Having brought Everton to the giddying heights of fifth in his first season in charge playing a swashbuckling brand of football, Roberto Martinez has followed it up with two disappointing league campaigns that has put his job at risk.
Last season saw Everton record their lowest points haul in over a decade with just 47 points, finishing the campaign in 11th. This term has pretty much continued in the same vein as the Toffees find themselves in the bottom half of the table with four games to go.
Looking at their squad, Everton have an exciting team that seemed on the cusp of a breakthrough. Premier League stalwarts like Gareth Barry, Leighton Baines, James McCarthy and Phil Jagielka are ably complemented by the exciting talents of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, John Stones and Gerard Deulofeu. With a pleasant blend of experience and exuberance, Everton's squad is more than good enough to at the very least be challenging for European places.
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Yet despite their undeniable talents, Everton have struggled for consistency all season long and have failed to win more than two games in a row in the Premier League. Their home form, in particular, has been atrocious, with just four victories from 17 games. Watching such a talented team perpetually underperform, it's little wonder the fans at Goodison have been especially vocal in expressing their unhappiness.
Perhaps most damning is that under Martinez's watch, the majority of the Everton players have failed to improve. Lukaku and probably McCarthy aside, the Everton team is littered with players stagnating despite their enormous potential. Seamus Coleman has gone from being a part of the PFA team of the year two year ago to a negligent Dani Alves wannabe who leaves large swathes of grass unguarded whenever he bombs forward.
For all of Barkley's ability, he still remains frustratingly inconsistent, impressing sporadically despite having made his breakthrough several seasons ago. Stones' steadfast refusal to do anything other than try and pass his way out of trouble has already resulted in numerous goals conceded.
Watching his Everton side commit the same mistakes over and over again, Martinez has clearly failed to polish his raw diamonds into truly top class players.
Their recent mauling at the hands of arch-rivals Liverpool pretty much summed up what was wrong with Martinez's Everton side. While they are able to play pretty football when the mood hits, they have a soft underbelly that they often leave exposed.
Time and time again the Toffees lacked any form of defensive structure as Liverpool were able to consistently saunter through their defence. In the end, the 4-0 scoreline flattered Everton as they could easily have lost by a cricket score if the Liverpool forwards had worn their shooting boots.
With the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United coming up this weekend, rumours suggest that Martinez has to win the FA Cup to save his job. Even in the unlikely situation that Everton do lift the FA Cup come May, it would not hide the fact that the Toffees have massively underachieved this season.
The last time Roberto Martinez won the FA Cup, his Wigan side were relegated from the Premier League. While Everton are in no danger of dropping into the Championship this season, there is a growing suspicion that we have already seen the best that Martinez has to offer in the dugout at Goodison Park.
If Everton truly harbour ambitions of moving to the next level, it is time to dispense with Martinez.News Now - Sport News