Martinez to make late decisions on Stones and Coleman

by | 02/10/2015  47 Comments  [Jump to last]
Roberto Martinez says that is too early to tell whether John Stones and Seamus Coleman will be fit enough to face Liverpool in the Merseyside derby but that both players will be given until Sunday morning before a final call is made.

The manager said after Monday's win at West Bromwich Albion that both players had been very close to making that game but ultimately failed fitness tests and were deputised by Tyias Browning and Ramiro Funes Mori.

That raised hopes that the duo would be fit for this weekend's derby but whether he was wanting to keep his cards close to his chest or his post-WBA prognosis had been optimistic Stones and Coleman remain fitness doubts

Stones is trying to shake a knee injury that he apparently picked up at Swansea and then aggravated at Reading, while Coleman strained a hamstring in the win over Chelsea three weeks ago.

The 21-year-old England international will train with the squad on Friday and Saturday and a determination of his readiness will be made then but the feeling is that Stones is the more likely of the duo to be declared fit.

Regardless of whether the pair make it, based on recent form and home advantage, Everton are being talked about as favourites for the first derby of the season but Martinez attempted to deflect that mantle back to his under-fire opposite number, Brendan Rodgers.

"Being favourites or not doesn't matter in a derby," he said. "If you look at the money Liverpool have spent they need to be favourites."

He went on to say that the only thing that matters is to the get three points and make a "promising" start into an "exciting" one.  

Reader Comments (47)

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Julian Wait
1 Posted 02/10/2015 at 15:53:54
If 100% fit they play. I wouldn't play them otherwise. We've seen what happens when tired / unfit players play in a derby game ... especially defenders / DM ...
Stephen Bird
2 Posted 02/10/2015 at 16:02:38
If Stones picked the injury up at Swansea, why the hell was he selected for the Reading game?

Especially when we now have an abundance of riches in defence!!

John Jones
3 Posted 02/10/2015 at 16:07:37
Watched the press conference. Martinez was very clever when he said that the pressure was on Rodgers because of the massive amount of money that had been invested in the squad. Made me laugh considering the question was probably from some snide fucker from the Express or Sun. Brenda's rebuttal was pathetic.

First Time in a couple years I am not bricking it about the derby, I just hope Martinez gets his tactics right. COYBB

Brian Harrison
4 Posted 02/10/2015 at 16:23:42
I hope at least one of them is fit for the game. For these games, you need as many first teamers as possible. If I hear one more pundit trot out the saying "Form goes out the window in derbies," I will scream. Just take a look at what happened in the 70s, we hardly won a game in the whole decade, how come form didn't matter then. Current form against them isn't brilliant either: we've not won in the last 10 derbies.

If I had my wish, the derbies between us would be played behind closed doors and definitely no cameras. Yes I am paranoid about playing them, they have done more escapes in games than Houdini managed.

Dave Pritchard
5 Posted 02/10/2015 at 16:31:39
I think that Roberto is playing mind games here with Stones's and Coleman's availability. They'll already have a good idea on the likelihood on them playing but no point giving anything away at this point. Well done, Roberto.
Jack Plant
6 Posted 02/10/2015 at 17:04:51
I really hope they're both fit, much as I think Funes Mori and Browning will be good players when they've got a bit more experience. I'm not sure my heart could stand it for the derby.
Mark Andersson
7 Posted 02/10/2015 at 17:27:30
I can't understand why some of you are fretting over a Liverpool side who are average. We will win this game, they're more scared of us, unless there is enough negative crowd paranoia to give the RedShite the edge.

The whole of Goodison should unite and, no matter if we go a goal behind, cheer the boys in blue to an emphatic victory.

Scott Bosworth
8 Posted 02/10/2015 at 17:37:52
Stephen Bird,

"If Stones picked the injury up at Swansea, why the hell was he selected for the Reading game?"

Seems fairly straightforward — the injury was picked up at Swansea, but wasn't bad at all. Playing against Reading aggravated what was believed to be a non-issue.

I wish Stones hadn't aggravated it, but hindsight is 20/20. I'm glad Martinez recognized (before Reading) the importance to the fan base and club's mentality of avoiding an early round exit from a Cup and he selected a relatively strong team. That Stones ended up getting hurt is unfortunate, but playing him wasn't imprudent.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 02/10/2015 at 17:48:20
I thought John Stones was possibly going to be ready for Monday at West Brom, didn't Martinez say it would be a late call?

I would have thought he'd have been well fit for Sunday's Merseyside derby. Coleman we have heard less about but likewise surely he must be near fully fit now?

Haven't we got the international break (yes, believe it or not, ANOTHER break) after the match on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see Martinez's stance on the selection of Stones and Coleman for the England and Ireland matches, has anyone heard any news on their possible selections?

Victor Jones
10 Posted 02/10/2015 at 18:20:33
I hope that Stones and Coleman are both fit enough to play, but I would not be overly worried should they not play. I have full confidence in our back up defenders (Browning and Funes Mori). We have to have faith in these players. Even Galloway could move to centre back. And maybe Baines might be close to fitness? We can also hope that our DFMs are on their game, and cover our back four.

I am now actually very confident in our defenders. They have tightened up considerably since last season, although I would still worry about Tim Howard.

We have all been here before. Everton playing well; Liverpool not playing great. Confidence high... and then our team freezes. Our managers cop out. We don't turn up.

It's time that we did turn up. Take Sturridge out of the game. Don't give Countyballs a kick. And keep an eye on Ings (cause he could be a threat).

Play a positive 4-4-2. Or 4-4-3. Boss the game from the start. And our defence will be fine. No more choking like in past derbies. We can win this by two or three goals. COYBs

Julian Wait
11 Posted 02/10/2015 at 18:31:38
Stones is in the England squad.
Christy Ring
12 Posted 02/10/2015 at 18:43:38
I hope Coleman & Stones are back, nothing against Funes Mori or Browning, but against the red shite, we need our best team.

I see Buck Rodgers trying to be funny, when he said "Everton have had a fantastic start, we've had a disaster, they're a point ahead of us." Arrogant prick, he forgot to mention his transfer record.

Harold Matthews
13 Posted 02/10/2015 at 18:44:57
We'll need these two lads at their very best. Martinez said they both wanted to play against the Baggies so I guess they will be okay for this one.
Colin Glassar
14 Posted 02/10/2015 at 18:54:24
JJ 3, mind games mate. Roberto was very clever talking about all the money they've spent (wasted) over the years and making them favourites. As for Seamus and Stonesy, both will be fine come Sunday.
Les Martin
15 Posted 02/10/2015 at 18:55:57
They both will play... no doubt about that. Martinez has planned this all along and did not risk them on Monday.

I think we will win because our defence is better, and please referee keep both eyes on Skrtel, I have never known anyone get away with as much holding and shirt pulling since Baresi of AC Milan!!!

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 02/10/2015 at 19:09:06

Rodgers is a bum stain.

He is a deluded blurt with visions of this dynasty he thinks he's building but really all he's done is waste a shitload of money on shite players that are nowhere near worth what Voldemort paid for them.

Lets really put the wee Irish one on his arse on Sunday.

Voldemort, Voldemort, Brendan Rodgers Voldemort!!!

Des Farren
17 Posted 02/10/2015 at 19:09:23
It may be cuteness on Martinez's part not to reveal his hand.

In any event, I believe very few players are 100% fit when selected as there are always areas of fitness that can be improved upon.

David Greenwood
18 Posted 02/10/2015 at 19:15:26
Chrisy, he forgot to mention, and so did all the brave members of the fourth estate who were there, that the match officials handed them the three points against Bournemouth.
Jay Harris
19 Posted 02/10/2015 at 20:03:07
Apparently Stonesy has been training on his own all week and it was only today he joined the first team squad for training.

I really hope both he and Coleman are fit for Sunday.

Tony Hill
20 Posted 02/10/2015 at 20:44:11
Rodgers is finished, the club's soul is now based in the USA (perhaps shortly to move to Qatar or wherever the best price is available) and is weighed in dollars. Middle-ranking jargon merchants like this vain and silly man will not be tolerated, once he has been confirmed as a liability on the balance sheet.
John Malone
21 Posted 02/10/2015 at 20:45:00
I hate them and can't stand playing them, I've only ever seen us win three times in the 18 years I've been going the game, the Kevin Campbell 0-1, the Gosling in the Carling Cup in extra time and the cracking 3-0 Andy Johnson three-finger salute at home.

I honestly think Naismith is a better player at home were the opposition set up a bit tighter and his movement between the lines can be useful. On the other hand, you can't deny Kone seems to bring the best out of Lukaku and is bagging goals himself so it's going to be a tough call for Martinez.

At a push my team would be a 4-4-2 of:-






Christopher Wallace
22 Posted 02/10/2015 at 20:49:19
I am 99.9% that both players will play, and that they could've play Monday and were rested.

Side note: Stones and particularly Coleman are so refreshing in this day and age. It's by no means all ability with these guys, though they both have it in spades.

Dedication, work-rate, fitness, humility, hunger, personality, toughness, pace, strength – the superlatives could go on and on.

I look at Porto and they get these kind of guys on young, succeed, sell on, rinse and recycle. Easily one of the best clubs in Europe and a model we should aim to replicate.

Even their present squad – Aboubakar cost about ١M and is on a par with Lukaku at least. Brahimi cost about ٣M and would improve each and every team and the supposed "best league in the world" particularly ours.

No chance of getting these guys now, but the next batch are out there. Only issue is dealing with 3rs parties, but there are ways round that – even if we have to fork out a million or two.

I digress – proud of our present squad, and laugh at the expensive RS flops.

Neil Pickering
23 Posted 02/10/2015 at 20:54:09
No motivation needed for the lads other than to let them listen to Rodgers latest press conference. He said some thing along the lines of one team (them) has by their standards had a poor start, and the other (us) is adjudged to be having a good season by their standards, even though there is only a point between the teams.

Translation- they are too good a side (in Brenda's opinion) and should be at the top of the league coz they are Liverpool, and we are, well just a shite club who should be made up to be in the top 10.

What a deluded little gobshite, who will be out of a job this time next week.

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 02/10/2015 at 21:13:06
Rodgers is delusional!

Batter them and get him sacked.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 02/10/2015 at 21:33:20
John Malone, that really is an excellent point with regards Steven Naismith being a better player at Goodison. Without ever thinking about it before, it's something I definitely agree with, but like you I would still start him on the bench on Sunday.
Lee Courtliff
26 Posted 02/10/2015 at 21:50:37
I refuse to be too optimistic about this match.

We SHOULD beat them quite comfortably.

And that's the problem.

Trevor Lynes
27 Posted 02/10/2015 at 22:02:54
I hate Derby games and that has been ever since 1948 when I first watched Everton and was frightened to death of Liddell.

My phobia is all about controlling discipline as we usually have physical matches with lots of stupid bookings inter laced with red cards. This team of late is much more controlled in that way with Jags a shining example of keeping his cool. I am wary of Barry and the two kids in defence and I really hope that both Coleman and Stones are back fully fit. Liverpool are pacey and Sturridge really needs looking after along with Coutinho who is a player I would love in a Everton shirt.

If we can keep them in defence mode I will be really happy as they look to be leaky at the moment. Despite their poor start they do have good players and we must maintain full concentration throughout the game.

I reckon that we must score first !!!! COYB

Tony Draper
28 Posted 02/10/2015 at 22:18:39
The reason that they decided to redevelop our old ground rather than leave is because of the vaults beneath where the sacrificial remains are entombed; part of the deal with Old Nick.

In the run up to "these games", I listen to no-one, nor am I even microscopically interested in any opinion as to what the outcome will be. I am a man focussed as sharp as a laser beam solely upon being an unstoppable force to deliver my fullest effort to drive our Noble Blues on.

Anyone who does less than that is failing William Ralph, Alan & Big Nev. You have been warned, now bugger off and get your shit together!

Andrew James
29 Posted 02/10/2015 at 22:26:24
I'd want us to win of course but would be disappointed if it resulted in Brenda's dismissal. I want him to remain, I want them to go on near miss cup runs and have the occasional unbeaten run whereby their deluded fans are talking up their players. That will keep Brenda in his job and they'll remain outside the top 4.

The problem is for Liverpool is that they've allowed him to invest in a lot of players crucial to his style. It would be a huge admission of failure if they fired him now as they'd have a lot of players who wouldn't fit other more orthodox systems and would have to be sold at a loss.

Southampton must be laughing their arses off!

Conn Prosser
30 Posted 02/10/2015 at 22:52:53
I said to an RS mate (Londoner), this one's going to be decided by the Gerard factor. He said yes but which one?

I'm feeling more confident than I have for a while, and that scares me. Come on blue boys.

Peter Cummings
31 Posted 02/10/2015 at 23:07:01
I think a derby win by us will see Rodgers on his bike after Sunday, so far the only reason he's survived until now has been the millions it will cost to see him off, but we must also remember that it wasn't too long ago we were shouting 'Martinez must go'.

Let's face it, footy fans are a fickle lot.and have every right to be, and if the derby result goes against us, we certainly won't be happy campers considering the tough games to come... so COYB.

Tony Draper
32 Posted 02/10/2015 at 23:08:28
Andrew @24, never ever underestimate the value of tipping that lot on their arses.

WE are their fear factor.

Keep your powder dry. Breathe steadily. And wait until you can see the whites of their crossed Norwegian eyes.

Brian Wilkinson
33 Posted 02/10/2015 at 23:32:08
I was confident in the FA Cup semi, Jelavic was scoring for fun, we took the lead and were all over them.

This is the sperm of the devil we are playing, no matter how shite they are playing, or how well we are playing, very rare do we tear one off them, so forget all about form.

Let's just hope for once, we play the right tactics, lady luck does not shine on them, but I have a horrible feeling this Sunday.

Derek Turner
34 Posted 03/10/2015 at 00:18:55
Hey Tony,

I'll have some of that. COYB!

Brian Cleveland
35 Posted 03/10/2015 at 00:26:36
Remember Stones was taken off as a "precaution"... some precaution when he's been out a couple of weeks!

I know it's good to keep cards close to chest and all that, but I get fed up hearing players are "almost" ready every week and three months later we're still waiting... seems to happen quite a bit.

Best to ignore it all and I'll look at the team sheet an hour before kick off.

Tony Byrne
36 Posted 03/10/2015 at 00:49:51
I think this Derby game is so much different than in many years gone by, my reason is that they no longer have Gerard to influence most decisions the officials make; they now lack leadership & identity for the first time in years.

I will make a bold prediction (ahem) we will win on Sunday,psychologically this will then set us up to progress further than that lot, a possible 4th or 5th place finish and a cup final.

This could well end up similar to the 83-84 season... maybe I'm talking bollocks but I've got a bizarre positive feeling for the first time in many years.

Take the roof off on Sunday & let them 'av it!

Timothy Sebastian
37 Posted 03/10/2015 at 00:51:55
As with all derbies, this is a hard game to call. My fear is that Everton will come out all guns blazing, and will be caught out by a quick counter.

Rodgers will undoubtedly set up his team to play defensive with the intent of not losing. Say what you like, such tactics have proved successful at Goodison in the past. Let's get our tactics right. In Martinez I trust... COYBs

Ernie Baywood
38 Posted 03/10/2015 at 01:16:37
I don't think we'd expect a Martinez team to come out all guns blazing would we?

I think it's natural for blues to think we should win but temper that with the usual dread. I would have thought most neutrals would be tipping us but the bookies seem to be calling it pretty even so my bias is probably showing up there too.

I always think we can win but I just have a feeling that they could fall apart if we get ahead early. We really owe them a battering.

Derek Turner
39 Posted 03/10/2015 at 01:25:53
And we do owe them a battering. Just watched that 3-3 again. This time, no Suarez and no Stevie Me. If Lukaku or Ross (or both, I can dream) are on fire, if Deulofeu starts, if Howard gets down at his near post (I told you I can dream), why not?
Victor Jones
40 Posted 03/10/2015 at 03:16:43
I could not stand that stupid "In Moyes We Trust" slogan. The same now applies to any "In Martinez We Trust" nonsense. What exactly do we trust him to do? His bloody job.

Last season, he couldn't organise a fish supper. The season before, he was woeful in one of the derbies. He set up all wrong.

I am always optimistic that Everton can win football matches. You have to be. But Martinez has to get everything spot on. As do the players.

The 4-0 defeat (in our so-called good season) is still on my mind. We balderdashed that game. Here's praying that lessons have been well and truly learnt. In Everton I Trust. Always.

Victor Jones
41 Posted 03/10/2015 at 03:30:17
And believe me, I am glad to see the back of SG. But there again, I was glad to see the back of Rush. And Fowler. And Toshack. And Souness. And Keegan. And Hunt. And Smith. I have been glad to see the back of a host of their players.

The trick now is that we don't fear them. We do not allow any RS player to make a name for themselves, at our expense. Our time has arrived.

James Marshall
42 Posted 03/10/2015 at 06:05:55
If we turn them over, they won't fire Brenda – that would be a massive mistake, and I don't believe for a second that would happen.

Their season hasn't been that bad yet, and they're still well in touch, even if they're not right up the top of the league – they're only 1 point behind us (though that will be 4 come Sunday) and 5 off the top.

Being turned over by us ans then sacking him would look really bad, and saving face starts to come into it when firing a manager – after being beaten by your longest running rival and neighbouring team? Doubtful.

Anyway, I think we'll be all over them tomorrow and I'm going for a win.

Laurie Hartley
43 Posted 03/10/2015 at 06:29:13
Tony # 36 - I could be wrong but I think your last bold prediction for the West Brom game was:-

"If Kone starts he will score".

I hope your latest prediction is right. If we do beat them, we as a football club will have overcome a huge psychological hurdle and anything could happen from there.

I can feel my nerves starting to jangle from 12,000 miles away.

Laurie Hartley
44 Posted 03/10/2015 at 06:42:28
Sorry Tony - it was Dave Keyer who made the Kone prediction. Needless to say I still hope yours for this game is as stunningly corrcect!
Mike Green
45 Posted 03/10/2015 at 07:35:06
Mourinho said after beating Arsenal the other day that you will only win a derby match if you retain your emotional discipline. This, for me, is the crux of the issue and why we struggle (bar biased officials) against Liverpool.

I believe we have a better team, despite the millions more they have spent. I think we play better football. We are above them in the League. We have recently beaten the Champions – convincingly. We have had 6 days to prepare, they had a Europa League game on Thursday night. We are at home.

If I were a neutral player standing outside of the dressing rooms and had the choice of which dressing room I'd prefer to walk into, and shirt I like to run out in tomorrow, the answer would without a doubt be Everton.

We just need to be confident that we are the better team, remain disciplined and focus firmly on a win and I think we could beat them by a clear couple of goals, if not more.

Sam Hoare
46 Posted 03/10/2015 at 07:59:26
Central midfield will be a key area as always and I worry that this is still one of our weaker areas. Barry receives a lot of criticism but I actually feel that this season McCarthy has been the poorer of the two. Despite his engine and enthusiasm he still does not do quite enough in my eyes and very rarely takes a game by its scruff.

This article demonstrates how James Milner is more effective in a similar role:

McCarthy is a good player but I'm still sure he's capable of better and I think that's what we need if we are to have any aspirations of top 4 this season or over the next few years...

Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 03/10/2015 at 11:35:55
Haven't read the article Sam, but I don't think either player, play similar roles.

Do agree that McCarthy needs to step up, but his work rate for the team is fantastic. Everyone thinks we could get more out of McCarthy, so it's up to the player to bring more into his overall game, but it's going to be hard for the lad having watched the way he's been schooled by Martinez over the years.

That said, if we do get on top, McCarthy will be crucial, because there's nothing worse than playing against simplicity, when your chasing the game. His second half performance against Chelsea proved this, when he continuously made himself available and kept playing simple passes across the pitch, its invaluable to have when your team is winning.

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