One of the worst kept secrets in football was confirmed when Roberto Martinez penned a four-year deal to be the next Everton boss on Wednesday afternoon. Pete Hall weighs up the obstacles the Spaniard will have to overcome to be a success on Merseyside
By Pete Hall @Pistolpeteh86
Last Updated: 06/06/13 12:08pm
Ever since the much sought-after Roberto Martinez announced he would be leaving Wigan after four years at the footballing helm of Dave Whelan's empire, it has been a near certainty that he would take over at Everton.
The Goodison Park hotseat hasn't seen such a hive of activity for some time and in replacing new Manchester United boss David Moyes to become the first non-British manager to take charge of the Toffees, Martinez has taken on one of the Premier League's tougher jobs.
And with a talented squad at his disposal the Spanish tactician is under pressure to build on the foundations laid by Moyes; facing key challenges he must overcome to win over the doubters and prove this ambitious young manager isn't out of his depth.
Martinez's Wigan sides have, on occasion, played with a style of football which has entertained fans up and down the land, none more so than in their first-half demolition of a hapless Everton in last season's FA Cup.
In the past three seasons, despite their lowly league finishes, Martinez's Wigan sides have had better average possession (51.31%) than Moyes' Toffees (50.10%) and better overall pass completions (79.65%) compared to Everton's (77.68%).
And it is this free-flowing footballing mentality that has endeared Martinez to the masses, but his defensive record tells an altogether different story.
In the same period, The Latics have conceded an incredible 71 more goals than the Merseysiders, shipping a whopping 1.72 goals per game in the same three-year spell.
Those defensive frailties eventually resulted in The Latics' relegation from the top flight and explain why he had a win percentage of just 25% in the past three seasons.
Does he stick by his principles and add more flamboyance to the well-oiled Everton machine, or stick with the successful organised, efficient Toffees of Moyes.
Keeping key players
"He is a good guy," said a coy Marouane Fellaini of the outgoing Moyes when asked whether he will follow his manager to Old Trafford, and he is not the only one linked with a similar move to that of the Scot.
Leighton Baines, a purported long-term target of retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, has also been touted as a possible replacement of Patrice Evra, who despite impressing this season is still yet to convince a large portion of the United faithful he is good enough to wear the revered United red.
It is clear that Moyes likes sticking to what he knows, with the majority of his backroom staff making the short journey down the M62 to join him at Old Trafford. Baines and Fellaini both have the ability to link-up with Moyes in his new role.
It will be up to Martinez, who has had to relinquish some of Wigan's key players over the years, to persuade those in demand stars that the future is bright at Everton.
Working on a budget
This is something that Martinez is used to from his tenure at the DW Stadium, but not with the same expectation that the Goodison Park post represents.
If he does manage to keep hold of his best personnel, then the former Swansea boss will have limited resources to work with.
Bill Kenwright has been seeking investment for several years, and unlike many more fortunate Premier League clubs, it has not been forthcoming.
This has meant that Moyes has had to be shrewd in signing top-drawer players on a shoestring budget, with the likes of Steven Pienaar and Phil Jagielka joining for relatively nominal fees.
Martinez battled well with a meagre transfer kitty at Wigan, but scraping around for loan deals or rising stars is very different from adding proven footballers who can compete at the top end of the Premier League.
Getting the best out of a misfiring Jelavic
Nikica Jelavic became an instant fan favourite in the blue half of Liverpool with 11 goals in 16 games in all competitions in the 2011/12 campaign after arriving at the club in January.
However, after a reasonable start to this season, Jelavic has managed only three goals in his last 28 appearances, and hasn't found the net since mid-March.
A barren run like this has seriously affected the Croatian hit-man's confidence, but if Martinez can instil some much needed belief in his striker, and offer him a fresh start, then Jelavic could be key to a successful Everton reign.
Keeping up with an improving Liverpool
It hasn't happened often over the years, but last season saw the Toffees finish above arch-rivals Liverpool for the second season in a row; a position fans are happy to grow accustomed to.
The problem is Liverpool are slowly but surely improving under Brendan Rodgers and, with city pride very much on the fans' minds, if the incoming Spaniard cannot continue to challenge his popularity will diminish quickly.
This is not to say that the Reds will be the benchmark as to whether or not Martinez is successful at Goodison Park, but to live in the shadow of their illustrious rivals once again will do little to make life easier, on or off the pitch.