In his first public appearance as Everton manager, Roberto Martinez has set the bar high for his Everton players.
The 39-year-old Spaniard was unveiled as Everton’s new manager earlier today, after agreeing a four-year contract. Alongside club Chairman Bill Kenwright, Martinez looked happy and at times emotional to be given the opportunity to lead the Toffees.
Kenwright then revealed Martinez’ belief that he can lead Everton into the Champions League.
“When David [Moyes] first came to see me, he sat down, and we were in a bad state,” Kenwright recalled. “First words, he said we are not going down. Roberto’s first words, he will get us in the Champions League.”
No pressure Roberto.
I’m not quite sure the Spanish maestro wanted that private discussion to be revealed at this early stage, but Kenwright let it slip anyway.
Martinez has plenty of other things on his mind for right now, he is sorting out his backroom staff and urged the fans to get behind the team.
“The fans need to know they are the most important part of this club, and I will need them. What David Moyes has done is set a real high standard,” Martinez continued. “We need to make sure we are a winning side and a strong side that can carry on achieving more. Finishing in the top-six was a magnificent achievement, and we need to keep building if we want to improve on that.”
But all the chat wasn’t just about his new job, Martinez also reflected on his time at Wigan as a manager and player.
“My period at Wigan has been 10 years, that’s a big part of your career and your life but I felt it was the right time to move on. The circumstances at the club are different now, they are going to be playing in Europe and trying to get out of the Championship as soon as possible. I felt it was time for a new man to take that on board.”
And Martinez finally spoke about his reasons for switching Wigan for Everton.
“I wanted to look for a new challenge. From that moment on it became clear that the only club I would fit in at was Everton. That wasn’t a choice, it was a feeling.”
With all of those comments above, Martinez has certainly excited many with what he has planned for Everton during his tenure. Chairman Bill Kenwright has promised he will give Martinez “a few quid” to spend in the transfer market and stating early on that Champions League qualification is the aim, is one hell of a statement.
But why not? He is young, ambitious, has a squad stacked with talented players who are likely to stick around and if he brings in the right players, then Everton can challenge for the top four. Several top European clubs would love to have the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas.
Some may see challenging for the Champions League as unrealistic. But maybe Martinez is just trying to create a positive and exciting atmosphere at the club from the moment he walks in the door? Well, he’s certainly done that.
Now it’s down to the hard work on the training ground to get the job done.