Fourteenth out of twenty is nothing to smile about, which is why Everton FC fans are not smiling. Collecting just a single point in their last 4 Premier League games, Evertonians are calling for Roberto Martinez, the current manager, to be fired.
Seeing as all they have to root for now is a another poor attempt at swiping the FA Cup, but they aren’t even at the semifinals yet. There are quite a few reasons why fans want their skipper gone, and here are 4 reasons why their complaints make sense.
Players Can’t Close
Everton have been involved in some close games this year, and they’ve managed to win some of those, but they’ve dropped their share of points as well.
It’s the games that they should have won, games where they had leads with very limited time or had too big of a lead to fail, and they still managed to find a way to lose. Their match against Chelsea in January is a prime example; having given up a 2 goal lead in 2 minutes, Ramiro Funes Mori seemed to have secured three points for the Toffees with a goal in the 90th minute.
Not so fast, my friend.
Eight minutes of added time granted by the officials couldn’t go fast enough for Everton, and Chelsea took this gift and capitalized on it with a final round of attacks. In the closing moments before the final whistle, Chelsea unloaded their final attack, and after a long ball played in to the box, John Terry assumed his familiar role of hero and scored a cheeky backheel that sent Stamford Bridge into a frenzy.
Everton had that game in hand with half an hour to go, and quickly squandered a big lead. Then they won it at the match’s climax, only to walk away with a lone point after failing to finish a game they had two chances to win.
On March 5, they had another two goal lead, this time against West Ham going into the final 12 minutes. Suddenly Everton gave up 3 goals, finalized by Dimitri Payet’s nail in the coffin. You know, if you want to come away with 3 points in the Barclays Premier League you need to play a full 90 minutes of football, or this kind of stuff happens to you.
This issue has more to do with the players not finishing than their manager not doing his job, but Roberto Martinez should be able to instill that in his players before they ever get in that kind of situation. For this to happen repeatedly is unacceptable given the expectations for such a club, so a managerial change may be what’s necessary to harden the starting XI.
No New Silverware To Polish
Everton is not new to success, but it has seen a lengthy drought, as the last bit of silverware brought home to Goodison Park was in 1995, when John Stones was one year old. They’d won the FA Cup then, and while the 1980s was a great decade to be an Evertonian, they have not had much to brag about in this millennium.
Roberto Martinez appeared like he could have brought more FA Cup success to the club or might have been able to achieve a spot in the Champions League, but nothing has materialized. In 2013-2014, Martinez’s first year at the helm, Everton managed to take the fifth spot on the table, but that’s as close as they’ve come to anything worth writing home about in recent memory.
If Everton want to reestablish themselves as English giants, they’ll require a new manager (as well as some new players).
If There’s No Europa League Next Year
Everton’s only chance of making the much-hated-but-underrated Europa League is by winning the FA Cup, something that would help Martinez keep his job. The Europa League is not ideal, but it’s better than nothing; Everton have a squad talented enough to compete in that, and why not prove yourselves there before you try to get to the Champions League?
Everton play the winner of Manchester United and West Ham in the FA Cup semifinal, but that’s a major step before even thinking about trophies and the Europa League. The odds are stacked heavily against Roberto Martinez, but he’s largely responsible for the position his players are in. If he can’t manage to thread this last needle, he won’t have much to say that’ll change management’s mind.
Losing Key Players
It’s been rumored for some time that key Everton players such as Romelu Lukaku or John Stones are on their way out during the next transfer window this summer (Lukaku reportedly with a 50m release clause), and with a potential change in players, it’s going to be time for a new manager with new tactics. Let him build the next team with new ideas and a fresh take on the club; for Everton to progress, major change is needed, whether you want it or not.
Everton fans are right in wanting new direction, a manager with a plan to revive the club and bring in talented players and trophies to further fill the shelves. In times of turmoil, the fans are at their most vocal, but they also tend to be right.