Everton suffered a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at Goodison Park, which was not an unusual occurrence, as the Toffees have a chronically poor record against Arsene Wenger’s side in the Premier League.
However, the nature of the team’s performance has heaped pressure on affable boss Roberto Martinez, who has been criticised since last season’s poor league campaign.
In truth the Spaniard deserves the pressure he is currently under, as the performance from Everton was simply inept and it was not the first of its kind this season.
Blaming everybody else for the defeat
Martinez’s positivity was a breath of fresh air when he first arrived at the club. It was almost an antidote to the rather more pragmatic David Moyes.
However, the Spaniard’s way of being positive no matter how badly his team plays is starting to frustrate Evertonians. The former-Wigan boss seems to apportion blame to everybody else but himself.
Unfortunately Martinez needs to look at himself and his often rather bizarre tactical changes and poor substitutions, rather than point the finger elsewhere. Everton are 12th position in the table and that this underachievement for the current squad.
The Toffees are level on points with Premier League new boys Bournemouth and just one point above another Premier League new boys Watford. No offence to the two teams, who I have lauded in my editorials, but with the talent available to Martinez should the team not be higher in the league.
New majority shareholder may not be as forgiving as Bill Kenwright
I have to say Bill Kenwright has his critics, but he is a loyal Everton fan and he is also loyal to the men he hires as manager of the grand old club. Kenwright was loyal to David Moyes when times were tough and the Scot did a good job in the end.
Kenwright is no longer the man that makes the big decisions. Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri will have a big say in everything Everton related from now. The Iranian billionaire cannot act without the permission of the other board members, but he will have a lot of sway in the boardroom.
He is a businessman and if he had a business that is failing to live-up to its potential like Everton are failing to live-up to theirs there would be major changes at the top. Mr Moshiri has promised summer transfer funds to strengthen the team.
Whether Martinez can be trusted with those funds remains to be seen. It seems that no amount of transfer funds can teach the Spaniard tactical acumen.
I am sure Mr Moshiri and the rest of the board will be reviewing Roberto Martinez’s position at the end of the campaign, because eight defeats at home in the Premier League is a ridiculously poor record for a team with the players that Everton possess.
FA Cup Everton’s saving grace
Roberto Martinez’s saving grace this season has been the cup competitions. The Toffees got into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, only to be beaten by Manchester City over two legs.
The Toffees are in the FA Cup semi-finals and are actually favourites at odds of 12/5 to win the FA Cup this season. The side from Merseyside face either West Ham or Manchester United in the last four of the competition.
It can be argued that Martinez has on occasion pulled-off impressive wins in his Everton reign, but the odd win does not make up for a consecutive poor campaigns in the Premier League.
Last season the Toffees poor campaign was glossed over by the fact they had an impressive Europa League campaign, until Martinez’s habit of making poor decisions saw him select hapless Paraguayan centre-back Antolin Alcaraz in the away leg of the last-16 against Dynamo Kiev, which resulted in complete embarrassment.
Martinez will claim that progressing in cup competitions is helping the club both forward, but he is only kidding himself with that one. If Everton win the FA Cup in May then the Spaniard will have brought the club what they have craved for so long, silverware.
However, if that does happen then it should not be allowed to gloss over the fact that Everton have been woeful in the league for nearly two seasons now. Wigan won the FA Cup and was relegated in the same season under Martinez.
That will not happen to Everton, but win the FA Cup or not the Toffees board have to look at the Spaniard’s position at the end of the campaign, because quite simply they have not been good enough in the Premier League.
Should Everton’s board consider Martinez’s future at the end of the season?