Kone still eager to repay Martinez's faith

by | 04/10/2015  9 Comments  [Jump to last]

Arouna Kone says that every minute he plays is "an absolute pleasure" after his injury hell and that he is motivated by the debt he feels to his manager to make a positive contribution to the team.

Speaking on the eve of today's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park where he is bidding to earn his first win over Liverpool, having faced them before playing for PSV Eindhoven and Wigan Athletic, the Ivorian said: "I feel I owe something special to the manager Roberto Martinez." said Kone. "He has shown faith in me on two separate occasions. He brought me to the Premier League from Spain with Wigan and we won the FA Cup. Then he signed me again for Everton.

"Its motivated me 100 per cent and when I am out on the field, every minute is an absolute pleasure after the period I was out playing. I want to prove I can bring something to this club."

Kone spent more than a year on the sidelines between 2013 and 2014 with a career-threatening injury and finally returned to fitness late last year but he needed the last half of last season just to re-establish his game. Though he is still not a prolific member of the Blues side, he has weighed in with some important moments already this season that have contributed to the Blues' promising start.

The 31-year-old also stated his belief that Everton could finish above Liverpool in the Premier League this season as Martinez's mixture of youth and experience gels and builds on the lessons learned in a difficult 2014-15 campaign.

"[T]his might be the year and it is more to do with ourselves than Liverpool," Kone continued. "We showed in our last game at West Brom that we have the strength to come back in matches.

"Our game management has improved because the young lads have gained experience from our negative experiences last season. They have benefited from going through difficult times. Our squad is stronger as well so, yes, I hope we can finish above Liverpool."

Kone will likely be vying with Steven Naismith for a place in the starting line-up this afternoon as Martinez plots the best starting XI to deliver his first derby victory since taking over as Everton boss in 2013.

While Naismith started the game at The Hawthorns last Monday, it was Kone who scored the equaliser coming off the bench, a role that has been a successful one for him this season his other goal so far this season also came as a substitute.  

Reader Comments (9)

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Trevor Peers
1 Posted 04/10/2015 at 08:25:19
Roberto has to be congratulated for getting the best out of Kone this season.

Playing him in a deep lying role has allowed him more time on the ball, and he has flourished as a footballer because of it, showing real class at times and now starting to score goals as well.

Can't fault his attitude either, his comments about finishing above the RS are welcome and commendable.

Les Martin
2 Posted 04/10/2015 at 08:36:53
He is a handful when fit and just needed some time to prove that he still has it, strong, quick, can finish and very dangerous. The impatient ones who were calling him forget how he tortured us when playing for Wigan.

I believe his best moments are yet to come, pleased to have him.

Aidy Dews
3 Posted 04/10/2015 at 08:52:57
Kone can be a good foil for Rom as he can hold the ball up and bring others into play in the final third. Him being in the team takes that responsibility off of Lukaku and allows him to stay on the shoulders of the CB, which is more his game.

But if I'm being honest, I don't like seeing the likes of Kone & Naismith in the side a lot flanking Rom. Now and again yes, but I think they can be more effective from the bench. Plus I'd rather see us play with either two genuine wingers in Deulofeu & Lennon or one of those two with either Mirallas or Pienaar down the left when everyone is back and fit as I think there better players and would bring more creativity and pace to the team.

But fair play to Kone, he's got fit and is offering us something this season and long may it continue!

Timothy Sebastian
4 Posted 04/10/2015 at 09:27:53
I like him, his attitude and his footballing skills. Underestimated, but true class.
Mark Andersson
6 Posted 04/10/2015 at 10:52:27
I like Kone he gets plenty of stick on here but like Naismith he gets on with what he is paid to do.

Its a big game for Martinez as a manager if he masterminds a win he will win back a lot of his detractors me being one of them.

For those going to the game enjoy the win wish I was there to be part of it.

Harold Matthews
7 Posted 04/10/2015 at 12:59:58
Last season and the first half against West Brom, we continually lost possession in the final third. This causes the midfielders and fullbacks to perform in a negative manner because the ball is always coming back into our half.

This season Kone has helped us keep possession and it has made an enormous difference. McCarthy is still operating sideways and back but he will gradually learn to trust the guys up front and take more risks going forward.

Mike Childs
8 Posted 05/10/2015 at 13:45:00
McCarthy needs to become more of an offense threat as he showed both yesterday and last year at the end that he can hit the target when let loose. Problem is RM uses him to man mark most game.

Our biggest problem outside of Howard is Naisy who's attitude is so needed but who's technical limitations hurt.
Then of course is the dilemma called Mirallas.

All and all though I am happy with the start this year especially from Martinez who has gotten away from total ticky tacky.

Michael Mulholland
9 Posted 05/10/2015 at 22:24:34
Kone has definitely picked his game up but sometimes his final ball is grim. Naismith deserved his start, but Lukaku was top dog up front.

I hope Rodgers way back to Carnlough let him go back and pick welicks.

Anthony Dwyer
10 Posted 08/10/2015 at 00:38:19
A little while back, I mentioned that Kone could be a bit of a diamond in the rough. I also said that he held no re-sale value so it was worth taking a bit of a punt on him staying in and around the squad.

I can't exactly remember who it was but someone called me out and mocked me, but I can't help but feel he's proven me correct. Kone is exactly what we need to help link up the forwards and midfielders; he has better hold-up play than both Naisy and Rom, a better first touch too.

Kone also carries a goal threat and definitely has a bond with Rom; he is and will continue to be a massive part of our current squad.

Gerry is growing and will soon be a important player for us, but meanwhile, Kone is going to be vital to us.

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