Everton Continue to Wait on New Manager

Wigan Athletic Manager Roberto Martinez (Image courtesy of Wigan Official Website)

Wigan Athletic Manager Roberto Martinez (Image courtesy of Wigan Official Website)

As is commonplace when the football season comes to an end in any particular country, the past week has been filled with transfer speculation regarding both players and managers. But, for Evertonians, the most important thing at this moment is not who the club will sign and who will leave — despite the lack of funds available over recent years and the perpetual rumors surrounding Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. All that matters at this moment is that David Moyes has left for Manchester United and there is still no new manager at the helm for the club as they prepare for their pre-season plans.

The speculation has been ripe since the announcement of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement at the beginning of the month. Once Moyes was declared the new appointment, journalists and fans immediately started to weigh in their picks for a successor to the largely popular Scot.

For much of the time even since autumn when Moyes announced he would not discuss renewing his Everton contract until this month when his current deal expired, the favorite was Roberto Martinez of Wigan Athletic. The Spaniard is young, charismatic, and makes his sides play attractive, quick, and dynamic football — something which a number of Evertonians crave after claiming that Moyes has always “bottled” it against the bigger sides in the league.

After several relegation-threatened seasons that culminated with the drop this month, and a comprehensive 3-0 away victory against Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinals, Martinez would seem eager to join a club like Everton that provide greater aspirations than Wigan. However, with a very vocal and polemical chairman like Dave Whelan, a compensation package needing to be fixed that would pay Wigan to terminate the Spaniard’s contract, and the aftermath of leaving a club that despite relegation recently won the FA Cup for the first time in their history, it seems difficult for a move for Martinez to materialize.

The other popular candidate has been Vitor Pereira of Porto. Much like Martinez in terms of age and style, the Portuguese manager brings two key advantages: he is out-of-contract and therefore free, and he has experience managing a big club with major ambitions. In his two seasons at the helm of Porto, the side have only lost once in the league and won both campaigns, while achieving moderate success in Europe. This would be a major pull for Everton and there have already been rumors of a pre-contact agreement with the 44-year old Andres Villas-Boas apprentice, which the club hierarchy have been quick to squash.

Other names have been thrown into the bin, including internal candidates Alan Stubbs, Phil Neville, and Duncan Ferguson, who have played for and been involved with the club on some level for years. There are also reports of an eight-man shortlist which includes deposed Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill, Celtic boss Neil Lennon, and Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup, who has already stated he does not wish to leave South Wales this summer.

Surely, though, none would make Evertonians happier than a youthful, non-British manager known for injecting some flair in his sides. It might not work with an “industrious” club like Everton who have been tailored by Moyes over 11 years to be physically imposing and reactive, while playing some thrilling football, although sporadically, as seen in last season’s 4-4 draw against United. The financial issues and lack of investment from Bill Kenwright and his board would still exist for the new man, but a readjustment in style and the potential sale and interchange of players would at least keep supporters excited until the football starts up again in August.

Only time will well what happens on Merseyside, but be sure that more than a handful of loyal Toffees will be checking the rumor mill on a daily basis until Kenwright makes the call, hoping and praying that it will be Martinez and Pereira. And, if not, at least that it won’t be Phil Neville.

2 Comments on "Everton Continue to Wait on New Manager"

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  1. Win Draper says:

    I wish Mr Moyes every success,as do most Evertonians.He pulled us from the morass of annual relegation struggles to the top echelon of the Premier League. But, he is now manager of a competing team and as such I wouldn’t be too upset if his weaknesses as a manager were to cause a drop in trophies for his new employers.

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