Martinez: Stones's response to transfer saga demonstrates captain potential

by | 31/08/2015  54 Comments  [Jump to last]

Roberto Martinez is impressed with the way in which John Stones has handled the pressure and scrutiny around Chelsea's pursuit of him and the request for a transfer that his manager doesn't feel was his true intention.

Everton have spent much of the last month fending off bids from the London club for Stones and then officially turned down the transfer request from him last Thursday.

The 21-year-old played in both of the Blues matches since that request was lodged and though he was not at his best in either game, he demonstrated a commitment and professionalism that Martinez says shows he is capable of one day captaining his country.

"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."

Asked if Stones had expressed regret to him over the transfer request, Martinez added: "No, no, no. We haven't spoken about that. All we've been speaking about is the game and what we need to do. He's been a leader in that.

"[Against Tottenham] you saw a 21-year-old deal with that pressure and he played in that manner. For me, it shows he has potential to be England captain."  

Reader Comments (54)

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Kristian Boyce
1 Posted 31/08/2015 at 00:15:22
Seriously, does he actually believe the stuff he comes out with???

If he didn't mean to do it, then what happened? Was it when he was walking past your office, did he trip and fall and accidentally put it in your hand Roberto?

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 31/08/2015 at 06:52:43
As people said before, Stones was badly advised.

Perhaps this is Roberto confirming that the transfer request was not something the lad really wanted to do. Sounds odd, I agree, but if he's still here on Tuesday night...

Matt Traynor
3 Posted 31/08/2015 at 07:01:22
I think this is one occasion when you can read between the lines with RM. As Michael suggests this was probably his agent up to mischief. If there was any integrity in the game, agents would be scrapped and an independent panel of licensed agents would be in place (which the players would pay for if a salary was above a certain amount).

Pipe dream of course. These days their earning power can sustain a medium sized company of hangers on... I mean 㿨k a year just to do Jermaine Defoe and his families laundry...

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 31/08/2015 at 07:44:40
Worded wrong, but I think I understand what he's saying.

A simple, "Does anyone watching Everton, get the feeling that John Stones, doesn't want to be here?" would have sounded much better to most of us though.

Talking of Captains, is there still enough time left in this window to go and get the squad a real leader? It's what we badly need, right now.

Eivind Nyhus
5 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:00:27
Im happy Stones is staying. Im not happy he's not reprimanded in any way for the transfer request.
Mick Quirke
6 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:03:00
He's trying to look forward, not back, Kristian (#1). Bob's handled this superbly.
Chris Wilson
7 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:05:39
Take it a bit further, Michael. With Roberto suggesting that Stones was, as you say, badly advised, combined with Phil Jagielka's recent comments describing John as a strong, composed, level headed kid with great relationships in the dressing room, and with nothing coming out of the Stones camp; this paints the picture of a young kid who was possibly guided in a certain direction by influential people, but he really wants to be an Everton player.

John is made to look like an innocent, caught up in the whirlwind and the chaos of every dirty trick Chelsea unveiled and every despicable media lie that was printed or presented on television. It's kind of clever because it takes a lot of heat off John and maybe helps him to be universally received by Everton fans.

Jakob Herd
8 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:17:07
You know after all the crap that's come out of Roberto Martinez's mouth over the last two years, I for one find it it impossible to make sense of anything he says anymore.

When will this man just shut his fucking mouth and get on with it.....

Mark Andersson
9 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:18:41
Tick tock, Stones wanted to go, his mind was made up long before the transfer request, explains why Rom and others had their say about it.

The spin doctors will praise Roberto for hanging on to the future captain of England. Let's just see what comes at the end of the transfer deadline.

Peter Murray
10 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:22:54
# 6 Mick Quirke


Stuart Gray
11 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:24:25
I think Martinez has done pretty well with this tbh. Reading between the lines he hasn't said anything to put more pressure on Stones.

One thing I find interesting is that we are trying to build a team rather than sell to build. I can't help but think that Moyes would have sold Stones a month ago, the same mentality he had when he couldn't understand why we didn't sell Baines.

I'm not saying Moyes was wrong; I just prefer our current stance.

Matt Traynor
13 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:34:30
Stuart #9 I think that's a valid point. "I know how Everton works" - remember?

Thing is, with the increased TV money, maybe this was the plan all along, and that was the strategy RM pitched to the Board. Incremental growth, occasional big signing, no forced sales. The sales of Jelavic, Anichebe and Fellaini was just clearing out players he didn't want/need for the longer term, to raise funds to bring in the players he did want.

Anthony Fielding
15 Posted 31/08/2015 at 08:37:14
Stones has played the last two games out of necessity, as we only have two central defenders available for selection: Stones and Jags.
Jim Bennings
16 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:06:52
To be honest I'm sick of reading or hearing about this John Stones saga now, I don't know about anybody else?

Even since it's been made clear we won't sell him at any price it's still in the local and national news four times a day, flippin end it now eh!!

We have just over 24 hours to make 3 signings in my opinion and get this Mori thing concluded.

Failure to do this and then we are a handful of injuries away from a total crisis.

Mark Andersson
17 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:08:43
Matt and Stewart, you're giving Roberto too much credit, he ain't that smart. Otherwise we would have bought a replacement back up centre-half by now. He would have also been playing to players' strengths. But keep clutching at straws and hopefully all your dreams will come true.

As others have posted, we will loose more games than win if we keep playing the way we did on Saturday.

Colin Glassar
18 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:08:55
This has all been so distracting that we haven't been able to concentrate on doing our own main piece of business, ie, getting in a Number 10.

Just saying like.....

Nigel Munford
19 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:32:59
It's not RM that wants to shut up... it's the likes of Savage and Co!!!!
Chad Schofield
20 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:35:51
Eivind #5, does he need to be? In the same way berating someone if they make a mistake on the field 'surprising' has a negative effect on their game... perhaps he more needs an arm around him.

Beyond the media and external hype, fans were saying how this was playing out in the same way as Rooney and Lescott deals (plus other less high profile ones).

Players can get advised about handing in transfer requests because the club then don't have to pay the remaining contract out - so ~£4-7M in Stones's case. Is it then a surprise that players feel compelled to do their part? Other players mentioned did by all accounts, perhaps he felt it was expected... I don't know. I don't think it's time to vilify or reprimand him, certainly publicly.

Personally, I know it sounds a bit conspiracy-like, but it was Martinez who maneuvered the situation by saying (to paraphrase) that Kenwright is an Everton fan and will always do what's best for the club so we won't be selling Stones. This forced Kenwright to make a statement and not sell - even for £50 million, for real this time.

Drew Shortis
21 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:41:20
Jakob Herd (#8),

It's not a case of Martinez gathering the press as he has a proclamation. As Everton manager, he gets interviewed and they ask him questions. He can't just sit there in silence with his arms folded and a pout on.

Best to just skip past articles where he expresses his opinions. Bob's a "glass half-full" kind of guy and it seems most people on ToffeeWeb are "glass half-empty" types. When we did have a "40 points and we will see" manager, people weren't happy with that either!

Stephen Brown
22 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:45:31
Jim is correct. Why is this still a story? Why is RM still being asked about it? Why am I still still writing about it on TW? Are we ever going to be linked with or sign anybody of any note?

Although, if by any small chance Stones is transfered and we signed a couple of nobodies, I can see a mutiny!

We are leaving any business really late now and it does demonstrate desperation? Lack of funds? Lack of planning? I just hope we can pull a rabbit from the hat tomorrow!

Stephen Brown
23 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:47:17
Next time RM is asked about it he should just start chanting the "Money cant buy you Stones" song!
Phil Sammon
24 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:47:59
Stones didn't mean to hand in a transfer request, asserts RM. And the two of them haven't spoken about it.

I don't know what to make of that. It doesn't really add up. Our manager has a history of talking absolute drivel... this could quite easily slot into that category.

Ray Roche
25 Posted 31/08/2015 at 09:59:48
Phil, I asked the question on one thread on TW , "What if Stones was acting under his agents instructions and it was not what he REALLY wanted" (transfer request) . I still think that there is more than a possibility that that was the case.

The lad has been under immense pressure both on and off the field, mainly from the Chelsea media machine and (no doubt) his grasping agent, and it might be an idea to get right behind the lad, especially in our next match, to show him how much he's wanted and liked here.

Phil Walling
26 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:03:11

The failure 'to make a killing ' with this deal is a Kenwright decision that ranks with the one he made over King's Dock !

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:11:10
I can't see any way Stones will leave now before tomorrow's deadline, it would make a total mockery of everything that's been said and done over the last month, it's also too late now to get a suitable natural replacement.

Let's concentrate on going hell for leather on bringing in at least two or three substantial signings before 6pm tomorrow.

Eric Myles
28 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:16:41
And Ray, our next match is against Chelsea so an even better occasion to show him Bally was right.
John OMeara
29 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:25:55
I think that's it until January. If Chelsea had come in with a fair (£40+ million) bid at the start of the window – giving us time to replace – then he'd most probably be a Chelsea player now.
John Pickles
30 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:30:48
As long as he continues to give 100% when he pulls on the shirt, I don't think it matters if he meant it or not.

It seems that since the request has been turned down, the toys have stayed in the cot and he has shown himself to be a model professional.

Hopefully, someone has told him that a world class English defender will always be in demand at the rich clubs and that he will get his chance in time.

Colin Glassar
31 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:32:10
The sheer hypocrisy of journos and pundits alike is mind boggling tbh. A few days ago it was all, if Chelsea want JS they will get him. Everton are in no position to keep the player. Who wouldn't want to move to Chelsea and play with better players etc...? Now it's all, good on Everton for keeping the player.

Yesterday, on Sunday Supplement, two of the pack leaders (Burt and Bates) were a wonderful example of journos who have neither ethics nor shame. Both of them were applauding Everton for rejecting Chelsea's bids when for weeks they've been saying the lad would, and should, go and Everton had no right to deny him his dream move. In the same breadth they spoke of the discontent and disarray in the Chelsea squad. Great place for Stonesy to learn eh? Fucking divs!!

Ray Roche
32 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:35:16
Indeed it is, Eric, and I hope the atmosphere is as loud and poisonous towards the Chavs as possible. I would love it, really love it, if we stuffed them handsomely. Especially if Terry is playing.
Vinny Garstrokes
33 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:47:01
While many may feel that RM speaks a lot of drivel, I actually think that his command of the English language is superb.

OK, he may be free and easy with the superlatives, but when asked on MotD after the Tottenham game whether John Stones was for sale, he said ' Not now' which could have had a double meaning in my opinion.

The Kiev owner said that the Everton bid came in too late for Yarmolenko and I think the same happened here.

Dave Williams
34 Posted 31/08/2015 at 10:53:15
Roberto is just trying to get the "fans" on side who have been giving the lad stick. If you ever meet an agent, you will get some idea of how persuasive they can be – that is their job and they are good at it – and to expect a kid like Stones to be able to stand against them when they are dangling a huge pay increase plus medals galore in front of him is unrealistic.

No doubt it was the agent who told him to put in the request and probably typed it out for him to sign. I think this is what Roberto is getting at and more power to him!!

Barry Pearce
35 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:03:44
If the intention was never to sell John Stones at any price, it shouldn't have had any bearing on seeking out the playmaker we really need, along with another striker.
Murdo Laing
36 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:09:03
Vinny (#25): If that's the case with Yarmolenko, then we've missed a big opportunity there to get a top class playmaker and I'm gutted.

As for the Stones matter, I am still of the mind that he may go to Chelsea with a "Fellaini-style" last-minute deal if the bid is upped to around 㿘 million whereby Everton will realize a full 㿔 million profit allowing for the sell-on clause.

I would prefer to keep JS of course, but his stock is very high right now and if his sale meant we brought in 2 or 3 high quality signings, including a centre half, to re-balance the aging squad, then it would soften the blow?

I concur with other comments on Martinez, he has spoken a lot of shite in his time, but he's handled himself and represented EFC immaculately on the Stones saga so far.

Peter Gorman
37 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:23:24
Actually this is abject nonsense from Martinez but his heart is in the right place. It isn't for the fans but to butter up John Stones and make him feel loved again. I mean, he hasn't spoken to Stones about the request but knows it is something he didn't really mean to do? Sounds plain daft, I would much rather he kept his important job of re-focusing the lad to himself and stop airing it in public.

Unless of course he really does think the fans will buy that tripe and hadn't you know, actually seen any matches this season. Stones has played just about ok, a shadow of his true ability and pretty sure we can say he was a tad distracted.

But overall, yeah, would be good to stop going on about this now. Stones will get over it, the season will unfold and we will or won't have something to cheer at the end of it.

Harold Matthews
38 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:33:57
I just want the lad back to something like his normal form but it won't happen while the spotlight is still on him.

As for the transfers. Why all the panic? Why all the surprise? Months ago, on the Everton site, Martinez promised "Some early, some very late".

I repeat for the umpteenth time. After much probing here and there during December and January, Martinez sat round a big table with the senior recruitment boss, the accountants and the money men. A list possible signings was drawn up, three of which were probably Henen, Cleverley and Deulofeu. He wanted players who would strengthen and support the ones already here, whether they cost £2M or £20m. Players who would fit seamlessly into the group and not likely to cause unrest in the dressing room and on the training pitch.

Whether or not Ayew, Van Dijk, Scott Dann, Jonny Evans, Austin, Funez Mori, Lennon, Ben Gibson, Yarmalenko, Bernard and others were on this wish list, we'll never know but Martinez seemed delighted with the outcome and said that we had "obtained" our targets. Sounded like they were well and truly boxed off with some coming "very late".

So that's were we are right now and, like many TWs, I am completely in the dark. Cheers.

Colin Glassar
39 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:39:39
Murdo, you seem to be the only one left standing who wants/thinks Stones should/will go. He's not/won't.
Ian Cowhig
40 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:40:17
Reading the shouts of indignation on here about some journalist made this up and that up. Yet some of our own fans do exactly the same.

For example, Martinez's comments that John Stones was not for sale has forced Kenwright not to sell him. Really? Hadn't the club sent 2 letters, saying "Not for sale", to Chelsea prior to last week? And Mourinho had said this is what they required to stop bidding, by the way. At this point, Everton do not feel it necessary to do anymore. And I agree.

So what follows next? His transfer request comes in & Chelsea have another bid because of it. RM then has to say "Not for sale" live on the main media outlet pushing the story. This is then closely followed up by BK saying the same.

I believe the club have been very professional on this matter. They have chosen to respond only when necessary. So not feeding the media frenzy, which we are all critical and bored of.

Now they need to apply some of that same professionalism into future plans. With the stadium as a priority. We will be playing to two sides of GP if they don't get their act together.

Chris Leyland
42 Posted 31/08/2015 at 11:57:31
I am sitting in a cafe and picked up yesterday's Sunday Express (I know. I aologise). There are three Stones-related bits in it:

1. A story claiming Everton agreed to sell Stones to Chelsea for 㿎m but them backed out when Barnsley wouldn't take ٠.5m instead of 15%.

2. In an article about the transfer window under Chelsea it says that they should end the Stones saga to signal the end of John Terry.

3. In the same article under Everton it states that the worry is that Ross Barkley will follow Stones out of Goodison Park.

It is as if they are determined to make the Stones move happen so that they can say that they were right all along and that Martinez/Kenwright haven't recently pointed out that he isn't actually for sale.

Colin Glassar
43 Posted 31/08/2015 at 12:01:43
John Richardson has made this his personal vendetta Chris. The fat little Geordie has no scruples at all.
Tony Marsh
44 Posted 31/08/2015 at 13:18:03

If Stones is still here come Tuesday, then Bill Kenwright deserves a big mention. We are all quick to jump on BK and most of the time it's warranted. On the John Stones issue, Bill has played a blinder and I just love the fact that he has told Chelsea to do one.

Well done, Billy Boy, you have proved us all wrong for once and done our club proud.

Harold Matthews
45 Posted 31/08/2015 at 13:21:13
I'm quite annoyed that this Stones affair has distracted Glassardamus from his crystal ball, especially with the ominous signs I have witnessed this season. Signs not favourable for our squad.

The Premier League is being filled with big, physical, fast moving athletes. To make matters worse, in order to keep things flowing, refs are turning a blind eye to many fouls and the rougher, tougher sides are reaping the benefits.

We had a taste of it against City and Spurs. United were steamrollered by Swansea. Palace and West Ham are taking no prisoners. It's the same all over. Big, fast, tough athletes who can actually play football but are getting away with murder. Let's face it, Eric Dier committed enough fouls to have been sent off three times. Little wonder Martinez requested a look at the ref's notebook. Little wonder Mirallis did a disappearing trick. Doesn't like the rough stuff Our Kev.

Anyway, it doesn't augur well for our quiet, non-violent, slightly built, peace loving squad. There are mighty battles ahead and we'll need suitable reinforcements before the window closes.

James Byrne
46 Posted 31/08/2015 at 14:00:03
Firstly I don't like Martinez and this statement is an example of why; there may be some genuine truth however that Martinez has worked some magic to keep Stones at Everton, but does he think the Everton fans are thick.

He didn't mean to hand in a transfer request? Oh didn't he Roberto..........well he did!

I'd like to think that behind the scenes someone at the club has told JS that Jose and Chelsea are a bunch of wankers and he's better off where he is – for at least another season anyway.

Mark Andersson
47 Posted 31/08/2015 at 14:07:00
The last post I read was by the loveable Harold. Not sure what to make of your concerns over the physical side of teams being mean and dirty while us choir boys have been wimps.

Basically if our lot where well drilled and had a playable plan to work from, the other teams would be playing in fear of us. As it stands, no fucker fears us because Martinez sets up so other teams dictate the game to their strengths.

Prove me wrong, Bob; I will buy you a San Miguel or a nice bottle of Spanish red.

As for the Stones saga, he will be off in January, the only reason he is still here is because the board had no intention of backing Robbie with his transfer requests. A club for midtable has-beens is all we are now.

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 31/08/2015 at 14:09:33
The crystal ball has been put to bed Harold. Right now the club is more hermetically sealed than Fort Knox. Not a peep even from Echo journos which could mean A) We are setting up a mouthwatering deal or, B) We're done for this window with maybe Lennon on the cheap or on loan.
Joe Foster
49 Posted 31/08/2015 at 14:17:11
Maybe the meek shall inherit the Premier League, Harold.
Peter Morris
51 Posted 31/08/2015 at 14:57:38
Well, the lad might be captain material, but unlikely to be of our club, is he... and that's all that matters to me. 'Badly advised' or otherwise, you can't in the same breath shower him with plaudits about his maturity, and then point fingers at dark forces influencing him. He's 21, he's got the vote, he can carry a rifle and all that 'adult' stuff, so, as far as I'm concerned, the transfer request sits squarely on his shoulders.

He's told us he wants to leave, so he should leave, but at a time to suit the club, unless he publicly announces a retraction (an apology wouldn't go amiss but I won't hold my breath!): but the important thing is he performs to his best ability whilst he is with us, so that we can get payback for his contract and the right transfer fee, and we are given the right time to blood or source a replacement. That's only a fair return that the club is due to giving him a lucrative 5-year contract on what remains a player who is yet to prove he can perform consistently at the highest level.

I share the antipathy about these tabloid journalists. They spend their time sucking up to the likes of Mourinho (who seems to have replaced the lovingly dubbed SAF, now it's the 'Special One', in their affections). In all of the post weekend press, ALL of their attention has been focused on what Chelsea and Man United should be doing with their cheque-books to restore sanity to the world, rather than celebrating that both of these spoilt and privileged clubs were fantastically put to the sword by clubs with paltry finances, who have to take great risk on young and untried players in order to compete. Morally corrupt to the core, the whole lot of them.

Oliver Molloy
52 Posted 31/08/2015 at 14:59:30
What Martinez really meant was that John Stones was badly advised and he was.

I mean why would you want to leave Everton with all the players we have coming in before tomorrow's deadline!

Eddie Dunn
54 Posted 31/08/2015 at 18:51:20
In fairness to Stones, if any of our other players had been the target of Chelski, I think they would have been forming a disorderly queue outside Bobby's office. Champions League football, and regular trips shopping down King's Road, oh and a flipping massive pay increase.

Stones will have been mulling this over for some time, and was most likely aware of their interest before the story got out.

Naismith said to fans at the service station something like "It's not his fault", this implies his advisers had concluded that this was the right course of action. If your agent tells you this is the best option, then what do you do?

Now he is probably wishing they had asked earlier or waited till we had some cover at centre-half.

Would it be paranoid of me to suggest that Martinez got rid of Distin and Alcaraz and didn't get replacements in, as he had wind of the possibility of this occurring? He therefore made it hugely difficult for the board to take the offer. They would have robbed us of a key player, just when we were so short in that position.

I wonder if Bobby is more devious than any of us dared to think?

Ernie Baywood
56 Posted 31/08/2015 at 22:05:33
I'm assuming this means that, while he did obviously hand in a transfer request, he is still happy to be at Everton. ie He's not the"wantaway" player that people assume.

What Bobby has said is a bit nuts really.

We've ended up at a point of black and white – no grey at all. If he stays we're a strong club who stick to our guns. If he goes, for any price, we're a shambles.

Jakob Herd
58 Posted 01/09/2015 at 05:06:07
Drew #19

Understood he has to address the media, but he at the very least he needs to engage his brain first... This nonsense about Stones regretting it - though he hasn't spoken to him about it - FFS, you're the manager, he's the player why haven't you spoken to him about it? and if you haven't; then shut up, quash all talk until you have spoken to him...or better; it simply disappears.

As for 'glass half full' RM's glass is overflowing and dripping down his leg, someone better remind him or he will slip over on it soon.

Frank Crewe
59 Posted 01/09/2015 at 20:48:07
Considering the disgraceful way Berahino is acting because West Brom wouldn't sell him to Spurs, Stones is a model of restraint in comparison.

Ian Riley
60 Posted 01/09/2015 at 22:37:59
Time to offer Mr Stones a new 5-year contract with a pay rise and buy out clause of £40 million!
Colin Glassar
61 Posted 02/09/2015 at 21:00:37
I see some of the crappier websites are already saying Chelsea will be back for him in January. Cue the usual suspects building up the pressure once the international break is over. I bet they've even got their stories with "sources" already written and ready to go.

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