Arsenal v Everton
FA Cup Quarter Final, Saturday 8 March, at the Emirates
Everton will go to title-chasing Arsenal totally focused on playing their own game.
[quote]We’ve got a real opportunity now. A quarter-final is a significant event, with something promising around the corner. I feel the team is ready.[/quote]
Everton boss Roberto Martinez says his cup chasing team are focused and ready to take the game to their opponents, as the Toffees prepare to take on Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in the crucial FA Cup quarter final clash at the Emirates.
The ambitious Spaniards outlook on the game and how he prepares his players to approach matches focused on their own strengths will come as a welcome sea-change to the vast majority of Evertonians.
Unlike his predecessor at Goodison Park, the Martinez footballing philosophy does not include sending his team into battle with the sole aim of stopping their opponents.
The Everton manager has likened the game to last years quarter final when he saw his Wigan side destroy David Moyes’ Everton at Goodison Park. And while he is under no illusions of the difficult task of facing a title chasing Arsenal team, Martinez will not be swayed from his footballing philosophy:
“In any quarter-final you’ll find it difficult to see the away team as favourites.
Being the home side in the FA Cup gives you an incredible advantage and here Arsenal are still involved in the title race and the Champions League.”
“But we don’t go there to play them, we go there to play our game and be ourselves which is what Wigan did 12 months ago.”
The Catalan is also taking inspiration from the excellent performance of his side as the two teams met at the Emirates back in December. A game in which the blues were unfortunate not to come away with all three points.
“We will take the performance we had in December against Arsenal and judge ourselves by that. If we can get a good performance in front of goal we can do it.
“We’ve got a real opportunity now. A quarter-final is a significant event, with something promising around the corner. I feel the team is ready.”
Endearing himself to Evertonians seems to come easy to the studious Martinez and it doesn’t stop with a return to a ‘school of science’ footballing philosophy.
The blues boss is fully aware of the clubs history and he has made a point of instilling the past glories and heritage of Everton into the mind of his players.
“It’s been too long since the club won a trophy but I think that tells you how difficult it is to win silverware.
There are six clubs who should be competing for silverware every season because of the budgets they work on. You’ve got three competitions; the league and the two cups, so there will be three of those top six missing out never mind those with less money below.”
“It is a difficult task but in the same way we’ve got the right to compete with anyone because of our history and heritage.”
“We need to put that in our mind and visualise it. It must be our drive and dream, and it is what we work towards every day.”
If he can mastermind a victory tomorrow and take one step further towards making football history; no manager has ever won back-to-back FA Cups with different clubs, Roberto Martinez will have cemented his own place in Everton Football Club’s history.