Not only his defensive issues; this is why Aston Villa must not hire Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez

The crisis club need a leader of men, and that is not the sacked Everton manager.

Five years ago, when Roberto Martinez turned down interest from Aston Villa to remain at Wigan Athletic, you would have found a great number of Villa fans ruing the fact that the club had missed out on one of their primary managerial targets.

At that time, the Spanish boss was a hugely attractive proposition. He had just kept Wigan Athletic in the Premier League for a second successive year, and was piecing together a promising young side including James McCarthy, Mohamed Diame, James McArthur, and on-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley.

Now, however, with Villa relegated in utter misery and Martinez fresh out of a job after his dismissal from Everton, the Birmingham club must not be tempted to rekindle their interest.

Stan Collymore, striker-turned-pundit and vocal Villa fan, proclaimed on Twitter following Martinez's sacking that his defensive record alone should be enough for the club to leave him alone.

Well, there is that. Villa have conceded 72 goals in 37 league games this season, some eight more than any other side, but it is the Toffees who have perhaps had the most headlines in that regard.

Not only have they shipped more than any club outside the bottom five, but the manner in which Martinez appears to have turned John Stones from a £40m-rated future England captain to a man who once again looks like he's only just learning his trade has been alarming.

Villa, seemingly perennially porous at the back, need a man in the dugout who can organise a defence and stop the flow of goals in the Championship, not a man who relies on having a top-class, 20-goal-a-season striker to deflect the attention.

Not only that, but Villa desperately and absolutely need a manager with experience not just of coaching in the Championship, but of leading (and preferably seeing through) a promotion push in it.

Martinez has managed in the second tier, admittedly, but that was with a fresh up-and-coming Swansea City side whom he built from scratch in League One and led to promotion. He led them to a respectable eighth-placed finish in their first season in the division before leaving for Wigan.

That is a decent record at such a small club, but perhaps not coincidentally Martinez has only achieved success as a manager at clubs where he spent a long period as a player. He spent six years at the Latics as a midfielder before three at the Swans, whom he returned to take charge of a year later.

Meanwhile, at Everton he was faced with the - admittedly difficult - task of following David Moyes' decade at the helm, and promptly brought James McCarthy, Arouna Kone, Joel Robles, and Antolin Alcaraz with him from Wigan.

Though this is a policy often favoured by managers, it is hard not to draw the conclusion that Martinez has to know a club - know its players, its owners, its fans, its infrastructure - before he can succeed there, which would not be of much use to a Villa in crisis, and for whom change both in the dugout, on the pitch, and in the boardroom has been almost a constant in recent times.

Primarily, though, Villa need a true leader of men, a man to inspire faith, confidence, and reaction on both the pitch and in the stands Martinez is not that man. You only have to look at his defence - a shambolic, disorganised, headless backline, even with the experienced leadership of Phil Jagielka.

Then there were the reports emerging in recent weeks that his players had become disillusioned with his management style and had lost faith in his ability. These were perhaps summed up best by Leighton Baines, who revealed to the media that he felt there was no discernible chemistry in the squad under Martinez, before retracting those comments soon after, likely under pressure from the club and/or manager.

Another key flaw with Martinez is that he appears simply unable to acknowledge, even see, his own failings. His post-match press briefings tend to - either stubbornly or obliviously - ignore the flaws in his team's performance that seem so obvious to everyone else, something which for Villa fans may be horribly reminiscent of the later days of Paul Lambert.

Five years ago, Martinez looked an ideal candidate for Villa to take over from Gerard Houllier, someone who had experience of negotiating a relegation battle whilst also building a promising side for the future.

Now, both the club and the manager's situations have completely changed, and Villa must stay away for their own good.

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