Belfast Telegraph

Roberto Martinez Focus

Under-pressure Everton manager Roberto Martinez saw his side suffer a humiliating 4-0 defeat in Wednesday's Merseyside derby at Anfield.

The Spaniard was already under condersiderable fire from supporters after a season of inconsistency and this latest damaging result will have done him no favours.

Here, Press Association Sport analyses his performance.


With an FA Cup semi-final - which could now be critical to Martinez's hops of staying in his job - coming up at the weekend, a rearranged Merseyside derby in midweek was probably the last thing the Spaniard needed. Were the opponents different Martinez may have considered fielding a weaker side but fans would hardly tolerate that against Liverpool. It was no surprise to see Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines, James McCarthy and Aaron Lennon return, but much of the team already seemed to have Wembley on their minds.


Liverpool had Everton on the back foot, throwing the visitors off their normal gameplan and forcing them to play deep and soak up pressure. They did occasionally threaten on the counter-attack early but, on the whole, they were overrun and defensively they were shambolic. Hopes of getting back into the game in the second half nosedived after the sending off of Ramiro Funes Mori and the subsequent reorganisation was not successful.


Martinez knew he had to make a change at half-time but the effects of sending on Muhamed Besic for Barry were quickly negated as Funes Mori's red card meant a change of plan. Barkley did not look pleased to be taken off but sending on Tom Cleverley was a vain attempt to try to change the pace of the game. John Stones had a poor game but replacing him with an attacking player in Steven Pienaar did not have the desired effect. Instead of giving Everton greater threat, they looked even more vulnerable.


There were times on the touchline, as the goals went in, when Martinez looked crestfallen. On other occasions he tried to issue orders or cajole his players but to no avail. With the pressure mounting, it did seem a sad sight.


Pressure has been building on Martinez for some time and this thrashing will see it cranked up even more. There is a feeling that almost everything for Martinez now rests on Saturday's Wembley date with Manchester United. He needs a win like never before and, even if he gets it, he might have to go on to win the final to earn redemption.


From Belfast Telegraph