Martinez looks ahead to first warm-up match

by | 09/07/2015  37 Comments  [Jump to last]
Mindful of Everton's challenging run of fixtures to start the new season, Roberto Martinez will be looking to involve as many players as possible against Swindon Town this weekend.

The Blues kick off their schedule of pre-season friendlies in Wiltshire on Saturday as the players take the next step from their first full week back in training following their post-season breaks.

The manager aims to give most of his personnel around a half's worth of action against the Robins before they jet off to the Far East for the Barclays Asia Trophy.

“The Swindon game will be a perfect introduction playing-wise as we will be able to get 45 minutes' playing time for most of the players in our squad ahead of us travelling to Singapore,” Martinez told the club's official website.

“Logistically, the game fits in well in terms of our preparation overall.

“We have enjoyed some good groundwork during the first few days in training and the game at Swindon and the week we then have in Singapore will follow what has been a build-up week full of volume at Finch Farm."

Realistically, Martinez will no doubt be hoping his side faces both Stoke City and Arsenal in Singapore so that his charges play as many games against top-standard opposition as they prepare to face all of the teams that finished in the top eight last season in the first 10 matches of 2015-16.

Having endured such a disappointingly slow start last term, the manager is under no illusions about how important it's going to be to hit the ground running this time around.

“From the very beginning, we want to make sure that we start the season well and carry that on,” said Martinez.

“In our first 10 games we will face teams which finished in the top eight of the Premier League last season, so it is a very challenging start.

“But that's what we are preparing for during these weeks, to make ourselves as strong as we can be early in the campaign.”  


Reader Comments (37)

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Paul Kossoff
1 Posted 09/07/2015 at 18:55:22
Let's hope we are up and running in August and not January.

We still need players in, everyone seems to be strengthening except us, I don't think two in and two out is enough.

Duncan McDine
2 Posted 09/07/2015 at 19:12:47
It's refreshing to think that it wonÂ’t just be a team of reserves and kids on Saturday... it seems like a long time since weÂ’ve had all the main players ready to go from the start of pre-season.

No need to panic just yet Paul... I donÂ’t think weÂ’ll have to wait till the end of August before we see more new faces.

Ross Edwards
3 Posted 09/07/2015 at 20:10:53
Early doors in the window obviously so IÂ’m not worried but we do need to get deals done. You look at the likes of Swansea, Palace and West Ham making good signings like Ayew, Cabaye, Payet and possibly Ogbonna joining West Ham too, whilst we just have Deulofeu and Cleverley.

We have to get a CB in quickly because other possible targets are all getting moves like Ogbonna and Astori. Instead of getting bogged down and screwed over by Palace for Dann, just make a move for Vlaar on a free and go from there.

The teams around us are making good signings, we need to do the same.

Brian Porter
4 Posted 09/07/2015 at 20:17:50
I agree with Paul. We donÂ’t seem to be moving very fast in terms of player recruitment. Other clubs are making signings but all we have are two good players, who have played for Martinez before. He doesnÂ’t seem to be able to attract players of the right calibre, not when they go and sign for West Ham and Newcastle for GodÂ’s sake. We look like being the bridesmaids of the transfer window again.
Joe Foster
5 Posted 09/07/2015 at 20:31:06
Do not be surprised if we do not sign anyone else.
Paul Jeronovich
6 Posted 09/07/2015 at 20:40:18
Thing is, are the players West Ham and Newcastle have allegedly pipped us to actually players we have bid for? Could just be more speculation.
Peter Mills
7 Posted 09/07/2015 at 20:46:51
"This is going to be the perfect introduction playing wise". Excellent.
Ian Nulty
8 Posted 09/07/2015 at 21:28:36
Very interested to read the Manager's comments, particularly that he intends to give most of the squad at least half a game.

However, as I live locally, I am really looking forward to taking my two young grandsons to their very first match. Both play regularly at school but don't follow any team but I was over the moon when this fixture was announced as it gives me my first opportunity to see the Blues live since an end-of-season game in the Moyes era at Fulham where we lost 2-0 having just qualified for Europe the next season.

I have followed Everton since 1962; first game was the Charity Shield at Goodison where we walloped Manchester United 4-0, Alex Young, Roy Vernon and all that, so I'll be a very proud Granddad on Saturday. COYB

Kunal Desai
11 Posted 09/07/2015 at 21:50:55
"From the very beginning, we want to make sure that we start the season well and carry that on".

I don't think any manager would say they want to start the season slow now... would they?

Peter Mills
12 Posted 09/07/2015 at 21:59:30
Ian (#8). Have a great day.
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 09/07/2015 at 22:12:43
A challenging start indeed. itÂ’s just what we needed after last years diabolical preparations.
Steven Jones
14 Posted 09/07/2015 at 22:45:28
Hi Ian @ 8

I am going too on Saturday, taking my son 7 Deny-Ray for his first game with his friend William. They are talking up Everton at school and have not seen their team for real yet. They of course love Ross and Rom... some of the goals they have scored have captured their imagination.

They are anoraks already and if your grandchildren need persuading then come and see our two for a chat while we grab a beer, coffee or tea.

I will dig out our seat numbers and come back on that...

BTW I am just so excited to see Deulofeu close up...

Geoffrey Risebrow
15 Posted 09/07/2015 at 23:03:35
We need to look like we mean business this pre-season! We need to look fit and hungry to win football matches! Very good point Paul Jeronovich. Who can actually say for sure that we want/wanted Ogbonna, Wijnaldum etc?
Ciaran Duff
16 Posted 09/07/2015 at 23:49:27
We all (me included) get excited about pre-season. ItÂ’s a chance for players to build up fitness, get game time, try some new players, try some new tactics etc. However, remember that this is all just preparation for the real thing.

In terms of transfers, I think that it has been so good, so far. We do need a couple of more players (CB & No 10 ideally) but that patience can be a virtue (especially if you want to get value for money). LetÂ’s wait til the end of the transfer window (personally I think that should be changed to coincide with the start of the season) until we pass judgement.

Mark Andersson
17 Posted 10/07/2015 at 00:04:24
Shit or bust this season. I would love to be my old optimistic self, but the realist in me thinks it will be more of the same as last season.

Hope the new boys in the stand have a day to remember Ian.

Scott Bosworth
20 Posted 10/07/2015 at 03:25:18
"We still need players in, everyone seems to be strengthening except us, I don't think two in and two out is enough."

"The teams around us are making good signings, we need to do the same."
"We don't seem to be moving very fast in terms of player recruitment. Other clubs are making signings but all we have are two good players."

I am perpetually confused by this sort of sideways-glancing. The fact of the matter is, Everton wildly underperformed last season – this is a sad, bitter reality – but the players in EFC's squad are so much better, both player-for-player and on the whole, than the players at Palace, Swansea, West Ham, Stoke, and frankly any other club outside of the perennial Top 5-6. (That is not to say that EFC's players always perform better, of course. See last season, for example, obviously.)

And yet, despite this, sentiments like those expressed above fail to acknowledge 1) the difficulty of identifying and 2) the cost of acquiring, players that actually improve the squad. "BUT WEST HAM HAS SIGNED 4 PLAYERS!" Well, no shit, Sherlock – West Ham's existing players suck and finding/purchasing incrementally better ones ain't very difficult!

If you want to understand why Everton seems to behave differently – frustratingly slow – in the transfer market, it is worth considering that Everton occupies a very rare position in the Premier League that no other clubs have to deal with: Relatively little money, Above Average Players.

I don't care one lick "the speed" with which garbage clubs around us are adding to their garbage crop of existing players. They don't have our needs, they don't have our players, and they don't have our budget.

Brian Cleveland
21 Posted 10/07/2015 at 04:33:22
Last year's pre-season was an absolute shambles in terms of availability of players and the lack of attitude towards winning. Friendlies don't win points, but they do ingrain a winning mentality, and I still feel that part of last season's malaise was down to us never getting into the starting blocks, let alone out of them.

Personally, I'm still waiting for last season to start!

COYB, get it right this time around.... a bit more determination. I don't want to lose, I don't care if it's a friendly against lower league opposition, play with pride and guts at all times....

Jim Bennings
23 Posted 10/07/2015 at 07:37:48
I wouldn't be at all surprised if we didn't sign anymore either.

The biggest problem facing us this summer is attracting players to join a team that finished in the bottom half; we haven't had to deal with that task for nearly a decade or so.

The two guys he's brought in so far have both worked with Martinez before and, in Deulofeu's case, if he'd had a really successful loan spell at Seville, then we wouldn't have been able to sign him quite so easily. You have to ask whether he or Cleverley will even be first choice at the start of the season! Knowing Martinez it will still be the same dross that we suffered last season... We know for sure it's going to be Barry plus one!

He needs at least three more quality players to come in and inject some class and probably more importantly some steel and character into the side.

Simon Jackson
24 Posted 10/07/2015 at 08:36:16
We do our business at the end of the season, That way we can get loans and bargains because no-one else wants them.

I'm not a fan of RM and his transfers as he seems a bit hit and miss; we need a class CD now and if that cost 㾶/15 millions and we have a good season then we will all be happy. If we spend ٠-3M and buy someone just to say we have one and finish down the bottom again, we won't be happy.

We must have money — spend it on Dann who has Premier League experience and can come in with no pre-season for him to get used to the speed. I see our squad short in defensive cover; we can survive with all other positions.

Mark Pendleton
25 Posted 10/07/2015 at 08:55:30
Guys, some of these players that other clubs are signing are ones we've never heard off. And yes, we were supposedly beaten to their signing by these other clubs, but just as we dismiss newspaper rumours when they're trying to sell our players we should do the same when they suggest we're in to buy them. Most likely we're only linked through stories by the players agents to get the likes of Newcastle and West Ham to speed up a deal and offer better wages.

Martinez can attract good players and the fact that the likes of Lukaku and Deulofeu returned to play under him (and let's face it, we know both of them could have got more money elsewhere) speaks volumes. Whether you rate him or not, Cleverley has many admirers within the game and he had plenty of options but preferred Everton under Martinez.

We will make more signings, not too many – maybe 2 or 3, but at least Martinez is determined to try and make the right ones. OK, Kone apart (who he signed as he knew him and could trust him from his Wigan days and sadly then got a bad injury), his judgement hasn't been too bad and when players have been a risk they've mainly been on loan hence a low risk.

Martinez has his targets and will wait until they are available, playing the long game (which may see Lennon join us late on for far less than Spurs are probably quoting right now). And regardless of your thoughts on the way he runs the Club, Bill Kenwright has a reputation for being a very shrewd negotiator when it comes to deals.

Jim Bennings
26 Posted 10/07/2015 at 09:12:30
Mark,

At the same time though you can hardly blame people for their scepticism regarding our transfer activities over recent years,

Regarding Martinez, I think he's done reasonably okay with his dealings despite a couple of poor choices; he likes his wingers which is always okay with me, he needs to get a far better pattern to his central midfield area, though... and he needs to use the players he's signed better than he has so far.

With regards to Deulofeu, I'd hope he gets more game time than when he was here two years ago and not just last 15-minute cameo performances when it's obvious we are struggling to break down stubborn opposition, especially at Goodison.

I still think we are crying out for a midfield "brain".

Sam Hoare
28 Posted 10/07/2015 at 09:27:14
First XI and first half

Robles
Coleman Stones Jagielka Garbutt
McCarthy Cleverley
Deulofeu Barkley Pienaar
Lukaku

Second X1 and second half
Howard
Browning Hibbert Pennington Galloway
Barry Besic
Mirallas Osman Naismith
Kone

Ernie Baywood
29 Posted 10/07/2015 at 09:38:08
I suspect that, if we had signed some of the players we are enviously glancing at, we would have been on here complaining that we aren't setting our sights high enough!
Andrew Ellams
30 Posted 10/07/2015 at 10:35:11
I appreciate Baines and Oviedo are unavailable, but that 2nd half line up Sam has posted above shows that a creative number 10 can't be the priority until the defence is strengthened.
Tony J Williams
31 Posted 10/07/2015 at 12:48:09
We can glance enviously at other clubs who are bringing in lots of players.... but I am still surprised that, after the last 10 years, posters are shocked when we bring in lots of players.

WE ARE SKINT!!!!

We will always be skint under the old regime, even when the league is dripping with money, we are still skint.

It's not Football Manager 2015, where you can just magic money our of nowhere (and for those old fogeys, break into the worksheet and alter the Cash In column).

We will always try and work within our means and that means selling players first before we buy our next "star signing".

Harold Matthews
32 Posted 10/07/2015 at 13:27:43
I'm praying that we play Cleverley near to Lukaku. He opened things up for Benteke at Villa and I expect him to do the same with our own big fella who, by the way, needs to shed a few pounds and regain his old goalscoring zip.

Last season, the defence was a shambles and if I had the manager's job, no-one would be safe. No-one. High balls, low balls, we flapped like schoolboys and were pulled out of position. Shooters were not closed down quick enough and, Jags apart, shots were blocked with the seat of the pants with eyes shut. Real sissy stuff.

I could go on all day but I won't. Let's hope we get things together and have a great season.

Paul Cherrington
33 Posted 10/07/2015 at 14:10:03
I agree with you there, Harold – I would play a 4-1-4-1 with Cleverly/Barkley centrally behind Lukaku in the 4 (and McCarthy as the 1 in front of the defence to just sit and protect). That way, he can be close enough to Rom to play him in as well as fill the middle for us.

You're right about the defence too which is why it's good we're (hopefully) bringing in another CB to toughen it up and add competition. It would also be good if the coaches started working more with them as a unit again, like Moyes used too, to make it solid. I like Stones but I wonder if he lacks a bit of aggression in his game at the minute...

Mike Childs
34 Posted 10/07/2015 at 14:41:49
"Real Sissy stuff" lol. Sadly true. We have to give the armband to somebody else. Jags is just too nice of a guy.

I say Jimmy Mac who's always ready to cuff the opposition when they cross the line. Heck, even 'Nisy would be better except that would mean more minutes than we can afford to give him. Unfortunately not a lot of choices.

Paul Cherrington
35 Posted 10/07/2015 at 14:51:04
Jags is too nice to be captain, yeah... in fact, most of our team are too nice, which is another problem that needs addressing. All this laughing and chatting to the opposition before games and then not looking that bothered sometimes when we do lose is a sign of the weak mentality that exists at GP now.
Paul Tran
36 Posted 10/07/2015 at 15:01:25
Well said, Scott Bosworth. Every summer, people come on here whinging because a team with a new manager/average squad/just promoted is linked with players we're not linked with.

It means nothing, other than bored lazy journalists are throwing names of players and clubs into a hat.

Nobody knows how much is going on behind the scenes to bring players in. None of this means anything until there's a photo of a player wearing the shirt.

Dave Pritchard
37 Posted 10/07/2015 at 15:54:37
That picture of Roberto on the home page is odd. Looks like he is sinking out of sight. Hope that is not an indication of our season ahead...
Geoffrey Risebrow
38 Posted 10/07/2015 at 19:38:47
Brilliant post Mark Pendleton.
Geoffrey Risebrow
39 Posted 10/07/2015 at 19:42:37
Also a brilliant post by Scott Bosworth.
Steven Jones
40 Posted 10/07/2015 at 22:55:33
Mark Pendleton 22 ... great insight. I agree with both your analysis and also your tone.

The two probably bigger money signings, LCB and Number 10 will involve a list of 5 or so in each position and then going through the relationship and commercial dance.

Considered, positive insight – lovely read . Thank you!

Steven Jones
41 Posted 10/07/2015 at 23:02:07
Scott also has nailed it.

I have for a long time considered the BK approach as right: keep things financially tight, build the brand, the core philosophy, buy well and sell every now and then, get a really clever manager for the phase of our development and keep it steady.

I really like where we are ...

Joe Foster
42 Posted 10/07/2015 at 23:29:31
Steve Jones @38 ... and where is it you think we are? Building the brand? How many places can you buy Everton kit? What is this core philosophy you mention? I am not going to ask about the clever manager (I have done to many against RM).

I don't mean to be a negative nelly, Ste, but I just don't see it.

Vineet Sood
43 Posted 11/07/2015 at 14:31:35
Gerard Deulofeu starts for Everton against Swindon Town at the County Ground.

The Blues' latest recruit is named in a strong midfield, which also includes James McCarthy, Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar and Steven Naismith.

Tim Howard starts in goal for the Toffees, with captain Phil Jagielka and Tyias Browning named as the two starting centre-halves, while Brendan Galloway and Seamus Coleman occupy the full-back positions.

Arouna Kone is given the nod to start up front for the first pre-season game against the Robins.

Manager Roberto Martinez is likely to field an almost entirely different team for the second half.

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