Roberto Martinez has no interest in the Everton job, at least for the moment.
The Toffees are in the market for a new manager for the first time in 11 years, after David Moyes accepted a six-year contract to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. It appears the early frontrunner for the job is Martinez, who has earned a reputation as one of the best young coaches in the country whilst at Wigan Athletic.
Having been appointed at the DW Stadium in the summer of 2009, the Spaniard has kept the Latics in the Premier League, most memorably of all last season when they recorded a remarkable seven wins from nine games to avoid the drop. This sequence of results included victories against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United.
It has been another battle for the Lancashire side this term, though, as they currently sit three points from safety with just two matches remaining. And it is this, as well as Saturday’s FA Cup final date against Manchester City at Wembley, which is consuming Martinez at the moment, and not talk of succeeding Moyes on Merseyside.
“At this moment in time it would be a waste of time,” he said. “The most important thing is to be as ready as we can for Saturday and then the two other finals we have. It is the peak time for us. We want our fans to be proud of us and that is what we are fighting for. What goes around on the outside doesn’t affect us. We won’t lose any focus.”
Earlier in the day, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan questioned whether the Everton job was big enough for Martinez. Despite the Toffees being widely regarded as one of the most famous and historic clubs in England, they have regularly failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and have not won a trophy since the FA Cup back in 1995.
“It is a battle that I will lose and that Wigan will lose, but would Roberto choose to go to Everton or would he wait for one of the really big clubs?” said Whelan. “I’m not degrading Everton in any way, shape or form – they’re a great club with great supporters – but is Everton regarded as one of the top European clubs? Well, unfortunately they’re not.”
Wigan’s crunch period begins with that FA Cup final on Saturday, which presents them with an opportunity to win their first major piece of silverware. They are back in the capital on Tuesday, when they go to the Emirates Stadium to take on an Arsenal side who have a top-four finish within their grasp. And on the final day of the campaign, they welcome Aston Villa, who have climbed away from the danger zone of late.