Why Roberto Martinez deserves another season at Everton at the least

Roberto Martinez pitchside for Everton

The Spaniard has endured a torrid second season on Merseyside, but his first season successes have earned him time to turn things around.

 

It seems ridiculous to question if Roberto Martinez deserves more time at Everton, given how successful his first season was.

Attacking football, a record Premier League points tally and memorable victories against the big four - especially the first away win at Old Trafford since 1992 - had Everton fans singing that the School of Science was on its way back.

This season, though, the tale is altogether different. A dismal total of just 32 points after 28 games has left the fan base divided over the Spaniard’s future.

Everton were one of the best attacking teams in the league last season but this year they have looked slow, laboured and short on ideas as opponents realised that shutting down the full-backs was an effective defensive deterrent.

Throughout this, Martinez has stuck rigidly to his guns, refusing to turn away from the style of football that had been successful the year before. It’s the thing that he has been criticised for the most, his apparent lack of any secondary strategy.

His transfer record is not a flattering one either. There have been far more duds than successes, with the likes of Antolin Alcaraz, Arouna Kone and Aiden McGeady among some of the more disappointing acquisitions.

However, James McCarthy has proved a shrewd purchase, Romelu Lukaku is one for both now and the future, while Joel Robles has also shown himself to be a capable player when called upon.

The signing of Lukaku in particular is one that the Spaniard should be credited for. It was his ambition that arguably secured the highly-rated Belgian on both occasions – on loan and permanently. The same could be said for Ross Barkley’s new deal.

What must also be taken into consideration is the Europa League. While the failure in Kiev was ultimately a big disappointment, the run to get there was impressive.

The effect it has had on the players in the league campaign has also been noticeable, while it’s hard to deny that Martinez had clearly put all of his eggs into the European basket in his quest for Champions League football.

Next season there will be no European distractions, though, and Everton will be exactly where they were last season. Who they sign in the summer will obviously be of massive importance; Martinez and his scouts must get it right in every department. A big overhaul of the squad is needed and no slip-ups can be made in this regard.

He must also adapt his style and team accordingly, to ensure there is no repeat of this miserable campaign. Too many times points have been dropped against defensively minded teams. The best teams, and indeed the best managers, always have multiple ways in which to win games.

That successful first season has shown us what he can do. This season may have been a failure, but we’ve already seen what can be achieved, and it was highly enjoyable.

What Martinez does this summer will be vital to seeing whether he is truly the man to lead Everton forward. For now, that first campaign has earned him another season at the least.

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