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In hindsight, were Everton too impatient when allowing Roberto Martinez’s exit?

Photo: Getty Images


In hindsight, were Everton too impatient when allowing Roberto Martinez’s exit?

The Spaniard has since gone on to manage the Belgium National Team.

Premier League legends Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry made headlines on Sunday when they discussed the current state of Everton, with ex-Toffee Cahill suggesting that the club has “lost its identity.”

Both Cahill and Henry were correct when they suggested that the sacking of Roberto Martinez was a mistake. The move was a result of impatience and sparked a decline at Goodison Park.

Martinez’s first season at Everton was record-setting; he became the first manager in club history to avoid defeat in his first six matches. The Toffees finished an impressive fifth in the league, completing a league double over Manchester United, and qualified for the Europa League in the process.

The success brought an improved five-year contract for the Spaniard, but the following two years brought consecutive disappointing 11th-placed league finishes.

Martinez was sacked with one match remaining in the 2015/16 season, as supporters grew tired of his side’s laboured style of play and porous defence.


But, although Everton certainly underperformed in Martinez’s second and third seasons, the Spaniard deserved longer at the club – an opinion that current manager Sam Allardyce voiced at the time.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

In 2016, then-Sunderland manager Allardyce told BBC Sport that Martinez “deserved a bit more time,” and that “the job is getting more and more difficult because of the impatience now in the game of football.”

Big Sam was right. The league performances were certainly poor, but Everton nonetheless reached both the FA Cup and League Cup semifinals in 2016, a commendable feat that is often overlooked.

With the sacking of Martinez, Everton lost a clear identity that defines the club. A large part of the club’s success under David Moyes was a coherent club philosophy that all players bought into, and recently without that the Toffees have struggled.

A more patient approach would have allowed the manager to rekindle the glories of his inaugural season, playing attractive football and winning cups in the process.

If only Roberto Martinez was allowed more time at Goodison Park, Everton would have avoided the current identity crisis afflicting the club.

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  1. Stig from Norway

    April 16, 2018 at 9:39 am

    No one will know.
    Everton are in a phase now where they go from pretty good to really good. But that will take some sessons. They will lose identity but will Get better identity When things are starting to settle
    In Moshiri I trust.

  2. Steven Frixou

    April 16, 2018 at 11:11 am

    100% it was the right decision.

    Sure without him Everton would not have made so much money with the bringing through of Stones and Lukaku and making Everton’s attack one of the best for Years.

    The reason he needed to go was his poor defensive strategy and his unwillingness to be stern with the players when they needed to be told their performance was just not good enough.

    I recall players comments when he left that they always felt 10 feet tall on the pitch, yet confused when mistakes where made as they felt itoo nvincible. The freedom the players had to get up and down the pitch was liberating, David Moyes kept Everton articially around the top of the table with a defensive approach which stifled most of the other premiership teams. Wihen Martinez came he freed the players to get up the pitch, and instilled with the strong defensive training from Moyes Everton almost got into the champions league finishing 5th.

    So if Martinez had a Moyes as an assistant coach, keeping the defence strong and Martinez giving them freedom to attack and finally a dressing down from Moyes to keep them real now and again, Everton would be regular top 4 team.

    Inevitably after 2 years with Martinez the players had forgotten their instilled Moyes defensive training. Everton where scoring goals like a top 4 team, but leaking goals like a bottom 4 team too

  3. KeithO

    April 17, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Thank heavens someone has finally said what I’ve been thinking for years. Everton was beautiful to watch under Martinez and the results were there. Record setting first year. Europa knockout stage second year and 2 cup semis the third year is very good. About time…

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