Roberto Martinez believes Carlo Ancelotti is using the remainder of Everton’s 2019/20 Premier League fixtures as preparation for a big future on Merseyside.
The former Toffees boss – who currently manages the Belgian national team – can see Everton challenging for silverware and 70 points in the Premier League within ‘three transfer windows’ if Ancelotti is given time to implement his plans.
Martinez spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com ahead of Everton v Southampton live – and one of the free-to-air Premier League games – on Amazon Prime Video this evening where he will feature as a pundit at Goodison Park.
He said: “It’s a season that allows Carlo Ancelotti to prepare for his first full season in the best possible manner, full of information, and getting ready for the big opportunity of getting Everton to domestic silverware and fighting for 70 points in the league.
“You need an experienced coach. Ancelotti is as good as it gets, he’s been at the best clubs in the world and has got a fantastic manner with his team and his man management.
“And then he’s got experience that is need to be in a high expectation environment. At the moment everything is ready.
“I mentioned the strikers, then Mason Holgate has had probably the most impressive individual season in this Everton side, but the quality is there throughout the lines.
“Give time to Ancelotti, allow him to work with his experience and in three windows, the team will get very, very close to getting silverware.”
Martinez believes that for Everton to reach the next level, they must find players who can cope with high expectations on Merseyside.
The former Wigan boss was sacked by Everton in the last stages of the 2015/16 season with the club in 12th.
He said: “They need players who can embrace the challenge. It’s not easy to be a player playing at Goodison, understanding the expectations that there are at the club.
“The history of Everton is winning league and that’s still in the fans’ memory. So as a young player you need to cope with the expectations of the fans and how you can be brave on the ball after losing two games.”
Martinez believes fans can expect a wide-open game tonight when Everton meet Southampton with both sides in relatively good form during lockdown.
He praised the Saints’ hierarchy for sticking with boss Ralph Hassenhuttl despite a lacklustre start to life on the south coast and believes the club are reaping the rewards of patience.
“Both teams will play an open game. I’ve been very impressed with Southampton. They’ve been a real good example of supporting the manager to give continuity.
“You go back to October and the 9-0 defeat against Leicester, any club could have been a bit nervous and not seen the overall picture and Southampton showed the best way to deal with that.
“The manager has showed an incredible way of being able to manage that group of players and they’ve ended up beating Chelsea, beating Manchester City.
“Being able to be safe with five games to go and beating Leicester in the return fixture is the wonderful effect of having the old-fashioned approach to believing in your manager, believing in the way that he works.”
You can watch Roberto Martinez feature during Everton v Southampton at 6pm Thursday 9 July for free on Amazon Prime Video, or fans can stream the game at no cost on Twitch.