Martinez disappointed with Chelsea over Stones bid

by | 18/07/2015  106 Comments  [Jump to last]
Roberto Martinez has issued an unequivocal "hands off!" message to Chelsea regarding John Stones today while admonishing the London club for leaking details of a rejected bid for the defender.

Asked about the flood of reports yesterday that Everton had knocked back a 20m offer for the talented 21-year-old, the manager expressed his disappointment with Chelsea's conduct.

First of all, we pride ourselves in playing a certain way and educating our young players in a manner that means they are always going to get attention from elsewhere. That is a compliment, a footballing compliment, Martinez said after today's defeat to Arsenal in the Asia Trophy in Singapore.

The other side is the disappointment in seeing a football club making [the bid] so open, I dont think that is the way we do it at Everton.

We dont speak about a player when he is registered at another club and there is no issue from our point of view John Stones is an Everton player full stop.

We are not a selling club in that respect. There is nothing to speak to John about. I always speak with the players but there is nothing to comment about.

Chelsea are believed to have first registered their interest in Stones last summer after his first full season as a Premier League player. Identified by Jose Mourinho as a potential long-term successor to John Terry, the Champions were no doubt hopeful of stealing a march on their reputed rivals for the England international in the form of the two Manchester clubs by testing Everton's resolve in this transfer window.

With Stones having publicly stated how happy he is at Goodison as recently as Thursday possibly armed with the knowledge of Chelsea's bid at the time and the Blues in no mood to sell, it would seem that Mourinho will have to bid his time or look elsewhere.

Signaling the pitfalls of engaging in a media war with the savvy Portuguese, however, Mourinho told Sky Sports this evening that while Martinez has put his foot down, Chelsea have not been told Stones isn't for sale by Everton's board.

At the moment Everton say, We dont accept this bid. They dont say, We dont accept any bid.

While they say, 'We dont accept this bid', until September 1 we can improve it. One pound more, ten pounds more - we can improve the bid. It is an open market until September 1."

Mourinho: "It's in their hands. If I today receive a bid for Fabregas, in two minutes I'll say I won't accept any bids. Game over."

 

Reader Comments (106)

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Steve Guy
1 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:33:51
Well done Roberto. Nice dig at Chelski's appalling record in bringing young players through into the bargain.
Jim Jennings
2 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:53:37
Now to sit back and wait for the arsey retort from Mourinho that will no doubt have his acolytes in Fleet Street cracking a semi
Dean Adams
3 Posted 18/07/2015 at 18:58:15
We are Everton FC. We are a cut above the likes of Chelsea and Sky had better listen and take heed. We are and will always be a club that conducts itself with pride and honour. (At least in public!!)
Darren Hind
4 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:03:36
I wish he'd have said, "End Ov".
Andy Bone
5 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:19:54
Darren Hind - it would have been better if he had publicly stated "...and we won't be doing any business in the future with Chelsea...end of"
Ste Blundell
7 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:34:19
Spot on Jim!
Paul Tran
8 Posted 18/07/2015 at 19:57:40
We might want to frame this; probably the first time Martinez has spoken and got approval from all of us!

Now, can he coach him to defend better?

Andy Crooks
9 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:02:51
Chelsea are an odious club whose successes are tainted. They have, for years, provided a home for thugs, cowards and cheats.

Well done Roberto, now stick to it.

Chris Gould
11 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:06:05
Well said, Roberto. Let's hope he is not just speaking for himself, but also the chairman and board.
Neil Thomas
12 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:02:31
Mourinho would be to first to go running to the FA complaining that one of his players was being tapped up if a team like Man Utd had done to same to them.
Colin Glassar
13 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:11:57
The Stones/Coleman joint statement on Tuesday was no coincidence. The majority of the first team squad are more than happy to stay at Everton and Chelsea and their in-house journos know this but they won't give up.

As JJ said, now expect a hurt and bewildered Mourinho call a press conference, full of his yes men, to express his shock and horror at Martinez's allegations. "who me? Never!!" Expect the hounds to mount a relentless attack over the next few weeks in the media. I hope the lad is strong minded because this is going to get nasty.

Even the stunning Kate Agbo (ssn) got in on the act with her "a small club like Everton" jibe. Shameless (man utd fan) hussy!

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:52:51
Well, it's started. Jose has admitted that they made an offer which was rejected but they "haven't been told he's (Stones) NOT for sale". So they will make another offer of (his words) a pound or ten pound more until Everton say he's definitely not for sale.

To put this to bed once and for all we need to call him out and, in a joint statement, publicly state that Stonesy is not for sale. Let's see what the special one says then.

I can only recall Creasehead and Rooney turning down Chelsea, I hope JS joins that tiny group.

Drew Shortis
15 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:59:28
I think we have to be realistic about our current position. We do not necessarily NEED the money now the new TV cash is coming in, but there is a certain inevitability about our top players moving if they are offered huge wages and Champions League football, both of which we cannot provide at the moment.

That said, we no longer have to be a victim. We can either hold out for a huge fee, one that could ultimately allow us to buy three or four quality players (including the Number 10 we so desperately need) or we can convince players like Stones that it is in their best interests to stick with it and continue their development at a club that truly values them, rather than risk their careers stalling on a star studded bench.

If, in the meantime, we do manage to harness the potential of this generation of young talent and break into the Champions League, the whole picture changes as we will be in a position to offer them the kind of wage and achievements clubs like Chelsea and the two from Manchester can give them. It is up to Everton FC to do all within its power to get us into the position where we are not only financially stable, but can offer glory too.

I would love Stones to stay and fulfil his potential and I hope Martinez has convinced him and others like McCarthy, Barkley and Coleman that the vision can become a reality. Ultimately, if we fail to make good on the promise, we can’t be upset if they choose to move somewhere they can win trophies. Whatever happens, we can stand our ground and either refuse to make a deal (à la Baines) or demand the biggest fee possible (à la Fellaini).

Phil Davies
16 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:14:45
If Stones wants to be at Chelsea, he’ll be there by the end of the transfer window, there’s a high price for English talent that the top teams can afford and we can’t afford to turn down.

㿀M as a starting offer isn’t bad but I can't see the board holding out for Sterling money and think he’ll be in talks within a fortnight. Best we can hope for is a bidding war between Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea.

Chris Wilson
17 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:31:54
Like you said, Colin. Jose played the bewildered card. At the same time, he's trying to play the old Jedi Mind trick, saying how, "yes they bid for him [Stones], they don't bid for players they don't like...we put a bid in and it's in Everton and Stones' hands now."

He practically ends it by daring Roberto to call him off with the old, "If you don't want to sell him, then say he isn't for sale, and we'll stop...it is so simple."

Time for Roberto to tell Jose, "These aren't the droids you're looking for...move along."

Drew Shortis
18 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:35:57
I agree Phil. If he does decide he wants to go then we absolutely must insist on a similar kind of fee to Sterling. The premium for him being an England International. It would be a blow to lose him and I hope he decides he wants to stay, but we could do an awful lot with £50m. We do not need to be bullied into selling him on the cheap!
Gavin McGarvey
20 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:38:38
Stones isn't an Everton fan, but perhaps he doesn't want the move, or if he does it's not to Chelsea. We bought him from Barnsley, and perhaps if he is to move maybe he's thinking of Man City/Utd long term. Personally I think any move this transfer window is in the interest of neither him or us. If we wait we will in the end get more money for him, and perhaps enjoy some success. If he waits he gains first team experience and cements his involvement in the England team. Win-win.

If we sell him, he gets to sit on the bench and we have two rather than one centre half to find. It's not the right time and place to move. The only thing that worries me is the memory of Keown going and hearing about BK's part in that rather short-sighted move on here last week.

As for us hanging on to him long term, that all depends on whether we can provide him with a team where he won't be one of the three best players but instead one of many. Either that or he just falls in love with the place like Cahill, Baines etc...

Gavin Johnson
22 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:43:04
We should tell them to do one and say that we won't accept any offers. Mourinho has come out tonight and basically said BK should do that and they'll be no more bids from Chelsea. We all know though, that BK and friends will want to see how far Chelsea, United and City will go.

Some Chelsea fans reckon we'll consider 㿆m (which is another insulting bid to my mind) they obviously don't know just how special a player Stones is.

The starting point where any bid is even considered has to be over 㿌m based on the money City wasted on that shithouse Malanga. There is still an element of potential and because of this I think 㿊m with a further 㾶m in add-ons is more than realistic. Stones will go far and we would get the full 㿔m. While I could live with us receiving that kind of money, I would still be disappointed that we took the money instead of building a team around our nucleus of exciting young talent. I have a horrible feeling the board will relent and accept any offer over 㿌m

Gavin Johnson
23 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:01:20
Stones is a Man Utd fan, and funnily enough I think it might be United that come in and gazump Chelsea with an offer closer to 㿔m.
Dick Fearon
24 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:03:51
How many lessons does Martinez need on how top clubs operate?
Craig Mills
25 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:15:57
So far all the talk is don’t sell, don’t sell, but if we did happen to sell both Stones and McCarthy, we would realistically draw in the best part of 㿙M, added to a small amount of funds already set aside for this transfer window could see us have 㿣M to invest in the squad.

Now don’t get me wrong, we would miss them, but we are talking serious money here that would allow 4 or 5 significant signings ....

Eugene Kearney
26 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:22:12
Stones is going nowhere.
Peter Murray
27 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:12:13
Maybe we should feel sorry for Mourinho. He's already been sacked once by Abromovitch. Last season he flopped yet again in the Champions League. So he is already under pressure before this season begins. Poor lad.

Empty vessels make the most noise. He is not worth bothering about any more -- just threshing around with a second sacking making a faint appearance on the horizon.

Keep your counsel, Roberto. Just concentrate on the next stage for Everton. We manage our affairs with dignity not the gutter media approach of Chelsea.


Lev Vellene
28 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:24:22
We just need "Blue Bill" to tell us that loose change IN is not worth anything in the long run. Let's hope RM has some serious support from the board here!
Ross Edwards
30 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:44:04
If we got £55m out of those two Martinez wouldn't see half of it...
John Tyrrell
31 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:46:20
I don't think we should sell Stones as I believe he could become the best CB in the country. Having said that, although we shouldn't be a selling club, every player has a price, Ronaldo to Madrid, even Bale to Madrid as a couple of examples. So 㿙 mill plus and I would consider it.
Oliver Molloy
32 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:43:11
Well, Mourinho is the master of mind games and he has his billionaire chairman to back him up. Unfortunately, we are were we are as a club and if Stones head gets turned there may be only one outcome.

That outcome should be "you have just signed a 5-year contract and we expect you to honour it John -- you are not for sale -- end of story." Wouldn't that be great if we did that.

Wouldn't it be even better if Stones came out now and said once again he is very happy at Everton. Wouldn't it be magic if Kenwright came out and told Mourinho, if John Stones ever leaves Everton it will not be for Chelsea.

Over to you Bill. John... tell us like it is and put us out of our misery or restore some faith !

Lev Vellene
34 Posted 18/07/2015 at 23:24:53
Would anyone REALLY mind if footballers' agents were given the float-or-sink witch trials? There might be something unexpected besides the loud cheering, I mean... We could record it faithfully for later generations, at least?
Richard Reeves
35 Posted 18/07/2015 at 23:33:51
If the club do end up selling him, I won't be buying into the "he had his head turned" bullshit. If he's that important to us, then the club should say he's not for sale at any price; otherwise, it is inviting another offer which will then be followed by another one from another club like Man City and then Man Utd in which a bidding war will erupt.

Of course, every player has a price but if the board don't want to invite another offer then they can put it to rest with a few words. It seems to me that whenever any player is sold there is always the "he's not for sale" line which tells others that he is important so a premium has to be paid.

I'm not saying the board are looking for it but after what Mourinho has just said, if they keep on with the "he's not for sale" line and don't say "at any price", I'll take it he is.

Mike Oates
36 Posted 19/07/2015 at 00:14:46
He'll be gone by Aug 31st, particularly after today's debacle.
Drew O'Neall
37 Posted 19/07/2015 at 00:16:27
While Chelsea's strategy to start low is a sound one, Martinez's tactic to fein annoyance is too.

Martinez is a very shrewd psychological strategist and those who take his words at face value do him a discredit.

This will draw the other bids and tell Chelsea that they have to make the highest bid of all Stones' suitors as they have insulted us. It will also tell Stones and his agent that he runs the risk of incurring Martinez's ire if he pipes up.

Everyone has their price and it's the manager's job to elicit the best bid for the club to consider, everyone has their price and if we are offered >㿔m for a classy player but one who is lightweight and forms part of a leaky defence, then we would be wise to consider it.

I'd be happy if we got a player who could defend better than he can and 'carry it out of defence'.

Ernie Baywood
39 Posted 19/07/2015 at 00:21:38
You may not like Mourinho but his comment there is very good. Somehow he's managed to put the ball in our court without even having an offer on the table right now.

Say he's not for sale at any price or name what the price is. What will we do? I'm guessing we will stop short of saying he's definitely not for sale.

Dave Rinehart
40 Posted 19/07/2015 at 00:25:39
Chris (17) the droids comment cracked me up. The problem is that Mourinho is smartly playing RM against the board.

As has been mentioned here previously every player has a price. I’m usually very positive when it comes to Everton, but as been shown today our defense needs improving. Give Martinez 㿊million for Stones and I’d feel okay, but I don’t think RM has a defensive bone in his body.

If the board felt we had to sell, I think we could survive a McCarthy departure. Stones would be a different story. Troubling times if Chelsea persists with this transfer saga.

Jakob Herd
41 Posted 19/07/2015 at 01:55:52
Fait accompli.... all that remains now is: how much Chelsea are willing to pay.

Like it or not, money speaks in football, always has and always will. We took him cheaply from Barnsley because we could afford the 3m or whatever they wanted for him... Chelsea will take him from us because they can afford the 35m or whatever the price tag is.

If I owned Everton... I would take money and pay off debt, I wouldn't do a Liverpool... every time you sell a player for a bucket of cash; buy two or three over-priced and over-hyped players that you end up 'on-selling' cheaply.

Now is the time to reap the financial benefits of the EPL and get the club's debt burden down... With or without Stones, we won't be in Champions League next season.

Unlike clubs like Liverpool and Spurs that carry the overriding expectation that they should NOW be in the CL and win the PL, Everton don't have that burden. Therefore we should concentrate on getting the club in a healthy financial position and build from there... the lessons of Leeds United and Portsmouth should be hammered into every BOD member in every club; but we know they're not.

I've said this before: we should take the Arsenal model and get on a fiscally safe footing; then build from there... a 10-year plan -- I for one could live without trophies as long as I knew the Club had a plan for the future.


Peter Barry
42 Posted 19/07/2015 at 02:32:25
Any transfer monies we get for Stones and or McCarthy go straight in to BK's back pocket or to 'Contingency and Administrative Funds' as he euphemistically calls his back pocket.
Peter Barry
43 Posted 19/07/2015 at 02:38:57
Jakob Herd # 41 says "I could live without trophies' well Jacob thats one wish that Roberto is absolutely nailed on to deliver.
Hugh Jenkins
45 Posted 19/07/2015 at 03:46:39
Peter (44), correct me if I'm wrong, but I think RM is one of only four managers in the EPL that has won a major trophy in any English competition. He did it against all the odds, with a team that had no pedigree. At the time everyone was raving about his tactical nous in putting far wealthier and more glamorous sides to the sword.

He's had one brilliant season with us and one poor season.

On that basis,I wouldn't therefor write him off just yet.

Harold Matthews
46 Posted 19/07/2015 at 03:15:26
Have to hold my hand up and admit the Mourinho involvement is quite a surprise. Perhaps he hasn't noticed that, when attempting a head on block, Stones always makes sure his face and body are well out the way of the shooting foot. Like many Everton players, he will try to twirl and block the shot with the seat of his pants. Cazorla had McCarthy twirling like a ballerina before planting the ball in the net. So unlike John Terry who would have closed down and allowed the little fella no space.

Anyway, if Mourinho gets Stones, and he hasn't yet said he wants him, he'll probably put him on the goal-line and get people to fire shots at him. If he turns his back he has to face another ten shots. Fantasy I know but if I was Everton manager that's the first thing I'd do every morning with our sissy bunch.

Phil Sammon
47 Posted 19/07/2015 at 05:19:37
We'd have to draft in a player with the ability to kick a ball with sufficient power and accuracy to make the exercise worthwhile.
Daniel Lawrence
48 Posted 19/07/2015 at 06:32:53
Mourinho is right though, this is what we need to do, (we won't):
Link
Danny Cleary
49 Posted 19/07/2015 at 07:09:06
Chelsea will just try to write whatever money we owe them for Lukaku off against Stones. Any deal selling him to Chelsea is bad financially for Everton.
Steve Harris
51 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:07:27
How can anyone still defend Martinez with people still going on about him winning a Cup with little old Wigan somehow proving what a tactical genius he must be? The likes of McLeish, McClaren and even Bobby Gould have won Cups with so-called small clubs over the years but don't think that anyone would consider them to be top managers.

Destroying us in the quarterfinal was no great surprise to anyone who watched us regularly that season and a smash-and-grab against Man City in the final doesn't make him a great manager but the rest of Wigan's results that season, including a 9-1 loss to Spurs! might well prove he's the exact opposite.

David Chait
52 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:25:38
Spot on, Harold, for that goal.. More than once last season, James allowed a shot by backing off, like against Arsenal last season at Goodison. This is a flaw in his defensive game which I don't why it exists. Maybe we're being picky but it has cost us more than once.

Mourinho's comments were very good..

Tony Smith
53 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:12:16
Reading a lot of the comments here that say we should take 30m or whatever and touch our forelocks to Mourhino and humbly say "Thank thee, good day, sir" are obviously from blue fans who have spent their Everton lives under the shadow of Sky Sports and accept their position as peasants under the serfdom of the elite.

Older Blues like myself who can still remember when we were a powerful club must rankle at this meek acceptance of our inferiority to the likes of Mourinho who can quite smuggly sit there in the knowledge that he will have the backing of his rich board and the backing of the media.

Mourinho can pretty much sit back and let Sky create enough pressure on Everton and Stones to have to sell for a price which will probably not reflect the years Stones will provide as a top class centre half and international,

If we don't stand up to Mourinho and Chelsea and sell Stones it will give out a message once again that we are a small club who can be bullied and have their best players taken off them whenever a big club wants them. It gives the other players such as Lukaku who think that joining us was beneath them, the excuse to further aggravate for a move to a bigger club.

I understand we are where we are, but parts of my DNA have been stamped for ever with the pride and arrogance of the 80s and I can't get used to being placed in the ranks of Stoke and Southampton, clubs I used to feel sorry for.

Jim Bennings
54 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:30:10
Bravery has always been a problem at Everton FC, at least since the day's season the FA Cup in 95 with real characters of men that wouldn't ever be seen turning their back on shots.

Imagine Dave Watson or David Unsworth doing that?
Joe Parkinson?? Ha! Not a chance.

Eric Myles
55 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:27:27
Remember we owe Chelsea 㿀M for Lukaku so we won't see any of the money if we sell to them.
Eddie Dunn
56 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:42:15
Harold, it is a shame that McCarthy didn't just plough Cazorla into the synthetic-composite.
James Marshall
57 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:04:40
Why is anyone surprise at low bids for players? Everyone does it. Footballers aren't like shirts on a clothes rack in a shop with a fixed price, they have a valuation by owner and prospective buyer - it's completely normal practice.

If I go into a shop and I want to buy a shirt, I pay the marked price. If I go to a market I offer and haggle, that's business. It's not at issue at all as far as I can tell.

Nobody is going to offer a high price and then hope for the best are they? You start with a low bid, see what the seller thinks and work from there. It's not rocket science so I don't understand why people talk about 'derisory' bids, and telling Chelsea to fuck off.

Mourinho is absolutely spot-on. If Everton don't want to sell Stones, just say no he isn't for sale. End of story.

It seems to me (and Chelsea) that Stones does have a price, otherwise they would say no, not at any cost. This all seems like a storm in a teacup and Chelsea have done nothing wrong in a free-market for a footballer they want to buy.

Do you think we go to clubs and offer top-dollar? Of course we don't. We go in with a low bid and haggle like everyone else.

The only difference is that this has been made very public, but again, it happens all the time doesn't it? This is a non-story until such time as a bid is accepted, then we sell the player. Or we simply tell them he's not for sale and everyone moves on (as Mourinho says).

Didn't we tell Utd Coleman wasn't for sale at any price? That one blew over very quickly so why not this one? Same with Mirallas. From what I'm seeing both Mirallas and Stones are for sale at whatever price Everton see fit. McCarthy too, has any club been told he's not for sale?

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:07:26
Kenwright will only really try to reduce Everton's debt when he wants to sell.

Playing football manager with 㿣 Million would be great, but I'm not sure the club would want to pay out another five wage bills every week.

Mouriniho is clever, tell us he's not for sale and I will go away, he's saying. Does he know something we don't? Why else would we be considering selling the brightest young prospect in the game, twelve months after paying 㿈 Mill to Chelsea for a forward?

Time for Everton to put this to bed before it ends in a circus. Give Chelsea and everyone else the answer Mouriniho has asked for.

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:24:11
Very worrying for me this, I hope it's just Mouriniho being himself
Tony Smith
60 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:29:23
Interesting point Tony that the Lukaku deal might have held some future provisos for helping Chelsea to land Stones.

Always appeared a little too easy for me that deal.

Dave Pritchard
61 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:46:26
I think if the Lukaku deal involved a promise for them to have Stones in the future then we wouldn't have paid 㿈m. That is a far-fetched conspiracy theory idea for me.
Ray Roche
62 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:49:10
Tony Smith, let's be honest, Lukaku was never going to get a game at Chesea. He is just not good enough, and Mourihino knew it.

The fact that we spunked 㿈m out for him is bad enough, but give Chelsea credit, with the amount they paid for him, 㾶m, and the two loan fees from us and WBA covering that fee, Lukaku cost them nothing. And the 㿈m is all clear profit. So maybe as a deal, it's not a "little too easy", just damn good business.

Colin Glassar
63 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:52:48
Agree Dave. We shouldn't become paranoid about secret deals and cagey winks.

James, you are right to a point but let us not forget who we are dealing with here. Mourinho is the master manipulator of a fawning media. We don't know, for certain, if Everton have indeed told him that Stones isn't for sale, so good old Jose can say what he wants and his obedient pack lap it up and print whatever he says like its gospel.

Like I said yesterday, this could get nasty and very public (a bit like the Lescott saga) so I think, if it's true and he's not for sale, that Martinez and BK should call a press conference on Monday and make their stance public. If they don't do this then the agonising will just continue until 1 September.

Liam Reilly
64 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:01:14
Seems to me this sits entirely with our Board. They need to say 'not for sale at any price' and test Mouriniho's word.

Glen Garrett
65 Posted 19/07/2015 at 09:51:33
Trouble with the likes of teams like Chelsea & Manchester City, they think that they can just buy anyone they like and when they like.

Well done to Martinez for not selling Stones as he is vital to the squad, but if Chelsea want him that bad, they will start throwing the bigger money on the table, just like Manchester City did for Sterling. If the money is right, you will see how much Everton FC will mean to John Stones.

Look at the likes of Wayne Rooney when he scored that good goal against Arsenal, he said, "Once a Blue, always a Blue. Fuck me sideways... soon after that, Rooney went to Manchester United. That's loyalty for you.

Let's just hope that Stones puts his love for Everton FC before the money.

Ray Roche
66 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:05:54
Colin, it would be great if Kenwright etc. stood in front of the press as you request but it'll never happen. Everton are just too spineless these days. If you'd said that Kenwright should just bend over and get royally rogered by Chelsea Man Utd, Man City... Accrington Stanley, then there would be a real possibility for that to happen, but growing a pair? Nah... never going to see that.
John Hughes
67 Posted 19/07/2015 at 08:51:21
I like Tony (53) am a older Blue and remember the '60s when we were a TOP (BIG) CLUB and could tell the likes of Chelsea etc where to go. I can't get used to being placed with Stoke etc!

Stand firm tell the Portuguese "Dell Boy" to go and do one. (As it's Sunday, I didn't want to use bad words.) COYB

Oliver Molloy
68 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:00:45
Here's were I am with this.

Mourinho / Chelsea made the bid public to put pressure on us and turn the players head, we know this is always a tactic with the money clubs. It is a dirty tactic, but it works. He said Chelsea bid was not accepted, but Everton did not categorically state Stones is not for sale.

Mourinho is a very clever man and a brilliant defensive coach; as others have said, any bright young kid would like to play for him. As much as I WANT Kenwright TODAY to come out and tell all concerned STONES IS NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE, I know deep down the likely hood of this happening is 0%.

So we must hope for a bidding war, and set a minimum price, and tell any club that the minimum starting bid will be whatever, I think we have to set the bar around the 㿔 million mark. I base that on Stones having around 13- 14 years career in front of him at 3.5 million per year. If it is true we will have to pay Barnsley 15% of any profit, the price should be more.

It is time for Kenwright and Everton to stand up and be counted.

John Keating
69 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:23:43
I agree with Mourinho. As he says it is dead simple. Everton just need to come out and say they will not accept ANY bid for Stones. Once we say that and if Chelsea were to continue then Mourinho will look a complete arse!

While they are at it the Club need to sort this shit out with McCarthy one way or the other. It looks amateurish and if the lad feels he was promised another contract or an extension or whatever then let him have it.

Bill Farmer
70 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:26:10
Whilst I agree with the spirit of your post above, Oliver, events over the park indicate that if the player is seduced by the billionairos' offer not much can be done to block a move.

Whilst we like to talk of the Sky 4, 5 and 6. the reality is that the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and even Arsenal are as nothing. If either of the Mancs or Chelsea come calling they will eventually get what they want.

What happens here is a slightly extended version of what happens in Spain where Barca and Real play under different rules to all the others -- transfer bans or not.

Best then to settle for being 'a finishing school' for the big boys and extract what you can when the opportunity arises. Then (we hope) we can apply the proceeds towards another battle for the dreaded Europa slot.

That, my fellow Evertonians is as good as it is EVER going to get. Sad, isn't it?

Colin Glassar
71 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:34:51
It's a sad indictment on our club, and BK's legacy as chairman, that a bright young TV anchor, Kate Agbo, can call us a small club compared to Chelsea only minutes after the match commentator reminded viewers that Everton and Stoke are part of the founding 12.

This generation of smartphone and tablet users, indoctrinated by Sky, believe that football started in 1992 and that teams like Chelsea and Man City are giants in the game and it's nigh on impossible to change this mindset. So those of us old enough to remember the glory days, and those of you who know our history, simply have to sit tight lipped and cringe.

So thank you BK, Johnson, Carter etc.....for digging our grave and throwing us into it.

Paul Tran
72 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:34:23
Mourinho knows Everton will sell when Bill thinks the price is right. To be frank, it's the kind of thing we used to do when we were well run and we'll managed.

If we can see how badly we're run and how much we need the money, I suspect those in the game itself suspect/know a lot more.

Problem is, I can see Bill taking too little, keeping too much and Martinez squandering what he gets.

Kunal Desai
73 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:51:46
Stones, McCarthey and Mirallas potentially could all leave in this window and the possibility that next season Lukaku and Coleman could go. I think we are in big big trouble in the next season or two. Bills and his pals would have to be on borrowed time.
Mark Tanton
74 Posted 19/07/2015 at 10:52:39
Benteke off to Liverpool. Man City came and got Sterling. We'll spend some of the money at Hull or Leicester. Pecking order.
David Chait
75 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:00:21
Man City have also picked up Fulham wonderkid Roberts. I wondered how long before a big club came for him... Couldn't think of a worse club for a youngster to join, pure quota number. You have to be better than anyone they could and will buy across the Globe.
Gavin Johnson
76 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:02:10
A bid of 㿀m has put the cat among the pigeons and is a million miles away from from Stones's true value. We should make a make a public bid of 㾶m for Costa announced on Sky Sports and see how Chelsea like it.
Guy Hastings
78 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:11:28
Colin 57, I can add another name to that list too.
Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:21:20
Paul 75, this is exactly what I was alluding to, when I said this worries me.

If the rumours about Kenwright being ill are true, we could be in a lot more trouble than we realise. Once The puppet masters take over anything might happen, especially with the king of asset stripping waiting in the wings.

Richard Reeves
80 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:23:25
David Chait (#78),

Seeing as the club's policy is to buy young players at a fairly low price in order to make huge profits for the board, we should've been in for him. Maybe we wouldn't have a chance in competing with the wages on offer but, at the reported ٠ mill rising to a potential ٦ mill, it is a steal in my opinion. I'm confident the lad will make it, he's too good not to, and I dread to think what that lad will be worth in the future.

Declan Brown
81 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:46:27
Top comment Colin (74).

This has a sickening feeling of the inevitable about it all. Remember Rooney going, "won't be sold for 㿞m" then sold for an instant 㾶m down payment (I know it eventually rose to 㿆m). I fear for this one myself.

My first instinct was that it was a pity we just couldn't sell Kenwright to Chelsea, we could even give them Green and Earl too for free as a sweetener for the deal -- 3 arseholes for the price of 1. Sadly "Buy / Sell Your Chairman" doesn't exist in the real world, we couldn't even afford a decent replacement anyway (trying to be funny there).

We've lost Distin (wish that guy was 10 years younger when we signed him) and Alcaraz (thankfully), so maybe adding Stones to that list, it's a big ask to find 3 top half of the table Premier League standard defenders, well let's be honest, how many ex-Wigan defenders does Roberto know that could do a job for us? Again I'm trying to be clever there. But the reality isn't a pretty picture is it. Even with 㿊m, could Roberto get 2/3 top class defenders in on the cheap and would you trust him to do so given our predicament, I mean what top defender would come to us if Stoke and Southampton are deemed more attractive than us?

I was glad to see the back of Moyes when he left but his judgement on signing "unknowns" on the cheap and polishing them up is now there for all to see. Our scouting system has to improve and get the gems in from the lower leagues at lower prices -- but that's pure wishful thinking.

I'm worrying about the future and yesterday's performance hasn't made me feel any better. The Mirallas bid is another slap in our faces. I'm sure there's more of that coming until September.

Can't see challenging for Europe this season but would be delighted if Roberto proved me wrong. What happened to the Roberto who laughed off Man Utd's Barkley 㿞m rumour by saying "he's not going on loan for that price". How about the same for Mourinho?

Might be the time to circle our wagons again...

Tom Bowers
82 Posted 19/07/2015 at 11:54:36
The problem is now Stones's head may have been turned, just like a few other young stars over the years and Sterling just lately.

Stones knows how good he is and he's with a club unlikely to make the Champions League for another season if not longer and Chelski will. There really is nothing at Goodison to keep him and there certainly is no loyalty in football any more.

Everton obviously have to hold out for the bigger fee just like RS did with Sterling if push comes to shove.

Colin Glassar
83 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:12:58
Declan, that's my major concern as well. BK's obviously just a front man, a face for the real powerbrokers e.g. Earl and Green. It's probably these two who have the final say on transfers.

I can just see a whimpering BK saying, "Please don't force me to sell Stonesy, guys. The fans will blame me". RE - "Stop ya blabbering Bill, ya knew what to expect when ya sold your soul, and grandma, to the devil".

Steve Guy
84 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:21:41
The air of resignation on this thread is mystifying. I don’t think RM could have been clearer. He’s too much of a gentlemen to actually tell the not so special one to fuck off but that’s pretty much what he said.

Chelsea are a wealthy club with no class whatsoever. No wonder Mourinho likes it there... made for each other.

Here’s an alternative view. Stones had just signed a 5-year deal at Everton. Thanks to the Sky money (and as RM states) we are not a selling Club now unless it suits us. Stones has recently said how happy he is at Everton and for all the raving about his ability he has plenty of rough edges. He also knows that he is now first choice at Everton, but would be a makeweight at Chelsea (or elsewhere for that matter).

I’m not being naïve, but just because the southern based media and Chelski want it, doesn’t always make it so. My only real concern is our Chairman... but hopefully he can find his testicles and back his manager this summer.

Walter Kelly
85 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:22:26
Tony Smith # 61

’’interesting point Tony that the Lukaku deal might have held some future provisos for helping Chelsea to land Stones. Always appeared a little too easy for me that deal.’’

㿈 million for Lukaku was too easy? It left Mourinho just needing to add ٢ million to buy Costa. Excellent business from Mourinho.

Sam Bull
86 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:30:53
It really depends on Stones. If his head is turned, then get what you can for him; if he's happy, come out and say publicly "he's not for sale".

How about Stones for Oscar/Willian, and Lukaku money paid off?

If sold, Barry will be put into the CB position.

John Otway
87 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:33:29
Agree 100% with Declan and Colin. Earl and the potty mouthed Green hang around our Club like a bad smell and I suspect they are now after their pound of flesh!
Colin Glassar
88 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:52:53
I hope you don't include me in the pessimistic group Steve. I, for one, think the lad will stay. We stood firm on Baines (who was actually on the verge of asking for a move) and Seamus who were being enticed by the Mancs.

Leighton, Seamus and John all have one thing in common; they are all level headed boys who have their feet on the ground. These aren't balloon blowing knobheads like Raheem who acted like a little whore selling his soul to the highest bidder. Or treacherous, backstabbing liars like Fabian Delph. These seem to me to be honest, hardworking lads who want to develop their game at a club which won't treat them like merchandise.

So no, I don't think JS will leave this summer. Possibly next year if we don't progress as a team but that debate is for another day.

Bill Farmer
89 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:57:32
My only concern is the lad himself. If he wants it, he'll sure as hell get the move. And forget what he said about loving it here, that's what Delph said TWICE about the Villa. It's the money and lust for glory that attracts them. That's what brought Stones here from Barnsley!
Steve Guy
91 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:13:59
Bill, are you comparing a move from Barnsley to Everton with a move from Everton to Chelsea? It's not the same thing on any level. It was a natural progression for Stones and one that both he and Barnsley benefit from. Plus we are a top Premier League side, not some London feeder Club.

Fabian Delphi is another very poor comparison.

We are Everton and are in a position to say "get lost" to the likes of Chelsea and their horrible manager.

Denis Richardson
92 Posted 19/07/2015 at 12:46:30
Personally I've come to the conclusion that none of our players are irreplaceable and if we get silly money offers we should accept, reinvest and move on. Like any other club would, big or small.

However, in saying that, I would NOT want us to accept any offers for the likes of Stones, McCarthy or Coleman whilst Maritinez is in charge. I've pretty much lost any trust I had in him being able to a) scout a decent player and b) be able to convince that player to play for him. Nevermind his 'phylosophy'. I'd rather these gems were kept for the next manager to decide and not wasted.

In the two years Martinez has been here he has yet to sign a player in his prime who had not played for him before. The signings have been a mixture of last chance saloon/pay cheque (McGeady, Barry, Alcaraz, Kone) or 'one for the future' (Lukaku, Deulofeu, Besic, Robles). Granted McCarthy is a decent player although 㾹M was way too much at the time imo.

I'm really not sure if any 'top' players would want to come to us right now if I'm being honest. We've yet to sign a real proper quality player who is in his mid 20s – ie, in his prime. The likes of Aston Villa got Richards on a free, West Ham got the Italian defender for just ٦M odd, and Villa and Newcastle are being heavily linked with Austin. We're linked with the likes of Jonny Evans – injury-prone Man Utd cast-off! Even Palace, Swansea and Stoke are after players who are better than the ones we're being linked with!

Either our scouting is really limited or good players just don't want to come – or both. It can't be a question of money given the Sky bonanza and the relative cheap player prices outside of England.

Still a few weeks in the transfer window, I know... but, given we supposedly had our targets in mind 'months ago', the two new faces so far are just nowhere near enough. I expect there will be a few surprises in the coming weeks – just not sure if they'll be good or bad!

Kevin Gillen
93 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:15:06
We haven't found one replacement centre back yet never mind two! Even silly money won't conjure two centre backs of quality. I can't see it happening for football reasons, it would throw all of Roberto's plans off course.

I think it is an inevitable in the future and I'm sure Chelsea will have to double their bid. Expect to see Ty Browning getting lots of playing time and rave reviews irrespective of his performance. Paddy McNair would be a sound investment.

Tony Twist
94 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:49:03
The best thing Martinez can do is get the team winning football matches, no player would think of leaving if we do that consistently. The future isn't looking great, players get restless. Do your job Martinez and things will be fine.
Steve Harris
95 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:57:07
Exactly right, Tony, get the team playing well and being competitive and players won't want to leave so easily. Another clueless and lethargic season, which seems almost inevitable, will have them queuing up in their droves to leave.
Brian Porter
96 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:08:23
We have to find the cojones to tell Chelsea and their ilk to sod off. We have the makings of a team that just might be capable of challenging for a top four spot but, if we start selling our best young players when we really don't have to, then it shows our level of ambition to be absolutely zero.

Stones is on a long term contract with a club where he could be a regular first choice and pick up England caps along the way. I somehow don't see his international career advancing very fast if he swaps his current situation for one as a regular substitute for Chelsea, which is what we all know he'd be under Mourinho.

Ray Robinson
97 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:19:51
Part of the attraction of Martinez becoming manager was that he would have greater knowledge and access to the Spanish / continental market. Deulofeu and Besic apart, neither of whom I'm totally convinced by, where is our game-changing foreign signing?

Swansea and Southampton seem to do okay unearthing decent foreign talent at relatively low cost. Why can't we?

Bill Farmer
98 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:11:51
Steve, they say I live in the past and that may be so. But I do recognise that Everton's 'greatness' is well in the past and lost on the mercenary players and agents in this Premier era.

Any Midlander will describe Villa as another 'once great' club and that's why I mentioned Delph. Ignore it if you wish but, like them, our club's claims to be a 'top' outfit defies RECENT history. But we can still love our Everton and certainly do so!

Gavin Johnson
99 Posted 19/07/2015 at 13:45:00
Dennis,

I think you're being a bit harsh on Martinez with his signings.

Granted Alcaraz and Kone were duds, but no-once could have foreseen that Kone would be crippled against Hull. As for McGeady, while he often frustrates, I don't think the rumoured ٠M nominal fee is bad business for an established international who was bought by Spartak for 㾶.9M. I've got no problem with McGeady as long as he is used sparingly as a squad player who can make an impact. He showed he has the ability last season – Leicester, Ireland goal v Georgia, the through ball for the goal against Chelsea and cross for Rom v West Ham. It's just McGeady's temperament that's flawed. It's not as though we've got a massive squad and we'll get more than we bought him for if we choose to sell.

I think all of Martinez's other signings have been on the money. We can quibble on TW about Rom, but at the end of the day we all wanted to have a big money signing and then factions start moaning when it happened, saying we could buy better, when we bought a young proven goalscorer (who still reached the 20-goal benchmark in all competitions) and we get the lazy and silly comparisons with Costa just because he cost a few million more. Overlooking that his wages are twice as much and he would have laughed at the thought of leaving La Liga champions and CL finalists for Everton. We'll make a healthy profit when Rom is sold.

Martin Samuels famously said that we had 㿞M worth of talent on loan and it wasn't fair but Martinez eventually bought the same said talent for only 㿈.2M. With the absence of Champions League qualification, Rom's fee is more like 㿂M. Plus ٠M for Barry – who has been a good signing apart from Martinez's over reliance on him, and Deulofeu who cost us a mere ٢.2M, a player that a large proportion of ToffeeWebrs wanted to be their big summer signing. But because we've got him on the cheap he predictably may be seen as a over-hyped player by a contingent of our support. If Deulofeu played for any other club than Barça, who are overloaded with world class attacking talent, we could have only dreamt of signing the lad.

In the case of McCarthy, I think 㾹M was the right kind of fee in an over-inflated market and we did well considering we offloaded Fellaini for 㿇M and can't see how we can grumble when we'd double our money in less than 2 years if we chose to sell.

Finally Besic will prove his worth this season and will be an absolute steal for the ٢M Martinez spent on him.

Danny O'Neill
100 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:47:18
The two things that now concern are the player's intent and the appetite of the club to put up a "not for sale" ultimatum.

If the player's head has been turned, he's gone; we've seen that far too often. Whilst nothing surprises me these days, Stones does seem genuine and hopefully will want to continue playing regularly at a top (and "big") club for now... We won't hold onto him for long unless we crack top 4 as he is clearly going to demand to play that level at some point in the near future.

Mourinho has now thrown the ball into Everton's court. Basically saying "go on then, tell me he's not for sale at any price and we'll walk away". Over to you Everton .....silence will speak volumes now he has challenged your supposed annoyance.

We now face a battle against Sky and their southern biased press associates who want this to happen. Stand firm or give in and get the best deal; no prolonged Lescott style sagas and scrambling around for a make-do replacement 48 hours before the season starts. Whatever the outcome, decide early and leave no room for ambiguity.

Jimmy Digney
101 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:49:56
Mourinho has explained it perfectly. If Everton say Stones is not for sale any price, Chelsea will leave us alone... but Everton have not said that?
Bill Gall
102 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:42:29
Mr Martinez can say what he wants, but as every one is aware of, when it comes to finances at Everton the only ones that are in charge of that is BK and his band of merry men, and history has shown that when large amounts of money are dangled in front of them, BK is already writing his sob story of why they have to sell.
Ross Edwards
105 Posted 19/07/2015 at 15:14:01
Does any one know if Barnsley get a sell on fee for Stones if he moves? Some people on Twitter were saying 10% or 15%. If so Martinez won't see most of the money.
James Marshall
107 Posted 19/07/2015 at 17:09:11
Putting the money aspect to one side for a minute, on a footballing level it would be absolute suicide to sell Stones this summer. We're already a centre back short of a squad.

Everton should just tell Chelsea he isn't for sale. They'll still be interested in a years time and we apparently don't need the money so it's a no-brainer.

Denis Richardson
108 Posted 19/07/2015 at 17:02:43
Gavin 99 - my issue isn't necessarily the players we've signed but the player we have not (yet) signed.

As many of us thought at the time of his appointment, Martinez would have in-depth knowledge of the Spanish and South American markets and so be able to bring in a handful of quality signings that were under the radar of other UK managers. Fact is this has not been the case and as time goes by I actually think he knows nothing more about the Spanish and S American markets than any other average English manager.

Other than Deulofeu there hasn't been a single player signed that was not obvious or known to the rest of the UK footballing world. Half his signings were from his previous club and the others were players like Barry and Rom who every man and his dog knew about. Besic he only saw on his summer trip to Brazil commentating.

This was supposed to be one of the main pluses for him being appointed as managers. However, hindsight would tell that having moved to the UK when he was 20 and lived and worked here ever since, it was a big mistake for us to think he would have some advantagous knowledge about the continental markets. His transfer dealings to date seem to show he has a very limited scope (and/or pull) in getting 'unknowns' gems into the club, nevermind foreign based quality players. Most of the players we've been linked with are of very average ability, well known to the footballing world and generally surplus to requirements where they are now. (Evans, Lennon, Dann...)

I really don't think he's going to be pulling any rabbits out of any hats this, or any, transfer window.

I hope to be proved wrong.

Alan McGuffog
109 Posted 19/07/2015 at 16:58:13
Surely this is an area that Martinez should have limited involvement in. Shouldn't our illustrious chairman and board be handling this sort of thing, in liaison with the manager? Or is indicative of the lack of any sort of plan for the club other than survival in the Premier league?

Given that we are not going to be challenging for the top four anytime soon and will, instead, settle for an occasional venture in the Europa League, could we not go on the offensive with these clubs? Could we not be upfront and inform the predators thus....

"Dear Sheik / Roman / carpet bagging Yank. You treat us with little respect and assume that we will sell you our prize assets. You will use your pals in the media to unsettle said assets. They will say that it is a crime against nature for a 'little club' like Everton to defy the wishes of the Champions League clubs.

"So be it. These then are the players, all under contract to Everton FC, who you may be interested in, plus the fee we would demand (in cash, btw).

"John Stones. 㿙 million
Ross Barkley 㿙 million
Seamus Coleman 㿊 million
James McCarthy 㿅 million
Kevin Mirallas 㿀 million
Tony Hibbert 㾻 million.

Do please feel free to bid "
Why not... they are going to circle us anyway looking to get a bargain. Let's be bloody proactive for once.

Gavin Johnson
111 Posted 19/07/2015 at 18:33:22
Denis -- well we're on the same page in terms of rumoured defensive targets. The idea that Martinez knows nothing about defending has more credence when we're linked with shite like Scott Dann and Jonny Evans.
Harold Matthews
112 Posted 19/07/2015 at 18:51:57
Gavin. Can't agree about Dann and Evans but you mentioned Deulofeu earlier. Something about if only he had come from another club.

I was thinking exactly the same thing in the Arsenal game, especially when he got himself into the middle of the pitch and tried to play quick 1-2s Barca style. It didn't work. No-one was on the same wavelength and Naismith is not quite Iniesta. The lad was not amused.

Brian Harrison
113 Posted 19/07/2015 at 20:11:34
Again against Arsenal another pathetic performance, it was like men against boys. So why would Stones want to stay?

No chance of a trophy, certainly no Champions League, just maybe mid-table obscurity. I could see both Mirallas and McCarthy wanting to go.

Should Stones be sold, would anybody trust RM to spend it wisely? I don't think so.

Brent Stephens
114 Posted 19/07/2015 at 20:19:15
Harold, do you see anybody we've already got who's up to playing the quick 1-2 with Geri, needing quick mind, quick feet and an accurate pass? Ossie is the one that comes to mind for me, and Pienaar. But certainly Ossie is now only up to limited game time. Cleverley perhaps?

If nobody, then we can only expect Geri to beat a man and get a cross in?

Tony Abrahams
115 Posted 19/07/2015 at 20:33:09
Somebody played him in with a quick one-two against Stoke.

Arsenal in pre-season, in Singapore... maybe we might see the benefits of a proper pre season this year?

Gavin Johnson
116 Posted 19/07/2015 at 20:10:26
Harold, to be fair, saying Dann and Evans are shite was more for dramatic effect than anything else. I actually think they could do a job as back ups.. if, the price was right.

Some people moan about the fee we paid for Rom, but a potential ٦M outlay for either Dann or Evans would be ridiculous. I know it's an inflated market but most people would value these two at about half that fee. I think the response from some at these possible deals is just the bewilderment that we could potentially blow that much, which is still a lot for Everton, even in these crazy times when TV companies are throwing silly money around to show games for a player who's 28 and played the majority of his career in the Championship. And a player who's out of contract next season and could maybe be grabbed on loan (like Cleverley going to Villa last season) nearer to the September 1st deadline.

I'm having nightmares at the thought we could be losing Stones and his replacement could be Jonny Evans.

I know you don't tend to like younger players at CB, Harold, but Ben Gibson (latest link) might be a better option from Boro. I can't say I know much about him, only that Boro are one of the more progressive teams in the Championship and have some good younger players. He's an U21 international and will also bring down the average age of the squad.

Pete North
118 Posted 19/07/2015 at 21:19:09
Denis Richardson has fingered the real issue with the Stones situation. After 11 years of hard graft battling to build a top 6 team which is thin on numbers but above average on quality, sourcing talent from lower priced markets and having to live with being repeatedly being gazumped, the board/CEO and the current manager have thrown the hard-earned progress of the club in the bin by ignoring the lessons learned.

The new scouting system appears to be a combination of checking out whether someone who used to play for Martinez can still kick a ball and following someone he liked in a match he watched last week. Of course this means that most signings are used to Premier League wages and are inevitably overpriced.

As a consequence we have signed only 2 players since June 2013 who are 'top 6' with a couple of possibles for the future. The rest of the signings, bought on the basis of 'adding something different to the squad' actually add nothing in terms of league points but add substantially to the wage bill.

Martinez inherited Jagielka (31), Distin (35), Heitinga (past it) and a 19-year-old Stones as centre-backs. He immediately signs a 31-year-old centre-back from Wigan, the worst defence in the Premier League by some distance.

After two years without a procurement strategy to help replenish the group, we have the best young centre back in the Premier League in an era when the richest clubs are desperate to attract the best English talent. We only have one other recognised senior centre-back. So we are now totally at the mercy of John Stones's decision on what is best for him.

By blaming Chelsea for having the temerity to submit a bid, Mr Martinez appears to be attempting to disguise the the possibility that this has been caused by acts of gross misconduct on his part and presumably Mr Elstone.

John Pickles
119 Posted 19/07/2015 at 23:01:30
So if we don't let them have Stones, we can't have Fabregas...... That Mourinho fights dirty!
Harold Matthews
120 Posted 19/07/2015 at 22:50:32
Yes Gavin. Ben Gibson is definitely one for the future but he wouldn't get a sniff with Martinez. Didn't fare too well playing between Stones and Garbutt against Italy. In fact, add Jenkinson on the right and the result was a back 4 without a clue. It was embarrassing. Wish you hadn't made me think about it.

Of course, all these lads have good careers ahead of them but are still young and inexperienced. Gibson couldn't even make the bench for the recent play-off final.

Not worth losing sleep over the Stones business. No matter how deep BK falls, he eventually re-surfaces smelling of roses.......and if he smells of roses we're doing okay.

In the last words of Mark Twain or some other genius, "I've had a lot of worries but none of them ever happened".

Harold Matthews
121 Posted 19/07/2015 at 23:51:29
Sorry Gavin. He didn't make the bench. He was on the pitch.
Dave Pritchard
122 Posted 24/07/2015 at 16:39:20
All quiet on Stones today?

Have to say I am getting more concerned with our lack of incoming players as the season kicks off in a fortnight.

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