Well last night was a lot more interesting for Everton fans that expected following a surprise appearance by Roberto Martinez on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (MNF) and the decision by Talksport to dedicate an hour to Everton’s “problems”, hosted by Collymore and “Saggers”.
Martinez on MNF
I’ll start with Martinez’s appearance on Sky Sports where the newly completely-shiny-headed Spaniard decided to chew the fat with that tactical genius Jamie Carragher.
The first thing they did was talk about the Everton game and look to see where we did badly defensively. Carragher started grilling Martinez about what we could have done better as a defensive unit and the agreement was that we should have stopped the cross for the first and that the second was a bit of a mess. Mirallas worked “too hard” to get back to defend the first apparently.
The thing is, as Carragher asked more questions about what we were trying to do as a team in the game Martinez became more visibly flustered and started talking and talking but not really saying much. A typical discussion was as follows:
C: “So can you explain to me why you have the left back further up field than Gareth Barry? No-one else in the league does this but you seem to have decided to play like this”
M: “Wow – you are really getting into the details aren’t you? Well we are always looking for opportunities and to create some space…”
Cue Carragher showing Martinez that Barry was actually there to hoik long balls forward for most of the game. Martinez again looked surprised and suggested that he’d been tricked into this but admitted that we were looking to mix things up this season, which Carragher was really trying to get out of him.
It was an interesting thing to bring out but surely the fact that Watford were sitting so deep (as teams tend to do at Goodison) forced us at times to hit it towards Lukaku, especially as we had little width on the day. Surprised that didn’t come out as a reason.
I’ll be honest, the rest of the time on the show Martinez looked slightly out of his depth, especially tactically as he is so dedicated to play certain ways. He praised Man United’s pressing game (against Carragher’s thoughts) but many people contacted me to suggest that ‘Martinez talks a lot without really saying a lot”. He’s got to be careful – many Blues believe he’s as bad as Brendan Rodgers these days….
A discussion then took place about our younger players such as Stones and Barkley. We found a supporter in Carragher who stated that Stones should stay at Everton for the good of his career but it was back-handed in a way – it was included as part of a statement that suggested that he wasn’t ready yet for a bigger stage and that he’d need to stay for another couple of years before moving on. Of course in reality, unless Everton suddenly transform into a top 4 side I think most Blues believe that’s the best we can hope for.
Talksport With Collymore and Saggers
Wow. Well I’ve not listened to these two very often but thought I’d give it a go last night. They really love a conspiracy for starters don’t they? And they both really love to SHOUT a lot. That may not be news to many.
The discussion was set up with the statement “Everton are a massive club, one of the big 5, and the Board is not doing enough to invest in them. WHAT IS GOING on!?!?!?
It seemed it was set up to allow the Blue Union and related groups to phone in and surely enough we head reps such as Dave Kelly call in to give their views. There were lots of statements about how great BK is and calm explanations of why they think the club is holding back investors including details on the failed ground moves and lack of investments.
At one point I thought that Stan was going to start a march himself before a level-headed caller with a view on Finances called in to suggest reasons why Everton had failed in the past around expenditure and investments. “Saggers” continued to shout about Everton being a business and BK and partners deliberately holding the club back due to the TV money coming in.
We also had people claiming that we’ve not signed anyone and should have got them in early. Well we signed two early and still have 20 days left to buy some more. Lennon was linked with us again yesterday who was badly missing from the line-up v Watford in terms of providing width, and Martinez has said he’ll bring in more players. There’s no point in getting angry about it right now. We always buy late to take advantage of falling prices.
It was a reasonably interesting hour, if not a bit shouty and one-sided, but I would have liked a more balanced discussion including supporters of the Board. I am neutral on this one before you start shouting at me – I don’t have all the facts; only BK does – but I’ve read quite a few articles on the finances over the last few months that explain where the money has gone.
As an example there were many shouts from fans/groups about where the Fellaini and Lescott money has gone. Well we know that. We bought players poorly at the time and worked on paying off the debt we took out in 2000/01 for Walter Smith to splash up the wall on signings, financed by future TV money.
We haven’t spent the recent TV money as we’re still paying off the last lot aren’t we? And we also know that our Merchandise deals are poor against other teams in the division. That would have been worth concentrating on.
They spent 25 minutes or so talking to BU/Board Out members when there was a better area to investigate in my opinion. There was no discussion around Martinez and his suitability for the role. The ground move debate deserved more air time too. Where would we be if we’d got Kings Dock for example? Should we congratulate BK for not getting those on board that have gone on to hurt Cardiff City, Hull City and Blackburn Rovers?
As I say, there is a discussion in there waiting to get out and the Board do have questions to answer.