Kevin Kilbane admits that he has been left feeling disappointed at Everton’s fortunes throughout the course of this season.
The Merseyside outfit currently reside in 11th position in the Premier League standings following Saturday’s 2-1 home triumph over AFC Bournemouth, in what has been a frustrating season for manager Roberto Martinez, despite leading his side to an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Ex-Toffees star Kilbane; who made 104 appearances for Everton, was speaking after presenting the Matthew Hesketh award at the University of Central Lancashire in his home city of Preston, an accolade which goes to the second-year student with the highest marks on the Sports Journalism course at the midway point.
The 39-year-old former Republic of Ireland international offered up his thoughts on the current challenges facing his old club this term, having spent three fruitful years at Goodison Park (2003-2006).
Kilbane told SHOOT: “It’s not been great, it’s been quite disappointing watching Everton this year, not just this season, but over the course of the last two seasons, particularly with the players they have, because they have got a lot of talent in their squad.
“I was at Wembley last weekend and that was another disappointment because I felt that Everton played quite well in the second-half, but it has just been a poor spell for Martinez.”
Martinez’s future continues to be the subject of increased speculation, after Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri purchased a 49.9% majority shareholding stake back in February.
The BBC Sport pundit continued, “Martinez hasn’t been able to replicate his first season that he had at Goodison Park, and basically, it has been a bit of a disaster over the last couple of years.
“It is difficult when you are speaking about someone’s profession, someone’s livelihood and life in many respects. I wouldn’t want to say he’s not the right man for the job.
“I think it’s disrespectful to say that.
“But the one thing that has to be said is that Everton have severely under performed for the last two years now, not just for the last six months.
“It has been a two-year process of a club that have been going downhill essentially. I think in his first season, he proved he can get that squad of players up to fifth in the league and challenging for a Champions League spot.
“I believe that’s where they should be, and they should be putting in a challenge for the top six, so it’s been a disappointment.”
Kilbane also had his say on Sunderland; another one of his previous employers, and he remains confident that Black Cats manager Sam Allardyce can lead them to safety in the closing few weeks of the 2015-16 campaign.
“I hope so, I think he has done a great job at Sunderland,” he added.
“I was up there when they played Arsenal and thought they were a bit unfortunate not to get the three points.”
“If any manager is hired when a club is in difficulties at the bottom of the league, then it is Sam Allardyce. I think he is the man to get them out of trouble.”