Roberto Martinez salutes milestone match-winner Leon Osman
Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed the attitude of Leon Osman after the midfielder marked his 400th appearance for the Toffees with the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over West Ham.
Liverpool: Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed the attitude of Leon Osman after the midfielder marked his 400th appearance for the Toffees with the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over West Ham.
Midfielder Osman, 33, provided the decisive moment for Martinez`s side when he got on the end of an Everton counter-attack to finish from close range at Goodison Park on Saturday.
West Ham substitute Mauro Zarate`s deflected effort had earlier cancelled out Romelu Lukaku`s opening goal from a suspiciously offside position.
Osman`s 73rd minute goal was his 55th in all competitions for Everton and Martinez cited him as an example for everybody at the club.
"I thought Leon was outstanding throughout the game - not just because of his goal," Martinez said
"His role was to protect the back four and to dictate the play in quite a deep area.
"So, the last person that you expect to see on the counter-attack is Leon. I think it was a reflection of what he is as a footballer because he has a clear idea of what he wants to achieve and he will achieve it.
"He got the winning goal in a very fitting performance and a very fitting appearance.
"Leon`s a great ambassador for this club and young footballers only need to look at his grit and determination as an example."
Martinez, meanwhile, refused to criticise West Ham defender James Tomkins, who theatrically went to ground clutching his face after a shove in the chest from Kevin Mirallas following the Belgium winger`s challenge on Morgan Amalfitano in the second half.
"It`s one of those aspects of the game you can`t control," added the Spaniard.
"They are reactions that are not planned. He went back to his normal self after.
"West Ham were wholehearted as we were. I saw a real fair play, it was a reaction in the moment."The referee wasn`t involved. Kevin tried to push him away. I thought the referee managed it very well."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce said the incident was "handbags by the pair of them" and was more unhappy with Everton`s first goal from Lukaku which appeared to come from an offside position.
"It was blocked by Winston Reid and Lukaku is two yards offside," Allardyce said,
"I had an explanation from the referee but I won`t disclose it publicly. I will do it privately with the powers that be this week.
"There was a physicality about Everton`s play but it`s a part of the play we accept."
Although they conceded two goals, Allardyce was satisfied with the performance of his defence.
However, he conceded that his attack, spearheaded by Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole from the start, needed to be more clinical.
"Our finishing was not good enough in what we created," Allardyce added.
"That`s contributed to it, a little bit of our own fault in that we didn`t convert those chances.
"We put 37 crosses into Everton`s box and to not score at least one is disappointing for me.
"In those first 30 minutes we didn`t pass the ball, but we got better and better. Mauro Zarate made the difference, although his goal was a bit lucky with a deflection.
"We found one goal, but didn`t find another. That`s a disappointment.
"If we`d have got a point that would have been a fair result."