Everton suffered a humiliating defeat at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland clinched Premier League survival with a 3-0 win.
Another wretched display from the Toffees was made worse by calamitous errors from which they conceded. Joel Robles failed to second guess Patrick van Aanholts centrally struck free-kick which gave the home side the lead.
The Spaniard was again at fault in the second half when his weak punch hit one of his own players to let Lamine Kone score from close range. Just before half-time Sunderland took command of the game when Kone netted his first, Everton failing to push out from a half cleared set-piece.
The result leaves Everton with just six points from their last 10 league matches, with fans continuing to wonder how manager Roberto Martinez remains at the helm.
Players dont look like they want to play for the club
Quite simply, the joy of football has been sucked out of each and every one of Everton’s players. Not since the 2-0 FA Cup win against Chelsea a whole two months ago have players -and more importantly fans- had anything to smile about.
Since the insipid performance mustered up against Arsenal a week after that glorious night at Goodison Park, the faces of the players have matched their individual and collective displays: uninspired, lifeless, weak.
You only have to glance across the park to those in red to see what it’s like to play with a smile. In Jurgen Klopp they have a leader of such passion and charisma that every ball kicked, every yard run and every day of training is a joy, and as much is expressed in results.
Whether it’s saying farewell to Martinez or bringing in fresh faces, the only way to start looking up is to start turning frowns into smiles.
Concentration levels summed up by goals conceded
Sunderland’s goals would have been easier for Blues to stomach had they been borne out of masterfully crafted pass-and-move football or the result of an ingenious piece of skill. Instead Evertonians once more had their heads in their hands as buffoonery reared it’s ugly head in Everton’s penalty area.
Before Kone punted in Sunderland’s second goal, James McCarthy showed as much enthusiasm to keep up with his defensive line as Donald Trump currently shows for Mexican immigrants arriving at his county’s borders. His lacklustre jog out left Kone onside, while ball-watching defenders could not react in time to deter the Ivorian.
When Kone netted his much easier opportunity in the second half, it wasn’t just McCarthy stood flat-footed. Robles’ punched clearance was weak and direction-less, embarrassingly hitting at least two of his team mates on the back before the Ivorian pounced.
Just another game which has come to epitomise Everton’s season. A game heavy with possession and heavy on errors; errors even the most helpless of schoolboys would be ashamed to make. Yes, even schoolboys who can’t play football. Schoolboys who play rugby.
Board should have taken action sooner as Martinez faces tortuous final game
For many fans the solution to Everton’s woes is simple, and has been made clear to the club’s board for weeks in the form of two words: Martinez Out.
You may think the Spaniard is solely responsible for Everton’s misfortunes. You may take the view that the players should be doing more to improve results. It could be said that a mixture of youth, inexperience, lack of leadership and subsequent mental strength in the dressing room has led us where we are.
However you arrive, there really doesn’t seem to be any turning back. A charming, likeable and impeccably well-dressed Catalan will almost certainly be clearing his Goodison Park desk this summer.
Yet those sitting above him have watched good performances yield poor results, then poor performances turn out terrible results. Now we’re seeing wretched and effortless displays played out in vitriolic surroundings, as broken and embarrassed fans take matters into their own hands.
A decision on Martinez’s future may have at the very least given the players something to play for and the fans something to cheer. Now, the final home game of the season with Norwich will at best turn into an insignificant side-show for 90 minutes of protests. At worst, the Everton manager could be saying his final farewell in the most undignified and tortuous of ways.