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Fan Focus - Rhod Cannon Of Read Everton Talks SAFC v EFC

It's the penultimate Fan Focus of the season! Giving us the Toffees perspective ahead of the game that could see The Lads clinch survival is Rhod Cannon of Read Everton.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Is "mixed" a fair way to describe Everton's season? Inconsistent form and some substandard defending has left you in lower mid table but there've been some good victories and a trip to Wembley.

Mixed is complimentary, shambolic is apt.

It’s been another incredibly disappointing season for Everton, with many fans concerned about the direction the club is going in. The league position is appalling, the home form is the worst it’s ever been, the ‘defending’ is shameful and the manager is out of his depth.

Two semi-finals should never constitute success for Everton Football Club, and something must be done if the Blues are to arrest their worrying decline.

There are some calls for Roberto Martinez to be sacked, is that just a minority? Do you think he should go at the end of the season?

A vast majority of Everton fans want Roberto Martinez to leave the club.

His bizarre soundbites, baffling team selections and blind faith in persisting with a ‘philosophy’ that clearly does not suit his side should and probably will ultimately lead to his dismissal from Goodison Park. He seems to shirk responsibility whenever possible.

It’s a shame that it hasn’t worked out for Martinez, he is a likeable man, wants to play attacking, entertaining football and he seems to ‘get’ Everton. But what Evertonians don’t get is his staunch refusal to rectify a porous, shabby defence and a remarkable laissez faire attitude to set-pieces. The wild attacking play is now a distant memory, the last two months have been incredibly turgid and boring to watch.

His post-match comments after the weekend defeat to Leicester City were very interesting. He was blunt (first time for everything) and pointed the finger at his players. Jose Mourinho did the same in December, coincidentally after a defeat away at Leicester, and was sacked a few days later. Watch this space…

With regards to your defence - What's gone on with John Stones?

21-year-old footballers are bound to make mistakes, it’s inevitable. Errors are synonymous with every young player and it’s vital that they learn from them for the sake of their development on the pitch.

John Stones is making the same sort of errors over and over again. That’s partly down to him, he should know that he is costing his team goals but he’s not being disciplined and the mistakes aren’t being coaxed out of him in training. That’s why we’re seeing them with almost gay abandon.

With proper guidance and coaching, Stones will become one of the world’s best centre-halves. He’s not a David Luiz, he knows how to defend and can do so very well. A few bad months does not define a player, you only have to look at Romelu Lukaku for an example of that. He hasn’t scored for over two months but is still one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

Give us your highlights of the season - They can be Everton or just ones from a neutral perspective.

Romelu Lukaku’s goal against Chelsea is definitely my highlight of the season. He had absolutely no right to score from the situation he was in, and that strike will arguably go down as one of the best ever scored at Goodison Park. The strike sent the Blues through to the F.A Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium, where he wasn’t so clinical.

As a neutral, a highlight has to be Andrea Bocelli’s performance at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. It was just incredible, the singing, the atmosphere and the reason why it was all happening.

Anyone stand out to you in the Sunderland side that could cause you problems?

Jermaine Defoe has been very good this season and his movement and goalscoring instincts will undoubtedly cause Everton problems.

Jan Kirchkoff has been very impressive since he moved to the Stadium of Light from the Allianz Arena in January. He can pass, tackle and read the game expertly. Ross Barkley will have trouble expressing himself with him patrolling the centre of the pitch.

Fabio Borini isn’t blessed with great ability but his work ethic and knack of scoring important goals could come in handy on Wednesday evening.

On a similar note, who should be Sunderland mainly worried about in the Everton ranks? I suppose Lukaku is the obvious one, he has a good record against us as well.

Honestly, no one.

Lukaku is out of form, as is Barkley, Oumar Niasse looks unfit and is unaccustomed to the pace of the Premier League, Aaron Lennon has gone off the boil while Kevin Mirallas barely gets a game.

Any memories of past visits to the Stadium of Light/Roker Park?

I remember a late, late Tim Cahill goal in the winter of 2006 giving Everton a vital win in one of the worst games of football ever played. That victory acted as a little springboard for the Toffees’ season and helped steer the club from relegation territory.

Another positive memory was a couple of years ago when a Gerard Deulofeu cross was put in by the unfortunate Wes Brown, as Everton strengthened their grip on fourth place. It all went to pot a few days later, mind.

How do you see Everton lining up for the game?

I’d like to see the young Kieran Dowell but would be surprised if we see him play for more than 10 minutes, therefore I think it'll be:

Robles, Pennington, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Gibson, McCarthy, Cleverley, Barkley, Lennon, Lukaku.

Finally, a prediction please?

2-0 to Sunderland. A comfortable win for the Black Cats to secure their place in the Premier League.

Thanks to Rhod for his time. You can follow him on Twitter and check out Read Everton here.

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