Everton manager Roberto Martinez says he will keenly be following Arsenal’s game with West Ham tonight as the race for the Premier League fourth-place finish intensifies.
The Toffees leapfrogged Arsene Wenger’s men into the top four on Saturday, but the ‘Gunners’ stand a chance to close up a two point deficit later in the day- for 24 hours at least- with the Goodison Park outfit set for Wednesday night late kick-off at home to Crystal Palace.
“I will (be watching Arsenal’s game) because I watch football every day,” Martinez said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s league game.
“That’s no different because I will always be curious about other teams.”
Arsenal boss, Wenger, had stressed “consistency” as an underlying factor in the club’s race for a Champions League appearance next season.
Everton are yet to host Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as visiting Southampton and Hull City. Martinez believes his side need accrue maximum points in their remaining fixtures.
“It is clearly about ourselves and how many points we can achieve,” Martinez added
The Spaniard, meanwhile, played down newspaper speculation linking neighbours Liverpool with Ross Barkley. The Daily Star says the Premier League leaders are preparing a £38m bid for Barkley, 20, with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers a huge admirer.
He laughed it off, saying: “According to speculation, we have already turned down a £50m bid for Ross, so we’re not going to take £38m. What do I think about all the speculation? It’s quite enjoyable.”
Martinez will give a reading at Anfield at the annual memorial service for victims of the Hillsborough disaster on April 15, 1989.
96 men, women and children lost their lives during an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground.
“It is a real honour for me to represent Everton at Anfield on such a significant day. We will always be there for them,” Martinez said.