(Reuters) - When Roberto Martinez produced a card during his job interview detailing how he masterminded victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final, Everton knew he was the man to lead their bid for Champions League qualification.
The former Wigan Athletic manager, who has forged a reputation for making the best of limited resources and playing attractive football, signed a four-year contract on Wednesday to succeed David Moyes who has taken over at Manchester United.
The Spaniard inherits a team who finished sixth in the Premier League last season and who in Moyes’ 11 years at the club became a solid outfit with regular top-eight finishes but no trophies.
With last month’s FA Cup triumph with Wigan Athletic still very fresh, Martinez arrives at Goodison Park boasting a piece of silverware that his predecessor never managed and raring to build on Moyes’s legacy.
“All I want to do is try to be humble enough and hard-working enough to take to that magnificent job into the next level,” Martinez, 39, told a news conference.
“(There is) huge pressure but I‘m extremely proud of that pressure, what David Moyes has done at Everton in the last 11 years is set real standards... and given an incredible platform for the next man to continue.”
The Spaniard is likely to bring a fresh approach to the Merseyside club who are used to Moyes’s more pragmatic style and chairman Bill Kenwright said it had not taken him long to buy into Martinez’s visions for the club.
“When David (Moyes) first came to see me 11 years ago, we were in a bad state, his first words were: ‘You’re not going down’. Roberto, almost his first words were: ‘I’ll get you in the Champions League’,” Kenwright told the news conference.
”He sat and talked to me and he showed me how he beat Manchester City at Wembley, got out his little card and he said ‘I did this, this and this’.
“I‘m not going to say to you it was like David Moyes, he got me in 30 seconds, it took him (Martinez) at least 45 seconds. But he understands the game, he understands Everton.”
‘A FEW QUID’
Martinez is used to working on small budgets and while Everton’s is slightly bigger, it is still a far cry from the mega-rich clubs they will need to compete with for a top-four finish that would earn them a coveted Champions League spot.
“I’ll give him a few quid to sign a few new players,” Kenwright said, without giving any figures but adding that he had no reason to think any of the current squad would want to move on under the new manager.
Despite the stunning FA Cup triumph against the 2012 Premier League champions, Martinez could not prevent Wigan being relegated from the top flight days later.
He was habitually involved in a relegation battle with Wigan but bucked the trend of struggling coaches by sticking to his principles and playing passing football.
After spending most of his playing days in Britain, Martinez began his managerial career at another of his former clubs Swansea City.
He won plaudits for their free-flowing style of play and guided the Welsh side to the League One (third division) title in his first full season in charge.
He joined Wigan in 2009 replacing Steve Bruce, and had kept them up against the odds every year until this season.
Martinez was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool last year and was even photographed talking publicly with the club’s owner John W Henry but has now joined their bitter rivals.
It had been an easy decision, Martinez said.
”It’s simple, it came in a natural way,“ he said. ”After four seasons it was the right time (to move) and after meeting the chairman I knew Everton was the right football club.
“It is a real, real special day to come to Everton Football Club and I have this feeling already of excitement, of honour.”
Additional reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris and Alison Wildey