Everton have one of the most exciting and talented managers in the game, and he deserves all the praise he gets and more...
There was always something about Roberto Martinez. What is was exactly, I could not put my finger on. But I knew he was destined to be one of the very best managers in the game.
That belief prompted me to write an article – about two years ago – calling for him to be the next Manchester United boss.
It was a left-field choice, and one that I knew would never be sanctioned. But I thought it the right call and I said as much in my piece.
Instead it was the man he would replace at Everton who took the reins at Old Trafford. And as to how he is doing, that is a debate for another article.
Instead I want to focus on Martinez – the man who has somehow transformed Everton from a very good Premier League side into, dare I say it, an outstanding one.
To use that word would imply they are destined to be fighting for trophies come May, which is not the case. And yet they now play with such confidence and free-flowing energy that I have no other way of describing his impact.
Martinez was always destined for the top. Just ask his former boss at Wigan Dave Whelan, a man to whom the Spaniard was incredibly loyal because that loyalty was reciprocated wholeheartedly.
On more than occasion Martinez could have left for a “bigger club” but instead he reportedly turned down the likes of Aston Villa and Liverpool in order to remain with a side who may have perennially struggled, but one that played football the right way until their eventual and oft-delayed relegation to the Championship.
Martinez sprung the surprise of all surprises when his Wigan side beat Manchester City in last year’s FA Cup final. And then the holders did it again, this time with Uwe Rosler at the helm.
But speaking after the match, Rosler admitted it was Martinez’s plan that had seen a repeat of a seemingly impossible feat.
Speaking to the BBC after the Latics’ most recent win over City, Rosler said, “I studied Roberto’s tactics last season at Wembley and he had a very brave game-plan.”
Brave, yes, but also effective. And it is that bravery, that sense of never wilting under pressure and doing things his way, that will surely see Everton continue to grow under his stewardship.
After all, his intelligence is still causing shocks at clubs he no longer manages, while his current crop appear to have completely bought into his impressive footballing philosophy at every level of a club who could be about to benefit from employing an unheralded great of modern-day management.
image: © rolando.m