June 13, 2015 15:22:41 UK
Roberto Martinez expects a strong start to the Premier League season from his Everton side with no major tournament to disrupt their plans this summer.
The Toffees’ chief recalled how the involvement of defenders Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka and midfielder Ross Barkley in Roy Hodgson’s England squad at last summer’s World Cup, while goalkeeper Tim Howard was also in the United States squad in Brazil, made it difficult to prepare for the season ahead.
Jagielka and Barkley are currently with England ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia, but the only players in the Goodison Park squad involved in tournament football are defenders John Stones and Luke Garbutt who are with England’s Under-21s in the European Championships in the Czech Republic.
Last season was probably the worst case scenario when you are preparing in pre-season and players are only just coming back from the World Cup.
It means Martinez will have virtually a full squad when pre-season starts as the Toffees will be involved in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore.
The Spanish tactician feels that will be “a real advantage” and he is hoping it is reflected in the results when the season gets under way on 8th August as the Merseysiders look to improve on last term’s 11th-placed finish.
Martinez told Everton’s TV station. “Last season was probably the worst case scenario when you are preparing in pre-season and players are only just coming back from the World Cup.
“It’s not just the time you need to allow players to recover and regenerate, it’s the mental fatigue they bring into their club form and then how long it takes to get back to their normal level.
“This pre-season is going to be a little bit shorter because the start of the season is starting to reflect the way the calendars are going to adjust in order to fulfil the Qatar World Cup. It (the season) starts on August 8 which is quite early after the international demands the players have in mid-June.
“There are (still) limitations but in the same way it is quite refreshing that there isn’t a major tournament to have to deal with.”
Everton are 17.00 to secure a top four finish in the Premier League in 2015-16 and 3.25 to seal a top-six spot.
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