As another disappointing season comes to an end its safe to say the vast majority of Evertonians have completely lost faith with Martinez. Before I continue I want to make it clear I also sit firmly in the ‘Martinez Out’ camp. Another limp display against Watford has done nothing to change my stance and nothing will.
However, there is still a chance, yet very unlikely chance this ‘disappointing season’ could end up in glory at Wembley ending a 21 year wait for a trophy. The fact we sit 14th and have lost 8 times at home etc… seems to have dampened our excitement and enthusiasm for a trip to Wembley. We shouldn’t let it. Debates around whether he should go now or give him his cup chance have rumbled on since we reached the league cup semi. Regardless of what we want I think it is safe to say no change will be made before the end of the season (certainly not before the semi). Even if we suffer a few more defeats or another humiliation at Anfield, Martinez will be taking us to Wembley.
Whilst the local press remain tight lipped, the national media finally seem to be taking more notice and debating Everton’s current plight more frequently. Questions such as ‘what if we win the FA cup?’ and ‘Should Martinez be given the new investment to build on cup success and take us into next season?’ are being asked. For me, winning a one off cup competition does not necessarily represent a good manager and does not automatically mean the man at the helm is the long term answer for a club. Steve McLaren (Middlesbrough) Alex Mcleish (Birmingham), Michael Laudrup (Swansea), Juande Ramos (Spurs), Dennis Wise (Millwall), Dave Jones (Cardiff), Avram Grant (Portsmouth) Tim Sherwood (Aston Villa) and even Martinez himself (Wigan) have all reached and in some cases won major domestic finals in the past 15 years. Without researching the facts and dates, none jump out from the list above as having gone on to have successful managerial careers. Certainly not with the clubs in brackets.
That said, I like every other Evertonian is desperate for a cup win. It’s been too long. As the lost faith and general disdain for Martinez has peaked, I’ve even heard some callers on national radio say they would be happy not to win the cup if it guarenteed Martinez went. If we were a club challenging for trophies every year and had some recent ones in the bank I could maybe get on board with this but again, it’s been too long. These callers may be from a generation that remembers the glory days and trophy wins of the 60’s and 80’s but I like many others don’t. I am 31 years old so the annual Wembley trips in the 80’s came too early for me and I wasn’t lucky enough to be there in 1995. The defeats to Chelsea in 09 and Liverpool in 2012 do however sit firmly in my recent memory.
Not to say a cup win would mean more to me than someone older but I’ve often debated whether I’d rather finish 4th or win a cup with older friends I attend home games with. I opt for the cup, they opt for 4th. Again, they remember the 80’s. I regularly travel to away games with friends of a similar age to myself. We reminisce about nights in Sunderland, a win at Old Trafford, trips to Spurs, Arsenal and West Ham etc….. These trips are even more fondly remembered for things away from football. Visits to the flying Scotsman in Kings Cross or a dodgy night club in Stevenage for example. Great days / nights out and very enjoyable at the time but as a club in the grand scheme of things, these games mean nothing now. We need something more tangible, something bigger, something better.
The cup runs cannot paper over the cracks (Martinez must go regardless) but we also shouldn’t ignore the importance of it. The point is, we need to go to Wembley together supporting Everton and being positive about a possible cup win. You can draw on so many facts and stats that prove Martinez is not the man to take us forward long term but he could be the man to win us a cup this year. Something his predecessor couldn’t manage in 11 years. Let’s have faith that our new owner will have the nouse to make the right decision for the long term and let’s try to leave the Martinez bashing at home for the day. Forgive the cliche but we as fans can play a massive part at Wembley.
I’ve even seen and heard people suggest we in the ‘Martinez out’ camp would be fickle and two faced to celebrate a Martinez inspired cup win. Ridiculous comments. We support Everton the club. Managers come and go as do players. I for one would not feel guilty about celebrating with Martinez should the unlikely happen. I may even feel compelled to thank him and sing his name on that particular day if he has helped deliver something we haven’t had for 21 years.
Let’s get behind the team, the club and even the manager at Wembley.
E V E R T O N, we’re Everton and we’ll be Everton forever.