Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been sacked in the wake of his side’s 3-0 loss to Sunderland on Wednesday night, their fourth defeat in five games.
The Spaniard took over from David Moyes in 2013 and guided the Toffees to their highest points total in the Premier League era (72) during his first season.
But the Merseysiders have regressed in the two campaigns to follow and they will finish outside the top-10 for a second successive year.
Despite leading Everton to two domestic cup semi-finals this term, the mood amongst fans toward Martinez has turned venomous.
Of particular outrage was the 42-year-old’s seemingly blind defence of his players. Indeed, even after heavy defeat at the hands of the Black Cats, Martinez refused to criticise his team’s performance.
Everton Football Club regrets to announce that Roberto Martinez has left his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect.
— Everton (@Everton) May 12, 2016
The club said in statement: “The Chairman and the Board of Directors would like to place on record their thanks for the dedication and commitment Roberto has shown during his three seasons with the club.
“Roberto has been a great ambassador for the club, conducting himself, at all times, with the utmost integrity and dignity.
“He secured the club its highest-ever Premier League points total, a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and appearances in both domestic cup semi-finals.
“He has also played a key role in the development of several young players, managing their progression to the Everton first team and international honours.”
Frank de Boer, who quit his post at Ajax on Thursday, is favourite to succeed Martinez at Goodison Park.