Roberto Martinez: Whistle to Whistle

by   |   15/06/2021  66 Comments  [Jump to last]

If you search BBC iPlayer Sport, you will find an interesting documentary called “Roberto Martinez: Whistle to Whistle”.

I came across it by chance and, since it was bound to have something about his time as boss of Everton, I thought I would take a look.

I did not watch it initially with the thought that, as nothing is happening on the manager front, then perhaps Farhad, Bill, Marcel and the guy who sells programmes on Goodison Road are waiting for the Euros to finish before announcing the re-hiring of Bobby Brown Shoes!

But then I watched it again with a more critical eye. Could we be about to see the Second Coming of Roberto? Not quite a “Hollywood Manager”, à la Carlo Ancelotti, but possibly the manager of the winners of the 2020 Euros! I think Belgium are strong favourites to win. They have too many world-class players for even Bobby to screw it up. Or is that being unfair?

If I was managing Lukaku and friends, I reckon I could get Belgium to the final. So what does Martinez bring to the table? Or is he in the right place at the right time with the best players?

Going back to documentary, there is no doubting Booby’s passion for football and the ability to spend 23 out of 24 hours thinking about football. What is clear is that it would be very easy for him and his young family to move back to the North-West. Also, he will want to bring his small band of coaching staff, and he could possibly find a place for Big Dunc.

He is very much a “data-driven manager”. He has his own stats guru who I think has been with him for a while now. He seems to have a good rapport with The Red Devils superstars and would be a hands-on coach/manager who wants to work on the pitch with the players.

As more and more hotly tipped names fall by the wayside, we could do worse than try Roberto Martinez for a second time!

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Barry Rathbone
1 Posted 16/06/2021 at 11:16:10
He was the right man at the wrong time.

With success at every club he managed including a breath taking fa cup win for Whelan's Wigan in the middle of a controlled descent back to the lower leagues. Getting shut of RM was Moshiri's first and biggest mistake.

He showed what he could do in his first season but desperately needed to rinse the place of the Moyes drag anchors. He tried but when recruitment descended to the level of McCready et al the game was up.

Great fella, great manager who loved this club yet is despised by short-sighted nutcases because he exposed the wasted decade that was the Moyes era and arrived via Wigan.

72 points and 2 semi finals with half a squad - no one else would get near.

Dave Ganley
2 Posted 16/06/2021 at 11:39:30
Couldn't disagree more Barry. It was because of "Moyes drag anchors" in defence that we managed to get a decent season in his first season. All he did was take the brakes off an already decent team plus had the addition of a goal machine in Lukaku. When Martinez finally showed his true colours at the back end of the first season (when lets face it we managed to drag a Europe league spot out of the jaws of a CL spot) and subsequent seasons we conceded goals for fun and also this is when we started the pointless keep ball going nowhere which still exists to this day. Occasionally we had exciting games, RS 3 3 draw which we should have won and arsenal who we destroyed but at of games were mind numbingly boring as the crowd constantly testified. Pass, pass pass going nowhere. He wanted Barcelona style play without the hard work. God knows what they did in training but Lukaku and barkley started looking very unfit, chunky as opposed to athletic. The players coukd barely last 45 minutes let alone 90. And as to those 2 semi finals, have a look who we played. The only time we played anyone decent was the semis and we saw what happened then.

Martinez is a lovely fella but it was a typical bungling Bill lazy appointment. Saw stars because they won FA cup, forget relegation with a porous defence!! If we had kept him any longer we would have been relegated in my mind. We should have appointed a proper manager when the stock of the club was high and we were actually respected at the time. Instead Bill got someone on the cheap and we are still playing for that legacy today. Martinez destroyed any team spirit, fitness levels and created a toxic atmosphere, which again still exists to this day. Maybe he is best suited to international management where he can just tinker and not worry about fitness and whether a player is defensively strategic or not but God no, never ever come back here please. Shoukd never have been appointed in the first place.

Kevin Prytherch
3 Posted 16/06/2021 at 12:41:55
By the 1st December in Martinez's last season, we were 7th in the league, still in the cup and the top scorers in the league. We'd scored 37 goals in 18 games in all competitions. We had also conceded a lot though. At this point it was hardly boring football.

Martinez should have stuck to his attacking principles here, but instead started to try and shore up the defence. The result - we lost our attacking proficiency whilst still conceding. Martinez reportedly didn't train for set pieces and couldn't organise a defence. As an attacking coach, he was excellent until he bottled it.

Martinez was never the answer, but I preferred his football to the shite we've been served up ever since.

Andrew Ellams
4 Posted 16/06/2021 at 13:16:08
I saw a football journo interviewed on BT Sport not long before Martinez left Everton (Shaun somebody from The Times?) and he said that the problem with Martinez is that in his head he's the man who invented football.

Of course he made mistakes but he never learned from them. The worst case being the home defeat to Crystal Palace in season one.

Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 16/06/2021 at 13:31:16
Dave Ganley 2

The Moyes defence was at best average at worst dreadful as results continually showed when under any sort of pressure. Ironically it was Martinez Wigan who became the last of a long list to expose this truth in the FA cup drubbing at GP.

The Moyes game plan was effectively an 11 man holding pattern any semblance of robustness came not from the back 5 but the entire 11. Once an attacking plan was implemented their fragility was cruelly exposed. Martinez tried to address it but to paraphrase the Moyes buying from Tescos quip Martinez was by comparison buying from the charity shop.

David Cooper
6 Posted 16/06/2021 at 13:35:01
What I found interesting about the documentary was a small glimpse into the world of “data driven football tactics” which Bobby definitely believes in.

Recently, I co-edited and co-authored a sport coaching book called “Tactical decision-making in Sport: how coaches can help athletes make better in-game tactical decisions”. It's never going to be a best seller but it gave me the chance to explore something that had always bugged me – games that are won or lost based on athletes making the best tactical decision at the correct time.

I often asked myself what was going through John Stones's or Ross Barkley's minds as, time after time, they chose the wrong decision. Did it have anything to do with the way they were coached? Or was it just something that certain good players have when faced with making a crucial decision and get it wrong?

One of the chapters focussed on: Could data collection regarding players' in-game tactical decisions help improve their decision-making? To cut a long story short, the answer was “Not really”! There are lots of apps available that can reveal just about everything a player does on the football field from how far they run to how often they scratch their bollocks! But, since decision-making is a subjective action, we could not find an app that did this.

Yes, we could watch hours of game play, cut and paste the good and bad bits, but then it was left to the coach and player to interpret the data. The documentary did not say if Bobby had found the Holy Grail of tactical decision-making apps.

Now data collection is not something new, even Big Sam is said to use data collection, but you have to ask yourself how does he use it beyond "We had 50% of the ball – and so did our opponents!" Not fair on Big Sam!

Anyway it remains an interesting subject. If you don't believe me, listen to the number of coaches and managers who, in their after-game interview say “If only John Stones had not lost the ball on the edge of his penalty area”.

And a last word on decision-making: “If only Farhad and Company had made a better decision when appointing ...?

Conor McCourt
7 Posted 16/06/2021 at 13:58:32
Dave, I find your statement ludicrous about Belgium being favourites and believe they are one of the worst prices for the Euro's. I believe they are only that price because of Martinez. Just as he had convinced some of our fans that Barkley,McCarthy and Delboy were special players because of how he improved them, he is doing similar with Belgium.

Their defenders are atrocious with only the right backs being decent. Konate the new scum signing can't make the French squad but would be head and shoulders be better than any Belgian Centre half. I believe Ireland's defence is probably as good and we didn't even qualify.

Have a look at the Portugal squad with Felix not even getting on the pitch, France,Germany, even England all have far better options.

Chadli couldn't get a game at West Brom but often plays, Benteke, Denayer,Vermalen and Boyata all get minutes and are all atrocious.

This is possibly Everton's best squad for years but have been made to look awful by
a-Brands ripping out the spine under Silva
b- Ancelotti's dreadful approach
I would love to see how Martinez would improve these players and address the necessary weak areas which Ancelotti failed to.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 16/06/2021 at 14:13:11

That's an interesting post. I remember RM going on about his L shaped coach and his two TVs. Osman and Baines both said he would go into ever greater analytical depth. But I suspect that's where things went down hill. Early on he had a solid Moyes defence and his own adventurous attack. But I think over time we became impotent, over playing, over thinking and I suspect that was to do with confusion borne of his over analysis.


I agree on Belguim. Their route is pretty easy but Portugal and France are easily better. England on paper are better but we are on course to meet one of those two in the next round so I think our journey will end there.

Robert Tressell
9 Posted 16/06/2021 at 14:24:06
Barry I very much recognise that 11 man defensive strategy under Moyes. My frustration with this was often that it was counter-productive. By failing to pose a proper attacking threat we were inviting the opposition to attack. Martinez had the courage to switch the emphasis but not enough nous (or quality of squad) to pull it off. It was right to sack him when we did because he'd lost the plot. It's just a shame we didn't come into money sooner because he'd have won something with a better squad.

That's something the new manager needs to work on. We need to recover our big club feel and that means investing in a potent attack befitting a big club.

James Flynn
10 Posted 16/06/2021 at 16:11:56
"72 points and 2 semi finals with half a squad"? Near-boastful in its stupidity.

His signing Barry, Lukaku, McCarthy, and Deulofeu immediately improved a team that finished 6th the season before and had just lost a first-rate mid-fielder in Fellaini. Pushed Barkley into the first XI and away we went. Talent and pace everywhere on the pitch. Look at his player recruitment other than those four.

His game philosophy, "Just kick it to each other like Barcelona does!" And worst of all, Ossie's comments on Roberto's fitness training. A specific, essential, bare-minimum requirement for building and sustaining a competitive team ignored by Mr. Media-friendly.

Moshiri's made a lot of mistakes since his takeover. Shit-canning (thankfully) this Me, Myself, and I hustler wasn't one of them. Anyway, he's certainly not bringing back a guy he's already rightly and correctly shown the door.

A big, big no to Roberto Martinez. Things are bad enough as it is.

Andrew Ellams
11 Posted 16/06/2021 at 16:28:31
I was on holiday the summer that Martinez got the push and was chatting with another blue about how poorly coached the team had been and mentioned Ossie's comments specifically about how poor Graeme Jones was.

As RS at the next table piped up that Jones was his next door neighbour and his son was on holiday with Jones' family at that time. Felt like he had to tell us what a great coach and bloke his mate really was.

Conor McCourt
12 Posted 16/06/2021 at 16:42:43

Don't you think it a bit strange then that considering Martinez is such a clown that not one player has improved since he left.

It took Lukaku up until this year to replicate his Everton form in a substandard Italian league, it has taken Pep until this year for Stones to be the player he was for us. Where are Barkley, McCarthy, Deulofeu playing their football now?

I was told during Roberto's reign how brilliant these players were yet not one has improved since he left... while Lukaku has been producing his best stuff for Belgium consistently during this time. They have played under Mourinho, Conte, Sarri, Lampard, Pep, Solskjaer, Hodgson and Smith yet arguably not one has improved.

Dale Self
13 Posted 16/06/2021 at 16:53:02
Kieran, fair warning – I'll be looking for something to disagree with you on, same as Jay Woods [BRZ], but as usual fine point there. Having the Moyes setup to practice Martinez's preferred way of playing suited him and our line-up well at the time. Beyond just getting something extra out of a disinterested locker room, Bobby was getting some spirit and buy-in that looked promising.

It was when he hit rocks, giving up points from winning positions, that he failed to progress or seek out a #2 that could keep things going forward. Some player poaching and missing out on Champions League when Mirallas got injured did him in.

I liked Roberto and thought his demeanor was a fantastic asset for the Everton project. Reluctance to bring someone in or adjust tactics was a fatal flaw to his philosophical promise.

Jim Harrison
14 Posted 16/06/2021 at 16:59:56
His head was so far up his own arse at times, it was frightening.
Andy Crooks
15 Posted 16/06/2021 at 17:09:56

I thought Martinez was an appalling appointment but you, at the time, convinced me he was the man. At first, I was horrified at seeing the likes of Jags passing the ball around the back like some sort of hand grenade. But they got it, eventually, and we looked good. You were right.

It all soured and I will be the first to admit that my disdain for Martinez is irrational and over the top in many ways. I just never warmed to him and felt that he relegated Wigan and deserted the sinking ship. I actually did warm to Koeman which, even without hindsight, was an error of judgement.

Gerry Morrison
16 Posted 16/06/2021 at 17:32:52
First season: sin miedo Martinez... yes, please.
Final season: phenomenal character Martinez... no thanks.
Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 16/06/2021 at 17:38:35
I think everybody's right here.

Martinez is a fine game coach who gets the very best out of his players on the pitch.

He is also a terrible club manager with no ability to scout, identify or sign talent, and no interest in the small details of organization and training (like defending set pieces).

He is succeeding spectacularly with Belgium because the players are largely chosen for him and kept fit and trained by their clubs. He designs the game system for them, imbues them with confidence and enables them to produce consistently superb performances.

But anybody hiring him to manage a club is insane. He failed at Wigan. He failed at Everton. And if he's ever foolish enough to leave the Belgium job (and his TV pundit's chair next to Kate Abdo) to take a club manager's position, he will most assuredly fail again.

Sorry, David, but no, we could not do worse. Fortunately, I see no chance that he would want to come back. Especially right before a World Cup that he has a pretty decent chance of winning.

Paul Swan
18 Posted 16/06/2021 at 17:43:01
Martinez at the point he was sacked had completely lost the plot. He set his teams up to neither attack or defend corners as he believed corners had no influence on a typical game. The biggest problem at the end was that we were abysmal but he talked about performances as if he had been at a different game to the supporters. In the end his interviews were just white noise where he just spouted utter bollocks about moments and suchlike. Responsible for 3 of the biggest duds in our history, Alcaraz, Kone and Niasse
David Cooper
19 Posted 16/06/2021 at 17:48:23
Mike #17 not defending Bobby but as well as being national team coach he is also Belgium's Technical Director with responsibility of developing young players, talent pathways and liaising with club coaches. Is it by luck that players like Tielemans have become a very good players or has his talent been nurtured under Bobby?
Peter Gorman
20 Posted 16/06/2021 at 17:49:10
Barry - it takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to label a defence consisting of Jags, Distin, Baines and Coleman as 'drag anchors'.

What exactly did Martinez ever contribute to defence? Antolin Alcaraz? Funes Mori?

"He tried but when recruitment descended to the level of McCready (sic) et al the game was up."

Er, Barry, he signed McGeady in his first season. The summer after that he buggered off to the world cup and brought back Mo Besic. That was it for new recruitment for the season, except Samuel Eto'o who couldn't wait to get away from him.

To each their own, but how anyone could prefer the tiki-taka nonsense over Baines, Pienaar, Arteta and Cahill for entertainment is beyond me.

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:01:12
David #19, I realize that's the job description, but Roberto doesn't have to find and sign his players, just "liase" with the club managers. As I said, he does a great job of getting the best out of them.

Tielemans is a good example. A year ago he was considered the biggest "bust" in Ligue 1 at Monaco. His performances under Bobby were much better than his league performances. I'd say his recent development should be credited to Brendan Rodgers as well as Martinez.

Conor McCourt
22 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:06:46
Mike @17- Carlo finishes twelfth and tenth with Everton and for eighteen months you say what a great job he is doing.
Martinez wins the FA Cup with Wigan. Let me repeat that wins the Fa Cup with fucking Wigan.

Only Leicester and Portsmouth since we won it have been outside the established six and Portsmouth won in a freak year beating Cardiff. Wigan beat Man City.

You call this failure,unreal. I'm pissing myself writing this post.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:25:49
I don't hate the idea of Martinez. But I don't love it.

A decent manager whose teams usually play decent football. So far so good.

But if his problem was Moyes' squad then why did we get worse the longer Martinez stayed?

He had almost 3 full seasons at Everton. The longest since Moyes. The reality is that when he left we had gone from the 6th/7th best team in the league to the 11/12th best team in the league. Perhaps that is due primarily to the recruitment team getting it wrong but it's not a great commendation for Bobby Brown Shoes either. A good coach, a nice guy, a good manager for teams looking to win cups but not the man to build and improve a top team over the space of a few years.

David Cooper
24 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:30:06
Maybe the Bobby Brown Shoes of 2021 is quite a bit different of the person who managed 5 years ago. People do grow and develop! I don't see how Martinez is any better or worse than Rafa, Nuno, Howe, Dyche or even Dunc. Why are we dragging our feet if the manager Farhad wants is available right now? I have a feeling that Mr.Moshiri thinks that BBS is the answer to our problems. Plus if he was to become manager I can't see anyone poaching him in the next 2 years. Maybe FM likes the sound of that! I don't know why and I have absolutely no evidence that Bobby wants to come back and prove us all wrong.
Thomas Richards
25 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:32:33
If, if Belgium win the tournament would we take him?
Or would we knock a Euros winning manager back?
Jamie Crowley
26 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:40:37

I'd have Roberto back in a second.

Ian -

If we hire the FSW I'm done. Seriously that's about the only managerial appointment I'd not get behind and actively bitch from the moment he was hired. Can't and won't happen.

Joe McMahon
27 Posted 16/06/2021 at 18:40:48
Ian, not my first choice but not worth getting all bitter blue about it. He has won a lot more trophies than Moyes!
Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 16/06/2021 at 20:34:45
Conor #22, yep, Roberto won the FA Cup with Wigan.

And three days later, after eight years in the Prem, they were relegated -- having barely avoided it for the previous couple of seasons under Roberto.

If Martinez deserves credit for the Cup win, he deserves blame for the relegation. I think the latter outweighs the former. Roberto left a Cup behind, but he also left a club in chaos that never subsequently returned to the Prem. So yes, I call that failure.

He likewise produced fine Cup performances but steadily deteriorating league status for Everton, and I call that failure too.

He is a brilliant tournament coach. He is a shit club manager.

But it's an academic debate, since he's not a candidate for us and, I believe, never will be.

Conor McCourt
29 Posted 16/06/2021 at 20:45:12
Mike Wigan were backed under Bruce not under Roberto. They were continuously paid the worst wages in the Prem when he managed there. They absolutely love him. If you think getting relegated with a team who had no right to be in the Prem is more of a failure than winning the cup is success you are in fantasy land.

His league record at Swansea is the best in their history, at Wigan was excellent and in the groups with Belgium is near perfect. You are basing this silly view of him not being a league manager on his third season at Everton and debatably a relegation season at Wigan( in which they were desperate for the cup).

His second season at Everton incidentally was probably about average considering the average Europa League lost nine points and three places (see Koemans European season).

As for an academic exercise I wouldn't be so sure

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 17/06/2021 at 01:59:57
Roberto Martinez and Romelu Lukaku championing a tribute to Ericksen during the Denmark game. Both have taken some stick on here but, as human beings, they honestly seem like decent fellows.
Paul McCoy
31 Posted 17/06/2021 at 08:41:38
I like Martinez as a person, but I don't want him anywhere near Everton again. The main problem with his tenure was the team's fitness levels. Without Moyes' pre-season routines, the players looked absolutely knackered by 70 minutes every game. We had a bunch of backroom fitness and medical staff quit during his tenure as well and a shedload of soft tissue injuries.

Martinez is perfectly suited for the job of national team coach. He gets players in who are at peak fitness thanks to their clubs, then gets them playing exciting football. He should stick to what he's good at.

Jerome Shields
32 Posted 17/06/2021 at 09:02:42
Would not want him as Manager. No plan B. When I look at Belgium I can see defence that can managed itself. Midfield and attack maybe some Martinez influence.
David Pearl
33 Posted 17/06/2021 at 09:29:13
RM had us playing with some style. He would get more from these players. He failed lasr time, as l have stated a few times, because our backline was ageing. Distin hit a brick wall and we got Alcaraz for peanuts.

Whoever comes in now must be manager only. With Brands completely in charge of recruitment so he alone can balance our squad. And the manager can coach.

With the correct additions this summer Everton are not far away. I don't think its a hard job to get us into Europe this season with good coaching. We fell off a cliff after Boxing Day, and that was down to 1 man. 1 very rich man.

At this point however we should have given Duncan a go. Anything but the FSW. Even if he gets us to Europe and wins a trophy l wont be able to enjoy it.

Barry Rathbone
34 Posted 17/06/2021 at 19:29:58
Peter Gorman #20,

You missed the point entirely. Martinez's first season was always destined to fall away (which it did) because he was scraping the bottom of the barrel, your gleeful examples being the perfect illustration.

He was attempting to create revolution in one season and McCready was just the yultimate example of why it was destined to fail.

Loanees and bargain basement signings are not a long-term plan for success; however, his progressive style with a handful of forward thinking players – Lukaku, Stones, Barry, Barkley and Deulofeu – were portents of what could be if the drag anchors were replaced with similar upgrades.

He needed real money to do that

Mark Frere
35 Posted 17/06/2021 at 20:35:10
I can't believe people are using the lack of money argument for Martinez's failings:

Lukaku - 㿈 million
McCarthy - 㾹 million
Kone - ٤ million
Funes Mori - 㾶 million
Niasse - 㾹.5 million

That's just some of the money he had the luxury of spending... and it's more than Moyes had to spend before him.

Bobby brown shoes was/is just grossly incompetent at club management. He neglected so many important factors like fitness, defending, practicing set pieces etc. Even the players had completely lost faith in his methods in the end and as a result, downed tools... there's no excuse for players doing that... but that's what happened.

Conor's comments @12 re Lukaku are ridiculous - he's scored an amazing amount of goals wherever he's been after Martinez's departure including under Koeman's management and Man Utd. If anything, his first touch and other area's of his game has got much better at club level away from Roberto.

Bobby is a man of integrity unlike Moyes. I'm convinced Martinez is the worst manager we've ever had, and Moyes has his limitations and he should've left 3 or 4 years earlier than he did. He also treated us we contempt and disrespect. I dread the thought of either one coming back here.

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 17/06/2021 at 20:50:39
Mark Frere 35

Circa £70million over 3 seasons to revolutionise a squad from mid table mediocrity to challengers for trophies and possible CL qualification?????

Surely you jest.

As for his incompetence remind me how much we sold Rom and Stones for and how many of our other Prem managers (before or since) have achieved 72 points.

Mark Frere
37 Posted 17/06/2021 at 21:26:00
Barry, of course it would've been a nice luxury for him to have more money to spend. But, I reiterate my earlier point: did Moyes ever have more than 㿲 million to spend over 3 seasons?

Roberto had taken over a team that had just finished 6th and a team that was competing around the top 6 for many season's. A good manager makes a team greater than sum of its parts. In Martinez's second and third season we witnessed a rapid decline of unimaginable measures in terms of performances on the pitch and in the league table. It certainly wasn't just due to lack of funds, as Moyes's reign has dispelled that myth. It was due to Roberto's negligence in so many important aspects in day-to-day club management. That was plain to any rational thinking person without an agenda to see.

As for the 72 points... it was a magical season where there was an unusual, uneven points distribution throughout the league. In other words, 13 teams were fodder to 7 other teams. Actual league placings is the real measure of success... and we sadly finished outside the top 4. It was a very enjoyable season though.

Barry Rathbone
38 Posted 17/06/2021 at 22:07:40
Mark Frere 37

I'm sorry but you appear not to understand the essential difference between the Moyes era and all those who have followed (especially Martinez) and the impact it has had.

Moyes enjoyed the dubious honour of being allowed NOT to challenge the elite clubs for nigh on a decade with complete impunity. Martinez opened a can of worms by showing another way which DID challenge within months.

The fact it could not be maintained without REAL money is indisputable otherwise why do Chels, City, Utd, the shite spend fortunes season after season?

To illustrate the point if you accept Leicester and Spurs have now supplanted our position as best of the rest the Moyes mid table position no longer equates to 5th to 6th but 8th and downward. About where we have lived ever since yet it is now no longer acceptable all ensuing managers have been sacked!!

In summary Moyes spent little to achieve little but to achieve more you must spend more a good deal more than 70m over 3 seasons. Even then there is no guarantee

Mark Frere
39 Posted 17/06/2021 at 22:57:53

Martinez didn't open any new can of worms, he improved an already decent squad (that had just finished 6th) by adding Lukaku, Barry, James Mac and Deulofeu. It was also Barkley's breakthrough season and his best. In short, a very well drilled decent squad was improved upon. It's not difficult to see why things were so rosy that first season. We still only finished 5th though, same as Moyes managed twice and there was the 4th placed finish also. Where's the new can of worms in all this?!?!

Unfortunately, with basically the same group of players, Roberto's unsound methods had set in by the second season and we were unrecognisable from the team in his first season. If you want to ignore what was staring everyone in the face - that's up to you! Blame it purely on lack of funds if you like.

You're correct in the sense that money is the best guarantee of success... but as we've seen with teams like Man Utd, since the departure SAF, without good management and player recruitment teams can still finish woefully short of where they need to be after spending hundreds of millions.

IMO Martinez would've failed with Mosh's millions as he's (as I've mentioned above) grossly incompetent. Although he couldn't have done much worse than Walsh and Koeman on the player recruitment side of things.

Michael Lynch
40 Posted 17/06/2021 at 23:23:25
Dave @2 gets it 100% right in my opinion. As does Mark Frere in his posts.

That's exactly how I remember the Martinez years.

James Stewart
41 Posted 17/06/2021 at 23:50:18
@2 Nail head.

Inept, incompetent and stubborn to such an extreme it became a parody.

Wigan wouldn't even want him back let alone us.

Geoff Lambert
42 Posted 18/06/2021 at 00:23:55
#35 I take it you have not been watching Everton for long then! "Martinez is the worst manager we've ever had"
What a ludicrous statement
Mark Frere
43 Posted 18/06/2021 at 00:37:42
Geoff Lambert, 1980s onwards... I'm more than happy to debate with you who you think is worst. You might have a slight case with Mike Walker... but he's only second to Martinez IMO.
Daniel A Johnson
44 Posted 18/06/2021 at 00:49:53
I still remember the 4-0 demolition at Anfield under Bobby and I've never been so angry in my life.

Cavalier suicidal football with zero discipline. In his final year the atmosphere at finch farm was toxic by all accounts.

I firmly believe Marco Silva is the best manager we had in the Moshiri era, he was let down by bad recruitment via Brands and at times shocking bad luck.

Barry Rathbone
45 Posted 18/06/2021 at 07:55:43
Mark Frere 39

"In short, a very well drilled decent squad was improved upon. It's not difficult to see why things were so rosy that first season"


But here is the point: two of the players you mentioned were loanees, and developing Stones and Barkley (he also tried other younger members) to achieve the result was nothing short of miraculous. Also, remember all in a manner not seen since perhaps the Holy Trinity.

The idea of loanees and an inexhaustive supply of Stones / Barkley performers from the Stiffs as a model to challenge is doomed from the get-go... and so it proved.

Nobody disputes it went tits-up; the simple conclusion that is was just the fault of Martinez does not stand scrutiny. He has been successful everywhere he's been; you need to delve deeper!

Conor McCourt
46 Posted 18/06/2021 at 08:28:24
Mark @43,

Funny, I remember you posting the same nonsense during Bobby's time – telling us how things would turn out when we sacked him. How did your prediction go then? How foolish can someone be?

Martinez has our record points total, our best European Campaign since the glory years in the eighties, and two Cup Semi-finals in only three years as manager. This was easily the most successful 3-year period since my childhood days.

We have had four managers since then. Not only have they not eclipsed all his achievements: between them all, they have failed to beat a single achievement of his – despite having Moshiri's backing. Not a fucking one. Only under Koeman once did we fight for anything come the business end of the season, as opposed to every season under Bobby.

The only thing that may be worse in our history is your prize for perhaps the worst post in ToffeeWeb history. Completely deluded.

Rob Young
47 Posted 18/06/2021 at 08:34:02
I'd like him back, hoping he has learned that defending is part of football. Not sure, as I think 2 of his centre backs for Belgium have also played together for donkeys years at club level so that defense sorts itself out.

But, let's not kid anyone, he truly lost it in his last season and (despite 2 cup semi-finals) had to go. League form was shocking.

Peter Gorman
48 Posted 18/06/2021 at 09:22:20
Barry, Martinez spent 'little' over his seasons because when he was not moonlighting as TV pundit his transfer policy consisted mostly of signing players from Wigan or from his Wigan scouting book.

Moyes on the other hand regularly unearthed gems, some of which were sold on for major profit.

Conor - you crow about how no manager since Martinez has come close to matching the 'achievement' of his first season. Quite so. A testament to how much he fecked the club up.

Peter Gorman
49 Posted 18/06/2021 at 09:29:00
Daniel - "I still remember the 4-0 demolition at Anfield under Bobby and I've never been so angry in my life."

Which one? Bobby the phenomenon achieved this twice in three years.

Barry Rathbone
50 Posted 18/06/2021 at 10:42:29
Peter Gorman 48

Moyes was here over 10 years and his hits were matched by his misses his "eye for talent" is vastly overrated. If you must use the cliche of "gems" he never came close to finding a true gem like Lukaku as Martinez did in 5 mins flat.

It is inescapable that Martinez spent little because he had no option.

BUT, when allowed, he bought from City and Chelsea so the inference he only bought from Wigan is demonstrable nonsense. The Wigan forays were a result of having to dabble in the bargain basement and sensibly if you're going to buy lower level performers wouldn't it be a good idea to at least know their limitations?

Plus managers returning for players is par for the course, Moyes and Fellaini (plus Baines attempt), Silva - Richarlison, Carlo - James it happens all the time.

The TV punditry comment ignores the fact Moyes did the same in the Euros (I think) embarrassing himself and those thinking he was the personification of a true blue by flirting with Spurs who were after a manager at the time

Des Farren
51 Posted 18/06/2021 at 11:08:22
Would someone explain why Martinez, who manages #1 Belgium would want to return to a mid table club with little hope of success in next 5 years and support base who would,no doubt, hold him responsible, again, for every perceived failure in the club's fortunes.
Mark Frere
52 Posted 18/06/2021 at 13:54:31

I'm not disputing the fact that Martinez initially bought well and brought Barkley and Stones into the side (Stones was a Moyes signing) but as I've mentioned in my previous posts, Roberto still basically had the same group of players in his second season. Did this same group of players suddenly turn shite by coincidence, or was it down to Martinez's coaching methods? I'd strongly suggest the latter as the players were clearly lacking in fitness levels, the defence had clearly not been well drilled as it once had. Former players have come out since and stated as much.

Martinez has not been successful wherever he's been - I don't think we can call relegation with Wigan successful. Steve Bruce and Paul Jewell managed to achieve what Roberto couldn't on that score. Sure he won the FA Cup... But the true measure of how good a team is comes over 38 games, playing each team home and away. There was more than enough talent in that Wigan side for a decent manager to keep them in the Premier League.

Peter Gorman
53 Posted 18/06/2021 at 14:11:14
Credit where it is due, Barry, Martinez did sign Lukaku and he was brilliant when arsed. I'd add Barry and McCarthy (Wigan, again) as two other decent signings. After that I am struggling.

But to describe Martinez as 'finding' Lukaku is rather untrue. Aside from his successful loan spell with West Brom, he was one of the hottest properties around. So much so that, you know, Chelsea signed him.

But he managed to get him, which was great. Moyes on the other hand regularly did sign little known talents or write-offs and turn them around. Completely untrue to say he had as many misses unless you stretch to include the developing teenagers. But we'll never convince each other will we.

Mark Frere
54 Posted 18/06/2021 at 14:40:06
Conor @46

Your memory serves you poorly. I never posted that everything would be rosy if we got rid of Martinez. I'd never say such a thing as there's no guarantee with any managerial appointment that it's going to be a success.

I actually supported Martinez much longer than many people on here did before finally calling for his head. I initially argued with many of the idiots who wouldn't even give him a chance because their hero (Moyes) had gone and Bobby wasn't worthy in their eyes. I always try and judge every situation on individual merit. There was also the other end of the spectrum with people like Tony Marsh, Paul Andrews, Ross Edwards etc who were desperate for Martinez to do well just to prove their theories of how shite Moyes was all along.

I don't take posters like these (with agendas) seriously. I'd much rather read the more balanced views of people like Mike Gaynes, Sam Hoare, Jay Woods etc.

Back to Martinez, we didn't have 3 successful seasons under him. The first was good but without any trophies. The second and third were dreadful... even if we did have some decent cup runs as you say. Wasn't Moyes's cup run to the quarter-final against Fiorentina equally as impressive as the Martinez European campaign?

Just because our managerial appointments since Martinez got sacked, have not been successful, it doesn't mean Bobby gets a free pass on his failings.

Thomas Richards
55 Posted 18/06/2021 at 14:45:16
Wasn't that the quarter-final that Moyes shit himself in?
Mark Frere
56 Posted 18/06/2021 at 15:04:34
Agreed Peter@53... Lukaku was hardly this secret little gem that Martinez had unearthed. He scored 16 PL goals for West Brom previously. Then he was successful for us on loan season after that. We wouldn't have had to pay 㿈 million for him if he was just a 'finding'. 㿈 million was one hefty fee back then.

Also agree Moyes did find hidden talents quite cheap: Cahill, Jagielka, Arteta, Pienaar, Lescott, Baines, Coleman etc. It was his more expansive signings like James Beatie and Andy Johnson that were not as good.

Conor McCourt
57 Posted 18/06/2021 at 16:10:30
Mark now you are making a bit more sense. I picked you up on your comment about him being the worst in our history and as far as I can see nobody is giving Martinez a free pass.

Personally I think both Moyes and Martinez were two of our better managers.
Where I disagree with you is on the strength of the squads both these managers had. I believe we have generally had the seventh or eighth best squad in the division and I believe Moyes reign was the most consistent for overachievement. I believe he did a great job.

However on a personal level I much prefer the approach of Martinez which was more risk and reward rather than constantly playing the percentages game. I feel that Martinez if backed may have been the one to bring silverware to Goodison and had it not been for an awful decision in the Carling Cup versus City he most likely would have had one regardless.

Take Wigans win over City in the FA Cup. If they had Moyes in charge they most likely would have competed for sixty minutes then conceded two late goals and no doubt the commentators would have said "plucky little Wigan, but class told in the end".

I don't believe the second season was that bad (taking the effects of Europe on the league position with essentially the same squad). However I totally agree that Martinez third season in the league was very poor and he could have no complaints in losing his job despite his Cup exploits.

My belief at the time was that he had done enough in his three years for Moshiri to give him a few months to turn it around with the new finances in house. Had a manager with a top CV been available then sacking him would have been a logical decision but to appoint a much inferior manager was madness in my opinion.

Barry Rathbone
58 Posted 18/06/2021 at 18:32:39
Mark Frere 52

"𝐑𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧."

That is exactly the point the transformation you and others concede was brought about by the intro of new, better players in the first season IT is the same method SAF used at utd year on year.

However, our method of acquisition via loanees and the hope of quality from the stiffs allied to bargain basement buys is an entirely different proposition and doomed to failure

Roberto manfully tried to make it work but it was an impossible task his only error was not complaining about it a mistake allowing Moyes disciples and knee-jerkers to ridicule his positivity and blame him for everything bar the rain.

Also, if having "basically the same group of players" equates to reaching the same levels as the previous season please tell me why Liverpool are now NOT champions.

Mark Frere
59 Posted 18/06/2021 at 19:16:26

"Also, if having "basically the same group of players" equates to reaching the same levels as the previous season please tell me why Liverpool are now NOT champions"

Barry, you could ask the Redshite fans that same question and they'd probably tell you it's Pickford's fault but they can't blame us for the Joe Gomez, or Matip injury either. They also can't blame us for playing their best two central midfielders - Henderson and Fabhino - in central defence.

Come on Barry, you're clutching at straws now mate.

Barry Rathbone
60 Posted 18/06/2021 at 21:08:09
Mark Frere 59

I am asking you after all it is YOUR inference.

Obfuscating about what their fans might say as per your last missive only demonstrates the multitude of variables at play - which of course is my point.

Ergo simply blaming the manager is proven as simplistic nonsense.

You have no case.

Mark Frere
61 Posted 18/06/2021 at 22:03:07
Barry Rathbone

If you're capable of reading between the lines, there might actually be an opinion of mine when I'm "obfuscating about what their fans might say" as you put it.

Your last paragraph @58 is akin to a points scoring contest. If that's what you're after go play with Darren Hind. I'm not interested.

Barry Rathbone
62 Posted 18/06/2021 at 22:15:00
Mark Frere 61

"𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡 @𝟓𝟖 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭."

Well, if you look at debate as a point scoring exercise rather than an honest exchange to establish truth I guess you might feel that way.

Give my regards to Darren

Mark Frere
63 Posted 18/06/2021 at 22:28:21
Barry, the major difference between "honest debate" and "points scoring" is something called "sincerity". I really wish you and some of the others would recognise the difference.
Barry Rathbone
64 Posted 18/06/2021 at 22:34:17
Mark Frere 63

Oh! you're back.

When you said "I'm not interested" I took you at your word I thought you were being "sincere".

Ah well.

Will Mabon
65 Posted 18/06/2021 at 22:39:39
"Also, if having "basically the same group of players" equates to reaching the same levels as the previous season please tell me why Liverpool are now NOT champions."

Barry - Pickford's fault.

Mark Frere
66 Posted 18/06/2021 at 22:49:57
Haha, Barry, you've always been good fun! Were you been 'sincere' that time when you suggested Victor Anichebe should play in central midfield for us or was it tongue in cheek? I'd definitely suggest the former.

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