Everton full-back Leighton Baines has apologised for comments made regarding the team’s chemistry, according to manager Roberto Martinez.
Following Everton’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United last Sunday, a third successive league defeat for the Merseyside outfit, Baines told the Liverpool Echo: “I just don’t feel as though the chemistry is quite there with the team on the pitch at the moment, and it hasn’t been for a while.”
Martinez, however, believes that the comments were misinterpreted by the media and has labeled the situation as “very disappointing.” “Clearly the words were taken out of context,” said the Spaniard.
“What he intended to say is that when you’re not getting the results you lose confidence so a ball that could go in hits the crossbar and it goes out,” proclaimed the 41-year-old. “At the other end, a half chance ends up in the back of the net.
“With the experience of Leighton Baines – and he knows, I’ve had a chat with him – he has to take responsibility for those words. They’ve been given the opportunity to attract a meaning that is not right and for that he apologised.”
Baines’ frustrations have been echoed across Goodison Park this season due to lacklustre performances and poor defensive displays – leaving the Toffees two places and one point above Saturday’s opponents, Watford.
The England international also stated that the squad rely on individuals more than they should. Romelu Lukaku, for example, has scored 18 of the club’s 51 Premier League goals this campaign and even the Belgian has expressed his desire to depart Goodison. Martinez, manager since 2013, did say that he harbours “a very close group” that “all know each other” and have “been through many situations over the years”.
“Of course we rely on individuals because the team is made up of individuals and we’ve got 15, 16 individuals that have had impressive campaigns, probably the best in their young careers in some cases,” continued the former Wigan boss.
Watford have also been enduring a patch of dismal form after a bright start to the season and hold a place in the FA Cup semi-finals. Quique Sanchez Flores, like his fellow countryman, feels his side’s Premier League results have been affected by their cup run.
Martinez said: “The last three defeats were very different, but clearly the hype that we had in achieving the semi-final of the FA Cup in a way has affected the results in the league. It’s for us now to take responsibility in the league and make sure we get as many points as we can.”