Everton’s season has certainly had its fair share of peaks and troughs. Everton fans, at least in the first part of the season, were treated to some of the best attacking football in the Premier League. Seeing the likes of Barkley, Deulofeu and the insatiable Romelu Lukaku charge at defences must have been a joy to behold week in, week out as it seemed that Martinez was crafting together a side that was as brilliant going forward as it was young and a full of flair. What Everton fans weren’t expecting though was the drop off in form and the poor defensive performances of the Everton backline, particularly from John Stones and the ever professional Tim Howard.
This Everton side is the 7th highest scoring team in the Premier League (only behind the Top 4 and now Liverpool and West Ham after this week’s fixtures) but have only won 2 of their last 10 league games and that came on the 1st March. Even that game was the Premier League equivalent of a freebie as Everton won 3-0 against the quite pitiful Aston Villa side that has been trying to play football this year.
What compounds Everton’s issues is that their home form has been nothing short of awful this season. Whilst the football was scintillating at the start of the season (Everton have scored 30 goals at Goodison Park this year, the 4th highest amount in the Premier League), Martinez’s side have only picked up maximum points at Goodison on 4 occasions. That puts Everton in the bottom three for home form. Its relegation form. So in a season where Everton have perhaps been the most disappointing side in the Premier League, is it time for Martinez to go and who are the likely replacements if the Spaniard was to receive his P45?
The market seems rather limited at the moment for any potential successor but with new majority stakeholder Farhad Moshiri bringing heavy backing come the summer and with Everton at risk of losing the likes of Stones and Lukaku come the summer, it will be surprising if Martinez’s underwhelming season doesn’t come at a personal cost of his job.
Over at Oddschecker.com, David Moyes is current favourite with the rather bizarre shout of Mourinho second favourite, closely followed by Marcelo Bielsa. David Moyes would certainly bring some solidarity back to Everton’s defence and it would be interesting to see what Moyes might possibly be able to achieve with such a young and creative front four, if they all stay at Everton that is. Whilst Bielsa would rival Jurgen Klopp for charisma in the Press Conferences and as seen by his time at both Athletic Bilbao and Marseille that his flame burns bright albeit short. Other worth mentioning are Eddie Howe, Jurgen Klinsmann and Michael Laudrup.
Jurgen Klinsmann has been perennially linked to the Premier League for a number of seasons and a club like Everton would seem an ideal place to start for the German native to once again delve into club management. Michael Laudrup, whilst currently working in the managerial wilderness that is Qatar, has Premier League experience as well as an impressive League Cup victory under his belt at Swansea. Laudrup however isn’t lacking self-confidence in where he sees the calibre of his next job after dismissing West Ham in the summer for because they are a ‘mid-table club’. If only we all had the benefit of hindsight. And last but least we have Eddie Howe. Tipped to be a future England manager, Howe’s star has only risen this season at Bournemouth, where securing Premier League safety, considering the injuries, is right up there with the best of achievements this season. Yet his time away from Bournemouth wasn’t the most successful where he spent 87 games in charge of Burnley.
So in a week where Everton were truly thrashed by Liverpool, Martinez has to gather his thoughts and steady the ship on the blue half of the Mersey as he takes Everton to Wembley for the FA Cup Semi-Final against Manchester United. This isn’t just a game that will define whether Everton’s season has been a success; this could be the final nail in the coffin for Martinez and his tenure at Everton or is it already too late to save the Spaniard?
Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog