Romelu Lukaku has credited his former club manager with ‘freeing' him from ‘prison' since taking the reins of the Belgian national team.
Sacked as Everton boss in May, Martinez made a swift but surprising return to management when he was appointed as Marc Wilmots' successor as head coach of the Red Devils.
Questions were raised about how well Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas would fare reuniting so soon with the Catalan after the awful run of results he oversaw in the final few months of his tenure at Goodison Park. Mirallas, however, has been brought back into the Belgium fold after failing to make the squad for Euro2016 and Lukaku has hit five of his country's 21 goals in just four World Cup qualifying matches.
And Lukaku has revealed that he is revelling in a familiar formation to the one he played in at Anderlecht prior to his move to Chelsea as a teenager; one that, in contrast to his current struggles at Everton under Ronald Koeman, is affording him plenty of options in attack.
“Since he came I've only played good matches,” Lukaku told Voetbalmagazine of the contrast from his experiences at the end under Wilmots. “He has, so to speak, freed me from prison.
“I know what he expects of me, where and how to go. Today everyone knows his role with the Red Devils. A player on the ball has five, six options, especially in this 3-4-3.
"At Anderlecht we played like this at youth level. Sometimes it feels like I'm back playing as a kid, with all these options.”
It's reminiscent of the impact the striker made when he first joined Everton on loan in 2013. Then, he notched five goals in his first five Premier League appearances and followed that with a brace in the Goodison derby and has since racked up 68 goals in all competitions.
While he came to be critical of how the former Wigan boss' insistence on the Blues retaining possession through patient passing eventually came to stunt his game, Lukaku explains that Martinez was the ideal coach for him when he first arrived at Everton.
“I quickly understood that I needed a coach like him to improve. He told me, ‘I know you're strong with 70 metres of space in front of you, that no-one can stop you because you're so fast and so strong, but can you also make a difference in the final 30 metres against a congested defence?
“Can you create space for yourself? Well, I'm going to help you with this'.”
Lukaku hasn't scored in the league since the end of October but travels to Watford for tomorrow's lunchtime kick-off hoping to re-find his shooting boots.
Reader Comments (75)
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1 Posted 09/12/2016 at 18:18:43
Just shut the fuck up and lose a bit of weight then gain some anticipation , score a few goals for us, then fuck off to your next club and irritate the shit out of them too.
2 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:02:36
3 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:07:58
4 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:17:42
5 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:20:54
6 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:34:17
I think that "shipping out", is not always the answer. It's about personality, a good mix, balance and the right chemistry. One lucky break, a young player coming through, Valencia hitting a partnership with Lukaku, something, just something to make it all click.
7 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:35:40
I'm praying the phony bastard gets his dream move soon as.
8 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:43:17
9 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:50:09
You couldn't fucking make it up. Like I said, get rid asap!
10 Posted 09/12/2016 at 19:51:46
That's what I took from Rom's remarks too, depending on the context and when it was said, you would think that some reference to Big Dunc or his club boss may have warranted a positive mention.
I do believe that Rom has been, despite his goals, bad for Everton FC and we might get back to some semblance of a team when and if he joins another club. I wouldn't be surprised to see him gone by the end of January.
11 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:02:22
12 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:04:48
So, he must have told you to stand still and run less than every player on the pitch... and every player in the league. Not sure that's how you create space for yourself.
If you actually did run about a bit and make space for yourself then maybe the likes of Barkley would have someone to pass to. I would love to see a mobile striker in front of Barkley. I really think it would bring the best out of the kid. Would actually love to see two mobile forwards in front of Barkley but that's probably asking too much.
13 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:09:28
I feel for Ross right now as its this gobshite that should have been benched, not Barkley, his performances on, and off the park for a while now have been awful yet he still gets a free pass from some.
I don't believe Koeman is a mug and can see through this phony; get him out of our club, Ronald!
14 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:09:45
Having been a regular at the Old Lady for years, I now live out in Florida so watch the matches live from the discomfort of my arm chair. Okay, I do not get the full picture that those lucky enough to attend Goodison get, but from here I genuinely feel I put in as much of a shift as Big Rom.
He is the striker that is always just a bit late to the ball when it is flicked on. He does not seem to anticipate where the ball will go and sometimes has the first touch of a brick wall.
Yes, he can score in bursts but being a top striker means creating and setting up chances, holding the ball long enough for someone to run past him and into space. Take a look at Costa for that...
Our midfield have not contributed due to a combination of poor play and lack of help from up front. Barkley for one would improve with someone running for him. Either play two up front so one poor sod can do the running for him or get someone in who is a team player.
Rant over, back to my armchair for the next installment.
15 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:12:20
16 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:15:20
Ronald Koeman must get Romelu Lukaku to sprint or Everton will run into trouble
17 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:25:38
18 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:34:11
By the way, blaming Lukaku and his lack of movement or whatever for the very obvious errors in Ross Barkley's game is silly in my opinion.
I would put money on it if we had the likes of Fabregas in there, Lukaku would score more goals.
19 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:40:36
20 Posted 09/12/2016 at 20:50:07
Ross Barkley is way over rated and one of his very obvious flaws is exactly what you say trying to do too much, turning circles in the middle of the pitch the list is endless.
You can't blame Lukaku or anyone other player because Ross can't play a simple pass or make space for himself!
21 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:11:12
22 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:22:10
The catalyst for all this exciting SOS. style footie? Lukaku: he was running onto through balls, creating space, making himself available and constantly seeking the ball. What happened?
Well once he had the permanent deal, his game dropped, and every single one of the other players I mentioned have been given stick for the standards dropping. The truth is, I see Barkley, Deulofeu, Seamus, Macca etc receiving the ball and having no one to pass to up front, as Rom seems to have given up on running.
I firmly believe he now considers himself undroppable, so doesn't need to up his work rate, so his two Everton managers must share the blame here: he needs to be either taken out of the side as a possible wake up call, or given the biggest rollicking of his life, and joined by Valencia up top, who might just gee him up and get him moving again.
If we are to let him go, I can't see us getting another 20-goals-a-season striker for many years to come. I agree with most comments on here that he is a problem, but don't think he can never get back to how he was 2/3 years ago. He's still only 23 so instead of just writing him off, I hope Koeman can bring that old Rom back â€“ that's our new manager's biggest test, and hopefully we'll see an end to guff like this:
Chelsea and Manchester United target Romelu Lukaku reveals he had offer from Premier League club to leave Everton
24 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:34:59
The previous manager of Belgium also mentioned Rom was more like a lamp post in one game... so movement is perhaps something Rom switches on and off depending on his mood at any given moment.
25 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:53:05
I admit that his form has been sketchy but I think it's very wrong that he's been made a major scapegoat and benched more than once when the 'world class' one up front has been far worse.
I still have a lot of hope for Ross, he's one of us which adds to the pressure unlike Lukaku, who couldn't give a rats arse about our club and will probably deny ever playing for us in the future.
26 Posted 09/12/2016 at 21:58:26
The coaches must be trying to bring the best out of him but, despite the relatively poor service (which is a chicken and egg situation really), his lack of movement, versus a lack of vision or delivery, he is not finding form.
He has so much ability but he lacks desire. The man has shown a similar attitude playing for his national team. how do you motivate Romelu Lukaku?
27 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:13:50
28 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:18:46
It is, with Rom, always something or someone else's problem. Basically Wilmots didn't fancy him for the obvious reasons; technique, energy etc. So he got the hump with him, prison Rom?
Martinez has freed you from having to do more than score a goal lad, Wilmots's only crime was to ask more of you.
The sooner this fella moves on the better, he has no motivation to do more and his capacity to improve based on three years at Everton seems limited.
I can't help but cite the big nosed kopite that was Ian Rush, scorer supreme but worked his ass off for the team cause. This lad will get a big move he wants but in my estimation if it is to a competitive league then he will amount to little.
The more important element to this is how can the sale of this lazy lump fund a top drawer pair of strikers? One would suppose we will pay way over the odds for the real article, regardless of a European finish or not.
Ah... bring back Mikel Madar and Bakayoko.
29 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:20:05
30 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:21:44
Others on here have said that they think Ross may have to leave to fulfil himself; others again say that he is another version of Rodwell. I understand the first view much more than the second, but I have a hunch that Koeman is going to get this magnificent young Evertonian to fire.
I have have been saying similar things for 18 months or so now but I think Ross is worth the repetition.
31 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:25:48
32 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:37:19
He seems to be an intelligent man. Speaks a few languages. Studies the game so knows a few things about how football works... I just wish he would keep quiet. :)
Having said that, I don't really care about his comments. I care more about how he performs for us. I am not a huge fan but to be fair to him, if he stays until the end of the season, he will have been with us for 4 years. That does show some loyalty on his part to stay with us, especially as he has been part of a struggling team and seems to want away...
What ever happens, good luck to him.
33 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:39:12
Lakuku... er... Lukaka...
Wait... Lukalu... fuckit... Lazytwat.
34 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:42:14
I really hope he stays with us, it would be heartbreaking to see him go and fill his massive potential elsewhere.
35 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:46:42
So I'm wondering how Lukaku can possibly damage the atmosphere in the dressing room, when most of the players apparently don't give a flying fuck anyway.
36 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:54:09
People expect him to perform magic and moan when he loses the ball or runs into trouble. Many of us have been saying for a long time that it's the lack of options available to him.
hese latest stats about Rom running less than every other player in the Premier League go someway to show that. I hope we find the answer before it's too late.
37 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:55:06
Yes, a lot of them have underperformed but this lazy lump is one of the biggest culprits in that department, he deserves every criticism he is rightly getting.
38 Posted 09/12/2016 at 22:57:52
The manager asks him to press, and he responds by running less than every other player in the Premier League. That's pathetic.
39 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:01:32
We've seen some duffers and some wonderful players, but not many have been as laid back as big Rom is. His manager has been quoted saying today that Rom is fit and strong enough to do more for the team, therefore it is not his physical limitations that prevent him chasing and harrying defenders or moving about the pitch, but rather his mental attitude. Barkley is also trying his best to fulfil his manager's demands but he's also finding the transition difficult.
I think that Koeman must be a far more patient person than many of us on here, but even his patience will run out if both of those talented players are unable to deliver what he is asking of them.
Personally I think the centre-forward is the most important player on the pitch, because he sets the tone for the rest of the team. Andy Gray was fantastic at it and others even Latchford made demands on their fellow team-mates which raised the games of those around and about them. Scoring goals is a fantastic attribute but it is almost worthless if the team are not winning matches often enough.
40 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:01:45
41 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:05:58
I'm not a vindictive person but I hope if and when he does leave the grass isn't greener!!
42 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:12:15
43 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:12:16
He hasn't got a top footballers brain, that's his main problem.
For a middle of the park player he's a passenger in defence. He can't head a ball.
44 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:25:37
How many goals does he have? Hard to say it but West Brom used him better than either of our managers have. It would be truly scary what his goal tally would be playing in a 4-3-3 system with actual help in the final third and midfielders who can play a ball through.
BTW, How is Lukaku saying he has options when playing for his national team an undeserved criticism of Koeman? Even if it is a swipe at him, isn't it what most TWs have been screaming for a system that creates goal scoring opportunities? By all means though, please continue to slag him off for his "Dutch Honesty" while lauding Koeman for telling the "truth."
45 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:30:43
And also I have never ever given Barkley a dreadful time, Chris, but I do have an opinion. I have said many times that I see he has talent, I want him to do well but I also see he is limited in very basic stuff to warrant all this nonsense wrote about him.
Pundits comparing him to Gazza and Rooney need to catch themselves on in my opinion, he's just not in the same level as those two were at his age they were miles ahead.
46 Posted 09/12/2016 at 23:50:20
Posters like you continually bang on about his goals and I've even seen it posted on here and Twitter comparing him with Ronaldo and Messi because he has around the same goalscoring record as them at his age. Seriously, he's not in the same stratosphere as them when it comes to footballing ability.
If you don't believe me, Jim, look at their careers at the same age. Messi has been at Barcelona his entire career, one of the world's premier clubs and as we all know played at an unbelievable high standard throughout. Ronaldo the same at Man Utd and Real Madrid scoring plenty of goals.
Lukaku's career so far, signed for Chelsea as a teenager, couldn't make the 1st team so loaned out to West Brom where he spent most of the time on the bench but yes scored goals, then returned to Chelsea. Still couldn't make the 1st team so was loaned to us, had a decent season but then went back to Chelsea, was then deemed not good enough for them and was sold to Everton.
He has played for a mediocre Everton side for the last few seasons and whilst banging in goals has gone on large barren runs where there are no goals, terrible form and not even close to any trophies, yet we are told he is world class and in the same league as the other two mentioned? I don't think so!
47 Posted 10/12/2016 at 00:26:07
I have seen comments that say they don't care about his running, he is a goalscorer. This is NOT Sunday league pub football. Movement, good intelligent movement is critical for the team to perform, especially in the final third of the field.
John Pierce (#28) correctly pointed to Ian Rush, superb finisher and superb movement both offensively and defensively. Lukaku should not really be mentioned in the same breath as Rush. If his talent and effort was as big as his ego, I would keep him, but as that would be impossible for any player to match, he should leave.
49 Posted 10/12/2016 at 03:35:31
"AAAAAHHHHH!!! I hate the lazy, useless fucker!!!!"
50 Posted 10/12/2016 at 04:42:26
A couple of matches every 2 months and a tournament every 2 years would suit his energy levels while working on his control and heading ability.
51 Posted 10/12/2016 at 04:52:33
52 Posted 10/12/2016 at 05:31:36
53 Posted 10/12/2016 at 06:45:03
If he had ever given us a season like Gary Lineker did, I would be the very first to put out my hand, say thanks for the fantastic memories and good luck in the future. You do deserve better than us at the moment, his performances don't deserve that praise I'm afraid.
And btw David, I stand by every word I've posted on him. Tomorrow I would love a fit and focused Anichebe alongside Shane Long starting for us; I'm pretty sure Ross Barkley would too!
54 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:14:41
Yes, my Liverpudlian mother married a Cherokee man and his family name was changed from the long form Cherokee name to what we now have, Barks, by some lawyer when they were marched across the country to a reservation in Oklahoma.
But hey, that's just what you do isn't it. Funny I can't remember you posting on here about what a poor decision it was for us to let Anichebe go. I don't remember you calling for us to sign Anichebe during the summer. But now, he's your little favorite.
Lukaku has his faults, every player does. But he's a damn better footballer than Anichebe or Long, and has proven it every single year of his young career. Every single season, Kevin.
You act as if he was the only player to leave a club like Chelsea as a youngster, yet neglect all the others who have done similar. Even Pogba was let go by Man Utd. De Bruyne let go by Chelsea. Bale was seen as a failure at Spurs for quite a while, almost shipped off. Henry failed in Italy before finding his place at Arsenal.
Lukaku, any person with any credibility would tell you there are aspects of his game which need to improve. I'm sure if someone asked him that question, he would say the exact same thing. But to suggest Anichebe or Long are superior is being absolutely disingenuous and honestly is just wind-up material from what seems to be an internet troll.
So enjoy your trolling from here on out, I'm tapping out. I don't need to have these keyboard warrior discussions with a 50-something year old who gets his kicks from making the same type of mocking jokes of a last name that I endured from 8-year-olds as a child. I wear my last name on my arm along with an Everton badge and the emblem of the Cherokee nation. So woof woof, get a laugh from it all you'd like.
55 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:39:55
In the end, David, we all want the best for our club, I and I'm pretty sure you love Everton; we just disagree on certain things or players, nothing wrong with that. I don't like Lukaku as a player; you do... no problem.
56 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:47:34
I know he's not everyone's cup of tea but, reading between the lines, this sounds very personal towards this young man and goes beyond football.
I suppose in this new age of social media, populism, Trump and fake news anything, and everything, goes. Calling a young player 'a cancer' in the dressing room without knowing him, without facts, without any corroborative evidence is just not right and you need to get a fucking grip.
As for you David Barks Great post and my deepest respect for you and your nation. We need to stand up to the haters, not only on here but in every walk of life.
57 Posted 10/12/2016 at 07:48:24
Without his goals, he contributes nothing and before people go off on that, I am saying that mostly in the games in which he doesn't score he is a complete passenger.
Furthermore, I have my suspicions about his negative influence in the dressing-room; the complete lack of team morale must stem from somewhere and I wouldn't be surprised if it started with Martinez fluffing the Belgian's ego.
We made the mistake of setting ourselves up to go exclusively through Lukaku and, for that reason also I would be more than happy to see him go. A team is always the sum of more than its parts.
58 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:01:43
59 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:20:45
Raymond Fox, Okay, saying he has everything may be going a bit too far, but I don't think it's his footballing brain that's the problem. I think it's the lack of options in front of him that causes him to sometimes struggle with the final ball.
I just want to see how Barkley gets on with a mobile striker in front of him who pulls defenders all over the place and creates space for others.
61 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:21:59
62 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:23:42
And he's so rubbish we should get 㿨m and replace him with all those strikers out there, desperate to join an underachieving club with 'no midfield' and 'inconsistent wingers'.
I'd stick Valencia up with him. I'd remind our midfield there's a penalty box at the other end of the pitch that they're allowed to enter. I'd tell them to feed Lukaku. I'd tell Lukaku, "There's your options and service, run your rear end off, get me goals or you're on the bench."
There's no goals in this team because we have managers who don't buy goalscorers. The only one is Lukaku. How about buying more players who know where the goal is, rather than selling the only one we have?
63 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:38:32
64 Posted 10/12/2016 at 08:43:01
If you dare to call him out on it, you are labeled a hater? I find it quite ironic that there are certain posters on here for whatever reason bringing up Trump but are taking the exact same stance as he would when it comes to criticism it's simply not allowed. I disagree.
65 Posted 10/12/2016 at 09:17:16
What we should be focused on is performance on the pitch, which is fairly shite at the moment, and it looks like we need a better system, whether it's more creativity from midfield, another striker to accompany Lukaku, or whatever, and TW has a number of interesting threads and posts with suggestions that look good, although I'm no expert on football strategy.
So, although Lukaku comes out with some annoying shite, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I'd rather the system were changed to something more effective, not to accommodate individual prima donnas, but to get better results for Everton.
66 Posted 10/12/2016 at 09:27:10
67 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:15:00
I really cannot understand people saying get rid of players, Lukaku or any other good player, when the ability is there for the taking.
68 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:17:17
"It seems that some on ToffeeWeb see Lukaku as a bad influence in the dressing room. Can anyone who holds that view provide any evidence other than conjecture or their own opinion?"
Of course not. I don't work for Everton.
My opinion, which is all it is, is based on the balance of probabilities. I look at Lukaku's consistent lack of effort, his half-arsed attitude to being here, and the consistent assertion that he is merely passing through on the route to much better things.
It is, as you yourself state at #6 "about personality, a good mix, balance and the right chemistry".
There is clearly a problem in the dressing room at Everton. They are mentally weak, some are half-arsed, coasting, comfortable, and need challenging. I think Lukaku, King Rom, one performance a month Rom, who we are so lucky to have, especially as if we blink we may miss him on the way to much more impressive surroundings, is quite possibly one of the problems.
He sets the tone playing up top. And his half-arsed meanderings set a flat one.
69 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:20:54
Consider this: so far this season, he has been on the pitch for 1,017 minutes. Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has played 1,067 minutes.
In that time, Firmino has run 23.6 miles further than Lukaku and made 490 more high intensity sprints. The difference is colossal.
He wants to play at a Champions League club but it's the same with Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez and even Sergio Aguero.
They are all running further and harder than Lukaku.
70 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:27:35
71 Posted 10/12/2016 at 10:38:56
I think Lukaku is lazy and controls the ball further than I can kick it. Name me another goalscorer in this team.
I think he scores goals and moves more when there's movement in the team as a whole. Doesn't matter who we buy, if there's no movement around the team, the striker will score less.
Last week we ended with two strikers and midfielders going forward. The penalty came from a midfielder running into their box. We suddenly started creating space and chances.
The idea that Lukaku is the cause of our ills is nonsense. Midfielders with no goal threat, defenders who defend sporadically, playing a lone striker who can't hold the ball up; that's where our problems lie.
Ten games with Lukaku and Valencia up front. Two strikers creating space for each other and the following up midfielders. Try that and if Lukaku doesn't score, he's toast. I think he will.
72 Posted 10/12/2016 at 11:30:09
Just quit breathing a sigh of relief when he taps one in from 8 yards and hold him accountable for numerous times he allows possession to be conceded. His team mates must bloody hate him. I seriously believe that.
Oh yeah... Martinez got him out of prison? He helped get Martinez the sack; horrible attitude, awful footballer, lazy sod... decent finisher.
73 Posted 10/12/2016 at 11:35:56
Peter (#72), stop being a hater please, wiki wink!
74 Posted 10/12/2016 at 14:44:18
Hmmm, yeah... old ping pong feet was at it again today wasn't he? Pretty much set them up for the counter attack for their equaliser. Lost the ball more times than I could care to remember.
But hey... if you give him a pass and a chance that you wouldn't expect any striker to miss, he will score. That's the deal with him half-chances need not apply... clear cut only.
Just fed up with the lot of them. Some suitcases need packing.
75 Posted 10/12/2016 at 16:06:23
76 Posted 10/12/2016 at 20:02:41
79 Posted 11/12/2016 at 02:54:26
Idiotic response as usual. You selected Messi to compare Lukaku to? The greatest player of the modern generation. Well, it is good to see how highly you actually rate Lukaku.
See Kevin, your selection of which player sets the bar is an implicit admission (look it up since I want you to learn a new term) that you think Lukaku is better right now than the strikers unmentioned by you, namely, Giroud, Aguero, Suarez, Neymar, Costa, Muller, Icardi, Totti, Robben, Ribery, Best, Pele, and even Rooney.
By all means, continue to blame Lukaku for everything. Continue to count the games he doesn't score in and the distance he doesn't run. However, in the time he has been in the EPL how many teams with "running" strikers have been relegated? How many "running" strikers has he outscored? Maybe those strikers should have run less and scored more and they would be in the EPL still? Hmmmmmm?
80 Posted 11/12/2016 at 03:16:26
In the world of Tony "I don't give a fuck about the team as long as I score" Cottee... all is good.
Mino "Send my two players I want to sell this summer on holiday together" Raiola will be able to divide his games played by an extra 2 goals when desperately begging Juventus or PSG to fund the harbour for the yacht he bought with the Pogba cash...
Maybe once we sell this fraud, the team can find some real identity... because yeah, I agree, the lad has ruined the dressing room. It's as clear as day.
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