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Arsenal expose Martinez's flaws

Everton 4 days ago
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Roberto Martinez

Latest Club: Everton
Previous Squads:

Wigan Athletic

2014/2015 Barclays Premier League

  • 2GP
  •  
  • 0Won
  •  
  • 2Draw
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  • 0Lost
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Profile

Previous Clubs: Swansea City, Wigan Athletic

Honours: English League One: 2008; FA Cup: 2013

Roberto Martinez arrived in the Premier League with very little experience of management, but his affable personality and commitment to attacking football quickly won him many admirers. His philosophy bore fruit when he delivered Wigan their first ever major trophy with victory over Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final, leading Everton to hire him as David Moyes' successor a month later.

Beginning his playing career in his native Spain with Real Zaragoza and then lower league CF Balaguer, Martinez was a midfielder with ambitions to play around Europe. He stayed in Spain for two years, but really made his name when he transferred to Wigan in 1995.

Becoming part of a small Spanish contingent at the club, he was one of Wigan's famous 'three amigos' alongside Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz and made over 200 appearances for the Latics in his six-year association with them as a player.

After difficult spells at Motherwell and Walsall, Martinez moved to Swansea in search of regular football and was given the captain's armband as he helped the Welsh side avoid relegation from the Football League in 2003. His influence transformed them from relegation fodder to promotion contenders and they duly achieved the feat in 2005. He then moved to Chester City, again playing as captain, but in 2007, Swansea approached Martinez, offering him the chance to return as manager.

Starting his managerial career well, he took Swansea to the League One title in his first season, and promotion back to England's second tier after a 24-year absence, rightly winning the acclaim of fans and pundits alike for his style of management and football. He picked up the League Managers Association's Manager of the Year award for League One -- he remains the only Spaniard to have achieved that feat in any division -- and continued to impress the following season. Swansea achieved a respectable 8th place in the Championship (only six points off a play-off place) and knocked FA Cup holders Portsmouth out of the competition.

With a growing reputation, Martinez began to attract attention and, in June 2009, both Celtic and Wigan Athletic asked Swansea for permission to speak with the Spaniard. Agreeing terms, he returned to the DW Stadium -- where he had affectionately been known as 'Bobby' during his playing days -- and kept the side in the top flight for three more seasons, rejecting a move to Aston Villa as well.

After masterminding his third successive Premier League survival in 2012, Liverpool came calling but Martinez opted to stay at Wigan again. His final season in Lancashire was a rollercoaster one, as the Latics shocked Manchester City with a 1-0 win in the FA Cup final at Wembley before becoming the first club to lift the trophy and be relegated a week later. Martinez's departure from the Premier League lasted only a matter of weeks, though, as Everton swooped for the Spaniard's services.

Martinez brought four members of his backroom staff with him to Everton which aided a smooth transition from the DW to Goodison Park as the Spaniard went unbeaten in his first six fixtures before leading the Toffees to a fifth-placed finish in his maiden campaign.

Strengths: Charming and intelligent, his teams play attractive football and he has shown an excellent eye for a bargain in the transfer market.

Weaknesses: Has been accused of being tactically naive at times, with his emphasis on good football over pragmatism eventually proving the undoing of his Wigan side.

Career high: Winning the FA Cup against the odds with Wigan in 2013.

Career low: Following up that shock triumph with relegation a week later. A 9-1 Premier League defeat to Spurs in 2009 comes a close second.

Tactics: He has a commitment to attacking football which can sometimes leave his sides caught out at the back. He operates a 4-2-3-1 shape that relies on strong tacklers in the middle and skilful passers in the attacking third, but he has also shown tactical flexibility -- successfully operating a 3-5-2 formation at times with Wigan.

Quotes: "In my mind he is tailor-made to manage Everton. He has been such a fantastic manager for Wigan -- we are friends and will remain friends for the rest of our lives. I respect him enormously." Wigan owner Dave Whelan on his departing manager in May, 2013.

Trivia: Martinez has described former Real Madrid and Wales boss John Toshack as his managerial idol, claiming that he "changed football in Spain."

Words: Mark Lomas and Jon Carter