Close sidebar

After a successful first season in charge, Roberto Martinez is nearing his second season at Goodison Park. Everton fans will be hopeful of more of the same and not the infamous ‘Second Season Syndrome’. Jason Coulter discusses what the Toffees require ahead of the new season.

Roberto Martinez is in a rare position for a modern manager. His positivity, both on and off the pitch has endeared him to virtually every Everton fan you meet, they will even debate that Mourinho’s Armani jackets are no match for Martinez’s famous brown shoes.

On the pitch, he has shown the fans that life after Moyes would not involve scrapping around the middle of the table, like so many feared. Qualifying for the Europa League was a great achievement, but many feel the squad let the Champions League slip through their fingers. They may only whisper it in public, but Everton are planning another raid on the top four this season.

There is one glaring  flaw in Martinez’s master plan however; the need for players. Specifically attacking players.

It is a mark of respect to the Toffees that arguably their biggest attacking threats come from their full-backs. It also highlights just how lightweight the club is up front, despite the record signing of Romelu Lukaku. Yes, the signing of Lukaku is a massive signal of intent from Roberto Martinez and the £28 million record fee shows that Everton want to build on last year’s relative success.

However, Steven Naismith’s flashes of brilliance last season are a stark contrast to Arouna Kone, who struggled badly in his five appearances before an October injury ended his season.

Naismith won over many naysayers last season, coming off the bench to grab numerous important goals. Despite this, there are many fans who remain unconvinced. Neither has the quality Everton need to mount a serious challenge for the elusive 4th spot and the Champions League football it brings.

There is also talk of a return for towering striker Lacina Traore who only registered 60 minutes of F.A. Cup action when injury forced him out for the rest of the season. A goal in the 4th minute of his only appearance give fans some cause for optimism. At 6ft 8, he would become the tallest outfield player to play in the Premier League.

It is likely that the club will be looking for another winger too. Last season, Gerard Deulofeu wowed the faithful with his trickery and magic. Defenders may breathe a little easier when seeing the brilliant-but-inconsistent duo of Aiden McGeady and Kevin Mirallas on the field. For Irish fans, it will be good to see more of McGeady and they will hope he can continue to improve on a promising start since joining in January.

The return of Darron Gibson, the addition of Gareth Barry on a permanent basis and the  signing of young Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic mean that Martinez has little to worry about in central midfield. 21-year-old Besic was one of the few Bosnians who impressed at the World Cup, and is known for his high work ethic. The reported €5 million fee could be a very shrewd investment.

Defensively Martinez’s Wigan side were culpable for many defensive nightmares, but last season with Everton the back line looked very assured; Helped in no small part by Tim Howard and Sylvain Distin. Everton have defenders that could settle into any side competing in the Champions League.

It is going to be a busy time for Martinez. He needs a squad capable of juggling both domestic and European football as well as the increased expectancy from the fans. There is no doubt that Everton have their sights set on a trophy, and at least a top seven finish. If the Spaniard can bring in three or four new names, perhaps the Champions League dream can become a reality.

Jason Coulter, Pundit Arena.

This is a cookie notice. You can replace this cookie notice easily using the theme options from within your WordPress control panel. It will only appear once, with acceptance of the form stored locally.