Ask Evertonians this year if Roberto Martinez has been better than David Moyes, and most would respond with a resounding yes. They would argue that the football is more attractive, played at a faster tempo and players are developing at a better rate. Statistics however, demonstrate otherwise.
Using statistic website Squawka, a website which uses information such as total goals scored, goals conceded, average pass length and several others to determine a performance score for the team as a whole, we can analyse this years Everton side and last years after the same amount of games. So using this information, it is actually shows that after twenty six games last season Everton had a performance score of 6984 whereas this year their score is 6609, 375 points lower than after the same number of games.
Looking at some of those statistics stated earlier also highlights some shocking home truths. This time last year Everton had scored a total of 40 goals, whereas this year they are on 37, despite the general opinion that the team is playing better attacking football. To add to this, at twenty-six games last year the side had created 326 goal scoring chances whereas this year the total is 286 in comparison. Before Martinez arrived, many worried that he would bring his teams penchant for conceding goals with him, yet somewhat ironically Everton have only conceded 27 goals this year compared to last years total of 32. This improvement in defence is supported by the average defensive actions total falling from 51 last year to 48 this season.
A staple of the style of football that Martinez has brought to Everton this season is of course the possession game the Spaniard cherishes. In this case, the average possession statistic is up to 54% from 52% last season whilst the average pass accuracy has increased from 80% to 83%. Somewhat surprisingly is the nature of these passes. Under David Moyes, many critics such as Sir Alex Ferguson bitterly claimed that Everton played long ball football to utilise the talents of midfielder Marouane Fellaini. However, the statistics for both seasons are shockingly similar. Under David Moyes Everton had played 42 long balls by this time whereas this year they had played 41, while last season they had played one fewer backwards pass that Martinez's side. To add to this, the average pass length has remained the same at twenty metres, discrediting the long ball debate from seasons past.
Surprisingly, the team has scored two more set piece goals than this time last year, whilst retaining their competitive edge that many credited them with, their average duels won percentage remaining at 52%. The side are also close in the yellow card/red card totals, with this year's side being up one yellow card than last year but down a red. Many would point that these type of statistics also discredit the ‘over physical' tag that had been labelled at the team in the past.
Of course, reading over these statistics demonstrates that the margins are minimal. Whilst the side has improved on possession and pass accuracy as they continue to learn Martinez's style of play, they have surprisingly improved defensively too. However, with this possession based game it seems that the side has lost some of its attacking edge; with the number of goals scored and chances created both in reduced figures from this time last year, although shot accuracy is slightly increased.
This is where the debate moves beyond the footballing statistics. I have already spoken at length on how Roberto Martinez has improved the mood around the entire club whilst the fans have been repeatedly impressed by the clubs desires to re-engage with the fan base through various schemes, the majority of which their Spanish manager has been directly involved in. As a result, the statistics shown here must be taken with a pinch of salt, but it is my belief that the football and the club has become better under the new manager, and to that degree the answer to this articles leading question is that Roberto Martinez is indeed better for Everton Football Club than David Moyes.