Charlie Nicholas has told Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, which was broadcast on 30th January, that he couldn’t understand why John Stones was selected at right-back for Everton’s match against Manchester City last week.
Stones was picked to start on the right hand side of the defence in Everton’s League Cup semi-final, and he never looked comfortable, as Roberto Martinez’s side fell to a 3-1 defeat.
And Nicholas has questioned Martinez’s tactical approach, suggesting that if he had the defensive nous of David Moyes then Everton would be in the Champions League places.
"I haven’t got a clue [why he plays Stones at right-back]," Nicholas said. "It’s as if he’s saying ‘I can’t drop him, because he’s our superstar footballer’.
"Well, he hasn’t been for the last four weeks. So his position is under scrutiny.
"He can’t see games through, it’s been going on all season. He has to instruct his players to sit in. If only you could give Everton now, some of the defensive structure David Moyes had. They’d be in the top four."
Everton have scored a staggering 40 goals this season, giving them the fourth best record of any team in the Premier League.
Remarkably, though, the Toffees still sit down in 12th place and they have only won six of their first 23 league matches.
Everton’s good work going forward has been undone by their defensive inefficiencies, with Martinez’s attacking style facing a lot of criticism.
The Toffees have let in 34 goals this term, and they have bene guilty of throwing away points from winning positions on numerous occasions.
It leaves their hopes of claiming a European spot very slim, and the pressure is on Martinez to start proving that he is moving the club forward with his approach.