Everton have come across as a more positive side this season under Roberto Martinez's stewardship
You could usually sense something in Merseyside derbies when David Moyes was the manager of Everton.
If he didn’t fancy his sides’ chances of winning the game, he would usually point to Liverpool spending more money in assembling the squad, particularly when compared to those across Stanley Park.
If finances weren’t mentioned, then his side were more than likely up for the challenge of beating Liverpool or grabbing a point at Anfield.
But Roberto Martinez’s approach to the Merseyside derby has been a different one. He has acknowledged that Liverpool have spent more money over the years but he seems to relish the challenge of his side going toe-to-toe with the Reds and being on the front foot against Everton’s near neighbours at Anfield.
It’s that difference in mentality that Liverpool should fear most, as Martinez’s take on their respective transfer outlays are ‘just figures that could be bridged.’
The job that Martinez has done in his first season at Everton so far is one that should be applauded. The players he has added to the squad that play week in, week out have helped the Toffees undertake a more positive style.
He has also had some very good players to help him. Ross Barkley has had a terrific season, Romelu Lukaku has been a great threat, while the midfield duo of James McCarthy and Gareth Barry have made the central zone a fiercely competitive area for Everton - and a hard area to be beaten in. A side to be feared have players of that quality in, but the manager has allowed them to be play to the best of their abilities.
For some, his predecessor’s style was too negative, which was reflected in their record against the top sides. Martinez has ended the hoodoo Everton had at Old Trafford, now for the one at Anfield.
The Spaniard isn’t scared of taking on a challenge – and he will be relishing the prospect of this one this evening.
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