Feb 272015

Roberto Martinez has lauded Arsenal’s proven ability to qualify for the Champions League season after season.

And the Everton FC manager believes the Londoners are a shining example for him to follow in his aim to break the top four stranglehold.

Martinez takes the Blues to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the Premier League, with the two teams experiencing contrasting European nights this week.

Everton cruised to a 7-2 aggregate win over Young Boys in the Europe League while the Gunners face an uphill task to overturn a 3-1 deficit from their Champions League last 16 first leg with Monaco.

But Martinez will brace his players to expect to feel the full force of an Arsenal backlash, and says manager Arsene Wenger has proved himself capable of provoking positive reactions in his players after a setback.

Action Images / Carl Recine Arsene Wenger and Roberto Martinez

Arsene Wenger and Roberto Martinez

Wenger has overseen 17 consecutive seasons of Champions League football and Martinez says such a feat cannot be underestimated.

“They are an incredible example and that goes down to Arsene Wenger,” Martinez said.

“He’s been there for such a long time, he is a such a calming influence and he is someone who knows how to prepare the team for the next game and even when there is a difficult moment during the season, he finds the way to give direction.

“It is an incredible stat to see Arsenal qualifying for Europe season after season and Arsenal can be a real example in that respect for many teams.

“It is not easy to qualify the team season after season but it does go down to one person and his experience and know-how in the game.”

Arsenal headed into their Champions League clash with Monaco having won six of their previous seven league games.

At the Emirates, Wenger’s side have plundered 28 goals this term in the Premier League and have lost only once.


Monaco, however, managed to stifle Arsenal on Wednesday night and after a goalless half an hour the home supporters began to get restless.

But when asked if that would part of Everton’s gameplan, Martinez said: “You cannot prepare the game in that manner because in the same instance, Arsenal had three open opportunities that if they had taken them then it would’ve taken the game into a completely different situation.

“We are preparing in the know that we are facing a team fully focused, with enormous talent and we need to play with a huge degree of concentration because if you get left one v one with players with that quality then they can hurt you .

“But our performance last season at the Emirates was a perfect example of how you have to play Arsenal away from home and that’s our measurement.

“At home, we have overcome that lack of understanding of how to score goals against Arsenal and how to make it a real open game.

“It is a combination of all those aspects plus being physically ready because you are going to be hugely tested playing against Arsenal.”

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