Obstructed View – Reflections on Hull (A)

At about 4.21pm on the 1st January, 2015, Darren Griffiths in his radio commentary said – “It’s hard to accentuate the positive [Snods] with a performance like this”. And one of our newly crowned ambassadors replied – “It is Daz, it is”. To which I can add – “it is Daz, it is” (see, I could do Snods’ co-commentary bit, I’m all the Andy Townsend ‘state-the-blindingly-obvious’, me).

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This is not going to be a long article, not right now as I start anyway, because I wake up on a new day and New Year’s Day is a horror story in my mind, and I don’t like re-visiting it much. If I’m seeking the odd crumb of comfort, it is that we changed our formation, it is that Baines looked tireless as he tried to make things happen in midfield, it is that Coleman went on a few runs that seem a throwback to the days when he was a dashing full back, and, erm, that’s about it. There are you positives Darren. After that, it’s a question of fight, a question of resolve, a question of guts, and a question of what happened to Luke Garbutt.

It is also a question of does Roberto Martinez have the wherewithal to get us out of this malaise, and perhaps even a question of whether he ‘has’ the dressing room. Many will say that to question if he is the man to take us forward, is just blasphemy, and that like Pardew earlier this year, like Rodgers – er, when? – his charges will suddenly click and go on a long run of wins and all of this will be forgotten. But it is the job of supporters to support the Club, and in doing so, it is also our job to question whether the Club is being managed in the right way; our right is to question, it is the preserve of others to answer, should they choose to do so. I feel happy for the ever visible and accessible Alan Myers, because if he was still our Director of Communications, he’d be getting a right earful at the moment, and he’d be championing the Club he loves in many, many longwinded replies (longwinded as in 140 characters-worth). As for now, I don’t even know the name of our Director of Communications, or even if we have one, and that speaks volumes. Or rather, it doesn’t, and that’s the point.

We can grumble about referees, and for good reason, and we can question their competency if not their integrity, although we might be severely challenged on that one. We can point to a long injury list. We can highlight that we haven’t played the same team for two games in succession. We can berate those whose “individual errors” have led to us conceding more than anyone bar QPR this season. We can even wonder whether certain players should be selected or not. There may even be those who wonder if the Board have squirrelled away some money for their own personal rainy day (which they haven’t, by the way – that’s called fraud or embezzlement, and would be spotted by the authorities) rather than spend it on players.

But we can and we should, also question the competence of the management team, even if like the list above, it is to some extent out of our control. Kenwright is a Blue, through and through, and he will be asking the same questions, at least in his head if not directly with the manager. It may be that Martinez’ relentless positivity has taken him in in the past, as it has done with us all, and let’s face it, I’d rather be positive than negative, but there comes a point when to speak well of what was palpable garbage in our last four fixtures, smacks of sweeping things under the rosy-coloured carpet, rather than addressing them full on. And if anyone criticises my mixed metaphors in that last sentence, or even the shite sentence construction, they can sod off.

There is clearly something wrong. How else do you explain Distin’s enforced absence for a while earlier this season. What about Garbutt’s quotes before the game and subsequent omission from the match day squad (or was he ill), and how else do you explain the lack of fight and bottle in an Everton shirts as demonstrated by almost all the players that ‘graced’ the KC stadium yesterday. This is Everton FFS.

I can’t change the manager, none of us can. But we can question him when things are going well, and when things, like now, quite clearly aren’t. Whether it is to be Martinez, or to be someone else, who knows.

In fact, to be or not to be – that is the question. At the moment, too many questions, nowhere near enough answers.

Ross

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