Koeman responds to predecessor's critique of his defence

Friday 10 February 2017  93 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman has offered his response to criticism from former Everton manager Roberto Martinez of his team's defence by saying that what was an unusual game is not a fair measure of the Blues' improvements at the back.

Offering his opinion on Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday last weekend, Martinez said that Everton showed the same defensive vulnerabilities in their 6-3 win over Bournemouth that were eventually his undoing last season.

Koeman, however, maintains that he has been working hard to address the fundamental problems he diagnosed when he succeeded the Catalan in the Goodison hot-seat but says he will reserve full judgement of his own performance in that regard until the end of the season.

"[H]e is a really good talker, a good communicator and all that," the Dutchman said of his predecessor. "He speaks nice and like everybody he is a human being defending himself.

"But I think it is easy to talk after Bournemouth about the defence. That defence had three clean sheets [at home] in a row before Bournemouth. And, finally, the numbers, the stats... it is still not the end of the season so I will wait to give my good answer."

Koeman has made passing references on more than one occasion about Everton's defensive record before he came and its an area he has focused on improving.

Indeed, in his initial response to Martinez's comments as a pundit last weekend, he highlighted the fact that, setting aside the 5-0 defeat at Chelsea and the three goals his side conceded last Saturday, the Toffees have only conceded 19 in 23 matches.

"There were several aspects of football I wasn't happy about [when I arrived]," Koeman continued. "It was not only defence. I remember one or two meetings at the start of the season where I showed what we needed to change.

"I took clips out of last season, including good clips of the team in ball possession but also clips out of possession because in my opinion there was not always good defensive organisation when an attack broke down.

“A big part was defending set plays — 14 conceded last season was too many. Then you need to know the character of the players, the quality of the players; if you are there with them day by day you get a different idea.

"Also being more direct instead of a lot of ball possession back to the goalkeeper. Play the ball in the channel … There is more high pressing, trying to press your opponent and not to wait and drop back too much. That takes time and maybe you need different players to play that system."

Koeman's Everton have scored fewer than they had under Martinez at the same stage last season but are eight points and four places better off.

Quotes sourced from The Guardian

Reader Comments (93)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 10/02/2017 at 23:33:10
Don't give up the day job, Roberto.
Drew O'Neall
2 Posted 10/02/2017 at 23:39:27
In the words of Alan Partridge..

'Yes, yes and yes'

Liam Reilly
3 Posted 10/02/2017 at 23:40:54
The only surprise here is that Koeman wasn't more cutting regarding his predecessor; who has no right to criticise.

Any idiot can see that the defence has improved this season; I'm no longer looking through my fingertips at two goals up and 20 minutes to go!

Bill Gienapp
4 Posted 10/02/2017 at 23:58:50
I love how Martinez talks about the defensive frailties being part of his undoing, as if he had no hand in the matter.
Charlie Lloyd
5 Posted 11/02/2017 at 00:15:25
Defensively good under Moyes. Then it took Martinez three years to make it a weakness. The set-piece defending was particularly woeful.

Then he talks these words as we've obviously improved under Koeman. Least he's still true to form. Talking rubbish!

Craig Fletcher
6 Posted 11/02/2017 at 00:16:55
Martinez making a critical comment on the defensive capabilities of a football team. I really have heard it all now.
Mike Berry
7 Posted 11/02/2017 at 00:18:01
Martinez was a Walter Mitty character who meant well but was clueless on many aspects of what is essential for a successful team.

We were defensively awful, badly organised and unfit under his tenure. We are really showing now how Ronald has managed to turn around such a mess in a short period of time.

As for Martinez, laughable comments, he should thank that his "good talkin" got him the Belgian job, Bobby's bullshit meter must have been on overtime. We move on...

Anthony Murphy
8 Posted 11/02/2017 at 00:44:56
Our paths with Roberto will cross again... next season, League Cup 3rd round, Everton v Wycombe... binned by Belgium once he's been sussed out, he'll pop up lower down the leagues.

By which stage, Everton will be challenging for a top four place and will be looking forward to finally putting some well overdue silverware on the table.

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 11/02/2017 at 00:50:50
Erm Everton 3 - Chelsea 6 ??; extreme pot/kettle there Robbie 'koff you fraud.

Lukaku got you 2 more years pay and a £10M pay out...what with that, the Kone fee and wages, Alcaraz's wages, Niasse fee and wages. That must be £40M weighed up against a nice Xmas video and some pictures of Ball and Labone etc put on the wall at Finch Farm.

"[H]e is a really good talker, a good communicator and all that," the Dutchman said of his predecessor. "He speaks nice and like everybody he is a human being defending himself... aka, he talks a good game.

Mick Davies
10 Posted 11/02/2017 at 01:10:31
For 3 years, Martinez ignored a good keeper, almost destroying his confidence. Koeman has restarted the lad's career and he's repaying him with his hard work and match saving displays.

Just one of many idiotic decisions our former egotistical manager made. To even comment on Everton FC is disgraceful considering the mess he left us in.

Phil Jeffries
11 Posted 11/02/2017 at 01:32:06
Alcaraz. Nothing more to say.
James Watts
12 Posted 11/02/2017 at 01:36:00
My response if I were Koeman, "Who gives a toss what that prick says?". The same response I would give as a supporter.
Mark Andersson
13 Posted 11/02/2017 at 02:42:55
Martinez the car sales man v Koeman the pragmatist. I miss Robert's laughable comments. Donald Trump became president and Martinez in any kind of football job, just shows how mad the world is.

Once Koeman get's the players to fully integrate his philosophy then I predict Everton will become a top 4 team.

Mike Dolan
14 Posted 11/02/2017 at 03:13:41
After all of the money we paid him to not be in a position to offer us his advice, he has the gall to offer us advice.

He put out teams that were 75% fit to me that is the most damning thing I have ever heard about a manager.

You should hang your head in shame Roberto and if your sizable ego won't allow you to do that just STFU because you are embarrassing yourself.

Darryl Ritchie
15 Posted 11/02/2017 at 03:43:05
Martinez likes to talk. He's not a very good manager, but he's a very accomplished talker. He talked his way into Everton. He talked his way onto the World Cup reporting team. He talked his way into the Belgian managerial position.

It's entything Entertaining to watch, as long as he has no actual influence on Anton... and he doesn't, thank heavens.

Alexander Murphy
16 Posted 11/02/2017 at 04:39:01
Bill comment 4.
That is the kind of astute observation which will forever be entirely beyond Roberto Martinez.

He mucked things up all around and rather than nip any in the bud he turned up the volume, but he can spot "a fault" in others no problem.

Let him carry on with his Emperors new clothes version of all things football, he's Belgium's problem now not ours.

Kristian Boyce
17 Posted 11/02/2017 at 05:28:57
I wished he said a 'phenomenal talking' instead.

Martinez's comments about the team highlights his biggest personal flaw, he can't admit he's at fault for anything. It was the same throughout his tenure here and it was the one thing that made me dislike him as an individual not just as an awful manager.

Not once in his time here did he take blame for mistakes or poor performances. Even after he leaves, he criticizes the defending, putting blame onto the new manager and the defenders. In reality the rot set in from his coaching.

The positive spin and slick salesman like demeanor he portrays makes everyone like him. Probably why Distin fell out with him as he saw through the sham that he was.

Colin Metcalfe
18 Posted 11/02/2017 at 05:54:40
Wow! So much hate for our former manager, a manager who amassed a record points haul of 72 points in the premier league in his first season .

Martinez eventually deserved to be sacked; however, I do think he deserves a little bit more respect than he is getting on this site and please don't give me that shit he was "lucky"in his first season, you don't get 72 points over a season , getting to the quarters of the FA Cup plus recording the double over Man Utd for the first time since 1969 through sheer luck!

I find Martinez is all too easily a figure of fun for most Evertonians however, let's be honest, 'Bobby brown shoes' had us all eating out of his hand in that first season of 2013-14

Koeman is doing a great job after a shaky start and at this point we are 32 points short of our record total in the Premier League, we may or may not beat it; however, we were still dumped out of both cups early on this season and let's not forget that Martinez is the proud owner of a FA Cup winners medal which is something that Moyes nor Koeman and the majority of the current Everton team does not have.

Martinez is a good talker and can put a positive spin on the most comprehensive of defeats and he can be the most stubborn of managers who simply will not change his principles of how the game should be played; however, he does have the silverware to show he is not all talk!

Brian Porter
19 Posted 11/02/2017 at 06:16:26
These comments from Martinez are just laughable. This, from the manager who didn't bother with defensive coaching during his time here and relied on outscoring the opposition with his all out possession obsessed attacking philosophy.

The man who encouraged Stones to do his Cruyff turns in the box and said Cleverley was the best midfielder in England? Please go away, Roberto. Nobody's listening to you anymore.

David Barks
20 Posted 11/02/2017 at 06:31:25

Sorry buddy, Koeman has plenty of silverware to drown out Bobby's single cup, won while relegating his club. Martinez did achieve much of that success off of a very solid and talented team that he inherited. As opposed to Koeman inheriting a very toxic situation, but in my opinion a fair amount of talent.

Martinez proved himself to be completely incompetent at managing our club. International management is probably his perfect space. He can get very talented players, from the best clubs and managers in the world, and have them play a couple of games relying on all of the hardwork done by their club managers.

John G Davies
21 Posted 11/02/2017 at 07:06:17
Great response from Koeman. Martinez really set himself up with the statement criticising the defence. As Koeman says "He's just a human being defending himself." He could have said a lot more.

As mentioned above, Martinez gave us a first season that we all enjoyed, then lost his way by playing idealistic football.

A rigid adherence to his style with no Plan B. He brought about his own inevitable downfall. Martinez treading on thin ice in his criticism of Koeman.

Gio Mero
22 Posted 11/02/2017 at 07:56:57
Koeman is doing better than Martinez was. Full stop. So he's fine; Martinez's words will do nothing but highlight the good job the Dutch is doing here particularly in the back of such a poor season with all the burden that came with it.

Martinez? I think he showed a bit of human frailty with that comment, as picked up on by Koeman. With the words of our great manager: "It's okay."

Paul Doyle
23 Posted 11/02/2017 at 08:28:24
What a clown, Kone, Alcaraz, Niasse (although he gets a pass for scoring the winner against RS)... These are just some of the wonderful memories this joker has left us.

Remember, this is the idiot who didn't agree with scoring from a corner! He gave me heart failure every time we were defending a corner. He is nothing but a cabaret act who wouldn't look out of place in Mind Your Language.

David Logan
24 Posted 11/02/2017 at 08:41:39
Martinez destroyed Everton defensively with his ideas! The reason why Everton conceded so many goals and gave away so many leads was down to his leadership.

Koeman has been slowly improving and rebuilding the team. The players Martinez brought in, like Cleverley, Kone, Alcaraz, McGeady, have been shown to be not up to standard and have been shipped out. Koeman has been dismantling his legacy and building his own stronger legacy.

I believe the Watford loss helped everyone see how much needed changing and we are now seeing the improvements. I am still somewhat astonished how Martinez can still end up becoming the manager of Belgium, interesting to see how that works out!

I think it was a mistake to recruit Martinez as Moyes replacement - one good season out of three seasons, demonstrates that along with some pretty average players

Roman Lizuch
25 Posted 11/02/2017 at 08:50:28
Well, it is very funny to read article like this. Martinez did something right in his first season. But he refused to change tactics the next two seasons. That is what got him, I think. :)

It is also funny seeing him to criticise the defence – in the middle of the season – without looking at the numbers. Also, nice response from Koeman. ;)

Peter Gorman
26 Posted 11/02/2017 at 08:56:40
Wow! A fan defending our former manager and criticising our fellow fans. Wow!
Mike Green
27 Posted 11/02/2017 at 08:57:35
Pppppppppphhhhh!!!!!! :D
Eddie Dunn
28 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:23:51
Colin, the man also took Wigan down.
Stan Schofield
29 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:45:28
Colin@18: The term 'hate' seems a bit strong. Folks are well entitled to make critical comments on Martinez. The guy was sacked for a reason.

Yes, the 13-14 season was a good one, but that doesn't detract from the mess we were in last season. He chose to make his latest comments, he wasn't forced, so is open to the current criticism.

He'd be sensible to concentrate on his own job rather than comment on other's, and just move on 'positively'. He doesn't manage us now, that's Koeman's job.

Paul Conway
30 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:46:53
Colin @ 18,

IMO you are 100% correct in your post... except your argument only applies to one season – his first. The following 2 seasons, he set about dismantling everything. He set himself up for ridicule and almost succeeded in transforming our Club into an annnexe of Wigan.

As for the FA Cup... You can very often have an easy ride to the final. Teams that win their cup matches on the day show the form that they were due, after a horrendous run of form in the league.

Many teams that are struggling in the league often come good in a cup match.Not that it was intentional (the show of form), only because the cup happened to be in the fixtures. Imho, such was the case in the two semi-finals we reached in last season.

Joe Foster
31 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:48:08
Can't stand the guy. Even seeing him on TV makes me shake my head in disbelief that he was our manager.
Phil Walling
32 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:49:42

Martinez was always a figure of fun because his 'vision' was just a poor copy of the one giving the present Man City such angst. He was a joke at Wigan and Everton just provided him with a bigger stage!

Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:49:51
Roberto Martinez was and still is fraud. Hindsight is wonderful in context he set all the worst records, when at Wigan the EPL's record 9-1 defeat at Spurs, consecutive worst goals conceded record season by season, and took them down and set them up for what was back to back relegations.

How the hell he can criticise any coach is galling and he is by far the worst thing that happened to the club in many years, as aside from a few transfers that came good, he took the club and its supporters to hell.

Even the RS could see through him... I reckon he must take some potions as it's incredible how Anderlecht turned him down, yet he got the Belgian national coach job.

Working people will never get close to what the fraud is earning and the guy made his priorities clear with his epic last minute crap reasons and he was often focusing his priorities on his media slots. El Loco, and enough said...

Patrick Eimsman
34 Posted 11/02/2017 at 09:54:32
Martinez is a very decent manager when it comes to a knockout scenario like the FA Cup. I wouldnt be suprised if he gets Belgium on all guns blazing and does well there. In the league he overall was terrible but in a knockout if you can score one more than your opponents why not go for it?
Geoff Evans
35 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:21:09
Talk about nerve...
Simon Lloyd
36 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:24:51
Meanwhile, in other news, Donald Trump criticises Jeremy Clarkson for not being sufficiently PC.
Ray Roche
37 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:28:39

Okay, his first season was great to watch, but once he'd put HIS stamp on things we turned to crap. He is the worst manager since Mike "The Suntan" Walker. Given time, he'd have taken us down as well to join Wigan in his list of "successes".

Sam Hoare
38 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:33:43
I don't like Martinez and wanted him gone early but always thought he was at least a decent, fair guy. These sour grapes don't put him in a great light.

Though I agree our defence still needs work, on paper we've conceded the 4th least goals in the league which is a huge improvement from last season.

Seb Niemand
39 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:37:11
Oh, the never-ending hubris of Roberto Martinez. I'm not sure were I in Koeman's positon, my response would have been as classy.
Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:53:21
㾶 Million off Everton after having 3 years already on a load of money, gets another job within 3 months, and still has to go on the telly to make more money?

Maybe this is why the man is being criticised, because he oversaw the defensive frailties that had become part of our team?

Joe O'Brien
41 Posted 11/02/2017 at 10:56:07

Any team can win a cup with favourable ties in their run. His 1st season we scored loads and were okay at the back... because Moyes had us tight at the back. He dismantled that in time and his 'vision' had us in chaos.

He'd have taken us down in time if he was still in charge. Could have been as early as this season. Roberto – it's over... Stop yapping about our team.

Matthew Williams
42 Posted 11/02/2017 at 11:13:13
It seems nowadays most Blues look forward to our games, last season, they dreaded them.

Fucking BIG difference, eh, Bobby!

John Daley
43 Posted 11/02/2017 at 11:22:27
To be fair, he was asked to comment on the game (a game in which our defence was all over the shop for periods) whilst appearing on 'Goals On Sunday'. Not like he's randomly going around running his mouth off about Everton at every opportunity.

If he truly wanted to be snide about it he could probably have highlighted the fact that the defender who looked most off the pace against Bournemouth was the bloke his successor brought in to tighten things up. 

Regardless, anything Martinez utters about Everton is meaningless now. The part of the Guardian article I was more interested in was Koeman confessing Barkley spoke to him about feeling 'singled out' and how the manager subsequently dealt with it:


"The England international came in for severe and repeated criticism from Koeman earlier in the season, prompting the 23-year-old to ask his manager why he was being singled out.

“I spoke about this with Ross” Koeman said. “He mentioned that it is always about him. I said: ‘OK, start to be afraid when they don't ask about you. Then you need to be afraid. And if the manager is still criticising you as a player then it means he still believes in your qualities. If I don't talk about you any more than that is when you need to be afraid.' I understand it is always difficult for him. There are always a lot of comments and questions about him. We had a conversation about this."

Wonder how Martinez would have handled that one?

"I told Ross to go home and study 2001: A Space Odyssey so he would understand that every midfielder who came before was merely a prehistoric monkey chucking a massive bone in the air, whereas he is the futuristic, space orbiting, super satellite that the shitty bone tool transforms into."

Grant Rorrison
44 Posted 11/02/2017 at 11:37:43
Joe (#41). Yeah, like Norwich and Leicester at home. :{
Craig Walker
45 Posted 11/02/2017 at 11:39:40
Some good memories in his first season. Some awful ones in the last two seasons. Some good signings like Lukaku and Barry, some atrocious ones like Niasse and Alcatraz.

I think he did a good job investing in the youth setup and facilities but some of his post-match analysis comments were risible.

Let's move on and enjoy this good run we're on. Just hope we can get 3 points at the Riverside.

David Hallwood
47 Posted 11/02/2017 at 11:44:37
I must've been watching a different game than our Bob. Yes, it was a mad game, and IMHO we didn't take the foot off the gas in the early part of the 2nd half, we downed tools - and that's worrying if we're going to the clichéd "next level".

But let's go through the goals: there are times when you've got to put your hands up and say you've been done by great play, and their 1st goal, great spot by Wilshere, great movement by King and a fine finish.

2nd one all over the place admittedly, 3rd one wasn't so much out as he could've sat in Row C to pass it back.

File under "it happens"... but for Bob not to say that we're a different defensively doesn't say much for him as a coach.

Raymond Fox
48 Posted 11/02/2017 at 11:45:03
Colin (#18), you're wasting your time defending Roberto on here.

I've no Idea in what context he's commented on our defence this season. If the topic of the defence came up and he said that all was still not right, is that not the truth?

Who thinks that Baines and Coleman are good defenders? Koeman bought Williams to improve our defensive record which has had limited success. Gueye has also made a difference since he was signed, but we still concede too many goals.

It's a waste of time saying anything positive about Martinez here, such as the record first season, the two cup semi-finals, a decent run in the Europa, signing Lukaku, Holgate, bringing Barkley and Stones into the first team.

We finished 11th for the last two seasons – anyone would think that we had been relegated for all the bile spouted in his direction.

Brian Williams
50 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:09:26
Raymond. You're right in that we did well during the first season under Martinez BUT, and there's no real argument, we then deteriorated and two 11th finishes just aren't acceptable, well not to me and a lot of others.

You said you had no idea what context he commented on our defence this season. Perhaps you should have found out first?

Everton currently have the fourth best defence in the Premier League. His comments came across as someone taking a chance to "get their own back"... someone, dare I say, bitter!

There's a difference between bile and reasoned arguments. In the end he proved himself to be out of his depth. We were a team on the way down and he was the one in charge.

Don't know if you meant it this way but your post comes across as though two 11th place finishes were okay. They weren't!

Tamhas Woods
51 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:10:22
Berto, you are now Belgium manager. Why the hell are you complaining about losing your job at Everton?

Maybe it is because the Belgian FA don't have a Kenwright/Elstone double act to defend you anymore!

Jog on, you fraud.

Joe O'Brien
52 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:11:28
The reason we finished 11th last season, Ray, is because Moshiri sacked Martinez... that team under him would have lost against Norwich. He deserves everything he gets because he had us in a awful state. So glad he's not our manager anymore.
Brian Williams
53 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:45:07
Colin (#18).

Just read your post. Just goes to show when someone doesn't give the full story how easy it is to influence the outlook. You omit to mention that his team, the FA Cup winners, were relegated that season.

Ask any Evertonian if they'd accept an FA Cup win and then to be relegated! Ask any Wigan supporter if they'd hand back their FA Cup win to swap a second to bottom place in the Championship for a place in the premiership.

Ridiculous argument!

Aidy Dews
54 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:46:28
"He is a really good talker, a good communicator and all that...". In other words he means he talks shit!

We may concede a few goals here and there but in general we have been better defensively and on that side of things it was always gonna take Koeman time to sort out but I feel we're getting there.

Koeman and the team will get it right. The midfield looks really strong these days and just needs a bit of flair adding to it in key areas but the defence does still need work imo. We do need a younger, more fresher centre-back to come in, preferably 2 imo, one to slot in alongside Williams and another that will take both Jagielka's & Funes Mori's places in the squad and eventually take Williams's place in the team. We have Holgate still learning, improving and coming through, both Pennington & Browning coming back from injury and looking to push on so with a bit more transformation at the back come the summer and I'm sure we'll be fine.

Anthony Flack
55 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:46:41
He lacks bottle, sense of occasion and could not get the team up when it mattered First half against RS in the Semi-Final summed it up

Nice media type. Not really going to be a contender for top job in Premier League in the future

Nigel Munford
57 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:57:19
Why on earth would any Evertonian defend him, Raymond? We were in a real mess those last two seasons. He was just a charlatan and needed to go, and we are in far better shape now.
Ian Cowhig
58 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:58:54
Personally, I think he will do well with Belgium. The reason being that he is not daily responsible for the players' fitness. And so as per year 1 with us, the fitness in the players will allow his tactics to work.

Just watching Niasse against Arsenal. And have to say he is playing well.

Colin Metcalfe
59 Posted 11/02/2017 at 12:59:13
Okay, fellas I probably deserve a bit of stick after my comments last night, I was three quarters into a great bottle of red!

I guess I was trying to say that in the 3 years of his tenure Martinez at times had us playing some decent football, as I commented above he got the boot and deservedly so in fact soon into his 3rd season I called out Paul Clement the current Swans manager as a possible replacement but to say his time at Everton was a complete failure is simply not true.

Furthermore it was certainly not my intention to criticize fellow blues and if my comments came across that way then I apologize .

Meanwhile, I am watching the Gooners v Hull and our man Niasse who is not that bad, you never know we may get our money back on this fella.

Dan Egerton
60 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:16:36
Martinez brought in Alcaraz. I rest my case.
Brian Williams
61 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:17:09
Just shows how opinions can differ on exactly the same subject.

Watching the Arsenal game as well and there was a perfect low cross right across the Arsenal box and Niasse didn't even react to it. Didn't even break stride to try and connect with it. Looked totally unprepared and unaware.

They're the sort of things coaches see and make decisions on, not doing OK on the wing or in build up play. He looked OK if you didn't look carefully, I would say.

Paul Birmingham
62 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:20:14
He's that deluded he will probably do a book on the art of successful coaching!
Colin Glassar
63 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:20:30
He did get rid of Johnny Heitinga who is now a virtual pauper. You big meanie Roberto.
Anthony Jones
64 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:23:21
And again this is why, even though they worked hard as Everton Managers, so many do not wish Martinez or Moyes all the best.

The pair were deluded whilst at Everton and remain deluded to this day. Nothing is ever their fault. Martinez is a con artist that believes his own rhetoric. Moyes is a try-hard that cannot accept his limitations. Good riddance.

Damian Wilde
65 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:34:16
Raymond (#48)...

Is reaching two semi-finals regarded as 'success'?

Just curious.

Phil Sammon
66 Posted 11/02/2017 at 13:46:52
I've just flicked on for the 2nd half. Niasse has been really good. He's pacey, doesn't stop harrying and actually doesn't look out of place with a football at his feet.

That Markovic looks handy too.

Nicholas Ryan
67 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:01:38
WANTED: Manager for Belgium. Must have the ability to look at a dozen of the most talented sportsmen on the planet, and say: 'Go out and enjoy yourselves!'. Salary: staggering!
George Cumiskey
68 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:02:12
What about Clattenberg's performance? Absolutely terrible!
Colin Glassar
69 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:09:56
All part of the plan, George. The status quo must be maintained at all costs.
George Cumiskey
71 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:18:45
Clattenbergs a complete arsehole !
Geoff Williams
72 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:21:34
We are dodgy through the middle and susceptible to the high ball, that is a fact. We needed at least one good centre back last summer but we got Williams.
Denis Richardson
73 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:32:57
Colin 18 - many fans see Martinez as a figure of fun because the guy is actually a giant walking gonad.

Hindsight provides clarity and it's obvious to see that his 72 point season was largely thanks to the foundations Moyes left behind (I say that even though I wanted Moyes gone since 2009). Credit to Martinez for bringing in Barry and Lukaku – his gift of the gab works both ways – but look closely at the 13-14 season.

After about 6 months, when his dismantling of the Moyes set up was taking shape, results and performances dived. The last couple of months were almost relegation form. No need to say anything about the next two seasons.

The guy walked off with 10m fucking pounds after signing Niasse without even seeing him play. He is simply a nauseating second-hand car salesman. Remember his 'deep Hispanic contacts'? Just how many gems did we sign from South America? Actually how many players full stop did we sign from South America? Mirallas and Lukaku laughing when they found out he was the new Belgian boss – that tell you anything?

He is a total fraud imo and I am glad he's fucked off.

Mark Morrissey
74 Posted 11/02/2017 at 14:37:59
James at #12 very well said sir, eloquent to the last and sums up my feelings about Roberto. No more is needed to be said.

As for Colin at #18, I was never eating out of Robertos' hand. I felt he had a first season honeymoon period and I was always worried about us. I never felt confident and I wanted him gone in Season 2.

I wanted us to bin him off and go for Eddie Howe but I'm happy with Koeman. I wanted Simeone if I'm honest but there you go. I don't hate the man. I just thought he was naive and stubborn.

I'll keep saying this on different threads but we need to sign up Harry Maguire from Hull. He's going to be world class and is only 23.

Darren Hind
75 Posted 11/02/2017 at 17:03:35
"Is reaching two semi-finals regarded as success?"

Nothing would surprise me anymore, apparently getting knocked out at the first time of asking in both cups constitutes "a huge improvement".

Perhaps I'm getting confused, maybe the "huge improvement" is what we will all be celebrating when we get another seven points in the league to top last season's much lamented 49 points.

Baited breath 'n all that...

Grant Rorrison
76 Posted 11/02/2017 at 17:28:48
Denis (#73).

Our form in the last couple of months of the 2013-14 season was 9 wins in 12 games, including 7 wins in a row. To say it was 'almost relegation form' is simply untrue.

If anything, it was his reluctance to ditch the crumbling Moyes foundations (Howard, Jagielka, etc) that was his undoing.

Peter Fearon
77 Posted 11/02/2017 at 19:53:07
The mean-spirited,nasty, irreverent, inaccurate and just plain silly remarks about Martinez on this thread are way way way over the top.

Strange that so many of those who were crowing that the Moyes era of drab Route 1, hesitant, defensive, aspire-to-mediocrity football was over and the School of Science was back etc etc should have turned around so completely.

Martinez did very well at first and then found his philosophy difficult to maintain. I think he may do very well with Belgium. Incidentally, he is correct to say that conceding three against Bournemouth is evidence of defensive frailty.

Jim Hillier
78 Posted 11/02/2017 at 19:56:49
Peter, I loved the first season under Bobby. And then, I defended him as far as was reasonable, and then beyond. I defended him and wanted him to do well even after everyone else had turned on him and had had enough.

Know what? I was wrong. And I don't have any interested in anything he has to say about Everton and defence. He failed on that score, and lost the dressing room. Or is that over the top in your view?

Paul Hewitt
79 Posted 11/02/2017 at 20:14:25
That's 4 clean sheets in the last 5 games now. So up yours, Bobby!
Colin Malone
81 Posted 11/02/2017 at 20:42:40
The same is said, not could be said, from that prick Gerrard, on his comments over Ross Barkley. On the performance of our Ross, Koeman was spot on.
Mick Davies
82 Posted 11/02/2017 at 21:41:35
There's an old saying, that if you can't be a good manager, then be lucky – sums up Roberto's first season, when he inherited a consistent and well drilled defence, then got lucky that Lukaku and Barry become available.

He used all his luck up and was found out to be a coward, being scared to drop the established players for younger, and in the case of Robles and Davies especially, much better alternatives. He was like a rabbit caught in the headlights for the last 2 seasons, and even his first gave us our worst derby defeat for 30 odd years, and his idiotic 89th minute subs were unbelievable.

Everyone was wrong except him, and criticism wasn't allowed in the dressing room, as he proved to be very petty and dictatorial. I'm not 100% impressed with Koeman yet, but at least he's (belatedly) doing the things we all want him to, before it gets too late.

Oliver Molloy
83 Posted 11/02/2017 at 21:54:46

Are you saying that Tom Davies should have been in the first team two years ago?

Ian Riley
84 Posted 11/02/2017 at 21:56:07
Martinez did not learn. His record at Wigan year after year in the relegation zone was always going to lead to the drop.

He came to Everton to a defence drilled by Moyes to defend as a unit. This started to fade in Martinez's second season. Two semi-finals are good but cup runs are lotteries. League position is where it matters.

Martinez fails to mention fitness. Possession football going nowhere and our league position dropping each season. I wanted it to work under Martinez but was relieved when he went.

Jay Harris
85 Posted 11/02/2017 at 22:03:41
Any manager that manages a side for 3 seasons and gets them worse positions than his predecessors ultimately leading to relegation is patently not fit to manage a top six club and that was obvious before Kenwright appointed him.

All the organisation and team spirit that Moyes had painfully built up was destroyed in a season and a half.

Martinez has no defense (pardon the pun). The results of his management speak for themselves.

Mick Davies
86 Posted 11/02/2017 at 23:48:51
Oliver, of course I'm not, but he played LAST season and was MotM. He and other youngsters were never given a chance when Jags and Barry were having stinkers. He dropped Robles even though he'd been doing well and Howard was abysmal.

Davies proved he was ready when Unsworth played him – how come Martinez never knew? Maybe because he didn't care, and it showed...

Kevin Elliott
87 Posted 12/02/2017 at 09:39:14
Anthony @64. Well said.

Also, not forgetting that we gave the pair of them their big chance and they both shit on us. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Bobby Thomas
88 Posted 12/02/2017 at 10:25:05
Raymond (#48),

Yes, getting beat by a piss-poor Man Utd side in the semi and getting absolutely demolished, fucked, twatted in the Europa League...

Happy days. What a manager.

Bobby Thomas
89 Posted 12/02/2017 at 11:53:46
Raymond #48

Yes, getting beat by a poss poor Man Utd side in the semi & getting absolutely demolished, fucked, twatted in the Europa.

Happy days. What a manager.

Tony Draper
90 Posted 13/02/2017 at 04:01:04
Dear Roberto Martinez,

You were once the manager at Everton Football Club. You were dismissed. Dismissed because you failed to return results acceprable to this venerable, historic, classic, giant amonst the worlds football elite. You failed.

Ronald Koeman is presently the manager at Everton Football Club. You are not. This situation will never, ever be reversed. Never. Accept that. Accept that your major failing at Everton Football Club was your blindness to the shambolic state of our defence and defending. Shambles Roberto.

Your comments regarding the quality of our defending are nothing short of laughable. Laughter of the wild eyed incredulous and horrified kind, not the sort of warm laughter that follows a comical anecdote.

We took you to our hearts. That was then, before you failed us, before you covered failure with dissembling words by the lorryload.

Criticise yourself and apply the remedy to the point of success before you have the bare arsed nerve to pick fault with anything and everything connected with Everton Football Club.

The kinder, magnanimous part of me accepts that you must have been responsible, if even in the smallest possible measure, for some good. Yet the stone cold truth is that the good will forever be entirely overshadowed by the sheer mass of verbiage which you deployed rather than simply addressing the blatantly obvious. You are the sole architect of your Everton heritage Roberto, you.

Yours, most sincerely,
Tony Draper.

Dermot Byrne
91 Posted 13/02/2017 at 09:02:43
Whilst I can understand your feeling, Tony D (#90), I just have a nagging doubt about whether he will read it or give a shit, even if he stumbled upon it!

I must admit to writing similar things after beer when I am convinced the whole world would stop and listen to my wisdom. Next morning, I realise they won't!

Phil Roberts
92 Posted 13/02/2017 at 09:11:13
Simple Fact: this season, played 25 matches.

Same 25 fixtures last season, we scored 3 less goals and conceded 11 more.

Facts always win over opinions.

Dermot Byrne
93 Posted 13/02/2017 at 09:48:26
Phil (#92). Do me a favour and send your last line to Donald Trump.
Colin Hughes
94 Posted 13/02/2017 at 09:56:02
There has been a lot of slating of Martinez in these comments but you can do what you like with statistics really.

Yes, the defence was poor in his last two seasons but that was mainly due to the fact that Jagielka was finished and Stones thought he was better than he actually was (hopeless in the air for a centre-half). Let's not forget that Martinez produced our highest ever points tally (72) in the premier league era, won away to a so called big 4 club for the only time in a quarter of a century now and won seven league games in a row for the first time since we last won the title in 1987.

Koeman has to be careful in the summer and not neglect the defence or he could have an equally appalling second season as Martinez. Why ? because Funes Mori is not a great defender and Williams is too slow now being the wrong side of 30, as is Baines. Coleman also is not a great defending full back. Things could easily go wrong if he thinks that is our immediate future back line.

Raymond Fox
95 Posted 13/02/2017 at 12:13:50
I don't know why I bother, Bobby (#88).

A piss-poor team won the FA Cup didn't they? If Lukaku scored when he should have, we would have very likely won the cup.

Our Europa League record in 2014 was 6 wins including beating Wolfsburg 2-0 away and 4-1 at home, 2 draws and 2 losses.
We went out on goal difference 6-4. That does no equate to getting absolutely demolished, fucked, twatted to me!

Criticise Martinez by all means, but all this "he's a coward, idiot, clown" etc is way over the top for the results in his tenure. We finished 11th in the Premier League twice, once when playing in the Europa League, big deal!

Where are we going to finish this year? 7th, an improvement, yes... but not great, is it? Let's see what Koeman brings in a season or two.

Any manager of Everton has his work cut out because almost certainly there will be six teams that will outspend us each season; even maintaining 7th place in this league is by no means a given.

Peter Gorman
96 Posted 13/02/2017 at 15:13:37
Do people have to now mention Trump in every thread? Not seeing the relevance to Everton much. And now I've gone and done it.

Interesting that those defending Martinez's record focus on his supposed amazing value for entertainment. And not the defence. Which is indefensible. And the very thing he opted to criticise. Hence people pointing out the irony. And his bullshit.

Eugene Ruane
97 Posted 13/02/2017 at 16:05:29
Peter # 96 - 'Do people have to now mention Trump in every thread?'

Only one man should answer that..

The Donald: "Well here's what I'd like to ask Gorman. Do people who see the occasional mention of my name in a thread, have to exaggerate to such a degree that they will suggest these mentions appear in every thread? C'mon, give me a break. Believe me, this is huge exaggeration from Gorman, HUGE! And believe me it won't stop there folks, not a chance. Soon...you know...very soon, he'll be telling you that Bigly Duncan Farquerson scored 300 goals. But the good news is I'm going to put up a firewall, nobody puts up..."

Etc blah.

Paul Tran
98 Posted 13/02/2017 at 19:42:12
Moyes annoyed me for redefining success, then Martinez went further.

Any manager who describes two semi-final defeats as success and calls a knock-out in the last 16 a "great European adventure" has no place in this club.

Very good first season, poor second and third season. Deservedly fired.

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