The Story so far (by Jake Wilson)
I am going to start this article at the start of June last year, when Roberto first walked into our club.
Last summer Bill Kenwright had possibly made his best two appointments in his Everton tenure, he had brought in a bright and positive manager and then reintroduced Alan Myers to replace the much loved (!) Paul Tyrell, who again has brought a wave of positivity into the club.
It was an appointment I myself was disappointed with, Wigan were a shambles last season they were poor defensively and lacked any edge up front. I couldn’t look past the theory of how could we progress as a club by appointing someone who had just been relegated? Then his press conference came, he spoke with such positivity and with ambition, it was hard not to get drawn in. He also helped his case with some quick signings, bringing in; Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz, Joel Robles and bright young Barcelona talent Gerard Deulofeu. Martinez had brought some depth into the squad which Moyes had failed to do every pre-season.
The season kicked off with 3 draws, but nothing seemed to faze Roberto. He brought in McCarthy, Barry and Lukaku, and sold Fellaini for a ridiculous £27 million. Martinez has always said his aim is to end the transfer window in a stronger position than when we started it, we certainly did that. The buzz didn’t stop there, we defeated Chelsea at home to certainly kick started our season.
What has impressed me most about the change in system is the fact we are no longer reliant on one player. In the past, we have been overly reliant on one player; Baines, Fellaini, Cahill and Arteta spring to mind. But Martinez has stopped that; we no longer rely on Baines and his link up with Pienaar, even Barkley’s rise to fame is not vital to us winning games, when he was having a bad game against villa, Osman came on and changed the game, we no longer rely on one or two players, we are a threat from all over the park.
While I am writing this, we have just drew 1-1 with West Brom and that is the only criticism I have of the “new” Everton, is that we still lack that killer instinct to turn draws into wins. We have only lost two games so far in the league and 3 in all competitions, if we had turned one or two of the 9 draws into wins, we’d be 4th and hot on the tails of 3rd. But football is full of ifs and buts, and in some games we just haven’t lived up to our own high standards.
Progress has definitely been made, we have been to United and won, went to Arsenal and were unlucky to come away with just a point and were unlucky to lose at City, but looking at City’s home form, 3-1 doesn’t seem that bad a result when you look at some of the results there. Despite us as Moyes famously putting only taking “a knife to a gun fight” we have gone and stood toe to toe with the big boys and matched them every step of the way. We are no longer “plucky little Everton” we are now one of the big boys, we still have our organisation and team spirit but we’ve mixed that with Martinez’s brand of attacking possession football.
We are progressing at a much faster rate than anyone could have imagined, with Roberto the sky is the limit. Viva Roberto…
Follow Jake Wilson on Twitter: @JakeWilson95