Everton pointed out the positives of Roberto Martinez’s time in charge at Goodison Park after confirming his exit as manager on Thursday afternoon.
Martinez, who replaced David Moyes as manager in 2013, had faced mounting calls for his departure after a run of just one win in their last 10 games.
Wednesday night’s 3-0 defeat at Sunderland proved to be the final straw, with the 42-year-old removed from his position ahead of Everton’s final game of the season against Norwich City at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Everton broke the news on Twitter before releasing a statement on their official website, which read: “The chairman and the board of directors would like to place on record their thanks for the dedication and commitment Roberto has shown during his three seasons with the club.
“Roberto has been a great ambassador for the club, conducting himself, at all times, with the utmost integrity and dignity. He secured the club its highest ever Premier League points total, a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and appearances in both domestic cup semi-finals.
“He has also played a key role in the development of several young players, managing their progression to the Everton first team and international honours.”
However, Martinez had faced mounting criticism over his tactics during the current campaign, as well as the form of big-name stars such as Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones.
And the defeat at the Stadium of Light, which also guaranteed Sunderland’s top-flight safety, effectively rendered Martinez’s position untenable.