2013/14 Season Preview: New look Everton poised to embrace Martinez’s attacking philosophy

Last season’s position: 6th  (W16 D15 L7 F55 A40)

Key man: Marouane Fellaini

Predicted position: 7th

Last season, Roberto Martinez presided over Wigan’s relegation from the Premier League, the first time the Latics couldn’t avoid the drop after an eight-year spell in the top flight.

The Spaniard, however, also steered Wigan to their first ever trophy and Everton fans will be hoping the former Wigan manager can emulate the success at his new club, for silverware was the only thing David Moyes could not deliver.

Among the media frenzy that surrounded Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and David Moyes’ appointment, Everton were largely forgotten by the press who, perhaps understandably, focused on the end of an era at Old Trafford.

An era, however, came to an end at Goodison Park too, as David Moyes left the club after 11 years during which he moulded the blue half of Merseyside from a side dangerously flirting with relegation to an established top-eight side.

Despite having to operate on an incredibly tight budget for most of his tenure at Everton, Moyes developed an impressive track record in terms of cheap signings and Roberto Martinez will be expected to continue along the same line.

The Spaniard showed such qualities at Wigan, and his first three signings were all purchased form his former club, as Arouna Koné arrived for £5m, Antolín Alcaraz joined on a free and Joel Robles costed under £1m.

Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka, the new captain following Phil Neville’s retirement, have developed into one of the league’s best centre-back pairing, but Alcaraz could prove to be useful back-up option, much like Robles should be a reliable deputy for Tim Howard, after impressing on loan at Atletico Madrid last season.

Koné, meanwhile, will bolster Everton’s options up-front, where Nikica Jelavic will hope to rediscover the form he showed 18 months ago when he netted 11 goals in 13 starts, before scoring only eight in 43 appearances last season as he lost his place in the starting XI.

In the striking department, big things are expected of Kevin Mirallas, who enjoyed an excellent debut season in which he scored six goals and assisted just as many in 27 Premier League appearances.

Goals were hard to come by for the Toffees last season, who scored only 55 times, the worst return of any of the top seven finishers, but things should improve Roberto Martinez, whose Wigan side caught the eye of many courtesy of their passing game.

Martinez’s defensive record at Wigan, however, was rather suspect, as his side shipped in the joint-highest number of goals last season, while Moyes had moulded Everton into a perfectly drilled defensive unit, albeit one that failed to win on the road in 46 league matches against United, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal under the new Manchester United manager.

Perhaps, though, Martinez’s harder task will be to keep hold of the club’s prized assets throughout the summer and, so far, the new Everton manager has done well considering that, at the time of writing, Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini are still at the club.

United and David Moyes are likely to come calling again for the duo but, were Martinez to hold on to the pair, there’s no reason to believe that his first season in charge can’t end in success, as Everton look for their first piece of silverware since 1995.

Will Everton manage to challenge for trophies under Roberto Martinez or will they miss David Moyes?Let us know below or get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter

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