May 252015

Roberto Martinez blamed a woeful first half display when Everton were second best in every department for their final day defeat by Spurs.

The Blues boss was scathing of his players’ performance in the opening 45 minutes today, which saw them go into the break trailing 1-0 thanks to Harry Kane’s header.

But Martinez took some solace from the Toffees second half response and the attitude of teenage left-back Brendan Galloway, who rose above the mediocre level of his team-mates.

LOOK: Everton FC vs Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park


He said: “We were looking forward to trying to finish on a high in front of our fans at Goodison but it wasn’t to be. In the first half we weren’t good enough.

“We lost the game in that opening 45 minutes. Our quality on the ball was very poor. We were caught in two minds too often and allowed Spurs too much possession.

“The goal came from a cross and a free header in the box so it was very disappointing even though we created the best chance in that one versus one between Kevin Mirallas and Hugo Lloris and it could have been a different outcome.

“I was pleased with how we adjusted at half time. The intensity was better and you could feel we were more in the game even if we didn’t create any clear cut opportunities.

“We pushed with everything we could and we even kept going to the last minute of extra time.”

Martinez replaced an ineffectual Ross Barkley for the second half and admitted the England international had not been injured.

However he refused to single out the 21-year-old for individual blame and stressed it was a tactical switch.

“It was a tactical change,” he said. “The way we wanted to play was to find Ross and Leon Osman in between the lines and get them the ball, but as a team we weren’t good enough at doing that.

“It was nothing to do with Ross and it could have been either of the number 10s.

“In the second half we were better with Mo Besic giving us a better defensive structure allowing us to press and stop Spurs have so much possession.

“I felt we could have had a good opportunity to win the game with the clean sheet we kept in the second half.

“Overall I’ll keep the reaction and the tactical flexibility we showed in how different the game was. “But really disappointed with the first half.”

Everton captain Phil Jagielka leads the team around the pitch after the Barclays Premier League match at Goodison Park. Everton captain Phil Jagielka leads the team around the pitch after the Barclays Premier League match at Goodison Park.

Martinez was at least delighted with how Brendan Galloway acquitted himself on his home debut, after he substituted the youngster late in the second half in order to give Sylvain Distin a chance for one final appearance before leaving after six seasons at the club.

On Galloway he said: “As a young man you usually perform at the level of the team but he was above that level and it speaks volumes.

“It was significant also that there was a change of the generations when he came off to allow Sylvain Distin to say his farewell to Goodision.

“Obviously it’s been a season which hasn’t worked out for him but I’m quite clear looking at his overall contribution it was a class way as a club to send a solid performer for over six years on his way. It was a nice footballing moment.”

The result combined with Crystal Palace’s win over Swansea meant Everton missed out on a top 10 finish and the Catalan said he was disappointed.

He said: “It’s been a very difficult season. We’re not hiding from that. We had the hangover from the World Cup in the first half of the campaign and I had to give younger players a bigger role a bit earlier than planned.

“We couldn’t enjoy any momentum in the first half of the season. Europe got in the way and that’s not an excuse it’s a reason.

“We want to be in Europe and be able to fulfil our level in the domestic competitions too.

“With the last 30 points we showed character, fight and spirit in adversity when we had to win. That’s what we’ll build on for next season.

“There are many aspects we can control going into next season, and we’ll learn from those lessons. “If you see the support we had at the end of the game the fans were magnificent and gave everyone a desire to become a winning team and give them what they deserve.”

On Luke Garbutt’s omission from the squad, Martinez added that it was simply to allow him to include Distin on the bench.

Clearance sale on Everton clothing.

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