The Irish winger felt like he had been rescued by the Catalan from exile at Spartak Moscow where he had been demoted to training with the youth players while he wound down his contract. His spell at Everton proved to be a false dawn, however, for a player who left Celtic for Russia in 2012 for what was, for the time, a massive £9m fee.
McGeady talks to Open Goal of how the smooth-talking Martinez persuaded him that his future with the Blues would be bright once he acclimatised to the Premier League but he was unable to ever hold down a regular place in two seasons during which the team as a whole was struggling for consistency itself.
"Everton didn't have to pay much for me, I was almost a free, and Spartak were buzzing to get rid of me because my contract was running out so they got some money," McGeady explains. "I thought, 'Everton are a really good club and I know Martinez likes me' — or I thought he liked me.
From that point on to the end of the season Martinez kept saying 'This six months is just to get you acclimatised to the Premier League' and I was kind of OK with it. I only started two games but I'd be coming off the bench. But that summer I went away and came back in really good nick, flying.
"I had a really good pre-season and then scored in the first game against Leicester and then the next game I was on the bench.
"That was the story of Everton for me. I just couldn't get going. I had the odd good game, I had the odd bad game when I was starting but I could never get a run of games.
"I was kind of always on the bench. I used to go in and see him and ask what was going on. I would rather he had just told me, 'I'm not having you'. But he would say 'Aiden you can be this, you can be that'. You'd go in thinking 'I will go in and say this' and he would absolutely Jedi mind-trick you. I'd come out and think, 'I didn't say the things I wanted to say'.
"He'd come and say 'How are you Aiden? How's things?"
"I just couldn't get going. It's a big club but I just couldn't get going. You're trying to impress but I only started three games in a row once.”
The beginning of the end at Everton for McGeady in terms of the first-team came at Barnsley early in the 2015-16 season in a League Cup tie at Barnsley where the team had to be rollicked by Martinez for a dreadful first-half display.
The winger was one of the targets of the manager's ire, along with the rest of the forward line, but he felt aggrieved at being the one sacrificed in the second half as Gerard Deulofeu sparked a revival that ended with the Blues winning 5-2.
McGeady has spoken of that evening being pivotal in his relationship with Martinez and it would be followed by months on the fringes of the team.
"He said the front four have been nothing short of a disgrace [at Barnsley] but then he took me off and left them on. They all scored in the second half and we won 5-2.
"I thought 'I've no chance now' and the next game I was completely left out of the squad for the first time in my career and after that I never got a look in.
"He would encourage me when I saw him but I said to him 'I need to be playing because I've got the Euros. I can't be not playing or I'll lose my place in the Ireland team'.
"But he'd said: "Aiden the last few weeks in training you've been unbelievable" and I'd say: "That's good am I going to get a chance?" and he'd say: "Keep doing it, keep doing it".
"He'd just repeat it next time."
McGeady appeared to be written off as a long-term prospect by Martinez's successor Ronald Koeman and he wasn't even assigned a squad number prior to the start of last season.
Now 30 and having spent a profitable season on loan under new Black Cats boss Simon Grayson at Preston last term having left behind the "egos", as he described them, in Everton's dressing room, McGeady has another chance at redemption on Wearside as Sunderland aim to bounce back into the top flight.
Reader Comments (34)
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1 Posted 04/08/2017 at 18:36:43
Frustrated players is a problem Koeman will be faced with this season. I hope he deals with it better than Martinez seemingly did.
"You're in phenomenal form son. Enjoy the game in the stand".
It could sow the seeds of discontent. Hope not.
2 Posted 04/08/2017 at 18:49:55
3 Posted 04/08/2017 at 19:02:07
Hope he does well at Sunderland and plays again for Ireland. Maybe he can show us what we are missing? Probably got a point to prove just needs to see it on the park.
Maybe we will get Sunderland in a cup game you never know.
4 Posted 04/08/2017 at 19:27:31
5 Posted 04/08/2017 at 19:43:06
"...and just used to reply, dead calm and full of confidence like...
Of course, turning up looking jowlier than Jabba The Hutt had absolutely jack shit to do with McGeady failing to 'get going' at Everton.
7 Posted 04/08/2017 at 20:01:57
9 Posted 04/08/2017 at 20:41:13
10 Posted 04/08/2017 at 21:25:41
11 Posted 04/08/2017 at 21:38:36
12 Posted 04/08/2017 at 22:00:41
13 Posted 04/08/2017 at 22:35:16
14 Posted 04/08/2017 at 22:57:09
15 Posted 04/08/2017 at 23:34:24
16 Posted 05/08/2017 at 01:12:24
My point being he never influenced the first team. One-footed and went into blind alleys.
Martinez was a joker though. I dread to think who else got that treatment. Super Kev maybe?
17 Posted 05/08/2017 at 02:50:29
I remember thinking early on, he was the equal of some of the oiliest PR types. That type that are so overtly full of shit and unabashed that everyone can see it, because somehow it works on just about enough people to be viable a true percentage game.
You have to hand it to Martinez; he did this is his second language. He'd be absolutely deadly in a Spanish PR consultancy.
18 Posted 05/08/2017 at 02:54:17
19 Posted 05/08/2017 at 04:43:39
We shoulda been champs us, not Leicester, if only we'd trusted to 'Use the Complete Boll*s,.. sorry.. Force, Luke[aku]'!!! Sadly, as for Aiden McGeady, he was never the player we all hoped and wished he'd be for us. I wish him well anyway...
20 Posted 05/08/2017 at 08:02:53
C'mon Aiden, tell us more.
21 Posted 05/08/2017 at 15:35:01
22 Posted 05/08/2017 at 15:46:29
Super Kev, really? He's a one-trick pony with the fitness levels of my asthmatic granny. The sooner he goes, the better.
23 Posted 05/08/2017 at 19:34:56
24 Posted 05/08/2017 at 19:36:51
He's very hit & miss as a player. He has the ability to produce some amazing things but can also be a complete liability and gives the ball away too much. The only role I could see for him in the Premiere League would be as an impact sub when getting beat. I think he has found his level.
The most interesting bits were his observations on Martinez. He clearly thinks he's a bad gobshite. Correctly.
25 Posted 05/08/2017 at 20:17:14
26 Posted 05/08/2017 at 20:40:35
Obi Juan Martinez ( with a focused gaze from underneath an intense furrowed brow): ''Look deep into my eyes, Bill… using the exact style of play that I employed over a number of seasons at Wigan that eventually got them relegated although while winning the FA Cup along the way I can get you, Everton Football club into the Champions League Group Stages, and in no time at all."
Bill Kenwright (trance-like stares back and repeats emptily): ''Yes… yes...you can get us to the Champions League…in no time…"
Obi Juan Martinez( in the same manner, simply states ): ''I will probably never win another trophy, as that one was a complete fluke´´
Bill Kenwright ( adds very vacantly): '' never…win…another trophy…"
Obi Juan Martinez (without not so much as a giggle, adds) : ''I would like 10 million quid a year for this."
Bill Kenwright (continues,trance-like): '' Yes, 10 million…"
Obi Juan Martinez ( continues, unfazed ): ''When I am serially failing through my personal stubborn brand of harikari football, and even when I have used the word phenomenal to describe mundane things more times than you have had hot dinners, you will come out as being 100% behind me continuing in the role of Manager of Everton FC"
Bill Kenwright: ''…hot dinners…"
Obi Juan Martinez ( without batting an eyelid ): ''Now go announce me as Manager, sharpish, before people get suspicious of us staring deeply into one another's eyes"
Bill Kenwright: '' Yes, Master´´
Obi Juan Martinez ( with an almost imperceptibly nod says ): ''You may leave´´.
Who could doubt the veracity of Aiden´s assertions after this revelation?
27 Posted 05/08/2017 at 22:57:12
Totally Unbelievable! "Once a blue" brigade hey?
28 Posted 06/08/2017 at 07:16:27
29 Posted 06/08/2017 at 12:23:35
30 Posted 06/08/2017 at 13:07:16
Perhaps but he seemed to always keep going back on the same foot so the defender kept showing him onto the other one and he twisted and turned back to get back onto his preferred option and the attack fell apart.
Maybe he was more confident using both feet in the SPL or Russia.
I always saw a player who could not do the simple things and did not have a killer instinct at this level. Could beat a player easily but then play the pass or beat the next one and shoot? No. He'd then stutter or run down a blind alley or go back and try beating the first guy again.
31 Posted 06/08/2017 at 13:17:33
32 Posted 06/08/2017 at 14:12:30
33 Posted 06/08/2017 at 14:23:07
34 Posted 06/08/2017 at 14:25:30
Who hasn't "gotten going" since he left Celtic seven years ago next week.
Who looked, he admits, like a "bowling ball" when he joined us. (And pretty much the same when he left.)
Who had maybe four or five good appearances out of 32 (yes, Eddie #13, we definitely did see his talent).
Who got shoved off the first team by Aaron Lennon, a less gifted but massively more effective footballer.
Who apparently has a problem with "foreigners" in the dressing room.
Who just lost a lot of respect from me after these comments.
35 Posted 06/08/2017 at 17:05:21
36 Posted 07/08/2017 at 01:19:25
Let's instead highlight the donkey that we have in central defence that £10 million was paid for, £30 million Bolasie who couldn't find a head or a body with a meaningful cross while Deulofeu was relegated to the bench. Everton´s season only picked up after he got injured and Koeman couldn't play him anymore.
Or point out the £10 million paid out for the untried weak small and slow winger called Lookman who has been preferred to for 1st team duties than the much superior Dowell this season. Niasse, too, who scored more goals on loan in a bad team with fewer starts than his replacement Valencia did across a whole season in a much better one.
I won't even mention Kone's record. Niasse deserved a proper shot, more so than either of those two.
Koeman picks his team to justify his nasty chequebook habits and tells people like Niasse "It does not matter if you knuckle down, perform and even succeed, I am going to pick this other guy who isn't performing or can't because he is crap, 'cause I hitched my reputation to him by signing him for a lot of money."
Let's highlight the divisive and stupid favoritism that Koeman represents, his poor handling of several squads (Valencia for one) in the past and point out the financial situation that could occur should Moshiri's millions vanish and Everton are left holding the debt for that he is fast racking up – refer to Portsmouth, Leeds, Bolton, Blackburn or Fulham, (or Villa now too) as examples of how bad it can get.
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