Writing in the official Everton matchday programme, Roberto Martinez believes he has figured out the tactical problem behind Everton's poor season.
The Toffees sit only six points off the relegation places, and, although it is unlikely they will be in the bottom three come the end of the season, this campaign has been a disappointment.
After finishing in fifth place in Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge at Goodison Park, the Merseyside club have been unable to replicate the same form this term. A similar style of play has caused numerous problems in the playing squad, and some key players are struggling to find the same form shown last year.
Regardless, the Toffees are progressing well in the Europa League, and they look set to progress into the quarter finals after securing a 2-1 home victory over Dynamo Kyiv. Although they have to play Kyiv in Ukraine, their performance in the first leg hinted at an ability to overcome their Eastern European opponents.
It was also this game that summed up much of Everton’s season, with a poor first-half performance turning into almost complete domination in the second period. The first-half was rife with poor passing and seeming confusion on the pitch, but that disappeared to be replaced with desire and energy which is needed in Martinez’s high-pressing system.
It was this first-half that Martinez believes explains the Toffees poor form in the Premier League.
Writing in the Everton programme for the league fixture with Newcastle, the Spanish coach said: “That lack of tempo to our play in the early stages of the game would explain the way that we have performed in the Premier League in certain home games this season.
“That’s just been down to wanting to win so much, and wanting to do the things that meet our expectations. We have huge talent in our squad, and we all need to realise that we need to help each other.”
If Martinez has finally figured out the reason for the Merseyside club’s poor form, one would hope he has also figured out how to fix it as the Premier League draws to a close.