Andy Gray highlights problems Roberto Martinez has created at Everton

The former Everton forward has commented on where Roberto Martinez has made Everton a weaker side that they were under David Moyes.

Martinez enjoyed an incredible debut season with the Toffees, bringing his attacking philosophy to Goodison Park and being rewarded with a fifth placed finish at the end of the campaign.

A highly liked manager, the Spaniard’s style represented a large change in methodology from that shown by David Moyes during his 11-year tenure on Merseyside, when he brought defensive solidity and a strong team ethic over style and flair. Both managers have succeeded with their preferred styles, but Martinez has certainly won the fans over quickly following his appointment, with his style looking towards the future of football for the Toffees, when they can compete with the best sides in Europe.

Whilst his first season was a success, the current campaign is not progressing as well for the former Wigan boss, with Sunday’s loss to Newcastle United leaving the club in 12th place in the Premier League. Although the side are progressing well in the Europa League, there are some severe deficiencies when it comes to domestic football, most notably in the defensive aspect of the game - with Everton’s tally of 31 goals conceded just three fewer than the league high 34 registered by QPR.

Having only conceded 39 goals for the entire of the last campaign - only eight more than registered at the current stage of this - it is hard to see how such problems have arisen, with the style of football staying the same, and the defensive unit all but identical. Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Leighton Baines are still the regular back-line, and, although three of that unit are now in their 30’s, there hasn’t been a real collapse in form from any of them, and the defensive problems seem to be a mental problem.

For former Toffees striker Andy Gray, the problem lies with Martinez, and he told talkSPORT that the Spanish coach has made the club much softer than they were under Moyes.

“I’m a little concerned, if I’m honest,” the 59-year-old said.

“Roberto is maybe trying to soften Everton a little too much. The stats don’t lie, and Everton’s defending is nowhere near as good as it used to be.

“The one thing I remember under David Moyes was Everton were one of the toughest teams to play against in the Premier League. They were extremely tough to break down, they were extremely well organised, and they just seem less so to me now.

“A little bit too much football for me, a little bit too soft for me, and I think that has been reflected in results.

“I am concerned. Roberto needs to rethink his strategy because without a doubt there are problems.”

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