Martinez emerges as frontrunner

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The betting markets are rarely a reliable source of information in the transfer window, with companies slashing odds to lure in punters and lowering prices based on trends of speculation. 

But occasionally a rumour will come up that is so out of the blue that you can’t help wondering where it has come from.

Take Roberto Martinez’s sudden emergence as frontrunner for the vacant Newcastle United job, as reported by the Shields Gazette.

Out of nowhere, the former Everton manager has been placed at the front of the race for the hot seat at St. James’ Park after it was confirmed that Rafa Benitez will be leaving the club when his contract expires on Sunday.

Now, the likelihood is that this is a cynical ploy from betting companies to tempt people into lumping money on his name by creating the illusion of something happening behind the scenes.

But suppose for one second that there is some substance to the whispers – the Magpies could do a whole lot worse.

During his spell at Goodison Park, managing a side who, like Newcastle, have a big reputation that they don’t always meet, the Spaniard averaged 1.56 points per game.

For Belgium, who he managed to guide to a World Cup semi-final, he has averaged 2.43 points per game [Transfermarkt].

Frankly, that is a ridiculous record, and one that shows a manager who is capable of operating at the very highest level.

Whether he would go to Newcastle is a different kettle of fish entirely, and it is probably too soon to go putting your mortgage on it, but certainly, the Magpies could do a whole lot worse than Martinez.

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