Below are the answers I gave to WSAG after they asked fans three questions about the current state of affairs at Everton FC…
How did we get here?
We look a shadow of ourselves from last season; the confidence, belief and positivity has completely disappeared. Our playing style has become too predictable, we’ve been found out and teams know how to break us down with ease. Injuries have taken their toll but we can’t use this as an excuse anymore – we have the talent within this squad to be performing to the levels we know we can but we are just not seeing it this season. Has the manager lost the dressing room? On the face of it, it seems that he might well have done. Talk of bust ups and players playing with their heads down, a distinct lack of leadership and fight, not one bit of confidence, things aren’t looking good at the Club currently. Can Martinez get us out this rut? I believe he can, but we need a boost soon. Things have gone bad to worse this season and there is no denying we are in a fight, but there is still a lot of games left and I remain hopeful that we can attempt to restore some pride from now until May.
What do we do now?
I think we need a couple of new faces to freshen things up. The window to sign players is now open and ideally we need to reinforce in the following areas – goalkeeper, central defence and on the left wing. Admittedly I am not expecting any major movements from Martinez but if we are to sort this mess out then getting a couple of additions in would be a start. In terms of formations and tactics then Martinez needs to stop being so stubborn. He needs to play a settled side and stick with a formation that works, rather than tinker during a woeful period of form. At the back we need a clean sheet to give us confidence, and up front we need to be more clinical. In the midfield for me Barry needs to step aside and Mo Besic and McCarthy start alongside each other. Start Barkley in a central role where he can be more effective. We need to sure things up and stop playing like we are full of fear and begin to believe in ourselves again. It’s been painful to see a side brimming with confidence literally fall apart in the space of a few months. We just need a result, something to give us hope.
How do you think we (the fans) can help?
Stop bickering amongst ourselves. Yes it is difficult to ‘keep the faith’ and I share every Evertonians’ frustrations – but we need to keep together and remain hopeful. We’ve all endured tough periods supporting this football club and this run of form is the latest example of our suffering. However, I believe that we will come good again, we usually do. Martinez is still the man for me, but at the moment he just isn’t helping himself. The team need to take responsibility too, stand up and be counted and play for the shirt. At the moment too many of our players are going off with little knocks and injuries and going missing in games, this isn’t acceptable. They need to show the fight, heart and enthusiasm that our fans do but us Evertonians also need to take a look at ourselves sometimes. Getting on their backs before a ball is kicked doesn’t help, and booing certain passages of play when we are 3-0 will only confuse matters. Together we need to fight as one and instil a belief that we can succeed again.