The Hand That You're Dealt?

Andy McNabb 10/07/2018 92comments  |  Jump to last

Well, who would have thought it? For all his perceived failings and maddening hyperbole, Bobby Brown-Shoes is managing a team of super-stars at the World Cup and has marched them through to the semis. After his struggles during the closing months of his tenure at Everton, I was quite frankly shocked to see him handed the plum job of Belgian national manager. I heard that the likes of Mirallas and Lukaku were immediately laughing at him behind his back and wondered if he would last six months. And yet here he is, putting Brazil to the sword with the likes of Kompany, Lukaku, Hazard, Courtois, De Bruyne etc.

I usually take little interest in this competition but this World Cup has, for a variety of reasons, been different. Viewing things though the spectrum of all things Everton and without pretending to have all the answers, I have been intrigued by some of the questions and issues it has posed.

Is Roberto Martinez a much better manager than he got credit for at Everton?

The Belgian authorities must surely have seen something we didn’t in order to entrust him with their so-called ‘Golden Generation’. He seems to have coped with their inflated egos, whilst providing the overall direction necessary for success and after the Brazil match I heard him described as the most innovative coach at the World Cup.


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Would he / could he have done much better had Moshiri arrived 12 months earlier and provided a substantial cash injection?

I don’t think many people would argue that Martinezs’ greatest contribution during his time in charge at Everton was securing the services of Lukaku for a relatively small fee.

With a larger purse would he have been a much wiser steward in identifying genuine talent and attracting them to Everton without the ridiculous, out-of-control spending spree of last summer?

If so, this would have provided the much needed foundation we are currently struggling to establish two years later...

Maybe ‘The School of Science’ should make its peace with altering our style of play to recognise the fact that players like Arteta are as rare as hen’s teeth and when they come along, they are usually snapped up by teams with deeper pockets?

I keep hearing that England are “…one creative midfielder away from being a very good side.” Despite collecting No. 10s like they were going out of fashion last summer, we have very much the same problem. Arteta moved to Arsenal in 2011 and was injury prone for some time before that. We have been playing without this type of player for about 8 years – no wonder we made such a fuss of Barkley.

In one sense, you could argue that as a Premier League team, our opportunity to unearth such a player is much greater than that of England. However, if an England side that has made it through to the World Cup semi-finals is struggling to find this elusive creative midfielder, then how realistic is our search for such a rare commodity?

After reading the chatter on ToffeeWeb I closely watched Carvalho and he simply seemed like a more expensive Schneiderlin. We paid way too much for Sigurdsson and whilst I would love to think that used properly, he could be that vital cog in the machine, the jury is still out.

Is a transfer policy that strives to buy star players fundamentally flawed?

There was an article on Toffeeweb recently entitled, ‘Signings must be Starters’; in an ideal world, this would be true but rather than hankering after the finished article, such as Sigurdsson, should we not always be looking for that potential that others can’t, or importantly, haven’t got the time to see?

Pickford’s worth is soaring even as I write because the whole world has seen him performing heroics and yet he was taken from a failing side for what now seems like small change. Lukaku is one of the stars of the ‘Golden Generation’ but was about to go on loan to West Brom for a second time before Martinez stepped in.

Moyes has his detractors on this site and there is always a risk involved in any sort of transfer but surely his acquisition of the likes of Cahill, Arteta, Gravesen and Baines, when other clubs were looking elsewhere has to be the way to go? To be fair, we have tried to do this with the likes of Lookman, so our efforts should be concentrated on developing (and keeping) him, rather than trying to lure the likes of Zaha here for stupid money.

We love sport because of its uncertain nature but are we in danger of denying the existence and appeal of much of that uncertainty?

I still can’t relax when Jonathan Rae is on the last lap with a huge lead over the rider in second, in case he crashes with one corner to go... But If we are truly honest, how many of us thought we were finally back in the game last summer when we spent lots of money? Despite excellent articles on here, calling for patience over the next few years, how much time will Brands and Silva get before our desire for success gets the better of us and we are calling for their heads?

Our sports teacher at school, whilst trying to get every child to achieve at the highest possible level, reminds the students that “…winning is unusual.” That’s not defeatist reasoning and it doesn’t mean you never stop giving of your best. It simply means that, out of the 20 teams in the Premier League who all want to win the title, 19 of them will be disappointed – every year. Leadership of any organisation is incredibly complex; although there are many dos and don’ts along the way, much of it at any given time is outside of our control, particularly in the volatile environment of sport.

To quote Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War – “I don’t claim to have control of things but confess plainly that events have control of me …”

Maybe Kendall’s second and third tenures are proof that it really does depend on the hand you are dealt?

After all, you have to grasp with both hands the unintentional actions of Kevin Brock, or the acquisition of an ex-binman to play in goal at the end of the day.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Martinez probably wasn’t as bad as we thought but neither is he as good as he now appears. Alex Ferguson built an empire but, as well as his undoubted talents, much of that was because the youth system at the time was doing its job and also stumbled upon Giggs, Scholes, Beckham etc at just the right time.

Don’t agree? Still think Bobby would have been unable to defend at Goodison with De Bruyne and Hazard in the team? Then listen to his interview if Belgium win the World Cup and enjoy the hyperbole!

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Reader Comments (92)

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Lawrence Green
1 Posted 10/07/2018 at 14:35:43
Roberto Martinez is one of the few Everton managers who was backed by the board financially in the Premier League era, he screwed up royally! He did bring Lukaku to the club, which was a plus, but he also allowed a squad to split and form cliques which undermined everything positive he may have done in the first year of his tenure.

I'm sorry but some of the mind-numbing football he oversaw is not what I want to see from an Everton side, it made Moyes's boys look like the entertainers. I'll stick by my original assessment he managed to give Mike Walker a run for his money for being the worst Everton manager – up to the point of Roberto's departure – in the Premier League era.

The fact that he has Belgium competing for the World Cup is more to do with the players he has available in a star-studded squad than his own abilities. He would not – no matter how much money had been available – have been able to replicate that sort of success at Goodison, because a season lasts so long and there are so many competitive sides in the league.

He had his chance at Everton, he flunked it – can we all move on now please?

Steavey Buckley
2 Posted 10/07/2018 at 14:54:54
Lawrence (#1), Martinez ,when he was sacked at the end of 2015-16 season, left a far better squad of players than Koeman left Everton when he was sacked last October after spending £200 million on players, while Martinez had to balance the books before Moshiri took over, who then sacked him.
Dave Ganley
3 Posted 10/07/2018 at 15:44:28
Steavey, saying he was less shit than Koeman doesn't make him a good Everton manager. I totally agree with Lawrence (#1): yes, he had good players to a point but had no idea how to form a team, no idea how to keep players fit, no idea how to defend, and yes, bored us rigidly in those last couple of seasons.

It was only a few weeks ago that we had reports coming out of the Belgium camp that the senior players, Lukaku, De Bruyne etc, were not happy with Martinez's training methods. It looks like the Belgium star players have turned up to the party in spite of Martinez. Maybe he is better suited to international management as he doesn't have the players long enough to coach them how not to defend and make them lose match fitness.

Martinez also bought some right dross, players who blatantly weren't good enough (Kone, Alcaraz, Cleverley, McGeady, Niasse, Lennon etc) and also players who just played for themselves (Lukaku, Deulofeu), and let Barkley basically do what he wanted. The plusses were McCarthy and Barry — two players who would give their all for us.

Sorry, but just because Martinez has somehow got in charge of an incredibly talented bunch of players and got to the semi-finals doesn't make him any good or misunderstood or whatever else you may wish to wax lyrical about. He was pretty terrible for us in the end.

John Raftery
4 Posted 10/07/2018 at 16:01:43
Mirallas and Lukaku were not laughing behind Martinez's back so much as in full view of the TV cameras at Rooney's testimonial game. I suspect Roberto was laughing as well having landed on his feet quicker than he could have imagined.

Gravesen was a Walter Smith signing but I agree that on the whole Moyes brought in some decent players at what proved to be bargain prices and gelled them into a team. In the past two and a half years we have moved towards the other extreme of paying inflated prices for mediocrity.

As has been said many times the skill set required at international level is quite different to that of a club manager. Transfer decisions can make or break a club manager. They certainly went some way to seeing off Koeman and ultimately Walsh, whose recruitment approach had a large element of ‘by guess and by god'.

An international manager's first task is to identify the best squad from the large pool of talent available to him. The best squad does not always equate to the best players; it requires some courage from an international coach to exclude the media or fan favourites.

Martinez has latterly earned praise from sections of the media for excluding Radja Nainggolan because he did not fit into the system he wished to play. That was a decision he made at the end of May but it had been something about which he had nearly two years to think about. Club football does not permit that amount of time for such reflection with managers and players buffeted by events on a week-to-week basis.

Kevin Prytherch
5 Posted 10/07/2018 at 16:02:07
On the "Signings must be Starters" part:

I think this was aimed more against buying mediocre squad players who would sit in front of the development of others. Either buy potential or buy starters, but don't buy Martina's!!!!

On the subject... for a while, Martinez was good, he just couldn't see out a game and the squad lost confidence in him and in general. He wasn't an inherently bad manager all the time, but he was too stubborn to his beliefs.

Gaute Lie
6 Posted 10/07/2018 at 16:44:30
Martinez is some sort of enigma when it comes to his skills as a leader, and I was never quite sure what he told the players to do on the field, playing games. Guess we'll never know.

But, he is a Nice guy, and I would've preferred we never sacked him over the hiring of that twat Koeman.

Koeman should never have gotten into Our Club at all, he really did try to ruin us completely. He could just the same have been on the Reds' payroll as Ours.

Sorry about all the shit about Koeman but I find him so despicable as they do come. Red-haired twat.

Rick Tarleton
7 Posted 10/07/2018 at 17:34:57
Martinez is basically the manager for a cup team. His triumph at Wigan in the FA Cup is his managerial club highlight.

Managing an international team is like running a team in a cup run. What Martinez could not do at Everton was organise a team for 38 Premier League games. Had he been asked to merely manage us for the cup and have been allowed to pick his best team for each tie, he may have been a success.

But I think few clubs could provide him with the gifted players that Belgium have by right and thus allow him to have the attacking power which is essential for Martinez's style of management. Real Madrid perhaps?

Steavey Buckley
8 Posted 10/07/2018 at 18:00:51
Dave (#3), Everton were cash poor under Martinez, so criticising him makes no sense about the players he bought. Yet, when he left Everton, Everton were player rich only for Koeman to squander money from the sale of players, who then bought Bolasie for £27 million who can't trap a bag of sand, while Klaassen, £26 million, can only be a regular for the Everton Under-23s.
Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 10/07/2018 at 18:21:06
Sure, it's easy managing brilliantly talented players... who needs a good manager for that?

Ask Hierro, Sampaoli, Tite and Low. If you can find them.

To listen to Lawrence and Dave, you'd think Roberto just rolled the ball out on the pitch, told the players to go play, and opened a Diet Coke. No question he was a crap manager for us, but give him the credit he is due.

For the biggest game of his life, against the best team in the world, he came up with a superb plan involving both an alignment change (4 at the back) and two critical lineup changes (Chadli and Fellaini were massive). He also changed Belgium's approach to passing out of the back, using the wings instead of the middle, which kept Brazil's high pressing game stretched and ultimately less effective.

Of course, we saw his biggest weakness on display as well, namely seeing out the game. No subs until the 80th minute? Stupid. Pulling Rom? Stupid. But the good work he did vastly outweighed the bad. And he won.

Rick (#7) makes an interesting point... Roberto does seem to be a true tournament manager, meeting the big occasion but lacking the organizational skills for a club season. But his team preparation for Brazil was a master class, and his side may well lift the Cup this weekend, so some of us may just have to grit our teeth and say "nice job".

Dave Ganley
10 Posted 10/07/2018 at 18:25:04
Steavey, nobody is disagreeing that Koeman squandered a lot of money on dross, but to say because Martinez had less cash he is exempt from blame for buying shite makes no sense either. Moyes had even less money but managed to leave Martinez with a healthy top 6 squad that would die for the club.

By the time Martinez left he had reduced the squad to a shadow of its former self, full of players who couldn't care less about the club, players who played exclusively for themselves and a team in free fall from which Martinez had no idea how to recover from.

He transformed the club that just needed to take that extra step into Champions League qualification into a team that was nosediving towards relegation. Koeman just added to that mess. Martinez can take the bow for creating it.

Jay Harris
11 Posted 10/07/2018 at 18:26:25
Yes, Steavey, but Koeman had to deal with a useless DOF and a chairman who sold our best goalscorer from under his nose.

The first season under Koeman was progressive despite Barkley's personal issues and Lukaku's want-away attitude.

I also disagree that Koeman inherited a much better squad. Baines and Jagielga were 3 years older and Kone was rightly nicknamed traffic. Tim Howard was past his best and gone. Alcatraz was a disaster. James McCarthy spent more time in the treatment room than on the pitch and Gareth Barry was on his last legs.

I am 100% with Lawrence. The Goodison Park faithful are usually that but they turned against NArtinez en masse because he had totally lost the plot.

Any manager that says he does not do defensive drills and doesnt practice corners and free kicks because thats not the proper way to score goals is always going to be a disaster.

He also systematically tore down all the team spirit and comraderie throughout the club that Moyes had painstakingly built up over 10 years.

Belgium have 80% of the world's best players in their respective positions and the arrival of Thierry Henry to coach them. I would love to see how he managed Colombia or Croatia.

Jay Harris
12 Posted 10/07/2018 at 18:37:32
I hasten to add that Brazil were unlucky against Belgium. It wasnt some Martinez masterclass. Brazil had 26 shots to Belgiums 6 from memory and hit the woodwork and should have had a penalty.

Belgium were lucky with the first goal. The header could have gone anywhere.

Darren Hind
13 Posted 10/07/2018 at 18:49:18
Martinez did well against Brazil, but let's be honest here, it would have taken a very poor manager indeed to not get this Belgium side through the other games. It was the proverbial steering job.

He was slaughtered when stories of the holiday camp atmosphere came out after he was shown the Goodison exit door. He was rightly slaughtered for his possession obsession while he was here, He was rightly slaughtered for not practicing defending dead ball situations and he did talk bollocks on a weekly basis.

Having said all that he did have some redeeming qualities. One of those qualities was his obvious intelligence. Maybe he has learned. Maybe his time at Everton will be the making of him, the time when he learned a few very harsh life lessons.

He left two years ago and since then he has been dealing with better players and bigger egos. He can't possibly have experienced what he has in recent years and be the same manager or learned nothing.

I'd like him to win tonight and I will congratulate him if he does – If only to dispel the half-witted notion that if you have heavily criticised a man when he was failing at Everton, You are somehow duty-bound to follow him through the rest of his career hating him and wishing nothing but bad luck.

Clarence Yurcan
14 Posted 10/07/2018 at 19:11:01
Martinez was not nearly as bad as people here have made him out to be. I agree his time at Everton was up, but didn't/doean't deserve all the vitriol he got/gets. Everton's still-highest points tally in the Premier League era was under Martinez.

And for those of you who don't give Martinez credit because of his talented palyers, Mike Gaynes #9 rightly points out, the team doesn't coach itself. you have to give him his due.

As others have stated, and I agree, Roberto has likely found his level. He's a cup/knockout tournament manager and probably will remain an international manager for a while.

John Pickles
15 Posted 10/07/2018 at 19:11:15
We shouldn't have sacked Martinez; instead, we should have just signed 6 or 7 of the best players in the world.
Jerome Shields
16 Posted 10/07/2018 at 19:11:18
I think that Martinez was worked out of his job by a combination of backroom staff supported by Kenwright and long-standing players, particularly in the defence, who didn't play for him and worked against him. Martinez's failure was not to take on and try to address these issues, particularly the defence. . .
Dave Ganley
17 Posted 10/07/2018 at 19:51:13
Sorry, Clarence, you obviously forgot how awful the performances were and how bad the atmosphere at the ground was and how much shit Martinez talked. He was as bad as he is made out to be.

He should never have been our manager in the first place. That's not his fault, it's Kenwrights fault, but he was so out of his depth as manager of Everton Football Club.

It's a moot point at how he did in his first season, it's all about how he progressed the club and the bald truth is that he took us inexorably backwards at an alarming rate. That first season there were a lot of dismal games. To be fair there were some good ones too, but when you win it masks a lot of ills.

We won some terrible games and while it's always good to win those games, we started losing them in the second season. You can only rely on luck for so long before you have to rely on tactical nous and do your best to take luck out of the equation. Martinez failed to do so dismally and was rightly drummed out of the club.

Lowest home points in a season ever, won only 10 all season, yes it was as bad as people make out.

Andy Crooks
18 Posted 10/07/2018 at 20:03:41
In my view, the shittest manager in our history and not the nice guy some want to revise his era to make him appear. He relegated Wigan and was on his way to relegating us.

He walked off with a huge amount of money, still bitter and appallingly arrogant. I do not have an ounce of respect for him. He didn't "get", our club, he fucking robbed it.

Roger Balshaw
19 Posted 10/07/2018 at 20:21:57
Still doesn't look like he practices defending corners.
Gaute Lie
20 Posted 10/07/2018 at 20:58:07
Andy Crooks,

How you can hold Koeman over Martinez is Beyond me. I know I live in Norway, but we do have internet Access over here, we read English and also some people have something amazing called television.

I know Norway is a mountainous country full of weird males, trolls, leprechons and Nice blondes. Also we are stuck up the arse of EU, giving EU money whenever.

But I saw that Koeman figure made our team look like bitches on the field every damn time. Even when we won, did we ever look convincing?? Also, he used money like no-one before him.

Also, his personality suck bigtime.

Also, he has red hair. Watch the truth in South Park and learn...

Andy Crooks
21 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:11:27
Gaute, that is my favourite post ever. The best and most enjoyable post by miles. You have made a bitter curmudgeon happy.
Raymond Fox
22 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:24:07
Martinez has had control of a team full of quality players in the World Cup, unlike he had here, with our ragtag and bobtail mob.

How long will Silva last trying to match the usual top 6 teams with inferior players, it's a nigh-on impossible task.

The manager's an easy target, why admit the players are not up to it when you can blame it all on the manager!

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:28:35
Andy, How does the shittest manager in our history get 72 points? That's just a ridiculous thing to say.

As for whoever said he had a fortune to spend, he spent less than £50m net, over three years. The January window shut in his last season, Moshiri came in, Martinez was gone before it re-opened. He never got a penny of the Moshiri money. Koeman spent £250m in 18 months. Moyes spent £130m in 11 seasons!

Whilst I went to Wembley 9 times in the 80s, such was our dominance, I was barely over 10 years of age at the end of the decade, so any comment I pass on the 80s is from watching clips on TV. So, of all the football I have ever seen, Martinez's Everton was by far the best I have ever seen Everton play.

But I suppose it comes down to whether you think Guardiola's Barcelona was the greatest side you ever saw, or if they were boring. They weren't boring to me, and I don't mind watching the ball go side to side, as long as the team are trying to find a way through.

It just goes to highlight, we all like different types of football, the same as we all have different views on physical attractiveness. Each to their own.

Jay Harris
24 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:35:16

I know you were a big fan of Martinez and defended him to the hilt but good managers can get lesser players more organised and bond a team. Martinez was all for himself and broke apart the team spirit that the club had.

Even his most ardent fan would have to admit he had totally lost the plot by the end of his reign.

Dave Ganley
25 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:37:54
Raymond, Martinez inherited a decent squad – not a ragtag and bobtail mob, entirely the opposite. A squad with a fantastic team spirit and talented too. Martinez completely destroyed that.

Steve, well if you think we played like Barcelona then we were obviously watching different teams. Yes, Martinez had his moments but as to the comparison with Barca? God no. Why do you think the atmosphere died at Goodison Park? Martinez's pointless keep-ball going nowhere.

Andy Crooks
26 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:39:17
Steve, I' m hurting right now. My comments may be slightly jaundiced. I believed Belgium had the best players and that even the lamentable Martinez could not stop them.

I accept, though, that I am being unreasonable and bitter. My wife has just told me that I am acting like a spoilt child. Being told to calm down has the reverse effect!!!
Still, what a world cup. Come on England!!!

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:41:37
Haha, fair enough, Andy. It's fair comment to say we all talk crap when worked up. It's one of the reasons we all love football.

I have a mate he used to love reminding me of some of the shit I said mid-game, when we had all calmed down and were having a pint or walking home!

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:47:36
Dave, no we didn't play like Barcelona. They copied the Cruyff model and added Bielsa pressing to it. Martinez didn't do pressing. Instead he copied the old Cruyff style. My point is merely that some people don't like watching that kind of football. As I said, each to their own.

The atmosphere died for a variety of reasons. The atmosphere is poor at nearly every ground I go to. The so-called great atmosphere of the Premier League is overstated.

Sure, at the end of the reign the fans were very toxic. The players had given up on Martinez, the fans had, and I had.

But let's not re-write history, the atmosphere was poor for the final few years of Moyes's reign too. Many a comment in that first Martinez season was about how the atmosphere had come back.

Jim Wilson
29 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:49:18
When he let the team get on with their game for the first half of his first season unhindered, we were brilliant. The more he started to tinker with the team the more the wheels fell off.

So my conclusion is that he is shit. I also wish he had never brought Lukaku to the club as his attitude was nothing short of horrific.

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 10/07/2018 at 21:53:28
Jim, if he was shit, why has no manager ever got 72 points or more, except for Howard Kendall? Even if you upgrade 2 for a win, only Catterick of the post war managers does it as well.

How does someone so shit do that? If it was all down to Moyes, why did he never get more than 65 points in any of his 11 seasons? Why did Moyes never go further than the quarterfinal of the Europa League? Why has no Everton manager ever got further than Martinez and his quarterfinal in the Europa League, except the great Howard Kendall? And how many Everton managers ever got to 2 cup semi-finals in one season?

How can someone so shit rack up so many achievements? Don't get me wrong, he's not a great manager, and he certainly wasn't with us, but to label him shit or the worst ever is ridiculous.

Steavey Buckley
31 Posted 10/07/2018 at 22:07:49
Dave (#10). Cash poor Everton only needed a couple of players in the 2012-13 season to be contenders to win the Premier League even though Everton accumulated their most league points ever in the Premier League.

If Martinez had Moshiri's money at that time, Everton would have won the premier league, as there would have been no need to sell Fellaini to Man Utd. His 1 goal in every 3 games plus the ability to dominate both penalty areas were a great asset.

Laurie Hartley
32 Posted 11/07/2018 at 01:23:10
Everton under Roberto Martinez provided me with my happiest times since the eighties as an Evertonian. I will never forget us playing Arsenal off the park for most of the game at their ground in his first season. I can remember thinking at that time – we can beat anyone anywhere.

Unfortunately he also provided me with my greatest disappointment as an Evertonian when it all fell apart at the end of that season. I still haven't figured out how he managed to take us from the sublime to the ridiculous in such a short space of time. It baffles me.

Steavey Buckley (#31) – having to sell Fellaini was a terrible blow. He is still a formidable player.

Derek Thomas
33 Posted 11/07/2018 at 01:52:40
A little bit of Rick @7, with some Darren @13

If he eventually gets another Club job, we may see if he's learned from his mistakes.

IMO, it can be done, but mostly people hardly ever change, they just get 'more so' as they get older.

He hasn't left his present job yet though and who knows what is waiting in the works.

Derek Thomas
34 Posted 11/07/2018 at 01:55:46
Given the rumours, this thread title could very well apply with knobs on to Silva & Brands... which is why I initially clicked on it.
Keith Dempsey
35 Posted 11/07/2018 at 07:27:42
Sorry to sound pedantic, Jay (#12) but the header that could have gone anywhere was against Japan. Just saying.
Rob Dolby
36 Posted 11/07/2018 at 09:14:49
Martinez was a breath of fresh air for a short while compared to the "knife to a gunfight" defeatist Moyes 11 year era.

Martinez raised expectation that had been crushed for years and that was his downfall. He couldn't live up to his own expectations. His press conferences became management bullshit bingo.

We would try and win away from home rather than settle for a clean sheet and away point. We were more expansive but also more open to attacks ourselves. Not buying defenders or even employing a proper defensive coach didn't help him.

I regard him to be a lucky manager. He was lucky with Wigan in the FA Cup. Lucky to get the hot seat with us and lottery-style luck to manage the best players in the world at Belgium.

I wouldn't be surprised if he got the sack over the next couple of weeks as the Belgium FA will surely see through the emperor's clothes.

Loved the fact he got Barkley playing, the Deulofeu loan, and bought the best striker we have had since Sharpy in Lukaku.

I didn't like his defending of set pieces, players not closing the ball down, and press conference rubbish. Tom Cleverley one of the best free transfers in the history of the Premier League... FFS!

It will be interesting to see how Silva gets on this season with what looks to be a much-reduced budget.

Les Green
37 Posted 11/07/2018 at 09:19:33
Okay, so Martinez and Belgium were beaten by France.

But Martinez will see it as a win because they had more posession.

Len Hawkins
38 Posted 11/07/2018 at 09:48:40
The other day, Shearer was gushing over Lukaku. I wonder what his thoughts are now after his audition for the Invisible Man against France.
Derek Taylor
39 Posted 11/07/2018 at 10:43:29
Did you notice how similar his after-match comments were to those in his Wigan and Everton days?

Trouble is, they still have replaced goals with possession as the yardstick by which games are decided!

Joe McMahon
40 Posted 11/07/2018 at 11:12:37
Why is Roberto getting so much stick? Everyone's David Moyes hasn't lasted a full season at 4 clubs since Everton. Just says a lot — we had 11 years of winning nothing.
Jim Wilson
41 Posted 11/07/2018 at 11:30:40
Steve Ferns,

I stick to my point – the more Martinez influenced the team, the worse we got.

I go with the theory that, with the stature of Everton, with the players of great promise we always have, anyone half decent should get us right up there. If they don't they are shit.

Football management is the easiest job you can have. Keep things simple is the secret.

Everton were great when Martinez first took charge then he started his squad rotation nonsense. Remember Barkley getting rested for Osman for Sunderland at home (Howard sent off because of Osman) and the Crystal Palace changes? Martinez never learnt, carried on with squad rotation, and we got worse and worse due to constant changes. That's why he is shit.

Everton just needs a common sense manager who picks a back 4 and keeps a balanced unchanged team to build understanding and continuity, and not someone who thinks he is a clever dick who is actually thick.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 11/07/2018 at 11:34:27
Lukaku will always score goals, Len, but that diagonal ball from De Bruyne near the end yesterday just had to be attacked, imo. He is the type of player who goes missing too often, although it was obviously not easy playing against such a well-drilled French team.

Roberto had a dream, he was given a dream squad, but for all their talent, I just never felt like they were a true team, simply because they lacked a little bit of that defensive organisation, despite having a very good goalkeeper, very good defenders, and very good defensive midfield players.

We all like to see great attacking football but it's usually the teams that are built on a strong defence that usually go the furthest in these competitions.

I don't believe that Martinez is the worst manager we have ever had but he definitely could have been the best if he would have focused more on the dirty side of the game, simply because it's the most important bit.

Steve Ferns
43 Posted 11/07/2018 at 11:41:39
Jim, I refer you to his record of achievement that only a few if not just a couple of Everton managers can surpass. So how on earth is he shit?

The squad rotation was to balance the amount of games we had with being in the Europa League. You fail to mention that. You also fail to mention how many sides struggle to combine Europa League and maintain their Premier League form that got them there. Who was the last (non "Big 6") side to maintain position and go far in the Europa League?

You just want to beat Roberto for ridiculous reasons. He's not shit. He's done things no-one else at Everton can beat in the Premier League era.

Dick Fearon
44 Posted 11/07/2018 at 11:54:15
When he can use his power to run at opposition backlines, Lukaku is at his most potent. At the least sign of danger, France would retreat into their own penalty area and thus deny Belgium, and Romelu in particular, a chance of building up momentum.

As in his Everton role, Roberto stuck to his grand plan and Lukaku was marked out of the game.

Jim Wilson
45 Posted 11/07/2018 at 11:55:20
Steve – he started the rotation in his first season when we were not in Europe.

If you put a shit manager in charge of Man City for next season, he would probably start off well but gradually, as his methods influenced the team more and more, their performances would start to suffer. They would probably get a good points total in his first season, 72 points or more, but win nothing.

After Moyes, Martinez was refreshing and the team buzzed off him. But most of the points gained were before he influenced things too much.

I don't give a shit what he has done anywhere else and I ask you how did you feel when we went to Anfield and we got beat 4-0 when it could easily have been 8? Martinez was clueless, absolutely clueless, and should have been sacked there and then. Two years later and the prick sent us into another Anfield mauling and it was a miracle that we didn't get beat in that game by 10!

So you can quote to me all the facts and figures you like but I remember the humiliation he caused. He was nailed-on shit and should never have been allowed anywhere near this club after the first 4-0.

Brian Williams
46 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:00:00
He wasn't shit in his first season when his overall influence hadn't permeated the style of play and tactics but, the longer he was in the job, the shitter he got because he didn't have a clue on defending — and refused to accept the fact that he didn't have a clue.

In the end, he was embarrassing with his total and complete bullshit spouted at interviews etc.

So beginning: not shit. End: Completely shit!

Jim Wilson
47 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:05:15
Thanks, Brian, I think that is what I was trying to say!
Brian Harrison
48 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:10:20
Jim (#41),

I agree, the longer he spent with the players, the worse Everton got. He took over a well-drilled back four, and he played a more attacking game than Moyes and in his first season he reaped his rewards.

I remember Osman saying he was amazed how little work they did on set pieces, either attacking or defensive. I think he quoted Jones, Martinez's assistant, saying "There are less than 2% of goals in the Premier League from set pieces and if you think we're going to waste hours working on them you're mistaken." How ironic that Belgium went out from a set piece corner... maybe if Martinez and Jones had worked on their set pieces, they might be in the final and not France.

Again, at Belgium, he inherited 3 excellent defenders, I will be interested to see what happens when he has to make changes to his back 3 or 4. If memory serves me, hasn't De Bruyne already had a pop at Martinez, and Hazard had a go at Lukaku in a previous match? I see the stats say Lukaku had the fewest touches of anybody on the pitch last night.

Steve Ferns
49 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:11:19
Jim, you don't get 7 points more than Moyes ever got by sheer luck. He improved Everton by 9 points to get to 72.

If Martinez is shit, then what's Moyes? What's Allaryce? What's all the other managers we've had to put up with since 1987? Why the hell do we bother supporting a team that's so shit?

You won't convince me he was shit, he provided me with the best memories I ever had as an Evertonian. I'll take that 4-0 drubbing easily, I'll happily take a drubbing home and away off Liverpool every season if it guarantees a season like that and we finish above them and Man Utd, and we regularly beat the top 6 sides and actually go out and attack them.

I suppose you are probably old enough to have enjoyed the '80s. I was there, but as I was only 10 when I went to the '89 final, I can't really claim to have really experienced them. Which means the vast majority of my Everton experiences have been dark days and very dark days. With light coming from Royle, Moyes, and Martinez as they provided hope we could be heading back to the top.

And of the three, it was only Martinez who did it with a swagger and attacking sides and I'll always be thankful to him for that first season, and then some great but isolated performances in the other two seasons.

Steve Ferns
50 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:16:37
No-one is going to deny he was shit in his last season, but I don't know why you can't accept that he was brilliant in his first. It is possible to brilliant and to be shit at varying stages of your career.

Ranieri performed one of the greatest managerial feats of all time. He was simply brilliant that season. We was shit the next season, he was both brilliant and then shit the season after, and he was shit the season before he got the Leicester job.

Martinez is one of those managers were things click or they don't. Things work well, or they go badly. Wigan used to go months without winning, and then hit a streak where they were beating anyone. That's Roberto all over.

He'll never win the league in a top country, he'll never pull off a European win, because there's too many flaws, but he will entertain and, every now and then, things will click and he'll produce out-of-this-world results.

Jim Wilson
51 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:30:00
Steve – I never mentioned 'sheer luck'; I explained why it happened, and while we are on the subject, beating Moyes is no big deal, that's why we now have this horrific Anfield / derby hoodoo.

I never think the team is shit, I always see really good players and hope the manager can make things gel.

Call me simplistic, mate, but one of my requirements for an Everton manager to be called good is winning at Anfield (even Walter Smith won one). And getting hammered not once but twice definitely makes you a shite manager.

David Graves
52 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:39:26
"It's possible to brilliant and to be shit at varying stages of your career".

I like it, Steve. In fact, I once had a member of staff describe their career to date as flashes of inspiration interspersed with lengthy periods of mediocrity.

I think you've described Martinez's tenure very well. There were moments when he made it exciting to be an Everton fan for the first time in a long while but ultimately he left for all the right reasons. I understand that the nature of the pay-off he received angers many but ultimately the club is accountable for that.

Steve Ferns
53 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:41:40
So Jim, who was the better Everton manger, Walter Smith or Roberto Martinez?
Jim Wilson
54 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:49:53
HaHa, Steve, great question.

Both were shit!

David Graves
55 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:50:31
"I go with the theory that, with the stature of Everton, with the players of great promise we always have, anyone half-decent should get us right up there. If they don't, they are shit."

Right up there? Is that top 4?

In that first season, Martinez did. So he wasn't.

If you want a binary approach, perhaps Yes/No on reaching a semi-final could also be applied?

If so, then again he passes the Shit vs Not shit test.

Gary Edwards
56 Posted 11/07/2018 at 12:51:23
Belgium were the higher ranked team going into the World Cup, arguably France were the better form side. Belgium had a good result vs Brazil but a tad lucky vs Japan. With that group of players, they should have won the World Cup but, from the outset, it was apparent that they would fail to meet expectations as Martinez had made his mark:

The ponderous, inane passing around the back.
The unnecessary initial touch on the ball (as opposed to someone like Carvalho who moves the ball on with a single touch).
Inability to defend set pieces.
Possession based, non-penetrative football that's easy to defend.

Germany 2014 won the World Cup by playing direct, pacy footie; Spain won in 2010 playing quick-moving, direct, possession footie – in both cases, attacking footie. Man City won the Premier League playing direct, pacy, attacking footie... it's obviously a winning formula.

Martinez's teams can't defend – his teams are also not set-up to play direct, attacking footie. The bloke is stealing a living on the back of a lucky cup run with a small-town club.

It's for that reason I'd love for Southgate to play two of Rashford, Sterling and Vardy alongside Kane and – if Kane is feeling a bit leggy or fails to show-up – play all three.

Si Cooper
57 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:23:35
I think the comments about Martinez for his use of the English language and apparent disrespect by some of the players make some posters sound like kids in the playground. The only thing that should matter (to anyone who isn't pointlessly obsessed with personality) is the merits of each manager as judged by the performances of the team on the pitch.

To say Martinez is the worst ever or would definitely have gotten us relegated is simply opinionated hyperbole. Martinez obviously has strengths and weaknesses. The key to a great manager is maximising your strengths whilst minimising your weaknesses. Martinez ultimately couldn't get that balance right for us.

His time was up with us, but why people are so surprised that others think his strengths couldn't bear fruit under other circumstances is beyond me.

David Graves
58 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:24:55
Gary, you can't claim that Belgium's results under Martinez are despite him but that the loss to France is because of him. That doesn't make sense.

I'm hardly his greatest fan but I don't believe that he deserves the stick that he gets here. They had a good go at France last night and were far from outclassed.

Ernie Baywood
59 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:30:35
I can't believe people aren't prepared to give him some credit. He managed Everton to our highest Premier League points total. And what an enjoyable season it was. And he's just taken a team to the World Cup semi-final.

We all know his faults. And we know he can be a bit romantic/delusional, but give him some credit.

For what it's worth, I thought Belgium gave a really good account of themselves. Losing by the odd goal doesn't make them shit – there were two teams on the pitch.

Anthony Hawkins
60 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:35:10
I'm confused how people can identify and attribute good management skills to a manager who has access to some of the best players in the world?

Take a look at Chelsea and Man City to see that teams can succeed in spite of their managers because of the quality in the teams.

We'd be better off judging Martinez on what he achieves next and not just on a cup run.

Brian Williams
61 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:45:32
Jim (#47).

No probs, mate – you're very welcome, lol.

I suppose a question worth asking, in the interest of maybe settling the argument (yeh, like that's gonna happen) is: Would you (not you specifically, Jim, the general 'you') have welcomed him back when Allardyce got the push?

3, 2, 1...

Brian Williams
62 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:49:58
Anywaaaaay. What about Yarmalenko then????

West Ham doing an Everton of last season's transfer window.

Don Alexander
63 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:50:18
Jim Wilson, Brian Williams and Dave Ganley – I doff my cap to you all! Your opinions are for me the incontrovertible truth.

I'm amazed to read others praising him for starting what for us is now approaching six seasons of usually turgid football from his starting position of inheriting a squad way better than anything since, adding an expensive (for that time) consistent goal-scorer (something Moyes was never enabled to do) before creating a miasma of characterless mundanity that in my opinion will still envelope the club whilst his greatest fan, "What a Manager" Kenwright has any place at all in it.

And as for his success as an international manager, well, with a squad like that, what was the minimum expectation? Semi-final I'd say and, minimal expectation being met, he failed to take it further, as ever.

John G Davies
64 Posted 11/07/2018 at 13:57:56
Martinez gave us a great first season... then we fell away. His problem was he tried to play A-list football with B- and C-list footballers.

We didn't have defenders with the quality on the ball required to play the style he wanted.

James Stewart
65 Posted 11/07/2018 at 14:24:25
Is Roberto Martinez a much better manager than he got credit for at Everton?


James Stewart
66 Posted 11/07/2018 at 14:25:30
@62 Except they are buying good players with their money, not like us at all.
Jim Wilson
67 Posted 11/07/2018 at 14:44:03
Well, Brian – I have to thank Sam for not taking us down and that is all. The question for me is, if Martinez had been appointed to keep us up instead of Sam, would he have kept us up? In all honesty, I doubt if he would have done.

Taking over a team in disarray would have been far too difficult for him.

Gaute Lie
68 Posted 11/07/2018 at 14:53:42
Thanks Andy,

Ever watched South Park?

Highly recommended for grown ups!

Brian Williams
69 Posted 11/07/2018 at 15:07:05
M&M will make a dramatic swooooop in the transfer market soon and we'll all be "over the moon".
James Hughes
70 Posted 11/07/2018 at 15:27:15
Martinez is a mediocre manager who doesn't appear to learn from his mistakes. He is neither shit or great.

He took a well drilled team and took the chains off. He gave us all exciting football in that first season. That can't be argued or disputed, Arsenal and Man U away as proof of what can be done.

The obvious fact that he ignored set pieces cost us a lot of points. Did we not have the worst record of losing games from winning positions. He lost the game froma set piece last night, doesn't appear to be learning, does he?

For me he is a dreamer and romantic, A modern Don Quixote, still tilting at windmills. So best wishes Bobby please watch some of YOUR team's games and look at where you went (repeatedly) wrong.

Andy Crooks
71 Posted 11/07/2018 at 15:44:03
Steve @ 53. Walter Smith
Kieran Kinsella
72 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:07:35
Martinez showed last night why he failed at Everton. Belguim were up against a team with decent attackers so his solution was to load the midfield with not one, not two, but three defensive midfielders. Watching the game reminded me of his second season at Everton with McCarthy and Barry chasing shadows and no one to pass to if they got it. Lots of sideways movement but no penetration.

The other thing was that his tactics were all wrong for the opponent. He rolled the dice bringing one full back to Russia. he got injured. Belguim's strength was there attack. He compromised that by shoving square pegs in round holes. France had no intention of launching a blitzkrieg attack anyway so the three defensive mids were just taking up space.

Derek Taylor
73 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:13:48
Ratings given on this site's history pages (supplemented by Wiki) list the records of 18 post-war full-time managers based mainly on win percentage they attained.

Kendall Mk 1 (66%) and Catterick (60%) were the most successful followed by Harvey (57%), Royle (55%), Lee (55%) and Bingham (53%).

Moyes managed to share a 51% win average with Kendall Mk 2, and Carey, whilst, hardly surprisingly, bottom positions went to Kendall Mk 3 and Martinez – both on 42%, Koeman on 41%, Allardyce on 38% and... Walker a paltry 17%.

Only conclusion I can come to is that, since Moyes, all three managers have been crap!

James Hughes
74 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:27:51
Derek, surprised by the Allardyce stat. I thought his record at GP had him in the top 6 form teams. Well his supporters kept trotting that stat out
Jay Harris
75 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:35:35
Given your views on Martinez I am now very concerned about Silva who you had convinced me was going to do the business at Everton.

For me any manager who has led a team to relegation and performed worse than his predecessors Steve Bruce and Paul Jewel should not be allowed anywhere near a club of Evertons stature.

It summed him up for me when he told Wigan he wasnt the man to get them repromoted. How right he was.

We could go on debating the merits or demerits of ant manager but by the time he left EFC we were in total turmoil and he had totally lost the plot.

Brian Williams
76 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:52:44
Steve Ferns. If I ever get caught I want you to represent me mate.

Just aim to pitch me somewhere between Martinez and Silva and I'll probably walk away Scot free with an apology and a compensation settlement! ;-)

Luvvly jubbly.

Steve Ferns
77 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:55:14
Jay, if you check back at the time Moyes had left, I mounted a one man campaign for Marcelo Bielsa. I definitely did not want a defensively frail manager who had just been relegated. But I gave him full support like I did to every manager we have ever appointed, even if it was through gritted teeth for Allardyce.

Martinez had a great first season and I really enjoyed the football. Sure, he tailed off at the end with 4 defeats in the last few games, but if he had won 2 of them, drawn 1 and lost, we would still have finished in the same position.

The point is not that Martinez is a great manager, it's that he had one great and totally unexpected season, and that we should not be spouting all this drivel above when we have had so much shite for over 30 years. No one is saying he's a great manager, people are saying he's not even close to being our worst ever manager.

To say he's worse than a manager who finished 17th in his only season, or one that finished 13th, 14th, and 16th twice, whilst spending so much money we were up shit creek for the next 15 years, is frankly absurd.

If you doubt Silva in any way, head over to the preseason thread and have a read there, log on to youtube and watch the short videos on the official Everton account, watch even more videos on the official site, you'll see that there is a coach at work. He's doing exactly what I hoped and he's got another month of this, just to be ready for the new season.

Give him 12 months of coaching these lads, no European distractions, gradually feeding in the best young talent like Feeney and Gordon, and you'll see a team that's on the upward curve. And that's without even thinking about who he signs.

Read what jags is saying about Silva working on the defence. Martinez never worked on the defence. Silva knows that as a counter-attacking manager, everything relies on a rock solid defence, and so his first priority is to fix that leaky defence so it stands firm. He needs to be able to stand firm when counter-attacks break down and the opposition have counter-counter-attacked us and have an overload. So he's working on stalling techniques and the like.

Honestly, watch those training videos, watch the Koeman and Martinez ones, there's a world of difference. This is a top level coach at work and you should see the difference.

Brian: haha! no problem mate, I got your back,

Brian Williams
78 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:57:43
I refer the honourable gentleman to my post at number 76. :-)
Brian Williams
79 Posted 11/07/2018 at 16:58:44
Cheers Steve, knew I could rely on you mate!
Derek Taylor
80 Posted 11/07/2018 at 17:10:27
James at 74: Wiki shows Sam's record here as P26 W10 D7 L9 - Win percentage thus 38.5.

Another calculation would be his points per game (37 from 26 or 1.42). This would have yielded 54 points from a full season and seventh or eighth slot, nine points behind Arsenal in 6th!!!

Jay Wood

81 Posted 11/07/2018 at 17:25:11
I cannot subscribe to the 'logic' being floated in this thread that Belgium's narrow loss to France yesterday somehow constitutes indisputable proof that Roberto Martinez was, is and always will be a 'shit' manager.

I never wanted Martinez as Everton manager, but by the end of his record-breaking first season I was a convert and excited at the quality of football we were playing - including home and away against the 'big boys'.

I see the myth that Everton 'collapsed' towards the end of that season being given airtime again here. Not true. Yes, we stumbled, but in our last 12 games of Martinez's first season in 2013-14 we won 9 and lost 3, earning 27 points from a possible 36. Projected over a full season that returns around 85 points. Good enough to be title-winning form in some PL seasons.

Like the overwhelming majority of Evertonians, I fancy I thought we would really kick on in his second season. Only...we didn't, did we? Martinez stopped doing what we had done so well in his first season - solid defence, quick movement and transition from defence to attack, lethal finishing - and slowed us right down with ad nauseum sideways and backwards passing of possession football which induced rigor mortis in the observer.

It was more of the same in his third and final season, even with two domestic cup runs to the semi-finals. His dismissal was a blessing and a relief.

To now blithely say Belgium only got to the semi-finals of the WC thanks to the quality of the players available to him is to do a disservice to Martinez. Yesterday was only his second defeat in 26 games over two years in charge of Belgium. And an extremely narrow one it was too.

To claim as one poster in this thread has that: "Football management is the easiest job you can have. Keep things simple is the secret" is one of the most trite claims I have ever read on TW.

The game is littered with both players and managers who have looked 'shit' at one club, but then been successful at another. It is my belief Martinez falls into that category.

I feel a few are being way too curmudgeonly towards Martinez based on a personal dislike of the fellah, a view coloured by his time at Everton, and as such are unable to acknowledge he has done a fine job with the Belgium national team.

Jay Harris
82 Posted 11/07/2018 at 17:38:38

As I said, when Silva was appointed, I was underwhelmed and thought we should have gone for a more proven manager but, like any new manager, I want us all to get behind him because that 12th man will be so important to us.

As regards Martinez, I was always of the opinion that he was a snake-oil salesman and not the right fit for a club like ours.

I was initially pleasantly surprised but, within a few months, the tippy-tappy possession was abysmal and we threw away a nailed on 4th place.

72 points means nothing to me if it doesn't achieve anything and it became apparent that he was dismantling the Moyes backroom setup too. There were noises coming out of the club how he was so inflexible and dictatorial so I feel justified in labelling him the worst manager I have ever seen at Goodison Park – including Walter Smith, Mike Walker, Gordon Lee and Billy Bingham.

Jay Harris
83 Posted 11/07/2018 at 17:45:39

I agree with you. I think Belgium were one of the best teams in the competition and, while I don't rate Martinez at all, I have to give Belgium credit.

Time will tell whether it was the quality of the players, the influence of Thierry Henry, or good management... but nevertheless no-one can deny they were a very good side.

Don Alexander
84 Posted 11/07/2018 at 22:48:36
Jay Wood (ad nauseam), the record of Belgium under Martinez is that they've twice defeated Greece, Cyprus, Bosnia, Gibraltar, Estonia and Japan. They've also beaten Israel, Saudi, and Costa Rica (with a collective goal difference against these mega-nations of 54-6), and in this World Cup Panama, Tunisia, England and Brazil. Beaten to nil by Spain and France, they've also drawn against Portugal, Greece, Russia, Mexico and Holland.

To me, with the squad he inherited, this record does nothing to support your affirmation that he's notably improved as a manager.

But let's not allow facts (that's the results by the way) to get in the way of opinion, eh, and for the avoidance of doubt that's the conclusion I draw from consideration of the facts.

Jay Wood

85 Posted 11/07/2018 at 23:19:03
WOW! Well done Don!


This constitutes a first in your obsession with me. You've actually been able to engage in the topic under discussion, rather than resorting to personal insults in your usual pompously sanctimonious tone.

Proud of yer!

A pity you trip over the details by firing off a snide aside (ad nauseam) implying I am the one going on and on about Martinez's record with Belgium when, before this current post, I have made but one single contribution to this thread.

Nowhere in my original post do I 'affirm that Martinez has notably improved as a manager' as you attribute to me. If you were more attentive you would have discerned that.

The thrust of my post was laid out in my opening paragraph, namely: "I cannot subscribe to the 'logic' being floated in this thread that Belgium's narrow loss to France yesterday somehow constitutes indisputable proof that Roberto Martinez was, is and always will be a 'shit' manager."

And this: "To now blithely say Belgium only got to the semi-finals of the World Cup thanks to the quality of the players available to him is to do a disservice to Martinez."

And this:

"To claim as one poster in this thread has that: "Football management is the easiest job you can have. Keep things simple is the secret" is one of the most trite claims I have ever read on TW.

Having (hopefully!) clarified your evident misunderstanding of what I actually did write, and having reached a 'conclusion [you] draw from consideration of the facts,' does part of your conclusion share the belief of others I was challenging that Martinez 'was, is and always will be a shit manager?'

Because if you do, I ever so humbly, ever so politely, beg to differ on such a blanket condemnation of Martinez the manager.

David Ellis
86 Posted 12/07/2018 at 03:34:11
Martinez did well against Brazil. And it didn't work for him against France. He is a better international manager than club manager because he is not responsible for long-term fitness nor does he have to manage the squad, day-in & day-out, so there is less time for his "phenomenal" optimism to wear thin.

I wish him all the best... but I wouldn't hire him to manage a football club.

Dave Abrahams
87 Posted 12/07/2018 at 09:37:25
Don (#84), I thought Martinez's record with Belgium was very impressive until you pointed out the teams Belgium have played in that time, puts things into perspective. He had a great first season here, had us believing, but ultimately failed badly.
Paul McCoy
88 Posted 12/07/2018 at 11:16:37
Martinez is a decent manager and (this is going to be controversial) I'd have liked to have seen him given one more season with some actual financial backing.

Did we play some absolute dross at times with far to much fanyying around at the back? Yes.

Did he sometimes change our formation in way which meant we dominated our opponents to the extent where Coleman could take the piss by doing keep-uppys down the touch line (Everton 3 - Arsenal 0). Yes.

With Moshiri's money and the right DoF working with him (like Brands), I think he would have done much better.

Steve Ferns
91 Posted 12/07/2018 at 12:26:28
I think we've said all we could. If I pinch what Dave Abrhams said and chop a word off:

Martinez “had a great first season here, had us believing, but ultimately failed“.

Can this not sum Martinez up and then we can all move on and concentrate on the here and now?

Ash Moore
92 Posted 12/07/2018 at 13:35:41
I can't believe this is even a discussion. England lost to a Martinez team, and will probably lose again in a few days time. England have never beaten Brazil at the World Cup. Martinez's Belgium did, and with elan.

Did a Martinez team ever lose to a Moyes team? Martinez was a far more expansive manager than Moyes. I hated "knife to a gunfight"... Hated it.

I remember a panel at the last World Cup where they were rubbishing England; Martinez was the only member of it to take the opposite tack. Why couldn't England do well? Everton as a football club needed that, even though Roberto never could impart it fully. Moyes had convinced himself the top sides were unbeatable and thus they were.

I don't know why it went tits up at Everton – although the Arsenal 2-2 collapse and the needless contract extension played a role I reckon – but the guy knows football. He believes tactics can overcome talent, aims to play attractively, and is personable and media friendly. He'll always have a job.

I don't really understand the denigration for the man. It did go tits up here, but pie-eyed optimists don't hand in their resignations and decisive realistic chairman don't employ dead ducks for managers for very long. Kenwright should have ended the Martinez era far earlier than he did, certainly before the semi-final.

I wish it had been different. Roberto worked hundreds of hours. The two appointed pieces of flotsam who followed did the minimum and couldn't have given a tinker's cuss. Give me the trier who fails over the failure who fails anyday.

Dave Ganley
95 Posted 13/07/2018 at 10:29:30
Yeah partially agree with Steve, bottom line is Martinez took over a decent top 6 squad and made it much worse and left us in free fall and no amount of soft soaping pretty football arguement is going to change that. He was a failure end of. Move on.
Mark Taylor
96 Posted 13/07/2018 at 11:41:03
I think Steve 91 sums up the position with Martinez. The one thing I will be grateful for is that was a really enjoyable first season in terms of how we played, more so than any under Moyes.

That said, and while I appreciate the negativity towards Gollum and the reality that he had reached the point where it was time for him to go, the performance of the three- or four if you prefer- managers after him rather forces a re-appraisal of his record with us, certainly in terms of achievement if not on style of play. He delivered consistently good, or, at worst, acceptable outcomes. This has proved beyond his successors.

And while his 'knife to a gunfight' comment might understandably put people's back up, there was at least an element of truth to it. At the time, we were reliant on probably the poorest chairman in the PL, who is basically a comparative pauper if you exclude the value of his club ownership and was at no point able to fund the clubs like our rivals, in fact we were turning to some pretty shady characters and deals to even keep afloat. It was certainly a more convincing comment than Bobby Blather's nonsense about us being phenomenal when we were getting repeatedly stuffed.

The real hurt for me, and it is a big hurt, is that when we finally get an owner able to inject a vaguely sensible amount of money into the club, we go and blow the lot on a pile of mediocrity and failures. That hurts because it is also clear the pockets have been emptied so Silva is going to have to be every good as Steve Fern's maintains he is, for us to have much hope of repeating what we did under Moyes.

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