Roberto Martinez: An epitome of the new breed of managers
Management in football is more or less like a game of chess, so much so that every decision made could possibly have a massive influence on the proceedings of a game or even the entire season. As has been clear from the season that has gone by, a manager is required to be more than just a master tactician. These additional responsibilities have thus created a new breed of managers, those who are willing to take big chances and acknowledge their gut feelings. Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Diego Simeone are perfect examples of such managers.
The departure of David Moyes to Manchester United left a massive void in the management structure of the blue half of Merseyside. However, the appointment of Roberto Martinez at the helm has brought about a certain freshness and flavor to the club. Since his arrival at Goodison, Martinez has wasted no time whatsoever in stamping his mark over the squad. He immediately signed James McCarthy, the versatile Irishman who was quite evidently the heartbeat of his unlucky Wigan side that found themselves at the wrong end of the Premiership table. Arouna Kone, out of favor Antolin Alcaraz and the promising Joel Robles were the ones who followed.
Generally, when a new manager takes charge of a club, he attempts to bring in his own system, his own tactics and his own style of play, all of which take time for their respective implementations. However, what is most certainly evident is the fact that Roberto Martinez has designed a system that suits his players. For example, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman play under Martinez, the same way they played under Moyes- get forward and get the ball in the box. The secret to Roberto Martinez’s success at Everton is simple. The fact that he has been able to design a system that satisfies the players as well as his coaching staff has been remarkable.
The consequent additions of Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu on loan has only gone on to increase the quality and the pace of the Everton attack. His adept understanding of a situation as well as his precise reading of the game has been unparalleled- another trademark characteristic of the new breed of managers. Thus, Everton face the exciting prospect of Champions League qualification.
It is indeed well known that Roberto Martinez is no stranger to the downside of football management. Prior to being appointed as the successor of David Moyes, Martinez’s Wigan Athletic were relegated to the second division of English football after a woeful season. However, in a perfect blend of sweet and sour, Martinez tasted success by pulling off a shock 1-0 victory over a formidable Manchester City at the iconic Wembley Stadium in the final of the FA Cup.
Another positive highlight in Martinez’s resume would without doubt be the “great escape” of the 2011-12 season. Facing certain relegation with 10 games left to play and light-years away from safety, Roberto Martinez rallied his team, who went on a tear to pick up 22 points from the final 10 games of the season, including victories over Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, an achievement that speaks volumes regarding his character, especially in a tough situation.
In comparison with the other prolific managers of the same generation such as Diego Simeone and Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez has given adequate importance to the youth system. The introduction of Ross Barkley and John Stones in the Everton starting lineup has been a masterstroke. With Ross Barkley in contention for a place in the England World Cup squad, Roberto Martinez definitely could not ask for more. Whether the other youth players with immense potential will get a chance to don the Everton jersey remains to be seen, however, with Martinez at the helm, that prospect looks very bright indeed.
It is commendable to see that the new generation of managers or the new breed of managers have understood that there is more to management in football than just bits of paper with scribbled tactics or team sheets.
As they say, management is the art of getting things done, and given the way things are moving forward in the blue half of Merseyside, one can agree with absolute certainty that things are getting done at Everton football club. However, a certain skill set is required to get those things done the right way, and it is a skill that Roberto Martinez possess in abundance.