Roberto Martinez made it clear he wanted to embrace past on retro past
But on Retro Day at Goodison Park, supporters were served up something completely different.
And victory over Hull City came from their recent past as they rolled up their sleeves and ground out the win.
Martinez has brought a new style of play to Goodison but when the going got tough on Saturday afternoon, and a resolute Hull threatened an upset, Everton gritted their teeth like back in the days of David Moyes.
The irony will not have been lost on the new Manchester United manager as his side lacked the steel to keep hold of their lead at home to Southampton.
Martinez has never once shied away from what he inherited from Moyes and though the changes in style have been noticeable and new players have been brought in, the Catalan made it clear he wanted to embrace the past.
He knows it would be foolish to abandon the principles that are deeply ingrained in the Everton squad.
On Saturday it was what helped them win the game.
The Everton manager takes no satisfaction from smash and grab victories and believes that winning must come in a certain style.
But he still took delight from watching his side overcome a stubborn, hard-working and talented Hull in the way they did.
Martinez was making no claims of being a tactical genius after Steven Pienaar’s first touch as a second half substitute put Everton 2-1 in front.
But there is little doubting that the new man at the Goodison helm has instilled unwavering belief in this team and that certainly played its part.
Saturday’s win helps Everton keep up with the pace-setters in the Premier League and enhances a home record that now means they continue to be unbeaten at Goodison in 2013 and have taken 28 points out of the last 30.
Kevin Mirallas’ scored from the spoils of a set-piece before Pienaar finished off a direct but sweeping move that began with goalkeeper Tim Howard’s long punt upfield.
In between, Everton had relinquished their lead as Hull deservedly drew level through Yannick Sagbo after half an hour.
Sone Aluko supplied the pin-point cross and the way in which he beat Leighton Baines to the by-line will have given those who favour Ashley Cole as England’s left-back, further ammunition.
Baines produced a decent enough display on Saturday but the exertions of the past 10 days of international duty appeared to have taken the edge off him.
He was not alone as Romelu Lukaku struggled to make the type of impact he had in recent games.
Only European champions Bayern Munich had more players on international duty than Everton last week and though initially there appeared to be no hangover, it eventually began to take its toll.
And so the home side needed fresh attacking impetus from the bench.
Martinez found it in Pienaar but such is the Catalan’s out-look that he had plenty of options for the final third to choose from.
Indeed, replacement Arouna Kone should have made it 3-1 but hit the post, instead of the back of the net, from eight yards out.
The game may have been won on the characteristics which defined the Moyes era but it is Martinez who has given them a fresh perspective on the game.
Tellingly, there was just one defender among Everton’s substitutes on Saturday.
If Hull manager Steve Bruce had his way, then Martinez would have been forced into changes much sooner.
Bruce fumed at referee Neil Swarbrick after he issued Gareth Barry with a yellow card following a challenge on Aluko.
Replays show that Barry won the ball.But his momentum then forced his foot over and clattering into the Hull player’s shin.
Bruce labelled it as a “horror” but the truth was that there was no intent.
Equally as bad was Sagbo’s late tackle on Phil Jagielka in the closing stages. Yet that only resulted in a free-kick.
The Hull manager also vented his frustrations that the referee’s assistant failed to spot that Barry was in interfering with play from an offside position when Mirallas struck for the opener.
It was by no means an ill-tempered game but Hull’s 17 fouls - and just one booking – tell you that Everton were not afforded the correct amount of protection from the official.
The chants of “2-1 to the referee” from the away supporters will have brought a wry smile to the Everton faithful.
But the biggest smile at full-time belonged to Martinez whose excellent start to life at Goodison continues.It may not have quite been the stuff of legend at Everton, but Saturday’s style of play is something every fan approves of: a winning style.
Star Man: James McCarthy – The young midfielder showed an appetite for the fight against Hull City as his tenacious midfield performance helped Everton match the visitors in the heat of battle.