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
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
peopleSir Patrick took a more understated approach to the challenge
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
scienceTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Arts and Entertainment
tvWe have created an infogaphic that looks back over the previous incarnations of the Doctor
Sport
Olivier Giroud celebrates after his late goal saved Arsenal a point at Goodison Park
football Giroud rescues a point for Arsenal after they trailed by two goals
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
i100
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
people
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
i100
Extras
indybest

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition