Martinez set for Goodison switch

The deal could be in place within days

Roberto Martinez could be on his way to Everton.

Roberto Martinez could be on his way to Everton.

 


For Phil Neville they were “the worst three minutes of my career” and brought his Everton playing days to a shattering halt. For Roberto Martinez, by contrast, they are 180 seconds that could prove to be the making of a career at Goodison Park.

They were evidently enough for the Everton board to spot that David Moyes’s potential successor was stood next to him when Wigan Athletic dismantled their FA Cup ambitions in March.

Martinez will replace Moyes as Everton manager should talks with chairman Bill Kenwright reach amicable agreement and Wigan receive compensation of around £2 million.

The deal could be in place within days, leaving Everton to keep everything crossed that Wigan’s historic FA Cup success, and not their relegation from the Premier League after eight seasons, is the true reflection of their new appointment’s capabilities.

Unlike the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the club’s new crest – for which an apology has now been issued – opinion on Everton’s favoured managerial choice appears divided among the fan-base.

That is to be expected of a relegated FA Cup winner, although memories of Wigan’s emphatic 3-0 quarter-final victory at Goodison in March will turn from traumatic to consoling should he complete the short journey to Merseyside.

That win was achieved with a style and ambition that reflected the best of the Wigan manager’s designs for the club he first joined as a player in 1995.

Boldness was evident again as Manchester City were beaten in the final at Wembley to give Wigan the biggest prize in their brief, professional history. Four days later they were relegated.

Just as Manchester United have taken a leap of faith in replacing Alex Ferguson with a manager lacking title-winning or Champions League experience, so too Everton with a manager who has won 38 of his 152 matches in the Premier League – a ratio of 25 per cent over four seasons that has seen Wigan finish 16th, 16th, 15th and 18th.
Guardian Service