It’s fair to say that the tide has turned. Reports have gone from “planned Everton board meeting” to “possible replacement lined up” to “Martinez faces sack within the week”. It seems that the defining week that Martinez spoke of has finally hit home. Personally, I had no real criticism for Roberto Martinez during that Leicester game, only for his lacklustre substitutions, my criticism was reserved for the scenario in which an Everton side is allowed to underperform like that continuously without any hint of repercussion. The game at home to Arsenal was possibly the most demoralising performance I’d seen from an Everton side, no fight, belief or evidence of any tactical plan. The derby was so much worse that I can’t even begin to describe it. The first half of the semi-final was worse than that. Then that performance, to a side that had publically been on the ale all week, was about as low as it got. 3-1 undoubtedly flattered us, it could quite easily have finished 5-0 and it probably should have. There seems to be no real reason, and definitely no explanation, as to why this has been allowed to continue.
I’m the last person that preaches the whole ‘Everton conspiracy’ line, however it saddens me that currently the reaction to any external criticism of Everton is met with swift negativity and PR firefighting. Whether it be ex-players employed by the club (who will obviously have similar views to the hierarchy, otherwise they most likely would find themselves in the same position as Neville Southall), or the alleged displeasure of the CEO towards the actively vocal Toffee TV. Rather than a conspiracy, the reality is that ‘The People’s Club’ now identifies as ‘The Club Formally Known as The People’s Club.’
There has been much revisionism and heavy criticism of Roberto Martinez in recent days, most notably from those who have all but ignored his flaws for neigh on two years, in what seems to be an act of self-preservation. However the time for that has long passed, the building frustration of inactivity has found a target as Roberto Martinez is hung out to dry. The time for investigative questioning has come and gone and now all that is left is a manager with nothing left to say, delivering 100 second post-match interviews.
Belatedly, The Echo seem to have given in to the pressure and have scrutinised the current state of the football club. It came at a price though, multiple articles have recently continually referred to so-called “keyboard warriors” throwing up images of school teachers attempting to connect with pupils by using popular buzzwords in the wrong context. It is difficult to gauge their definition of a keyboard warrior, it seems to be those who offer alternative options on social media. Apparently that’s not allowed, who knew? As the tide has turned, the keyboard warriors seem to have been vindicated in their crusade.
Away from the warriors, work of journalists like Phil McNulty and Richard Buxton should be applauded, instead of hastily writing a self-preservation story on Martinez, they may point to the many occasions they have scrutinised and highlighted his failings during the past year.
Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By this logic, the philosophy of Roberto Martinez could have been termed clinically insane at this time last year. Whereas now it is wandering round Concert Square on a Wednesday afternoon, wearing a tinfoil hat and telling people that Leighton Baines can be a boss central midfielder. It has become so bad that it is now a joke, gallows humour is rife at Goodison on a match day. It should never have been allowed to get to that stage and it should be remembered on Sunday, protest and vitriolic abuse are two things that should not merge when Everton host Norwich. The fans have no need to be drawn in, when all they need to do is continue to have their voice heard.