UEFA Champions League
Previous
Aktobe Lento
Dinamo Tbilisi
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FK Ventspils
Malmo FF
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Rabotnicki Kometal
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Steaua Bucuresti
Stromsgodset
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
NK Maribor
Zrinjski Mostar
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
St Patricks
Legia Warsaw
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
FC Aarau
FC Sion Sitten
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Thun
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
San Jose
Chicago
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Antonio Scorpions
Carolina RailHawks
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Bolívar
10:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Instituto de Córdoba
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
Defensa y Justicia
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Chapecoense AF
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Avaí
Palmeiras
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
ABC
Novo Hamburgo
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Botafogo da Paraiba
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
CR Vasco da Gama
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Bahia
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Sport Huancayo
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
Postp
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
Postp
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Postp
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
Postp
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
Postp
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
FC Tokyo
0
1
FT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Shimizu S-Pulse
4
0
FT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
Omiya Ardija
2
2
FT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Kawasaki Frontale
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Kashiwa Reysol
5
2
FT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Urawa Red Diamonds
0
2
FT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Cerezo Osaka
0
0
FT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Nagoya Grampus Eight
3
3
FT
Game Details
Yokohama F. Marinos
Vissel Kobe
1
1
FT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
Portland Thorns FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Summer transfers survey: Everton

Everton Jul 8, 2014
Read

End of season review: Everton

Everton May 13, 2014
Read

Everton end fine season in style

Everton May 12, 2014
Read

O'Farrell: Barry Must Stay

Luke O'Farrell May 10, 2014
Read

Barry thrives at Everton

FC United May 1, 2014
Read

Stones worthy of a trip to Brazil

Everton Apr 24, 2014
Read
Jun 13, 2014

Martinez's renewal should only be the start

Roberto Martinez has been rewarded with a new contract following a fine debut season at Everton.

It was a definite blink and you will miss it moment. As the country quenched their thirst for football, transfixed on the World Cup opener between hosts Brazil and a luckless Croatia, Everton quietly slipped a sizeable dose of positive news into the public domain.

With the second half set to kick off, the club took to social media, announcing their decision to reward manager Roberto Martinez with a new five-year contract, extending his existing agreement by two years.

Whatever the reasoning behind the move, whether (deserved) repayment for an impressive start to life on Merseyside or a proactive business decision from a club whose previous manager burnt their fingers by allowing his contract to expire, it is a shrewd beginning to perhaps the biggest summer in recent memory.

Few, if any, could have envisaged the impact of Martinez in such a short space of time. Embracing the storied history of the club, placing pictures of past successes on the walls of the training ground while leaving space for future ones, Martinez has breathed new life into a club threatening to stagnate.

Pragmatism and an entrenched siege mentality quickly gave way to fearlessness and ceaseless ambition. It became clear from the outset that Martinez was his own man, able to find positives from even the grimmest of scenarios, though very much in the vein of a manager constantly seeking improvement, not one deluding himself with a hackneyed outlook.

- Martinez closing in on targets

Supporters, so well versed in the methods of David Moyes, could hardly hide their surprise when Martinez replaced his left back, Leighton Baines, with then 19-year-old Gerard Deulofeu in the Merseyside derby. It could have been a disaster but it proved a masterstroke; more often than not, such calculated gambles worked in favour of Martinez, lending weight to the notion that fortune favours the brave.

Of the many plaudits landing at his feet, the biggest compliment is the ease with which the players adapted to the stylistic changes asked of them. Credit also to the players for making this transition with comparative ease.

Quashing any doubts about the defensive capabilities of his teams and their ability to marry resilience at the back with creativity in attack, Martinez managed the league's third-best defence last season. Only Chelsea (27) and Manchester City (37) conceded fewer goals (39) in 2013-14.

Hailed by chairman Bill Kenwright as the "best young manager in Europe" -- on this occasion, his propensity for the theatrical rings truer than normal -- Martinez oversaw a remarkable first season, guiding the Blues to a record Premier League points haul, returning European football to Goodison Park in the process. Several other club records in the Premier League toppled along the way.

Nonetheless, once the excitement surrounding this pre-season move subsides, attention will turn to next term and the challenges facing Martinez, his players and in particular, the decision makers in the boardroom.

Improving on a fifth-place finish and record point haul while juggling the demands European football is a tough ask. Quality and quantity are the order of the day when it comes to player recruitment; it is high time the club addressed the lack of depth hindering the squad in recent years.

Speaking to the club's official website, Kenwright has either signalled his intent or made a rod for his own back: "When we find our man, we empower him. We support and provide him with everything at our disposal... We want the best because only the best will do."

Given Everton's chequered past when it comes to empowering managers, this latest sound bite is bound to be met with a degree of scepticism in some quarters.

Likewise, a similar reaction may greet the idea that only the best is good enough. Let us not forget the crest on its way out. Moving forward, this striking start needs to be the first of many signatures witnessed at Goodison this summer.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.