Arsenal 4 Everton 1: Roberto Martinez does not give Roy Keane 'any credit' over comments that his side were too open at the Emirates

 

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The Independent Online

Roberto Martinez has dismissed Roy Keane’s criticism of his Everton team saying he did not give the former Manchester United captain’s comments ‘any credit’.

Keane made his criticism while covering Everton’s 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Arsenal on Saturday for ITV. Reflecting on Everton’s recent defeats to Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, and the loss at the Emirates, Keane said they were ‘too open’.

“If you keep a team like Spurs to one shot on target for 65 minutes, I don’t think that’s being open at all,” said Martinez. “If you concede one goal against one of the best attacking teams at Stamford Bridge – from a dead ball situation in the 92nd minute – I don’t think that gives that comment any credit. Arsenal was different as we went 2-1 down and you really are open, of course. Because you are in the FA Cup and working for a scoreline. Spaces are going to develop and you’re going to take risks to try to that it in your advantage. So I don’t think it’s the right comment.”

Martinez also said he felt Everton could compete with the clubs above them despite the latter’s superior financial resources. “Of course we can. You need to find a way. You need to be creative. The team spirit and the unit you have in the dressing room is vital. We have some incredible senior professionals in that dressing room that you can build a team around.

 

“We have some players there who are developing and growing and that unknown quality you get from the young players is going to be essential for the future. What we are working on is not going to happen overnight. But we can challenge against teams like Arsenal in their own backyard and make sure we can get positive results. That’s where the work is.

“At the beginning of the season you get those teams who are expected to win titles because of the financial approach. We are in a position where, because of our football club and the history we have, we should be expecting to win titles. We showed we are not far away from being able to come to Arsenal and being able to get through to an FA Cup semi-final. The difference between us getting through and not was minimal and that allows you to work on making sure we can progress and grow.”

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