Talk of Roberto Martinez to Tottenham Hotspur has begun to ramp up, thanks to emerging reports this week…
The Guardian‘s Dave Hytner first reported on Monday that the 47-year-old, who has overseen the progress of the Belgium national team, has ‘admirers at Spurs.’
According to Belgian outlet Sport Voetbal Magazine, the groundwork now is being laid for him to return to the Premier League after this summer’s European Championship.
It’s reported that his agent Pini Zahavi is ‘close’ to Daniel Levy, having also brokered Jose Mourinho’s £15m-a-year contract back in November 2019. Martinez is said to have instructed his representative to sound out a potential switch to north London ahead of next season.
The former Swansea, Wigan Athletic and Everton manager would be a far from inspiring appointment, and given recent developments over the course of the week, Levy would be dealing Spurs yet another blow by hiring him.
Mourinho was shown the exit door after 17 months and The Athletic have since revealed several underlying factors which put an end to his tenure, including claims that the Special One “sucked the culture out of the club and destroyed what Spurs have stood for for years.”
It is also suggested that the players were not only left bored by his training sessions but also his persistent criticism in the public eye.
Spurs were then forced out of the European Super League thanks to pressure from supporters, but it didn’t stop there. Ahead of their kick-off with Southampton on Wednesday, swarms of fans were seen outside the ground protesting against ENIC and Levy, so he will be under immense pressure to get this appointment spot on.
Martinez’s experience in England is probably most memorable for his FA Cup win at the Latics in 2013, but his stint at the Toffees was hardly anything to brag about – after signing a five-year contract extension, Everton had won just one of ten games before March and were knocked out of the Europa League early. By May 2016, he was sacked with the team in 12th place.
Eurosport went on to dissect his tenure, suggesting that the Merseyside outfit were in decline under him. “The problems seem systemic: what went wrong at Wigan is going wrong at Everton and there’s no evidence Martinez is able to fix it,” explained Jonathan Wilson.
Richard Jolley added: “Martinez has imagination, but undermines his progressiveness with an enduring sniffiness about the fundamentals.”
The Spaniard’s ‘no-fear’ style of football would match a key philosophy desired by Levy but there are some doubts too, as the Belgium boss came under fire for excluding Radja Nainggolan, who dubbed him “pathetic” for how he dealt with things in a scathing interview with ESPN.
Once lauded as a “very smart person” and a “very good coach” by former Swansea defender Angel Rangel, it’s been an age since Martinez was in the Premier League, and even then he went out in disappointing fashion.
Appointing the 47-year-old would open Levy to further criticism from the club’s already-enraged fanbase, and ultimately it could prove to be another nail in the coffin towards his and Tottenham’s turgid reputation.