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Martinez pleased with Blues' character

11/01/2015  Comments (49)  jump
Roberto Martinez expressed his satisfaction with his side's performance against Manchester City yesterday as they came back from a goal down to take a well-deserved point.

Seeking to avoid a fifth successive Premier League defeat, Everton were significantly better than their poor displays over the festive period and, were it not for Seamus Coleman's shot coming off the crossbar and a brilliant save by Joe Hart to deny Romelu Lukaku in the second half, they might have won.

"I thought it was a bit of an old-fashioned game; a lot of character and grit in difficult conditions," Martinez said after a rain and wind-swept encounter at Goodison Park.

"The first half we allowed City to have a little bit too much space even though we defended the area well and we stopped them being effective in the areas where David Silva and Samir Nasri operate."

The Catalan acknowledged the quality of opposition that his struggling side were up against but was pleased with the manner in which the Blues fought back after falling behind to Fernandinho's headed goal.

"This City side are playing with a lot of confidence and they drag you out of position and play with good awareness of space.

"We came up with the best chance of the game with Joe Hart producing the save of the game and then we hit the crossbar.

"Once Man City scored, I thought we upped the tempo, I thought physically we looked really strong and we always looked threatening but defended very well.

"I thought the reaction and character we showed after going 1-0 down was special. We would have loved to get the three points but it was a positive performance from our point of view."  


Reader Comments (49)

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Neil Pickering
1 Posted 11/01/2015 at 06:51:08
First interview I have agreed with in about 9 months. Some players there looking like their confidence is returning (Baines and Coleman). Not a fan of Lukaku but the past 2 games at least he's realised he needs to up his work rate. Besic and Stones our 2 best players on the day. If Besic learns to stay on his feet he is going to be a mainstay in our midfield for years to come. Jags worries me at the moment. Clearly shot of confidence.
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 11/01/2015 at 08:04:42
God only knows what happened over the Christmas period as none of them looked interested effectively finishing off our season.
I've always said there is no way we are going to get sucked into a relegation fight but what they do owe us is a great second half to the season (as promised by Roberto) and at least one good cup run.
Let us lay the foundations for next season by ending this one on a high note.
James Power
4 Posted 11/01/2015 at 08:25:25
Am still nervous - we are three points off second bottom. Long way to go. We need to play with great urgency until the last kick of the season.
Damian Braithwaite
5 Posted 11/01/2015 at 10:14:53
The rumours I heard coming from Goodison was that it was Baines that fell out with Martinez, he was unhappy with our style of play and wanted the more direct route. However it looks all rosy again as he played ok yesterday.
Richard Lyons
6 Posted 11/01/2015 at 10:32:47
"Old fashioned", eh? That's good, shows further evidence of RM's acceptance of the need to mix it up again.

Little bit of the old "sin miedo" returning...

Aidy Dews
7 Posted 11/01/2015 at 10:45:41
But why has it taken till the last two games for us to show some fight and effort? That should be a given every game regardless!

We could do with going to West Ham Tuesday and winning and then that would rejuvenate confidence amongst the lads and hopefully we can kick start our season from there and make something of it.

Now would be a great time recapture our confidence & form and climb the table and have a good run in the cups were still in. Something good could still come out of this season but I feel we need a win quick to go with our new found effort & commitment and then we could turn a corner properly.

Aidy Dews
8 Posted 11/01/2015 at 10:51:31
Damian Braithwaite, that about Baines has surely got to be bollocks?! Baines more than most, was always coming out and praising the methods of Martinez and even admitted that was a big factor in him signing his new deal at the club as he thought with Martinez's ideas we had more of a chance of possibly winning things and qualifying for CL.
Peter Mills
9 Posted 11/01/2015 at 11:11:19
It's when the games are "old fashioned" - the league game against West Ham, the last few minutes of the cup tie on Tuesday, the match yesterday - that we are at our best. Accept it Roberto.
Andrew Laird
10 Posted 11/01/2015 at 11:16:29
Well done Roberto, telling the truth is better for everyone!
Harold Matthews
12 Posted 11/01/2015 at 11:27:28
It would have been "the best chance in the game" If Lukaku had passed to the three guys at the far post. Guess he chose not to notice the City chances in the first half.
Adam Luszniak
13 Posted 11/01/2015 at 11:49:40
Harold, there was only Naismith and Barkley in the box when Lukaku took his chance, and there were 2 defenders in front of Naismith. I'd say he was right to shoot. City did have some good chances, but did they force a save from Robles in the first half? I reckon we had the better chances even if there were less of them.
Ant Summers
14 Posted 11/01/2015 at 12:15:28
Really I do think the harsh words and messages from supporters finally got through the bubble they all are in.

Off topic, I was watching to see if there was some sort of an apology/statement from QPR, to their away support, a group confronted some players going off the pitch yesterday, Professional players do forget especially in the Premier League, they are answerable to the supporters week-in & week-out. I do think over Christmas some of the Staff at EFC also forgot about the supporters; let's hope they as a group want to pay us back after yesterday's battling performance.

Gary Carter
15 Posted 11/01/2015 at 12:48:24
Surely the message to Bill Kenwright couldn’t be clearer. The players don’t want Martinez in charge because they like everyone else realise his tactics and mantra and general lack of interest in fitness and defenders will not fit in with this league!! Two draws don’t change much in my opinion but in those two games we played more like we should play and the players looked more comfortable doing so!!

The sad or joyful fact, depending on what your personal opinion is of Martinez, is that quite simply, Everton FC and Roberto Martinez do not fit together. Given his brand of football that he wants to play, I would say that Roberto Martinez and the English Premier League don’t fit and his style would be more suited to another league on the continent like Spain or maybe Italy. Probably not Italy actually as the are very defensively tactically astute

Denis Richardson
16 Posted 11/01/2015 at 12:59:34
An 'old-fashioned' type game indeed. Personally I call it just playing faster and more direct. It's not like anyone would call the way Man City play 'old-fashioned'.

Should always look forward but I can't help thinking about the last month. We didn't play at our best yesterday but, had we played like that over Xmas, we would easily have beaten the likes of Hull, Stoke and Southampton.

Play like that next weekend and we should beat West Brom. However, that obviously leaves a very big question about Roberto. By changing (or being forced to change) the style he's basically admitted that his preferred tippy tappy doesn't work (at least not with the players we have). So where does that leave him after saying he wouldn't change his style?

We've reached the corner but I wouldn't say we've turned it just yet given we're only 3 points above the drop zone. A win against West Brom won't even move us up the table. Only really aim in the league now is to get to safety as fast as possible whilst focusing on the EL and the FA Cup.

I think 37 or even 36 points will be enough to stay up, so need another 15 points asap – 3 against West Brom are absolutely crucial.

Harold Matthews
17 Posted 11/01/2015 at 13:46:08
Adam. McGeady, Naismith and Coleman were all in line at the far post. McGeady had his arms up in frustration and Coleman had both hands on his head in disbelief. I know because I'm watching it now. From the low camera angle behind the post he had sufficient room to cross the ball but was solely focussed on getting his shot away. That said, it was a fine effort.
Neil Bowman
18 Posted 11/01/2015 at 13:49:12
We have the best two attacking fullbacks in the league who both had a great season last year. Teams have cottoned onto to this and have tried to nullify this effect by playing a high line occupying our full backs and pressurising us into mistakes. We have obliged them by making mistakes that have cost us.

We are currently learning how to adapt and its naive to think the players and manger don't realise this and debate it frequently. The great thing about yesterdays game was that we mixed it up a bit more - some long balls,some patient build up or tippy tappy for those who prefer this derogatory term.

Anyone who is quick to criticise this evolutionary period has obviously forgotten that adapting to situations is part of any job and that we are NOT Wigan!

Yes we need a more solid back line and a couple of players are coming to the end of their carreers. I also think Stones as captain is a great shout for next seaon.

I'm going Tuesday and I can't wait!

Phil Walling
19 Posted 11/01/2015 at 14:06:43
Colin Glassar @ 2 : Your optimism is, perhaps, to be commended but it is beginning to border on the Doddesque!

Quote :'There is no way that we are going to get sucked into the relegation fight' – well, have you looked at the league table this morning? Only THREE points off second bottom. Lose to the Baggies and we are right in the doo-doo and no mistake !

Even the 'Freshfield Fantasist' in his heyday kept some touch on reality. You are giving positivity a bad name. It must be that the Roberto Syndrome has rubbed off on you!

Jackie Barry
20 Posted 11/01/2015 at 14:34:09
So did you see anything positive about yesterday?
Phil Walling
21 Posted 11/01/2015 at 14:46:27
Yes, Jackie. Better all-round effort and a style of play which both suited the conditions and thwarted quality opponents.

The result did little or nothing to remove the threat of relegation, however.

Steavey Buckley
22 Posted 11/01/2015 at 14:54:37
Barry getting the ball forward quicker than usual, than just hanging on to it, and getting caught in possession, meant that Everton were not caught out at the back.....and the defense looked stronger for it.
David Harrison
23 Posted 11/01/2015 at 15:01:03
Certainly more like it yesterday but that needs repeating against all teams not just the likes of City. Having dropped another point closer to the bottom 3, I'm still concerned that our appaling return over Xmas will come back to haunt us, especially if the players start to feel sorry for themselves because they're not in contention for top 4 or Roberto continues to fiddle with the line up.
Phil Walling
24 Posted 11/01/2015 at 15:18:20
I meant to add that today the pundits are saying that a gap has opened up between Stoke and ourselves and that 'the bottom nine' are all now in the danger zone.

No doubt Martinez must now feel in familiar territory. Didn't take long, did it ?

Paul Tran
25 Posted 11/01/2015 at 15:54:50
Barry didn't get caught in possession because there was movement in front of him and we used a style of play that created space. Maybe he's approaching a good level of fitness as well.

Big tests ahead in the next two league games against sides with new managers that will deny us space. We won't know about corners being turned till after these games.

Yesterday was better, more improvement needed.

John Keating
26 Posted 11/01/2015 at 17:26:06
It's just a pity it has taken Martinez 20 odd games to realise his style of football and philosophy doesn't work all the time – if at all ! It has taken the players and/or Kenwright to get through his thick skull.

We are still in a bad place but hopefully, as long as the half wit does not return to type, we will start getting a few points on the board and away from the mire.

Had he not been so obstinate, set in his ways, and blasé about pre-season we could have been well up among the runners in a very open season for top four.

Peter Laing
27 Posted 11/01/2015 at 18:01:16
Phil, we've had months of your Martinez bashing and Nostradamus predictions of relegation, morphing into Wigan etc etc, can you not acknowledge that the players also have both a collective and individual responsibility ? as far too many of them have been well off their game in recent months. You accuse Colin of being Doddesque, every post that I have read that you post includes a barbed dig at Martinez, you Sir are becoming predictable and quite frankly boring.
Dave Duggan
28 Posted 11/01/2015 at 18:32:19
Can't believe people are still complaining about Martinez and the fact "his" style doesn't work.

Where you complaining last season? Nope!

We have been a bit more direct recently which has helped but the sad fact for me has been something that isn't down to the manager...effort. That comes from the player himself just simply putting in a shift and that has what's been lacking most.

He managed us to record points last season so I'm sure he knows a little bit about football.

Phil Rodgers
29 Posted 11/01/2015 at 19:02:32
The fact that we are even discussing relegation with the squad we have available is astonishing. We are level on points with Villa who are about as bad a team I have ever seen in the top flight.

I'm afraid 2 home draws after coming from behind isn't enough to suggest we have turned a corner for me, albeit one being against city.

Martinez has not lived up to even the most minimum of expectations this season so far and I honestly think he should have gone after the Hull defeat.

Howard Parr
30 Posted 11/01/2015 at 18:58:22
Clearly better - and we clearly haven't yet turned the proverbial corner. Loads of plusses - Stones and Besic, and Shay and Baines over the halfway line again.
Biggest difference is the crowd. Maybe we shouldn't wait for the players to get us going,but when they do and we get behind them we look a better side.
RM needs to stay atuned to the crowd/fanbase if he wants to maximise on our support.... so keep mixing it up and we'll find room for EFFECTIVE passing.
Joe Foster
31 Posted 11/01/2015 at 19:22:16
No corner turned for me either. I still think there is a strained relationship between the players and Martinez which has me worried.
Adam Baig
32 Posted 11/01/2015 at 19:23:59
I'm still thinking the same way as I was at the start of the season in terms of expectation - top 8ish and a decent cuo run, hopefully in Europe.

I still think this is achievable, and if we do I will be happy. I'm sure some of you lot will still want Martinez sacked if we win a trophy.

The negativity from some on here is just astounding

Russell Smith
33 Posted 11/01/2015 at 21:21:10
The effort and desire has been more evident in the last two games and if we continue with this until the end of the season we will not get involved in a relegation battle and we will see an improvement in our style of play as confidence returns, but we cannot be complacent against the lesser teams.

Barkley must be played behind Lakaku but he has to put his foot in and sprint back when he loses the ball wherever it is on the pitch. If you look back at all his performances, including when he was being lauded as the next great thing, he seldom tackled anyone, he trotted back when the ball was lost in attacking positions, he never positioned himself to intercept a pass. He needs to take a leaf out of Naismith's and Baines's books for effort, quick pressing and desire to win the ball back when it is lost.

Through the last 10 games Baines has been exemplary in his commitment despite not always playing to his best form, if the other 10 players in each of those games had played with the same intensity we would not be in the difficult place we currently find ourselves.

Jay Wood
34 Posted 11/01/2015 at 21:40:02
@ Adam 32

You know what I'm learnt NOT to be astounded by Adam? People like yourself 'astounded' ... 'shocked' ... 'dismayed' ... 'tired' ... (or any other suitable adjective) by what you describe as the 'negativity' on TW.

Now I've haven't called for Martinez's head, but I have expressed concerns - backed up with solid data and well reasoned opinion - for our performances and current position in the league.

In case you hadn't noticed Adam, we have won just once in 11 games since mid November and currently lie a mere 5 points above bottom placed Leicester, 3 points above the next 2 clubs Hull and QPR, 2 points above Palace and Burnley, 1 point above WBA and Sunderland and level on points with Villa. We are becalmed in 12th place, bottom of the PL form table, 4 points adrift of the club above us Stoke.

What have all these clubs in common? They have all been mentioned as possible relegation candidates. And worse, we have played some of those sides during our bad run when they themselves were on losing streaks ... and we were too easily beaten by some of them.

Now I have been encouraged by our last two matches which were achieved with un-Martinez like tactics. It was good to see the side fight back in both games from one goal deficits.

BUT! Neither game resulted in a victory.

At the start of this bad run, 9 PL games ago, before the defeat at Spurs we were above both Spurs and the 'poo in the league. Spurs are now 6th, 12 points clear of us, and the 'poo are 8th - the position you think is still achieveable - 10 points clear of us.

Now I'm all for showing patience and stoicism at troubling times, but I raise an eyebrow at views such as yours which are more akin to deflection and denial of our true plight.

I also give short shrift to people like yourself taking umbrage at the genuine, legitimate concerns as to the state of affairs at EFC and dismissing out of hand as 'negativity' and who seemingly wish to silence that dialogue.

If fans can't express their concerns in moments such as this, when can they?

I follow and support Everton, not a transient manager or any particular player. Given his and the team's performance this season, I for one am NOT astounded there are many on here who have NOT followed the cult of Martinez, donned their saffron robes, shaved their heads (save for a pigtail thingy...), and circling Goodison Park, clashing their finger cymbals chanting 'Hari Martinez...'

Joe Foster
35 Posted 11/01/2015 at 22:36:02
Yep if we win a trophy and get relegated I would want him gone.
Phil Rodgers
36 Posted 11/01/2015 at 22:46:21
Jay, bravo. Very well put.
Paul Smith
37 Posted 11/01/2015 at 23:00:57
To digress. An article I was browsing today, was sugesting that the idea of streaming every Prem game, via the Internet, could become reality in the next few years (sat dishes becoming obsolete). Apple, and other big hitters will be bidding for rights. This will make the ٢ billon or whatever TV money ATM seem like chicken feed. We really must NOT get relegated.
Tom Bowers
38 Posted 11/01/2015 at 23:20:42
Have to agree with Jay that only when the victories come will I be satisfied with RM and I don't mean once every few weeks.

The whole season has been shambolic in my book and, as I had previously mentioned, if not for the last-minute goal in the derby match, we would have nothing to savour from the first half of this campaign.

Yes, they have shown some fight in the last two games (both at home) where they have been very generous to many average sides but once again they have struggled and have had to come from behind

The side has not been a patch on last season and questions have to be asked of certain people, what went wrong?

Defensively they are still unsure and every time the opposition attacks they look dangerous, even woeful Stoke.

Jerome Shields
39 Posted 11/01/2015 at 23:43:59
There is one thing that we all have overlooked. The standard in the Premier League is higher than last year. There are no easy games and if all the players are not on the ball, or individually make mistakes, we will pay for it. After last season, an overall complacency developed. But the players and Martinez have finally copped on at last.
Harold Matthews
40 Posted 12/01/2015 at 00:24:44
Even without further suspensions, injuries, Europa and the FA Cup, it will require one almighty effort to survive. Class goes out the window in a dogfight and we're not exactly The Wild Bunch.

Okay, we do have a few with the necessary credentials but they will need discipline and organization of the highest order from whoever is in charge. Personally I don't care who it is so long as we avoid the drop.

David Ellis
41 Posted 12/01/2015 at 02:10:33
Whether we've turned the corner or not depends on what happens over the next few weeks. However there clearly has been a change in momentum (or at least a stopping of negative momentum). I am not sure we can finish top 8, but I think it very likely we will finish top half this season.

There was something wrong with the squad – but the fear of failure seems to have galvinised them again. I for one will not be looking at the results of teams below us. Onwards and upwards.

Phil Rodgers
42 Posted 12/01/2015 at 08:33:45
If we lose our next couple of games, then surely Kenwright has to act. The West Brom game in particular simply has to be 3 points
Ian Burns
43 Posted 12/01/2015 at 08:46:03
Jay Wood - 34 - brilliant post - right on the money - wish I had written it!
Jay Wood
44 Posted 12/01/2015 at 08:45:40
@ David 41

"I for one will not be looking at the results of teams below us. Onwards and upwards."

So ... you'll be ignoring our next 2 PL games against WBA and CP will you David?

Good luck with that!

Gerard Carey
45 Posted 12/01/2015 at 09:36:29
Jay, spot on. Five points from the last twenty seven should leave nobody in any doubt that we have a serious fight on our hands. Raising our game for an FA Cup match and a league game against Man City should be the least that the supporters expect. West Brom game has to be three points, no ifs or buts.
Ian Burns
46 Posted 12/01/2015 at 10:03:36
The BBC sports website are asking who will be relegated and have included Everton on their list – so some of us on here may think it would never happen but others think we are right in the mix.
Laurie Hartley
47 Posted 12/01/2015 at 09:47:16
Adam @ 32,

It seems to me your mistaking "negativity" for "genuine concern"

From what I have seen the fans on the ToffeeWeb fall into 3 categories:

A) Those who still think all will be well. I hope they are right.
B) Those who think we are done for. I hope they are wrong.
C) Those who sense the danger of relegation based on the facts.

Category C) I would say are genuinely concerned and Jay fall's in to this category. I certainly do.

I have a view that the feelings expressed by categories B) & C) may have had a "positive" impact on the players resulting in much improved performances in the last two games.

One thing for sure, those able to get to the West Brom & Palace games have to get right behind the team as they did against Man City. It makes a difference.

Dave Abrahams
48 Posted 12/01/2015 at 10:33:46
Laurie (47) yes I'm in "C" position but the last two games have given me a lot of hope that we can continue the upward move.

I still think we have to prove we can do it away from home, they were duty bound to have a good go in the home matches even though there was still pressure on them in front of our own fans.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 12/01/2015 at 10:47:39
I realise they are duty bound to perform away from home as well, they just have not done so in a lot of away matches this season.
Paul Smith
50 Posted 12/01/2015 at 11:53:39
First off the effort and fight in the last 2 games should be a minimum requirement for every game played. Secondly I am still worried about a few players Barkley is still well off the pace for me and his effort without the ball is shocking to be honest and I would take him out of the team at the moment. I would play Garbutt left back and Baines left mid pushing Naismith by Lukaku. Thirdly Mirallas does not look like he is interested at all and to me is probably looking to move on either this month or the end of the season.
I would also love to see when fit McCarthy partner Besic in central midfield and Barry rested for a few games this leaves the right wing position to be filled by somebody who is going to put a shift in and link up with Seamus. Hopefully this will see us getting results in the next 2 league games as I feel we need a minimum of 4 points out of both of them.
In the summer we need to shop for younger players who can get about the pitch we need in my opinion a centre back, goalie, wide player and striker.
Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 12/01/2015 at 13:24:33
Harold I respect your view, but it's easy when you're watching the repeat. I thought the same when I saw it on the telly, but I was sitting on the couch by then though. I've never heard many saying he should have passed it sitting around me, and it was a very good save as well.

We are in a relegation battle but should be good enough to get out of it, but, as I have just said, it's easy when your sitting down. The players have got to keep standing up to be counted, but forget about relegation, let's go and win a cup!


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