Roberto Martinez makes bold promise: 'I will deliver Champions League football at Everton'

Spaniard gets contract to manage Toffees until 2017 after promising to take them into top four

The statement that he would take Everton where David Moyes could not – into the Champions League – may have been a reckless hostage to fortune. However, Roberto Martinez insisted his managerial record gave the promise validity.

His new chairman, Bill Kenwright, with whom the 39-year-old has signed a four-year contract, revealed that the first words Martinez said to him when he was interviewed to succeed Moyes as Everton manager were: "I will get you into the Champions League."

Given that Moyes only once achieved a top-four finish, and then failed to qualify for the competition proper, it was quite an opening gambit. By comparison Moyes' first words to his chairman in the grim March of 2002 were: "You will not be relegated."

"I do feel you should have a dream in football," said Martinez. "I started at Swansea and I always said we needed to get the club into the Premier League. That sounded obscene when we were in League One. Then, I went to Wigan and said the aim should be European football."

By winning the FA Cup in extraordinary circumstances last month, European football is precisely the legacy Martinez has left behind at Wigan. However, Kenwright acknowledged that the fact he also left the club in the Championship was a factor that had to be addressed.

"He doesn't flinch from those questions," he said. "Roberto told me that, had he had his first-choice back four for the whole season, Wigan would have been top 10. He said: 'We just had a terrible year with injuries.' But part of my other job – as a theatrical impresario – is recognising talent and he is an enormous talent."

Martinez argued that he should be judged over the course of his time at the DW Stadium. "I hope it would be about more than one season," he said. "You don't get a job just by winning the FA Cup and you should not be discounted because you have been relegated. What has been achieved off the field in particular at Wigan, has been remarkable."

Over the past couple of years, Martinez could have had his pick of big clubs. He turned down Aston Villa and this time last year he was in Miami, talking to Liverpool about succeeding Kenny Dalglish. "We had conversations but the job was not right for them or for me," he said about the offering from Anfield.

Part of the attraction of Everton is that the club will show patience.Martinez said he was "fascinated" that the club had only employed 14 managers in its history and in Kenwright he has someone who may not have the largesse of some Premier League chairmen but who will give him something perhaps more precious, time.

"With time you can achieve anything," said Martinez, who in his four years at Wigan reduced the wage bill by almost a quarter. "We do not have the money of other competing clubs [Everton's turnover is half of Liverpool's] but we do have an incredible platform that David Moyes has created."

Kenwright, who admitted that almost until the end he did not believe Moyes would leave Goodison Park, said he had formed a firm opinion on Martinez not after Wigan's 3-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup quarter-final back in March but during the Cup final itself.

"It was out of the blue," he said. "I went to see Marti Pellow in Evita in the afternoon, got home at 4.30 in the afternoon, looked at my watch and I said 'Shall we go and have a look at Roberto?' We live on that side of London, so we got there just literally as it was kicking off. And we watched him. He was so, so calm."

And then quoting the line from Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise is told: "you had me at 'hello,'" Kenwright recalled that Moyes "had me at 30 seconds". Martinez took a little longer. "He had me at 45."

Suggested Topics
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit