So another day brings confirmation of another badly kept football secret. No sooner has Jose Mourinho been officially confirmed as Chelsea manager than Everton appoint Roberto Martinez.
As with the Special One, it will be fascinating to see what goals the former Wigan boss sets himself, or has set for him. After all, he inherits a team who arguably over-achieved last season by finishing above their own noisy neighbours in sixth place. A repeat of that would do very nicely for starters.
But perhaps his sights will be less modest, starting with a decent start. The joke is already doing the rounds on Merseyside that the Blues are nailed on to lose their first six matches because Martinez’s season only really start in October. So a couple of early wins will be a priority, as will an early conversation with Marouane Fellaini, the Belgian international who has become a totem on Merseyside.
Earlier this week he reassured some supporters by insisting that ‘my destiny’ is with Everton. But we’ve heard this sort of talk before, not least from Luis Suarez across the other side of the city. Fellaini has been linked with a move to Chelsea and Manchester United, where his old boss David Moyes, now lurks. Martinez knows that, following his own appointment, an early statement of intent from Fellaini is essential.
Style of play is one area where the supporters will not doubt him. He won many plaudits for the way he got Wigan to pass the ball, a philosophy that has its roots in the old School of Science which was once taught by Harry Catterick at Goodision Park.
But Martinez knows that Everton also earned a reputation for being fierce competitors under Moyes, and he will not want that steel to lose any of its edge. An early replacement for Phil Neville, who was such an influential figure in blue for so many years, would be prudent.
At least, the Spaniard knows he is joining a club who will give him a chance. Rather like Wigan, in fact. He has a supportive chairman and a set of fans who will want him to convince the doubters in their midst. At least, he comes as an FA Cup winner, which is something no one has been able to say at Everton since 1995.Reuse content