Roberto Martinez walked into the Everton job in June 2013 and stated that he would bring Champions League football to Goodison Park.
After years of stability and progress under David Moyes, the Toffees thought they had the man who would mix that Moyes grit, determination and strong talent with some Spanish flair which separates the good teams from the exceptional ones.
Yes, Martinez had just been relegated with Wigan even though they had that year's glistening FA Cup trophy on display. Yet the Spaniard's ability to rally his players towards the end of the season every year showed that with a stronger squad that unity may have no limits.
Fans becoming frustrated
Fast forward almost 20 months and the groans are starting to echo round the blue side of Merseyside. The football this season has been sometimes predictable, sometimes stale and sometimes just downright spineless.
The swashbuckling play from last season seems to have deserted Everton in recent months and they now find themselves 19 points behind fourth-placed Southampton.
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Record signing Romelu Lukaku has looked out of sorts for the majority of the season, Kevin Mirallas seems to have been made a ridiculous scapegoat for having the audacity to miss a penalty and the usually dependable Tim Howard now sits on the bench in most games.
Martinez needs time
Yet Martinez needs time. He has the foundations of an exceptional team and good things come to those who wait. Last season's performance alone warrants him the gift of time. Everton were irresistible towards the end of 2013 and the majority of those players still pull on a blue shirt every week now. Their performances last season helped steer the club to fifth in the league and a crack at Europe, albeit in the Europa League.
Getting the balance right between Europe and Premier League is something Everton may have struggled with this season. Their performances on a Sunday after a Europa League clash haven't been up to scratch, something Tottenham are also guilty of.
But chairman Bill Kenwright has never been a trigger-happy manager. If that was the case, Moyes would of been packing his bags at the end of the 2003-04 season when his side finished 17th, narrowly avoiding relegation.
Before anyone knew it, Moyes had taken Everton to the Champions League qualifying round, where they were unfortunate to come up against a very strong Villarreal side.
Martinez can replicate Moyes
Martinez can very well replicate that Moyes period with even greater success if allowed the free-reign to change some dynamics of the team. Lukaku hasn't contributed enough to the team this season but he is still only 21 years old and once settled in Liverpool he will surely replicate the form during his loan spell at the club which convinced Martinez to shell out £27 million on the Belgian last summer.
Muhamed Besic is another gem Everton have uncovered and alongside Gareth Barry they form a very strong shield for a defence which has constantly produced exceptional full backs. Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman must be kept hold of; the vision of the club sold to them during the summer.
The centre-backs of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin seem to be fading now with the emergence of very promising youngsters in John Stones, Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt.
Fans must be patient
And then there's the best youngster of them all - Ross Barkley.
Barkley's talent is obvious to anyone who watches him for as little as 10 minutes during a game. He has pace, vision, strength and power in abundance. Yet if he plays twice a week he looks jaded. Martinez needs to limit his game-time at some points of the season to aid his development. That way he can be unleashed to maximum effect when needed.
When all these players are on song, they can be devastating. They won at Old Trafford last year, thumped Arsenal 3-0 at home and Chelsea walked away from Goodison Park with nothing as well.
The fans must be patient, for this team has the potential to be walking out on to the pitch soon with the famous Z Cars theme tune replaced by that of the Champions League anthem.
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