Like Steve McClaren, Roberto Martinez is a man under pressure.
A team/squad of players who should be doing so much better…it all sounds far too familiar.
Everton have actually only won one more game than Newcastle’s five and their biggest failing has been the number of draws (11) that they haven’t turned into victories, drawing more than any other Premier League club and currently eight points clear of Newcastle.
If Newcastle manage a win at Goodison then Roberto Martinez obviously feels that it will be largely down to United’s January trading, praising the ‘Premier League pedigree’ of Townsend and Shelvey and describing Seydou Doumbia as a ‘very good striker’.
Roberto Martinez sees his own team’s failings revolving around goals conceded and only two clubs outside the relegation zone have conceded more than the Toffees. However, Newcastle comfortably beat them on that score with seven more (41) conceded.
Only the top three though have scored more than Everton’s 40 goals, way ahead of Newcastle’s 25.
Hopefully the impetus given by the new signings will see Newcastle win tonight’s shoot-out….
“They spent really well – Shelvey and Townsend have good Premier League pedigree and they have got a very good striker in Doumbia, who is going to make them more powerful.
“They are a team who will always be competitive, they had a tough start to the season but now they look a strong outfit.
“Even when we beat them at St James Park, it was a very close game. The first half hour was as good as we have played away from home this campaign.
“We’ve got three important league games in a short period of time and it’s true our points return at home hasn’t been good enough.
“We have conceded too many goals at home compared to our away performances and we know our fans deserve better and deserve more from us.
“The margins are very small. I wouldn’t say we have been playing badly at all – what we haven’t been able to do is be solid and defensively stronger in terms of leaking goals that have cost us a lot in scorelines.”