Roberto Martinez Arrives At Everton, But Can He Be Successful And Fill David Moyes’ Shoes?

evertonPhoto by Ian Kington/AFP

It has finally been announced that Roberto Martinez will be the man to replace David Moyes at Everton. The former Wigan and Swansea manager has signed a four-year deal, and this was a move that always seemed highly likely, especially after he resigned from his job at Wigan.

Wigan Chairman Dave Whelen suggested in the past that Martinez would leave only for a top job, and stated that he didn’t think Everton was big enough. However, the reality is a club in the Champions League were never going to take a gamble on him.

But the move to replace David Moyes at Everton seems like a perfect fit. Expectations will be different for him next season, but he is used to exceeding what people expect of him and his club. Martinez won’t have a lot of money to spend at his new club, so he will really have to get the best out of his current squad and any players that he can recruit.

Martinez will certainly also want to keep hold of his best players, especially since David Moyes might want to take some of them to Manchester United. This is a new challenge for the Spanish manager, but it appears to be one that he is ready for. Let’s take a quick look at his managerial career thus far.

roberto martinez
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The time that Martinez spent at Swansea was in the lower leagues, so even though the 50% win ratio was clearly very impressive and showed that he had potential to be a top manager, it doesn’t have much on a bearing on Everton because of the different level of football.

That being said, many credit Martinez for the foundations he laid at the Welsh club that has allowed them to blossom into the successful side they are today. His 29.14 win percentage at Wigan is lower than Everton fans would ideally like, especially since he lost more games than he won at the Latics. But it’s worth remembering that Martinez had a virtually nonexistent transfer fund, and spent the majority of the time near the bottom of the league.

There is no doubt that Everton is taking a gamble of sorts by taking Martinez on to replace Moyes, but his ability to keep the Latics in the Premier League for so many years means that it’s a gamble worth taking, even if we don’t really know how he might perform at this stage.

What do Everton fans expect?

If anything, David Moyes overachieved during his time at the club, and this has raised expectation levels and made him a tough act to follow. Typically, Everton finished in the top seven of the Premier League under the previous manager. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible for Martinez to overachieve unless he can regularly get the club into the Champions League.

This is something that the Spanish manager has already suggested that he can achieve, but he should remember that the top four is more or less sewn up by Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal. Therefore, he is setting himself a massive challenge and going up against clubs that all have significantly deeper pockets than Everton.

Some facts and stats on the Toffees last season

David Moyes’ last season in charge was a typically good one, as he led his former side to a sixth place finish in the Premier League.  Everton has usually been a solid unit under Moyes, and that trend continued with the fourth meanest defensive record in the Premier League. It was only Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal that conceded less goals.

Equally, the attack was competitive for the team and was the seventh best within the EPL. The general perception of Everton over the last few years is they have become a more entertaining side, and that will suit Martinez and his reputation for attractive football. It should also be noted that the current squad is probably the best that has been seen under Moyes.

The stats do represent the greater attacking intent of Everton to some extent. The big stat on this is a surprising one, and that’s the 32% of possession that the Toffees enjoy in the attacking third of the pitch, it’s the best record in the Premier League.

Shots per game were also in Everton’s favour last season, with 16.7 attempts on average, which was the fourth best record in the EPL. Shots on target wasn’t far away with 5.4, and that represented the sixth best record in the Premier League. The club’s defensive stability is also represented to some degree by the fact they win 18.6 aerial duels per match, which is the fourth highest in the league.

Can Roberto Martinez hold onto his dynamic duo?

As mentioned earlier, this is a pretty decent squad that Martinez has inherited, but the two best players are undoubtedly Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Both players have already been linked with a move away from Everton with David Moyes reportedly  keen to take them to Manchester United in a double swoop.

Therefore, it can be good to crunch the stats on them from last season to see the qualities that Martinez could be losing this summer. It’s safe to say that both players offer a lot from an attacking point of view as well as Baines’ obvious defensive qualities. Let’s just have a little look now and what both players offer offensively.

everton baines
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Fellaini is the club’s top league scorer with those 11 goals. The Belgium midfielder also takes on the most shots per match in the Everton squad.

Baines also plays an important part in an attacking sense. His return of five goals is pretty decent for a full back, and he is also the Toffees’ most creative player with 3.1 chances created per match. Another interesting stat that looks at the importance of Baines is Everton enjoying 42% of possession on the left side of the field last season, that’s the joint highest percentage in the EPL.

Some stats on Wigan last season

Obviously, it was a mixed season for Wigan, and one that eventually ended in relegation. However, Martinez has always looked to play attractive football and last season was no different in that regard. It’s common for teams that seek to play attractive football to be relatively poor at the back, and that was certainly the case for Wigan last season after they conceded 73 goals, more than any other team in the Premier League.

There were signs in terms of passing and possession that Martinez had the potential to manage a bigger club. Wigan enjoyed an average possession of 54.4%, which was the eighth best in the EPL last season and an 82.5% success rate on passing that was also eighth best. Wigan also showed signs of playing a short passing game with 424 short passes per match, the seventh highest in the league.

Can Roberto Martinez be a success at Everton?

Looking at the stats and info we have showcased here it’s not clear if Martinez will be a success or not, and David Moyes is a very tough manager to follow. But the Spaniard has gained experience with Swansea and Wigan and now deserves an opportunity at a higher level.

He will look to turn Everton into one of the most attractive teams in the league and continue to build on the good work from Moyes. There is something about this appointment that seems to be the right fit for both parties. However, it will be interesting to see if he can maintain Everton’s defensive stability. As mentioned earlier, holding onto Baines and Fellaini will be vital if the club wants to continue to progress.

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