In the wake of NSNO’s historic meeting with Roberto Martinez yesterday I feel the need to wax lyrical about just how different things are at Everton nowadays. It seems like only yesterday that fans were protesting. There was a general feeling of discontent amongst many and worse even still, a feeling of apathy from others. This feeling seemed to permeate through the club from board level to the fans and beyond. However, the Everton of 2014 is very much a different entity as fans have a brand new, “Best little Spaniard”. The good feeling is positively infectious.
When David Moyes left many despaired for our future, dare I say we panicked a little. Moyes had brought stability and while things were never spectacular under him, there was a feeling of security and comfort in his reign. Martinez is a very different man. Were Moyes was realistic and pragmatic Martinez admits to being a dreamer who reaches for the stars. While Moyes bemoaned his budget Martinez embraces it. Even when discussing a loss Martinez searches for the positive. Martinez really does seem to believe that there are no problems, only opportunities.
Even the most pessimistic of fans are struggling to fight the tidal wave of nauseating goodness coming out of the club right now. Martinez seems to have time for everybody and has embraced Everton more than any Manager in recent memory. He talks about our history like he is a fan, he embraces it and wants to learn from it. Many thought old stalwarts like Unsworth, Stubbs and Ferguson would be under threat with Martinez in charge, instead they seem to be thriving under him and in turn so are the players.
However, it’s not just Martinez who is worthy of praise. The club have made massive strides in the last twelve months rebuilding a fractious relationship with fans. While everyone at the club deserves some degree of credit whoever appointed Alan Myers as Director of Communications is a genius. From the minute he was appointed Evertonians seemed to relax as Myers opened his doors to all fans regardless of past relationships. Fan media who had previously struggled to gain any meaningful interaction with Everton were greeted like old friends. The amount of consultation with fans has totally changed with badgegate perhaps providing a useful catalyst and the tea party last night is just one of a number of ways the club have closed the gap between us.
David Moyes might have coined the term, “The People’s Club” but it has taken until now for Everton to truly embrace it. Fortunately, Roberto Martinez also seems to think that Nil Satis Nisi Optimum is vitally important and that is something that this NSNO member, is very happy about.