Everton fans are accustomed to highs and lows in recent years, as following the Blues is a bit like being on a rollercoaster at times.
In recent years the Toffees position in the Premier League table has been stable and gone are the horrible 1990’s and early 2000’s relegation battles.
This season Toffees fans have turned against Spanish boss Roberto Martinez and rightly so.
However, all those opinions about Martinez need to be forgotten for later today Everton face Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Problems mounting for Roberto Martinez
There is no getting away from Everton’s problems. The Toffees have struggled to fulfil their potential in the Premier League and their recent form has not been great. The last time the Toffees recorded a win was in the quarter-finals of this competition, when Romelu Lukaku destroyed his old team Chelsea to give the Toffees a memorable 2-0 win.
Not only is their form poor, but the Merseysiders now have a major defensive crisis on their hands. Full-back Seamus Coleman has been ruled out through injury, while Ramiro Funes Mori will serve a suspension for his dismissal against Liverpool on Wednesday.
England international Phil Jagielka is also expected to miss out through injury, while youngster John Stones is expected to recover from a stomach problem sustained in the derby.
Even experienced midfielder Gareth Barry, who has played at centre-back in the past, is doubtful for the Toffees. It all means that the Toffees may need to play players out of position with the likes of Muhamed Besic and James McCarthy possible candidates to fill in at centre-back.
Everton fans have always inspired their teams
Everton fans have had to endure some tough times in the recent past and some absolutely awful teams, simply because the club could no longer compete financially.
The one thing that usually rescued the team was the often ferocious Everton fans at Goodison Park. The fans got the team up and the players responded to the fervent support.
The old ‘Dogs of war’ days saw a great harmony between the players and the fans, as those players were not the best technical players, but they gave everything for the team. That is all that Everton fans ask of their players.
In recent displays, especially the one at Anfield, the Toffees players have looked like they just don’t care about the result, which in a football fans book is the worst possible crime.
Everton fans have the power to help their side through to the FA Cup final by putting to one side their feelings towards Roberto Martinez and give the Toffees players all their support. Everton needs their full support for the semi-final clash.
Everton thrive as underdogs
There is something about being underdogs that Everton have enjoyed in the tough times. In 1995, when the Blues last won the FA Cup they were fancied by few to beat today’s opponents, but against all odds they did it and brought the trophy back to Merseyside.
Even less-bitter Liverpool fans begrudgingly attended the bus parading of the trophy around the city and it was a great day for the club. Everton once more go into a clash against United as underdogs at odds of 10/3.
The Toffees had a habit of upsetting the richer clubs though and Everton never like to do anything the easy way. Some of that old ‘Dogs of war’ spirit is needed today, because make no mistake about it the odds are firmly against an Everton win against United.
Former-Everton hero and cup final winner Duncan Ferguson is now on the coaching staff at Everton, so maybe he will have a few words of advice to help those Everton players through today and to a victory.
Big Dunc loved the big occasion. He is a man of few words in the media, but hopefully his presence on the bench and in the dressing room can motivate the players, even if Martinez’s does not.
Even if Roberto Martinez is not the man to move the club forward in the long-term, the former-Wigan boss needs the fans support today and not their criticism. If the Toffees lose then the tough questions can be asked.
However, for today every Evertonian must band together as one in support of the team, as the Toffees need all the help they can get to make it to their first FA Cup final since 2009.
Can Roberto Martinez guide Everton the FA Cup final?