Hung Out to Dry

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Yesterday I was left dumbfounded. I was left dumbfounded by one man, and that man was Roberto Martinez. Just when I thought he couldn’t anger me anymore, he serves up another deliverance of vocal ridiculousness and I’m sick of it.

His press conferences used to suck you in, you’d hang off his every word, you wanted him to talk for hours, as the Spaniard spoke of enthusiasm, energy and his brand of football, his current crop of players and what they might achieve. We thrived on his hunger and vibrant approach during his opening year at Goodison Park – how times have changed.

Nowadays when Martinez takes his seat at Finch Farm in front of the Press to preview forthcoming fixtures you find yourself squirming, you switch off, and you are left scratching your head as the Blues Boss bounces from one bad performance from his team on the pitch to a bad performance from himself in a press conference.

When will this trend stop?

We are 12th in the League Table, a place below where we finished last season – this isn’t acceptable and the Manager needs to understand that are fans are not happy – and many haven’t been happy for some time.

I lost interest, trust and faith a long time ago.

The whole ‘Baines quotes’ situation is a shambles. It’s farcical, confusing and in my opinion the Everton left-back has well and truly been hung out to dry by his Manager.

Baines must take responsibility for his words in the media said his Manager? Well what about that fuckin’ Manager taking responsibility for his teams underachievement over the course of the past two years?

What about our Manager holding his hands up for once and saying ‘we’ve simply not been good enough’. The book stops with him, yes the players aren’t hidden from criticism – they deserve it too – but as a Manager of this Football Club with the players he has at his disposal, he also needs to take a major look at himself.

I’m tired of looking back to his maiden season in charge, yes it was great, but we seem to have regressed since. Why? We have some hugely talented players, a blend of youth, experience, glamour and graft, but there is no fluidity to Everton anymore. With all due respect this is a team that has become massively reliant on an ageing Gareth Barry. We look lost without him! Barry has been great this season but he won’t be round forever. Why won’t it click? Is it his training methods? Has he lost the dressing room? Is this Manager just not good enough to manage this Club? Are our players as good as everyone says they are?

Or am I just being dramatic?

Baines, Jagielka, Coleman, Tim Howard, all lacking this season. Coleman and Baines under-par, Jagielka battling but lacking fight and desire, Tim Howard off to sun himself in the US after the damage has been done!  Aren’t these players meant to be our senior, dependable core? Pienaar nowhere to be seen, Osman and Hibbert playing keepy ups at Finch Farm. Darron Gibson making late night drunken visits to Petrol Stations. John Stones in the firing line for lacklustre displays. Joel Robles not really the answer between the sticks. Brendan Galloway frozen out. Bryan Oviedo spending most of his time at A&E. James McCarthy failing to show just why we paid big money for him, again. Arouna Kone scoring a hat trick against Sunderland but being anonymous for almost three years. Aiden McGeady shipped out to the Championship where he belongs. Tom Cleverley in and out of the side unsure where he is ever going to play. Oumar Niasse looking like a player who has won a competition to play for Everton, but costing £10 million. Funes Mori looking a world beater one minute but doing a Kroldrup the next. Mo Besic – is he really that hard? Deulofeu not being able to get a game. Kevin Mirallas, when he gets his chance he blows it, he will be first out the door in the summer.

Lukaku wants Champions League football? Don’t we all!

Only Lukaku, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Barry and probably Ross Barkley can hold their heads up for different reasons. Too many are just picking up their wages with no positive influence on the pitch. Some might be good characters to have around the dressing room – but that doesn’t earn you three points, does it?

Overall our players haven’t been good enough. They have underachieved and they are not blameless.  But this Manager is responsible for that group of players. He is the one who refuses to address their defensive weaknesses, he is the one who leaves Evertonians bewildered with his team selections, his substitutions and decision making and ultimately he has to take responsibility for the team that he manages.

Something which I feel he just doesn’t do. He’s blamed Europe, injuries, fatigue, he’s blamed cup runs, now he calls out his players and the local press. Who else will he blame?

There’s only so much ‘talking up’ of something you can do, when quite clearly it is failing.

What about looking in the mirror.

I’m not expecting Martinez to publicly slate his team, but the positivity has to turn into realism in the end. We have to be realistic here. We have a good squad, some really good players, but under Roberto Martinez the team on the pitch appears to be going backwards. Something is going wrong and something has to give. Two Semi Finals in one season is good, but I wouldn’t class this as an achievement unless we actually win something – or am I being too picky here? Too ambitious maybe? Or maybe I’m just impatient. I haven’t seen us lift a trophy since 1995, over 20 years ago. I certainly hope Roberto Martinez can bring us silverware this season and there is still time yet, but so much has happened over the course of the past 18 months/two years that has left me feeling disgruntled, disheartened and completely downbeat about Everton. This shouldn’t be the case with this set of players and with the recent news of new investment – I just don’t feel like I can get excited about new money, or our trip to Wembley, with this man at the helm.

Roberto’s dream isn’t over, I can’t seem him getting sacked anytime soon, but it feels like since his first season we’ve been enduring a nightmare. I dread the next fixture, I dread the next glance at the League table, I can’t stomach the next press conference. I don’t want to go to Goodison, why should I put myself through it.

The latest episode with Baines – and for that matter the Echo – who admittedly did not do any wrong in this instance – could be a turning point. With Lukaku’s comments coming out over Easter, three defeats in succession on the pitch, and now Baines – who must be regarded as a senior figure at the Club – coming out and openly admitting that there is no chemistry amongst our players, the pressure has significantly increased on Martinez. Baines was telling it how it is and in fact I believe many Blues would be refreshed by that, unlike Jagielka and his head-down attitude following the United defeat, but for Baines to actually apologise to his manager for speaking the truth doesn’t sit well with me. I was enfruriated when I heard the news. It sums us up. The whole Club is an apology in itself, we demonstrate no realism, no heart and just acceptance of mediocrity.

If you speak out against anyone then you are either barred, ridiculed or made to apologise! What sort of regime is this for fucks sake.

We are a Premier League Club and it is about time that we showed it. Martinez and many others at the Club need to grow a set of bollocks, admit our faults, embrace our talents, and push on. Rather than papering over the cracks, politicising every answer to every question that is put our way. Be honest with each other and clear the air. Come out fighting rather than confusing the fan base with positive spin. We are not naïve enough to think it is all rosey in the garden – the results suggest otherwise. Our fans are intelligent to make their own assessment and they are, just read social media, speak to them in the street, they aren’t stupid and they realise what is going on and how bad it has become.

Did Eto’o know something we didn’t? What happened with Distin? Mirallas and now Baines too – there is no smoke without fire – something is not right at Everton FC.

This isn’t a snap decision, I am not jumping to conclusions, my mind has been made up for a long time. This latest episode is just another factor in my thinking about Everton, something needs to change.

For me that change needs to be at management level, before we endure anymore of this frustration, anymore of this anger and embarrassment. Before we slip any lower in the table. Before we lose our better players and we are once again seen as a stepping stone.

Before we have to put up with any more of this disparity and bull shit.

 

 

 

 

 

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