'Accept him, embrace him & love him - you won't regret it' - Wigan & Everton fans discuss Martinez appointment

The Spanish coach was confirmed as the new manager at Goodison Park on Wednesday but is he the right man to take the Toffees forward after David Moyes' successful reign?

Simon Paul

What's your initial reaction to Martinez's appointment?

My personal reaction is that he is the best we could attract. Jose Mourinho would have been the dream, but then Tony Pulis would have been the nightmare! Martinez now has the chance to show what he can do with a squad that - FA Cup results aside - is a few levels up from that at Wigan.

Some fans are expecting relegation battles under him but that sells our squad very short. We have real quality at Everton and if he can keep the majority of it then there is no reason he can't push on from where David Moyes stagnated.


Are there any changes from the Moyes reign you'd like to see?

More positive game plans and substitutions. Moyes has looked like he was more frightened of losing than he was determined to win for a long time. That has been evident on many occasions but never more so than at Wembley in 2012 when he bottled it against the worst Liverpool side in living memory. Beating a 'top four' side away might be nice, too.

What about the transfer market? What are your hopes and expectations?

Martinez has worked in a different market to Moyes at Everton and I hope there are some gems he can uncover that perhaps he couldn't sell the idea of moving to Wigan to. Everton are more attractive to foreign players than Wigan and Martinez has a different knowledge to Moyes so maybe a few good players on the cheap that turn out to be world class. I'm hoping he's learned from the mistakes like Jason Scotland, though.

And your hopes and expectations for the 2013-14 season in general?

Getting into Europe is a must next season. Moyes failed in the last few attempts so if Martinez can put that right then he will be going a long way to swaying those who doubt him. We were close last time so we only need a minor improvement.

He's won a cup, too, so perhaps he can become the first manager in living memory to retain it with two different clubs. Had his Wigan side not knocked us out last time then Moyes might have left on a high given the semi-final draw and the fact that Manchester City were so poor in the final.

What are your thoughts on Bill Kenwright and the way he's running the club?

In football terms he's a pauper and the time for him to move on has been and gone. He has been helped out immensely by Moyes' ability in the transfer market and getting to Europe but Everton are a massive club that deserves much better.

Two failed stadium moves and far too many other mistakes show that he is not the man that will be in charge of record signings at Everton. The right manager could bring back a few cups to Goodison but the league is now a billionaire's trophy.

He is as nice a human being as you could hope to meet, but nice guys don't fare too well in football. Just ask millionaire Champions League winner Steven Gerrard!


Paul Middleton
WEBSITE: This Northern Soul

What's your reaction to Martinez leaving? Are you sad to see him go?

I like Roberto, both as a manager and as a man and, although a very large part of me is sad to see him leave, the rest of me is happy that he leaves us on the high of an FA Cup win. Yes, we've been relegated, but only the most away-with-the-fairies type of optimist didn't believe it would happen eventually. It's unfortunate that it's one of our own who was in charge at the time, but I wish him only the very best. I can live with a year or two out of the Premier League, because we'll always have May 11 2013, and Bob made that happen.

How good a manager is Martinez - should he be aiming higher than Everton?

16/1 Everton are 16/1 with William Hill to finish in the top four of the Premier League next season
I think if Roberto had gone anywhere other than Everton, eyebrows would have been raised for all sorts of reasons. Had he gone to any one of the dozen clubs who never know if they'll finish eighth or 18th, there would have been a sense of minor betrayal amongst Latics fans. Had he gone to anybody higher, we'd have all been worried that he'd come out of it looking like a bad manager, which he isn't. He worked at the Latics with almost no budget, always having to sell before he could buy but, despite this, he made some outstanding signings like Ivan Ramis and Arouna Kone. He's also made Callum McManaman a future England international.

Do you feel he's capable of taking Everton to the next level?

In truth, I don't think anybody is. Football is no longer a sport where anybody can win a league championship. The domination of four or five clubs isn't a situation that will go away any time soon, and there's hardly a queue of worthy contenders emerging from the pack. I think the best any Everton fan can hope for is to maintain their standing of the past three or four years, perhaps threatening to break the top five, without ever doing so. He can win them a cup or two, though, he's proved that already.

What would be your final message to any Everton fans that are unsure about Martinez?

Martinez is a rarity amongst football people. He's open, he's honest and he's impossible to dislike. Given the right squad, he'll give you a team you can be proud to support. He'll also increase your standing in world football, just because of the way he conducts himself. I've met Roberto a number of times, and I feel like I've said goodbye to a friend as much as I've said goodbye to the manager of my club, and not many football fans can say that. Accept him, embrace him and love him - you won't regret it.