I WAS gobsmacked by Roberto Martinez’s post-match press conference at Goodison last week. Roberto is a real gentleman and a very fair person, and obviously he has a responsibility to try to be as positive as possible about his side to the press, to help maintain the confidence of his players.
But when he repeatedly claimed that he felt Wigan should have won and he was disappointed with only a point, I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears.
The truth of the matter is, his team were completely outplayed and had one excellent chance to win the game late on, only because Everton were pressing for a goal, which Tim Howard saved brilliantly anyway.
There is no need to analyse why we didn’t win.
It is obvious to anyone who was at the game, or even watched the Match of the Day highlights, that Everton should have won easily.
But whilst the attendance was healthy and the reception for the players was as good as ever, I did sense quite early on in the game an understandable anxiety amongst the crowd. As I say, that is entirely understandable given that we have struggled to put teams away, but nevertheless that anxiety inevitably is picked up on very quickly by the players who are of course already anxious themselves because they know as well as anyone where our failings have been this year.
So begins a potentially destructive downwards spiral.
That negative cycle will be disrupted as soon as we bang a few goals in and give a team a good beating, which we have been capable of on several occasions this season.
The league table has remained tight until unusually late in the season this year, due to what seems to have been like more draws than ever, and the large number of shock results.
The longer it takes to be broken the greater the anxiety becomes.
Over the next couple of weeks the table will start to take on a more definitive look and so the quicker that cycle is broken the better.
The next fortnight is a huge week in any season, but particularly for Everton because we have four games we can look forward to with confidence.