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Martinez shrugs off Lukaku agent flap

04/04/2015  Comments (32)  jump
Roberto Martinez has said that there is no issue with Romelu Lukaku's Everton future following comments by Mino Raiola in the media last week.

The outspoken Italian said of Lukaku that, "if we had met each other earlier, he wouldn't have played for Everton," raising fears that he would be looking to move his new client on sooner rather than later but Martinez remains unfazed.

"He is an agent that has worked just a short period of time with a new client. For whatever reason he needs to do those comments," said the Everton manager.

"I am sure every agent will have some sort of comments about his clients. I am not going to get involved talking about an agent.

"From my point of view Romelu is one of the most important signings we have ever made; that shows the commitment and the investment we have made.

"He has an incredible talent and at 21 he has a long-term contract. For me there is not an issue.

"I always speak with Rom and all the players about those situations. Rom made the decision of changing his agent. He is entitled to do that. It is a personal decision.

"Romelu is a very important player for us. As a football club we showed an incredible respect and integrity in the way we conducted our decisions about him and his career and we will carry on doing that."

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (32)

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James Stewart
1 Posted 04/04/2015 at 20:44:10
No player is bigger than EFC and certainly no current player we have comes even close. Lukaku should tell his agent to shut his mouth. He was at a Champions League club and they got rid of him.

He is now at a club with top 4 ambitions who paid top dollar for him so he should concentrate on doing what that club bought him for and fire us to the top 4. He currently has 8 goals, the same as our former striker who cost a fraction of the price (Jelavic). Hardly the kind of return that would keep the likes of Tezez and Morata out of the team at Juve.

Gerry Quinn
2 Posted 04/04/2015 at 20:51:00
Roberto should line up all the players at Finch Farm and ask them to form two columns... those who continue to HAVE the desire to play for an Everton team wanting to succeed... and those who DONÂ’T!

It would be interesting to see their reactions. I'm fed up with all this bullshit that the players, the agents, and some of the managers are coming out with.

Danny Broderick
3 Posted 04/04/2015 at 21:13:24
Martinez should say if heÂ’s better than Costa, as indicated by his agent, then weÂ’ll sell him for a value above 㿞 million when the giants of the game (PSG, Juventus, Real Madrid etc) come in for him. If not, heÂ’ll remain an Everton player. The only way heÂ’ll get to play for one of those clubs is by scoring 25-30 goals a season for Everton for a couple of seasons. Beyond that, if someone wants to pay us the market rate for a player who scores 30 goals a season, i.e. 㿞 million plus, he can go with our blessing.

Lukaku needs to knuckle down at this stage of his career and just play his game. It speaks volumes that this agent represents Ballotelli and Ibrahimovic. HeÂ’s been whoring himself all around the world to get them a move every 2 years.

Paul Dark
4 Posted 04/04/2015 at 21:13:55
James Stewart:

I agree with most of your posts – but not this time.

Dissing a player a priori because he doesnÂ’t want to play for the club isnÂ’t right, in my view. The context is key in this situation. Granted: Rom has always fancied himself and thought of himself as better than us. Our performance last season musÂ’ve given him some hope that we could break into the top four and perhaps become CL regulars and match his ambitions.

We as (loyal) fans waver in our unequivocal support sometimes when pushed to the limit, so itÂ’s hardly surprising that (mercenary) players do.

What has been damaging this season most of all is the lack of a grand-design direction and the attendant incoherence behind decisions and actions – and the two men at the club responsible for that are, first and foremost, Martinez and, second (and not quite so foremost) Kenwright.

Martinez has made mistake after mistake this season: his appalling team selections, bringing players back to soon, his doctrinaire pronouncements, his inability to change games, his poor signings, his fiddling while Goodison burns and, his quietly hysterical verbal diarrhoea. A young, intelligent player like Lukaku who has been at a ruthlessly run club like Chelsea will see how inadequate such behaviour is. The whole timbre is not one of success – but self-satisfaction. In fact, Martinez oozes (yuck!) self-satisfaction.

Worse: the captain (RM) seems hardly accountable for the rudderless ship. And the admiral in charge (BK) does nothing to control or censure the wayward captain. I wouldn’t want to work in such an organization, and I wouldn’t respect people who did. These things affect players’ motivations (vide Garbutt etc). Rom has been asked to play when unfit, out of position and with very dubious (non-)tactics by a man who had to be told eventually by his team to change approach half-way through the season – at which point he showed no regret.

At any well-run club, Martinez would have been sacked and the fans would have made much more noise about BKÂ’s hope-less, self-serving tenure. The latterÂ’s heart might be in the right place (RMÂ’s might even be), but he is not up to running a top PL football club (as is Martinez not up to managing one). He canÂ’t fire and hire, and he can only deal with sentimental sound-bites.

Nothing means anything until both these men go. The recent comments by Rom and his new agent are but symptoms of the real underlying problem: Roberto Martinez and Bill Kenwright.

David Greenwood
6 Posted 04/04/2015 at 21:29:10
All agents should be paid a salary by a PFA, dependent on whatever country they are based.

A good basic wage, with bonuses depending on the deals they do.

PFA fund this by taking a cut of every transfer.

This cut would be 2 or 3% tops.

That way the player earns more money. We always hear from agents they just want to get the best deal for their clients.

So the agent will still represent the same players, doing the same deals, just that the PFA and the players themselves will be earning more.

James Stewart
7 Posted 04/04/2015 at 21:40:05
Paul IÂ’m not quite sure I follow your train of thought. How are Martinez and BK responsible for what Lukaku instructs his agent to say? Lukaku owes a debt to Everton, to do the job he was bought for. There werenÂ’t any other takers when Chelsea put him on the market for 25m, we took a chance on him and he is yet to repay that outlay in my opinion.

You correctly state some of MartinezÂ’s tactical failings and we havenÂ’t played to LukakuÂ’s strengths for the most part but until recently he has turned in some truly shocking performances. If Lukaku had half the consistency of Stones then maybe his lofty opinion of himself wouldnÂ’t quite look so narcissistic and foolish.

I agree with you Martinez should have been dismissed though and I have no faith in him being able to rebuild the squad in the summer. His signings have been horrific.

Denis Richardson
8 Posted 04/04/2015 at 22:15:24
Not really sure what all the fuss is about. The agent wants to make money (everyone knows that), the player (letÂ’s be honest) would rather play at a club thatÂ’s winning things and playing in the CL. The player has a long time left on his contract.

So, if a club offers a large amount if cash (min 㿊M... if not 㿏M), then weÂ’ll sell and everyoneÂ’s relatively happy.

Until a big bid comes in, itÂ’s all a complete waste of time, especially whilst we have the same manager.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 04/04/2015 at 22:20:43
ThereÂ’s not much Martinez, or the club, can do about this is there? The best we can hope for is Lukaku continues to improve, this season and next, and then sell him to the highest bidder and make a tidy profit.
Paul Dark
10 Posted 04/04/2015 at 22:22:47

I donÂ’t think the football market works like that. It isnÂ’t just about honouring a contract. Rom is hot property and having a shambolic regime at the club is irresponsible. It gives the wrong message to staff (like Rom) and potential recruits.

RM and BK are responsible for running our club shambolically and making players like Rom feel less certain of their future with us. He is a top, top player. ItÂ’s understandable he wants to be at a well-run club. We are not that at present.

Blame RM not Rom or his agent for feeling that Everton arenÂ’t an ambitious club, I reiterate. Under RM and BK we arenÂ’t.

It makes me really sad as someone who believes we are a huge club, much bigger than BK thinks we are.

Steve Guy
11 Posted 04/04/2015 at 23:08:30
I hate agents. Scumbags.
Nick Armitage
12 Posted 05/04/2015 at 00:01:34
The only person responsible for the moves that this agent is making is a certain Romelu Lukaku. He appointed his new agent for one reason and one reason only.

Good riddance. Overpriced and overrated.

Neil Pickering
13 Posted 05/04/2015 at 02:42:23
Say what you like about the agent, but letÂ’s not forget that he is employed by the player, and would have sanctioned any statement the agent makes regarding him beforehand.

Bottom line is the lad thinkÂ’s too good for us and wants a move. The wheels were set in motion for this a few months ago, so I am not the slightest bit suprised. His upturn in form has also coincided with him getting a new agent, so you donÂ’t have to be a genius to see that heÂ’s playing for a move.

I personally would sell as soon as we get a bid equivalent of what we paid; aside from the past 6 wks heÂ’s stunk the gaff out every week, and I think for the money we paid you can get better. I also donÂ’t want a lad at my club that only puts a shift in when he wants to move onto so called bigger things. HeÂ’s a wrong un this guy and good riddance

Gareth Fieldstead
14 Posted 05/04/2015 at 02:56:06
Totally Neil, Brett Angel mark 2. If someone is stupid enough to offer us 30 million, happy days! They were hardly queuing up last season were they? He is not even first choice for his country yet the lad thinks we should be grateful that he blesses us with his presence. Do one and take Miralles with you. Another player with delusions of grandeur. 40 million for the 2 and we may get two decent wingers and a genuine 20 goal a season striker.
Christine Foster
15 Posted 05/04/2015 at 03:08:04
Sadly the whole thing just sums up whatÂ’s wrong in the game. A player signs a contract and he should honor it as should the club. If performances are not good enough then both club and player should come to a mutual agreement to end the contract with due compensation. Alas many clubs like Everton have survived on hyping young players to the hilt and selling them on for top dollar. So itÂ’s not just the agents who hype itÂ’s the clubs as well, they are as bad as each other.

Then there is the player himself, many who believe their own hype and value. Sterling wants a 180k a week? He is hardly out of his pram...

To change the system you need the clubs, agents and players to want to change but itÂ’s not in any of their interests to do so, so thatÂ’s it.. A curse on all your houses...
Eric Myles
16 Posted 05/04/2015 at 03:51:28
Christine, the problem is that when a player, or even a manager, honours their contract theyÂ’re accused of running it down and cheating the Club out of any compo.
Christopher Kelly
17 Posted 05/04/2015 at 04:29:26
Beyond the agent being a scumbag, Rom wasnÂ’t raised a Blue, so he owes us nothing but his best effort.

If I were him, after seeing this disaster of a season, and not being terribly optimistic of the future with RM and BK in charge, sadly if probably ask for a move as well. I wish I could say differently but there is something rotten here at home and that needs fixing before we can hope to keep our best talent.

James Marshall
22 Posted 05/04/2015 at 07:41:46
Football agent in 'hyping his client' shocker.

Come on, who cares? Really? There hasn't been any loyalty to clubs in years, and why is that? It's because money talks, and players are from all over the world so have no club-loyalty to a foreign team – why would they?

They all want the most money, and to play for the biggest clubs in the Champions League – I don't see why this is difficult to get our heads around, given that Everton are a second-tier team and have been for years. We're not the so called 'big club' that an awful lot of people on here think we are. We're just not. Not anymore.

We're a club rich in history, and that's about it. History doesn't mean shit in modern football. We're out of the loop, unfashionable, out of London (this matters to a lot of foreign footballers given that we're not cash cows like Man Utd, Man City or, dare I say it, the RS) and out of touch.

We have a small-club mentality from the bottom up, and by that I mean Kenwright down to us, the supporters. We fight amongst ourselves on message boards, about how great we used to be, and how we should be the best in the world (Nil Satis yada yada yada) but it's simply not the case.

We're an also-ran, a club with low aspirations run by men happy to keep it ticking over in the Premier League, like owning a fancy fuck-off yacht and a high-bred dog with a leaky heart valve. In fact I think that's Everton – a dog with great breeding but ill-health. Sorry if this turned into a rant – feel free to pillory/ignore me!

Aman Kanji
23 Posted 05/04/2015 at 08:05:46
Let him go in the summer for minimum 㿚 million finding replacements now.

Anyone remember the 'call me' gesture when we beat Newcastle at home last year? I didn't like that all about him and has always stuck with me every time I see him on the pitch. Shows considerable arrogance from such a young player who has only been with us for just over a year. Once a member of the team feels they are undervalued and can do better somewhere else, they will either leave shortly OR disrupt your team. Let them go....

Double bluff him and his agent and sell him for a healthy profit. We NEED to line up new players now!

Andy Walker
24 Posted 05/04/2015 at 08:13:08
Spot on, Paul Dark. Martinez has created the culture in the team which has lead us to a relegation fight, fortunately now over.

I too wouldn't want to work for a business with a clueless leader and Lukaku can't be expected to waste his talent playing for one of the also-rans. Respect works both ways and how can the senior players respect a manager who time after time has repeated the same mistakes?

Martinez must be replaced in the summer, or I fear he will relegate us.

Mark Andersson
25 Posted 05/04/2015 at 08:52:16
James Marshall has hit the nail on the head.

The most disappointing thing this season is Martinez still has a job. 3 points, shit game, we might well grind out similar results till the end of the season.

Is that what you want, because it will start all over again come September.

Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 05/04/2015 at 09:04:39
We are the fall guys here. The Premier League makes money hand over fist and the clubs overpay their managers and players.

They then squabble over contracts and rises whilst our old stadium crumbles and the poor fan either pays through the nose in blind loyalty, travelling the land in hope, or pays far to much for his Sky package.

We are the fools. In Europe it is cheaper to go to the game and TV subscriptions are much less and there is lots of choice.

Here, the average working person cannot afford to go regularly, and those who can are rewarded with more pain and frustration than anything else. We are not members of these organisations, we are not shareholders. We have no say, no voice and we blindly follow our team, loyal to the brand. We wear the over-priced replica shirts that are made by children in some far-flung sweatshop for pennies.

We are treated with disdain by the security firms that control the turnstiles. (Would BK's theatre goers paying for similar seats put up with it?)

Then we are kept in the dark and lied to all year, and if we get to a Cup Final the best seats are occupied by corporate big wigs and hangers-on.

Why bother?

Eugene Ruane
27 Posted 05/04/2015 at 09:05:49
Neil (13) - "Say what you like about the agent, but let's not forget that he is employed by the player, and would have sanctioned any statement the agent makes regarding him beforehand."

Well yes, technically, the player employs the agent, but that certainly doesn't guarantee he's 'in charge.'

Footballers appear to be, in the main, incredibly unsophisticated creatures. Their education (academic and/or otherwise) tends to go out of the window once the possibility of 'making it' as a pro becomes a possibility.

Constantly being part of a group of young men may develop team ethic, but it definitely restricts individualism and (life) decision-making.

(I remember Andy King saying he was 38 when his last playing contract ended and he didn't have a clue how to pay a bill as his clubs had always taken care of that sort of thing).

That it should have been considered newsworthy (as it was years ago) to report that Graham Le Saux and Pat Nevin read The Guardian (rather than some tabloid comic), should tell you everything you need to know about the mental capabilities of the average player.

I have seen (and heard) enough from Lukaku to believe that although he may employ an agent, there's every chance his agent's take on things is "You're not the boss of me, you are to all intents and purposes, a hulking great toddler and you'll do exactly what I tell you."

Harold Matthews
28 Posted 05/04/2015 at 09:37:40
Some very realistic and well written posts. Phew. I think I might need a cup of tea and a fag.
Neil Pickering
29 Posted 05/04/2015 at 09:53:37
Eugene. Sorry, mate, but I don't agree. No way would the agent have said what he said without the player's blessing. Lukaku wants out, hence the reason he changed to this guy in the first place. The agent's mandate from Lukaku will be to get him his "bigger club" move, so he'll have given him carte blanche to do exactly that by any means necessary. He's started off quite gently but, if the club play hardball, watch out for it turning nasty in the summer.
Colin Glassar
30 Posted 05/04/2015 at 11:52:29
Was Lukaku's absence yesterday due to his hamstring or his agents comments then?
James Stewart
31 Posted 05/04/2015 at 12:00:07
Paul, I think we agree on the powers that be at our club; I'm not arguing any of that. You think that Lukaku is a 'top, top player' and that is where we differ; I don't.

I think he is an effective battering ram when played to his strengths but his ability is far too limited to be as good as some people might have you believe. The likes of Ings or Austin could do just as well as Lukaku for us. Without the ego.

James Marshall
32 Posted 05/04/2015 at 13:45:27
Players like Lukaku (strikers) need a big ego to be any good. Look at the history of the best players – all arrogant, single-minded bastards with heaps of self-confidence and ambition. Take those things out of a player and he's useless.

I don't give two hoots what players or agents say, as long as they do well on the field, and lately Lukaku has done OK (for whatever reason). I actually agree with the agent – of course Lukaku won't be here his whole career, and perhaps the agent believes he would have got him a contract at a Champions League club, but I don't believe he would have due to the way Chelsea conducted the entire deal. They had a big say in where Lukaku went IMO, and made damn sure it wasn't another CL club, so this agent can go fuck himself and Lukaku still plays for Everton.


Eugene Ruane
33 Posted 05/04/2015 at 13:31:42
Neil (28) - "Eugene. Sorry, mate, but I don't agree. No way would the agent have said what he said without the player's blessing. Lukaku wants out, hence the reason he changed to this guy in the first place"

I didn't actually suggest the statement was made without the player's knowledge or 'blessing'.

What I said was that, slippery and greedy though agents might be, they will generally have a lot more 'upstairs' than the average player.

And consequently, it would be dead easy for Lukaku's agent to used a bit of Bilko-style bollocks to persuade him of just about anything, including why such a statement would be a great idea and one that would benefit him greatly.

In my opinion, it's naive to think that somehow, greedy, fast talking, quick-witted con-men might be dictated to by (more often than not) slow-witted, inarticulate footballers with little knowledge of anything other than kicking a ball.

So was Lukaku aware of the statement before it was released? Probably, but as (like most PL players), he's basically a big, easy-to-dupe child, that wouldn't surprise me.

In fact I've no doubt most agents could get the okay (from their 'bosses') to just about anything, simply by promising a lot more gaudy and glittery tat (ie: money, golf ball-sized diamond earrings, dinner plate-sized watches, gold cars, Champions League etc).

Andy Meighan
34 Posted 05/04/2015 at 15:01:30
I'm struggling to sleep wondering how we are going to replace the 8 league goals (one a pen) he's scored all season. As someone beautifully put it earlier, he's only started playing in the last few games since this agent move. I've got a message for Romelu: He won't be missed; honestly, he's just not that good.
Steven Telford
35 Posted 05/04/2015 at 16:27:40
Martinez can play it down all he likes, however, the fact remains that Lukaku and his new agent must see eye to you or else he would not have signed with him.

Of course he stokes his ego, most agents would; however, if Lukaku were to now do the decent thing by the club, it would be to make a statement saying whether or not he disagrees with his agent's explicit suggestion that to sign for us was a bad idea or not.

Maybe he is not comfortable playing in a league where agents can't help select the referees.

John Audsley
37 Posted 05/04/2015 at 19:19:09
An agent wants to get his player on the market, No matter who he plays for.

Whether Lukaku or agent said what he said doesn't matter.

With the current gimps in charge we wont get a better striker at GP this decade so unless the offer is 㿞M we shouldn't sell.

The agent controls everything, which by default makes them a cunt.

Patrick Murphy
40 Posted 06/04/2015 at 00:15:33
A couple of hours ago, Roberto was quoted as saying "We are not going to go into comments from agents. We shouldn't call them agents now they are representatives or intermediaries – it is his prerogative [to make public comments] and you will have to ask him."

I thought an Agent was a representative or an intermediary? James Bond Secret Intermediary or Secret Representative hasn't quite got the same ring to it as Secret Agent but it would mean the same thing wouldn't it?

There must be a role for Roberto in one of the parties fighting the General Election because he has a way of confusing the issues, yet sounding perfectly logical whilst doing so.

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