10 Reasons Why Roberto Martinez Shouldn't Leave Everton for Arsenal
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been lauded in his first season at Goodison Park for the new style of play the side have successfully adapted to this campaign— while still managing to improve on a successful last season under former long-serving boss David Moyes, which saw them finish sixth with their second-highest ever points total (63).
As things stand, Everton are currently 11 points off their highest ever Premier League tally (65) with nine games still to play, which would mean Martinez could print his name in history if he can surpass the total.
But rumours have circulated that the former Wigan man could be exiting the club to replace another long-serving manager in Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger— as the latter’s contract expires this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, Wenger has already told his squad he’ll be exiting at the end of the season and subsequently there are many names being thrown into the hat to be Wenger’s eventual successor at Arsenal. But here are 10 reasons why Everton’s Roberto Martinez should not be one of them.
Too Much Too Soon
This time last season, Roberto Martinez was in charge of a Wigan Athletic side fighting for their lives to stay in the Premier League. They ultimately failed in their task to avoid relegation, but Everton still made the gamble to appoint the Spanish boss as David Moyes' successor in the summer.
Considering he’s yet to complete a season with the Toffees, it seems extremely premature that Arsenal are touting him as Arsene Wenger’s replacement.
Despite a good debut season so far with the Merseyside club, there’s been little proof that Martinez has proven himself a manager who can better the fortunes of such a large club—especially considering there are games still to play this season that could well shape their final finish in the table.
To think his Wigan side were getting relegated just 10 months ago shows how quick his stock has risen in the Premier League. Arsenal supporters will think his CV needs a bit more bolstering before he’ll be ready for such a step up— with only a Football League One promotion and FA Cup win to his name.
No Success in Longevity with a Club
Although Roberto Martinez spent an impressive four years with Wigan, he didn’t better their fortunes in the league during his time at the club.
Martinez’s predecessor Steve Bruce had the Lactics finishing in 11th place prior to the Spaniard’s arrival. In the four seasons that followed under the 40-year-old, Wigan’s league finishes have been 16th, 16th, 15th, and 18th most recently— with a points average of 39.
David Moyes’ reign at Everton shows how he inherited a side who had finished in the bottom-half for six consecutive seasons, only to turn them into a top-half side regularly competing for a place in Europe.
Martinez hadn’t shown that level of improvement with Wigan, and it’s such consistency that Arsene Wenger boasts at Arsenal since he joined— with 16 consecutive Champions League place finishes in the league and 14 consecutive years of reaching the knockouts.
Never Experienced European Competition
For Roberto Martinez, there’s the issue of him never having experienced European competition with a Premier League side. He’s never managed in the Champions League, and he’s never had to cope with the task of balancing players and preserving fitness for important matches. Not to mention the difference in style that European opposition will adopt.
Inexperienced managers often have the problem of getting a result in the league days after a European match, and it’s something Martinez would be completely new to if he joined Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger rotates his squad well and his side have always been able to cope with the growing fixture list, but to somebody new to the experience, it can often see them found wanting— as Tottenham’s Tim Sherwood, Newcastle’s Alan Pardew and Swansea’s Michael Laudrup and then Garry Monk can attest to.
Yet to Mastermind Good Away Form Against the Big Boys
Roberto Martinez has always come into clashes against top-sides with an underdog tag, so defeat to sides such as Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea haven’t been such a huge deal. But if in charge of a side like Arsenal, he’ll be expected to challenge the aforementioned title-rivals for all three points in their meetings— which is something that has proved difficult with Everton.
Everton’s record against the top six this season
- 14/09/13— Won 1-0 to Chelsea (home)
- 05/10/13— Lost 3-1 to Manchester City (away)
- 03/11/13— Drew 0-0 to Tottenham Hotspur (home)
- 23/11/13— Drew 3-3 to Liverpool (home)
- 08/12/13— Drew 1-1 to Arsenal (away)
- 28/01/14— Lost 4-0 to Liverpool (away)
- 09/02/14— Lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur (away)
- 22/02/14— Lost 1-0 to Chelsea (away)
Amassing one win against the sides above isn’t good enough if he wants to prove his credentials to manage a top club and such a record would further highlight how getting a job with a top-four side could see him well out of his depth at present.
Has to Start Turning Draws into Wins
Racking up a large total of draws per season has been a common theme with the Spaniard during his time at Wigan and Everton. This season, his Everton side have nine stalemates to their name— the third most in the league. During his time with Wigan, Martinez regularly had seasonal totals of nine or more draws for each campaign.
It highlights how he’s yet to have a side be more ruthless when a game is there to be won. A team like Arsenal want to win the majority of their league games regardless of opposition, so they can ill-afford to settle for draws in such a high number of games, or they’ll continue to miss out on league honours as they aren’t keeping up with the pacesetters.
In the five Premier League seasons he’s managed in, Martinez has averaged 10.4 draws per campaign, which puts him among the biggest draw specialists in the league. It’s no coincidence the sides in the top four are the ones who draw the least amount of games.
Loyalty Towards a Club and Chairman Who Gambled in Him
Martinez is a man of great integrity and loyalty. He stuck by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan when clubs approached his services in 2012, as Whelan gave the Spaniard a job for life with Wigan regardless of their success or demise under his reign. Now at Everton, Martinez wouldn’t dare to leave after the Merseyside club took a massive gamble in his appointment.
Everton’s Bill Kenwright was the man who appointed Martinez last summer, despite the 40-year-old coming off the back of a relegation. Many had suggested the Toffees could regret the decision, but Kenwright was unfazed and trusted Martinez implicitly. It’s paid off well, and as a result, Martinez wouldn’t dare leave the side after just a year, with how welcoming the club have been to accommodate him in his new role.
Culture Shock in the Transfer Market
With Roberto Martinez only used to signing players from lesser sides, or players out-of-favour with their respective clubs, Arsenal’s pull in the transfer market would certainly be a big step-up to what he’s used to if he made the move.
World-class players are the target for the Gunners when they’re looking to dip into the transfer market, and Martinez has to be sure he can procure the right names for the club, and that players of that calibre would be willing to work under him.
There’s hefty competition for the players that Arsenal sign, and it’s Arsene Wenger that has proven to be the deciding factor for a number of players having joined in recent years.
Such a reputation Martinez aspires to have, but it is something that will only come in time.
Everton Are Going Forward, While Arsenal Are Going Backwards
The biggest reason why Roberto Martinez shouldn't leave Everton to join Arsenal is because the former look to be headed for a Champions League finish this season— providing they can pull off a formidable run of results at the business end.
Everton are currently six points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal in the league, but they have a game in hand and a clash against the Londoners to come that could see the pair swap places in the space of a fortnight.
Everton have such a strong squad now— with players such as Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley all enjoying the best form of their respective careers.
With aspirations of European participation, Martinez’s experience of having won the FA Cup with Wigan has led many to believe he could be the man to end the trophy drought with Everton. Why would he leave now?
Overwhelming Weight of Expectation
Replacing Arsene Wenger is a hard act to follow, and the burden of expectation will be a lot for Roberto Martinez to bear if he was appointed manager. The players have a real deep bond with the Frenchman and all of the club’s personnel have a real affinity with Wenger that could well cause a negative effect if Martinez has new methods of getting results.
The spotlight would be on Martinez at Arsenal far more than it’s been on him at Everton— as there’s less pressure on his shoulders to win honours season after season at Goodison Park.
But should Arsenal continue failing to challenge for trophies, the manager is always the one under intense pressure over his future. Not to mention the supporters who have grown tired of continual failings to end the nine-year trophy drought.
At Arsenal, the expectation is to win trophies and mount a title challenge— the latter of which, the 40-year-old has never done before.
His Arrival Could See Moyes-Esque Results at Arsenal
Taking over a job that has been held by somebody for such a long period of time can often be an impossible task. David Moyes has undergone a hellish time in his debut season at Manchester United since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, who was in charge for 26 years.
While Roberto Martinez has done well at Everton— considering Moyes had spent 11 years with the Merseyside outfit prior to this season— it’s a whole different kettle of fish with a side like Arsenal.
The team’s entire philosophy has been built around Arsene Wenger’s ethos on football. The scouting team will be scouring the world for talent that meets Wenger’s criteria, so there would certainly be big changes to the side if Martinez took over. Not to mention how he sets his teams up to play in games.
With Wenger being at Arsenal so long, players could respond poorly to the initial change of manager, while certain squad members that were in favour with Wenger could find themselves surplus to requirements with Martinez.
There’s always the risk players and pundits will compare the methods to that of the former manager if things aren’t going well with a new boss, and that’s something Martinez would be contending with if he didn’t get off to a good start. It’s an extremely dangerous gamble for somebody so young in management with a growing reputation to uphold.