Martinez backs Mel appointment

20 January 2014 10:48

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes West Brom counterpart Pepe Mel will be a surprise success at The Hawthorns.

The Spaniard takes charge of his first match on Monday evening against the Toffees and his compatriot believes he will do well, despite early scepticism over the appointment.

"I think he will surprise a lot of people. He has been very successful in his time in Spain," said Martinez.

"The first time I was aware of his work was at Rayo Vallecano when he got them promoted to the top league against the odds with a very small budget, and since then he has done a remarkable job wherever he has been.

"It is probably the wrong time to face Pepe Mel, but we wish him the best of luck after Monday.

"I can see this West Brom side being a different one to what has been so far this season.

"We know their players really well, but they will do things differently.

"But we will concentrate on ourselves and try to be as good as we can in the things we do."

Mel's arrival means yet another Spanish or Spain-influenced manager is plying his trade in the Premier League after the likes of Martinez, Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini.

And, while the Spanish way has become very much the current fashion, Martinez insists English football is not losing its identity.

"In football you get trends. In the 1970s it was Germany and Holland, then you had a period where the Italians were winning consistently in Europe and that affected the game," he added.

"Now it is Spain and the way they develop players and their concept of possession football has a big influence.

"It is always beneficial to open up to different ways of working and then pick what fits each individual and each country, and we are going to benefit as England in terms of different cultures working in the same league.

"That will allow the players to be more rounded and have a bigger football knowledge and that can only help.

"English football still has its own identity, 100 per cent.

"That physicality, that 'no excuse' approach to the game - there are many special aspects of the British game.

"We take on board the aspects of the way teams work on the continent, but we will be in a very advantageous position because of the uniqueness of the British game.

"The intensity, the way you work off the ball, of going anywhere and trying to win and having a go - you don't get that in other leagues.

"Sometimes I've seen teams coming out to get a draw and that is unheard of in our game.

"We are fortunate in having the essence of the British game and we shouldn't underestimate that.

"Yes, we should evolve and be aware of what is happening in other countries and leagues but we should never lose what makes us different."

Source: PA