Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers: The flawed disciples of Pep Guardiola

, 7 March, 11comments  |  Jump to most recent
Patrick Boyland on the geographical and philosophical link between the Everton manager, the incoming Manchester City boss and their markedly different results.
For now, Martínez is still a flawed entity at the top level of English football. Time will tell if hes able to learn from his mistakes and make the next step in achieving consistent results in the Premier League. Maybe a touch more pragmatism wouldnt go amiss after all.

» Read the full article at These Football Times

Reader Comments (11)

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Dave Ganley
1 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:01:00
This is a really good well balanced article that just shows how obsession can make you really lose sight of your main objective, which quite simply, is winning a football game.

I am one of Martinez's biggest critics. I never thought him good enough and still don't. However, to be fair to Martinez, watching the exponent of possession based attacking football at its very best can be exhilarating. It can also be as dull as dish water. Watching Bayern or formally Barca before them, playing keep ball for minutes on end not only switches off the opposition but also the crowd. However, if you have some of the best players in the world who are skilled at keeping the ball then its easy to tolerate the boring bits of the game because you know that, at some point, someone, Messi, Ribery, Robben, Iniesta, etc are going to make a killer pass and they will score a quite wonderful goal. They will also have the skill and know how to make sure the opposition, when they finally get hold of the ball, will not unduly threaten their goal either. Not only have Barca and Bayern have some of the best players in the world, they are also some of the fittest and hardest working players in the world too.

And herein lies the problem. Evertons players are nowhere near fit enough to play the game that Martinez so idolises. Guardiolas teams always work hard to get the ball back. Most notably, the CL final against Man United being the obvious example. I have never seen a United team in recent history be so harassed and so completely second best. It was like watching men against boys that night and this was probably the top 2 teams in Europe. Even in the final couple of minutes they didn't want United to have the ball. Astonishing workrate.

There is absolutely no point extolling a style of play if you are not going to completely embrace all aspects of it. Martinez just wants to embrace the pretty part of it and ignore the dirty side of it. There is no work ethic, he embraces mistakes as part of the learning process. Guardiola's teams don't make mistakes ,or at least very very rarely and when they do, they don't make them again. Martinez's whole philosophy just falls down on this basic point of working hard to regain the football. We are weak, we don't practise corners or set pieces (his words not mine). You can bet your life savings that Guardiolas teams practise the hell out of them.

If I thought that there was any progress of this side of the game in the last 3 seasons, then maybe I wouldn't be so harsh on Martinez. However, we are regressing in terms of fitness, defensive duties/goals conceded and wilting in the dying moments. At least the RS saw the writing on the wall and got rid of Rodgers before he could do any more damage. They could see the backward slide and did something to arrest that slide. Its called still having some ambition. We, at Everton, lost any kind of ambition in the early 90s and have never got it back. Any ambitious team would never tolerate this slide back into midtable mediocrity who leaks goals alarmingly and struggles to get to a cup final let alone challenge the top of the league. We have a shocking home record over the last 2 years and yet still people are saying give Martinez another year or 2. It breaks my heart to see Everton Football Club tolerating this kind of underachievement year after year.

This is Martinez's team. This is his blue print. This is how he wants to play the game. Its not the Guardiola way, with possession based football, armed with fantastic players who work their socks off to get the ball back from the first whistle to the last. No, its the possession based football with ok players who, with a few exceptions, do absolutely nothing to get the ball back, who are lazy, can't defend, are arrogant to supporters concerns, make multiple mistakes, never learns, plucks defeat from the jaws of fact put like that, is the antithesis of Guardiolas blueprint. Martinez's time is up. Everton Football Club need to belatedly, 20+ years belatedly, show some ambition and demand that Everton finally challenge the elite and compete for trophies and titles, and finally find a manager that can match those ambitions and not just talk a good game. Enough is enough.

Jack Mason
2 Posted 07/03/2016 at 20:16:08
Absolutely agree Dave.
Mark Gardiner
3 Posted 07/03/2016 at 22:22:02
Just heard Chris Sutton call Martinez an embarassment and a joke on the radio. Looks like even the national media is finally seeing through the Catalan clowns phoney credentials.
Dan Davies
4 Posted 07/03/2016 at 23:13:43
Martinez is a wannabe poor imitation of the real deal. I cannot wait for him to go and the club to move on hopefully with a manager who can add some bite to our performances instead of the frustrating slow motion boring sideways and backwards passing.
Ray Robinson
5 Posted 08/03/2016 at 07:38:26
There is never one single right way to play football. Barcelona are probably a one off anyway. Look at Leicester, they hardly base their style on possession do they? And even if they win the league this year, they will have to adapt next season as football is a constantly evolving game. Martinez seems to think that there is a blueprint for success without having to adapt to the players at his disposal.
Ian Burns
6 Posted 08/03/2016 at 07:55:46
Dave Ganley – terrific post. RM simply hasn’t understood the script I hope he has gone by next season as comparing him in the Premier League to the incoming Guardiola is going to be embarrassing to EFC in the extreme.
Jim Bennings
7 Posted 08/03/2016 at 08:03:08
Brendan Rodgers's and Roberto Martinez's teams may both not be able to defend but Rodgers's Liverpool team that nearly won the league didn’t base the majority of their play on possession so I’m not sure how he gets mentioned here.

That Liverpool team of 2013-14 got the ball forward as quickly as possibly and played attacking football at express train pace, weren’t they 4-0 up after 20 minutes against Arsenal??

It appeared to me they neglected defending that season to try and simply outscore the opposition which they were successful at until the last three matches.

Martinez’s team’s very rarely outscore opponents, let’s be honest how many of these "thrillers" have we won 4-3 or 5-4.?

We get the odd win here and there usually when the opposition is below par but we fail dismally when teams we play against crank up the tempo.

Russ Quinlan
8 Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:34:41
Let's be honest, when Moyes left, we had to make do with whoever we could get and big names didn't exactly line up cos all we could afford was the likes of Martinez despite having a relegation behind him.

Now, we do not have to aim so low and we should invest in a big manager because that would be money well spent. Someone the players respect before he gets here. We have a brilliant squad (but can always add to in certain areas) but having an experienced and respected and successful manager would also mean he would attract better players.

Also, by investing in a good manager will benefit the whole club whereas one expensive player does not. We need to aim higher on the management front now we can afford to and not just ’make do’ like we use to so this club can be taken seriously.

Patrick Murphy
9 Posted 08/03/2016 at 10:19:20
Forget the merits of the systems being used, forget how the individual bits and pieces have created dropped points, the plain fact is that Everton have won ONE league match at Goodison in the last EIGHT outings, just a solitary victory against a hapless Newcastle team, the only three-pointer claimed at Goodison since the first week of December. It’s now the second week in March. If the Everton board believe that it is just a blip or that we are on the right route - they are very much mistaken.

I don’t believe we have a fantastic group of world class players but I also don’t see us as having too many players that don’t belong in the higher reaches of the Premier League either. I bet if you asked Roberto the score of any of Everton’s home games played this season he wouldn’t be able to tell you.

He’s too busy trying to see his dream team, imagining it winning the PL and CL in the same season, whilst in reality HIS team is throwing points away like a bunch of children throwing confetti at a wedding. He has to be the one who sets the standards, he has to be the one who says the rot stops here. But he isn’t and he won’t, he’ll carry on in his own little world, dreaming of perfection, whilst most blues nervously wait for him to wake up.

He has to go before the end of this season, he cannot be allowed to squander any substantial amounts of money and put us back to where we were before the new investor has had time to get his feet under the table. Get someone in who will get back to basics and build from there, it might waste another season as the players re-adapt, but it will not be as much of a gamble as keeping Roberto in his job.

Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 08/03/2016 at 11:14:56
Addendum to my previous post the previous season (2014-15) saw Everton win just twice at Goodison in eight league games at the same juncture whereas in Roberto's first season the team won seven from eight. DM's last two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13, saw four victories from eight home games during a similar time period.
Andrew Ellams
11 Posted 18/03/2016 at 09:41:37
Didn’t Kenwright interview Thomas Tuchel after Moyes left? I wonder who rejected whom?

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