One door closes and a new one opens and that’s the situation Everton fans find themselves in. Roberto Martinez became the Blues manager back in June, has begun his revolution in the Everton squad by leaving his Catalan stamp on the team’s playing style. At Wigan Martinez was known for his free flowing passing style of play; with a slick 3-4-3 formation. While being known for playing three at the back Martinez understands Everton have their own qualities; which combined will make the Blues a force to be reckoned with next season.
Roberto’s Wigan had come under criticism in the past over the inability to defend however with Everton’s unbelievable defensive record of having the 4th best defence in the league last season; with great players such as Sylvain Distin, new leader Phil Jagielka, rising stars such as John Stones and new Paraguayan international Antolin Alcaraz. This is not including arguably the two best full backs in the league Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman, with that armoury at the ready those defensive worries that the blues manager had at past team Wigan will be left in the past.
The style of play Martinez wants Everton to play was evident from the first training session, with Everton being used to not kicking a ball for the first four weeks in pre season in the Moyes era, Martinez has made the ball his main focus throughout the training sessions.
Back in the Gaffers place of birth (Balaguer, Spain) he has very highly rated reputation throughout, his reputation is that highly thought of the Catalan giants Barcelona has trusted the Blues boss with the next big prodigy Gerard Deulofeu; the Spanish giants have loaned the young 19 year old out to the Blues and that trust isn’t earned easily. The under 21 international has travelled with the rest of the blues squad to America and Roberto and the rest of Spain have very high hopes for the Spanish star, “the player is a real diamond of football”. Martinez alike Gerard learnt his trade at the La Masia home of the Barcelona Academy and the new Blues boss is using his footballing knowledge by bringing in players such as Gerard, and Arouna Kone, Joel Robles from old club Wigan will help implement the new style of play on the team and strengthen the squad.
While Everton have settled in to the new style with a good ease there is still a lot more preparation needed before the start of the season. Martinez will be looking for the Blues to keep the ball higher in the final third, in more advanced positions, rather than having to play the ball around the back for larger part of the game.
The new blues boss is using all pre season matches to take a look at all options within the squad, unlike old manager David Moyes, Martinez knows there needs to be a plan B for when things don’t seem to be going as planned; he has used all players within in the team and has also tried out different formations to help the squad get extra preparation on the season ahead. While out in the USA Martinez new Everton have already shown how comfortable they are with the new style. The new boss sees the fully fit Darron Gibson as the key talisman for the new Everton set up, Martinez is looking for Gibson to lead the way in the centre of midfield such as Martinez wanted James McCarthy to do at Wigan.
While Martinez style of football is to try and focus on controlling the game with possession he understands that the has to be a certain aspect of counter attacking to the game and he believes that ‘vital’ Kevin Mirallas is the man to fill that role; Mirallas who was likened to Cristiano Ronaldo in a press conference, Tim Howard said “they both have that flare about them which is similar, Kevin is a game changer which is very important to have”. Martinez’s Everton side have a big season ahead of them.