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Roberto Martinez says Leighton Baines was misinterpreted, has apologized

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The relationship between Martinez and Baines is not getting any better.

Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

This tumultuous Everton season simply refuses to fade away into the night. Manager Roberto Martinez and veteran left back Leighton Baines are reported to have had some disagreements this season, leading to the player being benched even when fully fit.

Back in January, Baines first sent out a thinly-veiled accusation at Martinez, saying Everton needed to get better at game management, specifically referring to closing out games that they held the lead in. Then earlier this week, he spoke again at a press conference, stating that the team had no chemistry on the pitch.

This last statement seems to have irritated Martinez no end, as earlier today during his pre-match press conference he brought up Baines' comments -

"I think there are two aspects of that. First it's very disappointing when you see a misinterpretation of certain words that a player says and really this has been taken out of context in the way that it's come out.

"And the other aspect is that someone of the experience of Leighton Baines knows he has to take responsibility for those words - I have had a chat with him - those words have given the opportunity to be maybe attracting a meaning that is not right, not correct and obviously for that he has apologised and taken responsibility for that for leaving those words open.

"But that's what we expect from a senior figure at Everton, we expect him to take responsibility, to make sure that we speak on the pitch and the way to do that is against Watford.

"I wouldn't say we rely on one or two individuals, I think the way we are as a team we rely on the technical ability of the whole team, the way that we can get high up the pitch and create chances.

"I think there are two aspects of that. First it's very disappointing when you see a misinterpretation of certain words that a player says and really this has been taken out of context in the way that it's come out.

"And the other aspect is that someone of the experience of Leighton Baines knows he has to take responsibility for those words - I have had a chat with him - those words have given the opportunity to be maybe attracting a meaning that is not right, not correct and obviously for that he has apologized and taken responsibility for that for leaving those words open.

"But that's what we expect from a senior figure at Everton, we expect him to take responsibility, to make sure that we speak on the pitch and the way to do that is against Watford.

"I wouldn't say we rely on one or two individuals, I think the way we are as a team we rely on the technical ability of the whole team, the way that we can get high up the pitch and create chances.

"But those quotes have been taken out of context and that's disappointing on one side but on the other side obviously Leighton takes responsibility for putting himself in a position which has given the wrong words and allowed the wrong interpretation and for that, as I said, he has apologised and is ready to move forward. And as any senior player the place to talk is on the pitch."

None of what Roberto said today will endear him any more to the fanbase, especially with support for the manager at an all-time low. David Prentice of the Liverpool Echo published a scathing article, saying that Baines had nothing to apologize for, as what he said only confirms what fans can see with their own eyes.

Martinez then added -

"We have a very close group. We know each other. We have been through many many situations over the years now. We are developing a really strong mentality and I don't think that's going to be tested by comments in the outside.

"We are always quite open and always very clear but it's important for our fans more than anything to understand that certain words can be taken out of context.

"In the same way that Leighton has apologized for leaving that open and the fans know that an outstanding group of top ambassadors for our football club are not performing well or getting the results for this football club and that's something we want to change quickly."

Baines has always been very frank and forthcoming with his opinions, so it is strange that the manager has called him out for speaking his mind, but has not taken to publicly berating Romelu Lukaku for making comments about wanting to play in the Champions League last season.

The signs are becoming very clear that Martinez has lost his hold on the squad, and is very quickly getting to the point where keeping him on any longer could cause irreparable damage to what still remains one of the youngest and brightest squads in the Premier League.