Roberto Martinez becomes Everton’s new manager


Big news breaking out of Goodison Park this morning, as former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has signed a four-year deal to replace David Moyes in charge of English Premier League side Everton.

Martinez has been rumored to be the favorite for the vacancy on Merseyside for quite some time now, but with compensation agreed between the two clubs, Martinez met with Everton over the past few days and it hasn’t taken long to come to an agreement.

Everton confirmed the appointment of their new manager just a short while ago, with Martinez becoming the club’s 14th manager. The Spaniard will be unveiled later this afternoon in a press conference.

So was this the right choice for Everton?

Martinez was certainly the outstanding candidate for the position, given his masterstroke of keeping Wigan in the EPL for several seasons, playing attractive soccer and winning the FA Cup last season. However Martinez failed to keep Wigan in the English top-flight over the past campaign and the time was right to move on.

(More: Which new EPL managers will work wonders?)

Everton have a manger who is young, hungry to succeed and has plenty of respect within the game. Sound familiar? Moyes’ appointment was quite similar, however all his success at Preston had come in the lower leagues.

However the big question mark for me, is how can Martinez now handle the increased pressure and expectation levels from Everton’s loyal fans? A top-six finish last season was celebrated but many fans believe Everton belong in the top four and want Champions League soccer. Can Martinez deliver that? We will have to wait and see.

At Wigan there were no expectations at all. Staying in the EPL was like winning the title. Everton expects much more than that from Martinez.

(More: How well would Martinez fit at Everton?)

One thing is for sure, he already has a huge array of talented individuals at his disposal and the Spanish manager has shown incredible nous and creativity in the transfer market in his time in charge at Swansea City and Wigan. No doubt some of his former players at Wigan will move to Goodison Park, with Callum McManaman and James McCarthy already rumored to be following in Martinez’ footsteps.

Next up at Everton next season, attractive, attacking soccer. Martinez style.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)