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I’m going to start by saying something that not many footballs fans happily admit to….
I was wrong. Completely. I’ve stuck up for Roberto Martinez on many occasions, including in the mailbox. Last season when we weren’t even playing well, I could see potential and I was keeping my patience as I wanted to see what we would do this season. I said I’d give him until about Nov/Dec to see where we were in the league, and if we were in touching distance of Europe that would be good.
Well, we were miles away and going into an “easy” stretch of games which only saw us capitulate against teams like Norwich, Bournemouth and Stoke.
I could go on about Martinez’s relentless positivity and mixed messages to the media, or his unwillingness to practice set pieces, both attacking or defending, or his peculiar selections of half-fit players at times. Instead, I’ll just point out the raw stats:
– Six league wins all season. Three wins since September which were against the current bottom three.
– 34 goals conceded in 23 league games.
– Most points dropped from winning positions this season.
– 110 – ONE HUNDRED AND TEN – goals conceded since the start of 2014/15 season.
– 18 wins in last 62 games.
Add to this, that Tim Howard has started 55 games since the start of 14/15 season while clearly being absolutely woeful.
That is quite simply not good enough. We have some top quality players likes Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu, Mirallas, Barry, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy. Then there is an abundance of very good squad players or exciting young potential – which John Stones has firmly played his way back to rather than the first group.
If we lose to Newcastle next Wednesday, we will be five points above the relegation zone. To have that squad and be in that position (heck, even the current position) is unforgivable.
…Forget “Peak Arsenal” this was close to Peak Everton, leading, increase lead, deflected goal, bad refereeing decision, defensive lapse. Fin. All that was lacking was an Ian Rush (or Slippy G) goal to complete the set
Quackeththeduck it was over the line and it wasn’t close, there’s clearly “daylight” between ball and line.
David no, even as some sort of “Defensive co-ordinator” Moyes can get lost. As can “Phenomenal” Bob. Worse still is the next manager odds. Fellow Blues, don’t check. It’s depressing.
No penalties in the league this season, getting patronised by Atkinson: “He told me that my defending was brilliant”. Defensive calamities that amaze rather than anger now, I’m 27 and I wonder if I’ll live to see us win a major trophy again.
Finally there has been an increase in calls for technology following this and the Stoke offside goal, I say follow the NFL model, they review all scoring plays, we should review all goals, so that means allowing a controversial goal, the game is stopped anyway (the clock can be stopped during this period), and if there has been a foul or is offside etc. A ref in a “secure command centre” away from influence can deliver correct judgement.
This system will work until it takes a goal away from the money teams.
EFCraig (Go to hell Everton…………. I’ll see you next week)
Technology down the line
Was discussing the Sterling goal last night, and whether the ball had crossed the line, and a point was raised about goal line technology. If the cameras aren’t actually on the goal itself and are in the stadium, then why can’t the technology be extended all the way along the line for corners or goal kicks? Seems like we’ve moved from not having the technology, to having the technology and not using it, which is entirely in line with FA rationale.
For what it’s worth I agree with Quackeththeduck, but I bet there was someone in the stadium who knew for sure, and that’s the most frustrating thing about it.
Chris Chokeththechicken ITFC, Liverpool
I just wanted to congratulate the maturity of the officials last night in not awarding a goal kick for City’s second goal. “If it is not certain, you don’t want to gamble in a decision… I think Martin made the right call there”.
Martinez – it’s called karma. At least other managers have some ability to admit when they get some luck. I used to have some respect for you but you are in fact just another Brendan.
James May, Cheshire
I must admit to be drawing a perverse satisfaction from the Everton fans who are now crying and bitching about Martinez. When Moyes turned up for his first game at Goodison after joining Man Utd I couldn’t believe the reception they gave him, jeering and booing like he has somehow betrayed the club after all the years of service he’d given them. Not just the years of commitment but he also lifted them to pretty consistently high league positions year after year, what a bunch of ungrateful knobs. He should have been heralded as a legend but you all crucified the man.
You were all chuffed with your shiny new Spanish manager who could play pretty football and looked all exotic. Hows that working out for you now toffees? I hope that Martinez achieves for Everton exactly what he achieved for Wigan, and I’m not taking about winning a cup. You lot deserve relegation.
Warren (grumpy) Batt, Madrid
…Firstly, as a City fan I’m absolutely delighted to reach the final last night, but I feel some of the hard-done-to schtick displayed by Martinez needs calling out.
I truly don’t believe in situations evening themselves out over a a season, but I think it’s fair to say that they certainly have during the three City-Everton games in January.
In the League Cup first leg and PL game City were denied blatant penalties during both games, Martinez in true life-coach style praised the referees on both occasions.
I was surprised how little was made on Sky of Sterling standing in Robles’ eye line for Fernandinho’s goal, then I quickly remembered an almost identical situation at Goodison for Everton’s opener.
So in summary there is literally zero to complain about, Everton benefited from poor decisions and City benefited from poor decisions, and I’m calling it 3-2 in Everton’s favour.
A hiding to nothing
Lads, it must be time to republish the joint manager article from last week?
Two separate suggestions for joint managers in this morning’s mailbox. Baz (Roman, Give him the job ya sh*t) Dublin and David (plastic fan from Dublin) EFC. I thought I was hallucinating.
Adam, LFC, Belfast.
…Shortly after the ‘look: joint managers just don’t work’ piece you published recently, everyone’s going mad for it as a solution. By the halfway point of this morning’s mailbox we’ve been offered Martinez and Moyes for Everton and Hughes and Zola for Chelsea… It’s almost like you planted the seed in people’s minds.. C’mon! Wake up sheeple!
So anyway; I’m thinking for Spurs you’d want some steel to back up Pochettino’s silk. I was initially trying to think of someone with a classic hairdryer on them but I don’t think that’s what the current team need – I reckon you get Stuart Pierce in and keep him chained up in the basement watching re-runs of people skinning him, and threaten the players with ‘a trip to see the psycho’ if needs be. The ‘boogey man in the basement’ form of stick seems appropriate to the young nature of the squad.
Dan, Watford (Oooh – Brendan Rogers and Eric Cantona – There is literally no limit to where that could go! Playing with a ‘false keeper’, encouraging their players to get poetry published, sending players off to train with monks instead of sending them out on loan -absolutely anything would be possible.)
So infuriating watching Toure play. Poor Delph could have played like Messi, Beckenbauer and Bobby Moore all rolled into one in that first half yet he still would have been hauled off instead of the lethargic and disinterested Toure. No surprise then that City came alive when Toure finally was replaced
Kevin De Bruyne is simply a joy to watch. His off the ball movement and intelligence is just as impressive as what he does when he gets the ball.
The ball was out of play, very harsh on Everton. They’ll probably get a dodgy penalty this weekend.
City cannot defend for toffee… pardon the pun
If any Newcastle fans who were at Watford away (in the cup) are reading I’d like to thank you for booing Florian Thauvin for having the cheek to take a knock in his ten minute run out. We’ve now signed a good proper, proper (English basically) winger to keep you off Schteve’s back. When you get fed up of our new one trick pony failing his one trick of cutting in and shooting every ten minutes you will have yourselves to thank.
It’s an attitude that never fails to amaze me, apparently its our constant signing of foreign players that hinders us. We need hard working English players, are we Harry Redknapp in disguise? Remind me how England have gotten on at recent tournaments? Graft doesn’t win you games, flair and skill do. Give me a Ginola/Robert any day.
Many thanks for the worthy and much deserved entry into the icon hall of fame for our Gary. I can’t help but feel the article slightly played down his huge significance on an entire generation. His finishing and positioning always guaranteed his legacy as a great footballer, what made him an icon is how he did this and when.
A slight, clean cut tonic to the lad culture of the time, the face to make the game accessible to those who weren’t keen on getting Terry Butchered, the footballer who cared – I still get emotional seeing him make that ‘keep an eye on him’ gesture to the bench – and who played the game right, without resorting to underhand tactics (or so I thought, more on that later) and still got results. What undoubtedly helped project him to his iconic status is the timing of his rise. I’m too young to remember 1986 but in 1990 we were football mad even though there wasn’t much football on the television. The fact World Cup was in Europe meant young boys like myself were just about allowed to stay up to watch the matches and because he scored those goals in the big games he instantly became our hero.
Years after he retired, I met an ex-pro who used to play for Manchester City who was (is still?) a physio. I asked him who he most hated playing against and he said Lineker because he was the dirtiest player he played against! This was before you had cameras picking up every angle of the pitch and apparently when the ref turned around Gary would always stamp on your foot! I imagine some Irish defenders from the World Cup game in 1990 would describe him as dirty for quite different reasons!
Feel I need to write in just to support Savage for his Radio 5 Live commentary last night after Mediawatch picked up on the BBC live feed.
What he said was pretty reasonable. He said that De Bruyne can go missing and that aside from his goal v Seville in the Champions League, he hasn’t scored goals when it really matters for City. He also said that this would be a great time for him to buck that trend.
This is largely the BBC live editor stitching him up. He does still say a lot of silly things, but for the first time last night I actually enjoyed a Savage commentary and he spoke a fair amount of sense.
Can’t see this trend continuing mind.
Mark (Manchester) raises an interesting point about scrapping FA Cup replays. They could even go one step further by giving the ‘smaller’ team the option to either play the game at their own ground or away. Let’s say any team playing against opposition at least two steps higher up on the ladder get the option to play at home or as the ‘home’ team at the away ground.
Missing you F365 at the moment as work is permanently intruding on my life.