Roberto Martinez left in complex Belgium situation as talks halted amid Everton interest
Roberto Martinez is in a “complex” situation with the Belgium national team after new deal talks failed to reach a conclusion before the World Cup, amid interest from Everton, according to Nieuwsblad.
Frank Lampard is currently under pressure at Goodison Park after a poor run of form heading into the break for the Qatar tournament, failing to score in five of the past six Premier League games, and with travelling fans in open revolt at Bournemouth on Saturday (12 November).
Farhad Moshiri wanted to re-appoint Martinez last January but could not make it work, before an ill-fated flirtation with Vitor Pereira sparked fan protests and the former Chelsea boss was eventually settled on.
The Spaniard’s current contract with Belgium expires on 31 December, but there had been recent attempts to secure an extension before the start of the World Cup.
That hasn’t been possible, and the latest report notes that the Belgian FA may now be left in a “difficult position”, as public opinion would turn against the former Wigan boss being extended should his side flop in Qatar, while success would likely lead to him wanting more money when his current €3million salary represents “historically high figures in Belgian football”.
He is reportedly on the list of various clubs, but Everton are the most prominently linked to a reunion with their former boss.
Concern for Lampard?
Based on the lift that the ex-Chelsea legend managed to bring about to the atmosphere at the club last season following the Rafa Benitez era, it would be a surprise to see him removed imminently.
In stark contrast to his predecessor Lampard connected to the fans significantly, and helped pave the way for the vital support late in the relegation battle that dragged the team over the line to safety.
He has demonstrated tactical developments, particularly defensively, and has been forced to operate with a reduced transfer budget compared to previous years, while seeing last season’s attacking star Richarlison sold to Tottenham.
But despite encouraging signs earlier this season, the “toxic” atmosphere that Jeff Stelling reacted to following the second loss in a week at Bournemouth had worrying echoes of the Benitez era.
Everton sitting 17th, a point above the relegation zone, doesn’t make anybody feel comfortable as form has nose-dived of late.
So with developments for Martinez potentially leaving him out of a job in six weeks time, the temptation will be there for Moshiri to recapture the man he wanted in January.
Whether the wider fanbase would be pleased with such a move is open to question, but whatever happens in the coming months needs to secure Everton’s Premier League future above all.