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Martinez looking to build around young core

by | 30/04/2015  Comments (89)  jump

Roberto Martinez has restated his intention to bring in "two or three" players to his squad as he looks to continue to construct his team around young stars like Romelu Lukaku, John Stones, Ross Barkley and James McCarthy.

With Everton experiencing a sharp drop in form from last season's impressive fifth-place finish and a number of players well into their 30s, many supporters have held out hope of a significant overhaul to the squad this summer. The manager's rhetoric remains cautious, however, even to the point where he doesn't envision any "marquee" signings that might significantly transform the team.

While rival teams may see the Blues' mid-table finish as an opportunity to move in and tempt some of Martinez's stars away from Goodison Park, he insists he doesn't want to lose any of his core players in the close season either.

"I don't want to lose anyone this summer," he said in The Guardian. "We worked hard last summer to have continuity and to get Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry on a permanent basis, as well as new contracts on Ross Barkley and John Stones. We made huge investments in those two young players so our focus is not to lose anyone this summer and to add two or three to the group.

It's quite clear we don't need anything glamorous apart from getting two or three players who can fit into how we play while giving us something we have missed this season.

But, in the same way, if someone doesn't want to play for Everton we need to be in a position where we can become stronger at the end of it. But that's talking generally, nothing to do with our squad.

We control the situation. In terms of the players we bring in, it is very much about the positions we need. I don't think it's about glamorous names, it is about players who can fit the specific positions for what we are trying to do. I'm very excited about what we have already got at the club."

Despite the manager's assertion in January that he was on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Tim Howard, any new faces are unlikely to include a goalkeeper. Martinez explained that he is happy with what he has got in that position and is looking to his Academy players to become more involved at first-team level.

I am very pleased with Tim [Howard] and Joel [Robles] for next season and we've got high hopes for Russell Griffiths plus Jindrich Stanek will have a bigger role next season, he continued.

He could not guarantee that Luke Garbutt will remain at the club after this season, however. The 21-year-old is out of contract in June but has yet to sign a new deal.

I want him [Luke] stay at Everton but in the same way you cannot force players to stay if they don't want to stay," Martinez said. "I hope that we can solve it in the summer and work together in that respect. You need to accept what the player feels as well.  

Reader Comments (89)

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Dominic Tonge
1 Posted 30/04/2015 at 23:36:17
Cue Cleverly..... We do need glamour, we need a scheming technical midfielder (at least with shandy van we had a steaming midfielder) and a second striker, a centre back.
James Flynn
2 Posted 30/04/2015 at 23:36:15
And this immediately behind Kendall gushing over Stones. Gotta hand it to our owners, eh?

Well, for once those who decry the way Roberto talks to the press, canÂ’t complain about him here. Routine manager-speak as the window approaches.

ThereÂ’s a lot in front of him these next 18 months. Players out of contract or about to be, Roberto has major work to get done and needs ample funds to do so.

Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 30/04/2015 at 23:44:55
I actually think a glamorous signing to re-energise the place, particularly a midfield play-maker like Dominic suggests is, exactly what we need.

Tottenham went out and bought Christian Eriksen who has been a brilliant signing for them. IÂ’d like us to do something like that now that the money should be there rather than bringing in cast-offs or middling players on the cheap like Aiden McGeady or the not-so-cheap like Arouna Kone.

They donÂ’t have to be 㿀m players, either, if thatÂ’s what Martinez is hinting at with the word "glamour". A couple of under-the-radar flair players would be ideal. Sadly, I fear that the likes of Cleverley who can "do a job" are more in line with what he is thinking.

Alan Humphreys
4 Posted 30/04/2015 at 23:50:41
Where are these foreign players, gems on the cheap we thought he would bring in with his myriad of scouts?

Transfers have been uninspiring at best, save the odd one. I have little faith he will invigorate the club with new players of high quality. More midfield dross.

Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 30/04/2015 at 23:52:51
We could do with a player who will excite the supporters as I canÂ’t see anyone at the club who can do that on a regular basis. Mirallas is one who can provide a moment of magic but we need a talisman type, perhaps we can only get that from a loan player such as the Man Utd guy, and I donÂ’t mean Evans.

Obviously if all of our regulars play to their full potential next season, we should be right up in the CL mix; however, every other club will add to their squads one way or another and I hope we donÂ’t fall behind due to Â’standing stillÂ’.

Gavin Johnson
6 Posted 30/04/2015 at 23:51:15
Well, weÂ’ve gone from bringing in 3 quality players with Â’ampleÂ’ funds to bringing in 3 not so glamorous players who can fit in with the into how we play.

So that will mean Cleverley playing more offensively like his Wigan days. Is Lewis Holtby playing much these days in Germany?? Not exactly a marquee name but could replace Ossie when heÂ’s knackered.

I think our signings will be Lennon, Cleverley and IÂ’ve got a sneaky feeling Martinez might want to be reunited with the out-of-contract Ashley Williams.

So, functional! IÂ’d say more roundhead than cavalier. I could live with it if we also brought in a couple of quality loans, like Januzaj and the young French striker Moyes tried to sign who opted for Milan. WhoÂ’s coincidently been linked with us this week after having a decent loan with Genoa. Apparently heÂ’s available.

Most worrying is MartinezÂ’s quote that he canÂ’t force players who donÂ’t want to stay, when asked about Garbutt. IÂ’ll be disappointed in the kid if he goes. We invested a decent fee on him when he was 16 and it seems like a player should give something back. But I shouldnÂ’t be surprised... this is the modern game so decency often goes out of the window. I expect Leeds fans would have felt the same when he snubbed a new contract with them.

Terry Murphy
7 Posted 01/05/2015 at 00:12:32
We desperately need a locksmith for the buses that get parked by defensive teams. IÂ’d blow most of our transfer kitty on one or two of them.
Paul Thompson
8 Posted 01/05/2015 at 01:35:08
This doesnÂ’t sound too good. For Â’glamourousÂ’, read expensive? Lennon, Cleverley and a defender will not take us past mid-table. If RM thinks that, heÂ’s deluded.
Robin Cannon
9 Posted 01/05/2015 at 05:11:17
@Lyndon (3) - I think that players who can quietly do a good job are just as important as players who are glamorous.

For all of EriksenÂ’s excellence, Tottenham were sixth last year, theyÂ’re sixth this year, and even if they win their remaining games they can at best improve on their 2014 points total by 1, both still a decline on when they didnÂ’t have Eriksen.

ThatÂ’s not a criticism of EriksenÂ’s performance. Players should be brought on need, though, not glamour. And Spurs are never short of a bunch of flair players, they usually have too many.

That being said, a glamour player is a good signing for us because we have a genuine on-the-pitch need for that.

We donÂ’t particularly need Cleverley to my mind, because we donÂ’t need another player of his type. If heÂ’d replace Barry then why do we have Besic, and heÂ’s not going to replace McCarthy.

We arguably have more need for a flair player because we need to add some unpredictability to our attack. Flair players tend to be more expensive because they get more highlight reels and a higher profile.

Andy Meighan
10 Posted 01/05/2015 at 06:51:23
Well, going by what heÂ’s said, IÂ’m envisaging another season of struggle. Obviously it looks like thereÂ’ll be no signing thatÂ’ll make us feel excited. And if the rumours are anything to go by, itÂ’ll be 3 or 4 ordinary players heÂ’s bringing in. We all know what we need, we're not stupid. The Spaniard obviously doesnÂ’t. I could cry every time he opens his mouth, I really could.
Christopher Timmins
11 Posted 01/05/2015 at 07:07:49
We need a centre half, a creative midfielder, sign Lennon and a proper back up to Lukaku. If Kevin departs then we need a like for like replacement.

Consideration should also be given to improving the balance of the squad by taking in a right back and selling one of our left backs.

Peter McHugh
12 Posted 01/05/2015 at 07:26:43
I think people donÂ’t share the same faith in our squad, particularly on Barkley on Lukaku. If they were rated the same as McCarthy and Stones then people wouldnÂ’t be worried by RMÂ’s comments. The other factor is that peoples worried about his transfer record which a lot of us are worried about.

I agree that 2-3 players is fine and they donÂ’t have to be marque signings and we can supplement from youth team provided Garbutt stays. My concern is IÂ’m yet to be convinced that Martinez can bring the right player in.

Sam Hoare
13 Posted 01/05/2015 at 07:29:46
HeÂ’s unlikely to come out and say we will definitely sign a glamorous player this Summer. That would create a lot of pressure.

IÂ’ll take Van Dijk, Sigurdsson and Lennon with Januzaj and Sergi Roberto brought in on loan.

James Owens
14 Posted 01/05/2015 at 07:52:51
We have a core of youth in our team at the moment such as Lukaku, Barkley, McCarthy Besic, Stones, Garbutt (If he stays).

We need to invest in a qualify player, like Grenier from France, or Sergi Roberto from Barca, somebody who can unlock a defence but has a belter of a long range shot.

On top of this we need to keep hold of Lennon but not at the expense of Mirallas! Get in another permanent striker who will pick up 10-15 goals a season, maybe somebody like Claudio Beauvue from Guingamp who has scored over 20 goals this season. I'd like to see Deulofeu back! I'd rather have him, I've heard he's been valued at about ٦M? Him at that and Lennon at ٥M rather than blowing it all on Bolasie!!

On top of this we need another CB or 2! Maybe one of the young lads can step through? Browning? Galloway?

John Malone
15 Posted 01/05/2015 at 08:19:52
Should keep Garbutt if he goes we will regret it!
Mike Allison
16 Posted 01/05/2015 at 08:36:56
I particularly agree with him when it comes to avoiding a significant overhaul. I donÂ’t think we need that, I think we need a gradual phasing out of older players with them being replaced by younger ones, many of whom are already at the club.

Distin and Alcaraz will be gone, suggesting we need to sign a centre back, along with promoting or trusting Browning and Galloway. The other ageing players will be able to contribute, probably as back-up, so thereÂ’s no desperate rush to get rid of them, just a need for long-sighted, intelligent succession planning. As usual (ie. like last season) there is the issue of whether the loan players will be signed or replaced. I suspect this will be an annual issue with Martinez, and it seems a reasonable way to do business.

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 01/05/2015 at 08:48:44
The 7 players in, 6 players out format employed by most teams just doesnÂ’t work (with the exception of Southampton IMO).

The best teams make a couple of adjustments in the summer to maintain a stable squad. Do we want to be like Hull or, god forbid, the rs who make wholesale changes every summer to no avail? No. Tinkering is what is needed – not open-heart surgery.

Peter Laing
18 Posted 01/05/2015 at 08:56:15
Although Martinez has plied his trade as both a Manager and a Player in the British game for such a long time IÂ’ve been relatively disappointed by his lack of activity in the transfer market in either Spain or the South American countries.

Priority is to get Garbutt to sign up, secure McCarthy on a long term contract and to try to unearth the next Cazorla or Fabregras from somewhere.

Al Reddish
19 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:03:56
Before everyone gets too upset about the lack of ambition, just wait until you read Martinez comments in the Express. He is telling us we know the reality of the clubs situation and if that means losing Stones Barkley Lukaku and/or McCarthy in the summer, we have the mentality and the squad to cope and keep on improving.

The emphasis was mainly on Stones link to Chelsea so maybe Bill has already seen the pound signs. This comes a week or so after Elstone has said we are in a comfortable position due to a squad improving in value. It seems to me we are losing one of the four players mentioned.

James Newcombe
20 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:09:21
Dismayed by the Garbutt comments, give the kid what he wants –
Darren Bailey
21 Posted 01/05/2015 at 08:45:10
Based on last summerÂ’s 6/7 new signings, zthis means we will be keeping Distin and Alcara and only bringing in Cleverley. Distin will be like a new signing after his exile from the first team this season!

Ridiculous how our manager believes this squad plus a maximum of 3 new signings is capable of challenging for a top 4 spot. I am a big fan of bringing through and trusting the young players we have as I believe we have got a great group waiting in the wings. Browning and Galloway have to be given an opportunity next season and letting Garbutt walk away would be a sackable offence.

Our "team" is potentially up there with the starting 11 of most of the top teams but our "squad" isnÂ’t. My guess is that this is why heÂ’s saying that no "marque" signings will be made as he feels he has a first 11 capable of doing the job. My problem with this is that we should have a much better squad than we do now. Choices and competition in every area of the pitch.

One area which has been overlooked by so many is out wide. Why are people so obsessed with a creative midfielder? ThatÂ’s what BarkleyÂ’s in there for and itÂ’s time for him to step up to the plate and show that he can do that job. HeÂ’s been wasted out wide this season because we donÂ’t have wide men capable of doing the job. Bringing in a couple of wide men means Barkley is free to play in the position he wants to play and is most effective. We currently have Super Kev and Lennon wide so we need to be looking at making Lennon permanent and bringing in Deulofeu and/or Januzaj.

Most don’t like him but I’ve seen Villa play a little this season and Cleverley has been just as good as/if not better than Delph. I’d have him straight away, what’s there to lose? Free transfer England International – no-brainer.
Cleverley, Lennon, Deulofeu (and/or), Januzaj are what we need plus the obvious centre-back problem. 5 players, not 2/3 in my eyes.

Max Murphy
22 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:24:21
Before discussing players and new signings, the first thing Everton Football Club have to do is to get rid of Roberto Martinez.
Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:26:14
The truth of the matter is that Roberto doesn’t know for sure whether any of his ’star’ players will move to Chelsea, Man City or whoever puts enough money on the table for them – he’s stated he doesn’t want to lose any of them, but also said that the club can survive without them as long as the money is re-invested in the squad.

As usual, it all depends on how desperate any of the players are to move to a glamour club and how resistant EvertonÂ’s custodians will be when faced with the pound signs.

ItÂ’s the first time for perhaps the whole of RMÂ’s tenure that I havenÂ’t read any flowery language from him, he seems to be quite sanguine about the situation, but I do hope he has the ability to find decent players to replace whomever departs, because it will be bad for the club if he doesnÂ’t and probably bad for him as he will pay the price for any shortcomings on the pitch.

Phil Sammon
24 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:23:29
Sign Garbutt up and give him playing time. LetÂ’s look at Baines in centre mid. He has all the right attributes for the role. For a club with little cash, wouldnÂ’t it be sensible to look after your own players who donÂ’t need to be bought. Garbutt is hardly going to be asking for 㿞k per week is he.

I donÂ’t know what the hell a Â’glamour playerÂ’ is...but I think Sigurdson would be an unbelievable signing. Just the sort of player we need for those games with 65% possession and no clear cut chances. He can shot from distance and play a pass. Could we afford him?

Alcaraz, Kone and McGeady have to go. IÂ’d keep Distin...but heÂ’s obviously going too.

Sigurdson, Lennon and a centre back please.

We look very light up top too. If LukakuÂ’s out, weÂ’re goosed. I would like to give Barkley a go up there.

Al Reddish
25 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:41:28
Have a read and then decide how you see our summer panning out:

The Everton manager is adamant he does not want to lose the likes of John Stones, James McCarthy, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, who, aged 24 and under, could form the spine of a team for years to come.

Yet Martinez acknowledged the reality of "modern football" and knows champions-elect Chelsea are monitoring Stones as a long-term replacement for John Terry and have also checked on Barkley, who also interests Manchester City.

Martinez said: "Those four together you can imagine are better players than they were 10 months ago just because of the experiences we have been through.

"I've seen as a manager how they react and face adversity, they became men over six months.

"So I know the benefits are there. But as a football club, from window to window, we need to have a better squad and it's not down to individuals.

"I don't want to sell the dream, 'Oh, we need to keep these players', because that's not modern football.

"If you are going to lose a player as a club you need to become stronger at the end of it by investing the money well and the recruitment needs to be right.

"I feel excited about those players coming through but that doesn't mean we put all the future on those four young players staying at the club."


Michael Polley
26 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:43:02
Think we need more than 3 players. There are at least 6 players that have had their day at the club.

I would like to see Garbutt stay.

LetÂ’s see what the summer brings.

Darren Bailey
27 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:31:27
Michael (26) and those 6 players are: Hibbert, Alcaraz, Distin, Pienaar, McGeady and Kone? To be replaced with: Browning, (delete as appropriate – Van Dijk, Richards, Shaar, Caulker, Gomez), Galloway, Cleverley, Lennon, Deulofeu, Januzaj.
Ross Edwards
28 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:54:07
As long as one of them isnÂ’t Tom Cleverley, thatÂ’s fine by me, Bobby.
Nick Entwistle
29 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:39:05
Our most high profile signings ever - Gazza, Ginola, EtoÂ’o.

Surely someone with a name in Europe is happy to take up the PL challenge away from the monied clubs and help push a minnow (!) forward... or go for broke and pick up the next wonderkid from South America.

We need a star player. Someone who isnÂ’t all work ethic like Nais, or hit and miss like Mirallas. Some who can excite Evertonians and get the general football fan excited to tune in.

Any ideas?

James Stewart
30 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:20:36
We need more than two or three.
Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:13:27
Lionel Messi (NicK # 29)
Laurie Hartley
32 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:22:16
Nick, we tried that but for some reason he left us for Sampdoria.

Cleverly would do me and a left-footed left winger.

Definitely keep Lennon – he’s got "Everton Football" stamped all over him. There’s the three.

Then all we need is for the rest of them to play like they did against Man Utd for the whole of the season.

Nick Entwistle
33 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:32:54
Ajay, about Messi, youÂ’d think heÂ’d get to the end of his career, wake up the next day and go "Oooooh, bit easy wasnÂ’t it?" Is there any player in that upper level who wants a challenge?

Laurie, I wasnÂ’t recommending another 35-year-old but it's a poor reflection of the club when our highest profile players are long past their peak. Then again, Pirlo is 35 and IÂ’d take him in an instant!

Gavin Johnson
34 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:46:36
The fact that weÂ’re no longer in the market for a GK is a strong indication for me that BK will be looking down the back of the sofa for pennies. While Howard seems to be playing better lately. HeÂ’s not the long-term answer.
Laurie Hartley
35 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:40:01
Pirlo is a smashing player, Nick – talk about being able to pick a pass!

Our youngsters would definitely benefit from a season with him in the team but itÂ’s more youngsters we need.

Stones and McCarthy looked very happy in the interview after the Man Utd game. It augers well for next season.

It will be interesting to see what we all make of Cleverley after this weekend.

Ben Jones
36 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:00:09
I think three players is fine, as long as they fit in the first team straight away. A centre back is the must for me.

But I think heÂ’s alluding to signing more players once players this end leave. I think we all know Alcaraz and Distin will leave, that means at least one centre back and maybe another if Browning and/or Galloway arent quite ready enough.

Mirallas is another who might leave. And to be honest, anybody could leave, but hopefully more the deadwood with high wages like McGeady and Kone. I imagine he will want to replace Atsu as well.

So basically take it with a pinch of salt, I think it will be more than three, especially with what Jags says when he says it will be a summer of transition.

Nick Entwistle
37 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:29:06
Cleverly isnÂ’t a sexy signing, but neither was Carsley or Barry, or in fact McCarthy.

Nothing wrong with a water carrier so long as they can allow flair players to perform.

Jon Withey
38 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:19:21
EtoÂ’o, Ginola and Gazza.

Yeah, that never works out well, does it ?

We buy young or out-of-favour-but-with-potential or spare-wheel-at-monied-club or player-too-big-for-smaller-club.

Dominic Tonge
39 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:31:05
I think Cleverly is an offensive player. I watch him, it offends me.
Tony J Williams
40 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:34:44
Groundhog Day from the last decade and a half.

We have no money so will sell an asset and use a fraction of the money to but a utility midfielder.

I hope Garbutt stays but the ball is in his court and he probably wants to be playing full-time now. A full season loan to a Premier League team would work... if he signs a contract.

I wish people would stop all this "push Baines into midfield" bullshit, he is a left back and a cracking one at that so why push him into an unfamiliar role in the twilight of his career?

ps: Fuck off, Cleverley.

Jim Knightley
41 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:20:32
Nick, IÂ’d question the ambition of any Â’starÂ’ player who would drop down a level whilst in their prime (for less money) to help a team they (probably) have no connection with. Ambitious footballers want to play at the best level, and we are miles away from the top 4 at the moment. Arsenal and Chelski are on another level, Man City will get back there when someone sorts out the messy areas of their squad, and I have no doubt Man United will get back there when they spend over 𧴜 million again this summer. As always with Everton, we lack the money to be breach the top 4. This year, we have also lacked the fitness, tactical nous and desire too.

But as for our ’star’ player – The signing of Lukaku was bigger than the signing of Eto’o, Ginola or Gazza. He will be the one who will get us off our feet, if we can start next season with the tactics to suit him (and with a fit and rested Lukaku).

We need to follow our youthful approach to transfers. The 2 or 3 talk concerns me, and suggests that there is a lack of money around, which would be absurd given that we have a big money TV deal coming. I think one of those will be Lennon, who will have done enough to earn a transfer. That said, I hope he does not come in for too much. Levy will bleed every penny he can out of us, and whilst Lennon has done more than I expected, he is also injury prone and sporadic. IÂ’d prefer Deulofeu, even if his readiness to hold onto the ball for so long does not suit a short passing style. (Neither does the readiness of Barkley to do the same though, nor Mirallas, or McGeady etc).

We will then need to add a CB to replace Distin, which will make up the 2nd of 3 potential buys. It concerns me that there is doubt about a third buy, when we are crying out for a creative midfielder. The whole success of this team will rely on having someone who can control the ball, and link up with players.

IÂ’ve been saying for months that OsmanÂ’s return (and PienaarÂ’s) will help the team, not because Osman is a great player but because Osman can retain and pass the ball in a way that our other midfielders donÂ’t (they hold onto it for far too long). The impotent passing we have been subjected to so often this season is a product of our personnel. Martinez has been to blame because he should not subject our team to a style which does not suit them, but his tactical approach could work with the right players involved.

If we do not signing a passing midfielder, IÂ’d sack Martinez on the spot. I cannot stand another season of the same impotent passing style, and Barkley taking an age to make a decision about a sidewards pass as our players are quickly marked. Personally, IÂ’d look to the left-hand side of our midfield, or the position next to McCarthy for a creative midfield from abroad. Gibson is too injury prone too be relied on, even if he has some of the qualities which would help our balance. Cleverly is not the right player.

IÂ’m hoping, despite MartinezÂ’s talk, that the 2-3 players will in fact be 4-5, because of the need to replace outgoing personnel. I think that Garbutt is gone, and IÂ’m frustrated that Martinez has not given him the games to persuade him to stay. Distin will be out the door as soon as possible, and I think that Pienaar will probably leave too. IÂ’d love McGeady to go, but I think we are stuck with him for now, and doubts will continue over Mirallas future. On the plus side, I think his attitude of late and dip in form will lead to us keeping him. It is a plus because he is a wonderful player on his day and offers a genuine goal threat.

Mike Childs
42 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:37:36
Great post, Dominic T. :>)
Nick Entwistle
43 Posted 01/05/2015 at 13:02:04
Hey Jim, then we need to go for a young future star. Any that arenÂ’t already in the coaching farms at Chelsea or City.

I liked when Newcastle went for Asprilla. Just for pure entertainment and outrageous skill. Bring in a kid from South America – surely there is someone making a name for himself.

Matthew Williams
44 Posted 01/05/2015 at 13:14:52
It would seem that Lennon is in the reckoning, but as for the other two? ... I fear the worst!
Steavey Buckley
45 Posted 01/05/2015 at 13:14:52
Everton will still need someone on the left to link up with Baines, while the right already having good balance with Lennon and Coleman. Without good combinations on the right and left there will be attacking and defensive weaknesses.
Ajay Gopal
46 Posted 01/05/2015 at 14:18:36
From my understanding of the various news snippets, I think Martinez will try to sign Cleverly and Lennon. Dustin will surely leave, but I am quite sure Alcaraz will get a 1-year extension until Galloway and Browning are ready to come in.

Martinez will surely not gamble on Jagielka and Stones both being fit for the entire season, so I think he will sign another centre-back – I like the suggestion someone made above about Ashley Williams. Plus, probably Martinez will try to get a creative midfielder to unlock ’parked bus’ defences.

Atsu’s loan will be replaced by a Januzaj loan deal – not bad, especially if it is with an option to buy. I would also like Garbutt to sign for us and then being loaned out to a Premier Leeague team like Bournemouth.

Trevor Peers
47 Posted 01/05/2015 at 14:42:45
Roberto plans to use one of three players in the left wing berth depending on who's in form or fit. Osman, Mirallas or Pienaar so thereÂ’s little chance of him signing anyone else unless he sells first.
Steavey Buckley
48 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:01:52
With Pienaar coming to the end of his career, neither Mirallas nor Osman can offer Baines the link-up play that Pienaar offered, as well as them having a tendency to cut inside on to their right foot respectively.

Phil Walling
49 Posted 01/05/2015 at 13:54:24
With the signings of Lennon and Cleverley already seen as in the bag, it only remains for Roberto to tie up cover players for centre-half and left-back.

As he has warned, there will be no glamour signings this time round – great news for his lord and paymaster – so we can only hope that the present squad can hit the ground running.

Whether they do so will depend on the recently redeemed manager putting together and delivering an effective pre-season programme and then picking a balanced side from the players he has available. Exciting, eh?

Dominic Tonge
50 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:23:41
I just submitted an article regarding players available on a free. And thanks Mike.
Trevor Lynes
51 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:06:19
The manager is fronting for the board and as Moyes did is toeing the company line. That is a big part of the managerÂ’s job and he pays with his job if he doesnÂ’t. Over the past few windows we have sold and bought but always made money which has not been re-invested.

Now the media money is vastly improved and Everton have made a lot of profit. This has been mentioned in the Guardian and we are one of the biggest beneficiaries. Each position in the league is worth 1.2 million quid so the higher a club finishes the more made.

We have consistently been the best of the rest and do not spend a fraction of what other clubs spend. We beat a competitor last week who are running with a regular transfer budget of over 𧶀 million. We seem to have a really low ceiling as our deals are usually over long periods and we take in more than we spend.

Our fans have been sufficiently brain washed into blindly believing we are broke and this player or that player is out of our reach. I for one do not believe this rubbish and to even think of buying Cleverley is insulting to the players already on our squad. It is blatantly obvious to everyone who supports us that a top creative player is needed to get the best out of Lukaku, Barkley, Mirallas etc. Cleverley is a drone by comparison to the type of player we need.

The manager should demand decent money to bring in a player who can lift this team and the fans. We really do not need to sell our better players as we have made big profits over the past couple of years. We need to keep the best players we have and reinforce the squad with quality to improve the first team.

Distin has been great but needs to go along with Alcaraz who has never been worth signing. U nfortunately it looks like Pienaar and Gibson need to move on too. Browning will not reach first team level and most of the rest of our Under-21s wonÂ’t either.

Matt Muzi
52 Posted 01/05/2015 at 14:58:08
Personally IÂ’d like to see Martinez bringing some of the Under-21 players into the first team. However, it concerns me that an awful lot of them have contracts expiring this summer or next.

I think one of RMÂ’s key targets this summer is going to be tying McCarthy down to a long term contract, as I may be wrong but his contract is up next summer. Also OviedoÂ’s contract is up next summer. Also I hope we take up the option to bring Henen in on a permanent deal.

For me, if signing wise he is talking about bringing players in on permanent deals, I think heÂ’ll go for Lennon, possibly Cleverly and a centre-half, but I havenÂ’t got a clue who. Then I think they may look to bulk the squad up with a couple of loan signings.

Whether as media speculation suggests thatÂ’s going to be Roberto, Januzaj & Niang, I donÂ’t know. However I do think we need another right back & striker.

Matt Muzi
53 Posted 01/05/2015 at 16:03:56
Mistake in my last comment apparently McCarthyÂ’s contract runs until 2018.
Trevor Peers
54 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:31:57
Most blues fans were hoping for at least one new signing to add some creativity and firepower into the mid-field area. Now it seems his master plan is to use McCarthy and perhaps Cleverley to provide this.

Neither are playmakers or regular goal scorers and I can see us struggling to create much-needed ammunition for Lukaku; with Mirallas being the only other regular goal scorer, that means weÂ’ll have a problem scoring enough goals.

And if you can’t score enough goals you don’t finish in a top 6 or even a top 10 position; look at the RS – not enough goals has cost them a CL place.

David Hallwood
55 Posted 01/05/2015 at 19:26:49
How about Sami Khedira, heÂ’s out of contract in the summer, probably way out of our league though.
Harold Matthews
56 Posted 01/05/2015 at 20:36:38
Steavey (#48). Yes, Osman and Mirallas are right-footed but so is Pienaar. When he cuts inside, he uses it to reverse pass to Baines as he scoots up the wing. Osman is hardly ever on the wing and Mirallas, who doesnÂ’t know Baines exists, cuts in and has a shot.
Bill Gall
57 Posted 01/05/2015 at 21:23:29
I understand the signing of Lennon but even his signing, and with the mention of Cleverly and Brown, it is telling me of what a complete lack of ambition this Chairman & Board envision for Everton. Surely with the supposedly influx of money from the Sky TV and the money we may get from selling some of our older players we should be able to get a higher standard of player.

A poor start to next season without bringing in a least a quality midfielder may see Martinez not being able to continue, and with the players we have, plus a couple of average players,may not last till Christmas. This will reflect on the Chairman who, in my opinion, is already listening to chairmen from the more affluent clubs and has exorbitant fees floating in front of his eyes.

Paul Ellam
58 Posted 01/05/2015 at 21:47:32
Hopefully I have got this wrong but if we are only signing 2-3 players and the consensus is that we will go back for both Lennon and Cleverley then that doesnÂ’t leave us with much to get does it?
I think we could probably get by next season with the current keepers but I certainly think we need another CB, a left winger and another striker.
That equals 5! IÂ’m worried.
Andy Crooks
59 Posted 01/05/2015 at 22:20:15
Colin # 17, I think you are right. Sadly, it looks like limited resources. So, we need to improve the quality of the squad as best we can. I think it will be Cleverly, Lennon and one other. Austin for me, plus perhaps a loan.

If we want Champions League football, we need seven players to come in and blend immediately. That is never happening in a million years... so a step forward will do.

We need to be top in all that money CANNOT buy. We arenÂ’t.

Paul Jeronovich
60 Posted 01/05/2015 at 22:45:38
Sorry, Roberto, there are plenty of players we should be walking to the front gates of Finch Farm and fucking right off. Kone is a waste of wages, cut the losses and give him a free. Absolute shite. Alcaraz can go, McGeady, Gibson, Hibbert. That would probably be 𧴜k per week saved.
Colin Glassar
61 Posted 01/05/2015 at 22:40:01
Andy, itÂ’s the only way we can do it with the present board in charge. While others can splash the cash, we have to take baby steps and look for bargains.
Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 01/05/2015 at 22:55:37
From what IÂ’m reading here, he is happy with Howard to continue in goal. Sorry, if thatÂ’s the case, Martinez just doesnÂ’t understand football, Howard is just well past his best, and when he was at his peak he was below standard.

So if that is correct and Howard is going to be our No 1 goalkeeper next season then we are fucked and I for one expect nothing for the Blues in 2015-16... so – despite me and a few more Blues giving Martinez the benefit of the doubt for next season – if The Yank is in goal, then I expect fuck all.

Dave Lynch
63 Posted 01/05/2015 at 22:55:57

Please donÂ’t tell me you mean Wes Brown?

Where was tthat mentioned? He is a fucking accident waiting to happen, one of the worst players IÂ’ve ever seen.

If he signs I will end up having to have therapy cos IÂ’ll be fucking suicidal.

Trevor Peers
64 Posted 01/05/2015 at 23:03:25
Paul (#60). I agree with your post whole heartedly, but Roberto has become like a sugar daddy to these guys. It seems once he likes you, youÂ’ll be there till the bitter end. There should be a clear out and some younger players brought in this season, what the hell is going on?
Tom Bowers
65 Posted 01/05/2015 at 23:45:13
With 4 games left, one would think it would be a chance to rest some of the older brigade and give some more experience to the young lads. Sure, there is extra money to be had in the standings but is it just as important to build for next season.

I think Baines is past his best so Garbutt should be given more starts. Browning could be given a half at least in place of Coleman.

Villa have everything to play for and cannot rest players but they may also start to feel the pressure as the games dry up. I agree Robles should also play but Martinez will probably stick with his faves – and sadly that means Osman will start again, leaving Baines to cope on his own again.

Laurie Hartley
66 Posted 01/05/2015 at 23:30:17
I donÂ’t think we will be seeing a centre-half signed this window. Jagielka and Stones have been absolutely outstanding over the last 2 months. At the risk of getting flayed alive, we already have 2 experienced stand-ins and two youngsters coming through the ranks. I would prefer to see Browning and Galloway brought along.

As far as another striker is concerned the elephant in the room is Mirallas. He is a striker not a winger in my view.

For me the key position is the left wing. If the manager can find a left-footed player with similar attributes to Lennon I think we would see more football of the calibre we were served up last weekend. And that would make this little black duck very happy.

I want to see Everton great again but have come to realise that it is not going to happen over night. As Colin says it will have to be baby steps. But that doesnÂ’t mean we canÂ’t have something to cheer about during the transition. Last weekend proved that for me.

The way we broke for the first goal was breathtaking. That’s what all the best Everton teams I have seen have done – moved the ball out of defence and up the field quickly.

On that point, a special mention for Lennon. At one point in the game he received the ball in our half, turned and put Coleman in (who had galloped up the wing) with a spectacular pass. Great stuff.

A Olive Twist said – can I have some more.

Bill Gall
67 Posted 02/05/2015 at 00:19:52
Dave (#63), sorry if I near drove you near suicidal as I meant Evans. Hope this gets you off suicidal watch and you join me in general optimism for our next season.
Alex Parr
68 Posted 02/05/2015 at 00:49:30
Accepting that we have a finite amount of cash, my thoughts are as follows:

First Team squad will effectively be further reduced by the ageing bones of Leon Osman, Sylvain Distin (who I doubt will stay), and Steven Pienaar. All three will be at best, bench players or squad fillers.

Add to that list Tony Hibbert (but I fucking hope he scores!)

Atsu needs to go. As does Alcaraz. Both useless in my opinion.

This Barry starting every game bollocks needs to be addressed, otherwise Besic will want out. Barry is good as an advanced third centre-back but when we play it is too deep.

Besic – I like him, he needs guidance, but I like his attitude and think he will blossom into a good player.

I would definitely keep Lennon, I feel that he works well for the team and I think he likes the club. No question. I think, rightly or wrongly, he trusts the manager, and one can't help notice an upturn in form since he came.

Super Kevin Mirallas, I would defo keep. A cracking player and I would play him off Rom Lukaku. He is the best suited to the Number 10 at this club, he can do what most cannot and is by far and away the best one-on-one finisher at the club. The manager has to play him in a way he can exploit this.

Someone mentioned Rom has learnt to head, there's no better trainer than Big Dunc so if he can do half of what Dunc could, he adds a massive element to his game. He has the size and the frame for it, just needs the mental attitude and the determination and drive.

Barkley appears to struggle with his decision-making and I really worry for him. For the first time, I do wonder if I would accept a mega-bid for him as I am not sure if he will be the superstar we all want him to be – he misses the drive and determination, and arrogance that he needs. If we got a good bid, I think I would take it.

Kone can go. Atsu can go.

I’d like to see Galloway or Browning step up. With Garbutt, I think the last few months have been so influential on him – he has come in, done a good job, and not been kept in. Him and Robles could both be excused to a degree for wanting to go. I think Garbutt will go but I would defo keep him if we could.

I will pay the fare for Alcaraz to go anywhere in the world, if it guaranteed he would never pull on the Everton shirt again. Liability. I still think, had Distin played against Kiev, we would have won easily.

Oh – Did I mention Atsu. Au revoir.

With regards our potential new idols – Cleverly is not all that. But I see him as a replacement for Osman, similar style and build, and hopefully he will mature with Osman as a coach (he will likely stay at the club).

I am not sure about Deulofeu – I enjoyed his time here but I thought he was like a more inconsistent Mirallas – but, for the right price, yes.

Ashley Williams I am sure signed another contract so isn't on a free. No chance unless for silly money.

From the teams going down, let's face it, we could scoop them and we will likely struggle with a higher standards than that, so we need to exploit...

Perhaps Pantilimon from Sunderland (a better keeper than their position). Austin and Fer from QPR seem good, as does Caulker.

Ings and Trippier from Burnley I would defo take. Maybe Boyd if he got a decent haircut.

If Villa went down (they won't), I would take Delph, Grealish (although he's a prick) and Benteke (but he would go elsewhere, probably the Redshite).

Wickham from Sunderland seems to pull them out the shit and, like he did last season, it wouldn't surprise me if he kept them up again. Boy has something about him. Perhaps Larsson too.

Anyway, there's my thoughts. I think Martinez has outstayed his welcome but the last month or so has kept him in for another year at least, so we are stuck with him and his ways. My thoughts are based on this. I won't go into daft European names.

Alex Parr
69 Posted 02/05/2015 at 01:25:35
But I would take Yarmolenko and/or Konoplyanka!
Michael Polley
71 Posted 02/05/2015 at 08:14:20
Austin & Lukaku up front would be an interesting one!
Andrew Clare
72 Posted 02/05/2015 at 08:51:10
I worry when we are linked to players like Cleverly and Austin because they are not of a high enough standard.
Harold Matthews
73 Posted 02/05/2015 at 08:31:08
Agree with Trevor (#51). Our manager is speaking but they are not his words. Someone up top must think weÂ’re daft and it does make you wonder who calls the shots where money is involved.
Phil Sammon
74 Posted 02/05/2015 at 09:08:53
If we sign Cleverley, IÂ’ll be devastated. Not because heÂ’s an awful player... but just because it will cement the fact that we have the most unimaginative manager of all time.
Helen Mallon
75 Posted 02/05/2015 at 09:20:07
We need a new keeper, thatÂ’s imperative, but if we are going to buy a striker then itÂ’s Charlie Austin for me, not some French bloke who might take a season to bed in. Or not bed in at all.

I also think James Milner would be an amazing signing. He is only 29. Then bring in some youth: Browning, Galloway, Henen and Long; to me, thatÂ’s a squad... so long as we donÂ’t loose too many.

Harold Matthews
76 Posted 02/05/2015 at 09:50:12
Not sure about this one, Phi,l but your post did make me chuckle.

As for Cleverley, canÂ’t say IÂ’ve studied the lad apart from noticing his awareness and movement off the ball. He knows how to make space for others. Probably picked it up at Man Utd. Hard to see where heÂ’d fit in our present team and the Board wouldnÂ’t fancy his lofty wage demands.

Andrew Clare
77 Posted 02/05/2015 at 10:46:21
I agree with Trevor and Harold. The club is now in a position to spend big on players that will have us challenging for trophies.

Why spend so much on a top class striker and then next to nothing on a journeyman midfielder and co- striker? We require clever footballers in these positions. LetÂ’s get them. The impact will be enormous if we get the right men.

Eric Myles
78 Posted 02/05/2015 at 11:49:06
Andrew (#77) "The club is now in a position to spend big on players" – how so?
Ross Edwards
79 Posted 02/05/2015 at 11:55:15
Â’The club is now in a position to spend big on playersÂ’

Are we Andrew? Has Bill won the lottery??

Gavin Johnson
80 Posted 02/05/2015 at 12:07:17
It better be a Euro millions roll-over for the kinda investment this club needs.
Dave Ganley
81 Posted 02/05/2015 at 11:59:31
As has been mentioned, signing Cleverly signifies a complete lack of ambition (although, to be fair, thatÂ’s not been mentioned recently); I have not seen enough of Austin to judge him. Like others have mentioned, keeping Lennon would be a positive and, if we keep Mirallas with a decent attitude, then that could save us some money as they are, on form, natural selections on the wings (if Martinez has the bottle to play them as wingers and not come inside all the time).

What I would like to see is us play with just one defensive midfielder (Jimmy Mac) and that would free up the space for another central midfielder (maybe a creative midfielder that we could bring in) and have Barkley in what I feel would be his best position of just off Lukaku. I feel we are just too negative with 2 DMs... not even Moyes played with that.

A new goalkeeper is essential as is a new centre back and a back up striker, but aside from that, if we keep hold of our existing better players, then I am still convinced that given the right tactics and right attitude and necessary fitness levels then we can still be a good team.

Problem is that IÂ’m not even remotely convinced that our manager can give us that. However, it appears that we are going to be stuck with him for the beginning of next season so will hope that he has learnt his lessons and the team will come out with all guns blazing and make us forget this season sooner rather than later.

Gary Carter
82 Posted 02/05/2015 at 13:27:52
Considering last season he was going to sign 5-8 players and we eventually signed about three I would almost consider this an induction of signing no one!!

And what about this "bringing players in to help the way we want to play"? Is that the way HE wants to play? – crap negative backwards and sideways football – or the way the fans and players want to play? getting forward with pace and passing and closing the opposition down in their half.

On a final note, he shows his loser mentality and why he is not good enough for us. Yes Roberto you can make players sign a new contract!!!! You inspire them, convince them with your exciting and forward-thinking ideas for the future; unfortunately that’s totally beyond you because the players realise – and the fans are starting too – that you are totally out of your depth at Everton and in fact in the Premier League!

Paul Tran
83 Posted 02/05/2015 at 13:41:17
Gary, he said seven players and was then reined in by Kenwright. DidnÂ’t say seven again. ThereÂ’s a lot to criticise Martinez for this season, but he doesnÂ’t control the finances. Ever since he came here, people have been talking as if heÂ’s had a bottomless pit of cash to spend. Up until he splashed out on Lukaku, he was trading at a profit. That tells me more about our Â’directorsÂ’ and the managerÂ’s operating conditions rather than MartinezÂ’s ability. Those two things have to change first.
Andrew Clare
84 Posted 02/05/2015 at 13:58:35
I feel that the club is in a position to spend big because of the increased TV money. Surely Kenwright and co arenÂ’t going to hold us back now that this big money is available?

Yeah okay maybe IÂ’m dreaming!

Gary Carter
85 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:15:13
Paul, I remember it as being 7-8 then reduced to 3-5 then 3-5 and blooding youngsters. HeÂ’s blooded no youngsters, just played Barkley in too many different positions and played Garbutt and Stones because he had to.

And I donÂ’t recall Kenwright saying anything in the press about not bringing in the number of players Martinez quoted so in what way and how did he "reign him in"?

I would assume that Martinez was given a figure he could spend and went from there. Amongst all his other failings, he is awful when it comes to the media and interviews and the 8 signings was an early example of this. Not even looking forward to next season under him which is a terrible feeling to have to live with!

Eric Myles
86 Posted 02/05/2015 at 18:15:17
Andrew #84, the increased telly money last season was 㿊m, we made a profit of 㿈m in the accounts which also stated we made a profit of 㿈m on player sales.

This tells me that the increased telly money was eaten up in expenditures and that the only money available for players will still come from player sales.

Nick Armitage
87 Posted 04/05/2015 at 11:12:02
Eric – you’re probably right... but it’s difficult to comprehend how the club’s expenditure has increased so significantly. Have they cleared some debt?

Anyway, one area that Martinez should be looking at is centre-forward. If Lukaku had had a bad injury at the start of the season, Everton would have been relegated.

James Marshall
88 Posted 04/05/2015 at 16:52:28
Sulley Muntari it is then. He must be glamorous if he played for Milan. And Portsmouth.
Ross Edwards
89 Posted 04/05/2015 at 17:15:44
Muntari? Not convinced myself. Milan are on a massive downward spiral and seem to be only capable these days of signing Premier League rejects like Alex, the ex Chelsea defender. ItÂ’s by far the worst Milan team in my living memory certainly and are on course to finish in the bottom half.
Paul Tran
90 Posted 04/05/2015 at 18:44:53
Gary, thatÂ’s a fair point. I made a big assumption there, though if Kenwright ever sanctioned seven signings IÂ’d need the smelling salts! I had a vision of Kenwright collapsing on hearing the number!

Martinez has a horrible habit of spreading sugar-coated honesty when he speaks, which is both irritating and counterproductive. The seven signings was a classic example of this.

The only thing IÂ’d pull him up for last summer would be if he spent the whole kitty on Lukaku.

I completely agree with you regarding blooding youngsters. I could stomach a mid-table finish if he’d done that, yet he’s reluctant to play youngsters – he’s even reluctant to play his own signings.

I think any manager would look at our squad and talk in terms of seven signings, given the age of many players. Of course, any manager has to contend with our boardÂ’s special brand of economics and thatÂ’s before we get onto MartinezÂ’s questionable judgement of players!

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