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The Roberto Martinez era at Everton was one that promised so much with a talented squad and some of English football’s brightest young talents enjoying a fine first season under the likeable Spaniard.
However ultimately it was a reign that regressed with every passing year and delivered precious little so it was no surprise when the Toffees parted company with their boss after yet another lacklustre showing against Sunderland in their penultimate Premier League game.
Making sense of what went so drastically wrong for Martinez is a tough job especially when you go back to the 2013-14 campaign, his first at Goodison. Everton fans would have been forgiven for thinking they’d hit the jackpot when almost overnight Martinez completely reverted the often defensive Moyes philosophy into a ball-playing game that was both more pleasing on the eye and achieving better results.
That season Everton did the double over Moyes’ Manchester United and finished above them in the league. The Merseyside club secured a 5th place finish and their best final points tally since the 1986-87 campaign when they won the division.
Attendances were also at their highest level in a decade and as the capture of Romelu Lukaku demonstrated, the Goodison club seemed finally capable of both spending big money and attracting big names.
In short everything from the outside at least was rosy in the blue half of Liverpool yet less than two years on, Martinez had completely lost the backing of the Everton fans and when that happens the axe normally falls.
Pedestrian football and an out of touch Martinez
Besides from an increasingly pedestrian style of football that was tolerated when it brought results but torn apart when it didn’t, Martinez’s comments to the press became increasingly out of line with the thinking of almost everyone else watching Everton play.
Ultimately though it is a results business and in his second two seasons in charge, results simply weren’t good enough. An 11th place finish last season was poor, but being generous it could just about be excused by Everton’s European involvement.
This season, with no continental distractions he simply had to deliver. In John Stones and Ross Barkley he had two players who looked ready to graduate from highly promising youngsters into top Premier League performers while in Romelu Lukaku he had one of Europe’s top strikers.
For a man whose first words to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright when he joined the club were ‘I’ll get you into the Champions League’ a repeat 11th place finish with an identical points tally of 47 and another season where Everton lost more games than they won in the league, Martinez can have no complaints at his dismissal.
A less patient club would have sacked him much earlier on and certainly after Everton’s pitiful showing in the Merseyside derby in April when they lost 4-0 and had just 3 shots to Liverpool’s 37.
Not all is gloomy for the future Gaffer
A new man will reap the rewards of what is likely to be a large transfer kitty this summer and he will also inherit a pretty strong squad that should have performed much better than they have done under Roberto Martinez this season.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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