The Martinez Conundrum

, 19 February, 22comments  |  Jump to most recent
In a well-crafted piece, Ian Herbert writes that Roberto Martinez will do things his way, whether it's popular or not.

Based on the interviews the Everton manager did with the press yesterday ahead of the trip to Bournemouth, Herbert conveys how Martinez responds to comparisons with his closest peer, Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, makes reference to the "bullshit meter" on Merseyside, and ponders whether the Catalan will ever change.

» Read the full article at The Independent

Reader Comments (22)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 19/02/2016 at 17:48:42
A good read but it's not something we haven't already discussed amongst ourselves over the last year or more with regards to Roberto Martinez and his philosophy.

Going off the topic but things seem to have gone very quiet again regarding the takeover?

Denis Richardson
2 Posted 19/02/2016 at 18:32:38
"He, being Martinez, offers a lot of words in return which appear to be threaded through with elegance and yet, on re-reading, do not seem to offer an answer."

Wiser words never spoken....

Danny Broderick
3 Posted 19/02/2016 at 19:50:43
The need to add a defensive component...

I have been banging on that we need a defensive coach, like Wenger has Bould. If Martinez could only see that, I honestly believe we are not too far away. But unfortunately, this article suggests that Martinez just will not see the light. In which case, he is on borrowed time...

Alan Thompson
4 Posted 20/02/2016 at 03:59:03
I don't think he needs a defensive coach he just needs to admit that what we are doing at the moment just isn't working. Similarly, he has to see that free-kicks, corners etc are supposed to be an advantage of which you have to take full toll. Anything less is just handicapping your own team.
Also, I have to say that there are times when you have to gamble by pushing players forward to stretch the opposition, fortune favours the brave but not the irresponsible.
Derek Thomas
5 Posted 20/02/2016 at 09:00:47
No conundrum – he’s shite. He has false perceptions of what he wants to do. He thinks he must have possession at all costs; nevermind the whole "defense doesn’t matter" / Howard thing.

But most of our better results – by which I mean, wins at home, draws and wins away – have come with less, not more possession often as not.

Darren Hind
6 Posted 20/02/2016 at 09:18:21
"No conundrum – he's shite"

More Vintage TW!!!

The fence sitters must all be still in bed this morning...

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 20/02/2016 at 09:52:23
Never found a conclusion I couldn’t jump to Darren. He talks possession at all costs, but we get more points with less possession on the quick break... cup form, that. That’s exactly what he did to Moyes in the practical section of his application.
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 20/02/2016 at 10:10:56
He’s not shite, he just talks it! If we got rid of him tomorrow, the manager who replaced him would be getting a better squad than the one Martinez inherited off Moyes.

That’s the problem. With better players at his disposal, he’s getting worse results, which is a fucking massive conundrum I suppose.

Maybe he’s more than halfway there, but can he give us something that Evertonians usually take for granted? Pragmatism is such a vital ingredient to have, and it always speaks more than words. I’m not sure he can.

John Crawley
9 Posted 20/02/2016 at 10:33:10
All this possession versus defence is complete rubbish in my opinion. The best coach in the business is Guardiola and, whilst he shares Martinez’s views on possession, he certainly doesn’t on the defensive side of things, his sides press relentlessly and concede very few goals.

Martinez just isn’t a great coach, he only seems to be able to coach one side of the game and that’s a major failing. Meanwhile he seeks to justify it by banging on about dominating games. It simply won’t wash.

Harold Matthews
10 Posted 20/02/2016 at 15:03:25
Defensive coaching is not high on his list of priorities but the new back 7 of McCarthy and Barry in front of Coleman, Jags, Funes Mori, Oviedo and Robles should be able to sort it out between them.

Judging by the direction of his jumpy hawk-like facial expressions and various hand gestures, he is concerned only with the attacking side of things and always expects to score more than we concede. Chances are certainly being created but we need to be more urgent and clinical in the box.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 20/02/2016 at 15:17:42
Harold (#10), that’s part of the problem, a back seven with three upfront and nothing in between.
Peter Askins
12 Posted 20/02/2016 at 15:36:48
It's all a bit too simplistic for me, to say we have a back seven, and then four attackers (it's not three, Dave).

Anybody who watches regularly, especially at the ground, knows that our two full backs are more part of the attack than the defence, especially since we dominate possession in most games.

For me, the Martinez philosophy with defending falls down with seemingly absenting the front four from their defensive duties.

Lennon is the exception, who seems to take it on himself to help out defensively, but Lukaku, Barkley, Mirallas, Kone and Deulofeu barely go through the motions once we've lost the ball.

This is the one big bug bear to me with Martinez. Just look at how Vardy harasses defenders, and chases lost causes. There was none better than Ian Rush at being the first line of defence. This is the kind of desire I'd like Roberto to instil in our attacking fancy dans, who seem to think that defending is beneath them. Hopefully, the acquisition of Niasse is another step in the right direction on this point.

Harold Matthews
13 Posted 20/02/2016 at 15:52:55
Dave. Lukaku. Lennon and Barkley pushing forward with Cleverley in between and the fullbacks getting up when possible.
Harold Matthews
14 Posted 20/02/2016 at 16:34:53
Peter. Two big lumps like Lukaku and Barkley wouldn't last 20 minutes if they dashed around like Vardy and Rush but a fully fit Niasse would definitely manage it. Whatever happens I must agree, it needs sorting.
Ray Said
15 Posted 20/02/2016 at 16:47:34
RM has forgotten that its still a running game-Guardiola's teams pass the ball but they also never stop running and pressing. Most players will have the ball for a very limited time during so most of the running needs to be done when we don't have the ball. RM seems to focus on when we have the ball. Get them fit, get them running then we will see a difference.
Rob Hooton
16 Posted 21/02/2016 at 08:23:30
The obsession with doing all the training with the ball (according to reports) is ridiculous as a player will spend less than 5 minutes per match actually on the ball. We need to work harder without the ball to press home our superiority in games.
Peter Lee
17 Posted 21/02/2016 at 08:36:01
Rob, two points. Running, twisting and turning with the ball is much tougher than without. For a start you are mentally engaged in the former and not at all in the latter.

If you don't believe me go for a ten minute run and compare it with ten minutes running back and forward along a sports hall wall playing wall passes as you go.

Second point. If you don't touch the ball that much in a game surely it's critical that each touch is sure and instinctive. You get that from practice with the ball.

In fact, despite how people present it, the emphasis is work with the ball but this isn't to the exclusion of fitness work and each player will have his own planned regime that relates to his physique, level of fitness and the demands at a particular time of the season.
Derek Thomas
18 Posted 21/02/2016 at 08:48:31
Spot on Ray @15; It always was and nevermore so than now. No good having all the skill in the world if you're too knackered physically ( which leads to mental tiredness too ) to use it, when you eventually get from A to B.

If it didn't matter, your real class players could play on for donkey's years... but they don't, do they? No. Why? coz you need the legs to be able to cash the cheques your brain is writing.

I'm not at all sure that our whole fitness regime doesn't need a total re-think.

Anthony Dwyer
19 Posted 21/02/2016 at 10:47:29
Some of the above is so conflicted, it's almost as though some of us watch a different team each week.

Martinez has some good ideas, but he is so stubborn and allows the basics to escape his attention.

Corners – we don’t score enough of them and cannot defend them.

Free kicks – same as above.

Clean sheets – we don’t work hard enough to keep them, despite the fact Martinez never picks a side without TWO holding midfielders.

Positive attacking changes – these are not made often enough when behind and supposedly chasing a game.

To many draws – simply down to his safety first policy.

Often too slow on the counter attack – despite the fact we look unbelievable on it at times.

The reluctance to play two wingers or two strikers – even at home vs weaker sides.

Simply put, Martinez's negatives completely outweigh his positives by a country mile, proven by our poor league finish last season and current position this season.

Lastly, someone has said above that Martinez will leave a better squad than he was given, and whilst I will admit that it is true, look at them facts.

Barkley and Stones were inherited, not unearthed.

Rom cost more than double any player the previous manager bought.

Robles and Besic have barely been used.

McCarthy and Barry were direct replacements for Fellaini who we got £27m for and Neville who played for us for a fair few seasons and done a decent job despite his limitations.

Basically, Roberto has left a better squad because he has had much more to spend in the transfer market, and inherited a good squad which was a proven top 6-7 side.

Rob Hooton
20 Posted 21/02/2016 at 10:53:45
Peter, I agree with you that working with the ball is harder and needs a lot of work; however, it would appear (to me at least) that we struggle without the ball and it is just as much a part of the game as what you do with it.

One should not supersede the other to such an extent that it is a detriment to what you are trying to achieve and perhaps the mix just isn’t quite right. What do I know, though – I was just a Sunday League hoofball centre-half!

Ray Smith
21 Posted 21/02/2016 at 11:50:39
RM is very good at assembling a quality squad, but that’s where it stops.

Robles has conceded 1 goal in the last 4 games. At last RM seems to have seen the light, but could not resist praising Howard.

The squad is rich in talent and that seems to be the problem. Who are the best starting 11 if all are fit?

Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Besic, Baines, McCarthy, Lukaku, Barkley, Lennon?

Which leaves Deulofeu, Mirallas, Cleverley, Barry, Stones, Niasse, Osman and a host of fringe/squad players on the bench.

Will Garbutt return? Will Galloway, Browning, Henen, Rodriguez be content with a bit part here and there.

If Harry Redknapp was 15-20 years younger, he would fall over himself to get his hands on that squad!

However, we are stuck with RM. How many of the above will be plying their trade elsewhere next season?

Alan Thompson
22 Posted 21/02/2016 at 15:25:55
Reminds me of the words of Alf Garnett about West Ham:

"They play such good football that you’d think someone would let them win one every now and then."

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