Sam Allardyce: Roberto Martinez deserved more time but will bounce back stronger
Roberto Martinez's departure from Everton was welcomed by the club's fans on social media, but Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce feels the Spaniard should have been given more time and will return to the game as a better manager.
Everton announced on Thursday afternoon that Martinez, under contract until 2019 after replacing David Moyes in June 2013, had left the club, with the Spaniard having come under increasing pressure from fans following one win in 10 games.
The 42-year-old steered Everton to a fifth-placed finish in his first season in charge but they ended last season in 11th place and currently lie 12th after losing four of their last five.
"The job is getting more and more difficult because of the impatience now in the game of football," said Allardyce, whose side's Barclays Premier League survival was secured with Wednesday night's 3-0 defeat of Everton.
"My sympathy goes out to Roberto Martinez, but he will no doubt bounce back.
"He is a good manager, a very, very good manager and he's proved that.
"As difficult as it will be for him to take the sack now he will bounce back better and stronger.
"I really, really think he deserves a bit more time, but I'm not the man in charge."
A supporters' protest had been planned at Everton's players' awards dinner in Liverpool on Thursday night, but that event was cancelled following the Martinez announcement.
The club tweeted: "The club's end of season awards, due to be held at St George's Hall tonight, has been postponed."
Former Everton defender Michael Ball echoed the sentiments of those fans who had been calling for Martinez to go in increasing numbers in recent weeks.
Ball tweeted: " Not surprising he has gone today to stop anymore embarrassment at tonight's awards evening & Sunday.
"But can't stopping thinking if decision was made earlier what could've been for EFC this year. Loyalty over success? Now who steps in?"
Frank de Boer, who left Ajax on Thursday, fellow Dutchman and Southampton boss Ronald Koeman and former Toffees manager David Moyes have all been linked with the vacancy.
Former Everton midfielder Don Hutchison said Martinez deserved to be treated with respect.
He tweeted: "Please @Everton fans. I know your a classy bunch. We will get the new manager in soon. Pls give Roberto a good send off..."
Fans' group Everton Supporters said Martinez had initially lifted the club and left them with an impressive squad, but that now was time for change.
"Martinez made us dream and gave us some amazing memories," the group tweeted. "But ultimately it was a case of 'all the gear and no idea'.
"To be fair, Martinez has left us with our best ever Prem squad (on paper) but he just didn't have the ability to manage it."