Laying the Foundations

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Disappointed, dejected and confused; just three words that describe how I and many other Everrtonians felt after the recent losses to Spurs and Liverpool. This season we haven’t been used to losing, so to be beaten twice within a fortnight was quite tough to take. The loss at Anfield was a particular low point because we never turned up and Liverpool wiped the floor with us, and the recent 1-0 reverse to Spurs left many of us thinking ‘how the hell have we managed that?’ after the game.

However, although that opening paragraph might sound like the ramblings of a forum-hungry, depressive Evertonian, that is far from how I would describe myself. Yes, those two aforementioned defeats, plus the one against Sunderland and the draws against Stoke and West Brom have been frustrating, but no, I refuse to get too downbeat about them.

This season has been a good one, but it is far from over. We have our best points haul at this stage since the EPL began, our next two fixtures are at Goodison (where we have been mainly winning) – one against Palace in the League tomorrow night and one against Swansea in the Cup on Sunday.

Our latest result means we have now been beaten four times in the Premier League this campaign and two of which have come in recent weeks. Before then, we had only suffered losses to City (3-1) and Sunderland (0-1), so as I say to lose in quick succession makes for a lot of negativity.

For me though you have to look at the bigger picture, look at all of the good things we have seen from our Club in the last six months or so. We’ve shown this season we are going to express ourselves and take on the big-hitters of the Premier League, we’ve shown an incredible spirit and belief both on the pitch and off it. Even on the terraces, or in the pubs, there is a buzz about the place and this is not going to go away just because a few results haven’t gone our way. Just as Distin, Martinez and co have said recently, onto the next game we go and our attentions have to turn to Palace and three points. I myself didn’t dwell on the Derby defeat or the Spurs loss and I’d suggest you as an Evertonian do the same – move on from it and take in your stride the positive vibes from this fresh, new Everton Football Club – your Football Club.

Tell me one team that hasn’t been beaten this season? Even those at the summit of the table have been whacked by others, beaten by lesser sides and suffered themselves. It is part and parcel of playing in the most competitive and best League in the World. Your team will be beaten, but it is all about how they respond. That is the test of character – how you react to defeat, to disappointment. You have to bounce back, you have to pick yourself up, and time and time again this season we have shown a spirit and determination to succeed. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because of refereeing decisions, or the fact that we have had a ridiculous amount of injuries, no instead we have to carry on implimenting the good things we have tried to this season under our new, aspiring and enthusiastic manager.

Martinez may not have had the best of transfer windows in January, but you are only comparing it to the one he had in the summer. He still brought in two new first team players and they will eventually play their respective parts at Everton, the manager knows what he is doing. People talk about us having ‘too many loan players’ but to me it is all gibberish. As RM said last month he had a few quid to spend but did not want to panic, he sees the bigger picture and has a long-term vision. He believes in each and every one of his players so why would he panic-buy a load of cheap, available players just to make up the numbers. I trust him fully to spend his money wisely, and as he did show last August he can attract the big names, he has a good scouting network and has contacts within the game. Whether or not the Club’s board have the same ambitions or whether or not they will release the required funds is another argument for another day, but in Martinez, as I have written on a number of occasions before, we have someone who has a plan and he is sticking to it. The Spaniard has the backing of the majority of our fans and I’d like to think most of us aren’t soft enough to get too dishearted by the recent losses, so let’s continue the buzz that engulfed the Toffees during the first half of the season and really push the team on through our remaining fixtures.

Martinez was today quoted as saying the comments below this article in regard to being in the reckoning for the title race. Instead of playing it down or ruling us out of the chasing pack, the Blues boss spoke about enjoying discussing Premier League glory and focussed on how exciting the League is. I am not for one minute saying we will the league, because we won’t, but us as a Football Club are going in the right direction in the Premier League and our manager certainly isnt shying away from talking up our prospects, which has to boost everyone associated with Everton.

The Spaniard ended by saying ‘there is many points to play for’ and I suppose that has been my main point here today; we must take each game as it comes and fight for every point. We still have an exciting squad of players and manager and this will not change because we have lost a couple of games. Although statistics don’t win you football games and losses don’t earn you any points, Martinez refuses to change his ideolody and style for anybody and he has a plan for this team that he is still building. I will be remaining positive from now until the end of the season regardless of what happens because I can see a brighter future for the Club I support. We might fall further away and not qualify for Europe, or crack the top four, but on the other hand we could well do both this season – who knows? For me the most important thing is taking it one game at a time from now until May but safely knowing in the back of my mind that in Martinez we have a manager who is already laying the foundations for a better Everton FC, and I will continue to back him in his quest to do so.

Roberto Martinez (Source: SSN)

“No one wants to come out and say they want to win the league – we are quite happy to want to win the league! I think it will be an interesting run from now until the end of the season. There are many aspects which will have an effect: playing in Europe, how domestically the cup pans out.

“Clearly this is an exciting moment of the season; you are working for two thirds of the season to try to get yourself into a position to fight for your aim, and everything will be decided over the next 12 to 13 weeks.

“This league never stops surprising. A couple of years back, you saw a big gap at the top of eight points cut down in a shorter period than this. There are many points to play for”.

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