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Martinez praise for strike duo

27/10/2014  Comments (40)  jump
Roberto Martinez was justifiably proud of his goalscorers at Turf Moor yesterday as Samuel Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku helped the Blues to a 3-1 win.

Eto'o bookended a professional display by Everton with two brilliantly-taken goals, while Lukaku quickly made amends for his poor back-pass that gifted the Clarets an equaliser by restoring his side's lead at the other end.

[Samuel] can play anywhere, Martinez said after the game of Eto'o, a free-agent capture over the summer who has now weighed in with four goals. He can give a lot of aspects: technically, tactically and physically.

"His link-up play was exceptional and he brings a real know-how. There are few people who can teach things like Samuel due to his experience.

The Catalan was impressed with Lukaku, meanwhile, who refused to allow his head to drop after a bad mistake.

Football is a game of errors and they will happen, Martinez continued. I loved the reaction from Rom. He was unhappy because he gave the ball away and we got punished but, rather than accepting it, he did something about it. It was incredible to see that reaction.

Lukaku, meanwhile, has described how blessed he feels to be playing alongside Eto'o, the latest experienced veteran forward under whose tutelage the 21 year-old has been able to develop.

"[Samuel is] a world class player," Lukaku said. "He's scored so many goals throughout his career and I've been blessed to be working with him."

"I spend most of the time [at Finch Farm] with him. I come in at the same time as he does, I leave at the same time. We do everything together on and off the pitch as well. In training we have a finishing competition and the one who loses has to do sprints.

"We see each other quite often. He comes to my house, I go to his house. I try to learn as much as I can from him and he tells me stories about how he worked when he was younger."

"Samuel has the same impact as (Didier) Drogba and (Nicolas) Anelka had on me when I was younger at Chelsea," he concluded.  

Reader Comments (40)

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Richard Pike
1 Posted 27/10/2014 at 08:41:14
I thought it very interesting that in his brief MOTD2 interview Lukaku said Eto’o wants him to become one of the top strikers in the world, the implication being that some footballing wisdom is being transferred from elder to younger. No doubt we are paying Eto’o handsomely but good on him for giving something back by passing on the benefits of his experience when some players of his age and stature would be happy just to turn up, play and cash the cheques.

I hope Lukaku is following the guy around constantly watching everything he does on and off the pitch. If Eto’o has a responsibility to teach, so Lukaku has a responsibility to learn, and now is the time. Opportunities like this to be schooled in your art by one of the best don’t come around often.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 27/10/2014 at 09:02:28
Yes, agree with you there Richard, what a pleasure, not only to watch Eto’o ply his craft, but to know he’s a Blue and here for two years too. How good a pupil will Lulu be I don’t know, but one thing is obvious for sure, that Lulu’s ball control is at best, woeful.

I was also impressed that Eto’o has played two games in four days and not shown any signs of tiredness (cue Sterling) for a player in the twilight of his career. Long may it continue.

Trevor Lynes
3 Posted 27/10/2014 at 09:25:48
I must agree! Eto'o worked really hard off the ball and was a thorn in the side of the Burnley defence. Rom will definitely benefit from playing and working with Eto'o. If the lad wants to learn and develop, he could well become the next Drogba – another older striker who worked very hard too against Man Utd and scored a fine goal.

These guys have bags of top level playing time and their experiences should galvanise youngsters to reach the heights and levels of ability they show. Rom is still very young and has a fantastic future if he really applies himself. Bony is another example of top class centre forward play and he shows the way to hopefully Lukaku, as to how to hold the ball with his back to opponents and be able to bring other team members into play.

This last weekend has been lit up by top class strikers and I just want young Lukaku to light up the Everton faithful in the same way. He has all the attributes physically and just needs to sharpen up his first touch and hold-up play to succeed. The same can be said for Barkley who still has room for improvement.

Steve Jenkins
4 Posted 27/10/2014 at 09:54:07
Eto is pure class, a lot understandably doubted him as coming for pay check, past it and disruptive when he signed.

I was confident heÂ’d be a quality signing, his class was never in doubt and his attitude by the looks of it has been a pleasant attribute and addition with him mentoring and developing the younger like Lukaku from the sounds of it.

Lukaku is still coming in for grief, bad pass yesterday admittedly but his energy levels have been excellent in the last 3 games, really chasing opposition down, chasing lost balls, heÂ’s working hard for the team and that was the criticism of him I had in the games at the start of the season.

He looked so disinterested and like he wasnÂ’t trying. Martinez put it down to fitness and carrying an injury. On the basis of the last 3 games IÂ’d say that may well be the accurate.

To me his touch also looks far better since the Villa game and he looks, quick, strong and aggressive which was also lacking.

He also scoring goals which is the most important. HeÂ’s raw but still ridiculously still only 21 and should only improve.

With his attributes - he has bags of potential.

Paul Smith
5 Posted 27/10/2014 at 09:59:32
I’ve said this before but with Mirallas out and other wingers not pulling up any trees I think we should play 2 up top. Sam’s work rate and touch are phenomenal which Lukaku could learn a lot from.
Over the next few weeks I would like to see us play with a diamond formation behind 2 strikers as this I believe will get the best out of our attack minded players. We could still rotate players in the attacking position’s with Barkley, Naismith, Pienaar and Osman available for the tip of the diamond. Then Naismith can move up top with 1 of the other strikers.
Paul Mackie
6 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:15:16
I still can’t believe that Eto’o is playing for Everton! I’ve seen posts on here saying that Mourinho is a shrewd judge of players as he knew Lukaku wasn’t good enough for Chelsea. That’s obviously bullshit as he let Eto’o go!

Lukaku is very intelligent (according to Bobby) and I think he’s going to learn a hell of a lot in the next 2 years.

Jim Harrison
7 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:27:24
Surely all Rom needs to do is sit and watch back Eto’o’s performance from sunday to show him what he needs to do. 33 and tireless. He looked like he really wanted it, put himself about and finished with class. He even made a couple of defensive contributions.

Now, I am a fan of Lukaku’s, but even last year his tendency to stand looking almost dumbfounded as the ball comes near him is quite perplexing. Whilst Eto’o chased and harried, Rom stood and waited. If he really wants to emulate his other hero Drogba, he needs to take heed of how Samuel plays

Kevin O'Regan
9 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:42:12
Don’t forget men that these 2 men have very different builds, physiques - Rom is 14cm taller, good bit heavier and that does make a difference in terms of control, turning and quick feet. On a positive note however most of his goals seem to stem from that strength. But they are not the same person in terms of movement and never will be no matter how much Rom will learn.
Jim Harrison
10 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:53:54
Does his height affect how his feet work though? I am pretty sure tall strong lads are still able to control the ball!
Richard Pike
11 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:48:59
What you say is true, Kevin, and I don’t think it’s lost on any of us. But a lot of centre-forward play is not directly related to physique or physicality: knowing where to be when we don’t have possession, what runs to make when we do, etc. Things experience tells you.

Also how to look after yourself, diet, conditioning, off-field stuff like that. These are all aspects of the game that Eto’o can help teach Lukaku. And like Paul Mackie says, I can’t quite believe we have the actual Samuel Eto’o playing for us either.

Steve Jenkins
12 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:59:20

Agreed, Rom doesnÂ’t have EtoÂ’s skill set (very few strikers Worldwide do though), he needs to work on his control more and body position when holding the ball up.

Ultimately though, to get the best out of him you need to play to his strengths - heÂ’s a beast of a guy, a proven goalscorer, effectively you need him either off the shoulder and running on to finish or in the box with quality delivery, heÂ’s proven with head or foot heÂ’s a finisher when provided with quality service.

To provide with quality service more often we need some more creative players, a no:10 in the mould of Nolito would be a great signing - we donÂ’t have enough of these kind of players in the squad and a couple of injuries seeÂ’s us woefully lacking in attacking intent, as we saw with Barkley missing.

Mike Childs
13 Posted 27/10/2014 at 14:34:33
The thing for Eto’o is, if he makes Lukaku better, he gets to pay Mourhino back for his snide remarks in the media last year.
Jamie Crowley
14 Posted 27/10/2014 at 16:46:31
The fact EtoÂ’o is taking Rom under his wing is marvelous. Any money used to sign Samuel was well worth it. Lukaku can learn a ton from this man, and while we are educating and grooming a 21 year old with bags of raw talent, we get to enjoy a mentor who is simply superb.

EtoÂ’o also seems very happy here. DudeÂ’s always smiling.

All around this is a good situation. Everton has done very well in this regard signing EtoÂ’o.

Eivind Nyhus
15 Posted 27/10/2014 at 16:34:35
SamÂ’s control of the ball is astounding, and we really cant expect Lukaku to posses that level of control. Its not just year and years of practice but also God-given ability.

RomÂ’s gifts lie elsewhere, mainly size and power, and he does use both to score goals. IÂ’m confident LukakuÂ’s first touch and short passing will improve - letÂ’s sit back and watch him score goals in the while it does!

Paul Dark
16 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:42:45
It really would be very exciting to see these two play together more often, especially at GP.
Mike Childs
17 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:21:42
Regardless of some of the results this year itÂ’s got to feel good to see the ambition of the club to sign these two strikers.
Norman Merrill
18 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:20:48
IÂ’ve noticed that Eto takes time out to chat to Ross and Lukaku, before and during matches, this can only be a bonus, as this man has seen it, done it, and got the medals to prove it.

And any guidance to younger players, can only help.

David Chait
19 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:32:26
Just read interview with Rom on how Samuel is coaching him, mentoring him.. Etc... Fantastic for Rom and Everton to have someone like EtoÂ’o passing on his experience and knowledge... Also Rom is keeping EtoÂ’o on his toes with his youthful exuberance.

One thing about Rom is his keenness to learn... Will take him very far.

Dave Roberts
20 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:37:49
And who was that 'brightest young British manager' who turned down Sammy for nowt and chose 㾼m Balotteli instead?
Neil Pickering
21 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:38:57
Been saying for ages that Lukaku doesnÂ’t suit our style of play. He is a runner who needs to play on the shoulder of the last man with space in behind to run into.

His hold-up play is shite and I think we are kidding ourselves if we think it will improve to the level we require, itÂ’s just not the lad's strength. He suits a counter-attacking team, and that just isnÂ’t us.

Phill Thompson
22 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:43:03
Rom still has a lot to learn, which is exciting in itself. His concentration will get better too e.g Coleman's goal.
Chris Leyland
23 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:52:18
Lukaku has made 58 Premier League starts and 17 sub appearances for West Brom and us. He has scored 36 goals during these games.

Not bad seeing as though he is apparently the new Brett Angell according to some.

Phill Thompson
24 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:51:36
Oops, for Coleman's goal against Villa he was walking away not watching what was happening, as Baines scooted off down the left and Coleman set off into the area from the right. In time he should be the one racing into the area to catch defenses napping.
Brian Furey
25 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:42:04
I too would love to see the two of them line out more often, especially at home against non-top 6 teams.

If Rom had NaisyÂ’s work ethic and clever runs with EtoÂ’oÂ’s finishing and experience heÂ’d be some player.

Personally I think heÂ’s just one of those lazy strikers like Berbatov who will still score loads of goals but frustrate everyone. IÂ’m surprised RM doesnÂ’t play more to his strengths.

Geoff Evans
26 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:27:33
The Eto'o effect could be as big for us as the Cantona effect for Man Utd. The man's reputation demands respect, could be RM's best ever signing.
Brian Harrison
27 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:06:00
I think Lukaku is an out and out goalscorer, his ability to hold the ball up is not very good and you certainly wont get the best out of him with his back to goal. So I think we have to accept that he will put away a fair share of his chances, now whether that is enough is another question.
James Stewart
28 Posted 27/10/2014 at 19:28:03
EtoÂ’o is not only MartinezÂ’s best signing, he is the best player we have had at the club since I started supporting Everton (1994).

His record is world class and his technical ability is right up there with the best. Obviously he has lost some pace but he is still our best player by a country mile.

Lukaku is a totally different kind of player he will never have the ability EtoÂ’o does but then neither will most other players bar the MessiÂ’s and RonaldoÂ’s of this world. To compare the two is a bit unfair on Rom.

Darren Hind
29 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:12:39
What a pity that one came back off the post. A hat-trick would have been the icing on the cake.

Lukaku's still a baby, he will get better and better.

Colin Glassar
30 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:27:31
Honestly, who cares if Lukaku has a "terrible" first touch as long as he keeps banging them in? Hands up.
Kieran Riding
31 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:36:02
Puts hand up, looks around and sees he's the only one, and turns it into a 'stretch' hoping no-one else noticed..
Phill Thompson
32 Posted 27/10/2014 at 21:29:59
When Dzeko first played in the PL his first touch wasn't so good, now he's one of the strongest forwards on terms of getting the ball with his back to goal, holding defenders off and creating something for himself or others.

That side if Rom's game will develop too. But every so often I'd like to see Baines or Coleman suddenly hit a long ball from the back for Rom to chase on to. It's hard to criticise a passing game which is producing wonderful goals, but a bit if variety every now and then would keep defenders/midfielders from pressing up on as as they tend to do.

Denis Richardson
33 Posted 27/10/2014 at 21:57:55
Rom has scored 36 goals in 85 league games for us, West Brom and Chelsea. That's pretty impressive, especially for a 21-year-old.

Still, he doesn't work as much as the Stracq did........lazy get.

John Paul McGurk
34 Posted 27/10/2014 at 23:14:47
I was at The Villa game and I only saw Lukaku lose the ball once.
Harold Matthews
35 Posted 28/10/2014 at 03:22:47
Lacina Traore played 62 minutes and had two shots blocked on the line for Monaco.

Lille beaten 2-0 by Rennes but it should have been 6. Suffering from Europa league.

Lyon beat Marseille 1-0 but their keeper played like Superman and denied Ayew with 2 or 3 wonder saves.

James Wong
36 Posted 28/10/2014 at 03:55:21
Why do I keep reading that some supporters expected Eto'o to be playing for a pay check?

Everton is the last place you would come to play for a pay check!

Eto'o is one of my all time favourite players, from his performances so far he's barely lost anything since his Barca/Inter days. Yes he went to Russia but they offered him €250k a week, he left cause it was a waste of time. At chelsea he was always in and out of the team. He's getting a lot more playing time already here, and he started slow because he barely had a preseason. We should see a lot more of him soon. You just don't leave a world class player on the bench. Sublime touch and finishing on the weekend.

Lukaku did well when he was bullying and terrorising defences, particularly when he took his goal. But he still has a lot to work on. He should never have been in the position to play that back pass that lead to the goal. If Barry or McCarthy can't take that ball, its got to be one of the other three attacking mids.

Terence Leong
37 Posted 28/10/2014 at 05:49:46
Thought I'd post the following pointers, after reading about how fans are slagging off Lukaku:

1. Because his price tag is 㿈M, we all expect him to hit the ground running, be almost the finished product. As this fee (doesn't matter whether we paid up front or not, the fact that it is) is almost twice our previous transfer record, we are looking to get our returns as quickly as possible.

2. The fact is, that he is still learning his trade. Yes, he seems less intense or disinterested, but that can change. I read one or two posts that claim he is too old to learn how to better trap the ball, or certain aspects of the game. I remember reading Graeme Sharp's autobiography, about how he learnt when to jump (early) from another veteran, Andy Gray. Once Sharp learnt it, he became that dominant in the air, and was lauded across the league for his aerial abilities.

3. I see many posts about how Lukaku is not playing to his strengths, or how he should be holding the ball up better etc. Possibly, but each time I read such posts, I am reminded how how we used to "lump it up to the big guy" (Big Dunc), and forget that he was actually very good with his feet. Big Dunc himself said in interviews that people (players and manager) tend to only see that, and usually go for the quick answer to lump it up to him.

While Big Dunc has certainly scored iconic goals (e.g. against Liverpool and Man Utd) with his head, look at some of the goals he scored with his feet, or how he lays off the ball, with his feet (instead of knocking down with his head)... there were gems as well.

I can't help but feel that we played to the stereotypes, and often wondered how different things were if we had played more to Big Dunc's other qualities e.g. playing it on the floor.

While Big Dunc's injuries were down to some trapped nerve in his back, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the kind of incessant jumping he has to do amplifies the problem.

4. My point is that Lukaku's strength is unlikely to be holding up the ball and being a big target man. Look at Peter Crouch. He was always better with his feet than his head (or this other Norwegian guy from something back, Jan something, played with Torres Andre Flo, who himself was probably better with his feet than his head).

Perhaps we can see Lukaku developing further in holding up the ball more, or knocking down headers, but he is likely going to be playing along someone's shoulder, take on players directly, running onto through passes. Thus, I think he's only going to be most effective that way. Hopefully, he will begin to impose himself more on the game and that our team philosophy can allow him to flourish.

David Ellis
38 Posted 28/10/2014 at 06:35:18
Terence 37 - the problem is that (unlike Big Dunc) Lukaku isn't very good with his feet in build up play, and not that great in the air either!

He does not make good runs off the ball, he doesn't work hard enough to close down defenders or to challenge in the air in the middle of the pitch, he is slow to run back on-side after attacks break down and often seems to start walking as soon as we have or have appeared to lose the ball. Watching the Villa game live the difference between Lukaku and Naismith is stark. Naismith never stops. At one point Lukaku lost the ball but did not chase after it. Nais chased after it for him and closed down the defender who had to slice it into touch. Nais then turned round and gave an earful to Lukaku before sprinting the full length of the pitch to help out Coleman in defence.
And John Paul @34, I was at he Villa game and saw Lukaku lose the ball or not even get proper control of balls played into him many many times. It's a real problem, a very high proportion of our moves break down when it's played to Lukaku unless he has the space to run forwards towards goal – at which point, he suddenly looks like a beast.

Lukaku does score goals, no doubt about it – but he is hugely frustrating to watch as he could be and should be twice as good as he actually is.

Harold Matthews
39 Posted 28/10/2014 at 10:29:04
Yes James, there were plenty of cynical posts when Eto'o arrived but his ability and attitude have won most people over. What a player.
Tony J Williams
40 Posted 28/10/2014 at 12:27:25
David, he shouldn't really be the one that has to be good in the air.

That should be the forward midfielder's job, so they can flick it on to him.

Lukaku shouldn't be the target man for the hoof upfield, he is the forward who it should be getting passed to either with a flick on or a pull down and pass.

If a ball is twatted at your neck/knee, I would love to see a player trap the ball dead. Brazillians seems to be able to do it well, not many others really do.

Max Wilson
41 Posted 30/10/2014 at 09:45:05
It's a no-brainer that these two are our first choice as a striking team.Why we had to wait so long to see their pairing together is a mystery.

However, now it is obvious they are going to do oppositions a lot of damage, we now need to ensure they both get decent service. Of course their threat also creates opportunities for our other good players. I'd include Osman in this bracket, by the way.

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