Biggest Everton Changes to Expect Under Roberto Martinez

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 31, 2013

ACCRINGTON, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Roberto Martinez the manager of Everton looks on during a pre season friendly match between Accrington Stanley and Everton at The Store First Stadium on July 17, 2013 in Accrington, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The end of David Moyes’ tenure at Goodison Park in turn means the beginning of another’s journey at the Everton helm, with Roberto Martinez being handed the honours earlier this summer.

The former Wigan Athletic boss inherits a squad which, for the past five years or so, has been making gradual but very genuine moves toward joining the Premier League hierarchy.

With as much pressure on his shoulders as any other manager in the division, Martinez now has a make-or-break season ahead of him, where the decision between sticking or twisting on certain club traditions could mean the difference between a league position.

Just what can we expect the Spaniard to bring over from his former management roles and which of Moyes’ formulae will be kept on for the long-term?

Changes In Personnel

Like every manager, Robert Martinez will have his favoured sons of the Everton dressing room, players who just “click” with their boss and may see that benefit in terms of playing time received.

That’s not to say that the Toffees’ starting XI is set for a massive shift in dynamic, but it’s only to be expected that several players perhaps not looked upon as “stars” of the side now look slightly more interchangeable.

For example, the club’s boss has already moved to bring Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz to Merseyside this summer from former club Wigan Athletic.

Given their respective positions, this may mean that the likes of Victor Anichebe, Steven Naismith and Nikica Jelavic all have more competition for the striking spots, whereas Sylvain Distin and Johnny Heitinga might suffer as a result of Alcaraz’s arrival.

Another area where Martinez looks to have flexed his Spanish muscle is in securing a season-long loan deal for Barcelona youngster, Gerard Deulofeu.

A winger come attacking midfielder, there’s a raft of creative talents at Goodison Park whom the youngster will be hoping to challenge for a starting spot.

Under Moyes, players such as Leon Osman, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar were steadfast starters for the side, but Martinez’s clean slate means the manager will look at things with a fresh set of eyes and perhaps to a different outcome.

Strategic Shift

Never really dealt with the finest of hands at the DW Stadium, any success found by Roberto Martinez as Wigan Athletic manager came as a result of his tactical nuance; knowing where to field players and why.

The most recent and pertinent example of this strategic advantage would be the Latics’ FA Cup victory over Manchester City, where Martinez’s formation and approach to the game meant an underdog victory for his side was nowhere near as flabbergasting as it should have been.

Popularising an unsymmetrical 3-4-3 formation when moving forward and a 5-2-3 outlook when in defence, Martinez is one of the current journeymen when it comes to the power of placement.

Fortunately for the manager, he has all the options at his disposal to adopt a similar style with Everton and with it the potential to move the club on to new heights, should it go their way.

The doubt lies therein, however. “Should it go their way” is an awfully big coin toss to put the short and long-term future of a club on.

Of course, Martinez’s tactics would stagnate as much as to be predictable game in, game out but changed on a match-by-match basis.

That being said, Moyes has obviously laid foundations of his own at the club and the question is whether or not Martinez wants to upset them.

New Transfer Tact

This will be an enigma every Everton fan can’t wait to find out the answer to and, in truth, could take multiple years to see a response.

It’s no secret that Everton chairman, Bill Kenwright, operates on a strict regime when it comes to transfer policy, often encouraging the sell-to-buy modus operandi ensuring that debt is kept to a minimum.

Which, of course, is fair enough for any businessman looking to make a profit, and what a job Kenwright has done in that respect.

However, there’s also another saying that one has to spend money to make money and it will be interesting to see just how Martinez is allowed to spend money.

Moyes undoubtedly had his fair share of splurges at Everton, but the boss had earned his way into making those kind of moves on behalf of the club, his chairman obviously enough to pull his cheque book out.

Granted, the new Blues’ boss has already made some summer moves, but just how will those differ from what Moyes may have done.

Will there be less of a focus on youth under Martinez? Will Kenwright be more willing to part with large sums of cash in the name of the club’s development?

These questions and more will certainly be answered with time, but already Martinez is showing signs of having a short-term structure, that’s if the signings of Kone, 29, and Alcaraz, 31, are anything to go by.


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