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Sharp: Martinez Can Build On Defence

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

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Graeme Sharp believes a resolute defence will provide the perfect platform for Roberto Martinez to successfully impart his attacking philosophy on Everton.  

Martinez was appointed as Blues boss last Wednesday, just weeks after leading Wigan to a remarkable FA Cup success over Manchester City at Wembley.

Relegation for the Latics was soon to follow at the end of a tight Premier League campaign, but the Lancashire outfit regularly received praise for their offensive outlook under the Spaniard.

Recent seasons have seen Everton build from a watertight rearguard, with only the two Manchester clubs shipping fewer goals during 2011/12. 

The Blues also boasted the third-best defensive record at home last term and only the two Manchester clubs lost fewer games throughout the entire campaign, underlining the side’s defensive solidity.

Club legend Sharp believes those foundations, added to Martinez's own ideology, can provide a recipe for success.

"I don't think you have to change an awful lot," the Toffees’ leading post-war goalscorer told evertontv. "The team and the position they finished last season tells its own story. I think Roberto will do his own thing from an attacking point of view, but he's inheriting a solid back-four.

"There's been accusations that his Wigan team leaked too many goals, but when you look at them last year, they had a lot of injuries in the centre-back positions which didn't help him. He's now coming to a Club that have a sound back-four and a sound goalkeeper, so hopefully that won't be the problem area for him.

"Everyone knows he wants to play expansive football, so I'm sure the fans will be happy.

"I think the football we've seen over the last couple of years has been first-class with players like Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas. He's got the tools there, Roberto. Whether he does make one or two tweaks, we'll have to see. Certainly, looking to the future, hopefully we can continue to improve.

"Speaking to people recently, he's a fantastic guy and a really nice man. I think he handles the media really well and his team tries to play attractive football.

"He's got a fantastic job and hopefully he can take the Club onto the next level."


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