Roberto Martinez is clinging onto his job and many expect him to be replaced this summer, after a very poor season. His side should have been challenging in the top half and pushing towards Europa League places. They have a stronger squad than West Ham, Southampton and Leicester, but all three have surpassed the Toffees considerately. Martinez has always been highly rated, but his inconsistency as a manager continues to be an issue. It was always a risk giving the job to a man, who hasn’t known anything other than relegation fights, and after a great first year in charge the club has been on a downward slope.
In his first season as manager, Martinez led Everton to a 5th place finish and the club were challenging for Champions League football until the final matches. The combination of Martinez’s attacking football and the quality defensive foundation left by David Moyes allowed Everton to have one of their best seasons in the Premier League. However, the longer Martinez was in charge, the worse the defence got. They have gone from conceding just 39 goals in the Spaniard’s first season to 52 this season, showing the decline in the back four.
They are currently in 12th position in the league, but they deserve to be lower than that. Everton have won just one of their last nine matches, which is relegation form. They are currently just 10 points above the drop zone, and although they won’t be going down this season, a club with the quality Everton have should be doing much better. Their home form has also been a huge disappointment, as they’ve only managed to win five of their 18 matches at Goodison Park. If they had picked up three of four more wins at home, then maybe Martinez’s job wouldn’t be under scrutiny.
Everton have a squad that has some Champions League quality scattered through it. The likes of will all believe they are good enough for Europe’s premier competition. Everton haven’t even managed to qualify for the Europa League in the last two seasons and that is a huge disappointment. This season’s under-performance has left the club open for bigger teams to come in and cherry-pick their stars. It’s extremely unlikely that Romulu Lukaku will remain, with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and various other European clubs being linked to the Belgian in recent weeks.
There have been a lot of managers linked to the post in recent weeks. Frank de Boer is currently the favourite with Skybet with odds of 9/2. Ronald Koeman, Marcelo Bielsa, Rafael Benitez and Manuel Pellegrini have all been touted as possible replacements too. All of these have a lot more experience at the highest level than Martinez. They would also offer more authority in the dressing room. In their last match against Leicester, Everton conceded 32 shots, the most any opposition has conceded against the champions, and this was after the Foxes had won the league. It was one of the worst defensive displays of the season so far and reflected the continuing decline of the Everton side.
The next few weeks will be pivotal to the future of Everton football club, and they need to make a decisive decision about the manager role. Roberto Martinez deserves to be sacked for back-to-back disappointing seasons. The Spaniard has gone under the radar this season due to Leicester’s success, and other under-performing managers taking the headlines. However, Everton will be keen to challenge for the European places again next season, and it appears that Martinez no longer commands the respect of the dressing room. If he doesn’t go, things will get worse, before they get better.