This is NOT an article about Roberto Martinez... but possibly an argument to offer him thanks.
As I was sitting in London's outer orbital car park â€“ known to many as 'The M25' – killing my time by catching up on ToffeeWeb, as one does, and taking in the view (I think it was an R8 in front and Norbert Dentressangle alongside, open countryside to my right), and with an aimlessly wandering mind, centred on football in general and and things Everton in particular, I got to thinking...
Off the back of a pretty lacklustre season which, with a slightly more favourable rub of the green over about 40 weeks, might have looked a fair bit less of a debacle, but from which thankfully we survived, we find that our top players' stock has dropped somewhat leading to a noticeable (so far) lack of clamouring for them from other top clubs.
Allied with the arrival of Farhad Moshiri and his obvious influence around the place – his appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager and Sasha Ryazantsev to the board, comments about plans, projects, stadium, signings and so on â€“ the excitement around the place is nigh on tangible.
We have a thoroughly classy core squad of players – some with immense potential with the right mentoring which is going to be further strengthened with the possible arrival of the likes Sneijder (a good move IMO) and/or others, but which could been dismantled (and would have been if Martinez had remained).
If any of Lukaku, John Stones, Barkley, Coleman, Deulofeu and Funes Mori (this is not an exhaustive list), all whom are very definite potential targets for the big-shot clubs to move on, they will clearly not be easy to replace. Had their stock been higher off the back of a stronger season, there would have been a free-for-all for their signatures, particularly under Roberto Martinez.
However, and this is where my thinking led, has last season's difficulties resulted in a situation whereby it will be easier for the club to persuade these guys to stay (assuming Koeman has a plan for them, of course)?
He has probably (hopefully) done us a massive favour, working himself out of a job, paving the way for Koeman and sparking the positive vibe around the club right now.
I said on another thread that any player wanting out now might look back with some pretty major regret. Greener grass and all that, and I for one, cannot wait for the new season to start and also see what the close season (is it still called that?) brings.
So... thank you, Roberto Martinez, for engineering an optimism (a GENUINE optimism) about Everton that I have not felt for some time.