Gray fears Martinez may have 'lost John Stones'

by | 25/04/2016  61 Comments  [Jump to last]

Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Andy Gray has questioned why Roberto Martinez seems unable to get the best out of his talented squad, admitting that he feels the manager has failed John Stones.

The former Everton striker turned media pundit highlighted the Blues' poor home record this season as being an area of particular concern, describing it as "just not good enough," and he wonders whether Martinez has lost the support of other key players in the dressing room.

“Everyone keeps telling me that this is the best group of players they have had since my day in the eighties when Everton were winning things," Gray said.

“Well, let me tell you, if that's true and if they have got the talent — which for me they clearly have — then it's up to the coach to bring out the best in them and get them playing in a way that brings success and he has failed to do that.

“They have won only four home league games this season and with this group of players that is just not good enough. I think he has lost John Stones because of the way he has treated him this season and maybe one or two other players.

“What we are seeing is what we saw when Roberto was Wigan's manager — an entertaining coach who can't win enough football matches," the Scot continued.

“In my opinion, Everton have gone backwards since last year. Martinez has admitted that he never sends his team out to keep a clean sheet. You are not going to win many games doing that.

“They don't work hard enough defensively and they get turned over far too easily. They have lost more points from a winning position than any other team in the league and that's unacceptable.

“I have no doubt that this team should be in the top six but they are a million miles away.”


Reader Comments (61)

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Dan Davies
1 Posted 25/04/2016 at 18:58:07
No argument from me, Andy.
Mike Hughes
2 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:08:20
Why single out John Stones?

How many players have actually progressed in the past year or two (apart from Niasse who is now in the big money league)?

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:09:14

It's becoming more and more apparent as the season has unfolded really, all our fears around the midway point this season rumoured player unrest and Martinez having problems with various members.

It's come to light now that Baines has been publicly embarrassed for speaking the truth and I believe on Saturday in that second half you saw John Stones playing on auto, he came out with I believe the anger to show pride in his own performance after his stock has fallen so low this season.

Also there's a rumour on HITC about why Niasse hasn't been playing, apparently a senior staff member isn't at all convinced by him, but to be honest, apart from the seriously gullible fans who believed Martinez when he put Niasse's absence down to fitness, we all know that his lack of action so far is NOT down to lack of fitness and certainly no injured wrist.

The guy is clearly not cut out for Premier League football and whoever gave the go-ahead to splash out 㾹.5 million needs to have a long hard look at themselves.

Just another issue in what has become a badly run circus this season.

Ray Smith
4 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:09:43
Spot on Andy Gray.

Perhaps the board might listen to him? Probably not.

Anybody know how to get a message direct to Andy Gray? With his contacts surely he or an ex player can represent our views, which he for one obviously agrees.

Zoid Clark
5 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:11:35
He's in the wrong position in my opinion!

He should be playing as a CDM - a screen in front of the back four. He is good in the air, he can tackle, he blocks like a boss, not to mention his dribbling and passing skills.

Yes he makes mistakes, but playing him infront will also allow him to make these mistakes with protection behind him & also take a bit of the pressure off.

When he moved up the pitch in the semi final, he was brilliant! He can dribble and pick a pass.

We need to get in one ball winning, no nonsense CB to fill his position.

Dragovic or Shawcross (even after his horrible game against city)

Leaving us with Jags (aging), Funes Mori, Dragovic/Shawcross, Galloway & Browning at the center back position - while Stones can slot back into CB, if needed.

Ian Ravello
6 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:13:36
Mr Moshiri, please take note and please put us all out of our suffering, depressive states as soon as possible. It's simply not fair on any Evertonian to be going through this prolonged pain and agony. We need you to stand up and take action now, and earn all our respects.
Tom Flower
7 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:16:04
Andy Gray is a prize bell end. He's never recovered from being jettisoned by the late great Howard Kendall and it has been a festering sore for him ever since. Has anyone ever heard him comment positively about our club? It's all mealy mouthed negativity from him.
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:17:26
Good point about Stones position Zoid..

I don't think he's tough enough to play centre half in the English league but he might do a good transition to defensive midfield, he's certainly better on the ball than McCarthy and his obvious errors of getting caught on the ball would be less magnified with a solid defence behind him..

At the moment with Stones every single error he makes is killing him because he's in the back line.

Danny Broderick
9 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:20:02
Stones hasn't progressed. Coleman hasn't been great this year. McCarthy is a shadow of what he was in his first season. Barkley has been terrible since January. Mirallas & Koné are way off the pace. Lennon and Deulofeu have suffered by being allowed to play no more than an hour a piece. Lukaku's form has gone now. Tim Howard is going backwards, although he has probably caught up with him, just like Pienaar, Osman and Hibbert.

That is pretty much a whole team of players who are under performing. If it was one or two, you could maybe defend the manager, but the majority of our players are a pale shadow of themselves compared to 2 years ago - there is something drastically wrong. The buck stops with the manager.

Chris Leyland
10 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:20:33
Zoid - John Stones 'good in the air'??

Did you once sit next to him on a plane and he was impeccably mannered?

Mick Davies
11 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:22:27
The Echo, BBC, SkySports, the fans and now our ex-players are all stating the obvious. The only buffoon who still thinks next season's relegation battle is a move forward, is that money making bullshitter who's been keeping our club as his own pantomime for 15 years.
Time to go for Kenwright, with his big profit and his even bigger ego . . and he can take his 'champions league' manager with him
Michael Polley
12 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:22:37
Martinez has not only destroyed Stones but every other player. It is so obvious he has lost the dressing room which Baines indirectly mentioned 2 weeks ago. He has lost the fans, and I only wish he could lose himself...
Ian Hollingworth
13 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:24:36
Why has it taken so long for our former legends to start questioning the abilities of the current manager?

Some of our fans have known this for years.

Why oh why has he not been sacked yet.

Out the gates at 78!

John Graham
14 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:25:33
They don't work hard enough full stop. Barkley strolls around the defence always looks like there's a mistake waiting to happen. No energy to our play until after someone ( not Martinez) gives them a good rollicking, usually after half time when we are losing.
Mike Connolly
15 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:25:46
You have to laugh, all the media having a go at Martinez. Why didn't Gray and Co, come out when we needed them 18 months ago. It took the balls of Stan Colleymore , Paul Merson and Chris Sutton to apply the pressure. However, I suppose the more band wagon jumpers get on board, a quick end should be insight
Charlie Lloyd
16 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:25:46
Stones needs a good defensive coach to sort him out. Anticipating danger would be a start. It's not the lads fault but he needs pointers to improve him. Does he get that? Debatable.

About Niasse. Never thought I'd say this but he makes the player he replaced, Naismith, look like Messi. Jury still out due to lack of action but the omens aren't looking good.

Mark Burton
17 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:28:10
Spot on Andy except Stones is not the only one, in fact he has failed all the players, all the supporters and has wasted a lot of revenue on players that have not even featured. All in all it is championship not champions league if the board keeps backing the failure that has managed to stay longer than his welcome
Craig Rothwell
18 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:30:52
Why doesn't Andy Gray have a crack at it then instead of coming out with "Martinez has ruined John Stones"?

Stones went downhill after not getting his move to Chelsea and for Chelsea to offer the money they were offering at the time obviously proves Martinez had him playing well.

Oliver Molloy
19 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:37:24
Andy Gray and Richard Keys are probably the worst pundits out there.
Both claimed last season that John Stones would and should leave - remember !

Richard Keys in particular is very annoying with the bollocks he talks.

Mick Davies
20 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:39:47
Chris @ 10, love it, I was thinking myself about heading being the weakest part of his game, but it's essential to a central defender
Andy Meighan
22 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:47:49
Gray is totally right... only what we've all been saying for ages. Unfortunately, the man that matters, the Pantomine Dame, can't see any wrongdoing in him. In Bill's fucked-up pea-brain, hes the nicest guy you'd wish to meet and has been unlucky this season.

Er... Shit. Creek. Paddle, anyone?

Russ Quinlan
23 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:48:03
Seeing JS moving forward in the 2nd half I thought exactly the same as Zoid, we want and old fashioned CH (look at Leicester for example) and play JS further up the park, the only time we looked dangerous against Manure was when he strode forward and passed the ball FORWARD ! He also did it for England so he should think about playing there for us more often and then at least if he does mess up, its not in the penalty area.
If only we had a Coach who could see the obvious like we can !
David Tennant
24 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:57:17
Just been listening to BBC Merseyside phone in, apparently due to contract clauses we won't sack Martinez until June 1 as we will end up owing him an extra 2 million pounds.

This is because the start of the football
year is June 1 and hence will only owe one year of compensation as opposed 2 years.

It may well be hearsay but does make financial sense of true.

Tony Hill
25 Posted 25/04/2016 at 19:59:26
David (24), if that is true, and I doubt it, then it would say very little for Moshiri's financial clout though, of course, anything is possible in Goodison Wonderland.
Matt Traynor
27 Posted 25/04/2016 at 20:06:45
Tony #25, what the Tenth Doctor told you may well be true. It says nothing about Moshiri's clout. He's just bought a lot of shares, at a premium price, giving True Blue Bill and friends a financial windfall. None of that directly benefits Everton FC.

This is not to say he doesn't have future plans, but as of right now, it's completely irrelevant.

(PS - he's rich, but he's not a Mansour or Abramovich)

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 25/04/2016 at 20:08:28

Have you maybe asked yourself why Gray and Keys were on the Stones leaving bandwagon last summer??

Maybe they saw what was coming under Martinez and maybe they have been proved right with several players not just Stones looking a shadow of what they once were.

I'm never going to say players should leave Everton to better their career but after this season and for the first time seeing a manager totally destroy so many strengths we once possessed through laziness and neglected duties, I may actually start saying it.

I always remember the regular accusations against Moyes destroying strikers and no matter what striker we signed it became a a forwards graveyard.

I believe the same can be said of Martinez with regards to the defence, he has totally neglected defensive duties.

Tony Steele
29 Posted 25/04/2016 at 20:09:03
Lost months ago. Keep up.
Graham Mockford
30 Posted 25/04/2016 at 20:12:09
David #24

Firstly Martinez reportedly earns £3m a year on a contract that still has three full years to run.

Assuming there are no penalty performance clauses that would allow termination, it will cost about £9m to dispense with his services.

The only difference that leaving it until the 1st June would make is it would be reported in the 2017 accounts as opposed to this years.

Brian Wilkinson
33 Posted 25/04/2016 at 21:08:20
Be best 9 million we have spent if we do it now.
Andrew Lightfoot
34 Posted 25/04/2016 at 21:31:32
Difficult to take from a guy who chickened out of the managers job to stay at Sky.
Ian McDowell
35 Posted 25/04/2016 at 21:40:25
Its very easy to criticise from your studio when you spend all day preparing for a 30 minute talk on where teams have gone wrong for the Monday night football. Its a bit different when your in the job, as Gary Neville found out.
Doug Harris
36 Posted 25/04/2016 at 21:47:09
Maybe Andy Gray, at the time, had the sense to feel that the job was TOO Big for him; fair enough... he also has the right to his opinion(s).

Unlike a certain Bobby Bollocks that has completely lost it.

Kevin Jones
37 Posted 25/04/2016 at 21:51:09
Heard from a good source that we won't make the announcement until after the Hillsborough verdict is delivered, but Martinez has been sacked. My reliable source is my missus, who does come out with some sound sense sometimes. Other times she's as mad as box of frogs, asked me once " if you have to put petrol in caravans"
Andrew Lightfoot
38 Posted 25/04/2016 at 21:59:33
Fair point, Kevin. Makes sense. The announcement I mean, not putting petrol in caravans.
Brin Williams
39 Posted 25/04/2016 at 22:16:41
£9M ? Can't we just give him Niasse and tell them both to fuxk off now?
Teddy Bertin
40 Posted 25/04/2016 at 22:24:06
Andy jumping on the band wagon. Rubbish pundit, too comfortable in his TV job to come back to his old club and sticking the knife in once everyone else has started.

Jumping in with what others have been saying for months. Not interested in his opinion.

Thierry Henry was spouting off a load of rubbish the other day too. Saying that last season Martinez brought Barkley into the team and played fantastic football. What planet's he on? Last season?

Ian Burns
41 Posted 25/04/2016 at 22:27:22
Andy Gray - bandwagon springs immediately to mind. Tell us something we don't know - RM has lost more than Stones, he's lost his marbles!
Andrew James
42 Posted 25/04/2016 at 22:38:15
Last season when we conveniently stepped out of the newly named "Top 6" - the pundits were shocking in their disregard of us but didn't question Martinez and put any bad results down to the Europa League despite the fact we were woeful during the winter rest.

Same this season until finally the penny dropped in February. It's because on Merseyside our pundits and reporters are so red. Then the national media is illogical. If Merseyside had it's own Pat Murphy criticising the club every five minutes, the alarm bells in the media would have been ringing in October.

Anthony Dwyer
44 Posted 25/04/2016 at 23:06:37
This is exactly what is needed Imo, as many x blues to speak out about Martinez inability to get the best from us.

Bill Kenwright doesn't seem to hear the fans cries for a new manager, maybe he will hear what some of his boy hood idols have to say.

I'm all for this type of outcry.

I would like something to be set in stone for the weekends game, were as the fans can make our feelings towards Roberto known even more, but I simply don't know how it's best done.

Maybe we could turn our backs, maybe we could sing loudly for the players without singing anything to do with Martinez.

I'm not sure but something needs putting in place as I can't phantom Martinez remaining boss any longer.

John Hughes
45 Posted 25/04/2016 at 23:25:59
Graham (30): You are correct in terms of how long his contract has to run. However, in my experience of contracts in business, compensation in these situations tends to be negotiated downwards if things are not working out to the satisfaction of both parties. Also, even if the Club were to be forced into paying him the full amount, it's nothing compared with the risk of him taking us out of the premiership.
Another solution would be to give him Niasse in lieu of cash? On paper Roberto would be about £4m up on the deal!
Don Alexander
46 Posted 25/04/2016 at 00:00:45
If it was only those gobshites Gray and Keys I'd be worried, but there's now a consensus across the media that Martinez is a charlatan, albeit that's my word.

........And about time too according to us True Blues!

Well done to all who've written or spoken to the media and/or signed petitions to get rid of the tosser.

Ray Robinson
47 Posted 26/04/2016 at 00:29:27
Zoid #5 and Russ #23, there's a world of difference between a cultured centre back being able to bring the ball comfortably out of defence like John Stones (and before him Alan Hansen) and that same centre back being deployed as a defensive midfielder. I just cannot see Stones as a midfielder (of any description), I'm afraid. His natural elegance camouflages his need to improve as a defender - which is all I see him as to be honest.
Mick Davies
48 Posted 26/04/2016 at 00:55:22
Anthony, maybe mass booing in the 21st minute to signify how many years it is since we last won anything. This would be better than Ian's 78, because if the Catalan Charlatan is still in charge, there might not be anyone left in the ground that late
Mark Andersson
49 Posted 26/04/2016 at 02:32:44
Do you think Kenwright gives a toss about Andy Gray or anyone else's opinion. He only cares about his own inflated ego. He found a kindred spirit when he appointed Martinez.

Andy how about the fans stay out side the ground and voice there opinion. That way they cant be distracted by the game. A empty ground but with BOOS ringing Martinesz out would be something different.

Alan J Thompson
50 Posted 26/04/2016 at 05:17:48
I don't know what compensation might be payable if Martinez is sacked but I would like to think that in a League/business where it could be argued there are at least 14 failures each season that there would some KPI's built into the contract. Also, isn't any compensation able to be reduced if other employment is found or does it all depend on what is in the contract. I do seem to remember another manager somewhere being sacked but only being paid his weekly/quarterly or whatever until he found other employment or came to the negotiating table to discuss a final settlement.
Garry Corgan
51 Posted 26/04/2016 at 06:27:56
Easy to criticise someone, especially when you didn't have the bottle to take the job yourself...

... although he's right, to be fair.

Anto Byrne
52 Posted 26/04/2016 at 06:56:47
I can't really see how our current squad is better than the eighties line up. Only Baines and Stones would be pressing to get in that team. Barkley at a push.

We don't really have a Trevor Steven or a Kevin Sheedy and we have nothing that compares to an Andy Gray or Sharpie. Then we had Peter Reid and Southall. This squad is average to say the least and mid-table is probably right.

It's about time a few more pundits came out with some home truths about the manager and why his footballing philosophy is not going to work. The results speak for themselves having lost 20 pts from games we should have won, even the two semi-finals we managed to blow.

Martinez is a nice guy but talks shite and pulled off a fortunate FA Cup win beating Bournemouth, Macclesfield, Huddersfield Everton (Neville's last game) and Millwall before a late winner against Man City, so let's have some perspective here. I doubt Wigan would have got very far if not for a very fortunate draw. Even against Everton they scored 3 goals in 6 minutes, one a gifted back pass.

Anyway, we ended up with Martinez and that's it. You can't take away the cup from them, they won it... But really, is Martinez the best we can do?

Zoid Clark
53 Posted 26/04/2016 at 07:16:46
Chris #10 - your shanter hurts my brain mate
Matt Traynor
54 Posted 26/04/2016 at 08:00:55
Alan #50, the paying up of a contract is a relic from the days when managers didn't earn the kind of money they trouser these days. Of course, like a lot of contract clauses (e.g. loyalty payments, testimonials etc.) the players & managers, through their agents, will not see them removed.

You are right about the other type of compensation - effectively Gardening Leave. I'm pretty sure AVB had that when he was given the bullet at Chelsea - they paid him his salary up until he got the job at Tottenham.

Christopher Dover
55 Posted 26/04/2016 at 09:08:26
Keep it simple. Martinez Out , chanted all around the ground, even Bill could not misunderstand that and would be shown on TV etc.

If that's not the Everton Way then tough we moan about wanting him out but do nothing, keep it simple and honest, would be worth it in the long run.

Tony J Williams
56 Posted 26/04/2016 at 12:35:44
Mixed reactions when I read this.

At first I was all, "Yeah! yeah, you've got it spot on there Andy lad!!!"

Then I though, "Why now, you bandjumping fecker?"

It's easy to start spouting out when the rest of the footballing world has already said the same.

Its pointless sacking him now, if the rumours about the contract are correct.

We are not getting relegated this season so why pay him out a further £2/3m when we can wait for a couple of months and bin him off for a lesser amount?

In regards to Stones, he has definitely gone backwards. he used to e decent in the air and actually get the better of the bigger/older bullies of the league, but ever since his injury last year (and I imagine the transfer saga) he hasn't been the same and is constantly getting beat by the forwards.

I imagine he wants out and I would be surprised to see him here next season.

I can foresee the post Norwich game ta ra to be a quiet and somewhat empty affair.
I won't be staying to give them a round of applause.

Andy Walker
58 Posted 26/04/2016 at 16:44:27
I love this 'jumping on the bandwagon' accusation that some are getting excited about. May I point out that 12 months ago this site had very few TWs that wanted Martinez sacked. Now everyone does, without exception. Kettle, pot, black getting on the back of Gray now.

It's only over recent months that the majority have come to realise the shiteness that is Martinez, even though what he did at Wigan was there for all to see, including BK, at the time he appointed him as our manager.

Tony J Williams
59 Posted 26/04/2016 at 16:55:45
Andy 12 months ago loads were screaming for his head, as we had just come through one of the worst xmas periods in some time.

Furthermore, our views don't end up on telly of the Sky Sports website (good job sometimes too!)

Andy Walker
60 Posted 26/04/2016 at 17:33:09
Hi Tony fair comment, as you say the tide started to turn around Jan 15 when quite a few posters were saying he may need to be sacked, but this was still a minority. I probably should have said 18 months ago.

The narrative around Jan 15 was very much RM needs to improve or he must go. It was certainly not a case of a blanket lets sack him now though.

My point is that as a fan base we really should learn from the misguided praise lavished on the Martinez appointment and similar after his first season. It only served to falsely raise expectations. The evidence about Martinez was always there to see but it was ignored by so many. Now it's a case that it's taken nearly 3 years for there to be a unianimous consensus that Martinez is shit, even though that was clearly the case when he relegated Wigan.

Now the same emotive, anti evidence arguments are being used to try and undermine various views such as 1) Moyes may be an option (not my number 1 choice but would be nothing like as stupid as appointing Martinez) 2) Moshiri is useless if he doesn't sack Martinez yesterday, 3) BK will not be listening to the fans. All this stuff is band wagon jumping.

Ian Burns
61 Posted 26/04/2016 at 18:36:22
Andy Walker - 58 and 60 - I feel I personally have the right to accuse Gray of jumping on a bandwagon. I have been complaining about this appointment on TW since he was appointed and I have been constantly asking for his dismissal for 2 years.

I commented earlier that not only has he lost Stones but he has lost his marbles. I will change that to I believe he arrived here without his marbles and a grin a mile wide that nowhere else would a top club like EFC appoint a manager who had just relegated a team who even then was known he couldn't organise a defence.

Capt Mannering springs to mind.

Peter Jansson
62 Posted 26/04/2016 at 20:53:47
You can say what you want about Andy Gray.
Everything he said in this article is true.

Everton has moved backwards instead of forward.

Les Netherwood
64 Posted 26/04/2016 at 22:18:39
How anyone can defend Martinez is beyond me. He is on another planet and the sooner he is gone the better. He has ruined some very good players here and has caused the worst home season in Everton's history........get shut of him now.....loads of banners on Saturday, make a really big scene to get some action from the board.

No matter who replaces wont be nearly as bad.

Don Alexander
65 Posted 27/04/2016 at 01:48:30
Not only has Martinez lost his stones, he's long since lost his marbles too.

........And us fans are paying for it.

Dave Power
67 Posted 27/04/2016 at 07:19:34
I'll never disrespect Andy Gray as a player. However, the fact that he turned us down to stay at Sky Sports says it all as far as his qualifications to speak on the issues of coaching a top class club.
Brian Cleveland
68 Posted 29/04/2016 at 15:04:13
As far as compensation goes that has been mentioned, don't forget there is money for each place in the league, and given that we're only 2 points above 16th those extra 5 places could well end up costing more than any compensation I think.

Someone with a better memory than me can provide the numbers if they see fit!

Bottom line: Adios Señor Martínez!

Frank Crewe
69 Posted 06/05/2016 at 19:12:31
I don't know if Martinez has lost Stones but I do know he's lost his marbles.

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