No-one can be sure about the starting line-up
Roberto Martinez says that the number of options he has at his disposal means that it's very difficult for observers to deduce his first-choice team and it gives him important flexibility when it comes to preparing for a given opponent.
That strength in depth has enabled the Blues to ride out injuries to key defenders like Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka and allow the manager to select players based on form rather than necessity.
“This season, we have found a very interesting moment of form for certain players,” Martinez said. “No-one can drop standards or take it easy because someone else is waiting to take the opportunity.
“We have real attacking options. At one point, we had up to five defenders out of the squad but coped really well and that excites me. One or two grab headlines, but it’s about squad.
“As a manager you want a squad where pundits can’t pick the line-up. It has been a target to create a pool of players of fantastic talent, with different ways of playing.
“We can pick a line-up based on certain form, opponents, and as a manager that’s what you want. You can use that to your advantage very well. We’ve been pushing the team as much as we can.”
Reader Comments (34)
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1 Posted 05/12/2015 at 06:01:24
Tonnes of positive things he could have said about this team right now... instead, he conjures up a load of absolute bollocks. Typical Martinez.
2 Posted 05/12/2015 at 06:49:18
I've no idea if Howard will be in goal. I can't imagine if Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori and Galloway will be our defence. I wonder if Barry and McCarthy will be our midfield engine?
Who can guess whether Deulofeu, Barkley and Kone will be just ahead of them? And I've not the faintest notion if Lukaku will be up front.
Yup, he's quite correct. Neither I or anyone else here, let alone Premier League managers, could possibly guess our line-up.
3 Posted 05/12/2015 at 06:57:14
If we start poorly against 'Palace and Mirallas is left on the bench then I will be angry :(The fans want Mirallas brought on when we need goals.
4 Posted 05/12/2015 at 07:18:14
5 Posted 05/12/2015 at 07:24:25
Also, with injuries, there's a space there next to Barry again tho, it seems nailed-on he will play Cleverley there as opposed to Besic
6 Posted 05/12/2015 at 08:56:08
I doubt any of those usually on the bench are thinking "I've got a 50-50 chance of starting next game."
Barry, you've made me start my Saturday with a laugh classic! COYB
7 Posted 05/12/2015 at 09:58:46
It's probably said in the context of having more players back from injury. As the manager, when posed with such a question, there are only so many ways you can say about having more players to choose from.
I think some fans' concerns are less on whether this is sufficient competition for places, as compared to whether that means anything, ie, will Martinez really utilize the full squad. For example, there is a fair amount of unhappiness regarding Robles still being on the bench.
I do think that there is sufficient competition in a good deal of positions. The only ones I don't see having sufficient depth is up front, and at right back:
- Baines / Galloway (LB)
- Stones / Jagielka / Funes Mori / Galloway / Browning (CB)
- Mirallas / Deulofeu / Lennon (RW)
- Mirallas / Cleverley / Baines / Kone / Pienaar
- Gibson / Besic / McCarthy / Barry / Cleverley / Barkley / (CM)
- Deulofeu / Naismith / Barkley / Osman / Kone (No 10)
8 Posted 05/12/2015 at 10:00:06
Mo has got great energy, and that little nasty streak.
9 Posted 05/12/2015 at 10:16:27
Likewise if Joel Robles was to have a half decent game he'd have a very good chance of keeping his place in the side.
It's so exciting because we never know who will start for Everton in the next game. Howard or Robles.....there's just no way to even guess.
11 Posted 05/12/2015 at 11:13:15
I heard that is the real reason Stones is learning Spanish.
He hasn't a bull notion what Roberto is going on about in English, and was wondering if any of it made more sense in Spanish.
12 Posted 05/12/2015 at 11:48:50
13 Posted 05/12/2015 at 13:08:20
14 Posted 05/12/2015 at 13:31:05
That being said, he does his views no favours by picking favourites even when they're hopelessly out of form despite having the strongest squad in years.
15 Posted 05/12/2015 at 13:56:08
It would be good PR to learn some Catalan, of course.
16 Posted 05/12/2015 at 16:34:40
What does this do to the respective quality of the competitions? Surely one is stronger than the other and we know where the majority (but not necessarily the correct) stand on that. So why isn't Robles playing in every game, or why isn't Howard playing in the cup matches? What happens if we get to Wembley, will Robles be overlooked? Will they play 45 minutes each? It really is a conundrum of Roberto's own making.
Meanwhile great to see Stoke doing one over City. If they can do it then so can we.This season is turning out to be a real surprise week by week. COYB
17 Posted 05/12/2015 at 16:42:17
18 Posted 05/12/2015 at 16:49:59
Kone went to the bench when Naismith earned a slot after Chelsea but Naisy seemed to lose form quickly. If Naisy kept it up he may still be starting.
Unlike years past, there really is some talent behind players at several positions so the starters need to perform. As of moving someone out of the starting 11 right now, I don't see much of an argument for any of them except perhaps Howard.
19 Posted 05/12/2015 at 17:55:22
Not just when English walk in fella, lots of Welsh people don't speak the language and get the same treatment with a sprinkling of contempt thrown in!!!
20 Posted 05/12/2015 at 18:04:12
When my Welsh Mother-in-Law met my English Father-in-Law, she spoke no English and he spoke no Welsh. They had six children....
21 Posted 05/12/2015 at 19:15:52
Not too many I imagine.
The point I was making, however, was that in Barcelona, schooling, university education, social interaction and business activity is conducted in Catalan, not Spanish. Those speaking Spanish therefore are in a minority, to put it mildly.
I simply made the point in response to a couple trite comments relative to Martinez's fluency in Spanish.
As for the Welsh, well, that's a whole new ball game.
22 Posted 05/12/2015 at 19:28:05
23 Posted 05/12/2015 at 19:38:40
According to the Statistical Institute of Catalonia in 2008 the Catalan language is the second most commonly used in Catalonia, after Spanish.
Which seems more likely to me. In every case I know (and historically eg Cornish) when a regional minority language exists side by side with a larger more commercial language, the minority language speakers are bilingual.
24 Posted 05/12/2015 at 19:41:24
25 Posted 05/12/2015 at 19:50:07
27 Posted 05/12/2015 at 20:37:49
Spare a thought for a heartbroken young former Toffee.
I've just watched a dramatic second-round FA Cup tie between Northampton and the part-timers of Northwich Victoria. The goalkeeper for Northwich is Mason Springthorpe, Everton's U-21 starter until he was released last year by Roberto. He failed at several clubs before landing in the eighth tier.
Tonight Northwich was just over seven minutes away from beating the League Two side... leading 2-0... and Springthorpe was superb. But he was beaten three times in four minutes -- twice by hellacious deflections off his own defenders... and Northwich went down 3-2. There was a shot of the kid lying on his back in the box, sobbing.
This can be a bastard of a game. He's 21. Think of what his dreams must have been like just 18 months ago... and tonight must feel like the last spin of a death spiral.
28 Posted 05/12/2015 at 20:40:17
29 Posted 05/12/2015 at 20:44:29
I would like to see a deep lying playmaker come in, someone like Banega who can really dictate our tempo. Plus a left winger to replace Pienaar.
We need to be careful of the driftwood piling up as well, Pienaar, McGeady, Osman, Gibson, Lennon are earning a hell of a lot for the handful of minutes they have between them.
33 Posted 05/12/2015 at 21:55:16
35 Posted 05/12/2015 at 22:13:53
36 Posted 05/12/2015 at 22:21:15
37 Posted 05/12/2015 at 23:50:45
(Hey,lucky we didn't draw Stoke in the semis.)
38 Posted 06/12/2015 at 00:41:30
40 Posted 06/12/2015 at 04:00:17
With Jags and Browning in the sick bay, Stones was forced to play several games with an injured leg and his nightmare against Jermaine Defoe was painful to watch.
Right now we have no experienced backup for Coleman. Lennon has been tried there but he isn't a fullback, Jones is probably not good enough and the excellent Jonjo Kenny is only a kid.
Kone was gasping for air against Bournemouth and their manager took full advantage of the situation. Martinez didn't have the squad to cope.
I won't go on about other players and other positions because I would only make myself ill. The squad is nowhere near as strong as Martinez would have us believe.
42 Posted 06/12/2015 at 16:58:41
"With Jags and Browning in the sick bay, Stones was forced to play several games with an injured leg and his nightmare against Jermaine Defoe was painful to watch."
Well there were 5 defenders out so someone had to play with a knock. That happens all the time. Losing 5 in the back will hurt any team. Look what Man Utd are going through with losing just two and the debacle last season when they lost less than 5 at the back.
This team is much deeper than last season and everyone knows it. Players who got a lot of time last season are not this season (Osman, Naismith, Mirallas) Yeah, EFC does not have experienced back-ups in some places but that would cost much more money.
Don't kid yourself Harold, RM knows hope deep his team is. It's deeper than it has been in forever, even if there are holes.
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