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Martinez disappointed by Swansea approach

by | 04/11/2014  Comments (47)  jump
For once, Roberto Martinez didn't mince words in his description of how Swansea played on Saturday, and expressed his frustration that his old club, now managed by Gary Monk, had not given Everton a more open game.

"It was like going into the cinema expecting to see an outstanding film and you don't get it," said the Spaniard who used to play for an manage the South Wales club.

"I expected to see two teams fighting to get the ball, but overall, it was a frustrating game and a frustrating performance.

"In football you need to find a way to compete, but I was surprised that Swansea did what they did.

"We were frustrated with ourselves — we could have moved the ball a lot quicker. We are a lot more penetrating in the final third than we were here.

"But we had to work really hard to stop Swansea because of the way they were trying to run the clock down.

"I just felt they were clearly very focused on defending well, and they did defend extremely well.

"After the red card, Swansea had a clear role in the game — they played with nine men behind the ball plus the goalkeeper.

"They were well organised and defended with real intensity, but that's not what I would highlight from a really good Swansea City team.

"They are always exceptional in terms of what they do with the ball, so it was strange to see a Swansea City performance like that.

"Even before the sending off, the stats show you they had no shots on targets and no corners, so it was a game that was less open than I expected.

"We were not at our best on the ball, we didn't move it quickly enough and didn't have our normal tempo.

"Sometimes we didn't make the right decisions, and sometimes we didn't have that bit of fortune.

"But it's a good clean sheet for us so we take that and move on to the next game."

Quotes sourced from South Wales Evening Post

Reader Comments (47)

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Peter Murray
1 Posted 04/11/2014 at 08:40:24
The first hint of "sour grapes" from Roberto?

Whichever way Swansea played, we threw away 2 points simply because we didnÂ’t put the ball in the net from chances created.

Peter Warren
2 Posted 04/11/2014 at 09:03:20
I like Roberto but no shots on target??? Did he not remember Howard’s great save from Bony or the equally great save from Alcaraz when they should have had a penalty as perhaps a sending off? Also I don’t remember too many shots on target by us before the sending off... perhaps Eto’o’s tame effort and McGeady’s.

To me, Barkley was pushed out wide when he should be in the middle trying to dictate things. Unfortunately Roberto’s use of our front 4 attackers has not come off so far this season and – whilst Lukaku has been well below par – Roberto has got to take his share of blame for tactics and personnel.

Lee Wareham
3 Posted 04/11/2014 at 09:10:47
I agree totally, Peter, we need to make the most of a talent like Barkley and play him just behind Lukaku. We will then see the best of both these players who are both very talented in their own ways.
Tony J Williams
4 Posted 04/11/2014 at 09:17:32
Great save from Bony?

Do you mean when Bony put it into the side netting?

Too many players playing the same position on Saturday upfront, getting in eachother’s way.

Dan McKie
5 Posted 04/11/2014 at 09:27:30
He played Barkley wide left to accommodate Steven Naismith! That’s right, Steven Naismith!

Ross had a poor game anyway, and I don’t totally put it down to being positioned 15 yards to the left of normal, but it certainly didn’t help. Ross’s and Baines’s link-up play was non-existent, and Baines was exposed at the back due to Ross never tracking back (another reason he should only ever be played in front of Barry and McCarthy).

Baines’s corners were scandalous, he must have had 8 or 9 attempts and don’t think he beat the first man once, and his lack of understanding with anyone except Steven Pienaar has always been a small gripe I have with him. That said, Pienaar was available and should have played, allowing Ross to play his natural position and have our best partnership on the pitch also.

Naismith is riding the first few weeks of the season now. He has done little of note for weeks.

Martinez can moan all he likes about Swansea not just letting us waltz through them, but what did he really do about it? We could see at half-time that we needed something different, and to be fair to him, he brought on Lukaku and Pienaar with plenty of time to influence the game, but why the insistence on keeping the same formation and shape?

Why won’t he go 2 up top? Why waste Eto’o as a right winger? Why take McGeady off when he was the only one who came close to getting in behind them? It was a case of doing the same things but expecting different results. No Plan B. Swansea’s defence were comfortable all afternoon, and it was Swansea who had the two best chances to actually win the game.

John Pickles
6 Posted 04/11/2014 at 09:57:52
Instead of knocking it, Roberto, see what you can learn from it.

Maybe if we could defend like that when we need to, we would have a lot more points than we do now.

The season may have worked out differently if we could have shut up shop at Leicester and at home to Arsenal.

Andrew Ellams
7 Posted 04/11/2014 at 12:15:06
Drop Lukaku and then state we were not as penetrative up front as we could have been. And then why take so long so actually get him on?
Sam Morrison
8 Posted 04/11/2014 at 12:22:59
Big Roberto fan but you can’t complain about opposition tactics unless they are illegal. It reminds me when so many people moaned about Greece’s progress in the Euros a while back – anti-football etc. It’s up to the opposition – us, in this case – to deal with it. And we didn’t.
Dan Hollingworth
9 Posted 04/11/2014 at 12:27:13
RE: Dan @5

As good as he was those first 8 games of the season (when we really needed someone), Naismith needs to be the one sacrificed. It’s pointless putting square pegs in round holes to accommodate one player. He seams to have a Jelavic type cult hero status from the crowd all of a sudden, but the bottom line of it is he is not good enough for our first 11.

Part Barkley back behind Rom, and start playing with natural wingers again. Naismith works hard, granted. But Barkley is the better player behind the striker. That’s not SN’s fault, its just unfortunate.

I have also noticed games tend to pass him by the minute we start playing with any pace?

Frank Wade
10 Posted 04/11/2014 at 12:32:46
Tony, on reading the piece just now, the no shots on target comment jumped out. I was all set to comment and saw Peter mentioned the two obvious ones, to me anyway. Did Tim Howard not save the Bony shot in the first half with his foot?

One thing I agree with Roberto on, we moved the ball too slowly at times, especially in the post-red-card period.

Gavin Johnson
11 Posted 04/11/2014 at 12:44:26
I like it that Roberto is showing his feelings for once. Instead of the smoke and mirrors we usually get if we play awful and we get the OTT adjectives like ’stupendous’ and ’phenomenal’.

But you can’t blame Swansea for their tactics in nullifying our style of play. We adapted our game in the same way in the home win against United last season (playing defensively and hitting them on the break) which worked a treat because they expected us to go all-out in attack.

So to me, its a case of what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Andy Meighan
12 Posted 04/11/2014 at 12:53:24
Sour grapes IÂ’m afraid from the Spaniard. Does he really expect teams to come out and open up so that we can rip through them? DoesnÂ’t work like that, IÂ’m afraid.

He got it all wrong with his formation once again, and not for the first time this season. It took me 15 minutes to actually work out where Barkley way playing. And given where he did play, he couldnÂ’t have any influence on the game at all.

As for where EtoÂ’o played, words fail me... Having had a stormer the week before, you wouldnÂ’t have thought it was the same player.

He needs to have a look at himself before he criticises opposition.

Peter Warren
13 Posted 04/11/2014 at 13:10:38
Hi Tony you would make a good ref if you think Bony simply shot wide!
Jackie Barry
14 Posted 04/11/2014 at 13:15:14
OK can somebody please point me in the direction of a video that shows the Alcaraz handball or please stop going on about it. The only one I have seen shows the ball going under him and there doesn’t seem to be any contact.

Also, a new game coming up soon lads, time to start focusing lo n that.

Ross Edwards
15 Posted 04/11/2014 at 13:28:10
It was said in frustration. The media decided to blow it up as usual.
Bill Gall
16 Posted 04/11/2014 at 13:56:29
What is the saying – People in glass houses should not throw stones.
Harold Matthews
17 Posted 04/11/2014 at 13:14:43
Yes Peter, not the best of shots from Bony but Howard had to be sharp to stop it going in.

Dan (#5). Pienaar knows that Baines is the best and most consistent pass-and-move exponent in the Premier League, and this allows him to return the ball without even looking. Unfortunately, Martinez, the rest of the Everton squad, Hodgson and the whole of the England squad, have never twigged on, causing the runs of Baines to be totally ignored. We have discussed this mysterious and frustrating situation many, many times on ToffeeWeb.

Yes, the corners are not just poor. For this level of football they are a total disgrace. So too the free-kicks. Too many cooks around the ball and not enough focus and thought. Watching Baines, Pienaar, Barkley, Lukaku and Eto’o putting forward their reasons for taking the shot is not a pretty sight and the result is usually unsuccessful.

Karl Masters
18 Posted 04/11/2014 at 14:05:54
They may not have had any shots on target, but we only had three! And all in the first half hour as well.

So what happened in the remaining hour if the match?

Not good enough and rotten ’entertainment’ for a sell out crowd from two teams who supposedly play attractive football.

Been a boring season so far, time to up the pace Everton!

Dan Parker
20 Posted 04/11/2014 at 14:36:12
I never understand when managers complain about the tactics of the opposition to explain the lack of a result. You have to applaud Swansea for coming to us looking for a difficult away point and doing a great job of defending and coming away with it. It’s a results game and lesser opposition is going to look at an away game at Everton as a difficult proposition.

It’s much in the same vein as Brenda whinging about Chelsea parking the bus, and it’s one of Wengers favorite topics as well. Can’t blame anyone other than ourselves for not getting 3 points!

Eric Myles
21 Posted 04/11/2014 at 15:29:06
Instead of expecting teams to come and play open football and make it easy for us to outplay them, he needs to figure out how to open up tight defences.
Dan Parker
22 Posted 04/11/2014 at 15:39:10
Well said, Eric
Harold Matthews
23 Posted 04/11/2014 at 15:16:00
Surprising reaction but pleased he noticed the lack of tempo and the host of poor decisions. Seldom seen a game where our players repeatedly ignored the team-mate in the best position.

Time for him to put his foot down IÂ’m afraid. Certain frontline players are ditching the instructions and attempting to do things their own way.

James Flynn
27 Posted 04/11/2014 at 15:55:45
Parking the bus is nothing new. Would think strategy for breaking down a team doing this a standard part of training and video work. And certainly a part of a managerÂ’s job.

Reminds me of RodgersÂ’ boo-hooing last season with ChelseaÂ’s set-up not allowing Suarez et al to run rampant.

You need a plan, for sure. But theyÂ’re based on circumstances. You donÂ’t shoehorn circumstances into your plan, when the other guy has upset that plan.

Tom Bowers
28 Posted 04/11/2014 at 16:43:55
DonÂ’t think any team could be blamed for doing what Swansea did. I am sure RM would have done the same thing. Sometimes, if you have nothing constructive to say, itÂ’s best to keep your mouth shut.

RM still has a lot to learn and so far he has had respect from a lot of media and fans alike but doesnÂ’t want to start putting his foot in his mouth.

Michael Kenrick
30 Posted 04/11/2014 at 17:07:19
I can understand some of these reactions pointing up a certain underlying naïvety in Roberto’s tactics that are revealed by his comments, perhaps...

Although personally I was very happy to see him being far more realistic and accurate in his analysis of the game. This is what I want to hear from the Everton manager.

No ridiculous over-the-top Anglo-Spanish blandishments to put a rosy glow on another frustrating Everton performance this week... I think we may be making some progress here!

Tony J Williams
31 Posted 04/11/2014 at 17:14:50
Different teams need different tactics.

You have your core beliefs but need to bend with the wind when they are clearly not working.

Most teams that come to Goodison now will park the bus and itÂ’s up to us to unlock their tight defences.

Fannying about with it 20 yards out isnÂ’t going to cut it anymore.

You could see Barkley trying to get space to have a dig but kept on getting pushed wide, no-one else would take a shot on.

Paul Dark
34 Posted 04/11/2014 at 15:22:02
Statistics rarely show the whole picture, in my view – and Bobby does rely on them rather in interviews.

The Mourinho-style attack on parking the bus seems misplaced, too. I think Swansea are perfectly entitled to defend in numbers, especially once down to ten men.

The shortcomings on Saturday were very much ours. RMÂ’s team selections do remain something of a mystery to me, especially taking his avowed aims of possession football and allowing each player to express himself (and therefore in his right position) into account.

The above notwithstanding, IÂ’m happy with RM as our manager, very happy.

Clive Rogers
35 Posted 04/11/2014 at 18:11:44
Andrew #7,

Likaku wasnÂ’t dropped, he was rested as his toe injury flared up again.

RM is a top manager, but we missed Mirallas badly and need another attacking mid and a striker asap.

Phil Walling
36 Posted 04/11/2014 at 18:12:55
Dead right, Gavin, I got him morning to night – particularly when the Latics stuffed us. Their verdict when he moved: "Decent manager but talks a lot of shite and tries to convince us we’ve won even when we’ve lost!"

How right they were... although we didnÂ’t lose this one!

Christopher Wallace
37 Posted 04/11/2014 at 18:14:16
It was the players who failed to unlock the defence, not Roberto. There was more than enough attacking talent on the pitch to cause any teams problems, and they just werenÂ’t up to it on Saturday.

Fair play to Swansea. However, I also thought they would play their usual, expansive passing game. It has cost them away from home in the past, but maybe they are catching on.

Phil Walling – you don’t think our manager should give any pre- or post-match analysis, or comment on anything else to do with the team or club? I think most of TW would rather you kept your trap shut and continue to hear what our manager (like him or not) has to say.

Mike Childs
41 Posted 04/11/2014 at 19:35:09
Sad, very sad, I expect the manager to be above whinnying. I know itÂ’s popular and most of them do it but if youÂ’re truly class you rise above the temptation to blame others. You go out and do something about it.
Darren Hind
42 Posted 04/11/2014 at 19:29:33
Swansea created better chances than we did and after having a nailed-on penalty waved away, had every right to leave Goodison feeling robbed... perhaps heÂ’s going off BBC stats.

Parked the bus? We were hardly cavalry charge ourselves. We didnÂ’t create any chances inside their box because you have to actually get players in there to do that. 70% possession means nothing when most of it is in your own half.

Good job we didnÂ’t recently park the bus in France, or at Anfield... or even at OT (until we went behind). Otherwise people may detect more than a hint of hypocrisy In RobbieÂ’s comments.

Garry Monk says his team were robbed and those who disagree may want to think about making an appointment at Specsavers.

Sean Kelly
43 Posted 04/11/2014 at 20:06:44
I like Bobby but I find this season heÂ’s talking a lot of bollox. Swansea were away from home and did he really expect them to open up for 90 minutes. FFS heÂ’s deluded. ItÂ’s his job to find a way around them or through them. Oh and by the way Bobby it hasnÂ’t been a great start to the season.
Mike Oates
44 Posted 04/11/2014 at 20:15:34
If our tippy-tappy football fails to open a team up, then for gods sake at least in he last 15 mins put the long ball in, win second ball, get the crowd going and win it in last minute, like we always did
Phil Walling
45 Posted 04/11/2014 at 20:25:02
I think the players would be embarrassed to score from a corner because it’s really the result of somebody getting on a long punt into the box – not a goal scored as a result of ’proper football’. Whereas, if it hits the first man, it can rebound to start another spell of tippy-tappy!

They are beginning to buy into the bollux!

Ian Bennett
46 Posted 04/11/2014 at 20:19:55
I thought Coleman was quiet, and Barkley (too much cutting in/no left peg) and McGeady (normal) were ineffective wide. EtoÂ’o looked unhappy stuck out wide later (pace), whilst Naismith was also quiet (crowded out).

The side lacked balance/pace against a stubborn Swansea. I think we missed the injured Mirallas (Atsu isnÂ’t good enough; I wish we had Deulofeu), and Pienaar starting (need a younger model). We lack creativity outside of Baines currently.

Steavey Buckley
47 Posted 04/11/2014 at 20:57:03
I do not understand why Martinez changed the winning formation that played at home before, against Aston Villa, with Lukaku playing as an out-and-out striker, with Barkley getting most of the attention by the Villa defenders, yet, giving more space for a half-fit looking Everton striker to move in.

With EtoÂ’o playing instead of Lukaku at the beginning of the match against Swansea, played far too deep, that allowed Swansea defenders to push further up the field, to give Barkley less freedom and space to move in. Result: lack of real goalmouth action and not one worthwhile effort created on goal throughout the whole of the match.

So the moral of the story, never play so deep that forces the opposing defenders to push up and crowd the middle of the park, that gives attacking mid-fielders players less room to move and create space in.

Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 04/11/2014 at 21:56:38
It was all OssieÂ’s fault if he hadnÂ’t have arranged that testimonial she-bang on the night of the game the players wouldnÂ’t have conserved their energy for all that hip-hop madness. :-)
Patrick Murphy
50 Posted 04/11/2014 at 22:03:34
"WeÂ’re a bit frustrated but Swansea did a really good job in midweek on Chelsea, not dissimilar (to this). We needed to play a bit better, pass it a bit quicker and be a little bit cleverer in the final third."

David Moyes – following a goalless draw at Goodison two seasons ago!!

Tom Bowers
51 Posted 04/11/2014 at 22:00:23
I agree with Steavie Buckley (#49). Unless Lukaku was not fully fit, he should have started. It has been said he has an ongoing toe injury so maybe thatÂ’s why he wasnÂ’t started.

Seems like most managers want to use a squad rotation approach but a marquis player like Lukaku costing 㿈M should not be part of that rotation unless he is playing really bad, which he has not been.As I had said earlier, RM is still learning his trade at the top level and perhaps he will learn from this.

The main problem now is the central defence. We fans had better hope Jags and Distin stay healthy.

Patrick Murphy
53 Posted 04/11/2014 at 22:53:26
So it wasnÂ’t the first time that Everton have been toothless in front of goal or failed to break-down a stubborn defence. A year ago to the day of SaturdayÂ’s game we were failing to beat Spurs and followed that up with a goalless draw with a lacklustre performance at Crystal Palace.

IÂ’m still not a 100% convinced by Roberto and his methods but I would like him to be successful and I really donÂ’t see the point of pouring over his every utterance and picking holes in it. I understand what he is trying to do and a look across the park shows that an over-reliance on one person has its pitfalls, whether the Goodison faithful have the patience to see the seeds fully bloom is open to debate.

Mike Childs
54 Posted 04/11/2014 at 23:18:07
One small positive over-looked: Rom finally trapped a pass.
Steavey Buckley
56 Posted 04/11/2014 at 23:49:19
The saddest part of Everton's attacking play is when Lukaku is not playing. Then, Everton play far too deep, with no-one on the shoulders of the last opposing defenders. These are just basic attacking principles.

I would even play Hallam Hope in LukakuÂ’s place, if he is not fit, in the hope he will keep at least two of the opposing defenders further back in their half, to stop them condensing space in the midfield area, because he is strong and fast. And, as long as he stays on the last of the defenders shoulders, he can do a job in the Everton first XI.

Jeff Jobe
59 Posted 05/11/2014 at 03:34:34
I am not sure Roberto was whining or complaining about Swansea's tactics... than as to say they are usually more like us in their style of play.
Anthony Hughes
60 Posted 05/11/2014 at 07:50:28
Just what exactly is wrong with Lukakuu's toe? This has been dragging on for months about him not being fully fit. How many problems can you have with a toe that takes this long to heal? Does anybody have any idea what the injury is?
Geoff Evans
61 Posted 05/11/2014 at 15:55:26
Look to your own shortcomings before you have a go. The away opposition pose the problems – it's up to you (especially if you have aspirations of being a top four club) to come up with the answers, not excuses.

If you're going to play two defensive midfielders at home instead of two recognised strikers and defending with eleven back in the box at corners and no outball, maybe you're adding to the problem and not solving it.

After Saturday I know which manager I'd blame for the stalemate. I think that RM's tactics shows at best a lack of confidence in his players and at worse a fear of the opposition.

Ernie Baywood
62 Posted 05/11/2014 at 19:57:19
I'm not sure Bobby is saying anything different to the opinion most of us would hold?

I was surprised that a good football team chose to play in such a defensive way. I was disappointed that we didn't manage to break them down.

So I guess that I agree with Bobby. I'm also guessing that most of us do.

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