Are Everton Good Enough To Win The Europa League Title?


Credit: David Brant [FAL]/Wikimedia CommonsIt takes a special team to win Europe’s second most popular competition, and it seems Roberto Martinez’s men are far from being a special one at this moment.

Martinez should resolve some problems immediately to give his side a chance to go far in Europe. His squad must be at its peak on February 19 when they face Young Boys at home in Goodison Park.

Everton have had a hard time in Premier League this season, currently sitting 13th in the league table where they have lost their last four matches. But in a knockout tournament like the Europa League, any team has a chance. Simply put, they just need to be better than the squad they face and not the whole competition.

Martinez will have a hard time fixing some big problems which his team faces, so for now let’s see what a top manager can do to give his team a chance to win a trophy like the Europa League.


First and foremost, Martinez needs to find his team’s formation. He has employed a new formation in each of their last five matches and it certainly doesn’t help his players to adapt to a new position too regularly.

Sometimes he plays with a lone striker and four defenders, like the game against Newcastle United when he put Samuel Eto’o on the left wing as his left midfielder in a 4-5-1 formation. Other times, he plays with three defenders and two forwards like Everton’s last game, which culminated in a 2-0 defeat against Hull City.

Samuel Eto’o is not at his best right now, but he is a top goalscorer and should play up front where he can have an effect – playing him out of position only harms the team

Martinez should use his key players in positions they like to play and then have a second formation.

Eto’o is not at his best right now, but he is a top goalscorer and should play up front where he can have an effect – playing him out of position only harms the team. The Cameroonian  was used as a midfielder and had to defend, and in a team like Everton that don’t have the ball usually, that’s a difficult task.

Gareth Barry also plays out of his usual position. He is a top central midfielder with an intelligent passing game. He can’t play in a three-man defensive line where he loses all his abilities and doesn’t have the pace that a player needs to play in a three-man defence.

Martinez needs to play with four defenders. Effectively, his defenders are not good enough on the ball to play it from their own half – especially with their current low levels of confidence – and they’re also are not fast enough to cover the pitch as a unit. Finally, he needs to play with two strikers as he has some top class forwards like Romelu Lukaku, Eto’o, Arouna Kone and Kevin Mirallas.


Once Martinez finds his team’s formation, he needs to give his team an identity on how to play; an intrinsic philosophy.

Identity is something the Toffees are lacking at present, sometimes they are a pure defensive team with no special ability to come out of defence, other times they are a menace with the likes of Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines. Martinez needs to build his team and give it a right game plan to follow.


Right now, they definitely have some big players out injured as the latest was custodian Tim Howard. Everton’s first choice goalkeeper was ruled out for up to six weeks on first diagnose, and his absence will have a big impact on Everton.

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But at the same time Martinez welcomed back some of his injured players like Scotland international, Steven Naismith.

Defensive Problems:

Any formation Martinez chooses for his team, he should first resolve some glaring defensive problems.

Everton’s forwards have not done enough so far to put their opponents under pressure in preventing them from building up their attack from their defensive lines. It’s common knowledge, but a lack of defending high up the pitch allows other teams to reach Everton’s box much easier and gives defenders a tough 90-minute slog to deal with that can lead to silly mistakes – and we’ve seen more than enough of those of late from The Toffees.

Europa League:

The Europa League will be a tough competition for The Blues considering their poor run of in the Premier League. If they can pass Young Boys they could face teams like AS Roma, Inter Milan, Napoli, Zenit, Ajax, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool or Spanish giants like Sevilla and Villareal CF.

It will not be easy. But in a knock-out competition like the Europa League, any team has a chance. They should push for a victory at home and a draw away against their opponents in the hope to get an easy one. But most importantly are the decisions and changes that need to be made in the the next few weeks. If they get those right now, who knows how far they’ll go.

Do you think Everton are good enough to win the Europa League?