Sacked Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists he could have turned the Toffee’s fortunes around had he still been in charge to lead a “significantly important” transfer window at the club this summer.
Martinez’s three-year reign at Everton came to an end last week after a 3-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light – the latest setback in a poor league campaign that has seen them drop to 12th.
With only one win in 10 matches, the Everton hierarchy had little choice but to relieve Martinez of his duties, with Dutchmen Frank De Boer the bookies’ favourites to succeed the Spaniard.
De Boer stood down as Ajax manager last week after failing to win the Eredivisie title, sparking rumours that he will take over at Goodison Park.
According to reports, former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has also be approached by Everton regarding the vacant manager position, with the Portuguese still yet to confirm where he will end up next season.
Speaking in a statement released through the League Managers’ Association, Martinez thanked the club for the “privilege of becoming an Evertonian”, but admitted he feels he had unfinished business on Merseyside.
“It has been an honour to be the manager of Everton Football Club for the past three seasons,” said Martinez.
“I am clearly disappointed that we won’t be able to finish what we started and I feel that the forthcoming transfer window would have been significantly important for many reasons.
“I will treasure this period as Everton manager forever – the memories of reaching a club record 72 points tally in the Premier League, reaching the final 16 of the Europa League and the excitement of reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cups this season.
“I appreciate that over the last eight weeks our league results haven’t been up to the levels that we would expect. However, over the past three years the support the fans have given to me and the team has been inspiring.”
“I express my gratitude to chairman Bill Kenwright, who understood and supported my vision and who gave me the privilege of becoming an Evertonian,” said Martinez.
“My sincere thanks also go to my players who have been an inspiration to work with, my assistant Graeme Jones, the Everton Board and all of the staff who work for this magnificent club, especially those at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground for their tireless help and support on a daily basis.
“I know that the team and the fans will react well against Norwich today and I wish everyone the best of luck for three points which would match last season’s league points tally.
“Finally I would like to congratulate Tim Howard on his outstanding contribution and career at the club. Tim has been an incredible ambassador for Everton and I wish him well for his future in the MLS.”