Here we stand just 11 days in to the tenure of Roberto Martinez and it already feels time to reflect and take stock of the whirlwind that has occurred. In just 11 days we have seen 4 new arrivals in the playing staff and a multitude of to-ing and fro-ing on the backroom department.
I have mixed feelings about the changes in playing staff so far; on the one hand Martinez has already added at least one new face to each aspect of the team, on the flip side 3 or the 4 are from his relegated Wigan side from last year (albeit one that won the FA Cup and was widely regarded as playing some of the best attacking football in the league). When Martinez was confirmed as manager I imagine most Everton fans like myself where purring with the possibility of getting Callum McManamen in. Now I wouldn’t want another Wigan player no matter who they are. There is now talk of Victor Moses from Chelsea on a season long loan. Now, whilst I rate Moses, he is another of Martinez’s old boys which doesn’t fill me with joy at all.
Arouna scored against us home and away last year, and was Wigan’s top scorer for a while. He seems like a very good player who plays off the last defender, much like Jelavic did when he scored his goals at the back end of the 11-12 season. The issue we had last season was the style by-passed much of the midfield and went direct to the front line or the wings. This style of play does not lead to many through balls, and Jelavic found himself laying the ball off for runners or running wide himself. I believe that our style of play will gradually change under Martinez, but it will have to happen quickly or both Kone and Jelavic will be watching Anichebe from the best for large swathes of the season.
Rating: 3/5 (4/5 if we can see a quick change in approach play).
Many pundits have come out with the line “Wigan would not have been relegated if Alcaraz had been fit”. A solid defender from what we have seen who was part of Wigan’s demolition of us in the FA Cup. He will provide no more than cover for Distin and Jagielka this season, but seems to pave the way for Heitinga to leave the club. Heitinga leaving will make this free-transfer essentially profit making, giving the manager more funds to spend elsewhere.
Rating: 4/5 – we have lacked squad depth in this position and this is great cover.
Joel kept Ali Al-Habsi out of Wigan’s FA Cup final side due to impressive performances in a defence that leaked goals for fun. That being said struggling team’s goalkeepers tend to get more chances to look better. If nothing else this will provide cover for Tim Howard, given the departure of Jan Mucha and apparent lack of talent coming through. I expect that Joel will play in all cup competitions – as this is a tactic Martinez has used previously as he believes in using your full squad.
Rating: 3/5 – Good cover for Tim.
I have to be careful here. I would suggest if this kid has signed for the other team across the park they would be hailing him as all sorts as well as sharing the video that the national media carried like wildfire, saying they’re gonna ‘win the lot’. What we have to take into consideration here is this kid has only really played the the Secunda Division in Spain for Barcelona B and for youth national teams. He looks good on the video, but so does everyone (Bakayoko anyone?) so lets just wait and see if he adapts to the Premier League.
Rating: 5/5 (potentially)
All change here. Of the staff that Moyes left behind when he took his trip up the M62 David Weir decided that management was for him and joined Sheffield United, and Alan Stubbs remains as U21 manager. Apart from that I believe the rest of the backroom staff are from Wigan. Not much to judge here, only time will tell. Good look to Davie though!
Overall quite happy with the quality of the signings in Roberto’s first fortnight in charge. Would maybe have liked to have seen less/different players come from Wigan but everyone signed improves the squad if not the first team.
Now: more of the same please Roberto, just no more old boys!