There have been lots of rumors regarding what has transpired between Roberto Martinez and Sylvain Distin in the last couple of weeks. Today Martinez spoke about Distin and his involvement in the team going forward.
"Sylvain needed a bit of a rest, obviously he played a lot of football, in the preseason too. He is someone I needed to manage his amount of games, and his input. He is fully fit, has trained really well and is now making sure we see him fighting for his place in the team.>
With the amount of games that we have, and the amount of competitions we have, we wanted to make sure we treat the individuals with different needs, making sure that everyone gets refreshed and regenerated throughout the season so everyone can play a big part every time they are on the pitch.
In Sylvain's case in the last couple of weeks, he needed to refresh and work on certain aspects and now he is back and ready to fight for his place on the team."
- Roberto Martinez
Martinez would not be drawn into further comments during the interview. If we were to draw any conclusions from his words though, it does appear there was some kind of rift between the two, possibly due to selection decisions. It does also sound like Distin might have channeled his anger inwards and has worked on some flaws that have appeared in his game lately.
There is also the possibility that Martinez has moved to paper over any cracks in his relationship with the defender especially now that John Stones is going to be out for an extended period of time. An in-form Distin allows Leighton Baines greater freedom to wander forward, which is a key part of Everton's attacking gameplan.