After the high of the midweek Europa League win over Young Boys, the Evertonians were brought crashing back down to earth as Roberto Martinez’ men produced an abject display against bottom of the table Leicester City. All the positivity from Thursday night seemed to disappear in a turgid first half at Goodison, with Everton then hitting the self destruct button after taking an early second half lead.
1. Without doubt now is the time to remove Tim Howard from the Everton starting line-up. He was ok against Chelsea, but let in a soft goal late in the match. He was arguably at fault for the Young Boys goal in midweek, with the American making a token dive to stop a shot that was destined for the back of the net the moment he took up a position which left far too much of the goal open for Hoarau to fire home. And despite Martinez’ passionate defence of his goalkeeper after the game, Howard was at fault for both of Leicester’s goals. It would appear that Tim Howard’s focus is away from football. In the summer he made a decision to take a break from the US National Team to spend more time with his family and as the season has progressed it has become apparent that break has also extended to his performances in the Everton goal. Simply not good enough and Joel Robles should return between the sticks for the remainder of the campaign.
2. The endless obsession of Evertonians with Mo Besic needs to stop. He is a good player and over time will become a better player, but he should not be lining up alongside James McCarthy. They are both far too similar in style and approach and the difference Darron Gibson made in the second half was significant. His willingness to pass the ball forwards was refreshing and his incisive passing made the Blues a far more dangerous team in the final 35 minutes.
3. The season cannot end soon enough. We need to get to safety ASAP, push on with our Europa League ambitions and then Roberto and his team need to sit down and reflect on what has gone so badly wrong in the last 7 months. I firmly believe that Martinez deserves a summer to unpick and fine tune his philosophy and hopefully we will see a return to the school of science that we Evertonians so badly desire.