The 2014-15 season from Roberto's viewpoint

Paul Traill was among a group of independent Everton website reps invited to Finch Farm for a retrospective with manager Roberto Martinez on the ups and downs of season 2014-15. » Audio

Paul Traill 25/05/2015 71comments  |  Jump to last

I, along with Evertonians from various other independent supporters websites, was fortunate to attend Finch Farm for a meeting with Roberto Martinez [Full audio]. How long will it take? What time will you get home? asked my other half. One of the great, personable things about Roberto is his willingness to engage with supporters. 1 hours we sat with Roberto. No questions did he duck and he replied to practically every question in depth, looking you straight in the eye. An impressive gentleman it needs to be said.

In he came, shaking hands with everybody with a polite greeting. He got the ball rolling, breaking the ice, by asking us if we attended the European games this season. One of the gentlemen there had attended all of the games. It was great with all the banners said Roberto. It was impressive.

Straight off the bat, Roberto was asked what the one difference is between this season and the relative triumph of the last campaign. A combination of things he said. The big difference has been the expectation we had at the beginning of the season. The first three games in the league, they set the tone for the season. Taking the lead at Leicester on 84 minutes and then drawing the game. We had a real feeling of defeat in the dressing room after the game and there were still 37 games left. Then the Arsenal game. For 60 minutes we were, I thought, at the level of last season and we ended up with a draw. Psychologically we couldnt reach the same levels of enjoyment in the league.

He later spoke of overcoming the style of some of the lesser Premier League teams when they have a tactic to combat our passing game. When I arrived (in the country) in 1995 people used to say put it in the box, youve got a chance to score! and I used to say Theres nobody in the box, how have we got a chance to score?. You need control of the ball. My only disappointment from this season is that we have had 19 leads. 19 leads! You should end up with 15/16 wins and we have a lot less than that.

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Roberto was asked about our beleaguered pre-season and what we can do differently this time around. I do feel we werent as fit as we could have been, but I dont think we could have done anything else. When you have the World Cup, it is difficult getting the players back into the right shape, though then you see a peak around February/March and that is what we had.

This season we have five weeks of pre-season. Its a very specific period of work. Everyone will be together. Maybe well miss only John Stones (with the England U-21s). We are going to Singapore, we have the two games there. Then were coming back and then were going to Scotland. Then 2nd August we have a game at Goodison, and thats the last game before we start.

I asked him how difficult it is juggling the Europa League with the Premier League. It is difficult to cope playing Thursday and Sunday. I pressed him on what the difference is between this and playing Wednesday and Saturday in the Champions League. Well, travelling is different. You are playing more games in Ukraine and Russia and they are a lot harder journeys to organise, and normally the Sunday, because of the TV arrangements, they are early kick offs. Champions League you are playing Tuesday/Wednesday, more central Europe, it is easier to arrange. I dont think the recovery period is as good for Europa League teams as Champions League teams but the answer would be that Champions League teams are season after season in Europe and they have the mentality to cope with it.

He also alluded to the physicality of the Premier League in comparison with the rest of Europe. In the Premier League you can play at 95% and still lose. In Spain you can play at 60% and win. In the Premier League you have to be at it every game. The other thing is Christmas. Every other game, more or less, they stop. The British game it is the busiest period. I do think there is something which needs to be done if you want to help the Premier League compete in Europe.

Roberto was asked about overcoming teams' tactics in attempting to stifle Evertons style of play. He feels the loss of Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar for a large part of the season has contributed towards us struggling to break these teams down and that it will be important to recruit more players like these. We have one in the youth system who is a special talent but we wont see him for a few years he said.

He says that dropping Joel Robles after his three clean sheets was probably the most difficult decision I had to make in the campaign. He continued, I didnt see the Joel Robles I know until them three games. The reality is, you can not have a goalkeeper who feels he is going to be dropped if he makes a mistake. You need positive people and we have that in Tim Howard. Tim Howard is our number one and Joel Robles is our number two, until that changes. What I was very pleased about it Joel Robles showed to all his fans what he can do. We can not underestimate what we have with Tim Howard. Im very happy to have Tim Howard and Joel Robles.

There was a humorous moment when Roberto was asked about spending 28million this summer on a playmaker. We havent got 28million he said, not realising that a startled Robert Elstone was sitting a few yards behind him. What excites me about next season is what weve got. Romelu Lukaku, John Stones, Ross Barkley, James McCarthy. And then theres the experienced players like Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka. We need to be very precise in what we want to bring in. Its not about finances. Its not about money. Im delighted with the young players we have at the club. We need to bring in a centre half, we need to bring in a № 10, we need to bring in a wide player and maybe another player to increase the numbers in the squad.

"I dont think we need the numbers of this season. Not being in Europe we dont need these numbers. Rather than bringing in a fifth centre half Id rather give an opportunity to Tyias Browning who I know is ready. Weve got the best young players in the league. I dont see another club with three players aged 21, 22 who have important roles at the club and have the potential that we have. He did also reaffirm that he is happy with Arouna Kone and that we dont need to bring in another striker, and also that Gerard Deulofeu is probably not a realistic transfer at this stage, largely due to the Barcelona transfer ban.

He was asked about the MARTINEZ OUT graffiti on Goodison Park earlier in the season. I felt good about it because it was a Howard Kendall and Philip Carter moment... so Im hoping we will the league this season. I asked about the injured players:

Leighton Baines - still in a protective boot, should join in the second week of pre-season.

Darron Gibson - should be able to join in straight away.

Bryan Oviedo - should join in the second or third week of pre-season.

Tony Hibbert - has just joined the group. Should have a good break and start the pre-season.

Steven Pienaar - the only one we have to give a lot of attention over the summer. The only focus for pre-season is to get him right.

When asked about the criticism which has come his way this season. I understand it. I understand the frustration when results are not there. Deep down you are a little bit disappointed, but I accept it. Ill take responsibility of the results, thats the way it should work, and the players will take the responsibility of keeping themselves fit and performing well for a team which everyone can be excited for.

As suggested with his omission from the team in the last two games, Roberto appeared quite resigned to losing Luke Garbutt when his contract expires at the seasons end. Luke Garbutt has been a real successful story because we have set a two-year program. He went on loan to Colchester and came back and then we started giving him some games in the cup and then gave him his Premier League debut, and European games. He has played 10 first team games this season. We have offered a good contract.

"The player has the right to decide if playing for Everton is his wish. Maybe he feels he will not get the opportunity with two other internationals in that position, but we will give him the opportunity. We have proved that we have a real conveyor belt of talent and that there are players who are there to take his place if Luke doesnt want that opportunity. As a football club weve done everything we should have done. Weve acted with class. Weve always wanted to keep Luke Garbutt.

Is this why he decided to give Brendan Galloway an opportunity in the last couple of games? A little bit. Luke needed time to think and make his decision and I didnt think it was right for us if he plays in a game which we needed to win. It was a good opportunity for a young man like Brendan Galloway. I wanted to protect him a little bit (against West Ham Utd) and didnt tell him he was going to play. If I could have left it until 2.58pm I would have done that but it wouldnt have phased him. I think Brendan will play the next 30-40 games as a left back and then can probably move to left side centre half.

A question which has bugged many an Evertonian for many a year is our lack of focus on the League Cup. Will we now focus more on this competition with not being in Europe next season? The truth is that every team I put out I expect to win. I didnt expect to lose the Swansea game. When we have a squad like we have, I expect them all to perform. Certain players that day didnt perform. The line-up wasnt a problem. We had Tim Howard in goal. Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Etoo played 45 minutes each but everybody else, apart from Luke Garbutt, were full internationals.

Roberto did insist that he was not disappointed with the way it ended for Samuel Etoo at Everton. We wanted him to bring that worry into the opposition and give time for Arouna Kone to get fully fit. In September Samuel wanted to play every game and then it was the best position for everybody to allow him to go. We all learnt from him. At one point he was the best striker in world football.

On how successfully Everton have utilised the loan market over the last few seasons. Christian Atsu has not had much luck and will become a top player I think. It is rare to get three loan players as successful as Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu. You can probably put Aaron Lennon in that bracket. Lacina Traore was a disaster. He scores in his first game and then gets injured in the warm up against Chelsea and we never saw him again! Roberto appeared a little coy when asked whether Aaron Lennon would be with us next season. Well have to see how it pans out he said.

Roberto nods and puffs out his cheeks when asked about Muhammed Besics first season with us. He is an outstanding player. When I saw him the first time in the World Cup I knew he was an Everton player. He plays with his heart, is technically very useful and is great defensively. He needs more playing time to adapt to that position but he is going to be a terrific player in the future. I felt a little bit bad when I took him out of the team when the fans wanted him to play but I didnt think he was quite ready to play that role in the team. His contribution has been terrific. 30 games in the first year is more than I expected but he is great for the future.

And the regular selection off Gareth Barry? Gareth Barry is such a reliable footballer. There are things which he does off the ball. He covers other players. He gives you a real composure. He always wants the ball. The role he has, probably only Darron Gibson can play that same role. Gareth Barry has had to play more than I would have preferred but in the same way he is such a reliable footballer that what he gives you is a platform for the others to perform. His role to the team is always very positive.

We couldnt let Roberto go without asking him about our European campaign, particularly the disaster in Kiev and the selection that night of Antolin Alcaraz. Looking back, the experiences we had in Lille, and Wolfsburg and Bern. And also, I felt we were unlucky. I dont think we deserved to go out against Kiev.

Antolin Alcaraz played against Dynamo Kiev away because he was Man of the Match against Newcastle at home. For whatever reason, there is a campaign against Antolin. Because he came from Wigan? Because hes Paraguayan? If he plays well he is supposed to play well. If he plays bad it is his fault that the team lost. Im a bit more neutral than that. John Stones had been sent off against Young Boys. He had an injury as well and he was ill. He didnt train enough to be thrown into a game of this magnitude.

At Goodison we conceded from a soft corner kick and then went back to win the game. They scored some amazing goals. In 1,000 games they will never score goals like that. At 1-1 we were in the best period of the game. We have a corner, from the counter-attack they score and 27 seconds later, whilst Phil Jagielka is on the side getting treatment, they play and score. From 27 seconds from us having a corner, they score two goals, so it was one of those situations that will never happen again, but at the same way during the season we have never been lucky once. The players are desperate to get back into Europe, I can tell you that, and that is an experience that is going to be with us forever.

At the close, Roberto got up and shook everyones hand, looking you in the eye and saying sincerely: Good to see you. It was great to meet Roberto again. He is a real gentleman and nothing would please me more than he becoming a success at Everton. Given the season we had it was good of him to front up to the supporters and openly discuss how things are going.

Weve a big summer ahead and after the success of the 2013-14 campaign, he certainly deserves the opportunity to put it right this coming season. Three or four new players? Im looking forward to seeing who we bring in and lets hope its the right players to help us improve for next season.

Audio of the fan sites interview

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Reader Comments (71)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 25/05/2015 at 14:36:39
I’ve just tried to listen to the Roberto Martinez interview with followtonians and various EFC related sources and he says some interesting things; some good, some bad and some mystifying, but what comes across to me is that he won’t change and will carry on regardless of what the supporters believe hence his idea of being neutral.

Martinez 2015

Ross Edwards
2 Posted 25/05/2015 at 15:07:55
I read the transcript. Didn’t agree with most of it. He still thinks we’re a tactically flexible team, which I think is absolute rubbish personally.

He was gushing in his praises about Howard and Barry so they aren’t being dropped any time soon. Believe it or not he said Howard has been ’impressive’. I can count on one hand how many good games he’s had.

The funniest bit was when he said there was a campaign against Alcaraz, which is just a bizarre excuse/defence of him. He says it could be because he came in from Wigan or maybe because he’s Paraguayan.

Believe me Roberto, his nationality has got nothing to do with his total lack of ability mate.

As for transfers. ’We don’t have £28m at the moment’ is what he said. ’It could be 2 years before we have it’, which tells me we have around £15m to spend this summer.

£6-7m will probably be spent on Lennon, Cleverley is probably his playmaker, he probably thinks he can do that role. (After all this is the same man who said after a 4-1 defeat to Blackpool that Titus Bramble was ready for an England call up)

He wants about 4 signings. A CB, a wide man, a playmaker/№ 10 and one other, probably a loan. I don’t think Deulofeu will be coming either, as Roberto said it’s not ’realistic at this moment’.

Credit to him for doing the interview and being honest, but personally I’m not convinced by most of it and some of it does concern me. Unless the 4 or 5 signings are good ones, I can see us finishing around 7th-10th next season.

Andy Mack
3 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:06:39
"When I arrived (in the country) in 1995 people used to say 'put it in the box, you've got a chance to score!' and I used to say 'There's nobody in the box, how have we got a chance to score?' You need to control the ball."

And nothing has changed, I humbly suggest Roberto and Co learn to combat this tactic pronto as it’s an almost guaranteed route to score against Everton. Even if we’ve both our centre-backs, a couple of defensive midfielders standing right they. All they need is a forward breezing between them to get on the end of it, and not even an accomplished forward, just someone who can leap more than a foot and is prepared to attack the ball. Much like the strike it from distance and watch Howard palm it into the net for you, or the smack it and watch the deflection as there are so many standing in the box.

Great that Roberto fronted this interview, imagine Blue Bill doing this these days? But the whole squad and tactics this season have been awful. I can’t describe the disbelief I had looking at the team sheet earlier in the season when we had the possibility of having a front two of Lukaku and Eto’o. How would an opposing manager have felt looking at that threat. No worries, we never bothered with it. Bizarre season, and during the Christmas period I was convinced we were going down. I’m glad it is over, but nothing I read here tells me next season is going to be worse. And Atsu... what was that loan all about?

Joe Ainsworth
4 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:09:50
So Martinez has finally unearthed the massive anti-Paraguayan sentiment that pervades every inch of Goodison Park to this day, a throwback to an incident during a bitterly contested game in the 1930s when a Club General Diaz centre half stuck the head on Dixie Dean during a pre-season friendly in Asuncion.

Thanks for setting us straight, Roberto, I was labouring under the misconception Alcaraz was actually just a pile of unutterable shite who strolls round the pitch like he’s guest of honour at a beach football tournament.

Joe Foster
5 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:22:47
To be fair to you, Colin, this was not really a prediction.
Dean Adams
6 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:23:46
I’ve been off the boil for a while now, Joe, but I’m predicting great things for next season IF we get my targets e.g Cech, Varane, Pogba and Ronaldo.
Dean Adams
7 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:30:23
I for one think that is a spot-on prediction. With you all the way.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:37:00
I don’t want to go on about him too much, but some of his statements are quite frankly ridiculous, Alcaraz was Man of the Match versus Newcastle, to justify his selection against Kiev. Newcastle hardly came out of their half until they went down to 10 men, and during that period Alcaraz gave the ball away three times that I remember.

Quite a few more statements I could contradict: I think he lives in his own little world.

Brian Harrison
9 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:33:45
Well he has always been good at PR just a pity he isn’t as good in managing a football team. He said that he didn't think we were as fit as we should have been at the start of the season, but blamed the World Cup for that. I guess Chelsea and Man City and Arsenal benefited from having no players involved in the World Cup?

The reason Alcaraz has been poor is because us fans have something against ex-Wigan players or maybe because he is Paraguayan... what utter rubbish.

He says he is delighted with the young players, ie Lukaku, Barkley and Stones, again more spin and no substance. Yes Stones has been the best of his young players. But Barkley despite him telling us that he would end up being one of Everton's best ever players when chosen doesn't last the 90 minutes, and quite honestly the lad has gone backwards under RMs time.

Lukaku has to be one of the laziest players you will see, and again another who has gone backwards under Martinez and no improvement in his movement or first touch.

I see no reason to expect next season to be any better than the one just finished, so I expect us to finish anywhere from 8th down.

Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:57:01
The most worrying aspect of his interview which Paul hasn’t mentioned is the QPR home game when a small portion of the supporters gave the team the bird and which Roberto seemed to take exception to. The following games until the QPR away game says a lot more about what effect that had on the players and it wasn’t a good one, it is an incident that should have been quashed by the manager and he didn’t do that - in fact it could be argued that he allowed it to fester and allowed his players to put in very sub-standard performances during that period apart from the Cup-ties as if his players had a point about the crowd’s reaction.

I wonder if that is what Distin meant when he said there is no love without passion? I honestly thought that Roberto understood what Everton means to its supporters but the more I hear from him the more I think he hasn’t got a clue what this club means to its supporters.

As for the Howard Kendall / Phillip Carter moment that was because Howard always understood what the fans wanted and had spent two or more years moulding the squad and he had an eye for a good player and a little luck. This manager will have to get extremely lucky to bring the fans onboard, because he isn’t going to change his methods or style of play.

Paul Jeronovich
11 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:57:52
I enjoyed this interview. At least he has the balls to sit with the fans and given onset answers. I still feel he should get a good pre-season, an injection of new players (out with the old, Distin, Alcaraz, Gibson, Pienaar & Hibbo) & the first ten games of the season. If things are still as disappointing then he has ran out of excuses and must be fired.
Trevor Peers
12 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:07:16
Talk talk talk. At least Brenda has offered to resign after the RS awful season and they finished 6th.

We’ve played a lot worse so where’s Roberto’s offer of resignation?

Joe Foster
13 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:15:47
He’s not the kind of man to do that, Trevor (unfortunately).
Frank Crewe
14 Posted 25/05/2015 at 16:57:16
Alcaraz couldn’t get MotM if he was the only player on the pitch. The whole piece is nothing but rose coloured specs nonsense and self-serving excuses.

He’s back to one game a week next season so no World Cup/Europa League cop outs. He had better do a whole lot better than this season or he’s out.

Trevor Peers
15 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:22:23
Indeed Joe. That’s why he’s held in such contempt by the majority of our fans. Admit you’ve screwed up, Roberto, and offer to resign. You might gain a little respect.
David Barks
16 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:22:03
I don't want to waste my time responding to all the shite spoken by Martinez in that piece.

The simplest word that comes to mind is delusional. The other thing that pops into my mind is con-man. They look you in the eye, they smile, make you feel important. Then the next thing you know they’ve swindled you out of your life savings.

So much of what he said is demonstrably untrue and contradicted by his next statement. I can not stand that man. His line about not pumping it into the box because there isn’t anyone in the box. What utter shite.

You know the solution to that Bobby? Put to center forwards on the pitch and tell them to get in the fucking box!!! Seemed to work pretty well for Cahill when Baines would whip them in from the left.

John Daley
18 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:36:38
Actually, Alcaraz did indeed have a fine game against Newcastle. He and Gibson were probably the standout performers in that match. You can’t retrospectively strip him of a good performance simply because he fell to shit in the following match.
Eddie Dunn
19 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:45:36
It is hard to tell someone that they really aren’t up to the job, when they smile at you, shake your hand, and offer you their sincere explanation.

The media don’t seem to ask him pertinent questions, and fans in the presence of the face of their club, also fail to be ruthless in their demands. I suppose it’s good manners.

He really doesn’t realise just how unpopular and deluded he has become, as he never hears the truth.

The odd comment from the stands can be dismissed out of hand, after all didn’t the majority of fans stay for the lap of honour on Sunday?

Geoff Evans
20 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:29:18
Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk and more talk. Read between the lines and basically its the same again, building a team around average, injury prone and past their best players with a few hit or miss, (preferably cheap) loanees thrown in for good measure.

Be reassured, it’s the same again next season, and for as long as Luvvie Bill and and his cohorts can get away with it. The board and the management are a joke but no one's laughing.

Colin Glassar
21 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:27:58
Good interview. He didn’t duck any of the questions but some of his answers are a bit bizarre. I totally agree with him that Ossie and Pienaar have been massive misses for us this season but he should’ve had replacements in place.
Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 25/05/2015 at 18:21:09
I don’t think this fellow has ever managed a Premier League club although his reactions are similar to some of the supporters at Goodison this season.

A Proper Catalonian Clown

Denis Richardson
23 Posted 25/05/2015 at 17:27:18
OK I’ll bite – one thing you have to give the guy, he’s certainly not short of confidence and is prepared to answer questions and is 100% sure of his beliefs (even if some of them are iffy to say they least).

On his list of excuses (sorry... 'reasons') for the shambles that was the season;

a) The first two games of the season where we drew, conceding late goals in both. Apparently this knocked the players’ confidence back so much it affected them for the following 36 league games over 9 months and they never recovered. I cannot even be bothered to counter this as its so ridiculous.

b) ’Overcoming the style of some of the lesser Premier League teams’ – ie, ’lesser’ teams parking the bus. Whilst he does have a point here, he’s also paid about £4M a year to come up with solutions and not seeming to come up with any over an entire year does not bode well. It also does not explain why/how we were leading in 19 games this season and managed to blow the vast majority and also why our defence was so poor when these ’lesser’ teams were parking the bus.

c) The World Cup affected preseason preparation and apparently ’you see a peak around February/March and that is what we had’ – apparently. So first off, the World Cup screwed up pre-season and the players then needed 7 months (yes seven months!!!) to get over it. Where to begin with this one... to be honest, I don’t know; we’ll move on.

Staying on the World Cup, I’d like to highlight the following – What do these players have in common; Coleman, McCarthy, Stones, Distin, Barry, Naismith, Hibbert, Garbutt, Oviedo, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Kone, McGeady, Robles, Alcaraz... ??? NONE of these were at the World Cup! 16 first team players, FFS (a couple were admittedly injured).

Everyone has known since (I believe) 2006 that there would be a World Cup in Brazil, Summer 2014. Probably would have been good to sort out proper planning, after all you came to Everton a year earlier, will put this down to inexperience shall we?

Every other team in the league also had players at the World Cup – not just poor old Everton – so not really a decent excuse....

You decided to go to Brazil to commentate, guess it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you....your choosing though...

Taking the above Wold Cup combined, I can only surmise that RM fucked up preseason because he didn’t take it seriously enough (he wouldn’t have gone to Brazil otherwise). I will just about put this down to arrogance and/or lack of experience but at least admit it!

d) Reason why EL is harder than CL? Apparently ’ travelling is different. You are playing more games in Ukraine and Russia’. Well, now that smells like manure again Roberto doesn’t it, last time I looked there were eastern European teams in the CL as well. Just a couple that spring to mind; CSKA Moscow, Zenit St Petersburg, BATE (Belorussian) not to mention Galatasaray/Turkey and APOEL/Greece – absolute bollocks again. Also most of our EL games were in those far flung distant territories known as France, Germany and Switzerland. Also half the Russia and Ukraine games we played were at home. Out of 10 EL games we only had to travel far twice!

e) The Sunday KOs are also an issue as they are a bit earlier – starting at 14:00 instead of 16:00 seems to cause our illustrious manager a manager problem. Right.

f) "In the Premier League you can play at 95% and still lose. In Spain you can play at 60% and win. In the Premier League you have to be at it every game." Erm – WTF has that got to do with the price of fish? Every other team we play against in the league is based in... well... England as we’re an English team! Or are you wishing we could somehow transplant Spanish sides into the PL so we can ’play at 60% and win’?

g) "The other thing is Christmas. Every other game, more or less, they stop. The British game it is the busiest period. I do think there is something which needs to be done if you want to help the Premier League compete in Europe." Again – IT'S THE SAME FOR EVERY OTHER TEAM! How the fuck is that an explanation for our poor performances? It also didn’t seem to affect you in 2013 or the 4 years at Wigan.

h) "The loss of Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar for a large part of the season has contributed towards us struggling to break these teams down."

For once, I can actually agree with something. Although I would add, given their respective ages, it would have been wise to sign a creative midfielder in the summer. Osman and Pienaar need to be replaced at some point.

An hour and a half this interview went on for and it seems the journos lapped up everything dished out to them with tongues hanging out, taking all the above as obvious and just explanations for why this season has been a complete and utter waste of time. RM can spin it with the best of them but all I see is a man who refuses to admit his mistakes and comes up with bollocks as explanations when things go wrong but manages to say it with a straight face and ’look you in the eye’ – he’s either in denial, actually deluded or just a smooth-talking bullshitter, I still cannot work out which one.

How did this guy ever get into football management?

Joe Foster
24 Posted 25/05/2015 at 18:42:21
I picture this going a bit like the little Britain character (hypnotist guy):

"Look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes and you are under. I have not been taking your underwear home, putting it on in my bedroom... In front of the mirror" etc etc

Kunal Desai
25 Posted 25/05/2015 at 18:57:56
The only positive I can see is that the club are allowing fans to engage with them through interviews. As for the interview itself, it's just positive spin, nothing different. Nothing changes for me. He gets 10 games next season, if he cannot deliver then he must go. Simple really.
He says Alcaraz started against Kiev because of his performance against Newcastle? Hmmm... okay, so why was Robles dropped for the Leicester game when he was doing well in Howard's absence? Doesn’t make sense.
Andy Crooks
26 Posted 25/05/2015 at 18:52:34
A well documented piece, Paul. I have no doubt that Martinez comes across as personable and sincere. In black and white, however, some of utterances make him appear half-witted.

Joe # 4 is right, his comments on Alcaraz are cretinous. He takes a view of games that is often self-serving and narrow-minded. There is an air of arrogance that is totally unjustified.

It is an interesting and illuminating piece; he has an answer for everything and that is quite different from answering everything.

I have absolutely no confidence in him. I would like him gone.

David Holroyd
27 Posted 25/05/2015 at 19:15:54
What a load of codswallop, he comes out with some crap, and people fall for it. He must go before he takes us even further down. Please go back to Spain.
Matt Williams
28 Posted 25/05/2015 at 19:35:27
What I thought summed him up was when he said that, against Man Utd, Ross Barkley looked like he was finally back to his best. I agree with that. What I wanted someone interviewing him to do was ask was why he was on the bench for the next game against Villa?

The man is just a mass of contradictions!

We’ve got great character, but after 3 games our season was cattle-trucked?

James Stewart
29 Posted 25/05/2015 at 19:48:47
A lot of what he says I can understand but, when you see a performance like the one at the weekend first hand, it just undermines everything he says.
Colin Williams
30 Posted 25/05/2015 at 18:09:35
Total "bollocks" from the fraud!... Contradicts himself all the time! His team selection and game management throughout the season has been amateur at best... I will never trust him again.

All this crap about Besic, Garbutt, Robles, Kone, McGeady, Stones (early doors) etc.... These players needed to play – there were many opportunities during this shit season that this manager should/ could have been brave enough to... "Drop the dross" from the side and have faith in your so- called squad players!!( that’s their purpose) All he done was make fecking excuses to select the "dross" all season. There are maybe only three players that deserved to play throughout the season... The rest deserved to be dropped! They have been shite!!

Younger players who have been waiting for a chance to perform have been let down by this guy. Accelerated learning comes from playing games; talented youngsters can step outside their comfort zone (Besic in World Cup). They perform with spirit and except their trials and tribulations. Progress is built, in effect, upon the foundations of necessary failure.

You only have to look at Garbutt, Stones, Galloway, Besic... etc. They all performed very well, some exceptional!!! But the only player you had the balls to play was Stonsey! (mainly due to the other senior c/h being shitte)

I have never heard of players becoming better players while sitting on their ass watching all season!!!! ( stop blowing smoke up their ass... You should have grown a pair and given them the opportunity they deserved!! Really, could it have got any worse? You don’t deserve to manage a Sunday league side!... Shame on you.

The only thing your good at is... The power of bullshit (words)... A performer!

Rob Dolby
31 Posted 25/05/2015 at 20:16:09
Why didn’t anyone ask about his style of football being the most sterile, boring and uninspiring since Gordon Lee’s reign?
Colin Glassar
32 Posted 25/05/2015 at 20:45:55
Rob, are you describing Gordon Lee as a person? Because a team that had Mckenzie, Latchford, King, Dobson, Thomas etc....was anything but ’sterile, boring and uninspired’. It was in fact one of the greatest Everton teams of all time despite Gordon Lee.
Colin Gee
33 Posted 25/05/2015 at 20:47:17
There was a campaign against Alcaraz because he came from Wigan?

Err excuse me Roberto,you’re talking shite, our best player over the last two seasons has been James McCarthy and he came from Wigan! No ’campaign’ against him at all.

Perhaps the ’campaign’ against Alcaraz is because he is shit!

If John Stones was ill against Kyiv away, why was he was on the bench then? What would have happened if Alcaraz was injured in the first minute? Looking at our bench that night, Robles, Stones, Garbutt, Besic, Gibson, Osman and Kone, I can only see one recognised Centre Half and that’s Stones.

Chris Feeley
34 Posted 25/05/2015 at 20:44:00
I hope that he realises that he’s ultimately the creator of his own criticism. His incessant positivity in the face of overwhelmingly obvious failings may be his ham fisted way of dealing with his increasingly vocal detractors.

However, regardless of whether it is done knowingly or not, he comes across as being stubborn and deluded. This is surely not a good combination for someone who has to motivate millionaire professionals who are not all as gullible, naive, and obedient as many would like you to believe.

Patrick Murphy
35 Posted 25/05/2015 at 21:07:37
Millionaire players or not, obedient or not, they are mostly young men with some veterans amongst them but they all need leadership and direction and I would love to know if the players do buy into what Roberto wants from them or whether they are just happy to go along with whatever he wants in a half-hearted way to keep themselves on the gravy train.

The performances this season mostly show a group of players who have lost direction and form. It is usually fine and indeed expected for a player or a couple of players to be out of form for certain periods of the season but to have so many players not performing to the expected level for such a long spell is curious to say the least.

Naismith is a particular curiosity as he often personified the spirit that Roberto talks about and never failed to give 100% whenever he took to the pitch but his last few months or longer he has looked an angry, limited talent who has lost faith in his own ability similar to most of the forward thinking players at the club.

If we can’t find a way of improving our attack, we can’t expect our results to improve, Roberto mentions that we took the lead in many games and I would agree that usually that would result in getting something out of the game, however, I would also argue that it is our impotency as a creative team that is making life extra difficult for the defenders and leading to mistakes which in turn leads to dropped points.

Ian Glassey
36 Posted 25/05/2015 at 21:30:13
Must agree with Colin 32. That side of Gordon Lee’s was any thing but boring, they were very unlucky not of got a top3 finish.
Some top class players playing a style far better than the shite we have seen this year.
Patrick Murphy
37 Posted 25/05/2015 at 21:43:57
Whilst I don’t like to bring up what happened in his tenure at Wigan, perhaps it is telling that in the eight league games against Everton, Roberto’s teams failed to win in the five matches in which they took the lead – not particularly scientific but does seem to indicate a pattern.
Ray Robinson
38 Posted 25/05/2015 at 21:56:28
We didn’t take the lead at Leicester after 84 minutes - we were 2-1 up at half time and decided to try to protect the lead rather than go for the jugular - either that or we ran out of steam due to the phenomenally poor pre-season. We also ran out of steam against Arsenal in the next game.

Martinez was right in saying that these results set the tone for the season but, rather than it being "psychological", it seemed to me to be down to poor conditioning.

Anyway, we only drew the first 3 games of last season and yet still went on to achieve a records points total.

Rob Dolby
39 Posted 25/05/2015 at 21:22:29
The team of Dobson, Lyons, Thomas, Latchford and King were my heroes growing up. With a more astute manager we may have done better at that time. I was comparing the tactics of the two managers rather than players.

Roberto has got arguably the best squad of players that we have had for 30 years and looks to be out of his depth in managing them.

Is anyone genuinely excited when we pass the ball between our defenders 20 times then eventually either twat it up or lose possession. I don’t expect us to win the league but playing this style of football is killing my appetite for the Blues.

Michael Winstanley
40 Posted 25/05/2015 at 20:51:27
Thanks Paul, for the article and the link. Coming away, was everyone quite happy with the responses they’d got from him?

For those that didn’t listen... In many ways, that’s what I expected from RM, a belief in his players (they thought they would win the Europa League), accepting where we’ve been poor and looking to build a better future.

He mentions Coleman, Stones, McCarthy, Besic, Barkley and Lukaku as the core group of players to build his future team around and we don’t have to sell anyone.

He states he wants three players in, a centre half, creative No 10 and a wide player plus maybe one more. We’ll reduce the first team squad by two as a result of not being in Europe.

He’s planning on bringing players through from the academy the season after next, clearly they think some have potential to become members of the first team squad.

He see’s us developing our style, an intelligence to change tactics within the game and to adapt to the opposition accordingly. He has no doubt his philosophy will work, flexibility within play.

And finally, we’ve offered Luke Garbutt a contract to stay at Everton, Luke’s having a think about it.

Patrick Murphy
41 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:07:07
Luke’s got Bournemouth and more likely Swansea City to consider and probably a few others who would take him. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be too upset that a young player wants to try his hand elsewhere but I am concerned that this may be the first youngster to leave Goodison and improve his career – something that has rarely happened in the last decade, even for those that commanded a large fee.
Patrick Murphy
42 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:12:10
I don’t suppose that our current boss is on the radar of Real Madrid as they seek to replace Carlo Ancelotti?
Dick Fearon
43 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:11:03
When I arrived (in the country) in 1995 people used to say ’put it in the box, you’ve got a chance to score!’ and I used to say ’There’s nobody in the box, how have we got a chance to score?’

As recently as the Spurs game, Eric Dier put it in the box for Harry Kane to score an excellent goal. Meanwhile, our own big galloot was zigzagging every which way bar into the box and never looked like scoring.

Over the dismal season, I wonder how many we conceded because opponents did the simple thing of PUTTING IT IN THE BOX!

Dick Fearon
44 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:25:57
In the context that Premier League survival is all that matters to Blue Bill and his cronies: On that score, we will have the naïve sod for at least another year.
Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:29:36
Benteke at Villa Park, springs readily to mind Dick, I’m sure that quite a few goals have been conceded when the opposition have put the ball into the box during this season and last season.
Des Farren
46 Posted 25/05/2015 at 21:54:27
There was a campaign against Alcaraz – maybe justified.
There was a campaign against Howard – maybe justified.
There were campaigns against Coleman, Baines, McGeady, Lukaku, McCarthy, Barry, Robles, Barkley & NNaismith during the course of the season – none of which were justified.

There have been campaigns against Osman every season. There has been an unrelenting, unforgiving and quite spiteful campaign against Martinez with no end product other than to undermine everything he does, says, or even wears.

I honestly don’t see what benefits this constant self serving carping brings to either players or manager. He will be here for the forseeable future. Criticise if you must – just leave off the daily campaigning for his sacking as it diminishes us all.

Keith Glazzard
47 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:04:08
For anyone who saw the game on Sunday, was it not the season all in one go? If controlling the ball is the game-plan, how can you do this if you are overrun in midfield? What was Barkley’s role supposed to be? Did he know?

It was obvious from the start of the season that we had be worked out, sussed. We got our saving run together (and Lennon helped, as a defender as much as anything!) by tightening up. So when Besic came on in the second half, we actually made a game of it. But although it wasn’t good enough, it at least wasn’t half a game wasted, when we were bound to let one in at some point.

And that’s what the season has been like – about half of it wasted for the want of tactical change. Simply not good enough.

ps: Most of Gordon Lee’s best players were Billy Bingham’s.

Mick Wrende
48 Posted 25/05/2015 at 19:54:59
David @27 – completely correct. Martinez’s comments are an insult to the intelligence of all Everton fans. In fact, they need to be treated with utter contempt though no-one will be surprised by them as they match his usual post-match tripe.
Andy Crooks
49 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:51:40
Des, there has been no campaign against Martinez or any of the players you mention. Certainly individuals complain on websites or at the game about them and sometimes it is justified. There HAS been a campaign against st Bill Kenwright which has unfortunately been unsuccessful.

I would like Martinez to be sacked as would some others. As yet we have not organized a campaign. I and others might be unrelenting but not, in my opinion, spiteful and unforgiving.

Nigel Gregson
50 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:58:31
Des (#46) – hear, hear! Nail on the head.
Bill Gall
51 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:44:11
Just out of curiosity, didn’t BK say when he hired Martinez that you just have to spend an hour in the room with this man and you will realize that he is the right man to lead Everton (or words to that effect).

How many people listening to this interview explaining the problems / excuses for last season’s performances for over an hour, believe he is the rght man to lead Everton?

Patrick Murphy
52 Posted 25/05/2015 at 22:59:44
Des - I don’t wish to participate in any campaign against any member of the Everton Football Club staff. However, what I do want is a team that plays football in the correct way and competes against each and every team that it encounters.

My estimation is that the players we have at our disposal aren’t as bad as the results and more importantly the performances suggest but I would argue that Roberto’s idea of football would be alien to the players that Chelsea or Arsenal possess and perhaps most other top Premier League clubs as well.

My dream is that some European team will take him away as, like you say, he isn’t going to be sacked and he would never resign, so we are stuck with him for the foreseeable future.

I can’t see any top club chasing his signature and I wasn’t aware that any club was chasing his signature before he arrived at Goodison – that tells a story all of its own without any campaigns on TW or elsewhere.

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 26/05/2015 at 00:38:07
John Daly (#18) – No, Alcaraz didn’t have a great game against Newcastle because he didn’t have much to do because Newcastle hardly attacked until they went down to ten men and then he had a lot of the crowd panicking every time he had to play the ball.

I don’t mind Alcaraz, he came to Everton too late in his career and his best days were behind him to show his true value. Martinez talks a load of nonsense and web Evertonians will not be taken in by his silly talk.

I enjoy your offerings, John, and you offer some sense and a lot of fun; now, if only Roberto could take a leaf out of your book, he’d have quite a few more followers among the fans.

Sam Hoare
54 Posted 26/05/2015 at 06:58:13
Wonder who the special talent in the youth system he refers to is?

My guess is Liam Walsh. He looks a handy little playmaker.

Lee Gorre
55 Posted 26/05/2015 at 08:09:27
Nothing in any of this to change my mind that he is deluded and should not be our manager next season.....although he will be. Nice guy maybe, but he is in a dreamworld.

No-one should be blaming a poor season on a late equaliser at Leicester and losing a lead against Arsenal, or bemoaning the loss of two players past their prime and into the their 30s.

I’ve seen much worse seasons than this one but not when there is a crop of players so good and who should be doing so much better. That to me is down to the manager and the inflexible tactics and the stubborn belief in certain players.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 26/05/2015 at 09:03:44
Sam (#54), I don’t think you are wrong there. I've seen Liam a few times and fingers crossed he can put a smile on our faces in a couple of years.

I don’t like to praise young players too much because I think it puts too much pressure on them but in this case I am optimistic that Liam will do it for us.

Richard Reeves
57 Posted 26/05/2015 at 11:41:18
Gordon Lee used to scare the shit out of me as a child. Some of the programmes my dad used to bring back were black and white or that weird shade of brown/yellow which I think emphasized the darkness around his eyes and made him look even more gaunt... creepy looking fella.
Declan Brown
58 Posted 26/05/2015 at 12:56:28
Just after Christmas I genuinely wondered if Roberto had lost the plot. Thought it was just me who seen it this way.

But the last 5 months or so he comes out with a pearl of his wisdom at a rate of nearly once a day and it just confirms what I suspected. He’s lost the plot and can’t find the answer. I’d love to know what he’s thinking before he comes out with another one of these madcap pearls of Roberto’s wisdom.

Would he not be better employed as one of those life coachs / quacks that makes everyone see the bright side of their lives to boost their confidence?

I’m past worrying now, the man’s a one-man walking talking comedy show. Embrace the madness and, before he annoys you, just start laughing. You’ll feel better for it! What’s he going to come out with next? He surely has exhausted every avenue of platitude for all of our squad by now...

Pienaar’s (sadly) finished in my opinion, by the way; it’s a shame because I rated him as a good player – him and Baines were a superb combination.

Marc Williams
59 Posted 26/05/2015 at 13:29:07
Sorry, Pau,l but given your conclusions, I think you and the other interviewers are suffering from a bad case of "Stockholm syndrome".
Steavey Buckley
60 Posted 26/05/2015 at 14:35:52
Everton were the 11th biggest spenders in Premier League last season and Everton’s final league position reflects that.

Patrick Murphy
61 Posted 26/05/2015 at 14:39:23
Well at least we can focus on our Premier League survival as West Ham have got the final European Place via the Fair-Play League. Batten down the hatches – 2015-16 is going to be a bumpy ride.
Allan Board
62 Posted 26/05/2015 at 14:42:45
A bumpy ride indeed, Patrick. A Walter Mitty manager, coach's aka Phil Neal to Graham Taylor. 90% of the players uninterested in his twaddle with the other 10% are just yes-men.

Old has beens played at the expense of youth. Negative tactics which will destroy the better players still further. Lack of leaders on the pitch. Lack of creativity because it's frowned upon. Walking Football (it's for OAPs, Martinez!). No urgency. No Focus. No crosses! No corners!! No defending!!! No fucking ideas...

Relegation candidates for sure.

We have Thatcher in a suit and brown shoes: "The man is not for turning."

John Crawley
63 Posted 26/05/2015 at 18:43:25
I agree, Alcaraz had a good game against Newcastle. The only problem was that they didn’t play with a recognised centre-forward!! He had it easy and thus Martinez’s argument for playing him is fundamentally flawed. I also wonder why Robles had the attitude that if he made a mistake he’d be dropped, obviously nothing to do with the manager!!
Nick Page
64 Posted 26/05/2015 at 19:49:38
All this blaming Martinez for everything bar the lack of ale at Europeans is unreal quite frankly. We are the 10th highest wage payers in the league. And the league positions pretty much filter down on that stat and that alone.

We are the lowest spenders of the long stay premier league teams. We get outspent by teams like Swansea. Is this Roberto’s fault or did we overachieve for years under Moyes, our once frowned upon manager (on here, anyway)?

So until Boys Pen Billy and his merry band of cohorts up the investment, until we get bought out following the painstaking 24/7/365 lie, if we get a new stadium for nothing and can fill it with a load of new fans willing to spend on merchandise or until perhaps some of you millionaires stick your hands in your deep pockets, then mid-table mediocrity is likely to be where we finish. So don’t blame the manager cos the next one will be just as hamstrung as this one regardless of the "tactics" or "style".

Patrick Murphy
65 Posted 26/05/2015 at 21:16:52
Nick – It’s more to do with the lack of entertainment than any unrealistic expectations, if Roberto and Bill Kenwright believe they can achieve tangible success on a shoestring it is they who are being unrealistic.

To be deprived of any hope of trophies whilst at the same time witnessing some of the most sterile football we have seen for many a year is a double whammy, unless of course it actually comes down to the price of our season tickets being too low and we shouldn’t expect any better.

We won’t need a new stadium or enhanced facilities if the next couple of seasons serves up the same tepid, directionless football, as nobody apart from the real die-hards will want to pay to watch it.

Bournemouth and Norwich, albeit in the lower division, seem to be able to pass the ball around and create chances and I don’t believe they were the richest clubs in the Championship.

Mike Oates
66 Posted 26/05/2015 at 21:45:12
Steavey # 60

The graph shows we were the 6th highest spenders but finished 11th

Patrick Murphy
67 Posted 26/05/2015 at 21:47:12
Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Southampton, Everton, QPR, Hull and Spurs were the top 10 in that graph in that order, so Everton were the seventh highest spenders.
Nick Page
68 Posted 26/05/2015 at 22:09:28

11th and finished there.

Nick Page
69 Posted 26/05/2015 at 22:11:40

Net spend £2.5m per year. Incredible

Ray Roche
70 Posted 26/05/2015 at 22:09:44
Mike, that’s the way I see it, too, only 7th highest spenders and 11th finish. Trouble is, most of our money was spunked on Lukaku and not spread on squad depth.
Patrick Murphy
71 Posted 26/05/2015 at 22:14:17
Nick (69) Just a little below that table is another table showing the spending between 2003 and present and we actually lowered that figure of £2.5M, not by much, but still lower. Our net debt is extraordinarily close to our net spend for the past 12 years at circa £28M

Andy Meighan
72 Posted 28/05/2015 at 16:14:13
Sounds like the Spaniard had you all eating out of his hand, Paul. In fact it sounds like you all were teenage boys in the company of some super sexy supermodel. What you should have done, Paul, as you have done in your various threads this season was tell him how shit the football has been, ask him why have we struggled to create chances in games like Hull, Stoke, WBA etc at home.

No, it sounded like you were honoured just to be in his company. Yes he might be a right charmer gentleman etc in the company of fans but that’s no criteria of being a good football manager. Some of the shite he speaks is laughable and Denis (23) got it right with every point made about him.

Oh and by the way, I’ve personally got nothing against Paraguay and its countrymen. What I have got a gripe about is slow centre halves with no football brain and a terrible lack of pace and positional sense. I personally couldn’t give a fuck if they came from Outer Mongolia as long as they could play, so his geographical reference makes no sense whatsoever.

Yes, Paul. we’d all love him to do well next season but just read back what he’s just said. Are they really the words of a man dealing with a full pack? No they’re not. As someone earlier beautifully put it, the man is a mass of contradictions.

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