From ESPN: More reasons to love Roberto Martinez

ESPN’s Iain Macintosh had the opportunity to sit down with Roberto Martinez for an interview, and gives us a compelling look inside the mind, home and office of our beloved manager.

The conversation hits many topics, and as such does not allow us to sit long in any one area, but it is another of many fascinating insights into Martinez.  Below are some highlights, and I strongly recommend everyone take a look through the whole piece.  It’s good.

On Everton’s rich history:

…I brought Joe Royle in to help the late development phase of the young players. He’s the last manager to win silverware for this club [the FA Cup in 1995] and I think it’s important that he’s around the training ground…I always pick his brains about the past, to find out how he was so successful, and I think that’s important. We should never walk away from that.

On his management style:

Remember that as a manager all you need to do is make sure that another 25 people enjoy their football. That’s the only thing. I always believe that football is about players and fans. If you get what the fans want and see the players enjoying their football, you’ve got good direction.

On his tactics:

I always look at moments of form from players and obviously much depends on who you play, if you play at home, if you play away. But one thing we’re trying to get through everyone at Everton is that we need to make our players thinkers. We need to make players flexible and adaptable from a tactical point of view.

On youth:

I always start the preseason with an open mind. The young players know that they have to be respectful around the senior players, but when they go onto the pitch they are allowed to be themselves. If they take their opportunities, they know I’ll treat them the same way as any other player, even if that other player has 300 first-team appearances.

On football and, well, on life, really:

I always had to fight that old motto, that you could not be successful in the lower leagues playing good football.  It wasn’t straight-forward. The fans even booed the team off a couple of times when everything was pedestrian and we were still learning to play a different way. But I always thought that major changes needed major transitional periods, and I always said that I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

Chilling.  Even with Martinez’s natural charisma, this is some excellent work by Macintosh.

There is a certain section of fans who believe the club is wrong to have a giant mural of Roberto Martinez outside of Goodison Park.  While there is a level of truth to this criticism, I’m happy that the mural of Martinez is on Goodison Park, and not on some other club’s stadium.


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