In defence of Roberto Martinez

by   |   12/05/2016   Comments  [Jump to last]

The calls for Martinez to be fired – or was it burned at the stake? – reached a hysterical fever pitch before the club acted. And while fans' anger, frustration and disappointment are understandable, it's worth keeping a couple of facts in mind. Martinez is actually a more successful manager than some of those routinely pitched to replace him: Moyes Redux, Mark Hughes, Sean Dyche and Nigel Pearson.

In fact, Moyes went through 11 seasons and his teams' average performance – and average is the right word – was 8th. So this season under Martinez, described as "disastrous" "horrific" "embarrassing" and so on by so many fans, would actually count as just a little under par in Moyesworld.

Moyes produced mediocrity at every level and the club and fans were patient with him for 11 years – in fact he would arguably be manager still if he had not been tempted away to Manchester United. Yet along came a manager who wanted his teams to play attacking, attractive, entertaining football, who brought exciting, talented players to the club, and we all lost patience very quickly.

Why were people so frustrated? It may be because our expectations have been raised by Martinez himself, who had us playing a higher standard of football in his first season than Moyes had in the previous 11. Somewhere along the line he lost the players and it has been clear for several weeks that they had stopped playing for him.

I just hope that Martinez is replaced by a manager who believes in the same attacking philosophy as Martinez and not someone who simply wants to make us more difficult to beat – and harder to watch.

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