Everton manager Roberto Martínez is renowned for having an ultra-positive outlook – gratingly so at times.
He has a determination about him to look for the bright spark where all around him can only see the clouds. (His seeming disdain for organising a defence can also be incredibly frustrating, but that’s another issue.)
Martínez was subjected to a bit of ridicule recently when he suggested that midfielder Gareth Barry was “one of the best English players ever” after an admittedly very good performance against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.
With his latest comments though, this time in relation to Tom Cleverley, he has seemingly lost the run of himself.
Cleverley, fairly or otherwise, became something of a joke figure at Manchester United, to the point where at one stage a petition was organised attempting to ban the player from being selected in Roy Hodgson’s England World Cup squad in 2014.
His first season at Goodison Park under Martínez has been solid if unspectacular, nothing earth-shattering yet there have been no widespread calls to drop him, so that’s progress of sorts.
It was therefore slightly eyebrow-raising that Martínez could have this to say about Cleverley in the wake of Cleverley’s performance in Everton’s 3-0 win at Stoke on Saturday…
“I wouldn’t sell him for any money in the current market,
“Probably his football understanding as good as you are going to get and that showed today.
“I think you do not have a better English player. Technically, he is as good as you get. The way he executes, how he reads the game, for me he is one of the most sensational you are going to see in Premier League history.”
He also championed winger Aaron Lennon for an England recall ahead of the European Championships this summer, but was able to rein himself in before he ended up calling for a knighthood for Leighton Baines.
After a rocky period, Everton moved above rivals Liverpool into eighth place in the table at the weekend, and Martínez will be hoping for a strong finish to the season to lessen the fans’ growing dissatisfaction with his management of the team.
Still, not a bad dancer though…
Surely you’ve all seen Roberto Martinez dancing at Jason Derulo last night? Chances of this at Goodison soon? pic.twitter.com/2ZTdJM7Vg5
— Football Fanager (@FootballFanager) February 5, 2016