A New Leader For A New Era
Lewis Owen, 12th June 2013 - 10:57
About the author
From a hard-nosed Glaswegian taskmaster to a softly-spoken Spanish philosopher of the game.
It's not just the Club’s badge that has evolved recently. So has the mould of our new leader, the man tasked with spearheading a new era.
Welcome to Roberto Martinez, the new resident of the home dugout awaiting the rating for his services. Five star? We will see.
We know about Roberto, no stranger to the Toffee faithful and, perhaps more importantly, the Premier League.
We know he is an intelligent individual. Well-dressed, composed and cultured.
We know he speaks as a manager like his teams play. With style, punch and elegance.
We know he champions attractive, offensive football – in the same vein as the Everton way - and loves the game for what it is.
We know he can tactically oust opponents with vigour and prowess, so much is his ability to do so that we clapped him off when he inflicted pain on our FA Cup desires last time we met him collectively.
But we also know the question marks over his credentials surround his dealing of the defence. Though despite David Weir’s departure, there is room to overlook concern as Alan Stubbs is seemingly sticking around along with an already steady backline of Jags and co.
His name was top of the pops throughout. His appointment as successor to Moyes should therefore have sprang little surprise - and with the din of Dave Whelan involved, there was never going to be much left to imagination anyway.
As fans, it’s only natural to tread with caution and apprehension after learning of a new personality to dictate the direction. But don’t let that shadow the undoubted buzz of rousing intrigue amid the bigger picture. It’ll be there somewhere. Found it? Embrace it.
Avoid staring into that win percentage so eagerly scrutinised by pundits and fans alike these days. So it might not make sparkling reading but what of the improvement accustomed with better players and a better working environment?
Look past the relegation on the CV and focus on the FA Cup success. Zoom right in on how he guided Wigan away from the drop zone continuously against the odds. See the positives, because there's no going back now.
Speaking at his press conference, amid the glare of the television cameras and probe of the huddled reporters, Martinez spoke with flare and passion. He spoke with genuine enthusiasm for the job at hand. As a fan, it was hard not to share his joy, his excitement, at the future.
And there was that moment, that minuscule moment enlarged by many, when Chairman Bill Kenwright let slip of the promise of Champions League football. But while others may look to seize on a ‘faltered, flawed vow’, Evertonians should hold tight to the soundbite. For the words were armed with the ambition every supporter should crave. So it might not be next season, the season after - or even at all - but why not harbour that hunger to break the big time?
For our man Martinez, gone are the days where he surveys a press conference with a handful of reporters looking for a couple of words to cram in at the footnote of the nationals. Now it's paragraphs.
Was the appointment the People's Choice for the People’s Club? Either way the support should be unequivocal. And it will be. Remember against West Ham on the final day of the season when we reminded the football world we don't follow the manager, or the captain, but the Club and only the Club?
So there will be no Phil Neville next season. No David Moyes or David Weir. If media reports are to believed, no Steve Round, Jimmy Lumsden or Chris Woods either. Though whatever the further outcome of the summer transfer market, the incomings and outgoings, Everton the Club is going nowhere. There will always be an Everton, a hallowed home to trudge to and fro after the victories - and the defeats.
And there will be a new era to embrace. In fact, it’s already started. And in our new leader’s own words: “Get excited”.