Wednesday 21 March 2018

Moyes still a legend for Evertonians – Martinez

Manchester United's manager David Moyes, left, and his replacement at Everton Roberto Martinez will face off again tomorrow
Manchester United's manager David Moyes, left, and his replacement at Everton Roberto Martinez will face off again tomorrow

Chris Bascombe

Roberto Martinez expects former manager David Moyes to receive a hostile reception at Goodison Park tomorrow, but insists it will not demean his "legendary status" at Everton.

Martinez says the recent antipathy from Evertonians to their former manager is because of a rivalry with Manchester United overriding the sense of gratitude for Moyes' 11 years of service on Merseyside.

Moyes upset Evertonians when he left for Old Trafford by signing Marouane Fellaini and targeting Leighton Baines. He was jeered by his former fans when the clubs met at Old Trafford last December.


"Every Evertonian appreciates the job David Moyes did. No one will tell you otherwise," said Martinez. "The reception he had at the final game of last season against West Ham was full of the true, genuine emotion. That is how Evertonians feel about David Moyes.

"Everything else is about the manager of Manchester United. That is a different role. It was a difficult summer for us and we can all look back now and be satisfied, but at that time to lose your main goalscorer (Fellaini) on deadline day is not easy.

"As a former Everton manager he deserves incredible respect and appreciation for the job he's done. He will always be more than welcome at Goodison but you need to understand that there are four games left in the season, we're facing Manchester United and that's a huge rivalry.

"The manager of Manchester United is not going to be nicely welcomed at Goodison and that is only healthy. It hurts you if you don't understand where that is coming from. I had it at Swansea (when returning as Wigan manager). Every situation is different."

The manner in which Martinez has built on the foundations left by Moyes is in stark contrast to his predecessor's toils at Old Trafford. There is little sympathy from the Spanish coach, who says it is inevitable the manager of United is under scrutiny if expectations are not met.

"That comes with the job," he said. "Look at all the top jobs around the world. Tito Martino at Barcelona... the Real Madrid manager is constantly under pressure season after season. Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of resources, financially, so that kind of scrutiny comes with the job description.

"It was always going to be difficult for anyone to replace Alex Ferguson but I think Man United's squad is bigger and better than people are trying to make out.

"They are the best team away from home in the league so it's not that everything has been bad, it's just not at the standard that Manchester United have everyone used to. They are still the league champions and they haven't lost any players.

"An ageing squad if you win becomes an experienced squad with know-how. If you lose, it becomes the players have no legs. It's something in between those two extremes.


"Who are the United veterans? Rio Ferdinand? How many games has Rio played?

"He has not played many. And Ryan Giggs hasn't played many either. I'm looking at it from my point (of view) and I can give you my view as a manager facing a team on Sunday with the best away record and that squad for me, is very dangerous."

Meanwhile, Everton want to appoint former manager Joe Royle as 'development director' overseeing the welfare of loan players and emerging youngsters.

Royle, the last Goodison manager to win a trophy when he lifted the FA Cup in 1996, has been targeted directly on Martinez's advice. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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