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In hindsight, were Everton too impatient when allowing Roberto Martinez’s exit?

The Spaniard has since gone on to manage the Belgium National Team.

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Everton
Photo: Getty Images

Premier League legends Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry made headlines on Sunday when they discussed the current state of Everton, with ex-Toffee Cahill suggesting that the club has “lost its identity.”

Both Cahill and Henry were correct when they suggested that the sacking of Roberto Martinez was a mistake. The move was a result of impatience and sparked a decline at Goodison Park.

Martinez’s first season at Everton was record-setting; he became the first manager in club history to avoid defeat in his first six matches. The Toffees finished an impressive fifth in the league, completing a league double over Manchester United, and qualified for the Europa League in the process.

The success brought an improved five-year contract for the Spaniard, but the following two years brought consecutive disappointing 11th-placed league finishes.

Martinez was sacked with one match remaining in the 2015/16 season, as supporters grew tired of his side’s laboured style of play and porous defence.

But, although Everton certainly underperformed in Martinez’s second and third seasons, the Spaniard deserved longer at the club – an opinion that current manager Sam Allardyce voiced at the time.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

In 2016, then-Sunderland manager Allardyce told BBC Sport that Martinez “deserved a bit more time,” and that “the job is getting more and more difficult because of the impatience now in the game of football.”

Big Sam was right. The league performances were certainly poor, but Everton nonetheless reached both the FA Cup and League Cup semifinals in 2016, a commendable feat that is often overlooked.

With the sacking of Martinez, Everton lost a clear identity that defines the club. A large part of the club’s success under David Moyes was a coherent club philosophy that all players bought into, and recently without that the Toffees have struggled.

A more patient approach would have allowed the manager to rekindle the glories of his inaugural season, playing attractive football and winning cups in the process.

If only Roberto Martinez was allowed more time at Goodison Park, Everton would have avoided the current identity crisis afflicting the club.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Stig from Norway

    April 16, 2018 at 9:39 am

    No one will know.
    Everton are in a phase now where they go from pretty good to really good. But that will take some sessons. They will lose identity but will Get better identity When things are starting to settle
    In Moshiri I trust.

  2. Steven Frixou

    April 16, 2018 at 11:11 am

    100% it was the right decision.

    Sure without him Everton would not have made so much money with the bringing through of Stones and Lukaku and making Everton’s attack one of the best for Years.

    The reason he needed to go was his poor defensive strategy and his unwillingness to be stern with the players when they needed to be told their performance was just not good enough.

    I recall players comments when he left that they always felt 10 feet tall on the pitch, yet confused when mistakes where made as they felt itoo nvincible. The freedom the players had to get up and down the pitch was liberating, David Moyes kept Everton articially around the top of the table with a defensive approach which stifled most of the other premiership teams. Wihen Martinez came he freed the players to get up the pitch, and instilled with the strong defensive training from Moyes Everton almost got into the champions league finishing 5th.

    So if Martinez had a Moyes as an assistant coach, keeping the defence strong and Martinez giving them freedom to attack and finally a dressing down from Moyes to keep them real now and again, Everton would be regular top 4 team.

    Inevitably after 2 years with Martinez the players had forgotten their instilled Moyes defensive training. Everton where scoring goals like a top 4 team, but leaking goals like a bottom 4 team too

  3. KeithO

    April 17, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Thank heavens someone has finally said what I’ve been thinking for years. Everton was beautiful to watch under Martinez and the results were there. Record setting first year. Europa knockout stage second year and 2 cup semis the third year is very good. About time…

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English Premier League

If Everton are serious about top four challenge they must battle rivals for Clement Lenglet

The Frenchman has been sublime for Sevilla this season and Everton need a new central defender.

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After a summer of investment Everton‘s aim for this season was to challenge for the top four. It was a bold and ambitious plan which failed miserably.

They spent much of the first half of the campaign in the relegation reckoning, sacked their manager and have now limped their way to the top-half playing a dreadful brand of football under the guidance of Sam Allardyce.

It is fair to say, Everton fans are not happy.

Next season, the challenge again will be to try and compete with the Premier League’s elite.

But if Everton are going to do that, they need to improve one area of their team drastically – the defence.

Ashley Williams has been woeful this season and Everton fans would happily see the back of him.

Phil Jagielka does his best, but age is starting to get the better of him. Michael Keane took a while to settle following his move from Burnley.

Meanwhile, Ramiro Funes Mori has been injured most of the campaign and Mason Holgate has had an inconsistent season.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

A new centre-back is a must and, if Everton are serious about challenging for Europe, it needs to be a top defender.

Plenty are about at the moment, but the one which springs to mind for Everton is Sevilla star Clement Llenglet.

He caught the eye of English football fans after shackling Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford in the Champions League.

The Frenchman has been in fine form for the club this season and now Lenglet is being linked with a host of clubs.

One such team is Liverpool, and with good reason. Lenglet has a release clause in his contract at Sevilla which stands at just €30 million (£26.25 million) – according to Marca.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Considering the price paid for the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Aymeric Alporte and John Stones after the past year that fee is an absolute bargain.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is expected to dig deep into his pockets again this summer as Everton look to mount a renewed campaign next season.

Beating the likes of Liverpool to Lenglet’s signature would be the biggest signal of intent yet that Everton are ready to push into the Premier League elite.

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English Premier League

Everton’s under-the-radar £6m signing Lewis Gibson is a star of the future

The England under-18 defender looks a star in the making for Everton.

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Everton’s under-23s brought their season to an end this week with a 2-2 draw with Manchester United. It was not the campaign they would have wanted, after the brilliant PL2 title-winning season of 2016-17. But with David Unsworth stepping up to first-team duties earlier in the season and plenty of their stars from that season sent out on loan or joining the Everton first-team is what always going to be a tough one.

But in the final weeks of the campaign one player who has really stood out as an exceptional talent is 17-year-old defender Lewis Gibson.

His signature may have slipped by some Everton fans in the summer. The Toffees brought the England under-18 international to Finch Farm from Newcastle United. The fee for the player, according to the Liverpool Echo, could eventually rise to £6 million, so he was clearly identified as a top investment for the future.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

He has certainly looked the part this season.

Gibson has played 16 times for Everton’s under-23s this campaign, playing at both his preferred centre-back position and left-back. The talented defender was a member of the England under-17 team that won the World Cup last summer and he now looks like he could be the next great hope from the Everton youth system.

This summer he turns 18 and, given the standard he has showcased in the under-23s, he could genuinely start pushing for first-team football at Everton from next term.

(Photo by Filipe Farinha/Getty Images)

With the defence still an issue for Everton, improvements are likely in the summer. But Gibson should not be simply overlooked just because of his tender years.

Whilst he should not be a Premier League regular it would be great to see Gibson get game time in the League Cup and maybe find his way into the matchday squad on occasions next term.

Everton should not rush the defender, but if you are good enough then you are old enough. Gibson is starting to look like he could be the future of Everton’s defence and should get some reward from next season.

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Everton

Sam Allardyce’s tactical masterstroke responsible for Everton success

The Toffees boss has been heavily criticised since his arrival at the club.

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Photo: Getty Images

Under-fire Everton manager Sam Allardyce engineered a tactical masterstroke during his side’s 1-0 Monday night win over Newcastle United.

By switching the positions of Everton’s two wingers, Allardyce directly contributed to the winning goal and proved his worth to the Goodison Park doubters.

For much of the first half, Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott were frustratingly ineffective when stationed on the left and right wings respectively.

Bolasie constantly declined to whip in crosses when given time, instead opting to idle on the ball and lose possession through poorly-executed bits of skill. When the Congolese international decided to put in service to the box, it regularly failed to meet an Everton shirt.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

On the opposite wing, Walcott was largely anonymous and had little impact on proceedings, suffering from a lack of service.

However, Yet Allardyce’s swap proved instantly effective just minutes into the second half. Bolasie collected the ball on the right wing, just inside the Newcastle half, and drove purposefully down the line with his favoured right foot.

The former Crystal Palace man then lofted in a looping, inviting ball to the back post, where now left winger Theo Walcott was waiting in a perfect position.

After a kind ricochet, the ball fell kindly to the Englishman, who lashed home an emphatic strike to give Everton the lead.

(during the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on April 23, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

It was a perfect reward for the tactical nous of the Everton manager, with his intelligent switch directly resulting in the crucial strike for the Toffees.

The success of the switch provided a much-needed boost for Allardyce, who had endured an uncomfortable week. After a much-publicised club survey asked supporters to rate the manager on a scale of 1-10, the experienced manager had faced embarrassing questions over his future.

There was no better response than an inspired tactical shift that handed Everton all three points,  proving his worth to the Goodison Park faithful.

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