It seems many people are seeking to crucify Martinez via statistics for his tenure in charge at Wigan. It is irrefutable that they were relegated and that the buck stopped with him. Okay, Ive accepted that. And yet I am still buzzing at what the new season may bring.

Martinez is, in my view, a good choice by Everton. He is young, ambitious and has proven himself to be a winner (and tactically astute) by beating Man City in the FA Cup Final. He is plainly thrilled to be our manager and I am happy to reciprocate that feeling. As with all of this, only time will tell.

All the Jonah’s worried about him taking Wigan down have to remember they were Wigan after all; that he had little money to spend and had to cut wages; he had a terrible run with defensive injuries and had to deal with that wind bag Dave Whelan. (BK might not be so difficult after all?)

Everton’s solid defense will not suddenly dissolve into frightened schoolgirls overnight. In fact, the signing of a fit Alcaraz, to me, is going to prove to be highly successful as he is athletic, strong, a good tackler, a fine passer of the ball, experienced and reads the game well.

Martinez’s philosophy is to play football and therefore I sense that the School of Science has a real chance of a re-birth under his guidance. This will thrill the majority of the Bluenose faithful after so many years of one up front, slightly negative styled play no criticism intended of Moyes (well, maybe a bit).

Already Martinez has acted swiftly in the market a big change from all the last-minute dramas (and disappointments) of recent years. Okay, the majority are ex-Wigan players, but if anyone knows how good they are then it’s Martinez. His presence at Goodison alone saw that the Barcelona wonderkid chose us over Spurs this could bode well for the future as his knowledge of Iberian and South American talent can only stand us in good stead as we move forward. Having played and worked in the UK for so long, he naturally will not be at any disadvantage in the domestic market either.

Martinez has commented several times since taking over the reins how important he sees our youth policy and development programmes something I think is essential given our limited purse strings and, additionally, I want to see local talent given a chance to become tomorrow’s heroes. He seems to be a very affable man, with the integrity that I so admired in Moyes. This is sure to endear him to players, fans and press alike.

I have not felt this genuine sense of optimism for years. Every pre-season is tinged with the ’rose-coloured glasses’ syndrome, but this one (to me) is becoming exciting. We have left a fairly dour, predictable environment (albeit an admirable one) for one in which there is a strong sense of the unknown and the feeling of possible new horizons. Okay, I may be getting starry eyed but what the hell isn’t that what being a football fan should be all about?

I’ve heard both Blues and others say that we have taken a huge gamble in Martinez’s appointment but, when you looked at the realistic names banded about and the internal candidates discussed I feel that they would have been no safer, sounder or given any more guarantee of what the future may hold. Personally, if it had been someone like Neville or Weir, etc, currently in charge Id have been fairly deflated, if not irreparably punctured.

Ultimately, if he does play wing backs and three central defenders, then we might, on occasion, be vulnerable to teams who have the players to exploit that system. I feel that we might potentially lose a few more games but I also feel that the plethora of winnable draws we squandered last year will more likely be victories this year. I don’t believe that he’ll stick to any one predetermined pattern or gameplan as I think he’s tactically astute enough to play horses for courses. I think teams recently knew exactly what they were going to get when Everton turned up I dont think that will be the case this coming season.

The transfer market is still open for some considerable time and that might yet see us losing Baines (God forbid) and Fellaini (hopefully not). If it does turn out to be the Apocalypse then those players will have chosen their path and theres nothing Martinez can do (as ultimately if they want to leave, then let them go). Who he brings in to replace them will be crucial. Lets hope it doesnt come to that.

One thing is crystal clear to me and that is he does not fear the "big teams. I believe we will see some of those highly elusive away victories weve yearned for for so long over the next season or so.

I know many will disagree with me and will see my views as hopelessly romantic but so be it; Im loving this feeling of positivity... I hope you are too!

Lets all get behind Robbie. COYB.

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Reader Comments (33)

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David Ellis
1 Posted 26/07/2013 at 16:42:52
I am with you on this one. Really excited about the upcoming season.

I don't think we have the personnel to play with 3 Centre Backs though - if they are expected to pass the ball to each other (as opposed to someone like Gibson or Osman). But trust that Robbie will make adjustments to reflect the players we have at the moment.

I am hoping that just as Moyes may not work out too well with a more talented group of players at Man U that Martinez will turn out to be a better manager of Everton than of Wigan because our lads have a better technical ability to play his style - and he will weed out the exceptions over-time.

Tony J Williams
2 Posted 26/07/2013 at 16:57:06
Unfortunately Jim when a new fella comes in, statistics are all we have to judge him by.

He took a low end team into a flirtation with relegation and then got them relegated. There is no argument that is a cold hard fact.

The good thing is that we are not Wigan (although he is buying his past team members) and we will not be flirting with the lower regions of the league; we haven't for years now.

I am excited too about the new season, as I was last season but ultimately I will not be getting all giddy and starry eyed until we have seen the team perform in the league. It will be a learning curve at first but the players we have shouldn't take as long as Wigan to get on top of their instructions (fingers crossed).

Ingi Eyjolfz
3 Posted 26/07/2013 at 17:02:51
I agree, I havent been this excited for years. I think the signings where wise, given our budget. I cant wait to see Kone in action as well.

I was watching Man Utd's draw with that Japanese team today, RVP is already playing the flank just like Jelly did all last season, looks good. :p

Barry Rathbone
4 Posted 26/07/2013 at 17:06:24
Stats in isolation should rarely be used their very nature is historic, recordings after the event do not guarantee the future nor always provide an answer to the past.

Those who want to (for their own reasons) will ignore the Wigan circumstance to cast doubts upon Martinez; they will lurk slyly sniping about losing three in a row and judging players because they played for Wigan shameful.

The less blinkered will say, "How on earth did his team beat the living daylights out of us en route to beating the Champs at Wembley, weighed down by such disadvantage???"

I'm with you Jim Potter and those not should at least be giving the lad a chance he is Everton's new manager for god's sake.

Wayne Smyth
5 Posted 26/07/2013 at 17:36:51
Well written, Jim. I'm very much in agreement and I'm so very, very glad we didn't end up with Malky Mckay, or one or two of the more traditional managers we were linked with.

One small point, you say that most of our signings were ex-wigan players. Thats only partly true. Robles was an Atletico Madrid player, but was on loan at Wigan. From what I saw of him in his first couple of games, I'm happier to have him in goal rather than Howard.

Kone is undoubtedly an improvement on our current strikers given his scoring record at wigan and Alcaraz looks a good defender who unlike our current centre backs is comfortable on the ball....and in any case he was free.

In short I've been very impressed with him so far in what he's said and done; I'm particularly happy that he has a willingness to use and improve our academy players, unlike the last dinosaur.

Dennis Stevens
6 Posted 26/07/2013 at 17:43:06
I have no great expectations for the forthcoming season or two, but have to be excited at the prospects ahead - how can you not be? At last, we have a long overdue change of manager. Nobody knows how it'll work out in the long run, but at least we can now have hope - well, for a while!
John Brennan
7 Posted 26/07/2013 at 18:17:09
Good article, Jim. Enjoyed it.
I can see Martinez being far more flexible than Moyes during a game.
You could argue, I suppose, that those surviving Prem managers will have a good idea how Martinez sets out his teams to play, but, given changes to the EFC playing staff and the willingness of the man himself to change things earlier on in a game than Moyes often did, I'm sure we will have much more of a tactical threat in terms of the opposition manager being given more conundrums to consider than Moyes' "I'll bring on Naismith after 65 minutes", or that sort of rather predictable approach !!
Phil Walling
8 Posted 26/07/2013 at 18:39:28
Jim,how I wish I could be a dreamer like you! All we can hope of Martinez is that he`s a better manager of our players than he was with those he had at Wigan.
Yes,he won the Cup but staying in the Prem was much more important for the future of his club....and after several near scrapes his team was relegated....however `pretty` they played.
Of course,many of Everton`s players are better than Wigan`s but they`ve been reared on hard work rather than` passing each other to death`( boring,boring!) and I just fear that they will be found lacking in the new style.
If we`re in the bottom half at Christmas,I hope BK will act to find a new love-child without any of his usual fannying about!
Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 26/07/2013 at 19:07:36
Phil, bet you're glad BK didn't apply your xmas rule to Moyes eh?

What guff.

Phil Walling
10 Posted 26/07/2013 at 19:28:53
Barry ,I was never a Moyes fan but with this bloke`s appointment,I fear we are about to find out just how good he was!
Kevin Tully
11 Posted 26/07/2013 at 19:28:06
Phil, I honestly haven't looked this up (double honestly) but I bet you Moyes's sides were in the the bottom half at Christmas for the majority of his tenure.

Couldn't resist - just found the answer.

What d'ya reckon Phil?

Kevin Tully
12 Posted 26/07/2013 at 19:39:14
Just input the season, and the date, all will be revealed!!!

Phil Walling
13 Posted 26/07/2013 at 19:47:44
But you moaned about the bugger when he was here and now you`re saying he was `a second half genius`?
I`d would have had him out 5 years ago but I guess he proved me wrong.Hope the same is true of Santo Roberto but........
Kevin Tully
14 Posted 26/07/2013 at 19:54:09
You've made me open a single malt I was saving after that last post Phil. Thanks!
Phil Walling
15 Posted 26/07/2013 at 20:31:36
Have one on me, Kevin. Let`s just hope the USA tour proves me to be a pessimistic old bastard!
Raymond Fox
16 Posted 26/07/2013 at 21:08:09
A good balanced post Jim.

Good managers make a difference of course they do, but without quality players their goosed, Wigan had to sell their best players each year, they had a policy if the player wanted to leave for a bigger club and the price was right they went.
The manager had to keep pulling rabbits out of hat each year as replacements, it was bound to fail in the end, it was a miracle they lasted so long!

As Ive said in another thread If this guy doesnt make a great manager Ill eat both my caps.

Conn Prosser
17 Posted 26/07/2013 at 21:30:43
Hmm, Laphroaig.

Apparently he's available and been banging them in for the Estonian champions.

Mike Green
18 Posted 26/07/2013 at 23:53:09
All down to Caol Ila's assists Conn, he's who we should be after really, the boys got so much bottle.
Edward Simpson
19 Posted 27/07/2013 at 02:29:13
Conn- Isn't that a Welsh whiskey?
Eric Myles
20 Posted 27/07/2013 at 03:09:41
Raymond #039, was that a satirical post? You've described our predicament over the Moyes Years with only 1 difference, we went upwards and Wigan went downwards.
John Ford
21 Posted 27/07/2013 at 06:28:11
Can RM challenge the top four by adopting his preferred style to with a better group of players? this is his task surely?

The signings, with the exception if the spaniard, don't excite me in the least. I'm more interested in what he can do with the squad, however he plays, to keep/make us a real threat to the money clubs. In particular can he get our best players performing and raising the levels of those around them - he'll have made the perfect start just by keeping hold of them.

Karl Meighan
22 Posted 27/07/2013 at 08:58:49
I am also excited by the Martinez appointment however I have no problem playing one upfront away from home and believe the system works quite well. Failing to beat top teams away from home has been very disappointing but its unlikely the top teams come onto the pitch believing a game to be won before a ball is kicked against us, they know it will be a tough game and if they are not near there best then defeat is likely. There have been times when it has looked like we have played for a draw and been slightly negative and its here were I hope Martinez can improve us. Good home form, hard to beat, hard working and fighting for each other are all things that we still require and if Martinez can add flair and get us playing the passing game well, which his teams in the past have done then exciting times winning times lie ahead.
John Ford
23 Posted 27/07/2013 at 10:14:17
I think the pessimistic old bastard may have a point.

I hope he proves to be the miserable git sulking in the corner, someone we can poke with a stick and laugh at just how silly he was.

Ross Edwards
24 Posted 27/07/2013 at 19:10:02
Under Martinez, Wigan scored the most goals from outside the box in the PL in 2010/11, which will benefit Gibbo and Barkley who like to have a pop, Kone likes to have a crack just outside as well. We could see a few crackers this season.
Steve Pugh
25 Posted 28/07/2013 at 07:42:27
I notice that some of the people who criticise the use of statistics in determining who others should view Robbie are the same people who constantly battered Moyes with the statistic regarding wins at Anfield, Old Trafford ec.

If they are good for one they are good for the other.

Paul Andrews
26 Posted 28/07/2013 at 08:15:47

Fuck the statistics right off.
Use your eyes to get your own picture

Gary Carter
27 Posted 28/07/2013 at 08:45:52
Well said, Steve Pugh, the hypocrisy on here by some is quite incredible. And Jim, you state that Martinez is proven a tactically good manager because he beat City in the FA cup final, well what about the other 30 odd games he didn't win that ended in Wigan's relegation?

I'll now prepare for all the abusive messages I'll get about not supporting the club, being a Moysette etc etc.

Sad truth is that just because I'm more balanced than most people on here and am not declaring Martinez a genius because he's made early transfers or comes across as a nice man I'm gonna get abuse! I was the same with Moyes, good manager but had his faults, Martinez, well I worry about my team being managed by this man who through not being flexible in his tactics whatsoever got his team relegated, but of course I want him to do well he's the Everton manager!!

Wayne Smyth
28 Posted 28/07/2013 at 08:53:36
When talking about formations such as 4-5-1, its a good idea to get some more context in there.

Under Moyes, 4-5-1 too often meant 1 guy up front with 30 yards distance between him and the next blue. It meant too few people being committed into and around the danger area on many occasions.

I think there are many variations of 4-5-1 and it appears that RM's version of it is much more open to players supporting the 1, whether its the defenders or midfielders. This is undoubtedly going to lead to more goals scored. I think and hope it will also lead to more wins and happier better performing players.

Jim Potter
29 Posted 28/07/2013 at 20:22:32
Gary - I said he was a winner (he, unlike us has a medal to prove it) and that he showed he was tactically astute in beating money bags City.

I said straight off that the buck stopped with him for the relegation. We're not Wigan and I can see mitigating circumstances that maybe you are less forgiving about. No worries (for me).

The article was really that I don't give a monkey's about statistics and what they are meant to "prove". To me, they don't really mean anything so significant.

It is merely that I am very pleasantly upbeat - and following that footballing win against Blackburn even more so now.

He deserves our backing, as I'm sure he'll get.

Gary Carter
30 Posted 28/07/2013 at 21:38:33
I understand what you're saying, Jim, it's one of the beauties of football, the differing opinion. You think he is a winner because he won an FA Cup; I think he's a loser as he got his team relegated. If I was offered an FA Cup win and relegation or top 6 in the premier league rather than playing in the Championship, I'd take the latter every time.

I watched Wigan a number of times under RM, they looked clueless in defence and, rather than playing beautiful football that some on here would have us believe, I think they played schoolboy all-out attack football without any real tactical nouse and RM made no attempt to adjust these "tactics" to Wigan's situation. For me this is not good management.

Of course he is now Everton manager and so I obviously want him to succeed and prove me wrong but I just fear for us under him and feel we will slip down the league, so I'm not optimistic, and his signings have done absolutely nothing to allay this, be they early or not.

Clive Rogers
31 Posted 29/07/2013 at 16:53:04
Having been a Moyes out man for the last few, it would be amiss of me to be anything other than supportive of RM. But he does seem to be a breath of fresh air so fa, and I expect that to continue into the PL season. The stats from his time at Wigan don't worry me. He achieved a lot keeping them in the PL for so long. The players he has signed are the pick of the bunch for the money involved. Its not RM I want to see gone, its BK especially after hearing that Kahn was interested in Everton.
Dick Fearon
32 Posted 01/08/2013 at 22:34:34
He did not accept the RS yet jumped at the Everton job.
That alone must say something, but what?

Ross Edwards
33 Posted 01/08/2013 at 22:53:32
That Robbie is a Blue already, by turning down the Dark Side to go to the Number 1 club on Merseyside!! Or maybe he doesn't like rat faced Uruguayan cheats?

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