Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Stuart Mcdermott on The thin blue line

"Jamie, superb article as always! I have to say that, as always, you're spot on. Arsenal have no momentum going into the last 5 games and i can't see them getting the results they ... " View all comments

Opinion Archive:

Jamie Redknapp: Roberto Martinez combines flair and resolve at Everton

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 19th December 2013 view comments

I've been very impressed with Everton this season.

In the summer, when Roberto Martinez was appointed as David Moyes' successor, I know some Evertonians were unhappy about getting a manager who had just been relegated with Wigan, despite winning the FA Cup.

Martinez: Has Everton playing his way, says Jamie Redknapp

Martinez: Has Everton playing his way, says Jamie Redknapp

But Martinez has got them playing a great brand of football and, as a player, Everton must be a great place to ply your trade at the moment.

They've surprised many people this season; we saw them go to Manchester United and produce a brilliant performance and then go to the Emirates and out-pass an Arsenal team we think of as the possession masters.

Phil Jagielka is probably the best defender in the Premier League at the moment.

Jamie Redknapp
Quotes of the week

Romelu Lukaku, who has bagged eight goals in the Premier League so far, has given them a real threat up top, while I've run out of superlatives to describe Ross Barkley. Now and then a player comes along who's different and that's Barkley; he's a fantastic footballer.

Check out Jamie's Premier League tips now

Former Swansea boss Martinez has demanded good football from his side and they've delivered - but they also have a very strong defensive resolve, too.

Going into this weekend's fixtures, Everton have conceded the joint-fewest number of goals in the top flight, with Tim Howard being beaten on just 15 occasions this term (the same number as Southampton have let in).

The American is a sound keeper and in front of him he's got two good full-backs in Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines, who Bryan Oviedo has done a good job to deputise for since the England man's injury.

Then at centre-half they have a very good pairing in Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka - who is probably the best defender in the Premier League at the moment.

Protection

Crucially, in front of them, Gareth Barry offers plenty of protection in that holding role - and what a great loan signing he's been this season.

If you were compiling a team of the season so far, he would certainly be one of the top choices for that position. He's been immense since arriving from Man City and also helps out the younger players around him, such as Barkley and Lukaku, with his experience.

Martinez is really getting the best out of his squad at the moment and, with a favourable run of fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period, they should be in a very strong position come the start of 2014.

The big question mark, though, is over their strength in depth and whether they can keep this form going.

They haven't spent the vast sums some of their top four rivals have and, usually, money equals success.

They've got it all to do and it's harder than ever to get into those Champions League spots with so many strong sides competing for those places this year, but with Martinez's methods chiming with the players, they've got a chance.

Disappointment

Their opponents on Sunday, meanwhile, will be far less happy with their first half of the season.

Before this campaign started Swansea were one of my tips for a top six finish but they've not done as well as I thought they would.There's no question, the Europa League games have hindered them, with the extra matches disrupting their preparation for their Premier League games, but their home form has been poor, too, with them winning just two of their eight games at the Liberty Stadium so far.

It seems that, despite the club spending quite a bit of money in the summer, the drop-off in performance they experienced after winning last season's Capital One Cup has continued into this season as well.

Jamie's backing Swansea and Everton to draw 1-1 - at 11/2. Bet now

They've got a break in their Europa League schedule now which gives them a chance to try and turn what has been a disappointing season around and I reckon they could kick that off this weekend by holding a very good Everton side to a 1-1 draw.

Although Swansea have been far from their best this season they rarely look like they are going to get beaten by a significant margin and, with their old boss in town, they'll be determined to put on a performance.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Balotelli banned for one game

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been given a one-match ban by the FA after his controversial post on social media.

'Quadruple may never be done'

Jamie Carragher says winning the quadruple is so difficult it may never be done in England.

Rodgers: Sterling can be striker

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling has the qualities needed to play as a striker on a regular basis.

Allardyce plays down reports

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has played down speculation about his future, saying nothing has changed since the start of the season.

Recovery setback for Rodriguez

Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury.

Features

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Our scout looks at which players you should consider signing this weekend

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Our scout looks at which players you should consider signing this weekend

The crucial festive period is upon us and, with games coming thick and fast, here are five in-form players to consider for your Sky Sports Fantasy Football team.

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but the Arsenal forward's qualities are a clear example of what Liverpool are missing with Luis Suarez gone, writes Adam Bate...

Raheem Sterling's two goals for Liverpool at Bournemouth offer hope for Brendan Rodgers and his new system

Raheem Sterling's two goals for Liverpool at Bournemouth offer hope for Brendan Rodgers and his new system

After Raheem Sterling rediscovered his composure to see off Bournemouth, Brendan Rodgers will be encouraged that his new system can help Liverpool beat Arsenal on Sunday, writes Matthew Stanger...