Roberto Martinez deserves more praise for Everton work

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez has made waves at every club that he has worked at.

As Swansea boss the Spaniard led his side to the League One title and then Championship promotion in only his second year with the Welsh side. That was in 2008.

Six years later, Martinez has an FA Cup to his name and has been lauded on as “the best manager in the world” by Dave Whelan, chairman of Wigan, the club he managed from 2009 until replacing David Moyes as Everton manager in June 2013.


It was with Wigan in his final year in charge that FA Cup success came, a side that was about to be relegated from the Premier League managed to beat Manchester City 1-0.

Despite the apparent black mark of relegation to his name, many fans and pundits marvelled at Martinez’s ability to keep Wigan in the top flight for so long with what was essentially a squad fit for the Championship.

Finally the call came from a bigger club and the Spaniard made the relatively short trip to the blue side of Liverpool.

Speaking to Sky Sports News in November 2013, Whelan spoke of his surprise that Manchester United didn’t consider Martinez when deciding who should replace the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.

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Whelan's opinion

“I think he's the best manager in the world and I was a little surprised that Man U didn't come for him because I knew that Alex was going to retire," said the 77-year-old.

“They have still got a great lad in David Moyes. Let me say that, he's still a great manager, but Roberto now going to Everton, he will take Everton to places they can only dream about,” he continued.

Indeed, the Spaniard has certainly improved Everton beyond what Moyes managed to achieve in 11 years in charge. Just look at the club’s results since Martinez took over.

Martinez at Everton

A fifth placed finish with 21 victories last season was an immediate nine point improvement on the previous season under Moyes, where the club finished in 6th, achieving 16 wins.

This points total of 72 was the highest total ever achieved by Everton in the Premier League; eleven points higher than the tally that saw them secure a top four place in 2005 under Moyes.

The fact that this record tally achieved by Martinez didn't push Everton into the top four is certainly evidence of the increase in competitiveness at the top end of the Premier League in recent years, making the record all the more impressive.

What’s more, whilst the likes of Ross Barkley and John Stones were promoted to the first team by Moyes, it was under Martinez that they flourished last season. Barkley made just five league appearances under Moyes, whilst he made 34 appearances under Martinez, scoring six goals.

Stones appeared 21 times last season at centre-back, under Moyes he didn't make a single league appearance.

Moyes and Martinez comparison

Perhaps most telling is the comparison of Everton’s record against top-four teams under both Moyes and Martinez. During his 11 year tenure, Moyes never managed to beat Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United at their home stadium.

His record reads as 17 draws and 25 losses against the top four sides. By contrast, Martinez’s side lost only to Chelsea away from the four mentioned sides last season.  His record reads, one win, one loss and two draws; with the win coming ironically against Moyes’ embattled United side.

So Moyes couldn’t achieve a victory away to the top four in 11 seasons, Martinez did it in one.

All this evidence surely indicates that Martinez is a brilliant manager. On the one hand, he is known to be extremely popular with his current and previous clubs.

On the other, he has changed the style of football at Everton from the safe but uninspiring position of avoiding a defeat under Moyes, to the ‘take a risk and push for a win’ perspective.

Perhaps Whelan was right, Martinez may indeed be destined for greatness. Everton fans will be hoping he can achieve it in Royal Blue.

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Roberto Martinez
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