How you feeling? Resolutions are tough things to keep, they require discipline, persistence and often skill. So when you’re manager of Everton and you resolve to make things better and achieve great things then that’s words anyone can get behind, as long as the outcome matches the resolution.
There’s some things that are tough to shake off in the morning and right up there are rum hangovers and derby thrashings the night before. Maybe this is your morning. Perhaps were unnaturally apathetic as guessed what was coming. Perhaps you’re seething and don’t want to be reminded of it, sorry if so, swipe this tab away on your phone.
In a week where Roberto Martinez was invited to audition to be allowed to continue in his role I’m not sure there’s any coming back from this after just the first act.
It’s been nearly a three year journey but that Everton you witnessed out there at Anfield was a pale shadow of what any Everton should be, as a minimum.
It’s been coming for quite some time so it’s no surprise, Evertonians (well the saner ones anyway) are as rule patient and appreciate context if things are progressing, and sometimes regressing as a process in order to reach a successful outcome.
What we witnessed out there was simply a team lacking in structure, strategy and the most important thing which galls Evertonians: fight.
This does not in any way give a free pass to the players who at the moment are not performing anywhere near they need to be, there’s far more talent out there on the pitch than the tragic Everton teams that you and I can remember. In all of this it shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether this is a lack of motivation or belief in the Manager, there’s a prerequisite of giving your all at the club and too many are falling below that. Let no fingers be pointed at others or circumstance, they’re culpable equally.
That saying if you take the position responsible managing any team then you’re, wait for it, responsible for that team. That’s why you take the big bucks (football is a rare example of staff earning more than the Manager), the status and the opportunity. When it goes well you take the glory, like turning up at twenty one months ago to a mural of your very own image on the side of our famous ground.
There’s some things, which won’t be popular to read, that he has achieved and amongst them is assembling a talented young team with room to progress and grow. Martinez has also been keenly involved in developing the most talented crop of youth players we’ve had come through in some time. There’s a belief for young players that you’ll get opportunity at Everton and that’s alluring in attracting and keeping the young talent we need to create sustainable success.
Everton at times can play some fantastic football but the cavalier approach is undermined massively by the soft underbelly and seemingly inability to get the best of a defence that features six internationals. In Premier League standard football it’s a huge weakness and one that’s been exploited far too often to the detriment of Everton’s results.
There’s no denying Roberto Martinez is a nice man and it’s painful to see someone that “gets” Everton trying hard but falling short by quite some distance. However it’s a big bucks sport and sentimentality is a handicap if your goal is sustainable success. We’ve sacked popular Everton Managers in taxis before today. Loyalty is a very admirable trait but there’s a line where it crosses into being to the detriment of what you’re trying to achieve.
There’s a massive game on Saturday for Everton, a game as we grasp desperately to rid ourselves of a statistic that shames this grand old club: 21 years without a trophy.
It’s the first real test of Farhad Moshiri’s tenure, and what a test it is as you can assume Martinez has the steadfast backing of Kenwright who is still very much in influence at the club. Politics is natural in any company or collective of people but the most successful of those groups overcome the politics through steadfast accurate leadership and progress the company or group on.
It’s pretty plain to see that the players aren’t buying in to what they are being asked to do and if so have little idea or motivation or execute it. Let’s be clear though, there should be little fretting for losing some of our supposed leading lights, if they can’t turn up at Anfield then they’re in no position to sneer at Everton.
There’s a lot of anger about right now and urges of change, on top of that there’s also a large portion of the fanbase that are growing apathetic. It was that same apathy that was prevalent in the early nineties before a last day game against Wimbledon gave an electric shock to the senses, and what we were about to lose.
Decisions need to be taken to ensure that the regression of this Everton team is halted, and that regeneration can be kickstarted. Not a short term fix like a Tim Sherwood or Paulo Di Canio profile, but someone that can lead Everton forward with a team that demonstrate it on the pitch. The boom bust cycle has been witnessed with predictable levels of failure at the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland and even Spurs over the past decade or so. Chopping and changing too often is not conducive to consistent success.
Those decisions need to be made and quickly, the Everton that fell into the current manager’s hands are an all round inferior performing unit from the one he inherited. After three years and the players at his disposal that’s damning. Correct me on my history if I’m wrong but I don’t think there’s ever been a crestfallen support our ours like this in anticipation of us appearing in an FA Cup Semi Final. That atmosphere is part of a dangerous cycle which is prohibitive for the club to proceed.
Martinez has long lost the fanbase, a fanbase that has been divided over one thing or another for far, far too long. So what’s the resolution?
Time for something new. Maybe something borrowed. But definitely something worthy of royal blue.