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Besic talks about ''difficult beginning''

13/05/2015  Comments (58)  jump
Martinez wants him to make № 6 role his own

Roberto Martinez wants Besic to make the central holding midfield position his own

Muhamed Besic admits he found his early months in England a difficult beginning after signing for Everton last summer but gradually the Bosnian international has got used to the rigours of a new league and reveals the manager is asking him to play the № 6 role.

The former Ferencvaros player cites his display in January's goalless draw with West Bromwich Albion as the match where he began to find his feet in the Premier League, an environment that notoriously takes involves a period of adjustment for foreign players.

The Premier League is faster but now I am used to it after nine months, Besic said. [In] the beginning it was difficult because everything is fast. But the West Bromwich game was when I felt I was strong in this league.

[W]hen I played against Liverpool in September, [I noticed] just how fast it is. I played well but after the game I felt tired and normally I don't feel tired because I have power. It has been the small things.

The style of football has changed for me and the life here is different from where I lived before. But these things are normal when you change country and I have had this before, when I changed form Germany to Hungary. The food is different and normally my mother would cook for me but she couldn't get a visa. She has been over to visit, though.

Taking advice from the management and coaching staff at the club, Besic has been putting in extra time in gym to build his strength and conditioning while also working on his transition from primarily being a centre-half to defensive midfield where but Roberto Martinez sees his lon-term future.

Normally I like to play central defender but the manager thinks I am better at № 6, Besic continued. I have had to work on my positioning and early on in the season I pressed too high or got out of my position and he wants to me to be the holding midfielder and learn the position.

Ironically, Besic's display against the Baggies in what was an otherwise disappointing 0-0 draw was notable for his willingness to go forward and provide midfield creativity where the team was otherwise lacking on the night. But isn't that just a sign of Besic's natural enthusiasm?

As a central midfielder, when you think you are free to go out, this is a mistake," the 22-year-old explained. "The manager has tried to teach me this each week. I knew it was going to take time.

Besic's may have seen little action in recent weeks given Martinez's desire to field a more settled side since the Blues' elimination from Europe but he remains a popular figure among supporters, some of whom have voiced their displeasure in the past when he has been substituted despite putting in decent performances.

[Maybe the fans] like players who fight and give 100% on the pitch and I am a player like this, the Bosnian concluded.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (58)

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Steve Cotton
1 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:01:34
ThatÂ’s great, I think we are aiming to be able to play the smallest centre halves ever in the Premier League.
Kevin Tully
2 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:02:12
This is all down to Martinez. Why didnÂ’t he check if his mum could get a visa? Stupid bastard. This lad has talent, but now, all because his mammy canÂ’t cook his dinner, heÂ’s useless. Get rid now! (Martinez & Besic)
James Stewart
3 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:13:32
Since when was No 6 Defensive mid?
Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:10:32
Kevin (2) Tongue in cheek? Besic is obviously being groomed to take over from Barry and with a five-year contract he should be ready by the middle of next season. However, IÂ’ve only seen him play for Bosnia in midfield and thought he was far too small to be a centre-back. HeÂ’ll have to learn how to temper his natural enthusiasm in the tackle or he could emulate BarryÂ’s yellow card count.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:16:32
So weÂ’ll have our No 1 wearing 24...

Our No 6 wearing 17...

Our (False?) No 9 wearing 10...

Our No 10 wearing 20...

WTF?!?! My head hurts...

Can we please just go back to 1-11?

Patrick Murphy
6 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:22:35
Agreed Michael, football was a lot easier to understand with 1-11. For identification purposes perhaps they should use the system that the England Cricket team have where each player has a number assigned to them when they play for the national team. I wonder what number we would be up to at Goodison around a 1000 or so? Mind you given that the referees this season have sent off the wrong players in certain games no system is fool-proof.

James Stewart
7 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:24:37
IÂ’ll continue from Michael....

Our No 2 wearing 23;

Our No 4 wearing 18;

Our No 7 wearing 25;

Our reserve left back is No 8;

We don’t even have No 5 – Stones wears 26!

1-11 please!

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 13/05/2015 at 17:38:06
I like the lad's attitude, itÂ’s commendable, he gives his all.

Say IÂ’m not sure heÂ’s the type of player whoÂ’s going to change the dynamic of how we play, if anything, and I donÂ’t say this as a slur on Besic, but heÂ’s a symptom of everything thatÂ’s been MartinezÂ’s Everton this season.

Defence minded negativity, if it hasnÂ’t been Besic itÂ’s been Barry or (up until recently) McCarthy.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 13/05/2015 at 18:27:30
IÂ’ve never understood the reason behind not using the 1-11 shirts but that aside, Besic was superb for Bosnia against Argentina so Roberto obviously saw his potential there.

It takes time for some players to settle in a strange environment but the lad sounds like heÂ’s got his head screwed on properly.

James Martin
10 Posted 13/05/2015 at 18:47:22
Jim the problem is we have a wealth of defensive mids and few attacking ones and Martinez doesnÂ’t trust the ones we have in those positions as displayed when he hilariously started playing Gibson as a number 10 his crime being he passed the ball forward too much.

Really it should be one of Besic, McCarthy or Gibson with Barkley. That would be balanced but instead itÂ’s Grandad Barry with one other and Barkley on the wing or in the centre-back's pocket.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 13/05/2015 at 18:55:31
ThatÂ’s why we are having nightmares about next season under Martinez, I suppose, James.

Do we even trust him to get it right in the transfer market regardless of how much money he has or hasnÂ’t got?

Darren Hind
12 Posted 13/05/2015 at 19:03:45
Let me get this straight.

Besic is being asked to play No 6 – wherever that is – so what numbers are Barry and Macca being asked to play and will the No 10 – who hasn't signed yet, but has been identified – actually wear the No 10.

And if it Besic thinks he was having a difficult time in the first part of his season, does he feel he is having an easier time now he isn't getting a look in?

RobbieÂ’s gobbledegook must be catching. Everyone at the club is now talking bollocks.

Andy Meighan
13 Posted 13/05/2015 at 19:26:41
So the lazy bastard wonÂ’t even cook himself a scran. No wonder we're shit!
Ian Smitham
14 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:04:25
Darren Hind, I was going to add to this thread but felt a bit thick that I do not know what the Number 6 position is.
Phil Walling
15 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:11:21
Why are all our players being required and/or choosing to play in different positions from those in which they made their mark?

First we had Baines talked of as a defensive midfielder, then Barkley saying he was a striker and now Besic who wants to be Â’a No 6Â’!

When the hell is Howard going to Â’come out Â’ as a winger?

Alex Jones
16 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:21:52
"As a central midfielder, when you think you are free to go out, this is a mistake," the 22-year-old explained. "The manager has tried to teach me this each week."

I think the above quote highlights just why we are so dull and insipid to watch and why Martinez is such an awful manager. Everything I read him say makes me hate him a little bit more; he genuinely is an absolute clown. How he has made a living from football IÂ’ll never know.

Aidy Dews
17 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:27:56
Come on lads, in the modern game, with one up top and a 5 man midfield, you have your number 1 the GK, 2 RB, 3 LB, 4 & 5 CBÂ’s, 6 DM, 7 winger, 8 CM, 9 striker, 10 AM and 11 winger.

The thing with Besic though, heÂ’s learning the position and coming to terms with the pace and rigours of the league and in time will become a good player but if Martinez as prioritised bringing in a No.10, then where does all of Besic, McCarthy, Barkley, Barry and this new No.10 fit in?!

For me McCarthy is the first name on team sheet, then we desperately need a No.10 whoÂ’s creative, and then for me itÂ’s a choice of Barkley or Besic to partner McCarthy. Barry should be nowhere near the first team next season but Martinez will find spaces for him in squads/teams!

Patrick Murphy
18 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:34:21
Phil (15) Tim Howard with his family and friends gathered in his house:

"Well, itÂ’s like this, folks, I know you have always thought of me as a keeper and you have seen me play many times for club and country, complete with gloves and everything but deep down for many years I was living a lie. I was always a winger, left or right it doesnÂ’t matter, and it wasnÂ’t until Roberto sat me down and spoke to me that the penny dropped I am a winger and have always been a winger."

Family group hug followed by mutterings from his parents: "I told you he wasn’t a keeper – he always liked to run up and down and was never happy trapped in the box, even as a three-year-old".

Phil Walling
19 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:51:00
Thanks, Patrick. With that piece you have qualified for a regular column in Â’Keep off the sticky grassÂ’.

Other contributors welcome!

Allan Board
20 Posted 13/05/2015 at 20:38:15
IÂ’m not surprised "its been difficult" for Besic. Young lad, different country, language etc. But the real wammy was soon as Mr Pretentious opened his trap and started his "phenomenal moment in an amazing action of time " bollucks!!

I see Miss Jones had his iPad out with the subs again on Saturday too! Whatever happened to PLAIN SPEAKING? No Goodison for me until these bunch of tossers are gone. IÂ’ve renamed all things Everton "The Twilight Zone" and closed the book. Pretentious No Marks who destroy decent honest lads.

Jim Hardin
21 Posted 13/05/2015 at 21:14:10
So now for next season Barkley is the striker with Howard as the left wing. Problems solved but does Howard even have a regular kit? With this supplier it could take until the start of the 2016-17 season to get him one and donÂ’t even ask if he can get socks on time!
Ian Smitham
22 Posted 13/05/2015 at 22:33:59
Alas, Patrick has caused an "issue" by allocating Phil a squad number (15). See above.

Jim Hardin has now made matters worse, he has raised the issue of does he have a kit, however, Jim, have you considered whether he has a new squad number to reflect his new position and kit?

Mark Andersson
23 Posted 13/05/2015 at 21:39:29
Football at this club has gone backwards.

Ask Stevie G before he leaves how to overcome sticky grass.

Mike Childs
24 Posted 13/05/2015 at 23:06:53
Thanks Aidy D. Only been watching for 5 years so I was a bit blurry on who was who. I knew 1 was GK and 2-5 was defense but not in which order. I knew 9 was the striker but the rest of them I knew the position but not the numbers associated with them.

Patrick, at least Robles will get a chance to prove if he is the real deal with Tim as a winger. Very funny thanks for the laugh.

Harold Matthews
25 Posted 14/05/2015 at 00:52:31
WeÂ’ve been missing a № 6 all season. The № 4 covers the area between the right fullback and right winger. For us that is McCarthy. The № 6 covers the area between the left fullback and the left winger. For us that position is vacant. Baines has been hung out to dry.

I should imagine the left footed Barry was assigned the № 6 position but his priorities appear to lie in the middle of the pitch where he can protect and join up with the centre-backs.

While Barry continues to do this we need to set up 4-3-3 with McCarthy and Besic either side of him and dump the guy behind Lukaku. ItÂ’s the only way we can fill the hole in front of Baines, giving him proper protection and allowing him to get forward.

If we continue to use Barry to protect the centre-backs and keep the guy behind Lukaku, Baines will be finished in next to no time. The strain of being left exposed is already beginning to show.

Darren Hind
26 Posted 14/05/2015 at 05:31:58

The "modern" game is very much like the old one, it's simple. Positions can't be described in numbers, words are required. It has always been this way – ask Johnny Hurst and Colin Harvey.

That you both feel qualified to explain to us what a "Number 6" does, is made more amusing by the fact that you can't even agree with each other.

Martinez is once again confusing his players by talking bollocks. and in an league where players have all sorts of reasons for choosing which number to wear – sometimes even insisting upon it, the chances of his "No 6" actually wearing number six are not fantastic.

The game is only beautiful if it's kept simple. We have all suffered this season. The ugly football weÂ’ve had to endure is a direct consequence of this guy trying to overcomplicate it.

Paul Andrews
27 Posted 14/05/2015 at 06:28:31
Jose Mourinho speaking last week:

"I would not have had a problem playing Lampard and Gerrard in the same team. You would not need a Number 10. Gerrard and Lampard are both Number 8s. You would play with one Number 6 behind them."

Ray Roche
28 Posted 14/05/2015 at 08:20:46
WhatÂ’s a "28" then?
Ray Roche
29 Posted 14/05/2015 at 08:22:28
Or a "69"?
Darren Bailey
30 Posted 14/05/2015 at 08:36:12
Why on earth is RM trying to change peopleÂ’s natural positions anyway? I echo what Darren Hind (#26) said above about keeping it simple.

Besic has played his whole career as a CB so why not have him there as cover as weÂ’re in need of 2 of them? Bring in one other and Besic as cover in both positions (CB & DCM) is the logical thing to me. Just because the lad had one good game in the World Cup in that position doesnÂ’t then mean thatÂ’s where he should play week-in & week-out.

Personally I feel that McCarthy, Barkley and a new playmaker (you see me not using "No 10" in that sentence) would be our best midfield for next season with Besic, Osman, Naismith, Gibson (when fit) and Barry (sparingly) used as cover.

IÂ’d like to see us bring in two wingers as the only decent option we have at the moment is Mirallas and he might leave anyway. Although Howard can fill in there aparently!

Andrew Ellams
31 Posted 14/05/2015 at 08:58:10
Chicken fried rice and chips Ray.

Peter Reid was always No 6, maybe Besic wants to be the new Peter Reid?

Trevor Peers
32 Posted 14/05/2015 at 09:04:53
I personally think Besic is overrated: would he get into any of the top 6 teams? No chance.

As for him doing the No 6 role, he loses possession far too often and would be a liability. At best, IÂ’d use him as an alternative to McCarthy only when he needs a rest or gets injured.

Les Green
33 Posted 14/05/2015 at 09:20:11
Ray (#29) – I know what a ’70’ is. It’s a 69 with a finger up your bum.
Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 14/05/2015 at 09:42:49
ItÂ’s all about opinions and I would tend to agree with HaroldÂ’s post about the way a team is set up, and how easy it is to get at Everton down there left side.

If Martinez stays, I hope we play with three centre backs next season – and their numbers are 4-5-6!

Brian Harrison
35 Posted 14/05/2015 at 10:06:26
The game is the simple game it always was. As Clough used to say, football is a simple game but players and coaches try to make it hard. I think the formation you play should be designed to fit your group of players but, having said all that, let's not lose sight that it's 11 v 11.

The other night Barcelona and Bayern gave a demonstration of how the game should be played. Both these clubs look to attack at pace with one-touch football and what a treat to watch. Yes, they had the best footballers in the world on show but it was still played very simply. You didn't see either side passing aimlessly around at the back; it was simple pass-and-move – the same format that was successful back in the 60s.

As Clough said, players and more now coaches make the game difficult.

Geoff Evans
36 Posted 14/05/2015 at 10:22:08
All the top teams are built around a solid trunk, a keeper, centre-half and centre-forward. To win anything, this is the starting point.
Winston Williamson
37 Posted 14/05/2015 at 10:34:48
I always thought a number 6 was a CD. Bloody hell, can't believe IÂ’ve had it wrong all these years. You learn something everyday.

I always thought a number 4 was a DM. Nowadays, a number is just a number.

As Darren states, the technical aspect of modern football requires a technical description (in words). As a result, the beautiful game can be overwrought with technicalities by master technicians, such as RM...

Derek Thomas
38 Posted 14/05/2015 at 10:31:22
So the Number 6 and Number 4 play in front of the Left and Right Full Back... Hmm?.

Can you all hear the wheels turning in my head...Got it!

If they arenÂ’t Fullbacks and they are not actual Forwards

* hard thinking going on here. Hang on while I get it clear in my head.

* some time passes.

That must make them Â’ Half BacksÂ’ and the one on the left can be called ...Â’ A Left Half Â’ and the one on the right... Â’ A Right Half Â’.

Cor Blimey, talk about Full Circle.

Do one you pretentious twats.

Brian ThereÂ’s nothing new under the sun as they say.

One touch C. 2015 = The old Give it and go of my youth = Arthur RoweÂ’s Push and Run of the 1949 Spurs.

And If Clough made that Â’ Simple Â’ statement, well I remember Joe Mercer saying it before Clough.

It is a Simple game and we forget it at our peril.

Jim Bennings
39 Posted 14/05/2015 at 11:26:30
The game these dayÂ’s has become way too fascinated with tactics, possession play, how you play, false number 9 shit, opta index numbers..

Frankly it does my head in, just get on the pitch, get 11 men psyched to fuck up, and go out there defense d like lions and attempt to score goals by getting men in the box when attacking and the ball into the box ripe and early.

IÂ’m sick of all these "possession is paramount " bollox..

Patrick Murphy
40 Posted 14/05/2015 at 11:36:07
Jim - Exactly the way we played against United at Goodison, raw passion, get the ball forward early and defend like tigers all of which went missing against Villa and Sunderland.
Jim Bennings
41 Posted 14/05/2015 at 11:39:44
Simple game really Patrick isnÂ’t it?

Its just a crying Shane that itÂ’s made to look so hard sometimes by men who are paid a KingÂ’s randsom to get it right!.

Alan Brown
42 Posted 14/05/2015 at 11:33:20
So the tactic and there is only one for next season, is to play three number 6Â’s. So treble 6 protecting the defence. It might work to frighten the opposition. Then all we need is three number 9Â’s for when we hit an emergency situation. Lukaku being the police, arriving just after the action takes place. Barkley rarely catching fire and ambulance for Kone. Sorted.
Laurie Hartley
43 Posted 14/05/2015 at 11:18:20
It used to be easy:

Goal Keeper
Right Back - Left Back
Right Half - Centre Half - Left Half
Right Winger - Inside Right - Centre Forward - Inside Left - Left Winger

2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11

If you look up this on you tube Link
You will see some of the greatest players that ever graced the game in England. These were the numbers they wore and they were the positions they lined up in at the kick off.

However, in his commentary, Kenneth Wolstenholme made a remark along the following lines:-

"There is much talk these days (1968) about formations such as 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 but looking at Everton they look like they are playing 1-9-1"!!!

The pitch is still rectangular and divided into two halves, each of which has a penalty area and 6-yard box and two corners. The spaces to be covered and exploited remain unchanged. The best players, managers and teams know how to do that. They read the game as it changes and position themselves accordingly.

Tony Kay was a left half (6) I wish he was playing for us now. One thing Besic has in common with him is he doesnÂ’t take prisoners.

David Graves
46 Posted 14/05/2015 at 12:24:52
I agree with the observation above that its great news that Besic has overcome the Â’difficult transitionÂ’ to the extent that he now sits on the bench. Another fatuous press release.

I actually believe that the upturn (?) in performances over recent weeks has been influenced by Barry’s improvement in form and would rather have him in the defensive midfield position than McCarthy – but then Bazza got taken off on Saturday, so what do I know.

Tony J Williams
47 Posted 14/05/2015 at 12:34:46
I have a soft spot for Besic, as he seems to care about how the team is doing and not just be dily dallying about when we are 2-0 down and admiring his own step overs.

Unfortunately we have no idea how good is/will be, as the fella in charge is not playing him for more than 15 minutes at a pop.

I hope he will be BarryÂ’s replacement, as he wanted to get forward at every opportunity when he first came but now that seems to have been coached out of him, as per the "As a central midfielder, when you think you are free to go out, this is a mistake" comment

Phil Walling
48 Posted 14/05/2015 at 12:50:40
Laurie, who of those who lived in those times would ever say the game is better now in spite of all the riches the players, managers and agents enjoy?

Old farts, all of us. But lucky to have known the good days, don'tÂ’ya think?

Kim Vivian
49 Posted 14/05/2015 at 14:15:31
2: R Back
3: L Back
4: R Half
5: C Half
6: L Half
7: R Wing
8: Inside R
9: CF
10: Inside L
11: L wing

How old am I?

Take the above, put it in a bag, shake it about, empty it out and it gives you the modern system. Simple.

Guy Hastings
50 Posted 14/05/2015 at 15:00:27
In the days of the old divisions when there was no TV coverage, players knew their job; centre half pick up the No 9, full backs pick up wingers etc.

The then Palace/Orient manager Dick Graham apparently hit on the wheeze of putting his outside left in the No 6 shirt, his centre-forward in the 11 etc etc, thus baffling the opposition who didnÂ’t know who to mark for the first 20 minutes. Genius.

Kim Vivian
51 Posted 14/05/2015 at 16:21:07
Hey... apologies for the repetition (Laurie). I jumped to the bottom to post my piece before reading through the thread.

We must have played at a similar moment in history, although I was a very young man then on a very good team (P9, L0, D0, W9) – well... with very good team mates actually!

No numbers on our backs but I was No 7 (R wing), and always loved that number since.


Guy Hastings
52 Posted 14/05/2015 at 17:46:44
I watched a football docu once in which Bobby Charlton described football as Â’11 men knitting togetherÂ’. My wife is never slow to remind of that one.
Terry McLavey
53 Posted 14/05/2015 at 18:21:30
Andy #13 Brilliant ! ... still smiling !
Laurie Hartley
54 Posted 15/05/2015 at 08:29:55
Phil @ 48 - not many. Those players I lauded in my post all entertained and gave 100% every minute of every game. There were 3 players with World Cup winners medals on the pitch for that game.

When I started watching Everton the entrance fee was 3/- into the Goodison Road terraces. Burnley were the Champions and they had a great side.

They were great days Phil - I would like to see our young fans see some great days. As you know the hope is still alive in me.

Kim @ 49 in answer to your question "how old am I"? - judging by your line up - about the same age as me.

Brian Wilkinson
55 Posted 15/05/2015 at 15:01:07
Takes a new meaning to Besic is hungry for the game.

Get a puka pie down ya lad and make sure you pick a booking up Saturday, let the hammers have the Europa spot.

Phil Walling
56 Posted 15/05/2015 at 20:05:18
Guy @50, re numbering. I was on a family holiday on the South Coast in the early sixties when Dad took me to see Bournemouth & Hove Albion play Crystal Palace. The legendary ex-WBA centre-forward turned out for Palace with a No 4 on his back and for the first time in my young life I heard the old man exclaim WTF! When I told the old girl, he denied it and clipped me behind the ear for swearing!
Phil Walling
57 Posted 15/05/2015 at 20:20:28
That legendary No.9 who wore the number 4 was, of course, Ronnie Allen.
Dave Abrahams
58 Posted 15/05/2015 at 20:35:18
I remember watching Everton Reserves playing Derby County or Bury, can never recall which team, the No. 6 was Joe Royle playing as a left half, I think Harry Catterick was trying to toughen up Joe in this role, it was a one off, never saw Joe play there again.
David Ellis
59 Posted 18/05/2015 at 03:46:50
IÂ’m quite old... and used to play in the 2-3-5 formation described by many above. But that was the formation destroyed by the Arsenal team of the 1930 who played 3 at the back in the W-M formation.

Hungary also thrashed England in the 1950s because the English defenders (using the W-M formation) did not know who to mark. Such was the disdain for tactics that when England went to Hungary six months later England had made no adaptations... and got thrashed again.

Tactics do matter. Formations do matter. ThatÂ’s why we argue about them all the time and moan about the managerÂ’s use and/or missue of them.

Conor Skelly
60 Posted 18/05/2015 at 12:10:38
Who cares where Besic plays. Championship.

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