The defeat of Newcastle United on Wednesday night was Roberto Martinez’ 100th Premier League game in charge of Everton. The win was his 40th and the three goals scored took the total goals scored to 152, just over 1.5 goals per game. But despite the overall stats placing him as the third most successful Everton manager in terms of win percentage, many Toffees continue to believe the manager should be dismissed.
In the first part of this two part special we have looked at Roberto Martinez’ strengths. In the second part to published tomorrow we highlight the three areas where Martinez has underperformed.
The majority of Roberto Martinez’ signings have been excellent. In his first season, with little funds he used the loan market excellently, bringing in Gareth Barry, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku on season long deals before all eventually signed long term Everton contracts. James McCarthy has excelled, although his form has dipped at times this season. Mo Besic arrived for a bargain fee and is already proving that he will have an excellent Everton career. This year we have seen the arrival of Romiro Funes Mori and the Argentine looks to be well suited to the Premier League and Tom Cleverley who has put aside supporters early concerns to become an important member of the first team squad.
Of course there have been those that haven’t worked as well. Aiden McGeedy looks set to depart in the January window, initially on loan but a permanent summer move away from Goodison is almost certain. Arouna Kone divides opinion, but he is nothing more than an option from the substitutes bench.
Two: Developing young players
There are many excellent young players in the Everton squad, John Stones, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku the most high profile. You can add to that list the likes of Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning who have experienced first team football this season. Roberto Martinez has certainly given young players an opportunity and has developed each of the four mentioned at the top of the list with each players transfer value upwards of £40m.
Three: Style of play
Martinez has transformed Everton’s style of play, bringing back stylish attacking football not seen at Goodison Park since Howard Kendall’s great side from the 1980s.
At times this season Everton’s football has been sensational. The team is full of goals and Romelu Lukaku is almost certain to become first Everton player to score 20 league goals on a season since the formation of the Premier League. The flair players, in particular Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu are a joy to watch, both excellent on the ball and capable of creating a goal from very little.
However and it is a big however, Everton have a failed to find a balance between attack and defence and the brilliant football has failed to deliver results.