The departure of David Moyes and the subsequent appointment of our Roberto Martinez as the manager at Everton brings about exciting but nervy times for even the most staunch Everton fans. After 11 years at the helm, change will no doubt bring about uncertainty. Sometimes I ask myself, if he was called Bob Martin, had just won an FA cup and had 4 years managing in the Premier League would we see less scepticism? Personally he wasn’t my number 1 choice, but boy am I blooming excited now.
Lots of Evertonians have brought up the defensive worries from Martinez time at Wigan Athletic saying in 4 years he never addressed the defensive issues, but when you actually look at the bigger picture this is wrong. The 2 main defenders for Wigan, Ivan Ramis and Antolin Alcaraz missed most of last season. Alcaraz only played 10 games and Ramis only 16. Wigan don’t have the funds to replace these players easily, which is why you will have seen the system adjusted and players like Caldwell, Figeroa and Boyce filling in.
Ivan Ramis only made 16 appearances for Wigan due to injury after a promising start
I think the mixture of the Wigan and Everton staff will bring about a good mixture of experience and continuity, from the Everton side Stubbs, Weir and Ferguson have been doing great things with the academy and the under 21’s side enjoyed a fine season last year, winning their league before being knocked out of the group stages at the semi-final by Tottenham. From the Wigan staff Graeme Jones is the bad cop side of the partnership. He is highly rated within the game and doesn’t mind the odd shout or rant which will definitely come in handy at times next season. Chief Scout Kevin Reeves followed Martinez to the DW stadium from Swansea and will have been involved in signing the likes of James McCarthy, Mohammed Diame and Arouna Kone. Also likely to join is goalkeeping coach Iñaki Bergara who also followed Martinez from Swansea and looked to do a very good job with Ali Al-Habsi and Joel Robles.
I think for such a long time it has always been “Plucky Everton” or “Dogged Everton” and the next couple of years could transform us into the type of team that we will enjoy watching. Certainly in the last quarter of last season there were glimpses of the kind of high-tempo passing game that we would all like to see and it could be argued that some of our best performances under Moyes came in this period. Martinez will certainly enjoy working with some fine players and the likes of Barkley, Pienaar, Baines and Mirallas will thrive under the new manager.
Transferwise we will have cleared some high wages off the list and in likelihood we will also gain some decent transfer fee’s. It’s been rumoured that David Moyes wages were £75kpw, Phil Nevilles around £45kpw, Hitzlsperger £15kpw, Mucha £15kpw and with the likely departures of Heitinga and Fellaini likely to bring in close to £27m and freeing up around £140kpw there is some nice room for manoeuvre in the transfer window. Looking at wages alone this will free up around £15m per year.
Sources have indicated that the first transfers are likely to be Antolin Alcaraz and Jonathan De Guzman. Alcaraz was signed on a free transfer by Wigan and after a rocky start was a good performer in the Premier League and Dutchman De Guzman enjoyed a fine season with Swansea City on loan from Villarreal, eventually lifting the league cup. A top draw striker will definitely be on Martinez list with the goals shortage up top that Everton fans have been moaning about for years.
Jonathan De Guzman is rumoured to be close to joining Everton
Tactic wise, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us line up in a 3-5-2 and although people do like to moan about this formation, I think this would suit us. I think we have the wingbacks to pull this off with Baines and Coleman. I personally think we will see a more conventional 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1.
I think quite a lot of Everton fans are now looking at the unknown but are excited by it, over the recent weeks with the awful crest redesign and the manager situation we have been plunged into the media worldwide and that can only be a good thing. The board needs to back the manager and the recent departures will allow us to rebuild and possibly change focus as a club. We should look to buy young and sell high and rebuild the whole focus of Everton to get us back to being one of Englands top clubs.
Welcome to Everton Football Club Roberto