Martinez: We have the perfect mix

by | 14/07/2015  92 Comments  [Jump to last]

(Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

Roberto Martinez is banking on a blend of experience and youth to help steer Everton back into European contention this coming season as the team continues its pre-season preparation in Singapore this week.

Speaking alongside his captain, Phil Jagielka, in a press conference before the Blues face Stoke in their opening match of the Barclays Asia Trophy, the Catalan reiterated his intention to add a couple more targeted acquisitions to his team but insisted he is happy with the players he is working with.

"We're trying to build on what we've done in the last four windows," Martinez began. "There's a couple of areas we need to strengthen.

"But we've got terrific youngsters, experienced players and it's a perfect mix. We have the most exciting youngsters you are going to see in the league.

In addition to those players he had already deemed to be ready to join the senior squad on the Asia Trophy tour, Martinez has added the likes of Ryan Ledson, Jonjoe Kenny, Antonee Robinson and Joe Williams to the party.

The manager also explained that he expects Leighton Baines to have fully recovered from ankle surgery by the start of the new season which will have implications for Luke Garbutt. Baines has remained behind at Finch Farm this week along with Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady, Muhamed Besic and Bryan Oviedo to continue his rehabilitation but he should be ready for the opener against Watford in four weeks' time.

That will allow Martinez to send Garbutt out on loan this season, hopefully to another Premier League club, so that he can continue his development.

"We're looking forward to having the best years of Luke," Martinez said "Luke's technical ability is as good as it gets around Europe at his age but he needs to play to develop."

Depending on the results of the first two games of this week's tournament, Everton could face two Premier League sides in Singapore in the form of Stoke and Arsenal but while that familiarity will help prepare the side for the coming domestic campaign, the manager is more concerned about building fitness levels and getting his players accustomed again to the physical rigours of eleven-aside games.

"Pre-season is not about winning," he continued. "It is about getting the physical aspects. But there is something different when you come to a tournament like this.

"We are going to be heavily tested in the opening 10 games of the season. The focus is to be very cute in this pre-season."

For his part, Jagielka clearly has his sights on getting the Blues back into Continental competition.

"If you saw us walking around, it's a really happy camp at the moment and we're looking forward to this pre-season ahead," the skipper said. "I want to get back to playing European football sooner rather than later so that would be have to be the target this season."

 

Reader Comments (92)

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Steve Cotton
1 Posted 14/07/2015 at 07:34:07
Â’Pre-season is not about winningÂ’

Â’But weÂ’ve got terrific youngsters, experienced players and itÂ’s a perfect mix. We have the most exciting youngsters you are going to see in the league.Â’

Methinks he has been told to play down the fans expectations by Â’Boys pen" Bill.

Expect a journeyman and a loan player or two in. Transfer deadline day

Paul Kelly
2 Posted 14/07/2015 at 07:42:55
"We have the most exciting youngsters you are going to see in the league."

IÂ’ll leave him alone on this one and just hope heÂ’s right.

Mike Allison
3 Posted 14/07/2015 at 07:46:06
This is just a standard press conference to promote this tournament. Can we please avoid over-analysing everything he says in such a way as to simply confirm whatever we thought before hand anyway?

I know thereÂ’s not a right lot going on right now, but that doesnÂ’t make these press conferences particularly important.

We all know we need a couple of high quality players, but personally I always favour keeping stability in the squad, rather than constantly wanting to overhaul it.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 14/07/2015 at 07:49:47
So didnÂ’t we all just see that coming???

What happened to the perfect mix last season then??

It really just roughly translates "we are a fucking skint club and can no longer compete with mighty forces like Stoke or Crystal Palace let alone Tottenham who have long since left us behind".

The board are a disgrace at this club!!

We are the only club that does "blindfold football". Basically meaning we just close our eyes and just hope that somehow we are going to stumble over a winning formula and forget that this bunch were actually so bad last season.

Pathetic.

Already in typical Roberto fashion heÂ’s keeping the pressure off the young lads I see??

"Most exciting young players in the league"?.. They havenÂ’t done anything yet Robby, why canÂ’t you keep them under wraps and surprise people first rather than build us all up and then set these lads up for criticism if it goes pear shaped, for example Ross Barkley!!

FACT!!! We are skint.

Trevor Peers
7 Posted 14/07/2015 at 07:39:04
Oooops! Just when we thought Roberto might be learning some harsh lessons from last season, he comes out with this rash statement. WeÂ’ll see if his bold statement makes any sense after 10 games into the new season, which we have a particularly difficult start.

It looks like most of our rivals are spending freely to strengthen their squads. We need at least three new signings, but it looks like loan signings only... Will that be enough? I doubt it.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:05:25
We should be used to it by now with Everton Football Club Trevor.

I learnt a long time ago that standing still is our way of ambition.

Make no mistake the board will only be budgeting and planning to avoid another potential relegation battle this new season, in their eyes if we finish 11th or 12th again itÂ’s deemed success.

Craig Fletcher
9 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:01:38
ItÂ’s called giving the youngsters confidence and belief, Jim. Roberto is hardly going to say, "WeÂ’ve got a lot of untried young players in our squad who we may try out this pre-season. One or two may make it as Premier League footballers in their careers, but, as experience shows, the vast majority will not". Imagine hearing that when you are an aspiring 18-year-old footballer on your first first team pre-season... it would destroy you.

Young players need to be given confidence by their manager that they can compete at this level, even if it does sound a bit tacky in press conferences.

Joe Foster
10 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:11:27
"No more real signings, thatÂ’s yer lot, folks." -- rough RM translation.
Jim Bennings
11 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:20:49
He doesnÂ’t need to say anything about them yet though, Craig.

It had a bad reaction for Ross Barkley, believing heÂ’s now the "best young talent in Europe" and ever since the ladÂ’s stopped running and putting the effort in, heÂ’s strolled through too many games; you can say the same for "IÂ’d pay Â𧴜 million for Rom" Lukaku.

Sometimes in football itÂ’s better to let guys know there is always something they need to be better at and keep demanding more.

Our young players havenÂ’t really done anything at Premier League level whereas Spurs have Kane who HAS and the likes of Southampton over the last few seasons.

My advice is letÂ’s not make public to the world before they have even kicked a ball in anger.

James Stewart
12 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:29:06
Â’Perfect mixÂ’ for what? A relegation battle? A mid table finish? Maybe but certainly not for the top 6 that is for sure with the current squad.
Darren Bailey
13 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:32:09
I donÂ’t think thatÂ’s going to be the end of the spending. IÂ’m trying (really trying) to look at the positives in what Martinez is saying and how heÂ’s saying it. IÂ’m not his biggest fan but while heÂ’s our manager weÂ’ve got to try to support him and the team. Getting on their backs isnÂ’t going to do them any good, look at Barkley last season.

I think we do have a good bunch of younger players that could really bolster our squad and help the team over the next couple of seasons and Martinez is obviously looking in to that option by saying that heÂ’s willing to give them the chance to be in and around the 1st team.

As for the new players coming in, I think thereÂ’s still 3 more on their way. TheyÂ’re just not going to be Â㿈m players, thatÂ’s what heÂ’s saying. I expect a CB, Lennon and a loan (Januzaj could be a possibility with Man UtdÂ’s spending or Sergio Roberto). If Mirallas leaves, weÂ’ll replace him, maybe with Mertens.

Jim, yes, we are skint! In comparison to other clubs, weÂ’re being left behind on the financial side but thatÂ’s not MartinezÂ’s fault, heÂ’s working with what heÂ’s got and in all fairness we do have a decent squad -- a much better one than Stoke, Newcastle, West Ham and Palace. ItÂ’s just now up to Martinez to get them playing like they did in 2013-14.

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:49:39
Roberto, next time you talk to the media just say, "no comment" to any questions you are asked. The anguish your answers cause to some is most upsetting.
Andy Crooks
15 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:54:38
Changes can be made that cost nothing. Unfortunately Roberto appears not to have made a basic one. Stop spouting pointless, inane garbage.
Jim Bennings
17 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:57:11
A better squad than Stoke and Palace on paper but the game is played on grass and last season on grass those two totally outperformed ours.
Mark Pendleton
18 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:00:22
We invest a lot in our very highly regarded youth system. I for one would prefer we generated our own Â㿀m talent than sold the family silver to buy it in. Someone has to generate the talent and IÂ’d like it to be us.

Yes, it would be good to see us spent some cash to quickly reinforce certain areas but I wouldnÂ’t change our youth system. It is the envy of many a Club and we are right to give those kids hope that they can be given a chance.

Ian Jones
19 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:40:59
Jim

Re MartinezÂ’s comments

Â’We have the most exciting youngsters you are going to see in the leagueÂ’

Agree with you and others about going over the top about some of the young players and whilst giving them a chance and letting them gain confidence, it should be about keeping their feet on the ground.

Martinez did add Â’you are going to seeÂ’. You could argue that other clubs farm their youngsters out abroad or to other clubs in the divisions below so we never get to Â’seeÂ’ them!

Whilst not ignoring other aspects of the management of the club and definitely not simply accepting where we are as a club, I realise it is what it is and I am all for letting youngsters have a go.

The younger players are always the future of football and if we could manage to roll out 3-4 players every year who show potential and Â’settleÂ’ for selling them for a decent profit after a year or two with the knowledge that we have 3-4 decent young players coming through to take their place then that may have to be how it is until we get back to being one of the Â’topÂ’ clubs.

I am in my early 50s so no doubt younger than many of us on here. ItÂ’s sad to see the decline in our club over the last 30 or more years. And it could take 30 years to get back! Until Chelsea won the league again in 2005, it was 50 years since their previous title. I just hope we are not waiting until 2037 to see our next league title.

Steve Cotton
20 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:08:09
Mark,

The family silver was sold long ago, mate.

Training ground, Shirt sales potential, rights to Goodison... if it was there, Bill sold it... usually below value.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:08:36
We keep hearing a hell of a lot about this youth system at Everton but do we need to wake up and smell the coffee??

Have other clubs such as Southampton, Tottenham, Aston Villa, West Ham even the likes of Leeds not brought through as many if not more talent over the last decade?

Since Rooney all we have really brought through is Ross Barkley, Jack Rodwell (who has since proven to be nothing more than a journeyman) coupled with Leon Osman.

The smattering of other lads like Anichebe, Vaughan, Baxter havenÂ’t been good enough and IÂ’d also question other than central midfielders where is the variety in our young lads that come through?

Do we ever develop a lightening quick winger?

A goalkeeper?

Where is the new young pacy striker?

From what I gather, Ledson is another central midfielder, the others that are getting hyped up are defensive minded like Browning, (Galloway not one of our own products).

We need to have a look and see why there isnÂ’t more variety making it through the ranks.

Christopher Dover
22 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:13:54
I read Toffee Web every day and if RM spoke like most on here it would be the most demotivating talk in any league. I am not a universal supporter of some of the things he has said (to put it mildly) but what do you want?

The manager to say we are trying to sign x and y for z million on 20k a week, O dear someone else has signed him, I wonder why? So now we are after player x2 because if we donÂ’t sign him we will have a really crap team out next season.

The season has not started, he has signed two with we hope more to come, so please be a bit more positive and supportive at least until window closes; you can then say with certainty what has happened is rubbish if thatÂ’s your view.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:20:42
I agree mostly with the fans with positive attitudes on here. I think more players will come in, one who will excite and a couple of possible loan signings.

I donÂ’t think he has to praise the young players to the extent he does, he has these players with him every day and he can give them the confidence they need, quietly and at every opportunity he gets.

Let us wait and see how the rest of the pre-season goes before we all depress each other.

Bill Farmer
24 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:11:09
In simpler times, Harry Catterick found it unnecessary to say much about the merits of his players... unless, of course, they received criticism by fans or press... and then it was Â’Beware!Â’

But Roberto is of a different breed and always seems in awe of his players -- sometimes to an unrealistic degree. He is what he is -- a young manager with much to learn (that the players will always let him down for starters!) and is approaching only his third season at our club.

In many ways, the pronouncements of both Merseyside managers at this time sound remarkably similar. Unrealistic and in defiance of the truth. Dissembling rather than lying although itÂ’s a narrow margin!

Best to ignore these outpourings and, as they used to say, let the football do the talking. On that alone are all managers judged.

Brian Porter
25 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:27:46
Well, thatÂ’s it then, isnÂ’t it? Martinez even going on ESPN and saying thereÂ’ll be no major signings this summer. Even bloody Tim Howard there with him backing up his #1 fan, so obviously no new keeper folks.

While the Â’big clubsÂ’ like Crystal Palace, Stoke and West Ham strengthen their squads and their grip on the lower reaches of the top ten, we will be treading water with our Â’perfect mixÂ’ as we slowly descend into the lower half of the table.

Sorry to be negative, but Martinez’s "Champions League in four years" statement now looks like the biggest joke of the century! Any excitement we may have felt building up after the early signings of Del Boy and Cleverley has quickly dissipated to be replaced by that deja  vu feeling of having been here before.

We saw last season that there is no way the manager is suddenly going to throw even two or three of the youngsters he spoke about straight into regular first team slots. They might get the odd sub appearance as our old stagers stagger through another draining fight to avoid falling into the relegation zone.

Any hopes IÂ’d falsely harboured that Martinez had learned from the mistakes of last season have evaporated. Oh well, here we go again. Another season, yet more grey hairs with every game.

Brian Murphy
26 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:57:28
OK, I am officially plugging out of this for the rest of the transfer window and maybe the hole bloody season. If we cant muster up Â㿀 mill with the TV money we are getting to sign a couple of players then we are rightly fucked.

Whatever about a Number 10, we have no center-halves for Christ sake. Jags is 33 and no spring chicken. When you hit that age as a pro footballer it can all go down hill very quickly and the legs can go in a few months.

Stones is still a kid and learning so we need a quality experienced player, not a loan or a kid to play along side him. It also provides competition for places. IÂ’m sure both Jags and Stones were shiting themselves last year knowing that Alcaraz was chomping at their heels... NOT.

We truly are a shambles of a football club if this sound bite is to be believed. Great its only 10:00am and IÂ’m pissed off already. It normally takes until at least 11:15am.

Gerard Carey
27 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:06:09
The bit I donÂ’t like is, "Its not about winning". Even in pre season its good to win. A win against Arsenal especially would be good for confidence heading in to a tough start to the league.
Darren Bailey
28 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:12:38
Jim,

Of course they out-performed us last season, the majority of teams in the Premier League did. ThatÂ’s why I said it was up to Martinez to get them playing like they were two seasons ago. IÂ’d much prefer to have our squad with the potential it has than any of those other teams in and around us.

YouÂ’re right, it is on the grass that matters. WeÂ’ll come second in the Asia trophy, beaten by Arsenal in the final.

Varun Rajwade
30 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:29:12
The general tone of negativity here is both fatiguing and boring. What do you expect the manager to say in this situation - "My squad is not capable" or "Rom is a lazy fellow" or "the young players are not good enough"? He is paid to give them confidence (which he has done) and get them together into a winning combination (admittedly he did not do that last year).

Also frankly, our list of young players is really good: Under 25 we have Stones, Barkley, Lukaku, Deulofeu, Garbutt, McCarthy, Cleverley, Besic not to mention the young prospects. So why should he not have a sunny view of this?

Chris James
32 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:40:14
God itÂ’s depressing reading some of the dour idiocy spouted on these pages. I really donÂ’t think some of these guys are not happy unless we fail.

Martinez is in a press conference ahead of a pre-season tournament. Even if it wasnÂ’t his style, he has no option other than to be upbeat and talk up his team. The youth players in particular need to be bigger up and told they have a chance and that he believes in them. ItÂ’s called man-management.

At no point does he say anything about transfer plans, positive or otherwise, and I donÂ’t know why youÂ’d expect him to.

Judge him at the end of the window if you want but not right now. Only Man Utd seem to have completed their transfer moves this early (although De Gea / Ramos is still open) and they are the biggest brand in the football world with apparently limitless cash. Everyone else will be wheeler-dealing for the next month at least.

Jim Bennings
33 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:39:04
Brian

MartinezÂ’s ambitions that he had when first taking over of "getting you into the Champions League" have been curtailed by the Everton board and he now realises the confines of being Everton manager.

When we almost got 4th he attempted to recreate it by making Barry and Lukaku permanent deals... maybe you canÂ’t blame him but he didnÂ’t deal with more pressing matters; the defence was beginning to look problematic at the end of that first season in charge and it continued last season throughout mostly.

Now, because we are further down the table, the money we are told is clearly not there in abundance (another reason why I was irate at losing to Spurs on the last day, cost us that place as Palace nicked 10th, shouldÂ’ve been ours).

The Champions League is a distant memory for Everton Football Club now, Brian; notice itÂ’s now "I want to be playing in Europe again soon"?

Chris James
34 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:46:21
Actually, hang on... RM did actually say directly heÂ’s still chasing a couple of targeted acquisitions. He point blank said heÂ’s still in the market!!!!! In a press conference. The same one youÂ’re whinging about!

How the hell can you interpret that as Bobby has said thereÂ’s no more activity/cash?

You people! IÂ’d really hate to be in the inside out version of your head. No joy at all, just a stream of sadness, anger and bitterness.

Chris James
35 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:51:47
You donÂ’t work for the daily mail by any chance do you, Jim?

If not, I think there might be a job opportuinity for you in the Everton-bashing dept.

Trevor Peers
36 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:51:02
Varun #30 Personally IÂ’d have much more respect for Roberto if he slagged the owners off for lack of transfer funds. But then heÂ’s being paid a huge salary not to do just that.

Andrew Ellams
37 Posted 14/07/2015 at 10:57:24
This whole concept of the transfer window has distorted everybodyÂ’s view of what happens every summer. There will be transfers happening everyday until the window shuts and probably most teams in the PL will buy somebody. This idea that everybody dives in and does all of their business by the time the players are back in training is nonsense.
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:01:15
Chris, Andrew etc....too much common sense written by both of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves!!!
Fran Mitchell
40 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:05:57
Oh christ, the curse of too much time.

We all check te Everton news day-to-day, but as there is no football going on we have to distract ourselves with transfers.

We have to dissect every bleeding interview and find secret codes.

Did you notice that if you play jags comments backwards it heÂ’s actually calling for help.

Martinez gave a press conference, something that will be part of the agreement when it comes to doing this tour. He gets asked questions.

Is he going to say who he is trying to sign, no of course not. Is he going to talk positively about our squad, well yes he will.

And he is right, we do have a good blend of experinced pros and young wannabes, so stop the bellyaching.

Other clubs are not spending left, right and centre. I imagine all other fan forums have fans saying the same thing. Most transfers get done closer to August, always have and always will.

He has just given an interview where he said he wants to strenghten in a couple of areas i.e. He wants to buy some players.

Now he says he thinks we have a good team (which is true) and you interpret that as saying Â’weÂ’re broke, thatÂ’s your lot folksÂ’.

Andrew Ellams
41 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:13:56
Sorry, Colin... how about: "I canÂ’t believe Billy Bullshit hasnÂ’t re-re-mortgaged his house and purchased the entire FIFA Team of the Year. RM is Spanish so he must know half of them personally, pull your fingers out!!!"
Fran Mitchell
43 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:15:23
Also, while Martinez is in Singapore, I certainly do hope his focus is 100% on the players we have.

Focus on the training, the fitness, the positioning, the ball control and not him looking at the transfer list every 5 minutes and thinking only of what we need.

I imagine we have a shortlist, and that BK and Co are currently in charge of this area while Martinez gets the troops ready.

Paul Tran
44 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:10:52
We can gnash our teeth at the horror of Martinez saying positive things about some young players, or we could ask him the simple, telling question, "You say you love Â’em, Roberto, will you ever play them?"

Bill Farmer makes some good points about The Catt, Martinez and Rogers. The thing is, in The CattÂ’s era, we didnÂ’t have these websites where Evertonians come on every five minutes fretting that we havenÂ’t spent millions on players that we know very little about. WeÂ’d wait for the picture to appear in the Echo, then wonder how good/bad he would be.

Simpler times, indeed. I suspect thereÂ’s plenty going on behind the scenes and despite our boardÂ’s best efforts, thereÂ’ll be a couple of additions coming.

Of course, we can make this summer simpler by ignoring all the press speculation and waiting for the photo, but I guess some people need to get their boots/excuses in early!

Paul Cherrington
45 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:30:38
To be fair, for RM, this press conference actually makes some sense! Just wait until he gets really warmed up for the season proper...
Colin Glassar
46 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:34:35
IÂ’m with you, Andrew. We have Â’madeÂ’ enquiries about Dann, Obinnga, Ayew, Vidic, Roberto etc... so we are hardly sitting on our hands are we?

Players have the final say on where they will play so all we can do in the meantime is hope that some of our targets come to fruition. IÂ’m still certain 2-3 new players will be in by the time the window has closed.

Andrew Ellams
47 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:51:47
I donÂ’t want to see us go down the same road as the RS even if we had that sort of money to spend. Now that they have the Sterling money is coming in they will keep buying and will probably have brought in 15-20 players since they finished 2nd. That is never going to work.

We need to make some improvements this year and slowly replace the over 30s over the next couple of years. The last thing we need is half a new team that donÂ’t know each other settling in, especially with the first 10 games that we have coming up.

Chris Thornton
48 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:47:55
Speaking of simpler times and Harry Catterick, in the mid-1960s, when the 1963 Championship side had declined and was being broken up, Catterick used to speak glowingly of the players coming through the youth system (Harvey, Husband, Hurst, Royle etc) and promised better times ahead.

The dour Catterick wasnÂ’t as hyperbolic as Martinez of course, but Roberto seems to have similar belief in some of our young players. It would be nice if Barkley, Ledson, Walsh, Dowell, etc could emulate their 1960s predecessors.

Jim Knightley
49 Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:37:07
I donÂ’t think there is anything bad about what Martinez has just said; he is a positive manager, we know that, and we need to get used to that. Just as Moyes was a dour manager, Martinez is his antithesis. Last season, it drove us mad because we were unsuccessful. If we find form and fulfill our potential this season, the positivism wonÂ’t be so offensive.

I also find Jim Bennings apoplexy pretty funny, and completely misinformed. I find it interesting that we can no longer compete with Stoke. I see what Jim means, of course -- the brilliant Stoke have signed Wollschied permanently, an average Joselu, brought in... Shay Given and Ginkel on loan. They also lost arguably the best two players at the club in Nzonzi and Begovic, and have not made MosesÂ’s deal permanent.

But you are right, Jim -- we canÂ’t compete with a Stoke team who look weaker now than they did 2 months ago. ItÂ’s just because they bid for Shaqiri, isnÂ’t it, Jim? Because it canÂ’t be anything but that. They bid for a Shaqiri who is clearly not what we need. And Palace have signed Cabaye and only Cabaye. He is a great player, but he is fundamentally a central midfielder. Do we need another centre mid, Jim? Or do we need a creative attacking mid?

Do you think about what your write Jim, or does the rage do it for you?

Martinez has mentioned 2 players again. He has mentioned them before -- the CB and the No 10. I expect 3 players to move to the club before the window is done -- a senior CB, a creative player, and a third attacking player on loan. I think that McGeady and Pienaar may go. I also think that Deulofeu is one of the coups of the window, and IÂ’d prefer him to any of the wonderful signings Stoke have made (although I think Van Ginkel has a.lot of potential).

I also think that some of what Martinez says is right. We do have a wonderful young core at this club - the best young contingent in recent memory. Stones, Lukaku, Deulofeu, McCarthy, Garbutt, Oviedo, Galloway, Robles, Besic, Cleverley and Barkley are all 25 or under. I think there are many reasons to be hopeful, and I feel that we would be hopeful if we didnÂ’t have Martinez in charge.

IÂ’ve made my criticisms on him clear, stretching back to my foreboding comments during last preseason, and IÂ’m not confident he can take us forward. But I feel less pessimistic than last season because I feel that he has learnt from that pre-season debacle, and from beginning a season with some players at unacceptable fitness levels.

I think that we will actually have a better season this year, and IÂ’m not ready to claim we are a worse team than Stoke or Palace because we have not finished above them one in one horrible season when we also played in Europe. I think that the previous decade is probably more representative.

But Jim is probably right. We canÂ’t complete with the ever improving Stoke and Palace? And we should have done all our business by now, like Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea have. I canÂ’t believe weÂ’ve missed out on so many gems, and now in mid July, we are looking at a woefully empty transfer market lacking the players we need to take this club forward. I wish we had followed the clearly effective Liverpool strategy, of buying players early and for the right amount before anyone else gets a chance to get to them.

Pre-season is not a time for patience.

Chris James
50 Posted 14/07/2015 at 12:00:03
I agree with you Andrew, you canÂ’t just replace the first team each year and expect it to work. Some players work out, some donÂ’t, almost all take time to get to the pace of the PL/playing style of new club and gelling a team is an ongoing process.

The whole principle of adding 2-3 a year to try and improve (and refresh you, maybe some loan punts) makes absolute sense for me.
Doubly so when money is an object.

So far I think weÂ’ve definitely improved the squad and the players who have gone were basically either at the end of their careers (Distin) or not good enough (IÂ’d love to hear a rewriting of history on Alcaraz by some of the whingers). Do we want/need more? Totally, itÂ’s abundantly clear central defence needs cover and I think weÂ’ll get 2 more in at least (maybe another 1 or 2 on loans). Personally wouldnÂ’t hate to see either Shaqiri or Lennon plus a decent central defender (maybe the guy from Celtic partly mitigated with swap for McGeady who still has potential but seems to fold too easily for me under pressure).

Darren Bailey
51 Posted 14/07/2015 at 12:14:11
Jim Knightley #49 - Brilliant post mate. What I was trying to say earlier on but in a much more straight forward way. Totally agree.
Colin Glassar
52 Posted 14/07/2015 at 12:46:15
I suppose we will see just how far ahead of us Stoke are tomorrow.
Milos Milenkovic
53 Posted 14/07/2015 at 12:03:16
I think that most important question is in which formation we are going to play and to make it totally clear, are we going to play with only one defensive midfielder?

If we are going to buy more players. it would be crucial to know where are they going to play, instead of whom and how will that reflect on the team.

At the moment, 4-3-3 looks most attractive with:

1. Howard
2. Coleman 5. Stones 6. Jagielka 3. Baines/Oviedo
4. McCarthy/Besic/Gibson
8. Cleverley 10. Barkley
7. Deulofeu 9. Lukaku 11. Mirallas

Andrew Ellams
54 Posted 14/07/2015 at 13:03:04
Totally agree, Milos. But what I am wondering is that if he does bring in his No 10, them we will surely play 4-2-3-1. How then does he fit all of Besic, Barkley, McCarthy, Barry, Gibson, Cleverley and Osman in? We canÂ’t afford to be paying that many players to be sitting on their backsides, week-in and week-out. You could probably add Naismith to that list too.
Denis Richardson
56 Posted 14/07/2015 at 13:43:00
Jim B - the club is not skint. You only have to look at the last set of accounts, and weÂ’re going to get even more TV money in the next few years. We made a profit of around 㿊M last year, this will be higher this year (TV money).

Where the cash we have is going is the question to ask and not why we donÂ’t have any cash (which we do!).

I hope (may be demented) that cash is being stored to sort out the stadium.... I can dream, I guess.

Raymond Fox
57 Posted 14/07/2015 at 12:58:05
We all support Everton; we should understand by now that our chance to finish in the top 4 is slim indeed. Why? Because the Premier League each season amounts to a competition of who can afford the better players.

ThatÂ’s obviously not us with the present ownership, so letÂ’s set realistic targets.By all means try for the top 4, but letÂ’s not start frothing at the mouth if we finish 7th or 8th!

ThatÂ’s a very decent side that Milos has posted, plus we have some promising young players in the squad who need to be blooded.

IÂ’m resigned to the fact that we are never going to spend ourselves above the usual top 6, our only chance is to produce our own stars. They should be given plenty of game time this season; if we lose the odd game because of their inexperience, so be it!

Bill Farmer
58 Posted 14/07/2015 at 13:53:28
Denis at 56; All the cash will be accounted for but the difficulty will be in locating the headings. The CEO is obliged to answer shareholdersÂ’ questions but do they know the right ones to ask?

If net debt was down to 㿀M last year, it should almost have disappeared this time round although I suspect that the BVI loans will be in place for many years to come.

Why?Â’ Because of punitive redemption feesÂ’ will be the official answer. Some on this forum may think otherwise !

Denis Richardson
59 Posted 14/07/2015 at 14:13:00
Bill - the Â’net debtÂ’ should turn into a Â’net assetÂ’ this year. I.e. we have more assets than liabilities simply put. Whether the actual debt owed will be paid down/off is another matter.

Re the BVI loans, my undertanding is that these are all 12 month loans that are rolled over (and increased in size) every year. Hence there should not be any redemption fees payable - just simply pay them off and stop taking them out again...We had 21m of these in May last year, repaid them in August and then took out a new BVI loan immediately after. Same as the last x years.

Increases in wages will bite into the increased TV revenues but since the net transfer spend has not been that high (so far), itÂ’s soon going to get to the stage where people will be (rightly) wondering what all the sky TV money is going to be used for. E.g. the 2014 accounts show that on top of being owed 32m we also had 18m in cash. (Why the 21m BVI loans where taken out again when we have 18m sitting in cash?) Obvioulsy none of us have a cash flow/plan for the club and maybe the 18m was gone soon after....wtf knows?

Either way, with the massive sky money, if weÂ’re not paying out large transfer fees or significantly paying down debt, then the cash is going to have to go somewhere.....I donÂ’t expect Â’other operating costsÂ’ to suddenly mushroom to 50m+!

Denis Richardson
60 Posted 14/07/2015 at 14:27:40
Back to the OP - itÂ’s disappointing to hear this usual crap from Martinez. Whilst most other clubs are saying theyÂ’ll be improving their squads this summer by investing relatively heavily, we come out with the usual Â’we happy with what weÂ’ve gotÂ’ bollocks, just using different words.

It wasnÂ’t anywhere good enough last year, we need a significant increase in creativity, pace and defensive quality this year (as well as a dose of proper footballing tactics).

I hope this is more Martinez giving a mesage to selling clubs that weÂ’re not depserate as opposed to the tried and tested party line to dampen the expectations of fans. Only time will tell but we DO have cash to spend!

Nr 10, CB and striker please.

Colin Williams
61 Posted 14/07/2015 at 14:07:14
Good start by Robbie introducing the best u21s into the fold. ( great decision, hope your brave enough to play them)

IÂ’m more concerned about keeping the over 30....dead -wood players that will make no positive impact on our season, fact, all they do is- stop the progess of our younger talented players who could be ready to grow into top players.

We do have a very talented youth system... So letÂ’s USE IT!
Be "proud "of them and develop our own talent. I am more worried about "some "of the older players Robbie has kept, some on long contracts they recently signed...."they" will slow the progress down of our younger players due to Robbie giving places on the bench/ team to them (obligated)....again more opportunities lost to develop our talent.

Many of these older players are prone to chronic injuries that never really leave them due to age. (Another reason to play the younger lads) These players are not good enough (now!) and maybe- never have been good enough!

Paul Thompson
63 Posted 14/07/2015 at 15:22:12
Comparisons to the Catterick era in some of the above posts are interesting, but not really relevant. He didnÂ’t say much because he wasnÂ’t asked much . We now have a 24 hour news cycle and the bloody internet. This monster has top be fed and a fair number of those words are going to be banal and repetitive. Criticism of the players who are rolled out to spout this stuff is pointless and unfair. Managers are slightly different. Martinez makes the process work by his hyperbollock statements. Yes, all managers will want to emphasise the positive, but Â’the perfect mixÂ’?!
Ray Robinson
65 Posted 14/07/2015 at 15:50:45
IÂ’m all for positivity from a manager but I draw the line at bullshit. We clearly do not have a "perfect mix", we only have one recognised forward for a start (and a underperforming one at that!)

Roberto reminds me of Meatloaf with his "to the end of the world - and beyond", "IÂ’ll do anything - but I wonÂ’t to that" lyrics and Alexander ArmstrongÂ’s sugary "Two fantastic answers there!" on Pointless, when they were both wrong!

IÂ’d rather heÂ’d said "we have a reasonable / promising mix". Semantics I know but itÂ’s phenomenally annoying listening to the unsubstantiated hyperbole all the time. It devalues any positivity because nobody believes it!

I remain always a Blue - to the end of time and beyond.

Jim Lloyd
66 Posted 14/07/2015 at 15:49:08
DidnÂ’t Martinez envisage that he hoped to have two bits of business completed right at the beginning of the window and two or three more at the end (or near it)

He made a point of talking about having to look on the Continent for a No 10, as he didnÂ’t think there were enough good English players in that position.

Although weÂ’ve been linked with lots of players in the papers including the Daily Kop/Mirror, it doesnÂ’t mean to say that we are intent on buying any of them. As far as the automatic criticism of Martinez goes, I find it pathetic. The man has done two good pieces of business by getting Deulofeu and Cleverly in, and has convinced Garbutt to stay. I will wait and see, but in my view, Martinez would love to get the player heÂ’s looking for, to become the Midfield Maestro. Whether there is such a player of sufficient quality out there is one thing. Whether this Board will sanction anything like sufficient funds, to buy such a player, is another. In my view, it is much more likely that our manager will not get the money, more than our manager saying he is happy with the squad he has.

Yep, weÂ’ve got some good young players coming through an Stones looks like he could be the future England Captain, Coleman, Besic, McCarthy, Garbutt have all looked good, Cleverley and Deulofeu will add to the balance of lowering the teamÂ’s age. Early days yes, but Conor McAleny looks to be a really intelligent player, so although "the Perfect Mix" might be a bit effusive, it is a good mix. And, if the Board donÂ’t provide the mazuma, it might be the only mix.

As for Catterick, he couldnÂ’t wait to get rid of Johnny CareyÂ’s players and introduce an all English team, is what I heard.

Jay Harris
67 Posted 14/07/2015 at 15:46:52
My concern is in MF where we have Barry, Pienaar, Ossie and Gibson all with old legs and incapable of 90 minutes throughout the season.

We have lost the goals and box to box play of Fellaini and replaced it with a defensive mid who hardly gets in the opposing area.

The only regular goal threat other than Lukaku we have is Mirallas and Naismith.

That for me is a fundamental problem that needs addressing asap.

Jay Harris
68 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:15:14
Jim, you couldn't be more wrong.

Catterick had a mix of Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English players that played some of the finest football I have witnessed at Everton in 55 years of watching them.

Alex Young, Alex Scott, Alex Parker, Mick Meagan, Roy Vernon all played a major part in EFC's successful side of the 60s.

Jim Lloyd
69 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:25:48
I don't think I am Jay. I've been blessed by watching the Golden Vision, Royston, Tommy Ring, Bobby Collins, Alex Parker, Jimmy Gabriel, Chico in some of the best football played in England. But the Cat got rid of them all (except for Tommy Ring who bust his leg... what a player).

The Cat started by selling Bobby Collins and buying Dennis Stevens. A decent lad, but couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo. Whereas Bobby went to Leeds and galvanised that team into League Championship contenders.

I think when we won the Football League trophy in 1970, we had all Englishmen... except for Sandy Brown.

Anyway Jay, I just had a detestation of Catterick, so maybe I'm a bit biased. I feel sure though, that we should have become Kings of Europe, not the other shower over the Park.

I'll agree with you though, on the football in the sixties, up to about 68 was pure magic, and we were lucky lucky lads!

Dave Ganley
70 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:27:01
Said it before and I'll say it again, we do have good players but, if Martinez doesn't get rid of his sterile, slow, dull to boring keep ball tactics, then it won't matter who we buy/sell/have on the field at any one time, the end result will be the same as last season, woeful!!

Brian Cleveland
71 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:46:50
As Shakespeare said "Much ado about nothing".... stop trying to read something into everything.... let them get on with it and we'll see if the football does the talking for them soon enough...

After reading the comments of some of the posters (who shall remain nameless because I don't want to get into an argument), my only comment is "pass me the rusty razor blades, quick...."

Bill Farmer
72 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:55:51
Jay, unlike you, I always admired the Catt and his sixties teams but would have to admit that the April 1961 news of 'Gentleman Johnny' Carey's sacking was one of the saddest points in my life as an Evertonian.

And didn't we all let Moores know it during that win against Cardiff? If ever there was such a thing, Carey's was the perfect mix!

Luke Berry
73 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:14:44
I don't understand the frustration. We have always had to compete with the likes of Spurs or RS regularly WITHOUT their finances and you know what? We do alright. Last season smarted, it was terrible for all of us, but we have a clear run at the league and just the two cups to worry about. This young, fresh squad will have a real go this season.

What got us down was Roberto's unfailing optimism in the face of a lack of preparation pre-season, and the fact that we knew the squad was too light to fight on four fronts. Keep the faith lads, we've got a great squad for the coming season.

Jim Lloyd
76 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:19:37
Bill, it's me who didn't like the Catt. I think Jay was writing in support of him. But whatever, we were all lucky to see such wonderful football and to see us beat Spurs at home, with Alex outjumping Bill Laurie, and I think, Maurice Norman, then planting the ball right in the Gwladys St net...magical and the roof came off.

I agree with you about the sacking of Johnny Carey. I would have loved to see him complete his job and I think we would have just had a magic team. Sorry about going "off message for a while" but I live in hope we might see something vaguely similar once again.

To get back to Martinez. I think there's a lot of unfair criticism thrown his way. Yep, last season was poor at times and occasionally dire. but I think there were a number of circumstances that combined to make it a lot harder to replicate the first season, not least the number of long term injuries we had. I also think it was a steep learning curve for Martinez.

However, he showed me in the first season, that we have a manager who enjoys free flowing football. This coming season will show more whether he has learnt how to combat the stopping tactics of other teams.

More than anything though, I look to what the Board supplies in the way of Financial support. I'm not good at Maths but we seemed to get a lot of Sky money last season and a lot this season and spent very little of it. If the club don't supply the funds the we are going to be a mid table team for the foreseeable. I hope we get a couple of top (decent!) players in near the end of the window. I think, however, that just like Moyes with his bargain basement buys Roberto Martinez will have to do the same.

Andy Crooks
78 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:47:20
Chris James, I think you should reconsider your opening paragraph of post 32. I don't rate Martinez, I think his performance last season was utterly inept. I think he should have been sacked and I think he talks endless Pollyanna shite. You disagree with me. However, I will not be happy if we fail and I would ask you to name any Evertonian on this site who who will.

Pete Edwards
79 Posted 14/07/2015 at 18:09:44
Jim B you absolute bundle of joy and optimism you!! Hope you don't have a cat!
Harold Matthews
80 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:23:38
Sky Sports have just screened a Stoke goal against us last season, when Garbutt was 20 yards out of position and Jags, McCarthy, Stones and other blue shirts stood like zombies as Moses plonked a free header past Howard. A perfect example of players completely losing focus and turning their backs on a throw-in after Naismith, McCarthy and Garbutt tried to get tough with a Stoke lad near the corner flag. Amateur night out.

Yes, we may have a good mix but without well coached professional discipline we might as well not turn up.

Andy Crooks
84 Posted 14/07/2015 at 19:07:27
Harold, good post. I respect your tactical nous. I recall last season at one stage you despaired of Martinez. Then, like many, you accepted we were stuck with him. What's your view now? Do you seen any sign that the tactical ineptitude you refer to will be gone?

In my view, I accept there is time yet but Martinez looks like Kenwright's man through and through. Safe job, keep us safe, don't rock the boat, big up everything.

I have absolutely no idea what will happen this season... in fact, I am more perplexed than I have been in many years. I really hope Roberto will have me eating humble pie.


Steven Jones
85 Posted 14/07/2015 at 18:59:11
Really good RM interview.

He talked up the youth and has taken a few more on the way; compared to 12 months ago, I can see Galloway and Browning making the grade in defence -- they are England internationals and good additions to the squad. Last season, RM blooded Stones and got him playing really well and for England.

RM has bought two classy internationals already and there is not a more exciting player out there for me than Deulofeu.

Key point to learn for all the doomsday merchants is that if we can blood four youngsters each pre-season and two make it and are able to replace the likes of Hibbert and Osman, then we can have more money, eg, the 㿈M for 1 perhaps two good signings each year. The loanees and the Bosmans are then added onto that.

RM will bring in a LCB and a Number 10. Gibson will be like a new signing!

Our youth system is beginning to produce regular assets for the squad. Ledson and Kenny are the next ones.

Andy Crooks
86 Posted 14/07/2015 at 19:21:02
Steven, perhaps I am one of the "doomsday merchapts", you refer to. I admire your optimism and at the start of each season I normally share it.

I like our two new signings but I do not think they are, at present, "classy internationals".Galloway and Browning might or might not make the grade.

Can you name two of our youth players over the last ten years who have come through each season? I agree with you that it is a possible way forward but it is not happening. Martinez will stick to his favourites and I believe he is not "the throw the kids in" man you want.

Jon Cox
87 Posted 14/07/2015 at 19:44:51
Pete E (79)

Jim B has always said it as it is. I've got a budgie, and get this, I love budgies, especially on toast! (The bones are just part and parcel of the enjoyment)

RM is a bullshitter. You're either in the camp that Swoooons, or the one that questions his rhetoric.

Either way, Jim B always has something to say with value, so slag him off at your peril mate..

ps: Talking about eating, the truth is always a bit difficult to swallow.. yeah?

Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 14/07/2015 at 19:39:57
Jim (76), I usually enjoy your posts, surprised you didn't like Catterick, best manager ever for me, but it's all about opinions.

We finished near the bottom one season under Johnny Carey, I enjoyed the football the team played under the Irishman, but felt he was too soft with the players, but have to admit he was a real gentleman.

I would love to see his record in away matches in one particular season, maybe we won only two matches that year.

By the way, Jim, Maurice Norman never played in the game you refer to and Bill Brown was in goal but it was over fifty years ago.

James Stewart
89 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:10:58
@78 Andy I think your right. Post 32 is out of order. No-one wants to see us fail. Just because some of us are not drinking the Martinez coolade it doesn't make us desire failure.

I simply don't rate Martinez at all. His tactics were amateur hour last season and he is too one-dimensional to turn it around

Geoffrey Risebrow
90 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:29:40
Any idea who these 2-3 players might be Colin?
Pete Edwards
91 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:34:40
Jon, no-one can deny what I said is wrong! Just read the posts back! So slagging off I'm not so sure (don't be so touchy but I am sorry if I offended your friend!)... observing yes!

Not too sure either why because Jim says something it has value but Martinez who works with the players and manages them day-in and day-out is a bullshiter, I find that logic strange.

And for the record, I'm in neither of your camps; my opinions and thoughts can and do change on the team and manager depending on what I see happening on the pitch. I guess that's human nature, we're all different. I'll praise when things go well but critisize when they don't. It's not just Everton, it's Everton and football, it's meant to mess with you!!

Harold Matthews
92 Posted 14/07/2015 at 19:51:59
Yes Andy. Like you I'm a bit perplexed. After gradually going against Martinez I decided to support him. Now I'm not too sure. I know he's stumped by lack of funds but has managed to land two very decent players with a promise of more to come as the window closes. All good stuff. I hope they include a couple of mature no-nonsense real men. Apart from Barry and Gibson, the rest are either too nice or too reckless.

Galloway and McAleny are interesting youngsters but the rest will go out on loan. Browning may get a pre-season run-out because he strips fit from the Austrian tour but he had one or two poor games with the U21s.

Don't look at the Barry interview if you fancy our chances in the up-coming Singapore tournament. He's dreading it. The thought of the heat was killing him before he even boarded the plane.

Geoffrey Risebrow
93 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:52:19
I totally agree with Chris James. There are some simply ridiculous things being said on here! I wouldn't go along with what he said about the fans wanting The Mighty Toffees to fail but I know what he is getting at. I don't rate the manager anymore but I want Everton to be successful above everything else. The negativity doesn't help.
Paul Burns
94 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:56:59
To say that "we have always had to compete with Spurs and Liverpool without their finances" is absolutely incorrect. Everton were once the bank of England club and have broke the transfer record on many occasions.
Geoffrey Risebrow
95 Posted 14/07/2015 at 21:04:27
At least Pete Edwards is talking common sense.

We all know that Jim knows better than Roberto!

I find Jon's comments staggering! Whether you rate the manager or not, calling him a bullshitter is unfair in my opinion and saying Jim tells it like it is doesn't make him right! I think everybody has the right to decide whether Jim always says something with value! Do we not live in a democracy?

By the way Jon, what is the truth? You seem to know more than everybody?

Geoffrey Risebrow
97 Posted 14/07/2015 at 21:21:41
Chris James is a class act! Well said, sir.

Great post Andrew Ellams. People obviously think we should have already signed 5 players!

Is Jim Bennings' real name Scrooge?

Jon Cox
101 Posted 14/07/2015 at 21:50:02
Geof, 95,

Oh dear, I've tickled the funny bone.

For Jim to chat and call RM a bullshitter is what makes it a complete democracy. Problems with that, or is it that, when someone says something that you don't agree with, you come all over democratic? Remember the GDR? I'm just sayin' Jim can say what he wants. I'm happy with that just as you can say what you want.

I agree with everything Jim says, just like Andy and Eugene. So what?

We, with this manger, are going nowhere at the speed of light. He was rubbish, he is rubbish, and will continue to be rubbish till he is eventually disposed of like a certain guy who goes by the name of Mike Walker.

And, sometimes certain people have never seen it before and sometimes certain people have seen it all before... Gordon Lee etc etc.

Which category do you think I fall into?

No problem mate, I'm sure Season No 3 will be

Ultra Phenomumbledim... (Jolly nice chap!)

Eddie Dunn
102 Posted 14/07/2015 at 22:12:25
During the last few weeks of relative silence, my hopes for the new season have increased, and I watched the second half of the Swindon game and was very impressed, particularly with Galloway and McAleny, but also with Lukaku and Mirallas. I have high hopes for Cleverley and fingers crossed for Deullofeu, but we could do with a centre-half to shore things up.

However, I don't like these long-distance pre-season tours, and I don't like our manager feeling that he has to wax lyrical about the squad, in order to sell the tournament to the great Singaporean public. Has Mark Hughes done the same?

Geoffrey Risebrow
103 Posted 14/07/2015 at 22:44:18
Hello Jon.

I am not saying Jim isn't entitled to his opinion and I don't doubt you have been watching The Mighty Toffees a lot longer than me.

I don't rate Roberto anymore than you do but calling him a bullshitter is not right in my opinion.

I was right to say we live in a democracy because you were arguing that we should all agree with Jim Bennings! I rest my case.

Sorry, his name is Mr Scrooge!

Jim Lloyd
104 Posted 14/07/2015 at 23:27:48
Dave (88) Thanks Mate.

I hope you'll forgive the memory loss. I remember painting the pic of Alex outjumping 3 (or was it 2!! I told you the memory was going!) Spurs players and nodding in... wonderful. I just do have a dislike of Catterick and it may well be irrational. Still, what no-one can argue about is the wonderful football we played for a few years in the sixties. We were lucky, mate.

As for our chances now, I think Martinez can bring about a good, footballing attractive side. I think he has lots to learn but the main drawback I see, is the lack of funding any manager of EFC has to put up with. I think the chances of us making the top four though, is remote and maybe the top six will be a struggle. I see us maybe being able to brake into the top six but it will just get harder and harder unless substantial funds are made available for the team building.

But, with the young players we have, and more coming through, I'm looking for this season to be a big improvement on last season.

Jay Harris
105 Posted 15/07/2015 at 04:28:06
Jim,

I didn't really see the Carey days as my regular visits to GP only started about the same time as Catterick's appointment but my dad always spoke well of Carey and the football we played under him. He also credited Carey with a number of the good players Catterick inherited.

I have seen a number of poor managers since but for me the worst appointment had to be our current man. For a top 6 side with CL ambitions to appoint a manager who constantly flirted with relegation and then had his side relegated with a record number of goals against was a very poor decision for me. IMO we should have gone out and headhunted the world's best and the "Blue's greatest salesman" should have delivered that.

I will hold my breath this season and get behind the team as always but remain particularly concerned about our MF and the lack of goals therein. We have Pienaar, Gibson, Osman and Barry all on their last legs and we swapped our leading goalscorer and only box-to-box MF player for a defensive mid, who rarely gets in the opposition box, and a bag of cash to go down Bill's sofa.

I also have little faith in Barkley and Cleverley who to me are very average MF players although Barkley does have "potential".

Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 15/07/2015 at 09:07:11
Jim (#104), I also thought Norman played that day until I learned otherwise on ToffeeWeb, that Tony Marchi was the centre half that day.

Jay, yes you, and your dad, are correct, Catterick did use many players signed by Carey: Parker, Gabriel, Young and Vernon were all signed by Johnny Carey and were part of the 1963 Championship team.

Bobby Collins and the marvellous Tommy Ring were also signed by the Irishman.

Ian Jones
107 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:55:43
As always there will be as many for Roberto as against but remember he is only in his early 40s. He has plenty time to come good.

Last year, I was amazed at some of his comments after games etc. I would rather he told it how it is but I think now I will just be amused by them.

Alex Ferguson was a bit older when he started at Man Utd having learnt his trade as it were at a few Scottish clubs and won a few things including a European trophy whilst in Scotland. Different times. Different circumstances. We perhaps expect too much too soon these days.

Granted, some of the football and effort displayed last season bordered on the pathetic but new season awaits so why not start the season afresh. The first season was fun. Let us hope the third is great.

Give everyone a chance.

The squad is a decent one, and a good mix. Perhaps not perfect.

If the younger players coming through are as good as the club think they are, then it would be good to see them. Let them make errors.

Given the money being spent by other teams this year, a top 4 place could be an uphill task but a 5th place and top of the rest is totally doable.

It's not always about money. Work ethic, spirit, luck plays a part as well as tactics and players available. Injuries also affect the situation but all clubs will suffer from injuries to key players. There was much inferred last year about disharmony at the club and how perhaps certain players affected morale. Whether individual players had gripes with management, the tactics played or whatever other reasons, we will probably never know until they sell their life-stories etc.

I always refer back to Greece when they won the European Championship in 2004. Not the greatest squad of players assembled but amongst many things, team spirit and defensive discipline helped them over the line.

I may just have lost any readers of this when I mentioned defensive discipline.. ...that's probably an area we could improve!


Bill Farmer
108 Posted 15/07/2015 at 09:39:43
Jim, although I have been following our club ever since the end of WW2, apart from Billy Bingham who was a neighbour, I don't think I've ever met an Everton manager face to face. All I know is that Johnny Carey always came over in the press as a really nice guy -- both during and after his time with us. And he could certainly spot a great player -- witness the names mentioned above!

Catterick, on the other hand, always seemed solemn and spoiling for a fight with the media of the time and the 'Blackpool incident' did nothing to improve his low regard for us spectators. But to most of us his grumpy demeanour meant nothing as compared to the teams he turned out for most of his lengthy stay. How magical were those 1970 Champions!

Coming up to date, it matters not one jot how Martinez expresses his enthusiasm for his players. Yes, he 'gilds the lily' but each of us has their own views and is free to agree with him or otherwise. What counts are the results his players achieve. Whilst it has become common place to praise managers for success and blame owners for failure that is far too simplistic and he and his ilk will continue to stand or fall on league positions.

All those years ago, Moores sacked Carey because he could only get us to 5th; now I suspect 10th will be seen as good enough. Not for us, 'in the crowd', of course, because we still cling to the hope that the glory years will soon return. What this manager SAYS is totally irrelevant!

Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 15/07/2015 at 11:03:23
Very true Bill, but how many people would take 11th and a trophy?

Ian, I thought we played with a lot of defensive discipline when we beat Man Utd at Goodison.

All the best teams defend from the front, it takes the pressure off the men in behind. It's something we have to do every game though, and not just every few weeks.

Ciaran Duff
111 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:58:37
I think we do have a very good mix of players and a good batch of young players either established in the team or coming through. What we really need is a No 10 (or new Pienaar) and a proper backup striker.
Denis Richardson
112 Posted 15/07/2015 at 21:15:15
Ciaran, I agree with you on the No 10 but not on a new Pienaar. For all of Pienaar's 'goodness' he scored very few goals and got very few assists. (Granted he allowed Baines space to get in a few crosses.)

What we lack is a midfielder who get a lot of assists as well as chipping in with a few goals. In Lukaku we have a striker is is great at running onto through balls with pace and power but we don't have anyone to give the passes. Hopefully Deulofeu will get a load of crosses in but we need a conductor in the middle pulling the strings. I'm not convinced that Cleverley will do this but time will tell.

Jack Cross
114 Posted 18/07/2015 at 04:58:07
Christopher Dover.

I wouldn't say it's negative to critize the manager, especially after last season. And he does come out RM with some shite. It's hard tp get an handle on him at times as he doesn't seem to see what fans see.

And one thing we've learnt is he is stubborn in his approach, and doesn't seem to learn by his mistakes. But one thing we all want is success for the Blues and if RM, gives us that fine, but for a lot of us there is a.big question mark over him. But we will see.

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