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Roberto Martinez and John Stones under even more pressure after derby defeat

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The blue half of Merseyside was subjected to another underwhelming, disorganised and embarrassing performance on Wednesday night.

The fact that this kind of abject performance would materialise in front of the Everton fans' eyes as they sat in the away end at the home of their fiercest rivals, is the stuff of nightmares.

Everton gave their worst performance of the season so far, losing 4-0 to city rivals Liverpool, who are now on an excellent run of form as they look to build even more momentum before their Europa League semi-final next week.

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The statistics tell a damning story for Roberto Martinez, who must now head into an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday against Manchester United with suspensions and injuries to contend with.

Liverpool dominated possession at Anfield; but the incredible statistics that highlights Everton’s abysmal performance are the shot counts.

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Everton had only three shots during the whole game and no shots at all on target.

Compare this to Liverpool, who had a total of 37 shots and 13 on target, and it is even more surprising that the score-line didn’t end up resembling a one-sided rugby game.

In 2013/14, Everton ended the season in fifth position in Martinez’s first season at the club, after David Moyes had departed to begin his ill-fated tenure with Manchester United.

Evertonians declared Martinez a footballing genius and Moyes, who was later sacked by Manchester United, was already being forgotten and ridiculed.

In the summer of 2014, great things were expected from Martinez and his Everton side as they prepared for the 2014/15 season.

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The club had forked out a record transfer fee of £28 million for Romelu Lukaku and there was hope that Martinez could even lead Everton into the top four.

By March 2015, all of those dreams were well and truly shattered. Everton had been knocked out of the League Cup and FA Cup in the third round and they had only amassed 28 points from 28 games and were in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle.

They ended the season in a disappointing 11th place taking only 47 points, as opposed to the previous season’s total of 72 (their highest total in the Premier League and their highest since winning the First Division in 1986-87).

Fast-forward 12 months and The Toffees are, yet again, in 11th place with four games remaining.

There is the hope of an FA Cup final should they win on Saturday; but Everton fans are beginning to lose patience with their Spanish manager.

Having gone from being lauded as an exceptional manager two seasons ago and even being lauded as the manager to take over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Martinez’s reputation has all but deserted him.

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The Spanish manager’s stubbornness with his tactical set-up, forcing his players to play out from the back to maintain possession (even if down to 10-men), is clearly not working with the current crop of players at Everton.

John Stones has been a victim of Martinez’s unwavering confidence in his ‘philosophy’. The 21-year-old England international has been heavily criticised this season for holding onto the ball for too long, bringing unnecessary pressure upon himself which, often, leads to his team giving away possession.

This was, once again, on show last night for Liverpool’s third goal. Stones played a poor pass into the centre of the pitch which was easily intercepted by the Brazilian midfielder Lucas, who gladly advanced with the ball and played a simple ball to Daniel Sturridge, who coolly slotted home.

Stones would clearly benefit at such a young age from a move to another club, or another manager, who can work with him and nurture that raw ability he has to improve his game.

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Under Martinez, like the whole of Everton Football Club, Stones has stalled and gone into reverse.

With a new billionaire shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, in place with a 49.9% stake at the club, Martinez’s failure over the past two seasons to build upon the success of his first, may well cost him his job.

An FA Cup win may well be just enough to give him a stay of execution with the board, but Everton fans, having witnessed last night’s horror show, are already clamouring to see the back of him.

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Topics:
Everton
David Moyes
Roberto Martinez
Football
Premier League
FA Cup
Romelu Lukaku
Arsene Wenger

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