I could not quite believe it when I read that former Everton boss Roberto Martinez is now one of the front-runners for the vacant job at Real Madrid. I nearly spat my coffee out while reading the report on a major news site.
Failed at Everton
This is the same Roberto Martinez who bought wholesale from Wigan when Everton boss, despite the players being nowhere near the standard needed to lift the Toffees. The Spaniard looked set to enjoy a long reign on Merseyside when he finished fifth place in the Premier League in his first season in charge.
However, a failure to be able to cobble together a cohesive defence or any sort of defence at Everton saw him fired after nearly three years in the job at Goodison Park. His team were often brilliant going forward, but woeful at the back.
In that first year on Merseyside, he showed he had some tactical acumen. The next two years massively exposed his weaknesses as a top-level coach. His undoubtedly good tactical ideas were spoilt by poor signings and at times quite frankly baffling decisions.
Martinez is a nice guy and one who still had potential when he left Everton. However, I doubt many could see where the affable Martinez would coach next.
More successful as Belgium boss
Incredibly, just a few months after Everton sacked him, Belgium appointed the Spaniard as their new head coach. The decision astounded many people within and outside of the game.
Belgium had one of the brightest squads of players in world football. They trusted the man who signed Arouna Kone on a free transfer for Everton to coach the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.
For me, it was a crazy decision at the time. Granted he did have some decent tactical ideas, but the Spaniard’s failure at Everton should have been enough to warn off big clubs or this case nation off Martinez.
To be fair to Martinez, he has a good record with the Red Devils. The fact that Belgium have lost just one game in open play in 30 is an illustration that Martinez must be doing something right.
Some will say that a squad of supremely talented players does not need a boss to get results, which is true to a certain extent. However, the boss is supposed to be there to get the best out of his players and with the Belgium national team squad manage the big egos.
His tactical approach against France in the World Cup semi-final also came in for some criticism from certain sections of the media.
Not a completely crazy appointment
As an Evertonian, I might be slightly biased against Roberto Martinez. However, if he did get the job in Madrid, I believe most Evertonian’s would wish him good luck. Martinez comes across as a very positive and affable guy.
He likes his teams to play attacking football, which will go down well at Real Madrid, who usually have the talent to dominate games against most teams. The 45-year-old has shown with the Belgium national team that he can create a winning team when he has solid defensive foundations in place.
His time with the Red Devils has also shown that he can manage those big egos, which again is a big part of managing a club like Real Madrid. Martinez is currently odds of 5/2 to become the next permanent Real Madrid boss, with only interim boss Santiago Solari shorter odds to get the job.
It would be an extraordinary journey for Martinez from Merseyside to Madrid in two years. However, he has shown in his short managerial career so far that if he gets the right resources he can create highly exciting, and winning teams.
I now believe that Roberto Martinez becoming the next Los Blancos boss would not be the craziest appointment, which I never thought I would see myself writing.
It would be an interesting appointment and I would not rule out the former Blues boss becoming a big hit at the Bernabeu, despite the flaws he showed at Everton.
Will Roberto Martinez be the next full-time Real Madrid boss?
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