On the fifth-year anniversary of his last job in the Premier League coming to an end, Roberto Martinez continues to be linked to the managerial vacancy at Tottenham Hotspur.
According to Football Insider, the former Everton boss is making a ‘huge play’ behind the scenes for the Spurs job ahead of the summer.
It’s claimed that the 47-year-old is prepared to quit his role as Belgium national team boss after the European Championships and is now thought to be a strong contender to replace Jose Mourinho.
On May 12th 2016, the Spaniard was relieved of his duties at Goodison Park, ending a very disappointing reign.
Despite leading the Merseysiders to the semi-finals of the FA and League Cup that season, they had slipped to 12th in the Premier League and back-to-back defeats to Leicester City and Sunderland sealed his fate.
As Eurosport reported at the time, it was a ‘story of failure’ as Martinez ‘promised so much’ and ‘delivered so little’ – that being the prospect of becoming an established side in Europe, particularly the Champions League but ultimately sinking to mid-table obscurity.
Jonathan Wilson believes many of the problems are through his stubbornness to change and adapt. “The problems seem systemic – what went wrong at Wigan is going wrong at Everton,” he claimed. “And there’s no evidence Martinez is able to fix it.”
Furthermore, Lyndon Lloyd, the editor of popular Everton fansite ToffeeWeb, told IBTimes UK similar reasoning.
“The main reasons for the underachievement as a whole probably stem from the lack of focus on solidity at the back and a stubborn mentality to see out matches when the team was ahead,” he claimed. “Over the past two seasons Martinez’s tactics, formations, substitution policy and the fitness of his players have all come into question and, ultimately, undermined his position.”
That stubbornness to play a system that doesn’t match the squad’s quality is quite similar to Mourinho’s tenure, too. And that must be avoided.
Three months after leaving, he took control of Belgium and has kept them atop the FIFA rankings ever since but a third-place finish in the last World Cup is surely an underachievement considering the plethora of talent on offer – ranging from the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Kevin De Bruyne to Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard.
If you’re not cleaning up trophies with that side, then something is amiss. Perhaps those “systemic” problems are the cause?
His overall record in the Premier League is far from inspiring either, winning just 30% of his 261 matches in charge. There’s only so much longer he can ride the crest of that fortuitous FA Cup triumph at Wigan Athletic.
An appointment like this would not only leave fans underwhelmed, and probably furious, but it would certainly make Levy’s job harder in keeping Harry Kane, who wants to cap off his phenomenal goalscoring career with a few trophies.
The Spurs chairman might as well wave goodbye to his leading talisman this summer if Martinez were to be hired.
“I want to be winning the biggest prizes there are to offer and we are not quite doing that,” Kane said after their Carabao Cup final heartbreak last month.
Both Manchester giants, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid have all been mooted with interest in the 27-year-old striker, so he certainly won’t be short of suitors and he is very much more likely to add silverware to his trophy cabinet at any of those teams than in North London.
Spurs won’t be contending any time soon if they hire Martinez and that may well spell trouble for their chances of seeing Kane remain in a Lilywhites shirt for much longer.
Levy must avoid the Belgium coach at all costs, otherwise, their future will look even bleaker than it already does.