Some of those tuning into the World Cup may only know Roberto Martinez as the in-studio analyst for many of the early matches. Then they learn that he is the manager of the USMNT‘s Tim Howard at Everton. ESPN has been employing Martinez as an analyst for the last four years. Somehow he handles the transitions smoothly every time and offers great insight on the television. No one would argue his quality as a coach. Each time he bounces between analyst and manager, he deserves respect.
Martinez was born in Spain and played professionally for 14 years as a defensive midfielder. He played and coached for Wigan Athletic and Swansea City. He often favors an attacking style that emphasizes passing and possession. It was his stint at Wigan as manager that propelled him into the position with Everton both for a triumph and his demeanor. He led Wigan to their first ever FA Cup in the 2012-13 season with a victory over Manchester City.
As an analyst, Martinez has been with ESPN for the last two World Cups and the 2013 Federations Cup. He has also worked for Sky Sports and the BBC. Martinez called one match for this World Cup, but has made a name for himself as an authentic tactician in the studio. He relays nuances of the game better than most. The information he has on every team speaks to his knowledge and understanding of all involved.
Outwardly, he handles his two roles without stress. He left the ESPN Copacabana Beach studio earlier this week and signed Gareth Barry to a new contract the next day at Goodison Park. Armed with a new five-year contract, Martinez hopes to build on last year’s campaign that landed Everton in the Europa League. He has called it an “exciting project” with growing players.
What may deserve admiration more than any of this is simply the way Martinez carries himself. At the memorial for the Hillsborough tragedy this past season, he delivered a heartfelt speech that demonstrated an understanding of the moment. When on television, he is straightforward and not afraid to speak his mind. He always shows appreciation of those around him as well. He is often cited as saying it is the expertise around him that makes him a great analyst.
Now Martinez puts his focus back on the Premier League. Hopefully he will be reintroduced as a studio personality in a couple years and the cycle can continue. The professionalism with which he handles himself as a manager and TV personality earns constant respect.