Phenomenal: Roberto Martinez’s greatest hits

Matt Stead

From the same people who brought you ‘Outstanding: Brendan Rodgers’ top 20 quotes‘ and ‘Special: Jose Mourinho’s top 20 quotes,’ Football365 presents ‘Phenomenal: The demise of Roberto Martinez…in his own words’.


Roberto Martinez on…broken promises
* “I’ll get you into the Champions League” – The first words Martinez spoke to Bill Kenwright, according to the Everton chairman himself.

Roberto Martinez on…Gareth Barry
* “I have never seen a player with such an incredible professionalism and standards as Gareth Barry. For me he is one of the best English players ever.”

Roberto Martinez on…Tom Cleverley
* “I think you do not have a better English player. Technically, he is as good as you get. The way he executes, how he reads the game, for me he is one of the most sensational you are going to see in Premier League history. I wouldn’t sell him for any money in the current market.”

Roberto Martinez on…John Stones
* “John Stones is in the right environment to fulfil his potential as one of the greatest players England has ever seen.”

* “He’s an out and out defender and then, for me, he’s the best footballing centre half in Europe, so he’s allowed to make his own decisions.”

Roberto Martinez on…Leighton Baines
* “He is talking about lack of confidence and lack of chemistry on the pitch once you have had a couple of defeats. Those words have been given the opportunity to maybe attract a meaning that is not right and is not correct. For that he apologised and has taken responsibility for that, of leaving those words open. This team has loads of chemistry.”

Roberto Martinez on…injuries
* “I don’t believe in soft tissue injuries.  If you get a soft tissue injury in football, a mistake has been made.”

Roberto Martinez on…accidental transfer requests
“With John, it’s very easy because he’s a pristine professional. Obviously he’s been put under massive, massive pressure. The transfer request was something he didn’t mean to do.”

Roberto Martinez on…the decision to replace Aaron Lennon with Oumar Niasse after 76 minutes against West Ham
* “I thought tactically we were outstanding.  If you look at the way we got set up in the second half, we were the better side and I think we showed an incredible tactical understanding and character.”

(Everton were winning 2-0 at the time of the substitution, but had been reduced to ten men. The Toffees subsequently lost the match 3-2. Gareth Barry was brought on for Romelu Lukaku after West Ham scored the winner.)

Roberto Martinez on…the decision to award Stoke a last-minute penalty in their 4-3 win over Everton in December 2015
* “Looking at the replay it shows John Stones touches the ball.  That decision is hard to take.  To get a decision wrong like that so late in the game makes you feel furious and is unacceptable.”

Roberto Martinez on…the decision not to award Manchester City a last-minute penalty in a 0-0 draw against Everton two weeks later
“What you want as a manager is a referee who is 100 per cent when he gives that decision. It is impossible from that point to say if it is intent or if it is a penalty or not. As a referee you get emotional at times, you go with the crowd. I don’t think the referee could have done it any better. If you are not certain, you don’t want to gamble in a decision that could have been so damaging from our point of view. I felt Roger [East, referee] made the right call there.”

Roberto Martinez on…the decision to allow John Terry’s controversial last-minute equaliser for Chelsea in a 3-3 draw three days later
“The level of refereeing was diabolical. We lost because it was a horrific decision right at the end. All you want is the referee to do his job. The linesman is in a good position, it’s a touch from Oscar and Terry is clearly, clearly offside. It’s a clear-cut offside that should have been spotted. To make it worse, it’s 50 seconds over time. It’s something that’s not good enough. There is no explanation. It’s a big, big error.”

Roberto Martinez on…everything
* “Phenomenal.”

Don’t believe us? Well…

He called Ross Barkley a “phenomenal person” after the midfielder scored twice in a victory over Newcastle earlier this season.

He described Pep Guardiola’s announcement as the next Manchester City manager as a “phenomenal sign” in January.

He described Arouna Kone’s return from injury as “phenomenal” in November 2015.

He described Wayne Rooney as “phenomenal” after the Manchester United scored twice in a victory over Everton in October 2015.

He described Mason Holgate as a “phenomenal young prospect” in August 2015.

He described James McCarthy as a “phenomenal asset” in July 2015.

He described Sylvain Distin as a “phenomenal professional” in May 2015.

He said Brendan Galloway has a “phenomenal future” in May 2015.

He described Kevin Mirallas as “phenomenal in transition” in November 2014.

He praised the “phenomenal defending” of Tyias Browning in September 2014.

He called Aiden McGeady a “phenomenal player” in February 2014.

He described Everton as a “phenomenal and passionate football club” at his unveiling as manager.

He described Everton’s academy as “phenomenal” in July 2013.

He described his first season at the club as a “phenomenal campaign”.


Matt Stead