Why Martinez MUST start Seamus Coleman against Tottenham

Seamus Coleman for Republic of Ireland

Roberto Martinez has revealed Seamus Coleman is in line for a return to the Everton team.

Seamus Coleman is fit to return to the Everton side against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, leaving Roberto Martinez with the awkward issue of whether to start the right-back following a minor tissue problem.

Coleman has been one of the stand out performers for the Toffees this season, providing the back four with a good balance and creating extra width down the right hand side in attack.

“I would say Seamus is probably in the right category [to play],” Martinez told Everton’s website.

So what are the main reasons for starting him and where will he improve the side?

Goals

PlayerClubPosGoalsAppsMins
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 5 22 1,969
Leighton Baines Everton DF 3 18 1,580
Bryan Oviedo Everton DF 2 9 718

He’s bagged five goals in the Premier League this season, creating an additional goal threat for the opposition to worry about. His goal tally shows a good understanding of his attack role in the team, while not forgetting about his defensive duties.

Errors Leading to Shots

PlayerClubPosError Lead To ShotAppsMins
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 3 22 1,980
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 2 21 1,890
Leighton Baines Everton DF 1 18 1,580

He’s not made a single error this season which has put his teammates in an awkward position. That shows consistency in defence, important against a side like Spurs who have several attacking players who can hurt Everton.

Blocked Crosses

PlayerClubPosBlocked CrossAppsMins
Leighton Baines Everton DF 14 18 1,580
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 14 22 1,969
Bryan Oviedo Everton DF 9 9 718
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 8 21 1,890
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 3 22 1,980
Antolin Alcaraz Everton DF 2 3 270
Tony Hibbert Everton DF 1 1 3

He’s up there on a par with Leighton Baines in terms of blocked crosses this season. He effectively closes out wingers, muting their influence in a game. If he does that against Spurs, it’ll help to push the play in centrally where it will be easier for Everton to contain and control.

Tackles Won

PlayerClubPosWon TackleAppsMins
Leighton Baines Everton DF 44 18 1,580
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 38 22 1,969
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 28 22 1,980
Bryan Oviedo Everton DF 25 9 718
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 23 21 1,890
John Stones Everton DF 4 10 378
Antolin Alcaraz Everton DF 3 3 270

Only Baines has won more tackles in the defence this season. Coleman is consistent and intelligent with his decision making. He knows when to dive in and try to win the ball and when to back off, allowing an opposition player to have space.

Interceptions

PlayerClubPosInterception WonAppsMins
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 41 21 1,890
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 38 22 1,980
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 36 22 1,969
Leighton Baines Everton DF 18 18 1,580
Antolin Alcaraz Everton DF 8 3 270
Bryan Oviedo Everton DF 8 9 718
John Stones Everton DF 5 10 378
Johnny Heitinga Fulham DF 1 1 21

His ability to read the game is superb and it allows him to get into positions where he can intercept before the ball reaches a dangerous opponent. That’s very significant against Spurs who like to move the ball through their midfield and out wide quickly.

images: © isirya, © Michael Kranewitter, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-sa 3.0/at

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch