This season has produced many stories so far, especially in terms of managers. The story which obviously has gained the focus of the entire footballing community is David Moyes’ replacement of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United… and we all know how that is currently playing out.
The more positive and exciting story, however, has developed from the absence left by Moyes’ departure at Everton.
Not to insult the tactics and style of Moyes, but in his last few seasons at Goodison Park, there was a general since of “peaking” about the club. Having failed to break into the top four since 2005, many believed that Moyes has taken the club as far as he could. When he left Everton, the air in Merseyside was stagnant and the future was up in the air.
With the arrival of Roberto Martinez at Everton, a new energy was infused into the club. His spirit and charisma spread throughout Everton and his desire to succeed raised the bar at the club. He did the same during his time at Wigan, when he took a Championship-quality side to win the FA Cup against Manchester City last season. It seems that, regardless of where his is, Martinez is a manager who knows how to get the best from a player.
Along with his abilities as an inspiring manager, he also was influential in bringing in new talent to Everton this season. Not only did he bring James McCarthy and Arouna Kone with him from Wigan, but he also helped to organize the loans of Lukaku, Barry and Deulofeu. In reflection of how new transfers at other squads have performed this season, Martinez and Everton were of the most efficient and effective in the league.
Along with his energy and a slew of new players, Martinez has brought the winning complex that Everton needs to push them over the edge and into title contention. This season, Everton are far more expansive in their offensive play and have looked hungry to score and decisively win games.
In matches where Moyes would likely have settled or even aimed for a draw, Martinez has gone for the throat. The result has seen a change at Goodison. Fans are more hopeful and players are eager to please their new manager. It is a different looking Everton than that of David Moyes. They are more hungry and determined.
It is this new determination that has Everton looking like a new club. This new Everton look capable of great things. Martinez, as well, looks as though he has found a club that will cherish him as much as he does them. If they are able to break into the top four this season, it could be the foundation for a future powerhouse.