So Roberto Martinez has started his time at Everton with a defeat. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as there are positives to take from a game which was very much a run out for Martinez’s men says David Martin.
What I liked
Martinez gave plenty of the young lads a run out. While Moyes often did the same pre-season, there was an air of this being a fresh start for some of the younger lads with Vellios in particular looking reinvigorated.
Much like Moyes he vocalised a lot throughout the game but rather than shouting commands he seemed, on the face of it, to be more encouraging and energetic. While this didn’t necessarily result in a host of good performances with Duffy in particular struggling with the advanced match fitness of an Austrian team about to start their season, no one’s head went down and the young players looked lively.
Although Fellaini seemed low on fitness, when he came on he was given the Captain’s armband. This could be taken as a clear statement from Everton to Fellaini that he is still important to us and at the very least might stop clubs from lowballing us.
The return of Tony Hibbert while unheralded is important as it looks like he might have put his injuries of last season behind him. His solid display provided evidence that he will continue to have a role to play.
Joel Robles looks a real threat to Tim Howard’s position, he looked confident and strong as a shotstopper although it’s hard at this stage to judge whether his all round game offers anything more.
Fringe players stepped up and largely played well. The much maligned Steven Naismith had a decent performance and should have had a penalty while Bryan Oviedo looked good forward and back.
What I didn’t like
Fellaini up top really? I am hoping Martinez doesn’t believe this is his best position. He immediately left Anichebe isolated and never looked energetic enough. It’s simply not his best position and for me he should only be there in an emergency.
Sloppiness. It’s early days but we were far from sharp or incisive with only Gibson providing any real rang of passing and cutting edge. I am sure this will improve but our lack of creativity is something that will need to improve in the coming weeks.
Duffy. He really doesn’t look ready for first team action. While other players at least showed signs of life, Duffy looks flat footed. I really believe he needs to be loaned out.
At this stage all of the above is largely meaningless as you would expect many changes in the coming months. The result certainly should not dampen the positivity Evertonians feel right now. It’s early days for Roberto Martinez and early days for this new Everton. He is yet to find his groove but I am sure the performances and results will come.