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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

Tactics & Analysis
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 By Mike Whalley

Everton 'enjoying life under Martinez'

Sylvain Distin insists Everton are learning quickly under Roberto Martinez as they aim to build on a solid Premier League start.

Distin has a contract extension in January which will keep him at the club until 2014
Sylvain Distin is relishing playing for Roberto Martinez.

O'Farrell: Spurs and beyond

Martinez, who replaced Manchester United-bound David Moyes as manager at Goodison Park during the summer, has suffered just one defeat in his opening ten league games.

The Toffees dropped to seventh after Sunday’s 0-0 draw at home to Tottenham on Sunday, but demonstrated an ability to adapt after being overrun during the first half.

Martinez had to rethink his preferred style of playing out from the back, and Everton played at a much higher tempo after the break.

The Spaniard aided that change by bringing on midfielder Ross Barkley and forward Gerard Deulofeu, while Everton might have had a penalty when Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen caught right-back Seamus Coleman inside the area.

And Distin, 35, believes that the Toffees’ ability to impose themselves on the top Premier League sides -- and show the kind of resilience that has brought them five clean sheets this season -- is the key to success.

He said: “You have to learn from your mistakes and adapt your position. Tottenham had a game plan and we had to change our game plan, and that worked fine. We have been very resilient and strong at the back. I am not sure it’s true to say that Tottenham dominated us in the first half, but they frustrated us, and we could not start from the back like we are used to doing.

“There was a bit of frustration but in the second half we found the solutions and it was much better. We kept the ball a lot better. In the first half every time we gained the ball we lost it straight away. That was due to their tactics as well but in the second half maybe we got them a bit more tired because they were chasing us.”

Distin signed a one-year extension to his contract last January, to keep him at Goodison Park until the end of this season.

And he is enjoying his football under Martinez -- although he concedes that he is still getting used to a style of football which places much more emphasis on passing.

He said: “We do enjoy it. At my age you have to enjoy it. It is great. But even if we get results, we are still adapting to the new style of the manager, the new philosophy of playing.

“We have had good results but nobody feels: ‘That's it, we understand everything’. We don’t. We are still adapting. It takes a bit of time.”

Distin, though, acknowledged that the enthusiasm of Martinez is rubbing off on the players.

He added: “All players are different but it is nice to see. He is always very positive and honest as well. To be honest it was the same with the previous manager [Moyes].

“That is the mentality of the club. It has always been very positive. The fans have always been very demanding, the players as well. That is just how it is here.”

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