Evertonians were full of hope

The state of the current Everton squad is a debate that has been had for the last few years on just how talented it is, or isn't. There was an often said saying under the Martinez era that this was the most talented Everton team since the team that won the league title in 1987. It seems a bit hyperbolic in hindsight, but looking back it was clear to see why.Everton had the best full-back partnership in the league, with both Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman making legitimate arguments to being the best players in their respective positions. In Martinez' first season they were dominant, and at the height of their powers.

In the center of defense there was the experienced and reliable Phil Jagielka, and the immensely talented John Stones, who was developing a reputation as one of the best young defenders in Europe.

A lot of exciting youth

In the center of midfield we had the experienced and classy Gareth Barry, and alongside him was James McCarthy, who at that time was looking like he was going to be an incredible player for Everton. After that Martinez first season, hopes for Ross Barkley were astronomical, and he looked like he was progressing to everything we wished him to be. In attack, we had Kevin Mirallas who is as talented as he is inconsistent, and we had Gerard Deulofeu on loan before eventually becoming permanent.

The young Spaniard had Evertonians on the edge of their seat every time he touched the ball, and seemed to produce magic from his feet on a regular basis. Then we had Romelu Lukaku, who looked well on his way to becoming a dominant goal scoring beast.

It didn't quite go as planned

Fast forward just a few years, and things aren't looking all too great.

The marauding full backs that once used to frighten their opposite number, have been dogged by inconsistency and injury. Phil Jagielka is fading fast as a Premier League level defender, and that immensely talented young defender has been replaced with a 32-year-old. Gareth Barry is a few more years toward retirement, and James McCarthy's form seems to have never recovered from that poor second season under Martinez.

The hopes for Ross Barkley have gone from wanting him to be one of the best players England have ever produced, to just hoping he'll be good enough to stay in the Everton team.

Kevin Mirallas is still inconsistent, but Gerard Deulofeu has been a huge disappointment. The Spaniard really hasn't kicked on, and that magic that he seemingly used to be able to produce on a regular basis has vanished. Lukaku, however? Well he is one player that has progressed, and looks a sure thing to be that dominant goal scoring beast.

Looking to the future

Of course, it would be disingenuous for me not to mention a few additions. That 32-year-old defender is a top class performer in Ashley Williams. Ramiro Funes Mori, whilst inconsistent, has shown enough to suggest he could be a great player for the club.

Idrissa Gueye has taken over from McCarthy and excelled and Yannick Bolasie has added further quality in attack.

The evidence is clear however, the hopes for that group of players under Martinez were high, and those hopes for the most part have been a let down. The squad is in clearly in need of a rebuild in certain areas, whereas other areas need their players to start performing to their ability. The most talented squad in nearly 30 years has proved to be just that, talent. The inability to turn that talent into good performances on the pitch is becoming an endless source of frustration for Everton fans.

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