Belgium have their new man at the helm, and it will be former Everton manager Roberto Martinez.
After getting sacked from Everton this May, Martinez only spent three months out of managerial work, though he was a studio analyst for ESPN for Euro 2016, before Belgium have decided to hire him. Martinez was speculated to be a candidate for the Hull City job along with Chris Coleman and Gianfranco Zola before the announcement came today.
Martinez hopes for better success
After the high of an FA Cup title against Manchester City at the latter end of the 2013 season, the Spaniard has struggled to get results with an Everton side which underperformed in his second season. In his first season at the club, the team finished fifth and the Spaniard became the first manager to complete the double over Manchester United. Also in that season, Martinez earned a club record 72 points that season.
Coming off of a fifth-placed finish, many expected Everton to challenge for another spot in Europe once again but disappointed. The team finished in 11th and were knocked out in the Round of 16 in the Europa League by Dinamo Kiev after a 5-2 win from the Ukrainians at home gave them a 6-4 aggregate win.
Without the struggles of Thursday night European football, many thought Everton would see the same form that saw them threaten in 2013-14. However, Martinez’s side struggled to win games when they were supposed to and went on two long runs of games where they won little to few games despite a very talented side.
From November to the end of January, the 43-year-old managed only three wins in thirteen matches. Then from March 5th to April 20th, the team only won tallied three points, all from draws. He was sacked on May 12th after a 3-0 to Sunderland.
Belgium hope to turn it around
After a disappointing reign under Marc Wilmots, Belgium hope to get better results under Martinez. Wilmots’ side struggled in Euro 2016 qualifying, only topping the group on the final day after a win over Israel sent them above Wales. Belgium finished second in their group behind Italy, who defeated them 2-0 in the group stage.
After avoiding the big guns in the bottom half of the bracket, many fancied Belgium to go on to make the finals. However, the side were stunned by Wales 3-1 in the quarterfinals and Wilmots was soon sacked after that.
Martinez will begin his campaign as Belgium manager on September 6th in 2018 World Cup qualifying against Cyprus.