Five things... That inspire Roberto Martinez

1 Music
The sight of Roberto Martinez letting his short back and sides down at a Jason Derulo gig in Manchester this week was an uplifting moment in a frustrating season for the Everton manager. Footage recorded by a stunned fellow music fan at the concert showed Martinez doing what can only be described as “girating”, as US R&B star Derulo performed some of his popular American hits. Wearing a pair of fashionable trousers and a figure-hugging white shirt that brought out the athletic contours of his nimble body, Martinez danced with the same lack of inhibition he has tried to instill in his exciting young Everton team - with limited success.

2 Creativity
“It is always good to get inspiration from creative people,” was Martinez’s explanation of his attendance and subsequent dancing at the Derulo concert - and this was a quintessentially Martinez-esque summary of the situation. Whereas the majority of music fans attend concerts simply because they like the songs or they want to get drunk and take selfies, Martinez operates on a deeper level. It is this which sets him apart from other Premier League managers. It is too early to know exactly what inspiration Martinez took from Derulo, but it will presumably be put into effect on the training ground and demonstrated in Everton’s visit to Stoke on Saturday.

3 Concepts
Martinez loves concepts. At Everton, since arriving with “new concepts” in 2013 he says he has nurtured “very strong concepts” for everything. For example, “concepts for when a pass is on and what the decision will be when you receive the ball”. He did the same thing in his first managerial job at Swansea, where he says he “assimilated the concepts” and eventually “the football concepts and the way of playing were very clear”. He also admires the concepts of others, such as Arsenal, whose “football concepts are inspirational”. Although some may find these comments nonsensical, to those with creative minds they are powerful reminders of the importance of concepts. Jason Derulo would understand.

4 Improving
‘I have better moves, believe me,“ was Martinez’s response to online criticism of his dancing. And it’s this obsession with self-improvement - his commitment to transforming negatives into positives - that has also marked out his approach in the Goodison Park hotseat. Defeats are justified as learning experiences and all criticism is deflected. "The people who say that I am tactically not flexible are people who do not follow my work,” he has said. For those who followed his dancing, the girations captured on camera at the Derulo gig consisted of a flamboyant windmill arm movement followed by a more sensuous hand/hip rotation. Both, in their own way, inexcusable. But Martinez insisted they were not a fair reflection of his dancing performance overall. “Probably that was the worst move,” he insisted.

5 Romance
“You need to see a player and fall in love with a player. It’s a gut instinct.” No, it’s not a line from one of Jason Derulo’s songs, it’s actually taken from a one of Martinez’s interviews - earnest, rambling eulogies that often resemble romantic sonnets to his young team and his concepts. “The feel we have at the football club, and the way I am allowed to work here, feels right to me,” he once crooned on Sky Sports. “We are developing something that is going to be very powerful for the future, we get the tempo right and have that expression in our play,” he has purred to Guy Mowbray. Like many sexy songs, the lyrics don’t actually make much sense when you break them down, but they sure as hell sound good.

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