I’ve watched Roberto Martinez this season with a mix of childish excitement and genuine intrigue. When he’s on camera, I find I’m nodding along, chuckling on cue and seemingly being swept away in all the ’right’ things he says.

In front of the camera, it would seem to me that he is so well versed and charismatic that he can almost do no wrong. Many arguments against his charisma and control of the press hold very little water in my eyes. He seems to be able to hold my trust and he gives of the same vibes that his word entail. But is he an optimist? Or does he genuinely believe he can do what he says? I guess time will tell...

I’m a journalism student based in London and last week I had the opportunity to attend a Jose Mourinho press conference. This was the conference where he joked about Thierry Henry taking Cashley to New York.

Now it is a well-known fact that Mourinho is a guarded character. He gives little away, stays well in control but still seemingly holds everyone in contempt with his charisma and control. This is exactly what I saw when I attended the television section of the conference.

But, after the camera left, he changed. With only print journalists left, his manner opened up. Jokes were more frequent, his tone more conversational. He still laughed off speculation but was more willing to answer the questions. All that control and grumpy attitude relaxed. Even his press officer chatted more openly. The conference finished, Jose left, and the journos in the room gathered discussing what he said/meant and I left with my quotes, eyeing up Twitter all night to see where the tabloids went with his remarks.

This left me wonder about Martinez, though... On camera, he comes across as open, trustworthy almost. But, when the camera stops and he feels he can talk more freely, does the act drop or does he remain staunchly positive? I know now that I feel a little bit differently about the Special One, but what about the Happy One? Does he exude positivity on camera for the fans and become less ’one dimensional’ off of it? Or is that who he is all the time?

I won’t know until I get a chance to sit in on a Martinez press conference, but until then I appreciate what he is doing on the pitch and applaud his work off of it. Still, it is a huge point of curiosity for me; I didn’t expect a change in attitude from television to print journalists but I guess I should have.

What does everyone here think? Is Martinez real... or is this all a very well put together act for the camera and fans?

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Reader Comments (30)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 14/02/2014 at 16:39:54
I think that what you see is what you get with Roberto. Obviously nobody can be that positive 100% of the time, but I don't think it's an act either.

Perhaps the Special one, realises that the print journalists will probably have more influence on the public than the 2 minute TV interviews and therefore saves his 'best' for them.

No person who manages people is the same personality all the time as different people require different motivations. As long as the core values remain the same it doesn't really matter what the public image is like.

I support Roberto because he happens to be the manager of Everton FC at this moment in time, yes he seems to be a good bloke and is undoubtedly a knowledgeable and intelligent man but all I want from him is to produce a good 'winning' football team anything else is nice but not a requirement.

Raymond Fox
2 Posted 14/02/2014 at 17:02:24
Kris, we all play a part to some degree, I suppose.
So in private I'm sure Roberto will have his doubts about all manner of things.

I would guess he takes the positive approach when off screen as well.
It seems to me to be the preferable attitude to take, as long as its taken with a dose of reality!

David Midgley
3 Posted 14/02/2014 at 17:36:42
Kris, "trustworthy almost" . Do you get the impression that he isn't ? Or is that just the way that you've framed the article?
John Gilfoyle
4 Posted 14/02/2014 at 17:50:17
Interesting article, whenever I see him in a press conference I find it hard to imagine him giving the players a bollocking behind closed doors. I certainly hope he does have a nasty streak in him as I think there needs to be a balance between your players liking you but also having respect.
Anyone remember Moyes giving out to Blomqvist when he first came after he'd been subbed and spat his dummy out, same with Drenthe. Although I must say we have a good bunch and I think if anyone was acting a prat, some of our senior players would sort it out.
Kevin Tully
5 Posted 14/02/2014 at 18:11:32
Jagielka said once you get into a conversation with Martinez it can last for an hour, the complete opposite of OFM (Jag's words, not mine)

So that probably proves he is as enthusiastic off camera as he is in front of them. It's funny you mention charisma Kris, that's something I believe all great managers have in spades - Shankly, Clough, Mourinho, Ferguson, they all held the attention of a room full of journo's.

I'm not saying Martinez is anywhere near these greats, but you have to possess a certain amount of charm to get players to run through brick walls for you, to go that extra mile. Clearly Martinez is a likeable character, hopefully he can be a nasty fecker when required as well.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 14/02/2014 at 18:58:16
I've heard Roberto is a genuinely nice guy but when he's angry he'll let the players know about it in no uncertain terms. Iron fist in a velvet glove.
Guy Hastings
7 Posted 14/02/2014 at 19:10:33
Off camera he slices the tops off babies' heads and spoonfeeds their still-warm brains to his three pet komodo dragons. He laughs. The print journalists laugh with him. They share in the joke as only those who share in the joke can. Graeme Sharp then accompanies him on kazoo in a rendition of Brown Shoes Don't Make It. The print journalists, to a man wearing brown shoes, revel in the irony. The TV journalists, to a man shod in black leather, have departed in ignorance.
Brin Williams
8 Posted 14/02/2014 at 19:36:34
You say that you are a journalism student based in London, what you have not said, or perhaps I may have missed is whether you are an Evertonian or just a journalism student based in London looking for copy?
Nick Entwistle
9 Posted 14/02/2014 at 19:29:44
An image is worth as thousand words... or something like that... and so the snap shot demeanor for the TV is a very specific act. Much like for example party leaders in PMQs who hope to get their ten seconds worth on the 6 o'clock. So Mourinho showing the controlled guarded contempt works well in this context. Prior to the match, and after, the smiles come out.

Speaking with the press however is different. This journalist has much more of a say on how the manger is to be perceived in print so its note worthy how Mourinho has them eating out of his hand, making them all feel special. Print journalists in my experience not only guard their job like their life but also expect to be treated like royalty. Which they are... which is why they guard their job like their life... And if not, you can end up like Kinnear.

Now either you can give the verbal back massage like Mourinho or you can do a Joe Kinnear and swear at all the bastards and not ever regain a credibility. But the way journalists fawn over Mourinjo and laugh at his jokes like school girls round a pop star hoping to be the... special one, is pretty sad.

Either way, I don't know why people give a care for the press conference. What does it actually tell you? Its just filler on Sky sports before they shove another beer commercial on screen or gives you something to read on the way to work. Next days chip paper.

You can be like Moyes or Roberto, does it matter? I like to think only the result does.

Barry Rathbone
10 Posted 14/02/2014 at 19:53:21
RM was positive when clever souls insisted it was disastrous trying to play football in the lower divisions - then won promotion with Swansea.

He was positive at Wigan when his best were sold annually and the wage bill slashed - then won the FA cup.

Against the odds here he is positive because that is him - and it works.

Nick Entwistle
11 Posted 14/02/2014 at 20:32:14
Barry, you're confusing personality that is hidden behind the camera and the OP subject of media lead persona for screen and print.

One is for the footballers, the other for the public. It wasn't uncommon for a player to go a whole season without praise from Clough which drove players on to hopefully receive some which made them feel 10ft tall. But in front of the cameras different story.

It would be naive to think any manager only conforms to his media lead persona behind closed doors. Every individual, team performance, or situation would be dealt with individually.

But RM comes over a canny bloke so will be as aware to the differences in Mourinho's approach as Kris in his piece, but without being at the sharp end of the table where whole pages in national papers are given over to your every word, how he plays the media is only to achieve an after thought of column inch instead.

Mourinho calling Wegner a specialist in failure today is all part of some big mind game that the press all lend so much importance... but how often does it have a baring? Doesn't it all mean bollocks once the ref blows his whistle?

Dick Fearon
12 Posted 14/02/2014 at 20:22:06
I can't put my finger on why it is so but sometimes I can do without RMs daily, sometimes it seems, hourly media releases.

Behind his never-ending daily statements about unimportant matters, there is a bit of self-promotion. He comes across an an affable self confident chap which is certainly a better attitude than some of his predecessors notably Harry Catterick our most successful manager who was almost a recluse in comparison.

Perhaps my views on this subject are rooted in the old saying that empty pots make the most sound.

Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 14/02/2014 at 21:14:29
Go easy there, Dick. His pronouncements are hardly 'daily'. He talks to the press ahead of each weekend's game; he talks to the TV typically after a match, and the local press go hound him out at Finch Farm for some Monday morning quarterbacking, as they call it in The States.

It's not of his making nothing beyond his role as Everton manager... which , if I may be permitted to say, he has taken to with exceptional relish and full appreciation for all that it means to be the present encumbent of this august position.

Chris Jones [Burton]
14 Posted 14/02/2014 at 21:27:41
Ken Jones, a great little actor and lifelong Evertonian has died aged 83. He was the principal cast member of 'The Golden Vision'. RIP, Ken.

BBC News item

Ian Riley
15 Posted 14/02/2014 at 21:00:51
I hope our manager never speaks of other managers the way the Chelsea manager did of the Arsenal manager. Our manager in press conferences always speaks highly of other teams and managers. He always gives me the expression he is loving every minute of life let alone being manager at Everton and could talk all day about the players.

My only worry about our manager, he appears to be too calm and sometimes I would like a little bit of anger in post match interviews. Players need to know when he is not happy, and one does hope he lets the players feel emotionally his frustration.

Next Season will tell more about our manager, but so far so good!

Gavin Ramejkis
16 Posted 14/02/2014 at 21:36:16
Thats sad to hear Chris, its certainly a busy old week at the Pearly Gates, Shirley Temple, Sid Caeser, Ralph Waite and now Ken Jones.

Ken was a great old school character actor, his role as Horrible Ives in Porridge a classic.

Barry Rathbone
17 Posted 14/02/2014 at 21:33:53
Nick, Like you I have no idea what he says in the Everton dressing room but I know Swansea people who say he was the same in their dressing room as presented in the media.

They did joke he wouldn't change during the Wigan relegation scrapes so I'm assuming he ain't for changing at Goodison.

Like all these things it's educated guesswork, he might be Jack the Ripper for all I really know, but my own view is he's mostly positive and what you see is what you get.

Chris Jones, sad news about Ken loved his work absolute comedy genius and the "Golden Vision" was a work to treasure, make them laugh up there Ken.

Mick Davies
18 Posted 14/02/2014 at 21:49:50
Sad news about one of my fave actors, especially his role in 'The Golden Vision'. Loved Ives in Porridge too and his Everton allegiance la Rossiter and Bill Dean. RIP, all Evertonians.

Dick Fearon, Catterick wasn't our most successful manager; that award goes to Howard Kendall

Harold Matthews
19 Posted 14/02/2014 at 22:33:41
I remember TalkSport presenter Colin Murray chatting to studio guests about his Martinez interview at Finch Farm.

"What was your lasting impression of the man?", asked one of the guests. "Ruthless.", replied Murray.

Wayne Smyth
20 Posted 14/02/2014 at 22:51:58
Dick, I think you're completely wrong about Martinez's self promotion.

He's happier to get a point if its earned in the right way, rather than get 3 that are earned via luck. It would be easy for him to shut up shop at richer clubs, complain about money, most would agree(certainly in the media). Yet he gets the team to go at them. Occasionally we'll lose handsomely....but of course we'll also win some too.

What I'm getting at is that I think he makes the hard decisions for the good of the club in the long term, which leaves him completely open to easy criticism when things don't work out in the short-term. Having a manager prepared to risk their own reputation for long-term success is vital to a club like ours who can't buy trophies.

According to the players he is a nice guy, but can also give out serious stick off camera if their performances are not up to scratch. From all the comments that have been released, the players clearly think he's a top bloke and a great manager to work for. As for him always being in the media, I don't think he goes looking for it.

Brin Williams
21 Posted 14/02/2014 at 23:09:00
Harold - You've said it all, nowt else to say. Ruthless.
Kris Boner
22 Posted 15/02/2014 at 09:41:12
Right well, first some clarity. I most definitely am a Blue, born to a scouse father, with a long tradition of entirely Blue family in Liverpool, but I was raised in the Channel Islands and am studying in Kingston-Upon-Thames, London.

I'd rather fancy myself less as the vulture picking off corpses stereotype that is a common, and mostly true, viewpoint held on this forum.

Secondly, the 'trustworthy almost' comment was a follow-on thought from saying that he was seemingly open, so inherently comes across as trustworthy.

Ian Riley (098) It's a strange one with Mourinho: the week I saw him was before the Newcastle match they played and he had nothing but great things to say about Pardew. His comments on other managers then through that lens seem to be purely tactical because they change depending whether he views them as competition and whether he feels mind games work.

Also, big thanks to the editors for publishing this.

Brin Williams
23 Posted 15/02/2014 at 09:59:34
Kris, glad to hear that you are an Evertonian having at least one blue in the media will go some way to balance up what is so obviously an uneven playing field.

As a journalist, I am sure you will have many opportunities not readily available to the man in the street; make good use of them, tell it as it is, don't gild the lily, and don't pull your punches.

As for picking off corpses, I thought that is what all journalists were trained to do; if you are a bit squeamish about corpses, you will soon get over it. Glad to say though that there are no corpses at Everton, unless of course you count the ones in the board room.

I am sure you would endear yourself to every Evertonian if you could arrange a visit to that inner sanctum and give us a full and factual report of what goes on there 'after the cameras have gone'...

Kris Boner
24 Posted 15/02/2014 at 10:34:50
Brin, I aim to try and level that out a little, being an Evertonian first, and a football fan second.

The whole press conference huddle that the journos do when the subject leaves to discuss his meaning and their take on it seems a little bit like the corpse metaphor, digging around for alternate meaning or implication.

One man asked Jose if he was after Cavani, Jose laughed, said he didn't talk about other people's players like that and three hours later Givemesport.com was reporting suspect interest in Cavani from Chelsea, because there was no outright denial.

That is something I'd like to avoid because it's gutter press, and my degree and tutors on it have taught me better than that. It obviously has its place but I saw the man at conference but then didn't see his name attached to the story. I'd rather not write something I didn't want my name attached to.

Nick Entwistle
25 Posted 15/02/2014 at 10:42:46
Kris, I hope you're better than that when your rent needs paying and your editor needs copy! Good luck and hope you make it.
Kris Boner
26 Posted 15/02/2014 at 11:53:12
I guess I am one with Martinez then Nick, ever the optimist.
Colin Glassar
27 Posted 15/02/2014 at 12:15:00
A lot of Roberto's comments in the media are simply regurgitated older comments. He doesn't speak to them every day.
Brin Williams
28 Posted 15/02/2014 at 12:25:29
Kris - Wish you all the best in your chosen profession - look forward to reading your articles in due course.
Derek Thomas
29 Posted 16/02/2014 at 07:23:38
If you can fake sincerity....anywho, what's with this thing about the ear, is he telling porkies or confirming the statement??
Si Cooper
30 Posted 19/02/2014 at 20:59:15
I suspect Roberto is seemingly ubiquitous to some simply because he makes good 'copy'.

A combination of a willingness to engage with the media and the interesting comparison of a Martinez led Everton and a Moyes (sadd)led United make him sought after and oft quoted.

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