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The frustrations of Roberto Martinez

Aug 24, 2013, 5:58 PM EDT

Blackburn Rovers v Wigan Athletic - Premier League Getty Images

Before the start of last season, Roberto Martinez refused to leave Wigan, claiming loyalty to the club and Dave Whelan. But after Wigan were relegated last May, Martinez decided his loyalties weren’t so strong as to keep him coaching in the Championship, and accepted David Moyes‘ recently vacated post at Everton.

In theory, it should’ve been a great fit for the Spaniard. Martinez did well to keep Wigan in the Premier League for the four seasons he was at the helm. He was able to get the best out of difficult and overlooked players. Best of all, Martinez already knows how to deal with a club that doesn’t have much money to spend.

But — and this is just a hunch, based on his pained expressions visible on the sidelines during Everton’s goalless draw with West Brom on Saturday — Martinez already seems frustrated by his new club. The manager has managed to bring in a few players, including Arouna Kone, Antonin Alcaraz, and Joel Robles, all signed from Wigan. Everton also signed young Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu on loan from Barcelona.

Yet none of the new signings started against West Brom, and only Kone made an appearance. In fact, apart from Ross Barkley, who was on loan at Leeds last season, the lineup was exactly Moyes’ ideal setup from last season. While Martinez has inherited a strong crop of players, his style of management means that he leans toward a certain type, a set of players upon whom he can place his mark. These Toffees appear to have not yet succumbed to his stretching and his molding.

Or, again, this could be reading into things a bit too much. After all, Martinez has insisted that he doesn’t want to sell Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, despite Moyes’ desire to bring them to Manchester United. Of course, it’s not only the manager that influences sales, and it could just be that Everton are holding out for more money. But on the surface, Martinez’s words don’t sound as though the manager is ready to scrap the squad and start again with his own selections.

The match against the Baggies was undoubtedly both a headache and a headscratcher for Martinez, but it’s not necessarily a sign that the new man in charge is being set up to fail. The visitors spent the majority of the match determined to prevent Everton from getting the ball in the back of the net, and succeeded admirably at this task. Where the defense failed, Ben Foster was there to mop up the damage. When Foster went down injured, the post stood by to help Luke Daniels deny Fellaini.

Will Martinez spend the next week testing out different formations and player combinations before facing Cardiff next week? Of course. But he, and his club, won’t spend it desperately trying to seek out players who will magically insert themselves seamlessly into the Everton lineup. The manager may be frustrated, but he is not, and should not be, desperate.


  1. mfmaxpower - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Wow, way to lead your story by knocking a manager that chose to upgrade clubs after sticking with Wigan when he didn’t have to. Challenging the guy’s loyalty for his move to Everton – that’s not only a low blow, but it’s a pretty lame one.

    “In theory, it should’ve been a great fit for the Spaniard.”

    “Should’ve?” What, as if this has already been decided? After two matches? Seriously?

    I suppose you’re also ready to pick the title-winners, the first manager to get relegated, and, hell, maybe the next president.

  2. joeoshea2013 - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    I didn’t like the decision for Anichebe to stay on the bench also Mirallas didn’t seem comfortable on the right, I believe that Mirallas should have started centrally and Naismith should have been on the right

  3. adamthemanc - Aug 25, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Mfmaxpower…. Jesus, calm down!
    Just read the article, absorb it, think about it, criticize if you must, but please do it QUIETLY!
    There’s a saying in this world and you’d do well exercising it… And that is “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”

    There is no need to jump down an article writer’s throat, they are just doing their job!

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