Comparing Roberto Martinez And David Moyes

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The Everton team under David Moyes gained a lot of respect from football fans in the way they seemed to be constantly punching above their weight, with unfancied players playing above expectations and somehow managing to top the chasing pack for the Champions League spots. Watching the game, that was how this observer became a fan of Everton too, with the gritty determination displayed by the players being a very attractive attribute.

All that was to change, though. An influx of money into the English game meant that it was no longer as easy to keep ahold of fifth place. The more important change came internally though, bringing along Roberto Martinez as the replacement for the Manchester-bound Moyes. In Martinez’s third season at the helm, has anything changed? Of course it has.

  • The Transfer Policy

Being the transfer season, of course we have to talk about transfers. Moyes largely liked to fish in the market of the lower leagues, with notable purchases being current captain Phil Jagielka and Tim Cahill. Even our highly valued John Stones was plucked from the lower league team Barnsley by Moyes before he left.

On the other hand, Martinez looks to players he had worked with, examples being James McCarthy, Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone. Of course, this policy can work out, with him knowing the players well. However, this limits the field severely. His other purchases tend to lean towards established players such as Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku or young players that can be groomed in the future. Rarely has there been a purchase of a player with a low price tag yet is ready to go into the first team within a season or two. Of course such finds are rare, but Moyes seemed able to pull it off.

  • Style of Play

Moyes based his team on a defensive sturdiness, preferring to build up the foundations from the back to form a solid base. Arguably, it was his discarding of this policy that ultimately caused his Manchester United career to fail.

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Building on the foundations put in place by Moyes, Martinez has sought to make the team more attack oriented. Looking at how far forward the fullbacks push up every game, this much is evident: Martinez wants to score goals. Coupled with the one touch play carried out by the team’s flair players, the style of play is much easier on the eye. The players go about the game with an air of confidence when they are on form, with the match against Sunderland exemplifying this best.

  • Attitude of the Team

The third and perhaps most important change from this club is regarding that of the attitude of the team. Roberto Martinez is obviously well liked by most of the squad, with many players citing the pleasure of working with him. His laid-back demeanor and constant defence of his players, whether good or bad, has seen the team become more relaxed. It could be put forward that this is a major flaw in the team, however. Even in games, the players can look like they are in training. There is the desire to play good football, but there seems to be a lack of “I need to win this” feeling. This comes with it the inconsistency alluded to before, with the team performances when they are on and off-form being drastically different. This is why the club most probably will not breach the top four this season. The team is just too relaxed even in games.

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Not all is bad, though. This atmosphere of relaxation allows the many young players in Everton to take a chance, to play with freedom and to express themselves thoroughly. They are not afraid to make mistakes which is tremendous for their growth.

There have been calls for Martinez to be sacked and give the squad an opportunity to break into the Champions League spots in this season of unpredictability. That would be a terrible case of short-terminism. With a few years more in the job, Martinez’s efforts will likely pay off and herald in an era of success unseen in the previous few decades of the club. The foundations that he is building might not be immediately present to everyone, but just ask any of Ross Barkley, John Stones, James McCarthy and Gerard Deulofeu; it is there, and will only continue to grow stronger.