A PROMISE to deliver Champions League football to Goodison Park convinced Bill Kenwright to appoint Roberto Martinez as manager on a four-year deal, the Everton chairman revealed yesterday.
Kenwright interviewed Martinez for the vacant role last week, after Wigan granted permission.
And, according to Kenwright, the Spaniard’s first words were: “I’ll get you in the Champions League.”
Everton finished sixth last season, 10 points adrift of a top-four finish, but Martinez is confident of bridging that gap – though not next season.
“The aim of Everton should be to get into the Champions League,” said Martinez. “That doesn’t mean next season though. It is not going to happen overnight.
“You need to be creative and find a way of being competitive. We want to be in the Champions League but that is going to be a process and take a few steps.”
The Toffees had been on the hunt for a new boss since long-term incumbent David Moyes was granted permission to move to Manchester United last month.
And Martinez, who guided Wigan to FA Cup final victory, as well as relegation, last season recognises he has big shoes to fill.
“There is huge pressure but I am extremely proud of that pressure because it means what David Moyes did in 11 years is set high standards and lay an incredible platform,” said the 39-year-old. “I feel lucky to be able to carry on that work.”
Kenwright has promised to support Martinez with funds in the transfer market, while insisting that none of the current squad members were for sale.
But Martinez has dismissed the notion he will begin shopping at the DW Stadium.
“It would be a big mistake to look at the manager’s previous team,” the former Swansea boss said. “We have to look at the whole range. World football is a big market.”
Played: 126 – Wins: 63 – Draws: 37 –
Losses: 26 - Win Ratio: 50 per cent
Points per match: 1.74
Goals per match: For 1.55; Against 1.02
Titles: League One (2007-08)
Played: 175 – Wins: 51 – Draws: 47 –
Losses: 78 – Win ratio: 29.14 per cent
Points per match: 1.14
Goals per match: For 1.19; Against 1.73
Titles: FA Cup (2012-13)