I have seen a lot of Everton fans use the excuse of "Lets see after 10 games" when talking about Martinez, so I think now is the best time to sit back and see how well we are doing or otherwise. It has been a completely different experience so far, with a sense of optimism from myself and many other fans that we hadnt seen since the days of Arteta, Cahill, Yakubu and the like taking us to Fiorentina and the top 5. There have been different areas that we can highlight regarding the new era in our clubs history and this is the way I have seen the progress so far.


I will say straight off the bat that I thought under Moyes we looked laboured at times, even when we were playing our great football recently. Others may disagree but, watching us against the big boys in the league, I still thought we played like plucky old Everton rather than the majestics that some people made us out to be.

So far, I personally think Martinez has brought us quality into our squad and the way we pass the ball now is miles better than before. At times I think we play the too simple ball and just retain possession but going forward I have seen some fantastic moves simply forged by not keeping hold of the ball and making runs. Chelsea in the second half was the best example for this: we were defending for our lives yet, every time we broke out, we seemed to effectively pass our way into their half in just a few seconds. This for me is fantastic and long may it continue, it just might help us achieve something in the future!

Substitutions have been great as well, and unlike before, I get the impression that Martinez is using them with changing the game in mind. Starting Naismith for example may make us less active going forward but when Deulofeu comes onto the pitch in the second half, all of a sudden we start pushing our opponents back. It is a sigh of relief from the same players at the same time coming on every week which we all had gotten used to.


I think this is another area that we can judge now and to be honest I think for the obvious limitations that the board placed on Martinez, the squad overall is fantastic now. It still isnt a big squad and a few injuries/suspensions over the next couple of months may change this but, for the first time in a while, we have players who can come in and make a difference rather than run the system.

Take for example Kone and Jelavic, two strikers who ideally are good for a goal who can come in when we are losing, rather than Anichebe who would just run the drills in training and not really add to our attack in the second half. Alcaraz and Joel and Kone are still unknown quantities at this point but the 4 that are playing have been great. Although people will praise Lukaku, I think the man of the season so far has been McCarthy and he may actually look like he was worth the price tag. I thought against Man City he was the one that stopped them simply over-running us in the second half and, with the experienced Barry behind him, we could have a pairing there as good as Gravesen & Carsley were back in the day.

Public Relations

This is something I regard as an important part of a manager as what they say can sometimes have just as much impact as their actions on the pitch (so to speak). So far, I think Martinez has been great in this regard as well. I use Brenda from across the way as a benchmark as personally I think he is the worst PR man I have seen in the Premier League. Most of the things that come from her mouth seem to make me cringe so ideally I would want the opposite from our leader.

Overall, I cannot praise Roberto enough; he seems well spoken and chooses his words well. He has impressed me to this regard and seems to really be buying into our club which is important if you want to be successful here. Some of his post-match comments have been quite excellent as well, passing off correct observations about games rather than simply playing credit to the other team. If we are to have Martinez for another 10 years, then I think his press work will be lovely to listen to during that time.

In Summary

Overall, I would say I am extremely positive for the future right now in our new era under Martinez. I have been vocal before how this season to me is just for fun; if we end up outside of Europe and out the cups, then "Oh well..." as long as the ideas and tactics are being forged into the club and it shows on the pitch.

It took Martinez 4-5 months before it showed at Swansea and I dont think we are in too dissimilar a position with the overhaul of the club from the bottom up. I can understand that Roberto is in a difficult position regarding the board and investment... so to say at this point I am more than happy with what we have gotten from the season so far, then it is reason to be positive in itself. With the thought of more wonder kids arriving, or our own kids progressing to the top level, we could well start to be optimistic rather than expecting Hitzlsperger, McFadden and the like to arrive to fill gaps.

We all want to be successful as a club but Roberto Martinez I feel has gone about every challenge we have faced the right way and I for one am really looking forward to the future. His first big test is 23 November; however, win or lose, if he brings passion into that game that we lost under the former man, then I will be happy to stand by him for the future.

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Reader Comments (107)

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Chad Schofield
1 Posted 04/11/2013 at 14:57:19
Spot on in my opinion. It's been a real breath of fresh air and although yesterday's game was disappointing, Roberto for his part during the game made changes and seemed to deliver a rocket at half time. Of course it's arguable whether Osman should have started, Pienaar's fully fit and Mirallas has realised the season's started... but we do it seems finally have somebody who not only has a Plan B, but can implement it when it matters, rather than the tactically wasting the last few minutes.

Martinez has been brilliant with the press and has really impressed in that department.

Long may it continue!

Tony J Williams
2 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:09:02
I am feeling more optimistic but when looking at stats and the way we fanny about with it at the back, I am still worried.

MoTD showed a comparison from last season, and there is one game difference. One win more instead of a draw. Less goals conceded but five less scored.

I have said on quite a few threads now that I am worried about the lack of use of Coleman and Baines, they are direct and worry defenders, but the play is so slow in getting to them and usually going down the middle instead that they haven't been involved that much in games anymore.

One defeat in 10 is pleasing and long may it continue.

Jay Harris
3 Posted 04/11/2013 at 14:55:31
I still think it is too soon to judge but after 10 games there are some signs.

I personally do not like the change in tactics. I think the players look uncomfortable and this tippy tappy across the back invites pressure when I would prefer us to play a much higher line and play in the opposition's half especially at home. Furthermore the practice of playing through the middle negates the strengths of Coleman and Baines who both look a shadow of their former selves as the opportunities to bomb forward are restricted.

Moyes got slated for only playing one up front at home but it looks like RM has the same philosophy.

We are no better off than this stage last season with some tough games to come but have benefitted from relatively poor starts by most of the top teams..

We have made some excellent loan signings which I have to give credit to RM over but the permanent signings remain questionable.

I felt that losing Felli would be a disaster but Barry has compensated for that defensively but we are still missing his goals and forward play.

I do agree that RM is much more media friendly and gives positive vibes which can only improve the club's standing in the media.

I also worry about how strong RM can be in getting Uncle Bill to part with some of the cash he has managed to stow away.

Overall I am feeling more optimistic than I thought I would as RM was not my preferred choice as manager but there is still a long way to go.

Stuart Eaton
4 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:24:25
All looks bright at the minute and hopefully in January with the 20 mil change we have from the sale of Felli and the usual 5 to 7 mil we get each window we can strengthen in the squad in the areas we need to.
Chris Ashton
5 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:24:28
I like to look at the whole of this as a new era rather than as a progression between managers. The situation has not changed, recently I put on article on a united fan site regarding their current manager and pointed out, financially we are worse off than when Moyes started (loans,no assets, no selling merchandise, e.t.c). This is why I feel like we should treat this as the future, to see if our manager can take us the extra step up at least win a trophy whilst he is with us. I agree that some of the tactics are a little bit dodgy at times but when the players are adapting to a new system we have to accept that surely? That is what I meant about not caring about the season as long as the new ideas are implemented throught it. Better players would have us winning more games so far but if you had said 3 months ago we would have had a chance to go second, only beaten once and 4 clean sheets, surely you would have considered this season so far as good enough?

To be perfectly honest I was a little bit negative by the end of the last tenure so I am only positive now because it has re ignited my passion for our club a little bit. Too many games were like ground hog day by the end and you just knew by November/December it was season over. Now we are playing better and compared to last season, didn't our form drop away last November? This time round potentially a win next week and the Shite and we will be on title winning form almost! (Oh to dream)

Kevin Tully
6 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:23:03
Difficult to judge whether he can mold some of the older heads into this new style. You can see Jag's straining at the neck when he just wants to hoof it at times.

It's just not the way these British players have been coached for years, and you can see how alien the passing game is to some of them.

Where some see 'tippy tappy shite' others (myself included) love to see some thought given to the game. If there is no forward ball, why hit & hope, and give it back to the opposition?

If it works, we may actually make some progress, if it doesn't we will finish 7th or 8th, or maybe even 9th.

You cannot argue with the fact that we are at least trying something new.

Tony J Williams
7 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:55:49
"hopefully in January with the 20 mil change we have from the sale of Felli and the usual 5 to 7 mil we get each window"

Yeah right! That £20m has gone mate and what £5/7m for each window are you talking about? the last 3 with Moyes we spent zilch unless a player was sold.

Phil Friedman
8 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:53:58
I agree with this report, although our position after 10 isn't very different from last year. My concerns are only 2: the new style of playing on the floor has negated Baines' strength crossing the ball, which is a shame really, and (2) as was on display yesterday, our back 7 are really solid, but our midfield from among Osman, Pienaar, Barkley and Miralles leave a lot to be desired, in interplay and service to Lukaku. We desperately need a schemer in the mode of Silva/Mata/Couthino/Carzola/Ozil to make the little pass that slips someone in which we seem to be missing. (I know we can't afford any of the above, but perhaps RM can find some unknown of similar quality?)
Brian Harrison
9 Posted 04/11/2013 at 16:06:50
I think after 10 games RM has made a solid start and far better than I had hoped for with a new manager settling into his job. I think under Moyes we got the ball quicker to our front men and Baines and Coleman both seemed to get forward more often than they do under Martinez. As far as transfers go well our 2 best players are unfortunately loan players and we know that Lukaku will definitely be leaving in the summer, and the thought of Kone or Jelavic leading the line doesn't fill me with much optomism. While on the subject of transfers wish our chairman could have been as definite as Liverpools chairman who said unequivocally that Suarez would not be sold in the summer transfer window and wasnt. Would be nice to hear our chairman make the same statement about Baines for the upcoming transfer window.
Eugene Ruane
10 Posted 04/11/2013 at 15:55:08
Kevin (036) - "You can see Jag's straining at the neck when he just wants to hoof it at times."

There was actually a bit in yesterday's game where you could almost see a thought go through Jag's brain and then get sent down to his feet.

Second half, he gets the ball out on the right, we're under the cosh a bit and he actually brings his leg back to make one of those 60 yard 'passes' (guessing to the invisible man who usually seems to be loitering by the corner flag at the other end of the park).

But he DOESN'T pull the trigger, the words 'find a man!' appear to go through his head and instead he plays a (decent) ball inside.

"By George he's got it!" I shout at my illegal match feed.

As for my 10 game review, agree with Chris Ashton and the OP, very happy so far.

Ok we're not setting the division alight but in 10 games we're doing fine, occasionally playing some great stuff and don't look as fearful.

The most enjoyable thing is that supporting Everton no longer feels like groundhog day (which for me, over the last few years, it had become).

Still gutted over the League Cup though.

Tom Bowers
11 Posted 04/11/2013 at 16:41:32
Saturday's first half was scary to say the least. At times they looked like a non-league team struggling to keep pace with a top side. Hopefully that was a ''one-off'' and they will have a better focus for all future games.

I would say there has been some improvement in the team's performances though only in some games. The consistency has yet to really emerge which makes a top four team and some players are just not there yet.

Forgetting about the Spurs game for a minute, most fans can see that Osman is not a starter and Mirallas is not a wing back. Pienaar needs another game or two to get his groove back and the Alcaraz situation needs to be sorted soon or another quality centreback needs to be looked at for January 1st.

Stones and a few others are not being given too much playing time but now doesn't seem to be the right time to juggle with the defence after the last three games.

We needed to give RM some time and so far he has done relatively well. Still only lost one game!

Mike Price
12 Posted 04/11/2013 at 16:42:41
Very happy with the changes. This ethos is the only chance we have of actually progressing and maybe getting Europe or a cup.

Also if we do actually get into Europe, his style of play will mean we won't be embarrassed.

My only worry with the team and RM is that we're too nice. We still don't play the tactical complaining game that gets you future decisions and we keep getting screwed by refereeing decisions because they're not scared of any consequence.

Also we need a hard, nasty bastard to fight fire with fire when we get stamped all over by Suarez and Gerrard.

Barry Rathbone
13 Posted 04/11/2013 at 17:05:15
If you take the view we needed change - he's done great.

Wanted an immediate better start to the season? - he's done great

Restored hope? - he's done great

"10 game" discussions were a prologue for "don't worry we're not this shite after xmas" previously.

The boy has done great.

John Zapa
14 Posted 04/11/2013 at 17:13:14
I think the board should get some of the credit for the positive start to the season. After all they appointed the manager, they sanctioned the signings and they provided the base for Martinez to shine.
Many on here would probably disagree, but credit should be given when deserved.
Eugene Ruane
15 Posted 04/11/2013 at 17:17:13
Mike Price (050) - "Also we need a hard, nasty bastard to fight fire with fire when we get stamped all over by Suarez and Gerrard"

Agree, hard, nasty and with a big loud mouth.

Unfortunately these types (Reid, Souness, Keane, Bremner, McKay, Collins etc) appear to have all but vanished from football.

Possibly squeezed out of the game because it's now run by big soft tarts who think it's a foul if you win the ball but went in 'too hard'.

Tony J Williams
16 Posted 04/11/2013 at 17:24:38
Credit the board? Another negative net spend and some more loanees.... yeah they've played a blinder all right!!
Tony Marsh
17 Posted 04/11/2013 at 17:32:05
Love the direction we are headed under Roberto but I can't for the life of me understand the non-sussing out of Osman. Are we forever doomed to carrying deadwood/passenger type players? One is bad enough but, when we throw Pienaar into the mix, we are basically giving up the midfield very game. Yesterday, these two we diabolical yet will probably start the next game?

Osman has been finished for years yet here we are having the same discussions about him 4 years after the Chelsea defeat at Wembley when Osman should of been cut adrift. We will never get anywhere selecting players who are Championship quality. How Osman started yesterday before Barkley is one of life's great mysteries.

Paul Mackie
18 Posted 04/11/2013 at 17:56:15
He's doing okay so far. Not amazing, but not bad either.

Things I like: Substitutions that matter, drops poor performing players, great loan signings.

Things I don't like: Still having hair raising moments passing across the back, stubborn with regards to implementing a system with players that aren't cut out for it, signed a pair of complete sick notes from Wigan.

Overall I'm pleased and given how other teams have played so far I think even during a transitional season we're in with a shout of a European place. We've not looked world beaters (for a full 90) but no one has so far this season.

It'll be very interesting to see whether we have any money available in January or whether it all went on Lukaku and Barry's fees/wages (or Bill's pockets if that's what you subscribe to). Hopefully it can go on some players who suit Roberto's vision and won't spend the majority of their time on the treatment table/subs bench.

James Flynn
19 Posted 04/11/2013 at 16:58:03
Roberto's on a 4-year contract. We need to make a major move next window.

ManU is pathetic at the back. Let's offer them a package Moyes can't resist. Baines, Jags, and Coleman for 40 million. Combined with the money left over from the last window, Roberto dealing with a true war-chest.

We have the owners we have. But I hate the idea of different manager, same old same old. Get em good, then sell em? Ugh!

Would rather we make a major move, for once, January and let at least one of our managers have a major wedge to try something. This drip and drab dating back to Rooney hasn't worked.

Ross Edwards
20 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:17:00
I think being a media pundit himself has helped Roberto manage the media. He has a good relationship with the BBC because he has been on MOTD a number of times, and he was one of Sky's first pundits on its La Liga coverage, so those roles have helped him in that regard.

I'm very optimistic of a successful first season under Robbie.

Be honest here, if I'd have said to you that 10 games into his tenure we'd be 1 point off 2nd place, ahead of Manure, with only 1 league defeat so far, you'd have snapped my hand off wouldn't you?

David Edwards
21 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:19:51
Generally positive - a breath of fresh air this season, and I like Roberto's media style. However - still annoyed by our Carling Cup exit and can't help but feel we are still not getting as much information on the Baines situation as we deserve. What happened to the new contract offer? That U-turn is unsatisfactory - but maybe it is the board and not Martinez who is behind that!
Nicholas Ryan
22 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:32:37
Let's put yesterday in context: it wasn't a great game, and we didn't play that well; yet we got a point and a clean sheet, against a team who will be in the shake-up for the CL places, and spent 50 to 60 million in the last window ... It could be (and has been) an awful lot worse.
Peter Mills
23 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:14:46
Generally I have been encouraged, but a big concern is that we are creating very few clear-cut chances, particularly during the first 60 minutes of matches. We have been saved by having a top class striker who has a very good conversion rate, but we cannot afford such a centre forward on a permanent basis.
Ross Edwards
24 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:37:54
David, I think Baines is behind it. I think he has told Martinez that he won't sign a contract which is why talks has stalled.
Paul Ferry
25 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:52:25
Dave (Edwards) - 66 - That U-turn is unsatisfactory'

What u-turn u thinking of? There has been no u-turn. We went through all of this over and over again the other day with the loopy self-confessed WUM Norwegian fella.

So, show me the evidence that this U-turn has occurred; that, for instance, there is no longer a contract on the table for Bainsey as opposed to say my impression - and that is all it is - that said left-back has made it more than clear off and on the pitch that he is driving up the East Lancs in the new year and this time there will be no retarded hitch-hikers in the Bainesmobile, not Evertonians anyway.

Dominic Tonge
26 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:26:23
Well written piece, thanks, Chris.

In the main, I agree with what has been said. A couple of posters have mentioned two of our best performers are loan signings, and whilst this stands for the man beast that is Lukaku, it is slightly different with Gaz Baz. He is going to be coming out of contract, and El Jefe has made all the noises for him staying with us past his loan and signing permanently so that's not all bad (as long as he is willing to take a drop on the reported 125k a week he is picking up).

I was happy to see that there were obviously some rockets inserted into rectal cavaties at half time against Spurs, and that second half we tried to get Leighton and Seamus pushing on, going on the overlap and either trying to whip a ball in or pull it back. The introduction of GD and RB as a duel substitution almost came off in our favour, and I think would have helped soften the blow to RB as he saw that his getting subbed last time out cuts both ways.

I hope it's safe to say that I think days when our entire midfield fail to be able to pass a ball 10 yards to a team mate will be few and far between, and we did ok to get away with such a shambolic first half display against a tidy spurs side. Still unbeaten at home, a cleansheet. Not too bad when you think how bad our distribution was.

As an aside, It was good to see Coleman looking a little better defensively after last time out, and apparently Delboy has been working at tracking back he was much more aware of the areas Vertongen wanted to either drive into or look to receive the ball in as an outlet for Spurs. I think we will benefit from him if this is a side of his game he continues to be aware of team skill, a turn of pace, an eye for goal with lending a hand defending and we will have a player who will add the creative flair to change a game, but who his teammates know will put a shift in too.

A few people mentioned our need to have a hardman, Eugene (I think) said with a mouth- agree we are a bit timid at times, and need a voice out there to get the orders out, gee the lads up and dish out the bollockings etc......where's Joey Barton when you need him?

In all seriousness, though, Heitinga has those qualities and it's a gutter that he can't recapture his player of the season form. McCarthy in a few years might have that about him, but not quite yet. Who's our man do you think?

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:51:36
The jury will be out for a good while yet.

And yet, I really do feel more excited in the build up to games, more so than last season. Lukaku's promise. Macca and Barry doing their thing. The development of Barks.Jags now only shitting himself rather than shitting and pissing himself when called on to play a passing game. Some great football and some great goals so far.

My optimism against teams like Chelsea and Spurs (and the imminent Liverpool contest) is greater than last season. Currently challenging for second doesn't feel as if we are overstretching ourselves.

But, oh, that Crapital Cup game.

Dan Brierley
28 Posted 04/11/2013 at 18:37:13
"a sense of optimism from myself and many other fans that we hadn’t seen since the days of Arteta, Cahill, Yakubu and the like taking us to Fiorentina and the top 5. "

"I have been vocal before how this season to me is just for fun; if we end up outside of Europe and out the cups, then "Oh well...""

You seem to contradict yourself a bit here Chris, from optimism to just a bit of fun. I personally don't agree that an Everton season can ever be considered as 'a bit of fun', especially to those people spending their hard earned money to go and watch it home and away. I personally think this is a great squad, and in a season where nobody is showing ruthless form, means my expectation has grown if anything. I don't think the other teams will be this indifferent next season as their new players will have bedded in more. I don't think it is going to get any easier for us.

"the way we pass the ball now is miles better than before."

This I simply do not agree with, my evidence being Mirallas, Pienaar, Distin, Baines and Coleman, all of which seem to give the ball away much more than last season. Osman and Naismith have not improved either, but are admittedly not worse. Barry and Mcarthy seem to not be able to pass more than five yards, and sometimes putting our own players under pressure. I am yet to see anything like the passing triangles we saw previously between Osman, Pienaar and Baines. If you get the chance, watch the Swansea away from last season, and compare that to your example of Chelsea home this season. Doesn't even come close.

"Take for example Kone and Jelavic, two strikers who ideally are good for a goal who can come in when we are losing"

I can honestly say, I havent seen either 'looking good' for a goal. I would go further, and see neither even look remotely like scoring. So cant agree here.

Lastly, you suggest Mcarthy is man of the season over Lukaku. My take on this, if mcarthy had not played a single minute this season, we would not be higher up the table, nor lower down. I still fail to see what he brings to the team, except for having a great engine. I don't see him regularly linking up with the forwards, nor showing for the ball when our defenders are in possession. If his job is just to close players down, then he might become Pembridge Mk II. Now if Lukaku was not in the side, could Jelavic or Kone converted those chances to win the matches? I don't think so.

So I am happy with the league position, but at the same time I am not overwhelmed with our 45 minute only performances. I can see what Martinez is trying to do, but many it just seems like many of the lads are either not able, or not willing to play this way. I agree that it may be down to years of Moyes coaching that they are so inflexible, but either the lads learn to play this way quickly, or Martinez needs to be ruthless and bring in players capable of playing this system, on a negative spend budget. Our defensive organisation when under pressure, which I believe is a relic of the Moyes system instead of something Martinez instills into our back four, was the only thing that saved us from getting a damn good hiding yesterday. Ironically, it was our stubbornness in continuing to try and play the ball around at the back that resulted in the pressure.

Ross Edwards
29 Posted 04/11/2013 at 19:44:22
Dan, you seemed to be pretty content with half season performances from January onwards under Moyes. At least we've started a season well, unlike our slow and terrible starts for 9 out of Moyes' 11 year tenure.
Phil Walling
30 Posted 04/11/2013 at 19:45:21
Hey Chris, when are you offering Roberto your hand in marriage?
Dan Brierley
31 Posted 04/11/2013 at 19:50:56
Ross, give me one example where I have stated I am content with having half a season of good performances from Everton. Just one example will do mate.
Ross Edwards
32 Posted 04/11/2013 at 19:52:50
As a Moyes supporter Dan, I'm sure when we finished in 7th or 6th every year, you glossed over the fact that we were bottom 3 material from August to December.

You never seemed to complain about our poor starts did you?

Dan Brierley
33 Posted 04/11/2013 at 19:55:23
Ross, that is utter rubbish. I have never, and will never, enjoy Everton not performing well. Regardless of who is manager.

Just because I did not agree with the level and sometimes well over the top criticism aimed at an Everton manager, did not mean I accepted poor performances from the team. No need to get mixed up.

Ross Edwards
34 Posted 04/11/2013 at 20:00:16
Er Dan, go through that post.

Show me where I put the words "you enjoy Everton performing badly"

I'm just saying that as a Moyes supporter you would be more likely to focus on the positives of his tenure rather than his negatives.

Raymond Fox
35 Posted 04/11/2013 at 19:27:03
A certain market trader to multi millionaire who resides in Lancs and who is nobodies fool, has said many times that Martinez will go right to the top of the tree as a manager.

In my opinion the said person is right, and we should extend RM's contract by another 2-4 yrs.
Lets hope, control of the club is bought by someone or group with ample spondulicks to make this club a giant again, because money is all we need now, the support is here of that there is no doubt.

Dan Brierley
36 Posted 04/11/2013 at 20:11:23
No you are not Ross, you are 'not so subtly' trying to suggest that my opinions of the first ten games, are based on the fact I completely hate 'Bobby' because I am somehow unable to accept that Moyes has left us. Just like you do with anybody that questions the teams performances on this site.

If you think the points I have raised are not true, then fine. Feel free to discuss them, and voice the reasons you don't agree. But enough of this trying (and I emphasise the word trying) to discredit anybody else's opinion because it is different to your own. And before you start, yes I might be in the minority. And it doesnt bother me a single bit, because I don't feel the need to base my opinion on what might be popular.

Ross Edwards
37 Posted 04/11/2013 at 20:24:17
I didn't say that you "hated Bobby" Dan. Please point out any phrase or word in which I insinuated that.
Dan Brierley
38 Posted 04/11/2013 at 21:05:19
Ross, I am certain you understand my meaning. So rather than trying to derail this thread with meaningless discussion about a manager who left in July, perhaps you can have a look at my concerns, and offer your view?
Steve Guy
39 Posted 04/11/2013 at 21:10:53
I said I would wait and see where we were at Christmas. I still will, as ten games not enough to judge on.
John Ford
40 Posted 04/11/2013 at 21:15:31
I'm happy with our start and we seem to approach games in a more open style. The best manifestation of this is how we stay focussed on attack when we go one up.

Cherry picking about Moyes start to seasons or for that matter the middle or the end is completely pointless. What matters is how we do over the full term. Despite my support and liking of RM I would be surprised if over the next three or four seasons we finish any higher than fifth, and more likely sixth to eighth. I do think his style lends itself to cup comps though.

I have faith in RM but over a season the money always rises to the top. We can nudge ahead of one or two, such the RS over the last two years, but to really challenge the top four we need the money to buy and pay the best players. Nothing has changed there. The best of the rest still beckons but the journey looks more scenic this season. If RM changes that then we we will, surely, have found our very own Cloughie. .

Mark Frere
41 Posted 04/11/2013 at 21:34:09
Dan Brierley

"Lastly, you suggest Mcarthy is man of the season over Lukaku. My take on this, if mcarthy had not played a single minute this season, we would not be higher up the table, nor lower down. I still fail to see what he brings to the team, except for having a great engine."

Doesn't McCarthy apply his trade in the engine room of our midfield? He has amazing work-rate, is quick, never gives opposition players a second's respite and rarely gives the ball away. It just seems he's been given a specific role in our team and he's doing it bloody well in my book - easily our best player over the last few games.

I'm just puzzled to how you don't think his qualities have any positive effects on how we perform. Do you think Osman or Heitinga could do the same job to equal effect?

Dave Lynch
42 Posted 04/11/2013 at 22:03:35
The one thing that's bothering me is the lack of understanding ( for want of a better word ) between the back and the midfield.

It just doesn't flow if you get my drift. They do not seem to be on the same wavelength and I found myself shouting at the telly "Show for him, for fuck's sake!"

It looks good once the midfield get it and start moving forward but there appears to be a lack of cohesiveness throughout the team.

Maybe I'm being picky but it worries me.

Dan Brierley
43 Posted 04/11/2013 at 22:04:34
Mark, thats the point, I thought Gareth Barry was our defensive midfielder. Or are we the only team in the PL playing two defensive centre mids?

I look at the likes of Ramsey, Wilshire, that prick at Liverpool, Ramires, Yaya Toure as the 'benchmark' of centre mids. I see them all doing a similar job to Mcarthy when not in possession, but when they are in possession, I see them pushing forward, making things happen, and chipping in with goals. Just like we saw Sandro doing against us in the first half yesterday.

When not in possession, I think Mcarthy does a good job. But when he is on the ball, he always looks to gives a two yard sideways pass. He doesnt seem to have any level of creativity about him when compared to the players I highlighted as the benchmark. 13 million quid seems a lot for someone who's mission is to not give respite and lay off the most simple pass when he does get the ball.

Mark Frere
44 Posted 04/11/2013 at 22:13:56

If you can bear to watch the torment of our quarter final FA cup defeat to Wigan last season you will see plenty more of McCarthy's creative aspects - he ran the midfield that day. I think he's just finding his feet and been given a specific job to do. Barry and McCathy - defensive or not are doing a good job for us and have been a breath of fresh air so far this season.

I agree plenty of our players aren't playing as well this season, and I hate to admit it, we haven't played as well as we did last season in the first 10 games despite the extra 2 points. Ultimately though, our performances last season went on a downward spiral after early promise.

Dan Brierley
45 Posted 04/11/2013 at 22:34:26
I like your thinking Mark. If we are going through the difficult times now, and it gets better after Xmas as Martinez seems to predict, then I will be more thsn happy that my concerns were nothing more than 'teething' problems.
Jamie Barlow
46 Posted 04/11/2013 at 22:38:13
You can watch the Wigan game as many times as you like. You won't see much more of his creative aspects though. He might have ran the midfield that day but it was only by doing what he's been doing for us. Pressing and closing down then playing the simple ball. You might see the odd clever through ball. He's only young and will get better but at the moment I wouldn't call him creative at all.
Rob Dolby
47 Posted 04/11/2013 at 22:58:26
I agree with the original post. A very positive start. My main concern beforehand was how Jags and Distin would cope with passing the ball more than they have ever done before though they look anxious at times they are adapting.

The player who doesn't seem to be coping is Mirallas for some reason he looks isolated. He doesn't have the same vigor as last year. He doesn't float inside to run at players. He looks like he has been told to just hug the wing all day. His lack of bottle yesterday was alarming. Vertongen won't have had an easier match all season.

Bring in a right midfielder in January and who knows.

Si Cooper
48 Posted 04/11/2013 at 23:14:08
To say James McCarthy "never gives opposition players a second's respite" is a huge exaggeration of his performances in an Everton shirt.

Young lad, promising performances, but miles to go to really establish himself as the irresistible force some are touting him as. IMHO, Gareth Barry was the most industrious and effective Everton midfielder during the first half on Saturday, though I have to acknowledge that this seems to be a minority view.

Harold Matthews
49 Posted 04/11/2013 at 21:09:44
We are sitting much higher than I anticipated after 10 games with a new manager and a new system. Martinez has always pointed to Jan into Feb as the time when "we will become stubborn and gain points" which suggests he isn't expecting to pull up too many trees in this first few months. His plans, from day one, have always been long-term. To "gradually put together a team which will perform much better than its market value."

To him "money is just an accelerator. It gets you there quicker." Given time he will build a side to compete with the mega-rich. When he promised BK the Champions League he meant it. This is his life long dream and he knows exactly how to achieve it.

Unfortunately we fans, myself included, get caught up in the moment and want everything now. Let's hope we're not ruining things.

Craig Fletcher
50 Posted 04/11/2013 at 23:54:50
Agreed Si. McCarthy is promising, absolutely, but still far from world-class. I'd like to see him contribute a bit more for us going forward; especially considering he already has the support of Barry at DM. That being said, he has been a huge part of the reason we have managed two clean sheets in the last couple of games with his performances.

Overall I agree for the most part with Chris's article; but regarding transfers I think RM's real test will be this summer; when the loanees return to where they came from, we're still fighting off bids for Baines and Barkley; we're still looking for a consistent goalscorer up front, and our ageing first choice central defenders will be another year older.

But, hey, who can possibly argue with the events of RM's first Everton transfer window hats off to him for that one.

David Ellis
51 Posted 05/11/2013 at 02:43:55
We outperformed under Moyes. We are now outperforming under Martinez. I prefer the new style of play and I think it has a greater upside. It might just move our glass ceiling a couple of notches higher.

I agree with comments about the midfield not showing for the ball when the backs have it and the anxiety of the backs on the ball. I hope this will improve as the team gets used to the new system and to each other. I am also keen to see if Alcaraz will make a difference in this area once he's fit.

As others have mentioned, the next summer transfer window will be a big test as some of our older players drop off the radar and we don't really have the funds to replace them always a high risk moment because half of new transfers generally don't work out.

Gary Russell
52 Posted 05/11/2013 at 05:16:45
May I just suggest that if we had scored a goal and beaten Spurs we would be 2nd. OK we didn't but if we had then there would have been a total different vibe about everything.

I am impressed by Seor Martinez and give him a 9 out of 10 at this point.
Eric Myles
53 Posted 05/11/2013 at 05:02:22
"The way we pass the ball now is miles better than before..."

You obviously wrote this before watching Sunday's game!

Peter Warren
54 Posted 05/11/2013 at 07:09:12
Pienaar and Osman don't seem to be the answer to me. The biggest disappointment has been Mirallas I don't understand why he has been so poor. Perhaps he should be dropped and given a kick up the arse.
James Martin
55 Posted 05/11/2013 at 07:34:02
"Pienaar and Osman don't seem to be the answer to me." Aren't they the players who have just secured our last 6 points for us with crucial match winning interventions? With Mirallas and Barkley looking out of form they are our only other creative outlets and this season will go the way of the last one if we keep relying on these players to play 38 games at top form. It won't happen, they'll put in a few bad performances and everyone will scream for them to be dropped because they're easy targets all of a sudden but who comes in for them? Naismith? Deulofeu who gave the ball away more times in his cameo than Pienaar did in the whole match?

For me Pienaar is still one of our best players if not the best. He doesn't absolutely flap it everytime he gets the ball and lay it off sideways to someone, he can actually take contact, keep hold of the ball, turn and get us going forward. Because he's not running lightning fast like a headless chicken though people don't appreciate what a good footballer he is. I'm sure dropping him and Osman is the brilliant answer to our goalscoring problems that neither Moyes nor Martinez have never considered between them.

To be a top team this side requires more creativity than a midfield three of Barry McCarthy and Barkley can give it especially if Mirallas remains on sabbatical for the rest of the season as he has been recently. I'd give anything for a Cabaye/old Arteta type player in the middle but we'll have to make do with what we've got. The loss of Gibson is a huge blow as his passing can change the game and move solid defenses like Spurs around, As it was in the second half we just played infront of them without ever really getting at them.

I think we'll be up there similar to where we were last season because the squad is of that level. To finish higher really depends on a change of mindset as much as anything else. At the moment it seems difficult to decide whether that 'we're plucky Everton let's finish top half' mentality has gone or not. 5 wins out of 6 suggested it had been banished. Meek displays against City and Spurs at home suggests that it hasn't. The next few games will reveal a lot about whether this side has what it takes to do something this season or whether the last manager and this one are only getting the best out of a limited group of players.

Chris Ashton
56 Posted 05/11/2013 at 08:40:30
To be honest I have tried to write something that does not pick up all the negatives and be a doom merchant which admittedly I have been in the last 12 months.

To answer Dan Brierley (#083), I do not see where I contradict myself. My optimism comes from the way we look like we are moving, with the style of play, the infrastructure regarding the youth and the types of players on the pitch. My will write this season off as long as I enjoy it because we can't be expected to suddenly change and be more successful than we were last season. These things take time and to be honest as we haven't achieved anything of note for a few years now, I for one am happy to just let the changes happen. I can guarantee you Martinez will make mistakes this season, so will the players. It may even cost us points but as everyone, including himself is adapting to change then I will show patience and give the man time. Spurs at Goodison last season I was nowhere near optimistic as I was sunday. Ok we didn't win but I was convinced that we would, which for me shows the sort of season (In my opinion) we are having.

I agree McCarthy has not been revolutionary but you say we would be in no better or worse position without him, I would disagree on that merit. To be honest it would be Osman there instead otherwise and our engine would be tired after an hour, leaving a massive hole in our midfield, like we saw against City.

I honestly believe McCarthy stopped us from getting beat by a lot more because he was breaking play up and rushing them in the middle of the park, something Osman couldn't do for 45 minutes. He will hopefully improve over the years but right now he is still learning his trade. Look at Ramsey, even Arsenal fans would not rate him a few months ago, he had developed and improved and now is probably the in-form midfielder at the minute. Come next summer, McCarthy could well turn up like that and boss games for us, with Barkley a year wiser in front of him.

As much as I would love Martinez to win us the league and FA Cup this year with some instant success, I am more than happy to wait until next year for that as long as we pick up a win over the other lot at least once.

Anto Byrne
57 Posted 05/11/2013 at 07:50:17
For me, Pienaar is our (in the words of Tommy Smith) fancy dan player, which is all well and good but generally leads to nothing. He is not a conventional winger and lacks pace so we don't see him haring down the wing and floating a cross onto the head of our centre-forward. He draws a lot of fouls seemingly playing for them instead of a quick disposal run into space and receive.

Don't get me wrong: he is a very good footballer and should be playing in centre-mid alongside Barkley. We could easily play two up with Mirallas and Lukaku adopting a 3-5-2. Problem I have is Mirallas and Pienaar are too much of a luxury to be on the pitch at the same time. Sadly Pienaar is a now a bench warmer with Osman. Mirallas is a striker; Pienaar is not.

Adam Luszniak
58 Posted 05/11/2013 at 10:02:30
Agree in the most part with the original post, and the general theme of optimism and even expectation echoed by some responses. I think really we will only get better as players get used to the system.

That said, dropping out of Capital One Cup means there is limited opportunity for Gerard, Oviedo, Kone etc to get game time and therefore prove they are genuine alternatives to our starting 11.

So far I think the tactics are good, that's not to say that other teams cannot see our weaknesses and aim to exploit them. This happened all last season with teams just sitting back knowing we didn't have the creativity to pull them apart. This isn't the case know but teams already seem to know that if they press our defence when in possession mistakes will happen.

To be fair to the players what Martinez Is trying to do is not easy. For me, he has improved our attacking play (although I do agree there is less emphasis on both Coleman and Baines now so somehow it seems we are missing their qualities.) He has improved the midfield, and if our defence were allowed to just smash it whenever they want then I imagine most fans would agree they are at least no worse than last year.

Overall: very positive.

Ken Farrington
59 Posted 05/11/2013 at 10:01:24
Good article Chris and difficult to disagree with. I am writing this on the back of arguably our worst 45 minutes performance of the season against Spurs when we seemed completely lacking in ideas and inspiration and were so lucky to go into the break still in the game.

I did text my son at half time who, along with my grandson, completes a 450-mile round trip for every home match and attends most away fixtures to carry on the family tradition of supporting the blues that started with my late father Edgar in the 1930s stating that Martinez had now to earn his corn with his half-time team talk and substitutions and I felt he achieved both of those objectives.

Also, I believe that his handling of the great potential that the boy Barkley possesses is so crucial to his own career and how our season enfolds and I completely agreed with the decision to bench him against Spurs because, when he introduced him, he seemed rejuvanated.

Other important challenges that appear on Martinez's horizon include the enigma that is Mirallas, and restoring him to the player that we know he can be, along with the Janury transfer window, when apart from holding on to the obvious targets, Baines and Barkley, and convincing them that their futures lie with us, we also need to freshen up the squad with one player in each department: defence, midfield and attack. For that to happen some established players are surely going to have to depart but by then he will have had the time to fully evaluate the whole squad in competitive match situations and decide whether they are his type of player or not.

To sum up, after 10 matches, so far, so good and every Evertonian, whatever distance they travel to matches, or for armchair fans like myself, have great cause for optimism for the future.

Trevor Lynes
60 Posted 05/11/2013 at 11:08:48
A very good article and a fair analysis so far but I hate to see this 'Brenda' rubbish, it demeans yourself. Martinez is far more articulate than most Premier League managers including our last one. I find that Scottish managers apart from Shankly are pretty poor in expressing themselves clearly or for having a semblance of humour when interviewed. In fact, most of them are downright antagonistic!! Martinez is articulate in a foreign language for him and it impresses me a lot as it's really difficult to learn a foreign language so well grammatically.

I'm satisfied with the start to the season and in the main the team have played entertaining football, but just lately they have started games poorly and seemed to wake up after half time.
We need to come out fully alert especially against Liverpool who will be up for it. I do not want to lose our home record against them, and they do have a double act up front that is really dangerous. However, by playing two up front they are leaving their midfield a bit light so we must put them on the back foot as Arsenal did. That is the only way to keep Sturridge and Suarez quiet.

I want to see Gerrard pressured as I believe he is still good if given room but his tackling and covering back is not what it once was. He and Flanagan (if played) should be made to defend as although Flanagan is quite good going forward he is not as good when defending.

Lukaku is really needed for this game both to physically challenge the Liverpool centre backs and defend set pieces when required. Also Mirallas if played has to up his game and take the full back on. We need to be firing on all cylinders for this game and everyone has to give 100%. COYB

Phil Walling
61 Posted 05/11/2013 at 11:29:54
Most of us agree that Moyes was essentially a defence minded manager. 'What we have we hold' developed into KITANO and, in his last two seasons, a more attacking mindset. I always thought he set his stall out to get the best from the players he had available and because he rarely took chances, that meant that style and personnel took a long time to evolve.

Martinez is from entirely different school - not necessarily more effective - but generally more entertaining. To him, style is all-important and that means no pandering to players' strengths but a demand that they change - or else!

The downside of this is that our back four have been expected to totally alter their approach and, in so doing, have become less effective. No more bombing down the wings and the expectation of a pin-point cross and certainly far fewer hoofs from the back - even in the most dangerous of situations. The focus is no longer on defence but in playing it carefully (slowly) through the midfield whatever the state of the game.

Is it more pleasing on the eye? Probably, although very predictable. Is it more effective? Not necessarily. Without Lukaku I think we would be in deep shit whatever style we play and unless the manager is able to replace Jagielka with the likes of David Luiz and Distin with a Chiriches, I suspect his dream team will never come true.

But, all-in-all, it's a decent start and we should be good enough to maintain our usual seventhish spot. I guess that's all we should expect, really.

Max Wilson
62 Posted 05/11/2013 at 11:52:01
I was very anti-Roberto when he joined us. Like loads of other Toffees I feared the worst. On one fan site, only 20% voted for him. So far, ten games in, he 's managed to calm our fears and certainly we are not doing any worse.

Are we going to do a lot better? His clever trading at the last minute of the window has produced two significant players, one of whom we may be able to keep. However, in January, it is obvious we face the loss of Baines (for which you can blame Moyes) and replacing him is Roberto's next big challenge.

This is a cancer in our system. I think it affects the whole team's motivation, confidence and performance. They are playing with someone who has been a wonderful team mate but now doesn't want to be with them. No matter how professional you ask players to be, they are human.

We also have some "fringe players" who are fairly useless and don't raise anyones confidence and we need to replace them on the bench as soon as we can rather than allow hearts to fall every time they come onto the pitch. (I don't mean Ossie he may be getting on but his technical skills are still PL.)

Once Roberto has got around these problems, and I think he will, I hope to see us flourishing. Meanwhile, we are doing better than many of us thought we would.

Tony J Williams
63 Posted 05/11/2013 at 12:16:01
It's strange the perceptions we have.

We state Moyes was more defensive, yet we have conceded fewer this season so far by 2 goals and we consider Martinez more attacking, yet we have 5 less goals than last season.

Apart from the Newcastle game, I don't see too much difference in our play, apart from keeping it for longer at the back.

We had one shot on target on Sunday, not exactly a great stat for such an attacking team.

We are a work in progress, but it is encouraging as to how quickly we seem to be getting it together.

Eugene Ruane
64 Posted 05/11/2013 at 12:26:01
Whatever Moyes was or wasn't (and I think most of us know each others views) any comparisons between his performance and that of Martinez, can imo only really be made on their record after their first 10 games in charge (and even that would be unfair as Moyes took over a team deep in shite).

Any performance comparisons after that imo are just plain daft.

Moyes had more YEARS in charge of Everton than Martinez has had PL games.

Apples to oranges etc.

Tony McNulty
65 Posted 05/11/2013 at 12:33:59
I am still really puzzled by Sunday's game. My expectations had been high. I don't know whether their manager out-thought our manager tactically, or whether we just had a collective off-day. When I compare that first half against the first half when we played Newcastle certainly some of the team on Sunday seemed to play as if they were completely out of it.

Sometimes we play like a team from Barcelona; at other times we play like a team from the bar of the local alehouse (I think I'll stop there beginning to sound too much like Mark Lawrenson).

Ian Burns
67 Posted 05/11/2013 at 11:42:21
Good OP Chris, well done and well thought out, even if I don't agree 100% with every point made.

Terrific post from Ken 151 - which prompted me to give out a couple of pats on the back from such as Paul 061.

I think overall McCarthy has some way to go but at least he is on his way. Barkley is being handled properly and for those calling for Ossie - it is a bit of a Hobson's choice for RM at the moment because his options are not so great, particularly given Gibson's chronic attendance record.

I agree also with all who say Mirallas is not pulling up any trees but he is an enigma - surely he is not a wide player but far more effective down the middle? If we never get to see him playing in his best position, we are forever going to consider him "AWOL" on the pitch itself!

I have faith in RM, I've got a good feeling about this Catalan chappie - I just hope he has a good scouting brigade out there because we most definitely need a creative midfielder - what is this Fernando like?

Thanks again Chris, created some excellent talking points.

Dennis Stevens
68 Posted 05/11/2013 at 13:10:47
Ken #151 has it about right, imho - good post.
Milos Milenkovic
69 Posted 05/11/2013 at 13:04:42
In general I am positive about Martinez, but there are some tactical points and places where we can improve.

Our back 4 is fine, Pienaar and Lukaku are also holding their places, but I think Martinez is not getting the best out of other 4 midfielders.

First, I don't like when we play with two defensive midfielders, so I would prefer only one from Barry/McCarthy, although I can understand that against some big teams. Having two holding midfielders allows Barkley to play in more advanced position, but I am not sure which position that is, plus because of that we are missing position of a player behind striker. That position is something that I believe would be perfect for Mirallas, who simply is not giving his best on the wing. To put this in the line-up I think we would be better with:

Deulofeu Barkley/Osman Pienaar

It may look too attacking, but with this line-up we would control games more and have players in their best positions.

Craig Walker
70 Posted 05/11/2013 at 13:23:35
Very happy with Roberto and what he is trying to do. Moyes spent 11 years trying to get Everton above Man United and he's achieved it in a couple of months by moving.

I did a (very) quick comparison of our games this season compared with the equivalent games last year. I compared the Hull City game with Wigan and the Cardiff away game with QPR away.

I make it that:-

Norwich away (we lost last season this season drew): +1 points
Chelsea home (lost last season this season won): +3 points
Newcastle home (drew last season this season won): +2 points
Hull City home (drew with Wigan last season this season won): + 2 points

Cardiff away (draw last season drew with QPR): no difference
We beat West Ham away no difference
We beat Villa away no difference
Man City away (lost last season) no difference

WBA home (won last season drew this) -2 points
Spurs home (won last season drew this) -2 points

I make it that we are +4 points better off in the equivalent games.

Graham Mockford
72 Posted 05/11/2013 at 14:02:03
Eugene has it right, you cannot judge a manager on 10 games.

There is a general sense of optimism because we have achieved good results overall. But I do think there is an element of over reaction to what has actually changed.

1. We are trying to play a more possession based game;
2. We have a genuinely talented centre forward;
3. We have more options in central midfield.

In terms of actual performances despite the hyperbole of some on here have not been that much to write home about.

A good second half against West Ham and a great first half against Newcastle are the only two halves that stand out for me.

We struggled at home to WBA, away to Cardiff, were slightly fortunate to get all three points against Chelsea. We were well beaten at City, laboured against Hull, could've been three down against Villa and put in the worst 45 minutes I've seen in a long time against Spurs.

The end of the season will be the time to judge Roberto; maybe eighteen months... but I would suggest we are a tad fortunate to have as many points as we do but long may it continue as it gives him the breathing space to keep developing the team.

Phil Bellis
73 Posted 05/11/2013 at 14:57:57
As we all should know by now...reason, facts, commonsense, realism etc do not apply to supporting Everton, especially to those who've seen great Everton sides

Like others on here, I now look forward to going the match and, for the first time in years, am a bit "excited" by the seeds of Roberto's revolution

It may well take time; it may even fail but at the moment I feel like a born-again Evertonian, like I've escaped from a bad marriage


If you do get your pad in the Pool, let me know

Tony J Williams
74 Posted 05/11/2013 at 15:32:48
Craig, it was 1-1 against Citteh last season with a dodgy penalty against us.
Mike Gwyer
75 Posted 05/11/2013 at 15:39:47


It was 1 -1 against City this season and once again a penalty decision not given our way.

Brent Stephens
76 Posted 05/11/2013 at 15:59:18
Milos #177 I'm not sure how you get 11 players there.
Si Cooper
77 Posted 05/11/2013 at 17:13:20
Brent, the players separated by the slashes are 'either/or's and the goalkeeper and back four aren't listed.
James Martin
78 Posted 05/11/2013 at 18:55:06
Tony I think we've also played more long balls in these 10 games than the first ten games last season, conceded less, and scored less, yet we're apparently more adventurous and more attacking. We've perhaps looked attacking but the cold hard truth is we're not as good at scoring goals as we were this time last year. The results have been as good but in my eyes the attacking football hasn't been.

We've relied on individual talent a lot this season, Baines for the result at West Ham, Howard against Villa, you could argue that the first half against Newcastle and the Hull game (in parts) where the only times that our football actually overwhelmed the opposition in an attacking sense and garnered us the win. Chelsea whichever way you want to revise it was classic KITAP1, yes we got a couple of chances on the break when Chelsea got ragged but we were defending for long long periods of the match. Even in the Hull and Villa games we looked poor for large periods which was masked by good results.

Compare this to last season, we were very good against United, this was not KITAP1 we had loads of chances and kept going. We demolished Villa away in a far more convincing style. When Southampton had the temerity to score first at Goodison we just steamrollered them with great football. We destroyed Newcastle without reward (perhaps not as well as the first 45 this season but we kept it up for 90 minutes). We also went to Swansea and battered them.

Last season we'd concede a lot because we had both fullbacks just flying off the handle at every opportunity to get forward and an attacking midfield two of Gibson and Osman. This season if anything we've become more pragmatic defensively with the fullbacks holding position more and playing two defensive midfielders. Its led to a better defense and ultimately more points but I don't think the football is more pleasing on the eye, there's still the same number of long balls which asks the question what are we doing with it the rest of the time then?

This is not a Moyes v Martinez debate. In some respects I'm beginning to see they do a lot of things similar (funny how that outlet man for our own corners hasn't materialised yet isn't it). I think its a personell one. McCarthy and Barry are better defensively than Osman and Gibson and with Baines and Coleman staying back the defense is more miserly. Mirallas however is off form, and as much as I hated Fellaini he scored more than Barkley. Lukaku has made up for a lot of our attacking shortcomings by scoring crucial goals for us.

Put Lukaku in last seasons team and I dread to see how many we would have scored. A good defense however is the bedrock of any good league campaign, Moyes understood this for the most part, and it seems Martinez does too so power to him.

Ross Edwards
79 Posted 05/11/2013 at 19:21:14
James, we can't play like Barca after 10 games, surely you know that. You should be glad that Martinez isn't afraid to mix it up at times.
Raymond Fox
80 Posted 05/11/2013 at 19:47:31
I'm a big fan of Martinez as some of you might have no doubt noticed, he seems an all round good egg, and I think he's the right man to develop all aspects of the club.

His philosophy of playing possession football is admirable, but against the money clubs it could be perceived as foolhardy tactics, it's fair to say that we've been outplayed by City, Chelsea for most of the match, and certainly against Spurs in the first half.

We probably have to adopt a little more of an aggressive and direct approach to stand a chance of beating the usual top 5 or 6 clubs, which is crucial if we have ambitions of a top 4 finish.

I don't mean to play like a Big Sam's Bolton did, or a Pullis Stoke team, but something of a cross between them and the pure football RM aspires to.

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:05:52
Si, I only make that 10 with a back 4.
Brent Stephens
82 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:08:05
Ah! I read that as Del and Ossie OR Barks and Peanuts. Stupid!
Darren Hind
83 Posted 05/11/2013 at 19:55:33
The majority of this squad were here last year and the only fair way to judge Martinez is to compare this season to last. How this squad is performing for him and how they played before he got here.

I dont feel threads like this on TW accurately mirrors the mood of greater Evertonia: before you scroll down a thread like this, you know who will have posted and you have a pretty good idea of what they will have said. It seems the more vociferous of the fabled TW MOB are now the ones who want to portray Robbie in a brighter light than he actually warrants just my opinion.

We all expected Bobbys "swashbucklers" to concede far more than the "minge bag" Moyes, but that hasnt happened... and hands up, how many thought that by adding a top class striker to "dour" Daveys team, the "ultra positive" Bobby would manage to score considerably less?

No matter how much the evangelists want to talk up this massive improvement, I cant deny the evidence of my own eyes: we are scoring nowhere near as many goals because we are creating nowhere near as many chances... and the gap will continue to grow.
Our football may be more measured but Bobbys Dazzlers are quite simply not getting forward as much as Moyess mingebags. Dont believe me? Ask Baines or Seamus; better still, ask Lukaku, is he the first player ever to be brought off through loneliness? He can file most of his chances this season under "All my own work"... and how come all the people who screamed about every player coming back to his own area to defend corners have suddenly stopped screaming?

Martinez has to be given credit for improving some areas: its no longer worrying to take the lead; the way we have closed out the games by simply taking it away from opposition has been such a pleasure especially after what seems like an eternity of "hanging on" to slender leads; weve even been treated to a bit of the Ol stuff... and our boy Bobby does talk a positive game.

I know I will be accused of wanting to see the return of hoofball especially by those who think there is only two ways to play the game, or by those who dont have a counter argument but I dont... I just dont feel this "measured" football will ever replace excitement, especially when played by out-and-out defenders.

Release the full backs while you still have them, Roberto!

Ten-game report: Done okay... but could, and imo given the quality of striker we have this season really should be doing better.
Next quarter is going to be very interesting...

Mike Oates
84 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:09:11
Last season the long ball to Fellaini, Anichebe, Jelavic whoever was up front, sucked in the opposing defence, midfield and it left space for Baines and Coleman to get round the back once any second ball was picked up by Pineaar , Osman or whoever else was in midfield. Both full backs were allowed to really push up as they knew it was very unlikely that we would lose the ball at the back.

Today they cant do that - they are both required at the back to take part in any build up play and effectively neither gets forward as much as last year. Somehow Martinez needs to get them released earlier, either via Barry, McCarthy becoming better at dictating the play. Barkley does come back to help build up but inevitably he's facing the wrong way and can lose the ball - its a risk Martinez takes but only at the expense that the two full backs are back in line.

Somehow the midfield 3 need to get opposing midfielders out of shape allowing the full backs to push into the space created, but we are not doing that well at the moment.

I actually thought that Hiddlestone of Hull was the best player I've seen this season at starting attacks with his range of passing , pity we didn't move for him when he left Spurs.

Brent Stephens
85 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:24:53
Darren #256 ".and Hands up, how many thought that by adding a top class striker to "dour" Davey's team, The "ultra positive" Bobby would manage to score considerably less?"

I hope this isn't another case of a manager ruining a good striker!

Mark Frere
86 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:17:28
James Martin (238)

Absolute superb post, spot on.

Si Cooper
87 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:26:04
Huddlestone may have a good range of passing but he is also ponderous and sloppy at times which is why he never made it at Spurs.

Gibson will do the same job equally as well, if not better, but we are currently hoping he can still overcome his injury problems.

Ross Edwards
88 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:33:08
Considerably less Darren? Who is this you are talking about? Jelavic, if so, he was ruined by Moyes, Kone has been injured, and Lukaku has scored 5 in 6, hardly ruined, so take your Moyesie tinted glasses off and get out of doom and gloom land.

"It seems the more vociferous of the fabled TW MOB are now the ones who want to portray Robbie in a brighter light than he actually warrants"

So, you didn't like it when we were negative about Moyes, and now we are positive about Martinez's tenure, you don't like that either.

Make your mind up. You say he doesn't warrant the praise he is getting.

Why shouldn't he? Is it because "he got relegated"? The only argument you, Walling and Entwistle have against him.

Tommy Coleman
89 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:34:04
It's the 2nd best 10 game start we've had between 2000 to 2013. In 2004-05 we had 22 points at this stage.

It's been a very good and refreshing start for RM. That's hard to deny.

Ross Edwards
90 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:39:45
Darren, answer me truthfully. If in July, when he was appointed, you were told that after 10 league games we would have lost once, in 7th, 1 point off 2nd, would you have accepted that?
Peter Warren
91 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:35:18
Everybody seems to be forgetting we're quids in prob by around £15m having sold our best midfielder/player. Whether we get to spend that is another matter but Bobby should be given credit for a minus net spend. Also were without our remaining best midfield player IMO (Gibson).

I do have concerns over Kone and McCarthy and haven't seen the other two. I have concerns that we don't play high line and don't press hard. Our play beginning of last year was far more exciting.

That all said I am willing to give Martinez time and frankly was fed up with Moyes. I think given a few years we will play better than any Moyes side but it will take seasons not months.

Mark Frere
93 Posted 05/11/2013 at 21:54:26

I think you're been a bit harsh on Darren there, he actually makes some very good points and they're not all negative. The way he describes how pleasing it is the way we've been able to see out games, not sitting back, keeping possession, he's 100% spot on.

There are certain individuals on TW who are no willing to give Martinez a chance, two of the names you've just mentioned in your last post - 100& agree. But I think Darren is just giving his honest opinion on how he's seen things so far this season.

Harold Matthews
95 Posted 06/11/2013 at 00:13:30
Darren. Agreed. The guy in the hole and the two wingers have created very little.
Eric Myles
96 Posted 06/11/2013 at 00:54:23
I agree with Dominic, it's not the grinding out draws aganst teams around us like Spurs that are going to show how much we've improved, it will be putting to bed convincingly the teams in the lower reaches of the league that will indicate a change in philosophy is working.
Kunal Desai
98 Posted 06/11/2013 at 06:56:16
Bar the West Brom game when we dominated and hit the woodwork twice and a stonewall pen not being given away at Cardiff, it's been a good first 10 games. Key will now be the next 9 games coming up which includes the Shite at home, Man Utd and Arsenal away, if in those 9 games we can take another 15 points then i'm sure going into the 2nd half of the season we can be on course and push towards a CL spot.
Sam Hoare
99 Posted 06/11/2013 at 07:44:12
Ross, your refusal to allow anything you perceive as negative about RM makes you more polarised than any of the detractors.

RM has made a good solid start but he himself admits there are many areas to improve on.

Phil Walling
100 Posted 06/11/2013 at 08:09:10
We seem to be getting polarised into pro Moyes and pro Robbie camps. Truth to tell both managers have had their hang-ups. Moyes was cautious, indecisive and prone to resort to hoof-ball. Martinez likes to see his defenders 'fiddling about' and favours a laborious build up.

Would that we could bottle the best of all their good points and move on to become more than the best of the rest. But I suspect we shall wait for a long time for the perfect manager to emerge.

James Lauwervine
101 Posted 06/11/2013 at 09:01:28
The comments that stand out for me are about re-igniting interest in the team. That's exactly how I feel, I really look forward to watching us now. Even during the painful first half in the last game I knew we would would massively improve in the second half and would get on top. I'm starting to really believe in RM's abilities, although I think he's still got a lot to learn.

10 games in, 1 pt off 2nd, 1 defeat. That's a bloody good start for us in the circumstances. If we keep this going that's 70-75 points which would an astonishing return for the man's first season. And throw in winning the FA Cup too, why not. Has any manager ever won it two seasons running with different teams? There's one for the media bellends.

Dennis Stevens
102 Posted 06/11/2013 at 09:05:53
To my mind the main point of comparison between our current & former manager is quite simply that I'd come to the conclusion a few years ago that we'd never win anything under Moyes & felt we were starting to tread water somewhat, whereas under Martinez things are starting to change - we may still not win anything under Martinez but for now I can at least hope & dream. I just wish Ferguson had retired about 3 seasons or so earlier!
Tony Marsh
103 Posted 06/11/2013 at 10:30:18
Phil Walling utter crap yet again.Why are you sticking the boot into Martinez once more? Martinez doesn't want his defenders fiddling about or favours a labourious build-up it's all about re-educating and re-juvenating the squad. The players aren't used to the Martinez style just yet but it will come. Just like the lost 5,000 fans have come back, the Everton players' ability to absorb and play proper football will come back.

Did you see the Man Utd game last night? Did it remind you of anything? If it's labourious play your after, Moyes is the master of it.

We need time to re-adjust and the fans need to adapt also. Fiddling about but keeping possesion sure beats the big welly downfield and inviting the onslaught. Phil, you need to get with the program, mate. You are starting to sound like the defeatist that Dinosaur Moyes turned the club into.

Ross Edwards
104 Posted 06/11/2013 at 10:52:04
Er, Sam, we are 10 games in under Martinez. We have had the same arguements from the same people, Hind, Lord Walling of Negativity, and Entwistle, since the minute he was appointed.

Get behind him for god's sake.

Ross Edwards
105 Posted 06/11/2013 at 10:53:58
Maybe I am being too harsh on Darren, Mark, but he is one of the most vocal naysayers against him so far.
Tony J Williams
106 Posted 06/11/2013 at 12:30:38
Ross, it works both ways.

As Darren has pointed out, many of the MOB have taken it as their quest to make sure everyone who says anything considered negative about Martinez are set upon and are sometimes told to go down the motorway and support the Mancs.

Just because some don't see Martinez as the mutts nuts, doesn't mean are Moyes lovers.

To put your question back on yourself, if Moyes was still here and after 10 games we had the same results and were in 7th, do you think we would be having the same optimistic conversations on here? Would we hell as like, he would be getting called every shithouse under the sky for losing to Citteh and drawing the first three.

He would be slated for playing one up front at home and having everyone back for corners etc Even though that's what is happening now.

Darren hasn't said much that is wrong, as we have conceded less but also scored 5 less goals, even though we still DO believe we are being more attacking. However, look back to last season 10 games in, we were on top of the pointless table for most shots on goal, with Baines creating the most chances. It will be interesting to see where we are now.

Ultimately we seem to be in a better place and we are enjoying the games, but again, lets not get too carried away with Senor Bobby jsut yet.

Jim Harrison
107 Posted 06/11/2013 at 14:09:22
Agree in the main, but not 100% convinced with the transfer policy. Kone for Vic? On goal scoring form its a maybe, but one has yet to play a full game and is out for the season. He is also one season closer to retirement!! I would rather have kept the lump and invested in a younger option.

Barry and Lukaku are great signings, but..........one is never going to stay, and the other is in the later stages of his career. Lukaku has lso been marked to buggery in the last 2 games, there is at present little in the way of plan B. I would like to see Super Kev played more centrally behind him a bit more.

McCarthy looks handy. A decent buy. Alcaraz injured, waste of wages. Roubles just another back up keeper. odds are when Howard needs replacing we will go out and buy a new first choice keeper rather than promote the second choice. So, 50/50 on the new faces for me. To be fair, transfers are one area Moyes will be pretty hard to beat!

As for the style of play, on the whole decent, but really don't like the passing across the back. Seem to invite pressure. Jags is a solid centre back, and a decent passer, but he aint Ferdinand of years past! Howard has been put under needless pressure several times this season with short back passes with the opposition in close attendance. Why create trouble for ourselves?

We are in a good place now, but overall there isn't that much difference. Possession stats look good, but as before we have yet to beat a top team away (Only city played so fair to be fair). Our record against Chelsea has been reasonable at home over the past few years, as has it been against Spurs. If the team are to push on they will need to do what Moyes famously didn't and get results away from home at the big teams, oh, and pump teams like Palace!

Personal opinion, 7.5 out of 10. A tad harsh maybe but as a blue I should have high standards! Keep this up to new year, get another striker and a younger Gareth Barry (or a fit Gibson)

Sam Hoare
108 Posted 06/11/2013 at 14:43:08
Ross, Tony puts it better than I could. Balance is usually a good thing, my point being that you're allowing no hint of criticism of RM shows just as little balance as those who refuse to accept him as anything but rubbish. I think Darren made some valid points in his post but you just won't consider them as you have him pegged as an anti.
Darren Hind
109 Posted 06/11/2013 at 19:47:25
Ross Edwards

When I said we had scored less and conceded less, I was not giving an opinion I was stating fact. If you cant read a simple statement of fact without getting all hysterical because some bodyis saying nasty things about the object of your desire.

You have never seen me say anything good about Moyes nor have you ever seen me mention Wigans relegation and theres a very good reason for that, I havent, you made it up in a pathetic attempt to counter fact.

This is a thread about how Martinez has done in the first quarter, so dont be surprised if shite dressed up as "positive spin" is offset by some unpalatable fact.

Ive always tried to be even handed when speaking about Martinez, but you constantly ignore anything good I say and want to try to counter any criticism with the same tired shite inaccurate response.

Counter criticism by all means (if you can) but by constantly leaping to the defence of the manager in response to even the mildest criticism and by resorting to making thing up about posters you know nothing about in response to facts which are clearly difficult for you to accept, you come across more like a schoolgirl with a crush than a footy fan.

We all want Martinez to do well, because that means Everton will do well. You just need to accept that not everyone is prepared to act deaf dumb and blind in order to demonstrate that support

Harold Matthews
110 Posted 06/11/2013 at 20:58:40
James L. It's probably a bit much to expect Martinez to win the FA Cup again. I could be wrong but wouldn't that mean four consecutive Robertos?
Tahir Abdullah
111 Posted 08/11/2013 at 18:48:24
Great article; for me the RM era promises to be an interesting one and I for one am happy that the remnants of the previous regime is being buried match by match. In many ways I think that we as Evertonians have been too negatively influenced by the ways of our OFM (eg some of us get unduly unsettled when we are under the cosh for only 45 minutes). Martinez is a thinking player's manager and his man management is second to none. His ongoing recognition and nurturing of Ross Barkley abilities and skills are case in point. I wish him all success with EFC.
James Stewart
112 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:35:07
Overall RM is doing a good job. We have some blunt tools like Osman, Pienaar and Mirallas. Not much he can do about that at present; hopefully we get some more consistent creators in come January.

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