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The praise keeps on coming for Everton boss Roberto Martinez after his side earned a 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Arsenal, but his opposite number wasn't quite as impressed with the Spaniard's tactics. Firstly, goalkeeper Tim Howard lauded Martinez for instilling the squad with as much confidence as they've ever had.
"I think it's the most confident we've been," he said "We know when we cross the line that we have a formula to win games. It's not guesswork - if we do 'a', 'b', and 'c' we'll get 'd'. That's a good feeling to have.”
"We don't want to get carried away because we're not even half way through the season but we're coming into the game and we know how to pick teams apart. We've only lost one game and we have a way of playing where we can dictate the game and if that carries on like this we can be successful.”
However, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger criticised Martinez's tactics in the 1-1 draw after the game, accusing Everton of resorting to fouling tactics and a negative mindset, preventing his side from hitting top form on Sunday evening.
“When we got out of the pressure and got into the passing, they stopped us every single time with a foul,” he said. “To just make a foul without being punished by the referee is a huge advantage because after that you play ten against ten in one half again.”
But Martinez wasn't to be unnerved, praising his players and declaring that the aim of the club is to get into the Champions League. Four points from tough away games at Manchester United and Arsenal are a testament to that, and Martinez is confident that his Everton side can continue their improvement.
“I’ve always said that the Champions League has to be an objective for Everton,” said Martinez. “The club has a winning history, we’ve won nine league titles in the past and we need to get that feeling back, and that brings expectation. This past week was a challenging week for us, going to Old Trafford and the Emirates. It was a real test of not just our quality but also our character and I think we passed the test with flying colours in both cases. It’s pleasing to be able to compete with these teams and we need to make sure we carry on improving”
The man who rescued a point yesterday, Gerard Deulofeu, has emerged as a game changing winger under Martinez, and the former Wigan boss has admitted that the Toffees have the option to extend his loan deal from Barcelona – if the Catalan giants feel that the 19 year old won't break into the first team under Gerardo Martino.
"We have an agreement to extend the loan for an extra year if Barcelona don't need him. I always thought he'd take until February to learn how to deal with the league but he's surprised me."
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