Roberto Martinez promised Bill Kenwright a run at the Champions League – and I for one applaud the ambition, and say it´s about bloody time.
If there´s one thing I won´t miss about the Moyes era it´s the non-stop pessimism. I grew tired and increasingly angry at the “plucky old Everton” tag that was exacerbated by a manager who “aimed for the 40 point mark” every season and “went from there”.
This was regurgitated throughout the club. Last season, captain Phil Neville proudly declared that a top ten finish is a “massive achievement” for a club like Everton. I´m not going to lie, I pretty much despised Phil Neville, and that quote summed up why.
But that´s been the mindset for a long, long time. In short, it´s always been painted by the media that Moyes has done us a favour by sticking around as long as he did, and his failings as a manager – e.g. bottling it spectacularly whenever a game of note came about – were glossed over as “to be expected” because of limited funds or whatever excuse Sky or BBC decided to go to air with.
So to see Martinez come out and say he´s going to give it a proper go is a massive breath of fresh air.
And why is it unrealistic? We´ve just finished 6th, after giving the Champions League qualification places a reasonable push for much of the season. And, thanks to Moyes (a genuine genius in the transfer market), we´ve got a talented squad full of players with great potential and good experience. We´ve got the best to come from the likes of Barkley, a developing superstar, and Jelavic, who may come good now he´s working with a manager who knows how to use a striker. We´ve got assets in our squad worth many millions of pounds, and the extra TV money gives our new manager a chance to really push on.
Yes, it could all go tits up. Martinez could prove to be a terrible manager and we´ll finish 10th or whatever. But isn´t it refreshing to see a man who wants to be a winner; especially when set against Moyes, a man who simply did not want to be a loser. There´s a difference.
It´s going to be an interesting season. But one thing is for sure – whilst Martinez wasn´t “my guy” as a managerial choice, the media can get f***ed with the way they´re laughing at our new manager for dreaming of better.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum may be gone for the badge for the time being, but we still live it and breathe it.