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Martinez proud of Blues' response against Kyiv

13/03/2015  Comments (42)  jump

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Roberto Martinez has expressed his pride in the manner in which his players shrugged off a slow start to beat Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League Round of 16 first leg last night.

The manager admitted that his team made a poor start to the game and conceded a disappointing goal from a set-piece but he described the second-half display as "outstanding".

The Blues drew level six minutes before the break when Steven Naismith finished off great work by Romelu Lukaku by tucking the ball past Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.

And a more purposeful second half performance yielded a winner via the penalty spot when Lukaku slotted home from the spot after Danilo Silva had handled Leon Osman's attempted cross.

"You cannot underestimate a win in Europe and I thought the way we did it was fantastic," Martinez said. "Our intensity in possession was very good and then to be able to win a game against a side with a winning mentality was very pleasing.

I would say the first 25 minutes was a huge contrast to the rest of the game. We grew into the first half and in many ways it was how we have been in the league this season. There was a lot of anxiety, not enough tempo, no possession and we didn't have a forward intent.

Then we lost our man in the six yard box and gave a goal away. That made things very difficult but I couldn't be prouder of the reaction.

I thought we finished the half very strong in terms of scoring a very good goal and having an effort cleared off the line.

The second half was an outstanding performance, Martinez continued. I think we were ourselves at our very best."

The Catalan was keen to point out the achievement in beating a team that is seven points clear at the top of the Ukrainian league with an unbeaten record.

The likes of Andriy Yarmalenko and Dieumerci Mbokani showed flashes of the threat the pose but while the former could claim an assist for Dynamo's goal, the pair, along with Miguel Veloso, were kept increasingly quiet as the match wore on.

We controlled the game completely," Martinez explained. "It was wave after wave but you have to be very aware not to leave yourself exposed against a team like Dynamo.

"They have got excellent individuals but we stopped them from being a threat.

You cannot underestimate a win in Europe and I thought the way we did it was fantastic. Our intensity in possession was very good and then to be able to win a game against a side with a winning mentality was very pleasing.

Quotes sourced from

Reader Comments (42)

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Rob Newling
1 Posted 13/03/2015 at 06:20:49
Could only follow the game on TW live forum, but am now confused. Was this RMÂ’s master game plan all along - go a goal down + crab football to lull them into a false sense of security ?? The forum suggested another player mutiny, ably aided & abetted by the crowd. Was I watching a different script ? ;-)

Despite the obligatory, away goal, it was a WIN. If it feels otherwise, just shows that we still have higher expectations.

COYB same again v the Barcodes. Cue home crowd ....

Just hoping we donÂ’t have to get relegated, to win the Premier League on return!! ;-)

Ian Bennett
2 Posted 13/03/2015 at 07:28:34
Home crowd dragged a performance out of this rudderless side. Without the cat calling and moaning, I would have fully expected more of the same in the last 60 minutes.

As others say it, watching this side is a chore, thank god those at their feet made it clear what is expected.

MotM – the 12th Man. Coyb.

Daniel Russell
3 Posted 13/03/2015 at 07:45:29
Totally disagree with the above comments about MotM the 12th man. It took the team to bring the crowd into the match as usual. The cat-calling and the moaning gives confidence to the away team and makes the home team nervous, we only heard the true noise of Goodison late in the match. Well played lads; would love a repeat performance on Sunday, more importantly 3 points!
James Power
4 Posted 13/03/2015 at 07:48:01
It’s true, there was a cacophony of boos at what seemed like the hundredth sideways pass. The commentator was very surprised at the reaction which leaves one wondering what research they do before the game.

It’s funny, one usually hears boos at halftime or full time, but not really during a passage of play. That’s how frustrating it was. We know what we are seeing and how it will pan out. I swear in the second half Barry changed his mind from being about to make a backwards pass as he knew the crowd would slate him.

Brilliant work by the crowd tonight. Make it a bear pit on Sunday and let’s drag ourselves safe. Then, fire Bullshit Bobby.

Mark Palmer
5 Posted 13/03/2015 at 07:50:55
Roberto said it, "There was a lot of anxiety, not enough tempo, no possession and we didn’t have a forward intent". So he knows. He must know. He sees what we all see and hears the crowd just as the players do. So if he knows and the players know, what the hell goes wrong every week?
Rob Newling
6 Posted 13/03/2015 at 07:58:57
Hence my confusion Mark (5).

"Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."

Ian Jones
7 Posted 13/03/2015 at 08:09:43
I didn’t hear or see any interviews from Roberto afterwards but I hope he mentioned and thanked the support from the crowd and all those fans at home shouting at the TV.

Looking forward to the next round when we get there.

Trevor Lynes
8 Posted 13/03/2015 at 08:28:25
The crowd definitely affected the side in a positive way and tremendous examples were set by Jagielka, Lukaku and Naismith. Naismith reminds me of Denis Stevens as although not a star he makes up for any lack of ability by sheer effort and spirit. He would have been a super sub in past eras.

McCarthy is an enigma though as he is tenacious enough but lacks creativity. If he could add passing forwards ability to his game he would be a stand out midfielder. For once Lukaku had passes in front of him that he could run on to and he worried the life out of Kiev defenders. Jags had a terrific match and led the team by example.

These two lifted the team and the crowd and made Goodison rock for the first time in ages.

We still badly need a top creative player who can pass accurately as time after time good positions were wasted by poor passing in Kiev’s half. Osman had a decent little cameo when he came on. But poor Barkley is still struggling with confidence and I would love to see him have a top game as it is what the lad needs and so does the whole team.

We still have players who are playing below their best and I do not need to mention names as I am sure they know themselves. I must mention Garbutt though as he reminds me so much of Baines and I reckon he will make a top player in the future. Let us just hope that this game gives the team the kick up the backside it needs to get some points in the Premier League to ensure our safety asap!

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 13/03/2015 at 08:28:44
It’s enough to make a cat laugh, Roberto blatting on about OUR Intensity.

Despite him not because of him is the impression I get.

Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 13/03/2015 at 09:01:01
ItÂ’s very strange being an Evertonian at the moment, the supporters showed their frustration and rightly so after an abysmal opening to the match by the Toffees. Then in the last hour when the team started to provide the required desire, the fans got right behind them and if the players had been in a more confident mood they may well have sealed their passage to the next round.

Usually a comeback win would give the manager breathing space and win over a few of the fans, but given the utterances of Baines and the transformation of Lukaku from 㿈m lump to a Belgium Andy Gray raises more questions about the manager than it answers.

Mr Whelan said that Roberto was one of the more honest people he had met in his life, but I canÂ’t remember a manager since Walker who is so overwhelmingly mistrusted by Evertonians and last night the frustrations boiled over. Ultimately it led to a reasonable performance and a victory but the future of Martinez is less assured because of it... As I said, itÂ’s a strange time to be an Evertonian.

Phil Walling
11 Posted 13/03/2015 at 09:08:57
Roberto’s after-match comments came over far better when put to mocking soul music and played over and over on TalkSport overnight! Perhaps if the OS could set it to Marvin Gaye, the crap he talks would become a little more palatable!

If our moaning did contribute to the change of tactics – and thus the win – it flies in the face of all those non-matchgoers who urge us to desist from such behaviour, does it not?

Patrick Murphy
12 Posted 13/03/2015 at 09:22:51
Phil - DonÂ’t use Marvin GayeÂ’s music it could cost a fortune look what happened with Blurred Lines!

I am a match-goer and I dislike fans getting on players backs for a bad pass or an error of judgement, but last night was by and large vindicated because Everton playing keep-ball without purpose is anathema to Everton and its fans and it shouldnÂ’t be happening, especially as it has proved to be counter-productive on so many occasions.

Andy Meighan
13 Posted 13/03/2015 at 09:30:45
TalkSport... Full set of cowards. Let’s see if they mock Chelsea for the way they meekly surrendered on Tuesday night. No, they’d be petrified of any comebacks off their beloved Jose. I stopped listening to the morons years ago. All they go on about is Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal and THEM and I believe it hasn’t changed.

As for last night’s game, awful first half-hour... then a great display for the next hour. Without wishing to sound like a broken record: start fast on Sunday and take the game to them rather than waiting for the crowd to get restless.

Then again... whether we will remains to be seen. I’m sick of playing well on the Thursday only to see it come crashing down a few days later. A must-win game... [Now where have I heard that before?]

Plato Stavrinos
17 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:00:37
Phil, unfortunately for us so far away, we cannot attend matches and I must say I personally find booing the team from the first few minutes is uncalled for. Boo the manager, boo at half and full time but not from the outset...

I believe that Lukaku single-handedly turned the crowed and not the other way round. Let’s now hope they take the second-half performance into Sunday’s game.


Andrew Ellams
19 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:11:20
I’d say last night was more a case of cries of derision and frustration from the crowd than booing. Some of the words picked up on TV microphones pointed more to people shouting ’comments’ more than just booing.
Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:04:19
We as supporters are fucking desperate for some silverware; well, I know I am anyway. I agree about Barry, because he’s Martinez’s number one, the man he wants to get on the ball and make us play, sideways. (Joke!)

Anyway, Barry used all of his experience tonight by being aware of what the crowd wanted, and he constantly tried to play forward after our abysmal start. Surely if a team is going to play sideways as much as Everton, they should have speed and skill on both flanks?

Not us though and in the most disjointed formations, since Kendall Mk 3, our left back is constantly asked to play like a wing back. It leaves us short in attack and easy to hit on the counter, but still we persist. WHY?

That said, the response was indeed good, especially from the people who want it the most. THE FANS!!!

Plato Stavrinos
21 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:18:00
Fair point, Andrew, but you get my point. The crowd should encourage the players not make them fear every move and pass they make.
Clive Mitchell
22 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:19:34
Ian, 2 - "Home crowd dragged a performance out of this rudderless side".

Perfect summary. And once Barry responded to the howls of outrage at the collective failure to dare, most of the team looked liberated by the right to play with tempo and not-giving-a-damn about retaining possession for 5 minutes waiting for an opening that never comes.

A side with McCarthy, Coleman, Garbutt, Jagielka, Naismith, Lukaku, Barkley and Mirallas NEEDS to gamble on chaos and willpower. They all showed last night that with that approach they’ll rattle most cages. Jagielka magnificent, an almost angry performance – boy does RM have a lot to answer for.

Chris Gould
23 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:04:12
Patrick (#10), I completely agree. ItÂ’s all very confusing. The crowd clearly had a huge impact and forced the players to play more direct and with more aggression.

It defies logic and belief that Martinez is actually setting them out to play any other way. Especially as after the match he praises the performance and pretty much takes credit for the turn around. HeÂ’s always banging on about tempo, but it took the crowd to get the fast tempo that clearly gets the best out of these players.

The fact that some random ITV presenter was asking these very same questions at half-time shows that the mainstream are finally aware of this current curious and confusing situation.

Charlie Gibson
24 Posted 13/03/2015 at 10:46:06
Baines half time comments were concerning. When asked if there would usually be a man on the front post he says "donÂ’t know, depends on the game plan". He also said that even when it goes wrong as it did first half, Martinez always wants to "stick to his principles".
Teddy Bertin
25 Posted 13/03/2015 at 11:01:24
Mark #5 Of course he knows it! HeÂ’s known it all season. He doesnÂ’t want the team to pass sideways all game. ItÂ’s pretty simple. Last season Martinez introduced some very slick rehearsed passing formulas into a well drilled organised side. He introduced them slowly so not to rock a team that were already hard to beat. We played some great football and won a lot of games.

Towards the end of the season he introduced more and more of these complicated passing paths around the pitch for the team to work with and results suffered because the players havenÂ’t got the ability and confidence to pull it off however we still put in some good performances despite the results. By the start of this season with many players confidence truly shot from the world cup, teams setting up to defend against possesion football and even more intricate passing routines introduced weÂ’ve ended up in a mess in the Premier League.

The players donÂ’t want to pass sideways but theyÂ’re told to not lose the ball at any cost until the space appears to start a passing routine that theyÂ’ve worked on. You must have all heard Robbie talk about there being a reason behind every pass? Problem is that in the PL these spaces rarely open up and Jags, Stones and Barry pass the ball sideways forever. In Europe the pace of the game is different and there is more opportunities for intricate passing routines.

As has been said over and over he needs to be flexible and get the team to revert to a different style to mix things up, then when the space opens up theyÂ’ve naturally fall into their passing game anyway and break teams down like we did last season. Results breed confidence and MartinezÂ’s style of play is a waste of time when confidence is low. Personally IÂ’m still backing the man as I have from the start and I hope he can turn it around.

Phil Walling
26 Posted 13/03/2015 at 11:26:02
Believe you me, last night Â’s crowd re-action will go down as a seminal moment in The Martinez Experiment.

PS. No need for Â’sexual healingÂ’, either !

Marc Williams
27 Posted 13/03/2015 at 11:34:34
Surely last nightÂ’s game shows Martinez up for the clueless charlatan he is. All well and good praising the second half performance as it probably saved his job BUT he still looks like a man out of his depth clinging on to some hopeless footballing panacea by his fingernails.

Anyone watching him and his reactions could see he was quite happy with the pointless nowhere football of the first 30 minÂ’s. Just watch how bemused he looks when the crowd force the players to do what everyone bar him knew what needed doing. FFS..... Just imagine what a manager with more flexible footballing principles could achieve with this squad.

I also think the comments from Baines, coming on top of GarbuttÂ’s weeks ago regarding game plans are a shocking indictment of this manager & his coaching staff.

Jimmy Salt
28 Posted 13/03/2015 at 12:46:02
Plato if you recorded the match play it again, the crowd put up with the sloth like tempo for about 20 mins and then reacted. I donÂ’t agree with booing players etc during the match but it wasnÂ’t booing, it was a venting of frustration/anger built up over a long time.

I am enjoying the distraction of actually seeing us play well in Europe as the Premier League form is driving me insane.

Joe Clitherow
29 Posted 13/03/2015 at 12:48:46
Plato 17

YouÂ’re wrong on a number of points. I was in my usual seat in the Paddock last night - there were no boos at all, certainly not from the start. Loads of positive vocal support from the off. As the boring crap play went on some started to vocally grumble, including me. Barry was right in from of me/us in I think the incident people refer to.

As soon as he started to shape to go backwards for the ultra safe ball when there were other forward options on , it seemed like all of us started screaming at him not to do so. It did seem to work. Gwladys Street did something similar second half and also made their opinions known in response to Jimmy MacÂ’s "calm down" gesture just before the very poor Kiev goal. It definitely seemed to galvanise him as I thought he was excellent for the remainder of the game.

Anto Byrne
30 Posted 13/03/2015 at 13:01:23
Looks like we have a new manager. Mr Crowd will now influence how we play from this point on. Yet another non-clean sheet.
John Keating
31 Posted 13/03/2015 at 13:37:10

If Mr Crowd hadnÂ’t got involved last night and left it to Mr Clown, we wouldnÂ’t have won last night. [My opinion, of course.]

And if Mr Clown starts off on Sunday like last night, I sincerely hope Mr Crowd gets involved again!

Liam Reilly
32 Posted 13/03/2015 at 14:18:46
And I thought Moyes used to get some shit on this site, but itÂ’s nothing compared to the bile this guy gets.

Back in the game after leveling it up and in control. He makes two attacking substitutions and we win the game. Arguably shouldÂ’ve won by more. Fair dues.

Oscar Huglin
33 Posted 13/03/2015 at 15:24:09
Trevor #8 - We won the game off a penalty which came from an incisive forward pass by McCarthy...?

Anyway, can we all stop calling for MartinezÂ’s head please? IÂ’ve been saying it for weeks, there is no one we could appoint that would be an improvement. We would just cause a downward spiral that would be very difficult to break out of.

Get behind the team. Safety shouldnÂ’t be a problem and we have a very real chance in the Europa League, especially after last night.

I am completely convinced that Martinez can do a Moyes next season and go from relegation candidates to a top 4 challenge. We easily have a good enough squad for that.

The last thing I want is our fanbase to end up the same as the team weÂ’re playing on Sunday...

John Keating
34 Posted 13/03/2015 at 15:33:26
Oscar, Anyone would be an improvement !

As regards to a "downward spiral" have you looked at our results, league position and present form? Truly could anyone really be any worse than the present incumbent?

Patrick Murphy
35 Posted 13/03/2015 at 15:51:54
Oscar - Perhaps our fan-base should have shown a little more impatience down the years as for the most part being patient hasnÂ’t seen us witness too many trophies arriving at Goodison in the last 20 years. Newcastle fans have had to endure a trophy famine of nearly half a century I certainly donÂ’t want Everton to go that long without silverware, 20 years is already without precedent in the history of our club - As for being CL contenders next season, with or without Martinez I canÂ’t see that happening unless a Chinese Billionaire buys the club.
Paul Dark
36 Posted 13/03/2015 at 15:51:52
I think there was a sense of urgency, perhaps fired by fear (c/o the crowdÂ’s adverse reaction) last night. If we can play as we did in the second half, we will beat Newcastle.

IÂ’m afraid there is nothing to suggest that Martinez is anything other than extraneous to requirements here. IÂ’m all in favour of a passing game - but his execution of the philosophy didnÂ’t work at Wigan and it hasnÂ’t worked here. His worst crime is lack of coherence. How decisions simply donÂ’t make sense to anyone any more. He simply must go as soon as we are safe.

I wish Kenwright were up to making tough decisions instead of wallowing in sentimental, kitschy sound-bites - and lying about wanting to sell the club.

Everton needs substance!

ps: Rom was superb last night, unstoppable. Put in a real shift, too.

Patrick Murphy
37 Posted 13/03/2015 at 16:30:26
There is a picture of Roberto looking at his watch on the Echo’s Everton ’live’ page - which is ripe for a caption competition. How about "right lads you have five minutes to keep it at the back and then you can cross the half-way line!"


Phil Walling
38 Posted 13/03/2015 at 16:46:56
Oscar, how can you possibly know ' there is no one out there who could do a better job than Martinez' ? Are you seriously saying he is the best manager in the game ?

I don't think even the Great Illusionist himself would claim to be that, When his time comes - and for most of us that was last Christmas - there will be plenty who aspire to the job - and one of them will be right for it. Let's just hope BK does his homework this time.

Mike Hughes
39 Posted 13/03/2015 at 17:02:01
Steady on - they might be reading this and you might upset them. We need a result on Sunday so be nice.
James Hughes
40 Posted 13/03/2015 at 17:16:47
Have to agree with Phil Walling , and that doesnÂ’t happen very often. Phil has been the only constant on Roberto and I think he has been proved right. Last night it took major dissent from the home ground before we starting playing, is that right?

So we may have a talented team but the manager very rarely gets them playing properly. ThatÂ’s a bit like saying I know the winner but I am not going to back it. There are better managers out there and we are still a big club who are in the PL (just).

Whilst on the subject of change, could we see If Daniel Levy would like to run our club, or someone similar? Maybe then we would rejoin the top table

Tony Waring
41 Posted 13/03/2015 at 17:19:23
Anyone think we should start with Lukaku and Kone up front on Sunday?
Chris Gould
42 Posted 13/03/2015 at 18:18:59
Oscar, seeing as you said please, I'll simply change my mind, pretend that Roberto isn't completely useless, and get behind him. All it took was for someone to ask nicely.

I can now just ignore the league table, the shite system, repeated mistakes, annoying soundbites, and many many other negatives that have been highlighted over and over again...all because you asked so nicely.

Ian Riley
43 Posted 13/03/2015 at 18:29:14
The crowd changed the game, not the manager. It must be said, the more pissed off the fans got the better we played. What a sad affair this season has been. If we stay up or go down, change has to come. I don't see it changing under the current regime. Our defending is so poor, attacking is safer. It's over to the players now to save us, lost complete faith in the manager!
Trevor Peers
44 Posted 13/03/2015 at 18:46:40
Ian I agree completely, hate to say this but at least under Moyes there was method in his madness. Under Roberto it's just madness.
Ian Brandes
46 Posted 13/03/2015 at 19:15:40
Let's see if the crowd has influenced him and the proof of this pudding should be apparent in his tactics against Newcastle this Sunday.

There was certainly intensity in the second half as our players did their utmost to keep the ball away from the hopeless Howard.

Perhaps we can see Lukaku in his new role as Godzilla of Goodison, and! maybe, Osman can come on at some stage to help change the game as he did when his 'never say die' attitude won us the penalty.

I am still no fan of Marinez, and think he should go, but we can build on the last 45 minutes, and get back to winning ways. Of course, this might be more achievable if we don't gift the opposition the usual first goal.

Screw the sideways and backward passing, let's unleash our new 'Dogs Of War' on the magpies.

Phil Walling
47 Posted 13/03/2015 at 19:21:05
In no way do I see our change of tactics the Damascus moment for Martinez as some dailies have suggested.

On the contrary, I suspect the very welcome return of Stones against Newcastle will see the return of tica-taka in that he is the only central defender we have who is competent 'to play it out of defence.'

That is no implied criticism of the youngster, only a comment on his ability to play the game the 'Roberto Way'. As Baines has told us, the manager likes to stick to his plan but I think he was coerced into a more direct style last night by the obvious discomfort of his players in Stones's absence.

Sunday could be another story.

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