The 22-year-old assisted in the first three goals as Everton took a 3-0 second-half lead in their first friendly of the summer, thanks to a brace from Kevin Mirallas and a strike by Romelu Lukaku, before firing home the fourth himself from just inside the area.
McAleny, who spent most of last season on loan in the Championship with Cardiff City, where he scored two goals in eight appearances, is hoping to play his way into Martinez's plans for the new season and he got off to the perfect start at the County Ground.
The Whiston-born forward has suffered his share of injuries at an important stage of his career but his manager was pleased with what he saw today.
“It was very important for Conor to get the pre-season work done injury-free," Martinez told evertonfc.com. "When you are young and your body is still developing, you can pick up little niggles and injuries which is frustrating for everyone not just for Conor.
“Now, he has had a very good run of work and we are hoping he can stay fit because he's got really good low balance. He can turn at pace, he's very strong and his finishing has real quality.
“We hope he can push on now and complete pre-season injury-free.”
Martinez took satisfaction from the friendly as a whole, the first and only 11-v-11 game before the squad jets off to Singapore tomorrow for the Barclays Asia Trophy.
“We've done a lot of volume work at Finch Farm this week and it has been great to see the attitude of the players," Martinez continued.
“It doesn't matter who you are playing against, to get a clean sheet shows the concentration levels were very, very good and from a physical point of view, I thought it was a perfect workout.”
Reader Comments (46)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 11/07/2015 at 21:01:19
He's a Championship level player who won't get a kick this season other than a half an hour cameo in the League Cup.
We've seen the likes of Chris Long, Magaye Gueye and Francisco Junior make good impressions in pre season and then either never get a kick and get sent out on loan in Long's case, be absolutely terrible and end up at Millwall like Geuye or just rot in the Under 21s like Francisco Junior.
I guarantee that McAleny will not be at this club this time next year.
2 Posted 11/07/2015 at 21:10:04
Genuinely does anyone know what 'We've done a lot of volume work at Finch Farm this week and it has been great to see the attitude of the players," means? I'm afraid I don't.
3 Posted 11/07/2015 at 21:12:53
4 Posted 11/07/2015 at 21:16:21
Obviously a lot of fitness work. The pre-season fitness regime is dreaded at all levels of the sport. They are pros though, and get paid a lot of money to do these drills!
5 Posted 11/07/2015 at 21:27:53
The only negatives for me were Pienaar (played quite badly) and Besic's injury. Cleverley looked very slow but then got up for it and linked some great passing moves. Gerard did okay and looked a threat.
I also think Ross looked up for it and hungry again... Hope that continues!
7 Posted 11/07/2015 at 21:27:29
It's different now, and the players cannot get too much out of shape anymore, not even during the summer. They've only been back 5 days and are already playing games, shows the players must have a certain programme to stick to, which keeps them fit.
Pre-season, pinging the ball, across the freshly cut wet grass. Good luck to McAleny this season, I hope the kid can make it at Everton,.
8 Posted 11/07/2015 at 22:01:56
9 Posted 11/07/2015 at 22:19:59
That's what I've always experienced, even though I feel great after the fitness sessions!
10 Posted 11/07/2015 at 22:47:58
11 Posted 11/07/2015 at 22:45:47
After seeing Kone last season, I'm a million miles away from being convinced by him, but he had an awful injury so maybe a pre-season under his belt and some luck and he may add goals from the bench to our total too.
I must admit, the above talk on Kone is not what I've said previously... but, after a talk with a fellow Blue, he touched on the fact Kone has almost zero transfer value and may be a little diamond at times as an impact sub.
Who knows... but best of luck to any of the Blues who can make a difference this season, especially the young local lads like McAleny and Long.
12 Posted 11/07/2015 at 23:38:54
Osman made the grade late and has gone on to forge a good career at Everton and there is no reason why Conor cannot do the same. He will need games though and therein lies the problem -- will he get them ?
13 Posted 12/07/2015 at 04:30:30
14 Posted 12/07/2015 at 04:42:50
'but, after a talk with a fellow Blue, he touched on the fact Kone has almost zero transfer value and may be a little diamond at times'
Was that 'fellow blue' Roberto Martinez by any chance?
15 Posted 12/07/2015 at 06:43:35
You are right of course. The days of players turning up 2 stone overweight after a summer on the piss have long since gone, but at long last I'm encourage by what Martinez has to say.
Results in the Premier League are often determined by the finest of margins; if our players were only a tiny fraction fitter at the beginning of last season, I believe we would have seen off both Leicester and Arsenal and could possibly have been looking at an entirely different season.
I never at any stage felt Martinez was giving 100% last pre-season, he was corner-cutting and we as a club paid a heavy price.
You can't start the season being too ready and if our Manager has sharpened his focus and is now paying attention to the smaller details, he will be well on his way to winning back the "moaners".
"Volume work" is okay by me. So is 100% effort to the Everton cause
16 Posted 12/07/2015 at 07:28:46
The fine margins and sense of purpose he got right in his first season have to come back. We won't know till the start of the season.
17 Posted 12/07/2015 at 08:25:46
18 Posted 12/07/2015 at 08:58:46
I hope he gets to show what he can do during the pre-season.....
19 Posted 12/07/2015 at 09:04:08
20 Posted 12/07/2015 at 09:41:29
21 Posted 12/07/2015 at 09:48:41
If Conor McAleny is good enough, it's certainly not too late or him to make his mark
22 Posted 12/07/2015 at 10:31:11
All I hope is that Conor is given a real opportunity to establish a place rather than continuing to be about fourth choice for a striking role.
23 Posted 12/07/2015 at 11:34:49
24 Posted 12/07/2015 at 11:38:31
I think players are often thrown to the lower leagues too quickly, and when they don't set the world alight in those leagues, the decision is seen as being justified. But many quality players would struggle in the lower leagues where players are less skillful and possibly more physical.
I hope this lad can push on from here, but it will take a lot of hard work on his part, and a lot of patience and understanding on our part.
25 Posted 12/07/2015 at 11:39:51
Haha... I must admit after reading over my post again, the words "a little diamond" may be a bit strong for Kone. My point is, although I don't like Kone, he is a better option for Premier League starts than any of our youngsters if Lukaku was to get an injury.
Yes, he's far from the required quality but he has scored double figures in the Premier League before now. That all said, I've rubbished Kone in the past as he's not good enough for Everton but we have limited funds and we desperately need a keeper, plus some genuine attacking creativity.
27 Posted 12/07/2015 at 11:48:46
If I had it my way, Kone, Osman, Hibbert, Oviedo, Naismith, Pienaar, Howard, Robles, McGeady and possibly Gibson and Barry would all be out on their ears to be replaced by better younger fitter players.
Unfortunately the fact is we would be lucky to receive transfer fees 㾶-15M which would only buy us about one decent addition to our squad.
28 Posted 12/07/2015 at 12:03:22
The game has changed since Ossie became a first team regular back in '04, let alone Ian Wright back in the late '80s. Pointless comparison.
Hopefully Conor will be the exception to the rule and prove to be a valuable addition to the squad.
29 Posted 12/07/2015 at 12:01:27
I'm not banking on us bringing in a quality striker, so why not give him a chance?
31 Posted 12/07/2015 at 14:17:38
32 Posted 12/07/2015 at 14:21:41
I was saying on another thread, that the last two Everton managers haven't played him and I wondered if it may be because he isn't good enough but I wasn't taking into account his broken leg. This pre-season is surely make or break though.
Good luck Conor!
33 Posted 12/07/2015 at 14:29:09
I think, with the right additions, we could have a really good season... but, if we don't, then negativity and frustration will again be the order of the day.
34 Posted 12/07/2015 at 17:45:27
Kone is an old head but in truth is just a late sub for Lukaku now and again so a younger, hungrier player may be just the tonic to assist or push Lukaku.
35 Posted 12/07/2015 at 17:46:34
McAleny doesn't even boast any loan experience because all he has there is 3 appearances for Scunthorpe, 4 appearances for Brentford and just 7 last season for Cardiff. Moyes played him a couple times and Roberto only used him once so McAleny's entire career consists of just 17 appearances, most of them were as a substitute.
I'm sorry but the club has let McAleny down. Why hasn't he been given more chances? Why hasn't he been sent on loan to play a full season in the lower leagues?
I'll never understand why Roberto doesn't give youngsters more chances. Over the course of the last two seasons, there have been games where Everton have been leading comfortably by a couple of goals, why not bring McAleny on for the final 10-15 minutes? Let the lad get some game time under his belt.
But that didn't happen and now McAleny is a 23-year-old with no experience. There are teenagers in the Premier League who have more experience than McAleny.
36 Posted 12/07/2015 at 18:20:08
Plus the bad leg-break probably set him back by at least a year... maybe two. So think of him as being only 21 rather than 23. And there's no set rule on exactly how fast players develop.
Young players have to grab their chances with both hands and really make an impression on those rare occasions they get selected. But, even then, with Roberto, the senior player he's replaced will always have priority and the risk simply will not be taken. That's really the mistake being made, I think.
37 Posted 12/07/2015 at 18:22:57
Hopefully there's still time...
38 Posted 12/07/2015 at 19:04:07
I don't think we can criticise Martinez for not taking chances though; he's picked Barkley, Stones and to a lesser extent Garbutt in the last two seasons. Barkley was a big disappointment to me last season I must say; he needs to impress this season.
We're three 㿀m class players short of a serious team now: without them we're looking at 7th-10th place once more.
39 Posted 12/07/2015 at 19:55:54
I'm not suggesting we throw players in the deep end but if Everton are coasting 2-0 or 3-1 up then why not give the likes of McAleny, Browning or Grant 10 minutes at the end? I mean sure if we are losing and need a game changer then use Osman, Pienaar or Kone as a substitute but, if we are coasting to an easy victory, then bring on a kid.
Over the past two season's Roberto could quite easily have given McAleny 15 or even 20 cameo appearances. And that would have given McAleny some experience at least, better than turning 23 with only 3 appearances to your name.
40 Posted 12/07/2015 at 20:15:00
41 Posted 12/07/2015 at 20:08:00
When the better players in your team are backing you you have a real chance. When they don't... well, just ask Baines when he was on England duty; no passes and you look poor!!
42 Posted 12/07/2015 at 20:16:16
Neither Moyes nor Martinez had/has any excuse for not blooding more youngsters. Dick is correct in what he says above, an example would be Browning who impressed in a couple of cameo appearances as sub, was he given any more? No but he should and could have. We've potentially got the best crop of youngsters in 30 years, I hope they'll get chances under Martinez but I'm doubtful.
43 Posted 12/07/2015 at 20:29:21
There is some validity to Dick's concern, although he wasn't saying it last season about McAleny, so there's really a little too much wisdom in hindsight for me, based on a great performance yesterday. He got to sit unused on the bench in just two senior games last season: West Ham and West Brom in January. Neither of which we were comfortable in.
Browning sat out 8 games as an unused sub, coming on in just two. A strong case was made for him to have played a lot more games.
Garbutt sat out an incredible 21 games as an unused sub, called upon just once from the bench. At least he got to play six full games...
Ledson was the only other young player, just 1 game unused on the bench. It's just not Martinez's style. He doesn't want to take the risk.
44 Posted 12/07/2015 at 21:26:41
But my point about youngsters not being given a chance is valid. For example Barry has been used as a substitute more times then Browning and Ledson put together. What's the point of that?
Far too often Roberto uses experienced players as substitutes, we do coast to victories sometimes and certainly last season we had a run of games with nothing to play for, but still Roberto used the likes of Kone, Osman, Pienaar and McGeady as substitutes while Ledson, Browning, Grant, McAleny and even Garbutt looked on from the sidelines.
I don't think McAleny is going to make the grade but I do have hopes for the likes of Ledson, Browning, Galloway, Kenny, Pennington, Dowell, Duffus, Grant and Byrne. But Roberto needs to start involving them more. One cameo in a Carling Cup fixture per season is pointless.
That certainly hasn't helped Lundstram and McAleny who are now 21 and 23 and have nearly zero first team experience.
45 Posted 12/07/2015 at 22:56:13
46 Posted 13/07/2015 at 03:06:53
49 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:26:19
Go back to 3 including a goalie. I assume the idea for scrapping reserve team football was due to costs involved in running teams and the competition as a whole. Perhaps with all Sky money available, now would be a good time to bring it back. It would at least offer players a chance to play/ recover from injuries etc.
51 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:40:26
I regret to say it but their time will be better spent honing their skills in the Championship than warming their bums in the Premier League.
52 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:22:49
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.