Roberto Martinez, Wigan and Everton (Guardian Comments)

There has been a lot of both optimism and pessimism among Everton fans about their new manager, Roberto Martinez. And some of the doubts raised by the naysayers are fair questions, in all honesty:

1) FA cup is on one side, but didn’t Wigan just get relegated with him at the helm?

2) We remember Steve Bruce and Paul Jewell doing well (as well, if  not better than Martinez) with Wigan in the PL. So what’s so special about this guy? 

There was this super comment on the Guardian Website (Article: Roberto Martinez.. Everton… Champions’ League) by crackergray, which researched this issue and the debate out very well, I though. Here:

Wigan’s recent record in the numbers:

05/06 (Jewell) spent 11.5m, net 3.7m, decent first season in EPL 10th 51pts
06/07 (Jewell) spent 15.6m, net 5.6m, survived only on final day finishing 17th, 38 pts
07/08 (Hutchings/Bruce) spent 12.1m, net 1.2m, 14th, 40pts
Note – Bruce came in for 3m himself (increasing the net to 4.2m and was on a 2m per year contract (more than e.g. Moyes)
08/09 (Bruce) spent 15m, net -0.5m (sale of Palacios (12m)), finished 11th, 45 pts, decent return

Now…. Martinez:
09/10 spent 7m, net -15m (sale of Valencia at 16m and Cattermole at 6m), final day of season survival
10/11 spent 9m, net 7.3m (note – purchase of Boselli at 6.5m), safe on 42 points
11/12 spent 8m, net -2m (sale of N’zogbia at 9m), safe 43 points
12/13 spent 8m, net -2m (sale of Moses at 9m), relegated on 36 points

Note – reduction in wage bill by 22%
Note – increase from -11m loss to 4.3m profit on lowest t/o in league
Note – lowest wage bill save for 3 newly promoted clubs in 2012 (although high as a % of turnover)

What does this mean…? Not sure. How about these conclusions:

1. Martinez’s predecessors did better than he did in the league, but we’re close to bankrupting the club save for handouts from DW. Martinez was asked to make the club self-sufficient. He did. BK at Everton will love that. And, frankly, anyone who values having a club in a few years time will too.

2. His predecessors’ achievements weren’t THAT much better than his with Wigan. One great bit of first season syndrome aside (the second season was dump) and the points totals on much larger budgets were comparable. Not the same, but comparable. 45 points after that first season was the best they got. Under tighter financial constraints Martinez got to 43.

3. Apart from one doomed purchase (Boselli) he has operated handily in the transfer market and has made money for the club in his 4 years.

4. He’s won a trophy despite all this hamstringing.

5. In his first season, Wigan beat 3 of the “big four” (ferkin’ hell I hate that phrase), including Arsenal in one key game. His record in knockout comps or when the chips are down is actually pretty solid.

Fair points, I think. Roberto Martinez’s record is not shabby. He might not be the second coming, but he has a fine record. And he has come to manage a big club (which Everton definitely is), on merit.

He might or might not be a success at Everton … There are many things that need to go right to make a successful managerial stint at a club. But here’s wishing Martinez luck. His Wigan teams, especially the Feb-May avatars, were a joy to watch; notwithstanding that my club was on the receiving end so very often.


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