Everton manager Roberto Martinez expects to see much more from on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku after he struck twice on his home debut in the 3-2 win over Newcastle.
The Belgium international scored either side of Ross Barkley’s maiden Goodison goal and despite a thunderbolt from substitute Yohan Cabaye and a late prod from Loic Remy, Everton maintained the top flight’s only unbeaten record.
Man-of-the-match Lukaku took the plaudits and Martinez admits he is pleased the terms of the striker’s loan agreement ensure he cannot be recalled early by parent club Chelsea.
“I could be sweating now if that was the case,” said the Spaniard, whose side moved above the Stamford Bridge club into fourth.
“Romelu is a young man who has everything as a striker but he is still developing and he needs to go out on loan like he did last season.
“Sometimes you see a No 9 who is powerful and has a great physical presence – what Romelu brings is a real awareness around him.
“He is technically really gifted when he has his back to goal and that was a focal point today. He is a great goalscorer. He looked like a player who felt at home.
“I want him to enjoy his football, I want him to develop and become as good as he can.
“The next step now is taking what he did last campaign, in terms of number of starts, to another level.
“I don’t think anyone questions the quality of Romelu otherwise they would never spend the money they spent at such a young age.
“We are only glad we can have him. The chemistry with the fans was terrific.”
Asked whether he thought Chelsea had made a mistake letting him join another club he added: “It will be easy to say that but you need to remember how many strikers they have.
“You need to mention Samuel Eto’o’s record, Demba Ba’s record and Fernando Torres’ pedigree, you are talking about a squad which has phenomenal talent up front.”
Martinez was not too disturbed by seeing his side concede twice in the second half, giving the scoreline a lop-sided look considering their excellence before the break.
“Sometimes you go into half-time with a one-goal lead and that allows you to keep the tension,” he said.
“It was normal you are going to get a reaction in the second half.
“It was a completely different performance. We showed style in the first half and grit into the second.”
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was less than impressed by his side’s opening 45 minutes.
“It would have been fortuitous for us if we’d got something from the game,” he said.
“The first half wasn’t good enough. The second half was much more like it, we showed a bit of pride and passion, won some headers, won some tackles and made some forward passes – which helped.
“It was important I reminded them (at half-time) of the nuts and bolts of the game – there are fundamentals that need to be done in the team ethic and I didn’t think we did those in the first half.
“In the second half we made two changes and it looked like we made 11.
“They are a good side but we stood off them too much in the first half and a couple of goals were more than defendable.”
(Edited by Giles Mole)