Roberto Martinez’s defining week as Everton boss definitely did not go the way he’d hoped. Losses against Liverpool and Manchester United seemingly signaled the end of the Blues season which not much else left to play for.
Relegation from the Premier League is mathematically even with the Toffees sitting 11th in the table. Martinez needs a win.
Fan pressure continues to build and there are likely to be protests at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon, but Martinez isn’t worried. Speaking at his weekly press conference, Martinez said he understands the fans anger and that everyone at the club are “hurting together.”
The Blues suffered a huge disappointment as they were unable to overcome Manchester United in their FA Cup semi final.
Everton were very poor in the first half, giving up chance after chance to United before finding themselves 1-0 down before half time.
Martinez’s side were booed after by pockets of fans and responded well in the second half. The Blues boss put it down to his side “playing our hearts out.”
The style of play is what Martinez want’s to see “going forward” and hope his side can “reproduce that level over 90 minutes.”
Kieran Dowell to get his chance
Kieran Dowell has been in sensational form for Everton’s under 21’s and fans have been clamouring for him to finally get a chance. Martinez has spoken highly of the youngster but it seemed like he was reluctant to give him a chance in the Premier League when he named Tom Davies and Callum Connolly in his squad a few weeks ago.
Martinez said that Dowell is “under consideration” for Saturday and that he feels Dowell is “ready for an opportunity with the first team.”
Dowell can play a number of roles behind the striker and can produce a wicked shot for range. It’s likely he may see some time towards the end of the game if he’s named on the Everton bench.
Phil Jagielka’s season is likely over as he played through a hamstring injury at Wembley. He is now focused on getting ready for the European Championships in the summer should he be named in the England squad.
Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman will miss out on Saturday. Barry is struggling with a groin while Coleman is still working his way back from a hamstring injury. With Coleman out, Martinez may opt to give Matthew Pennington a chance at right back.
Ramiro Funes Mori is still suspended after his red card in the Merseyside Derby. With Funes Mori and Jagielka out, John Stones is Everton’s only fit natural centre back. Muhammed Besic could slide into the back four to partner him. Brendan Galloway can also play at centre back and is an option for Martinez.