After a bitterly disappointing season at the Everton helm, certain Toffees fans have called for the sacking of Roberto Martinez, but former captain Phil Neville sees plenty more to come from the Spaniard’s reign at Goodison Park.
A fifth-place finish in the Premier League last season was always going to be a tough act to follow on Merseyside, but many weren’t prepared for the top-flight capitulation that followed for the north-west club.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, Neville agrees that 2014-15 is a campaign to forget.
“To see them down in 13th place, I think that it shows that it’s been a really poor season”, he told us.
But while some Everton fans were keen for the former Wigan boss to be given his P45, their former skipper disagrees.
“Roberto Martinez is 100 per cent the man to take Everton forward. I think this season would have been a big eye-opener for him.
“He probably wanted to take the team forward, but Everton are used to playing in a certain style, the culture of the club is used to playing in a certain style and it’s only in the last couple of weeks that we’ve seen them going back to a style that suits the culture of the club.”
One thing that Neville sees as being Martinez’s downfall has been his overriding commitment to the Europa League.
“I think they were the one team from England that played in the Europa League that were fully committed, that played the strongest team.
“They’ve then suffered going into the Premier League games having not rotated. If you get into that same situation again, you’ve got to rotate your players a little bit better.
“But Everton is a club that loves European football and they want to get into the Champions League.”
The club will surely have to delve into the transfer market should they qualify for Europe in the near future, in order to have the squad to be able to compete in both competitions with much authority.
For the time being though, the 59-capped former England man sees little change at the helm at Goodison Park.
“Bill Kenright is not the type of chairman that likes to change managers willy-nilly,” he added.
“He invests time in managers. He supports managers and he’ll do the same with Roberto Martinez.”
Phil Neville was speaking at the re-launch of football prediction platform Predikta, a football prediction game that connects you with your mates, colleagues and even ex-players. To back your predictions seamlessly with Labrokes visit www.predikta.com.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.