Biting Back: Pressure building on Everton and Martinez
Roberto Martinez must wake up these days thanking his lucky stars for Steven Gerrard. The focus on Merseyside and throughout English football since 2015 raced in quicker than Usain Bolt at full speed has been very much on the midfielder's surprise summer move from Liverpool to LA.
That has allowed Martinez to slip quietly under the radar despite a wretched record of late.
In case you haven't noticed, with Gerrard dominating the agenda like he has the Liverpool team for many years, Martinez's Everton side are really struggling.
If they lose to Manchester City at Goodison Park today, it will be their FIFTH Premier League defeat in a row. The festive period was a nightmare for them... in that time the Toffees were the only team in the top flight who failed to register a single point.
The problems started well before Santa got on his sleigh, though, because entering the showdown with the champions, Everton have just one win in 10 and that was at home to QPR, who are about as effective on the road as Wile E Coyote!
Everton are currently 13th in the table, dangerously close to the relegation zone.
This time last year Spaniard Martinez, in his first season as Goodison Park boss, had the Blues playing superb football and challenging for a Champions League spot. He was being hailed as much as his predecessor David Moyes was being harassed at Manchester United.
A few more dodgy results, however, and fixtures over the next month aren't entirely kind, and Martinez will surely be under pressure to keep his job.