Appointed in the summer, of 2013, just like Manuel Pellegrini and Mark Hughes, Roberto Martinez is one of the longest serving managers in the Premier League.
Pellgrini and Hughes are two of only four managers in England’s top flight to have been at their club for longer than the Spaniard. Ahead of all of them is Eddie Howe, who is enjoying his first Premier League season with AFC Bournemouth. The Cherries have had Howe at the helm (in his second stint) since October 2012.
Naturally, Arsène Wenger sits above all of them, with over 19 years in charge of Arsenal. The life expectancy of a Premier League manager is not long and Wenger, appointed in 1996, is the last of a dying breed.
“Fifteen years ago everybody was envious of the way you were allowed to work in the British game,” Martinez told The Times. The Everton boss has certainly managed to mould his Everton side to play his way, but there aren’t too many managers who are allowed to do so anymore.
“What we’ve done is more or less stick with our system of a manager being responsible for so much more than achieving results, but adopted the Mediterranean model in relation to hiring and firing. And we’ve lost something that was integral to the British game.
“What Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United and Arsène Wenger at Arsenal is impossible in the modern era. I find that very sad.”
The ‘Mediterranean model’ sees managers (or head coaches) have far less influence over transfers, but still bear the brunt of the criticism when things don’t go well. There is no patience in the game.
That’s why, above all else, we need to appreciate Wenger more while we still have him. In 2015, Arsenal posted the best win percentage of any year in the club’s history. Amazing, then, that so many fans are so verbally critical of the boss. It’s unlikely we’ll ever have a manager who lasts a decade again, yet our current one is approaching 20 years in charge.
He deserves more respect for his achievements, and we need to appreciate what we have. When it ends, as it must, we’ll miss him.