Skip to main content

Tough to emulate 'inspirational' Leicester, warns Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes it could be difficult to see a repeat of Leicester City's "inspirational" Premier League title triumph.

Claudio Ranieri's side were confirmed as champions after Tottenham were held to a 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Monday, and will be presented with the trophy when they host Everton this weekend.

Martinez acknowledges that Ranieri has masterminded a remarkable feat but feels that talk of a potential power shift within top-level football in England could be premature.

"It is a very interesting debate," he said. "We are talking about an incredible achievement and something you maybe need to see as the exception which proves the rule, or something that is going to change the landscape of the competitive nature of the league.

"It is too early to see how that is going to develop. What Leicester has achieved is a great inspiration for any team sport and for any group in order to dream high, but we need to be realistic.

"This is not the norm. It is something we have not seen in the modern game and it will not be repeated easily.

"I see it as an inspirational example not just in football but in sport and life in general. It is a celebration for the Premier League in general. You haven't seen a story like Leicester's in 24 seasons of Premier League history, it is quite unique and they deserve it.

"Claudio Ranieri deserves all the credit and plaudits. He's shown great experience in protecting the squad and what they've achieved is an incredible and deserved reward in the most competitive league in world football.

"They are where they are on merit."

Everton have endured a disappointing final few months of the season, prompting supporter protest against Martinez in recent matches against Watford and last week's win over AFC Bournemouth.

With his side set to play relegation-threatened Sunderland and Norwich City in their final two fixtures, Martinez wants his players to ensure they finish the season on a high note and push for a top-10 place.

"It was important for us to get back to winning ways. We've got that winning feeling and now the focus is to get as many points as we can," he said.

"There are huge financial implications - we're facing teams in extreme positions, Sunderland and Norwich are fighting to achieve their aim. We have to be as good as we can to finish as strong as we can.

"Our home form hasn't been good enough. Our fans at Goodison Park haven't been able to enjoy that feeling enough. The next three games are very important for us."