The dust has not settled at Anfield. Shortly after the dismissal of King Kenny, numerous names have been linked with the Liverpool job none more so than Roberto Martinez.
The Spaniard met with the owners of Fenway Sports Group in Miami to discuss the job that Wigan chairman Dave Whelan believes has been offered to his manager, as BBC Sport understands. Yet whilst John Henry seems happy to have found his man, questions remain whether Martinez has what it takes to win over the fans.
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool fans already expressed their dissatisfaction with the Martinez rumours at an Aintree race meeting earlier this week.
Yet with Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp both ruling themselves out of the post, Martinez seems the prime candidate for the job. Fenway Sports Group have openly stated the desire to hire a young manager who is not a cult figure at the club, much to the displeasure of Rafael Benitez.
Why are Liverpool fans so against the Spaniard? Martinez has done an admirable job with a Wigan side without many big names. At 38 he has plenty of upside and could be just the young managerial face that the new regime needs to truly kick off their era. His Wigan side have been notable dragon slayers, beating Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle last season.
Surely with a more talented side (no disrespect to Wigan there) Martinez can only do better?
The main reason why Liverpool fans are apprehensive about the Wigan man? They have heard this all before. The man was Roy Hodgson. The new England manager only lasted 31 games at Anfield with fans not welcoming him from the offset. After coming from a mid table Fulham side, many Kopites didn’t feel Hodgson was up to the job. It’s these same concerns that have been voiced about Martinez.
Yet there is a noticeable difference with the seemingly imminent arrival of the Wigan manager. In Hodgson’s case, fan favourite Dalglish was always waiting in the wings as the replacement for the struggling former Fulham man. This time, Dalglish has tried and failed. Although fans (like myself) are always entitled to an opinion, the reign of Dalglish just goes to show that we don’t always make the right managerial choices.
So I say perhaps Martinez is the right call. Or at least he should be given a chance. The Spaniard has proven his worth at Wigan and has plenty of potential. Other leading candidate Andres Villas Boas was poor in the Premier League, so why shouldn’t Martinez be given the chance?
Liverpool fans also have to remember that they’re bargaining position is not a particularly strong one – an 8th place finish with a League Cup win is not that attractive, especially when coupled with a passionate fan base that craves more.
Martinez has proved he can compete in the Premier League with a limited squad so surely he deserves the chance to build his own Liverpool side. There is no doubt that the club desperately needs to install a manager so that the summer rebuilding can take place.
With Dave Whelan’s June 5th deadline rapidly approaching, we should soon have an answer.
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