of meant that he played on the Sunday vs Crystal Palace, then not again until Saturday vs Liverpool. He still looked fresh and lively and scored late on vs Wolfsburg and hardly looked like fatigue would be an issue for him. I was keen to play a 4-3-3 formation but resting some of your best players to do so doesn’t seem like the best decision in hindsight. On to the League Cup game and again poor decisions were made. In all honestly Hibbert should not of got a new contract and if Tyias Browning can not put in a better showing than Hibbert’s vs Montero then he should be leaving the club. From what I’ve seen of Browning, he is already a lot better than Hibbert and should of been given his chance. Oviedo should never of started despite being the sentimental choice. He was bought off before the hour mark and in my mind you should never start with a player that you know you’ll have to take off. We are not desperate for his position and his reintroduction could of waited. I couldn’t see one Everton fan who was optimistic after the team news was announced, and we were all proved right.
I joked on twitter how the huge mural on the main stand has cursed Martinez but it did seem at the time it was a bit much for a man who has spent just one a season at the club. I’m sure most, if not all, Everton fans still believe in Martinez but there is no doubts he has made plenty of mistakes in this season so far.
A win at Anfield will make everything in the garden appear rosy again, but you’d be a brave man to bet on that happening right now. Roberto’s dream is a bit of a nightmare at the moment.