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Is Martinez a better manager than Moyes?
Manchester United suffered their third successive defeat on Tuesday evening as they were beaten 2-1 by Sunderland in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.
With David Moyes' former club Everton some four points ahead of the Red Devils in the Premier League, could it be that the Toffees have actually got themselves a better manager in Roberto Martinez? Matt Stead and Mark Holmes have their say...
Matt Stead (@mattstead91) - Martinez is better
If this season isn't proof enough that Roberto Martinez is a better manager than David Moyes, then I don't know what is.
Martinez's Everton and Moyes' Everton are and were completely different animals, and you have to remember that the former has only been in charge for little over six months. In that time, he's taken the basics of Moyes' decade-long tenure, but he's improved the side considerably in such a short space of time.
Under Moyes, Everton seemed to be perennial underdogs, built on a base of hard work and graft. Martinez has managed to retain that ethos, but has instilled a positive footballing philosophy too, with many lauding Everton's new passing style this season. In fact, Martinez's job at Everton can be compared to Moyes' new post at United in that they were both tasked with succeeding well-loved, respected and talented bosses before them and building on their work. Both were incredibly difficult transitions, but Martinez has got his spot on whereas Moyes has struggled, and certainly continues to do so.
Not only has Martinez overhauled Everton's playing style, he's ensured that their historically poor record against the 'top' teams is no more. Under Moyes, Everton played 43 away games against what was the 'traditional top four' of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, losing 27 and winning zero. Under the Spaniard's tutelage, that record has already been smashed as Everton comfortably beat Moyes' United in their own backyard, while Arsenal and Liverpool also nearly succumbed to the Spaniard's swashbuckling style.
While in charge of Everton, Moyes was constantly praised for making them competitive on a tight budget. Finishing sixth and seventh is all well and good, but Martinez is showing that, without the shackles, Everton were and are able to progress with the same financial restrictions, and a finish in the top four really isn't out of the question.
Relegation in charge of Wigan is undoubtedly a blotch on an otherwise promising managerial career for Martinez, but keeping them in the league for as long as he did is testament to his ability, as is his FA Cup win in charge and his excellent time at Swansea. Everton has been his next step up in experience, and he's thriving in the environment.
Moyes' step up has been far less fruitful and, while he needs time, the fact is that he's taken a club who were crowned champions by 11 points last season, and he now has them 11 points behind leaders Arsenal in just over half a year. Martinez has improved Everton vastly in the same amount of time.
There's a lot of work left to do for Martinez and a lot left to prove but, for me, his managerial credentials outstrip Moyes at this point.
State your support for Matt using the story comment facility below or by tweeting the hashtag #TTMartinez to @TEAMtalk.
Mark Holmes (@homzy) - Moyes is better
A lot of Everton fans were annoyed with the way Moyes left the club, allowing his contract to run down, thus denying the club any compensation, and they must be struggling to contain their laughter now.
While the Scot continues to struggle with the demands of managing Manchester United, Everton continue to improve under Roberto Martinez. They are arguably playing more exciting football than they ever did under Moyes and have already won at Old Trafford, something Martinez's predecessor never managed in his time in charge of the Blues.
It is easy to understand, then, why some are already proclaiming Martinez as a better manager than Moyes, but it is far too early to make that judgement.
Although Martinez won the FA Cup with Wigan last season, he also presided over four successive relegation battles, the last of which was unsuccessful. Some will argue that was inevitable for a club of that size, but plenty of promoted clubs have been able to establish themselves without too much trouble. Martinez didn't have a massive amount of money to spend, but he should still have been able to put together a half-decent defence in four seasons.
While all this was going on at the DW Stadium, Everton were consistently achieving the maximum that could realistically be expected of them. They haven't finished outside of the top eight since 2006.
Yes, Moyes is struggling at United, but the five months of this season should not override the rest of his or Martinez's careers. And Moyes is a far more proven manager as things stand.
Time may tell us that Martinez is indeed a better manager but he has to overcome a lot of challenges before then. Can he, for example, do what he couldn't at Wigan and sign a good defender once he needs to? Will he have Everton doing quite so well next season without Romelu Lukaku and almost certainly without a big budget to replace him?
Just like Moyes, Martinez has got much to do to truly prove himself at his new club.
State your support for Mark using the story comment facility below or by tweeting the hashtag #TTMoyes to @TEAMtalk.