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Roberto Martinez - Playing With The Blues

Roberto Martinez - Playing With The Blues

David Starsky, 25th January 2014 - 12:33

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David Starsky

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Our new manager Robert Martinez has been playing in British football since he came to Wigan from Spain in 1995.

Having left the sun behind for the more ‘changeable’ weather of Lancashire, Roberto has since played league football for five different clubs before moving into management.

And during his time as a player he has lined up with a number of one-time Everton players.

He became known by the Latics fans as one of the ‘Three Amigos’ when he joined up with two Spanish compatriots for the 1995/96 season, but he also played for Wigan alongside Neil Rimmer, who was at Everton when we were at the height of our powers in the mid 80s.

Neil had featured as a sub in our championship-winning season of 1984/85.

Martinez also lined up alongside former Blues Mark Ward, Stuart Barlow and Peter Beagrie while at Wigan – two of whom enjoyed their time at Everton so much that they had two spells at Goodison Park.

One of Roberto’s managers at Wigan was Bruce Rioch, who had graced Goodison in the late 70s, and was that rare breed – a captain of Scotland who was born in England!

It was also at Wigan that Roberto appeared in the team with the son of another Merseyside manager. Suffice to say the son’s name was Paul and the father’s name was Kenny.

Roberto did not say 'goodbye' to Wigan, but more correctly 'hasta la vista', as he was to return as their manager some time later.

Before then, however, Roberto had a short spell up in Scotland at Motherwell, where not only was he under the stewardship of Chief Executive Pat Nevin, but lined up with the ‘Scottish Rooney’, who was yet to come south and play for Everton.

Indeed, James McFadden would also have two spells at the Grand Old Lady himself.

A brief period at Walsall was Roberto’s next stop, where he played against a current Everton player.

It was in a game against Sheffield United that our he came off the substitutes bench to play against our current captain Phil Jagielka. But while one man currently flexes more power than the other at Everton, neither had bragging rights then, as this game ended in a draw.

Martinez was also at Walsall in the same season, but not at the same time, as Everton’s goalscorer in the successful Charity Shield team of 1995 - Vinny Samways.
Roberto next moved to Wales, and Swansea reaped the benefit of his football talents as both a player and future manager. Here his playing career included lining up with Kevin McLeod, who had made a handful of appearances for the Blues in the early part of the millennium.

The final stop for Mr Martinez as a player was at Chester. And whilst he didn’t play alongside Michael Branch who was in the squad, he did play with Graham Allen who had made appearances for Everton during the late 1990s.
However, just before Roberto went into management, he played his last league games at Chester with a young Everton prospect who was out on loan to gain first-team experience.

Whilst never actually making the grade at Everton, it was this young midfielder who took over the wearing of Roberto Martinez’s number 8 shirt at Chester. Alan Kearney was the youngster’s name.

So, whilst Alan eventually went back to Ireland, before pitching up in Australia, his former teammate Roberto Martinez went on to become arguably Wigan’s most successful manager, leading the club to FA Cup glory in 2013.

And we all know where he went from there...

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