So much has been made regarding the potential of this current Everton side. With the likes of John Stones, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, the hype seemed to be justified.
However, it is now time to stop looking to potential and focus on current performances. These are not talents that have recently been introduced to Premier League football.
They, as well as most of the Everton side, are fully-fledged international players. Yet, they find themselves in 11th position and those European spots getting smaller in the distance.
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Everton have won just eight out of 26 league matches this season. The same number as West Bromwich Albion, and fewer than Premier League new boys Watford.
Many have placed the blame on Roberto Martinez’s attacking philosophy and being incapability to act as a defensive unit. ‘Try to score more than the opponent’ seems to be the theory. However, this ethos is certainly put to the test when you can’t always score yourself.
All of the players that Martinez regularly relies on could be the subject of transfer bids from ‘bigger’ teams this summer. Everton have shown to be tough sellers before, yet whether they can resist the temptations on offer from all of their best assets is debatable.
The depth in their squad is severely lacking, resulting in Martinez being forced to turn to youngsters such as Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning at various points this season. Albeit both of these particular players have performed adequately, they have not quite shown the ability or experience to be considered a backup player worthy of competing in the Europa League, let alone the Champions League.
This summer will be pivotal for Martinez. He must keep hold of his key players, which could be especially difficult if any of them star at the European Championship in France, as they are tipped to do.
Many Evertonians are already calling for a change in management on Merseyside, following Martinez’s false early promise. His first debut finish of 5th was impressive, yet last season’s 11th place result received much-deserved criticism.
What’s more, the current campaign looks less and less likely to be an improvement. This is particularly disappointing considering the amount of promising talent the Spaniard has at his disposal. Patience is a rare gift in football nowadays and Martinez must prove he is worth persisting with if he is provided with this luxury.
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