Sunday 17 December 2017

Martinez faces players' revolt over gung-ho philosophy

Matt Law

Roberto MARTINEZ is facing a fight to stop Everton's players losing faith in his gung-ho philosophy.

Martinez's team sank to their seventh Premier League defeat of the season at Goodison Park against West Ham United last Saturday and have now conceded more goals at home (26) than any other top-flight club.

Everton are 12th in the Premier League and face the threat of finishing a season in which they hoped to challenge for European qualification in the bottom half.

That would make holding on to Romelu Lukaku, John Stones and Ross Barkley even more difficult, despite investment from the club's new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

The FA Cup could still prove a saving grace for Martinez, with Everton hosting Chelsea in the quarter-finals on Saturday, but another home defeat would pile the pressure on the manager.

Martinez's bold approach on and off the pitch has raised eyebrows inside and outside Goodison Park, with growing questions now being asked over whether it is correct.

The 42-year-old can point to the fact that Everton's defensive record away from home is far better. They have conceded just 13 goals on their travels, but have been hit by a couple of crushing late blows against Bournemouth and Chelsea.

Everton have dropped 14 points from winning positions this season and a failure to close out games under Martinez has become a big frustration among the club's players.

Moshiri will wait until the summer before deciding whether any major personnel changes are needed at Everton. But the billionaire investor is determined to push the club forwards and Martinez needs to convince his new boss and his players that he remains the best man for the job. © Daily Telegraph, London.

Irish Independent

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