Roberto Martinez has confirmed he will leave Wigan and he has held talks with Bill Kenwright about becoming David Moyes’ successor. Moyes, who left Goodison for Old Trafford, has said he will help Everton in the search to find his successor and we are led to believe Moyes has put forward Martinez as the best possible man for the job.
Martinez has been constantly praised by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan by saying he will be the best manager in Europe in a few years time, but he has only managed two small clubs in Swansea and Wigan. At Swansea he won promotion to the Championship by winning League One, and at Wigan he has kept them in the Premier League for three seasons but he has got them relegated this season.
Whilst he has been at Wigan he has had the chance to manage Villa and Liverpool but he has turned them both down to create ‘a legacy’ at Wigan. He has won the FA Cup this season with Wigan which has softened the blow of getting relegated for Latics fans who wanted Martinez to stay. From my point of view Martinez was always going to leave Wigan, it was a case of when not if he was going to move on. I feel that if Wigan had stayed up he would have stayed for another two seasons. Whelan has always said that he will never stand in the way of Martinez if he wanted to part ways with Wigan and Martinez has always respected his chairman and vice versa.
I don’t see how going to Everton would benefit Martinez because although he is inheriting a great squad of players, he won’t have a lot of money to spend. Also there will be a lot of pressure on him to finish sixth in his first season. If Martinez would have left earlier he could have had a better job with Liverpool because he would have had more money and there would have been slightly less pressure because as it stands managing Liverpool is a project.
On the other hand Martinez is in a similar position to where Moyes was when he first took over at Goodison. Martinez is a young up and coming manager but he has got crucial Premier League experience in management. Although he got Wigan relegated he did win the FA Cup which is a trophy and Moyes failed to deliver a trophy in 11 years at the club. I am not saying Moyes is a bad manager for not bringing a trophy to Goodison but I feel that this was his best year to win the FA Cup.
In the quarter final, which happened to be against Wigan, Everton were the favourites to go to Wembley and on another day they would have beat Wigan comfortably. Everton just didn’t turn up that day and Wigan scored three goals in four minutes in the first half and put the game beyond the Toffees’ reach. Wigan played some great football and deserved not only to win the tie but the cup itself.
Also Martinez knows that Bill Kenwright will give him time to make his stamp on Everton which could be a decisive factor to why he is interested in the job. At Villa or Liverpool if he had a few bad games he knew he was likely to get the sack, so that is likely to be one of the reasons why he turned down those two clubs. He knew if he stayed at Wigan he would be guaranteed his job for the coming seasons.
In addition, I don’t think there is a better manager available for Everton apart from maybe Phil Neville who knows the club inside out. Appointing Neville would be a risk because he has no managerial experience but he would be a hit with the fans. Neville has definitely showed his passion for the game and the club when he has been injured and watched from the stands.
However, appointing Martinez could also be a risk because he could end up getting Everton relegated, even though it is unlikely, or he could make them a force not only in England but in Europe. Everton will benefit from Martinez, but Martinez will only benefit if he improves on what Moyes has done.
If Martinez goes on to finish sixth next season, he could be the man to guide Everton back into Europe, and then we will know he is a great manager. If he gets them relegated his reputation will be severely damaged. Everton will definitely be the making or undoing of his career. I am looking forward to seeing him in the Everton dugout next season.