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Martinez aims to hit the ground running in August

by | 03/06/2015  Comments (90)  jump
Everton will take a different approach to their pre-season preparations this summer, foregoing their annual training camp in Austria in favour of a structured programme at Finch Farm.

The Liverpool Echo report that Roberto Martinez is determined to avoid last season's lethargic start that, in his view, crippled the campaign before it had ever got going by implementing a "60-session" training plan that will begin on 6th July.

Free from the distractions of a major international tournament, the manager is looking to have his players in peak condition by the start of the new season.

"I think coming back from the World Cup affected us defensively because we became a little bit loose," Martinez told the independent fan sites a couple of weeks ago. "There were many things that affected our first half of the season in the [Premier] League. Once we turned the year, our intent in the League was fantastic.

"I think by that point, most of the players had got over their hangover from the World Cup."

The first pre-season fixture of the summer is scheduled for 11th July before the squad jets out to Singapore for the Asia Trophy a few days later.

The Blues will finish up with pre-season friendlies in Scotland before spending the last fortnight back at Finch Farm fine-tuning their preparations, with the traditional home friendly likely a week before the 2015-16 season kicks off 8th August.  

Reader Comments (90)

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Chris Williamson
1 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:02:31
Still seems like not enough. The good campaign came off friendlies vs Juventus and Real Madrid. With all due respect to Scottish football, I donÂ’t think it will exactly hone the reflexes to EPL standard.
Stephen Brown
2 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:16:10
Cost cutting !!
Saving up for CleverleyÂ’s wages!
Sam Hoare
3 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:16:48
At least he realises a change is necessary. The proof will be in the pudding as they say.
Mike Price
4 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:17:36
It wonÂ’t matter unless we get some winning characters in the squad. WeÂ’re full of Â’go through the motionsÂ’ premier league players, theyÂ’re too soft and too nice.

It would be nice if Lukaku comes back a stone lighter too, he looked like he was carrying a bag of cement last season.

Ross Edwards
6 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:26:09
The only players from our squad at the World Cup were Baines, Jags, Barkley, Howard, Lukaku and Mirallas.

So I donÂ’t buy that excuse. Other teams dealt with it well, why couldnÂ’t we?

He has to start next season well because if he doesnÂ’t heÂ’ll be under massive pressure.

Tony I'Anson
8 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:31:32
Phil #5 ScotlandÂ’s international crime writing festival.

Have the fixtures been announced for Scotland?

John Steadman
10 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:40:21
We have just earned 㿼.5 million from the Premier League, hit the ground running, just any running would be better than the dross served up this time!!

Time for the Bill and Roberto act to be binned. Someone hail a TAXI!

We need new direction, from a new board and a Manager who has ideas, more than just plan A.

John O'Brien
12 Posted 03/06/2015 at 18:46:44
IÂ’m not a regular poster on TW but I visit every day and read the comments and probably like the majority of fans, I believe the negativity of people on here at times beggars belief.

The team got criticised at the start of last season for being under cooked so they announce a new strategy for next season to involve more hours and they still get slaughtered.

Would you all have preferred it if they had announced that they were doing exactly as last year. If they had announced that, they would have been castigated even more.

The venue as to where the training takes place is irrelevant, itÂ’s about the hours that need to be put in which is what theyÂ’re rectifying.

Chris Williamson
13 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:09:04
ItÂ’s not that were negative, itÂ’s just that weÂ’re not overly satisfied with anything but the best.
Darren Hind
14 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:07:57
John #12

This negativity which "beggars belief" were the "new Stratedgy" is being "slaughtered" . . .Where is it Mate ?

IÂ’ve read all the post and I don't see it , , ,is it in some sort of code ?

Trevor Peers
15 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:19:55
John where have you been hiding all last season ? Negativity breeds negativity in case you never noticed last season was gruesome. WeÂ’ll see 10 games into the new season if it gets any better.
Kunal Desai
16 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:34:10
Minimum of 18 points from the first 10 games Martinez son. Nothing less will do otherwise you get the bullet.
Bill Gall
17 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:41:48
Re MartinezÂ’s comment of "Once we turned the year, our intent in the league was fantastic." Was I watching the same games in January, because the intent never materialized into performances.
Jay Harris
18 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:53:07
Bill I was about to post exactly the same point.

Bit like the comment "Atsu will be really important to us in the new year" — so much so that he didn’t contribute anything.

This guy doesnÂ’t check with his brain before making inane comments.

Steavey Buckley
19 Posted 03/06/2015 at 19:58:58
I hope Martinez has got 2 experienced centre-backs lined up for next season, just after letting 2 go, because Everton will start pre-season with just Jags, who is 34 years old.
Mike Childs
20 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:05:04
What affected our first half of the season was RMÂ’s obsession of winning the EL and in turn getting into the CL through the back door. Here in the USA where we suffer with Alexis Lallas as a lead commentator pointing out at every time he was talking about Everton was RMÂ’s love of the EL and what an opportunity it was.

Then when we had a chance to make the final 8 he bottled it by going full out attack just like last year when we got on top of Arsenal for the 4th position and he went all attack against Crystal Palace. The spots on the leopard never change. Anymore than staying up is all the board cares about.

Dave Southword
21 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:14:41
This has nothing to do with Atsu, or the lack of experienced centre backs on the books (in June).

I guess Martinez looking and learning from last season isnÂ’t comment worthy, so just keep sticking the boot in on unrelated subjects?

Paul Tran
22 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:10:34
More nonsense from Roberto – at least in his own interesting way, he’s recognising that he cocked it up last year.

No matter how much you wish, he’s never going to come out and say he got it wrong – you just need to read between the lines.

Anyone know where/when weÂ’re playing in Scotland?

Duncan McDine
23 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:20:03
Sounds reasonable enough to me... and IÂ’m not a big RM fan.
Jim Hardin
24 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:23:02
Saw the headline and it made my day. I wondered how far it was back to Wigan and whether he was wearing proper footwear? Had a vision of the angry mob in Frankenstein pursuing him with torches and pitchforks. Disappointed that the article deals with him staying.
Mike Oates
25 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:22:38
Once again donÂ’t understand why only 6 weeks away donÂ’t we know who we are playing out of 7 friendlies mentioned, do we only know 2 we are playing - Stoke and Arsenal/Singapore.
Get ready for Tranmere, Motherwell, Hibernian and some Spanish team who are already playing in UK as part of their pre-season tour. Remember Celta Vigo played us on the night after they had played Preston.

Once again, insufficient planning by Bobbie.

Chris Rusell
26 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:24:20
The fixtures for Scotland are rumoured to be Hearts away Saturday 25th July & Dundee away Tuesday 28th July. Please donÂ’t hold me to this but itÂ’s Everton delaying things as always.
Jamie Barlow
27 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:32:22
Kunal, you donÂ’t even know who weÂ’re playing yet.

Steavey, Jags isnÂ’t 34.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:26:23
John (12) I think the reason people are getting agitated over BobbyÂ’s latest excuse for last seasonÂ’s dismal performances is he keeps changing the reason why we were so poor.

Quite a lot of us are prepared to give him a chance next season but he will have to prove that he has learned from his mistakes and at the very least I want to watch some attractive attacking football.

Jamie Barlow
29 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:36:26
Dave, I donÂ’t think Martinez is trying to pull the wool over anybodyÂ’s eyes. ItÂ’s just that there were more than one reason why we did so bad last season.
Dave Lynch
30 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:43:00
More bullshit from the Spanish idiot.

I well remember his "weÂ’ll be firing on all cylinders by February" comment.

I hope he hits the ground running alright. Running to another club...

Steavey Buckley
31 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:50:48
Jamie Barlow: You are right, Jags is 33 on August 11th this year. But that still leaves Everton going into pre-season with one experienced centre back. And that is not good preparation for next season.
Dave Ganley
32 Posted 03/06/2015 at 20:46:23
Well, true to form, El Messiah is still talking a load of old bollocks regarding the reasons for the poor start last season... You’d think we were the only club who had players at the World Cup. And as for showing fantastic intent at the turn of the year... FFS! What — the intent to carry on being crap??

However, I am also glad that he has recognised the need to actually be fit and ready for the start of the season. As has been mentioned earlier, the proof will be in the pudding but at least its a start.

Ross Edwards
33 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:07:57
As for his comment about the turn around at the turn of the year, I disagree with him completely. It took him until March before finally having the brains to mix it up a bit. Even then, the performances were poor, even until the end of the season – apart from Man Utd obviously.
Andy Meighan
34 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:16:50
"Once we turned the year, our intent in the league was fantastic."

Funny that. Because I canÂ’t remember it. Unbelievable.

Dave Lynch
35 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:30:07
You're right, Dave @32.

WhoÂ’d have thought it eh! A team actually fit enough to play the game.

The mind-fucking boggles at his forward thinking...

Dave Ganley
36 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:35:13
Well Dave @35, it's a crazy madcap idea.... but who knows... it just might work.
Helen Mallon
37 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:40:03
You all shouted he needs to get a good pre-season in, so he does and you all still bloody moan. If you all want him out that bad go to Finch Farm then the ground and protest.
Dave Ganley
38 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:47:55
Erm... I did actually say IÂ’m glad that heÂ’s recognised the need to be fit and ready for the season, Helen.
Clive Rogers
39 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:47:52
"Once we turned the year our league intent was fantastic".

From Jan 1st to March 31st we won 3 league games.

Andy Walker
40 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:45:47
Â’Once we turned the year, our intent in the League was fantasticÂ’

Does anyone actually understand what this statement means? Another Martinezballs nonsense statement as far as I can tell. Seriously, ask yourself do you really know what this means?

Next time you are challenged by your boss at work, just tell him/her that your intent has been fantastic. ItÂ’s bollocks, but you never know, the boss might just buy it.

Nicholas Ryan
41 Posted 03/06/2015 at 21:49:41
As to finding centre-backs, I hear weÂ’re talking to Virgil Van Dyk and Scott Dann ..... Anyone noticed that Ron Vlaar doesnÂ’t seem to have signed for anybody yet (Villa included!).
Helen Mallon
42 Posted 03/06/2015 at 22:01:02
Sorry Dave and anybody else with DaveÂ’s thoughts.
Paul Hewitt
43 Posted 03/06/2015 at 22:35:05
I really think we should give Martinez a bit off slack now. We need to see who he signs and how we are in the early games of the season before saying he should go.
James Flynn
44 Posted 03/06/2015 at 22:44:51
I think we need to accept that "implementing a Â’60-sessionÂ’ training plan that will begin on 6th July" is as close as weÂ’ll ever get to hearing Roberto say, "We werenÂ’t ready because I didnÂ’t prepare them properly."

HeÂ’s been here for two seasons now, during which I cannot recall him acknowledging that anything is his fault. A character flaw, in my view, but there it is. HeÂ’s flat not going to.

So, "a 60-session training plan" is it? HeÂ’s not going anywhere. So, I have to think (ie, "Hope") that the lightbulbÂ’s gone on over his head. LetÂ’s see if it works.

Kevin Rowlands
45 Posted 03/06/2015 at 22:56:28
Okay, lots of things really pissed me off with RM last season, but, I was very happy with a lot of things in his first season. IÂ’m a little skeptical but I do believe he probably deserves to carry on. Saying that, if this coming season is even close to being as bad as last, Adios Amigo!
Jamie Sweet
46 Posted 03/06/2015 at 22:40:16
IÂ’m glad to hear that we are going to try something a bit different. A 60-session training plan at least sounds like we have an actual plan... and who knows, at least one of those sessions may involve some kind of defensive work, and perhaps they might even do something crazy and practice a corner!

We very nearly did hit the ground running last year, if it hadnÂ’t been for the final 10 minutes against Arsenal things may have been very different.

IÂ’m willing to give Bobby the benefit of the doubt for the opening 10 fixtures, but things have clearly got to change, more so tactically than in terms of personnel.

We still have a core group of players capable of genuinely being phenomenal on their day. RM needs to find the right formula to make it happen soon or weÂ’re in danger of Bill getting on the phone to Fat Sam, and nobody wants that to happen surely?!

Jay Harris
47 Posted 03/06/2015 at 23:11:22
Jamie IMO even Fat Sam would be an enormous improvement on this fella. He who can do no wrong nor take any blame. Hell I would even have Mike Walker back than this guy.

The problem we have is the longer he is allowed to stay, the bigger the rebuilding job for the new man and Bill will pull his usual "I wish we had more money" act.

I would love to get egg on my face next season and see the club do well but I honestly do not have any confidence in this fella.

What is a "60-session training plan" anyway?

Oscar Huglin
49 Posted 04/06/2015 at 00:04:20
"Free from the distractions of a major international tournament, the manager is looking to have his player in peak condition by the start of the new season."

Player? So much for keeping our most important performers, looks like our squad is going to be severely depleted by the end of the summer...

Haha. Seriously though, good to see heÂ’s identified the problem we all know there was with our last pre-season. LetÂ’s just hope thatÂ’s not the only mistake heÂ’s learned from.


Patrick Murphy
50 Posted 04/06/2015 at 00:10:47
Barry and Paul Elliot are to join the training sessions from the last week in July to ensure that RobertoÂ’s philosophy is fully implemented. I hope that it wasnÂ’t DuncanÂ’s suggestion to have 60 sessions as a session in Glasgow has completely different meaning to what Roberto may have had in mind.

BTW Barry and Paul are also known as the Chuckle Brothers and their catchphrases included "To me, to you" and "Oh dear, oh dear".

Harold Matthews
51 Posted 03/06/2015 at 23:35:24
ThereÂ’s no way Martinez sits down and plans all the pre-season fixtures. Van Gaal said he would have liked the same pre-season as last year but itÂ’s not to be and he shrugs his shoulders and accepts it. When it happens to a man of his reputation and experience, what chance does Martinez have?

People saying we have a wonderful squad and if we donÂ’t collect so many points from so many games then the manager is out. Jeeps. Where is this squad which should be winning this, that and the other? From where IÂ’m standing itÂ’s very unbalanced and severely deficient in several areas.

Old players on their way out and youngsters not up to Premier League standard. Question marks over Howard, Barry too slow, CBs vunerable to high balls, Lukaku and Naismith not scoring goals and keep losing possession, Mirallis playing Prima Donnas and Barkley failing to progress. WhereÂ’s this great squad? I canÂ’t see it. Jose Mourinho would struggle to succeed with that lot.

Jamie Sweet
53 Posted 04/06/2015 at 02:22:22
Plus if we're signing Tom this early in the silly season it doesnÂ’t say much about our ambition.
Kristian Boyce
55 Posted 04/06/2015 at 04:33:01
Harold, for once I totally disagree with you. Mourhino would have us top 4. There is no way to prove this as Bill would never take someone as good as Mourhino.

There wouldnÂ’t be this obvious squad unrest and disharmony. They wouldn't dare do it under Mourhino. Do you hear Hazard making any noises to the Belgian press.

This fella has no control nor direction just wishful thinking and empty statements. He has turned a top 4 defense into relegation standard, made our attacking ability totally sterile and destroyed the team spirit and harmony that Moyes built up.

John Terry is 36 and Drogba 37+ FFS. It is the manager's ability to motivate and direct that makes a difference despite a players age.

Philip Mannering
56 Posted 04/06/2015 at 05:28:04
Afternoon all,

An avid reader of ToffeeWeb, but less so a commentor... But, these comments I keep reading are ridiculous, and not from the TWers, but Martinez.

Purely on his comments in this article, and only his actual quotes, none of the other stuff that orientates or directs us towards our opinions, just his quotes.

"I think coming back from the World Cup affected us defensively because we became a little bit loose" — Speaking of loose, Martinez, this comment is about as loose as it comes. What do you mean exactly? Do you mean porous, leaking goals, unable to defend set pieces? Please enlighten us, why would a return from a World Cup do all of this to Everton, and not say, Arsenal?

"There were many things that affected our first half of the season in the [Premier] League. Once we turned the year, our intent in the League was fantastic." — What were these things? Most people here seem to think it’s due to a poor pre-season, you swanning about at the World Cup, poor coaching, etc etc etc. I tend to agree.

Also, at the turn of the year, "the intent was fantastic" you say. Are you saying our "intent" for the first half was not there? Not results, but intent. If it’s just results, we know how bad they were... they continued well into March (in fact our wins at the turn of the year to the end of March equated to three). Nothing seemed to change in results, or intent – apart from a player leaving, and some unrest in your camp.

"I think by that point, most of the players had got over their hangover from the World Cup." — Oh, shut up! I cannot even be bothered to follow up on that one.

Mike Price
57 Posted 04/06/2015 at 06:38:16
Jay #54 To be fair Jay, Hazard hasnÂ’t got much to moan about; heÂ’s just won the Premier League, the League Cup, plays in the Champions League, won multiple Â’Player of the SeasonÂ’ awards, lives in cosmopolitan London and is on over 𧶀 grand a week... at 23!
John Daley
58 Posted 04/06/2015 at 06:51:04
"He has turned a top 4 defense into relegation standard"

Whilst not denying there were large swathes of the season where we were in total disarray at the back, when were these boys ever "a top 4 defence"? They never have been and never will be, certainly not as a combined unit.

"John Terry is 36 and Drogba 37+ FFS.

It is the managers ability to motivate and direct that makes a difference despite a players age."

The comparion between those two and EvertonÂ’s elder statesman isnÂ’t apt at all. Terry and Drogba have been perennial winners throughout their time in the Premier League and have proved it time and time again. No matter what faults you may try to find in their game, they could never be criticised for lack of drive, determination and desire to win at all costs and by whatever means necessary. That sure as shit canÂ’t be said about the likes of Howard, Distin, Osman. TheyÂ’ve always fallen short and accepted glorious failure too readily, no matter what stage of their career and irrespective of their sprightly youth or seniority in the squad.

As for Mourinho getting Everton top 4? Perhaps he could, but it sure as shit wouldnÂ’t be with these current players. First thing heÂ’d do, after a short period of time to assess this squad, would be to fucking gut it and get rid of at least half of them.

Filip Lillevars
60 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:39:21
Awesome! He is changing around what he has identified as wrong from last season, active management. He also has a lot to prove this season just like many of the players. Can he steer the ship the right way, we will be quite spectacular.

Not sure if you all have forgotten Moyes, but I sure like a manager that wants to learn from his mistakes and keeps on trying to evolve (not Moyes). I donÂ’t know, however, if it will be enough or if it’s just big words.

Tim Locke
62 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:53:57
If the plan last season was to have a slow start to the season, give the fans the impression he could get Everton relegated before finishing in the bottom half of the table; then I have every confidence in this season's plan.
Ian Jones
63 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:59:24
The comments about the World Cup hangover not adversely affecting Arsenal made me think. I thought they had started poorly so checked.

Just taking into account Premier League games from start of season to end of November, they played 13. Won 5 drew 5 and lost 3. So 20 points from nearly a third of the games.

Arsenal fans probably thought that was poor. I think many draws were against so-called lesser teams.

I assume whether that is a good points total for Everton after a third of the season would depend on perspective and whether itÂ’s all about grinding out points (eg, Chelsea in the second half of the season) or do we want to see entertaining football, win or bust (like KeeganÂ’s team, Score more than opposition).

It may be that, in our current position, taking most of the things at the club into account, the way it appears to be run etc, (and I am not for one moment advocating we all settle for average performances throughout the club, including management, board, commercial side) we as fans may have to re-consider what we would like in the short-term and slightly lower our expectations. And then hope for a better outcome on the not too distant future.

I get the impression that Martinez's style of play in the first season totally surprised many of us. Second season was far too cautious. So do we advocate watching win or bust football and not much care for draws.

Win 7 lose 6 out of 13 games gives you 21 points. Over a season that gives you about 60 points.

As long as we go down fighting in the games we lose, it could be fun to watch. But I guarantee there would be some tears watching us play.

Richard Lyons
64 Posted 04/06/2015 at 08:52:00
Of all the daft things Martinez has said in the last 12 months, blaming our poor displays on a "hangover from the World Cup" – a hangover which lasted over 5 months – has got to be the daftest.
Chris James
65 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:04:07
Ah, good to have the old school ToffeeWeb back this season after the previous year of positivity. Relentless moaning and whinging, finding the negative in every possible statement, inconsistent arguments that change with the wind and harking back to past glories that truly belong in another era.

The same folks who also hated Moyes for his defensive counter attack play now hate Martinez for his possession play. My personal favourite comment today is ’he bottled it by going all out attack’ – genius! All we need now is Tony Marsh!

Roll on a summer of unambitious/not good enough/big time Charlie/some other problem transfers and a campaign of Robbie out from the first dropped point.

Nil satis nisi optimum!!!

John Daley
70 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:06:41
"John... You suggest Mourinho if at Everton would more than likely gut the squad and get rid of half the team. Then what would he do"

What do you mean Â’then what would he doÂ’, Ian? Was I supposed to outline an entire imaginary reign for the man?

Ok. I suggest that the Â’I dream of JeanieÂ’ version of Jose would probably bring in players of his own choosing, with the capacity to to least consider actually achieving something as being within the realms of possibility. Players who he believed wouldnÂ’t surrender meekly and whose idea of a fighting response isnÂ’t basically to front up to some reporter from Everton TV and promise to make amends in the next game...Â’for the fans!Â’,

Wait! WhatÂ’s that you say? "..But he wouldnÂ’t have any money, dickÂ’ead". Really? Well he wouldnÂ’t fucking be here in the first place then, would he?

However, letÂ’s just roll with it....say he was feeling paticularly generous and game for a right good laugh, and agreed to get into bed with Â’Titan of the boardwalksÂ’ Bill and make do with a more miniscule budget than heÂ’s used to.

Maybe a manager who has been around as long as Jose has, has heard hushed whispers of something called... Â’player tradingÂ’?

He obviously doesnÂ’t rate Lukaku, so he wouldnÂ’t be long for this brave new world. 㿅-㿊m there, if heÂ’s lucky.

Maybe Barkley would be out the door for a lack of work ethic? 㿀m plus of your imaginary pounds right there.

Oh, what about the keeper? I canÂ’t see him trusting Howard as his last line of defence, what with him having floppier hands than that fucker who got melted by toxic waste in Robocop and looking like a younger version of Â’BlueÂ’ from Old School whenever he bends down to pick the ball out of the net. So heÂ’d be going bye, bye, to some MLS outfit for a couple of mill.

Maybe heÂ’d put Kone through a mincer and flog the pieces to whichever wanker comes up with new Pot Noodle flavours? They could come up with new packaging and everything....a pot shaped like a cone and made out of cheap imitation plaster cast so all the contents seep through when wet and whoever was daft enough to buy it can exclaim "what a waste of fucking money that was". All the proceeds could go towards a new ground and, just to show weÂ’re not ungrateful for his sacrifice, we could do a play on his name and call it Â’The Piss Pot ArounaÂ’.

How the hell am I supposed to know and why would I spend more than 60 seconds even thinking about it?

Alan Humphreys
71 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:23:12
IÂ’m of the opinion that his first season was the blip and this season the norm.

Poor preparation last year is surely down to RM, his role in media in particular. Exactly how many players did we end up with from his summer excursion? One, in Besic. Last summer transfer activity was lazy at best, signed players who were on loan and failed to strengthen in areas that needed it, all the while going into European Competition to boot.

I posted many years ago about the lack of quality in our friendlies and got shot down by MK in the first comment as we were playing Athletico Madrid (if memory serves me right). This for me still holds pure as the better the opposition the better the preparation. I fail to see how playing at a 50% capacity against a lesser team helps, when playing the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus has the players at their max.

The tournament we're involved in is piss poor, our likely opposition being fellow Premier League teams. I appreciate the US tournament in 2013 was an invitational but itÂ’s these kind of things we need to be in at the very least to raise our profile and play better sides. I appreciate it was never going to be frequent event as weÂ’re probably deemed unfashionable and a small club, if not by third parties but by certainly in the mentality of those running the club and in particular the so-called commercial team.

Every year we seem to screw up one way or another pre-season. I donÂ’t put that solely at RMÂ’s door but at the club in general.

Mike Allison
72 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:59:18
As Ross (5) points out, there were only six of our players at the World Cup, so IÂ’m sick of hearing about it. It may make things slightly more difficult to arrange a pre-season, but Martinez clearly still got it wrong.

IÂ’ve said all the way through this difficult second season that what Martinez needs to do is learn from the mistakes. HeÂ’s unusual in that when he talks, the things he says seems to suggest that he hasnÂ’t learnt at all, but there is a growing list of things that he is actually doing differently that suggest he may yet get things right.

I also agree that the pre-season fixtures themselves are important. I want our players to go out on August 8th having been involved in high profile matches against the worldÂ’s (other) biggest clubs. I think this is not only better footballing preparation, in terms of having high standards, but it also boosts them psychologically, and gives them a sense that they belong at that level.

Perhaps a new rule might be to ignore what Martinez says and look at what he actually does. The different pre-season, no Europe and, just maybe, a realisation that he needs to get results first and win the pass count second, lead me to believe that we still have a chance of having a third season more like the first one than the second.

Ian Black
73 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:12:29
I would love to find Martinez and Rodgers in a room with no windows or furniture, just one recently broken lightbulb and start the conversation "So, whose fault is it?"
James Stewart
74 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:27:50
@73 I donÂ’t personally think Rogers had anywhere near as bad a season as the media or RS make out. They finished exactly where I thought they would without Suarez.
Steavey Buckley
75 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:44:49
Rogers spent 𧴜 million, yet, Liverpol finished 4 places below the season before last. That is a sign of failure not being consistent.
Ian Jones
76 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:42:56
John @70.

Think your treatment of Kone seems a bit harsh :)

Apart from that, canÂ’t find fault with your reply.


Joe Foster
77 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:53:01
John @70 you win the Internet. Best post yet and kudos for squeezing in a "Old school" reference. Old blue died the way he would have wanted it.
Ian Black
78 Posted 04/06/2015 at 14:11:03
I donÂ’t think Rodgers had a disastrous season either. However, I see a lot of similarities with Martinez in that both would tell you that grass wasnÂ’t green and have that scary look about them that they actually believe what theyÂ’re saying.
James Flynn
79 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:48:29
Ian (73) - With LA ConfidentialÂ’s "mindless thug" Bud White hovering?

"Wendell - IÂ’d like full and docile co-operation on every topic."

That would be interesting to listen to.

IÂ’d see Rogers buckling long before Roberto.

Harold Matthews
80 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:23:20
Yes Kristian. I agree with JD. If Mourinho could dump half the squad and bring in Courtois, Terry, Matic, Silva, Hazard, Sanchez and Aguero he might get us into the top four. ThatÂ’s how hard it is these days. Ask Spurs and the money spending bunch across the park.

The Premier League has altered drastically within the last two years and we are now facing teams which have strengthened enormously.

As for the back four. When Moyes was here we had a cracking defence with Distin and Jags working well together, Pienaar helping Baines and Fellaini in midfield. Sadly those days have gone and hopefully things will improve. Martinez says he has learnt a lot and was forced to change his methods. We can only hope there are brighter times ahead.

Ian Jones
81 Posted 04/06/2015 at 16:37:03
It’s funny us talking about Mourinho and what he would do at Everton if he was manager.

Sadly, these days, a Manager like Mourinho wouldn’t touch a club like Everton if excessive money for buying new players isn’t there.

It would be more of a challenge and probably more satisfying but if they failed.....

Dick Fearon
83 Posted 04/06/2015 at 17:45:58
If that is as close as it gets for him to acknowledge that last year's woeful pre season was down to him, my disgust at his self-serving bullshit plumbs deeper depths.
Philip Yensen
84 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:16:14
Hit the ground running... mmmmmm, let me think, is that back to our goal to retrieve the negative passes accrued?

As far as other top managers go, how would they cope without their double squads of international players? They panic now when a top player gets injured. A manager has to get the right player to suit the team, get the best from a not as gifted individual get extra from a veteran and blood the youngsters too.

I think there is only a few coaches with this ability, Laudrup, Bilic and Hughes spring to mind. If we had mega bucks... different story. Just not a guy that is blinkered for ¾ of the season.

Kevin Gillen
85 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:13:34
It doesnÂ’t surprise me to hear the club have got a fresh approach to pre-season, I find it encouraging because it seems there is an acknowledgement that last year pre-season wasnÂ’t good enough.

I would like to see us actually win some pre-season games rather than get turned over by the likes of Paderborn. Losing is a dreadful habit in any sport and you never take the field with the intention of losing.

One other point I would like to make is that we have lots of talent at the club already. If the answer is the transfer market then we are not going to improve considerably with the likes of Scott Dann and Cleverley, good pros that they are.

Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Besic, Barry, McCarthy, Barkley, Lukaku, Naismith, Mirallas, Osman, Pienaar and Oviedo are all top pros and Martinez needs to get some togetherness and some consistency of performance out of them.

Last season was in my humble opinion, the worst Premier League ever. It is there for the taking. Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle Utd, Aston Villa all pants – only Chelsea and Arsenal anywhere near previous seasons.

Martinez has until December in my book to show substantial progress or he should go. DonÂ’t get me started on the board, they have done nothing.

Ian Brandes
87 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:29:40
If we do hit the ground running, I will be happy because it might mean RM has learnt from his mistakes last season, and admitted them.

Being positive, I am hoping for the best.

Murdo Laing
88 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:03:29
Kevin (#85) - very well put; however, five of those fifteen players you mention are now 30 plus and their "clocks are ticking", indeed it appears unlikely that we will see three of those five: will Barry, Osman and Pienaar be sufficiently fit/free of injury to play 90 minute games all season?

You donÂ’t mention Gibson, a potential lynchpin of midfield if fit, so I can only assume youÂ’ve written him off? I wish it were otherwise, as he has much to offer, most notably an eye for a forward pass.

Surely, the answer lies in turning to our youth to see if they make the grade? The likes of Browning, Galloway, Garbutt, Ledson and now Henen should either be given their chance selectively with some game time, or be sent out on loan to gain experience, or sold.

This Under-21 set up is not really serving itÂ’s purpose. As other contributors have mentioned, sadly, we can no longer compete for the very best players , and we are swimming in the same pond as the likes of Stoke, Newcastle and West Brom for the players we can afford.

Andy Crooks
89 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:42:30
Ian (#81), I see your point but disagree. There are good reasons why Everton could attract a top coach, not least the fact that we seem to pay top money.

Is it not possible that a top coach who has won loads of stuff might not buy into the idea of reviving a giant and taking on the task of winning rather than buying success. If Mourinho won the league with Everton it would eclipse any challenge he has faced.

I accept that we are limited in buying players but I cannot accept that Roberto Martinez is the best coach our money can buy.

Kevin Gillen
90 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:42:11
I agree with your comments, Murdo, if I forgot to mention Gibson nobody could possibly be surprised seeing as heÂ’s hardly kicked a ball all season. I did see him probably play the most positive game against QPR I think and have an influence against Newcastle if memory serves me right, so it was wrong to leave him out. It does beg the question what influence Martinez has had since Moyes left.

Moyes left a hardcore of serious professionals some recruited for a song. I think IÂ’m right in saying Moyes recruited Stones! Martinez needs to improve his recruitment. I like Cleverley, he would be a good start at the right age.

Your point about age is well made. Osman is brilliant for half an hour against teams that park the bus or when you want to keep the ball. Pienaar, well, I for one would love to see him come back to form, he can be poetry in motion.

The goalkeeping is a concern, Howard showed clear signs of deteriorating last season but when he plays well the team does well and he deserves some loyalty (I didnÂ’t feel that after Leicester or Crystal Palace mind). I have renewed my season ticket and I travel from Grimsby to see the games, itÂ’s a long way to watch the boring tripe I watched last season but I do believe we can have a right good season with a good start. COYB.

Murdo Laing
91 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:22:58
May all your trips from Grimsby be joyful ones Kevin- and yes, COYB!
Just to add that I agree with your comment on Tim Howard, heÂ’s a good pro who (largely deserved) I think has responded well to criticism but, when he is on his game, he is still one of the best around. I feel that he has also been failed by defensive ineptitude last season.
Kase Chow
92 Posted 04/06/2015 at 23:43:31
Martinez does talk utter crap

But so do a lot of people on here. What does Â’the proof is in the pudding meanÂ’?

ItÂ’s as stupid as El Bob

The proof of the pudding is in the Eating makes sense

We get the manager we deserve...

Jay Harris
93 Posted 05/06/2015 at 01:42:04
Andy, I totally agree.

I think Martinez was a lazy appointment on recommendation from (BillÂ’s pal?) Dave Whelan.

BK hasn’t got the time or the inclination to run EFC – he just basks in the fact he is chairman and comes North to watch the games every couple of weeks.

Peter Barry
94 Posted 05/06/2015 at 04:43:07
"Martinez aims to hit the ground running in August" this is just more of the Â’Strong second half of the seasonÂ’ BS from our conman Manager?
Nitesh Kanchan
95 Posted 05/06/2015 at 08:40:19
Just give him the first 7 or 8 games to prove himself. If we are close to the relegation zone, sack him immediately. If close to the top four then judge him after next 7 to 8 games, simple as that. With no European games we must finish in the top 5.
Steven Jones
96 Posted 05/06/2015 at 10:39:16
I think RM is a brilliant fit for Everton.

We do not have the resources of the top 4-5 clubs financially and we have to find a way to blend youth and development with opportunistic buys and one or two older experienced heads.

We are starting to see the youthful future coming through and this season ahead will be a big bounce. Those that have insight can see the green shoots of a very good passing team which does not come overnight.

Next season, we will see a big bounce back and a strong pre-season. The banal cliché ridden negativity needs to be ignored for the green shots of something special. Howard Kendall was in the ditch with a lot worse squad situation but he focused on green shoots and it came good... something similar would be nice!

Harold Matthews
98 Posted 05/06/2015 at 15:36:43
Jeeps Nitesh. Why not go for the title?
Phil Walling
99 Posted 05/06/2015 at 15:51:47
Most of us would hope that our team ’would hit the ground running’ EVERY season. If not, why not ? The alternative is ’to hit the dust’ as we tended to do last year.

But all the talk, the manager’s, his critics’ and his admirers’ counts for nothing when the ball starts rolling come August.

This time round I’d be hoping to hear less from the manager, win or lose. Just leave us to judge him and his team on the figure in the ultimate right-hand column. S’all that really matters, eh ?

Phil Sammon
100 Posted 05/06/2015 at 16:20:56
Depends how you arrange the columns, Phil. IÂ’m led to believe Martinez is a real whiz with Microsoft Excel.
Jay Harris
101 Posted 05/06/2015 at 16:20:34
I admire your optimism and support for the manager but the reason for so much negativity is we do not see green shoots. We see long grass dying.

As regards the youth players coming through, one of our top young players is about to leave (Garbutt) and Barkley has gone backwards under this manager.

As regards passing. If you count passing backwards and forwards along the back 4 ad infinitum as progress, then Yes, you are right.

Is this the kind of football Evertonians want to see? Obviously not from the reaction of the majority of posters.

Every successful side is well balanced with a sprinkling of world class players. Where do you see that in a Martinez side?

Phil Sammon
103 Posted 05/06/2015 at 16:41:43
Jay Harris 101...&102

I have done nothing but be negative all season...but I have to take exception to your post(s). Â’One of our top youth playersÂ’ Luke Garbutt. I cant take it anymore! Is he better than Baines? Is he better than Oviedo...who, also a youngster, given the opportunity of first team football did far more than Garbutt has done.

Phil Walling
104 Posted 06/06/2015 at 16:14:21
I donÂ’t usually post on RS woes but have just read that Brenda has managed to shift the blame for his poor season onto his senior support staff who have now got the chop.

At least our guy blamed his failings on the World Cup when so many on here thought HIS staff were found very much wanting on last yearÂ’s poor pre-season preparation!

Jay Harris
105 Posted 06/06/2015 at 20:51:58
Phil #103,

My point was in respect of Steven posting that we should be optimistic because RM had a lot of young players coming through.

I agree with you about Bainesy; not so sure about Oviedo because of his injury record and I also happen to think we could play Garbutt and Baines in the same team given our left sided problems last season.

Ian Riley
106 Posted 06/06/2015 at 22:58:10
I think next season will tell us how good both managers really are. Yes, I will defend our manager a little with the Europa League and World Cup. The pre-season was a joke and at least he has acknowledged that! The money spent by Liverpool compared to us is no contest. How he has kept his job and blamed his staff is very cheap!

At least our manager has reflected on last season. No World Cup, no Europa League... and no excuses!

Christopher Brierley
107 Posted 07/06/2015 at 11:36:32
I donÂ’t think that going to Austria was the problem. Moyes took them there and had them running till they puked their guts out (remember reading one of the players said as much).

Martinez has always stated when he first arrived that full out fitness wasnÂ’t important as it wasnÂ’t realistic as you were not running with the ball. Moyes didn't have them touch a ball for half the pre-season as he felt fitness was the key whereas Martinez cut back the fitness and concentrated on ball skills more. Much to our detriment the season just past.

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