Manager not looking to sign cover for StonesRoberto Martinez says that he is not planning to dip into the January transfer market to sign central defensive cover for John Stones.
The manager was asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Swansea City if he felt he needed to add depth to that area of the team given the injury to John Stones but Martinez insisted that he is happy with his options.
"No. As you can see, we've been performing really, really well defensively and centre half is a position where we are really strong with Phil Jagielka, Antolin Alcaraz, Sylvain Distin and even Tyias Browning who had already shown he can play in that position.
"So I'm very happy with what we've got. [Now it's a question of] making sure that we get John fit and ready for the second half of the season, which is not too far away."
With luck, Stones could return before the mid-season transfer window opens but he is expected to return in the New Year regardless, which, barring injury to the other players in that position, would restore Martinez's side to full strength at the back.
Reader Comments (50)
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1 Posted 30/10/2014 at 15:50:16
2 Posted 30/10/2014 at 15:53:55
3 Posted 30/10/2014 at 16:34:45
4 Posted 30/10/2014 at 16:40:56
That said; unless we find a gem in the lower leagues who could RM source in January that's not going to be either: a mercenary or severely overpriced?
5 Posted 30/10/2014 at 16:37:44
6 Posted 30/10/2014 at 16:41:25
We need someone whose between 25/27 years old, can play on the left side of central defence and can pass a ball.
7 Posted 30/10/2014 at 16:55:13
Don't forget Besic can easily a lot in. We are fine.
8 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:01:54
9 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:18:02
10 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:19:29
I still rate Aguero and Silva but defensively they are making mistakes and leaking goals due to over confidence and complacency.
Only Chelsea look really strong at present.
Unfortunately for us the likes of West Ham and Southampton are performing really well. Could be a few changes at the top this season's end!
11 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:32:56
12 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:32:43
13 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:51:28
14 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:53:51
15 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:51:40
The first position we need to strengthen in the starting 11 when all are fresh is a winger. Mirallas is class but Pienaar is past is. Atsu and McGeady are squad players and Naismith and Osman not really wingers. This is where Roberto needs to invest in a player who can improve the starting 11. It is probably not going to be easy Â– or, in other words, it requires finances.
16 Posted 30/10/2014 at 17:57:07
As far as the central defender situation is considered I most interested to see if Disten is offered another contract. His contract is up at the end of the season.
17 Posted 30/10/2014 at 18:38:25
We also have a promising 20-year-old who has had game time this season (Browning) and an 18-year-old with first team experience in League One (Galloway). If things got desperate we also have two midfielders with significant international experience who have also played at centre back (Barry and Besic).
I'd be looking at other areas in January.
To be honest, we don't need anyone; our next two or three signings should be players who significantly raise the quality in a particular position, rather than fill up a squad to an acceptable level. With this in mind I wouldn't expect them to happen until next summer, and January will only be a loan, or a bargain that seems too good to pass up.
18 Posted 30/10/2014 at 19:10:48
19 Posted 30/10/2014 at 19:41:13
20 Posted 30/10/2014 at 19:42:18
That will come as a considerable disappointment to those who continually claim he will replace our out-and-out defenders with people who are more comfortable on the ball.
"No. As you can see, we've been performing really, really well defensively and centre half is a position where we are really strong."
Does this guy really believe this shite? Is there anybody who thinks there is even a remote possibility that the defence he inherited will concede less than 50 goals this season?
"As you can see, we've been performing really really well defensively"????? WTF?
That's it for me. confirmation that the guy thinks we were all born yesterday.
21 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:04:44
22 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:04:08
And for what it's worth, I agree with Martinez. All the claims that the sky was falling and that we had to strengthen at all costs were premature. If there really were problems with the defence (and I'm not convinced there were any fundamental problems Â— just more stupid mistakes that normal) he seems to have gone a long way to sorting them out. But those mistakes are hard to eradicate completely and may continue to happen (see Lukaku v Burnley).
23 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:17:55
24 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:23:40
27 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:58:32
That’s nonsense re the continued 50 goals conceded theme.
Nobody knows how many we will concede
28 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:57:06
We don't know whether Stones's recovery will be longer than expected or what happens if he were to suffer a setback? Distin has had his own issues this season as well and is getting older. That leaves Jagielka and Alcaraz, albeit they have formed a good partnership in recent games, history suggests that Alcaraz's injury problems could still be an issue.
Browning is certainly one to consider, and perhaps in the second half of the season it would be worth Martinez looking to pair him with Jagielka, whilst maybe phasing out Distin slowly. Personally I think the safer bet would be to get another CB on loan, with view to it being made permanent in the summer.
29 Posted 30/10/2014 at 21:12:45
And really it's a stupid question to be asking any manager at this moment in time.
30 Posted 30/10/2014 at 21:20:32
I think we are reasonably well blessed in the striker department. However IMO we are extremely vulnerable at GK level and we need a quality playmaker replacement for Ossie in MF.
The 㾶 to 20M down the back of Bill's sofa ought to cover it in January.
31 Posted 30/10/2014 at 21:52:44
When Stones is fit, we have got three excellent footballers playing in a back four. Maybe it's the goalie, or the way we are set up to play?
I think a lot had to do with the physical condition of the players at the start of the season and not being fit enough affected the players mentally. Only when Hibbert started to play did we really tighten up at the back and most people say that it's time he gave Browning a chance because Hibbert is now to old?
32 Posted 30/10/2014 at 22:00:43
I knew Moyes would put a downbeat, dour spin on everything; I didn't like it, but it was his way of communicating and I'm not naÃ¯ve enough to think he was always like that behind closed doors.
Similarly, Martinez is positive and upbeat, it's his way of communicating. I think he sometimes goes over the top, but when these guys get microphones shoved in their face each day, they have to say something. We don't always have to take it at face value, over-analyse it to death, or misrepresent it, as some did with 'knife to a gunfight'.
It's pretty clear that Martinez isn't going to publicly say, "We're shite, we're fucked, I'd sack and replace the lot of them" Â– so why expect it? It amuses me no end that some people demand that he adopts their preferred style of communication.
My view on our centre-back situation has been clear and consistent since the summer: we need at least one more that is a strong leader comfortable with a football. As it happens, we've defended pretty well the last few games, like we did for most of last season, like we tend to when the defenders have a bit of pace and creativity in front of them.
As for the 'signing wingers' argument, we played fine without any last Saturday. I'd wait for Mirallas to get fit Â– the others aren't cutting it and just give the ball away. I'd stiffen the midfield and use Coleman and Baines on the flanks - they produce more than Atsu and McGeady (and Deulofeu when he was here).
If we have any budget for January, I'd be looking for a defender and a goalkeeper.
33 Posted 30/10/2014 at 23:19:12
34 Posted 31/10/2014 at 00:10:36
35 Posted 31/10/2014 at 00:03:04
But I agree with you that he will only adopt a policy of bringing in real quality to the team and he sees Lukaku as not only the guy to get us 20 goals a season but also to encourage other players in the future that we are a big club where big players should come.
The centre-back position may be addressed in the summer as Distin will surely be gone and dependent on the emergence of either Browning or Galloway will he seek a replacement for Distin.
Like most posters, I would welcome a wide man in January and Delboy would be perfect if he continues to have problems with Sevilla.
McGeady is a whipping boy on here but I think Atsu has been the real disappointment. Aiden was a free transfer and I believe Roberto brought him to put pressure on the first choice wingers. He can change a game and is perfect as an impact sub in tight games. Had Atsu been of Delboy's quality we would be starting him and Mirallas with McGeady and Pienaar as subs dependent on whether we needed to gain more possession or required a bit of magic.
I don't know why people don't point out but we are especially weak in the right back position. Hibbert has done great but we need a quality replacement similar to our options on the other side in Oviedo and Garbutt. Browning did well against the RS but he is not a full back; a serious injury to Seamus and we can kiss our season goodbye.
My wish list therefore would be Delboy and a right-back in January and in the summer to concentrate on a goalkeeper, a playmaker and perhaps another centre-forward. Over to you Bill.
36 Posted 31/10/2014 at 01:18:14
Just look across the park...
Suarez gets sold for 10s of millions, and then Rodgers spreads it around to improve the squad. Would he be better off spending it all on one player? Conventional wisdom tells you that it's putting all your eggs in one basket. But it's not looking fantastic right now at Anfield.
So will we be better off spreading the 㿈 million on a few players instead of just Lukaku?
We won't really know, so there you go.
37 Posted 31/10/2014 at 02:01:15
West Ham and Southampton have raised the bar to such an extent that Koeman is talking about the title. Anyone thinking we we can stroll into the top 6 is living in dreamland. Martinez knows we have to up the tempo and work our socks off, starting with the disruption of the long established Swansea passing game. It won't be pretty but that will be the plan.
38 Posted 31/10/2014 at 02:45:20
39 Posted 31/10/2014 at 03:04:04
We are OK at CB for this season and think that the youngsters will come through to replace Distin in the matchday squad next season.
40 Posted 31/10/2014 at 06:00:23
I don't think anybody demands that the manager adopts their preferred style of communication, but come on. "As you can see we've been performing really really well defensively"? ... is it too much to ask that his statements and reality belong in the same post code?
This was not a 'microphone shoved in the face' moment, we've been defending less than "really really well" all season, he must have known the question was coming. Why not just say "We recognises the problem and we are working on it"?
Okay we looked safe enough against a Villa side playing a guy desperately in need of matches up front on his own, but do you really think that a better side than Burnley wouldn't have punished us more severely for our sloppy play?
God knows I try mate, but he does my head in sometimes.
If he won't acknowledge that corner exists, I really worry about our chances of ever turning it?
41 Posted 31/10/2014 at 06:32:12
42 Posted 31/10/2014 at 08:56:45
We shipped 10 goals in the first 3 games which was ridiculous and mostly due to the very poor form of Jags who we can all be thankful is back in form again. Because of this start, we've spent the past month being told over and over again by pundits that Everton have the "worst defensive record in the PL" but the reality is:
- We've conceded 9 goals in the past 9 games in all comps (back to WBA), 3 of which was our typical aberration* at the hands of Palace.
- That's a rate of about "38 a season"
- which was about what we conceded last season...
- which was I believe the 2nd or 3rd best defensive record in the PL
Which I would agree is "performing really, really well defensively"... at least on paper. We looked ropey at times against Burnley but ultimately they only got one goal which we gifted them. We have 4 natural CBs plus another 4 who can play there, and, for last 75% of the current season, we have a very solid.
In my reality then, Roberto is telling it like it is. After the Chelsea game, Martinez and I think Jags both owned up on our defensive problems so it's not a question of blindly ignoring the issue.
I wish we were better at corners too though!
[* I know 'typical aberration' is an oxymoron but with Palace it feels apt.]
43 Posted 31/10/2014 at 11:34:39
I would like to see Browning get some games at centre-back as he has suggested. If thatÂs his best position and he puts in anything like the performance against the RS then weÂve got a very good central defensive pair of Stones and Browning for the future and IÂm sure Galloway will be challenging soon as well.
If any position back there needs reinforcing, itÂs right back.
44 Posted 31/10/2014 at 16:52:24
45 Posted 31/10/2014 at 17:25:25
To answer Stephen, I believe he's getting proper game-time now, and we never got what was reported for him as a fee. The press exaggerated that a wee bit.
46 Posted 31/10/2014 at 19:38:20
"but the reality is:- We've conceded 9 goals in the past 9 games in all comps"
We've actually conceded 11 in the last 8 mate.
47 Posted 01/11/2014 at 09:25:53
48 Posted 01/11/2014 at 09:58:36
Similarly, whilst defending, the 'one man on the halfway line' looking for a long clearance is eschewed in favour of 'everyone back' so that a passing movement can be set up as son as possession is gained. The trouble with this tactic is that our defenders, not all being comfortable in possession, break the rules by kicking long and cede possession to the opposition. No doubt they will learn......and so will we ?
49 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:21:22
Broken rib - 8/11
Just a bit winded, the bad fanny - 5/4
50 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:49:51
51 Posted 01/11/2014 at 17:57:02
52 Posted 03/11/2014 at 07:05:19
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