Everton news

Martinez promises UCL place

June 5, 2013
By Mike Whalley

New Everton manager Roberto Martinez has promised chairman Bill Kenwright that he will guide the club into the Champions League.

Bill Kenwright, Roberto Martinez
GettyImagesBill Kenwright said it took Roberto Martinez around 45 seconds to convince him he was the right man for the job

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Martinez has signed a four-year contract to take charge at Goodison Park, with his appointment confirmed on Wednesday, and Kenwright insists that he knew he wanted the Spaniard to be the club's next manager within 45 seconds of meeting him.

The appointment of Martinez, brought in from Wigan, has come four weeks after David Moyes announced he was leaving Goodison Park to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Porto boss Vitor Pereira and former Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick were also considered for the role, while Everton coaches David Weir and Alan Stubbs were interviewed, as was departing captain Phil Neville.

But it was Martinez, who guided Wigan to the FA Cup for the first time in their history with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City on May 11, who really impressed Kenwright.

He compared their first meeting to the one he had with Moyes before bringing him in from Preston, then a second-tier club, in March 2002.

Kenwright said: "When David Moyes first came to see me 11 years ago, we were in a bad state. And the first words he said were: 'You're not going down.' With Roberto, almost his first words to me were: 'I'll get you in the Champions League.'

"That is extraordinary for a man who doesn't know much about the football club from the inside, but had obviously studied the football club. He'd obviously looked at what we'd been doing over the last few years. He's obviously recognised the massive achievements that David Moyes has made.

"But he sat and talked to me, and he showed me how he beat Manchester City at Wembley. He got out his little card and he said that he did this, this, this and this. And I'd gone to Wembley on that day and sat among the crowd, not to see Manchester City and Wigan, but to look at Roberto. And I watched him and studied him.

"He came into my office. Look I'm not going to say to you that it was like David Moyes, and he got me in 30 seconds. It took him at least 45 seconds.

"He understands the game. He understands Everton. He told me all about the history, all about our players, all about what he wanted to do, and it was a terrific meeting.

"It was the start of a couple of terrific meetings. All I can tell you is that, when you know, you know. There were other things that had to happen, and other people, and they were great."

Pointing to Martinez, Kenwright added: "I wish that 50,000 Evertonians could have been there with me for all of these meetings, as 50,000 of them would have turned round and said: 'Him.'"

Martinez, 39, is expected to bring assistants Graeme Jones and Kevin Reeves with him from Wigan, along with goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara and conditioning coach Richard Evans. He is also expected to attempt to take striker Arouna Kone from his former club, as well as midfielders James McCarthy and Callum McManaman.

Martinez, though, was coy when asked about the possibility of signing players from Wigan, who were relegated to the Championship at the end of the season just completed.

He said: "It's a normal assumption when a manager moves on that you think he's going to take players with him. When you get to know a player, you get to know the person, and it's important to bring those players along.

"I think it would be a big mistake for a club of our size just to look back at the manager's previous teams. We're looking at a whole range of players. World football is a big, big market, and we're looking at players and individuals who can help our dressing room.

"That doesn't mean that we need to go back to the previous club at all."

Martinez spent four years as a manager at Wigan, having also played for the club between 1995 and 2001.

Despite winning the FA Cup, he suffered relegation from the Premier League, which was confirmed with a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal on May 14, and felt the time was right to move on.

He said: "My period at Wigan wasn't just four years as a manager. It's been ten years, one way or another. Ten years with a football club is a big part of your career and your life. I just felt that it was the right time, after four very special years, to move on.

"The circumstances at the club now are completely different. They're going to play in Europe, they're going to try to get out of the Championship as quickly as they can, and I felt that a new man probably needs to take that job on board.

"For me, it was time to look at a different challenge with a completely different football club. From that point on, it was clear that the only club I felt I was right was Everton. That was a feeling. That wasn't a decision. That was just from meeting the chairman, seeing him so passionate about this football club.

"He got me involved in wanting to know more and to see what we could achieve in the future, and I can't wait to get started."