The calmest man in town
Roberto Martinez is in the midst of yet another relegation dogfight but he is not showing any signs of the pressure. Despite the extremely high stakes the Spaniard remains cool, calm and composed.
February 19th, 2013
Wigan are in a poor position and securing a ninth successive season in the top flight remains a daunting prospect.
Yet Martinez remains the epitome of relaxed professionalism. He always makes good copy in media interviews and is friendly and courteous to the fans seeking an autograph or wanting their photograph taken with him.
His team may sit second bottom of the Premier League but he has no shortage of admirers. This season he has been linked with the managerial jobs at Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton, and last season he turned down both Aston Villa and Liverpool.
He has strong footballing beliefs and does not deviate from playing the game in the right way. His style of play is very familiar to Spain’s La Liga but Martinez was one of the first managers to introduce this style into the English Premier League.
One of his key phrases is ‘sin miedo’ – without fear. He wants his players to play without fear – because he believes that the fear of losing makes you lose more.
He claims to feel under no pressure as Wigan attempt to mount another successful survival bid. In fact he has stated that he is excited by the challenge ahead.
He said recently: “We have been in this situation time after time, three seasons now, so we know what we have to do and how we have to play in the last third of the season. I don’t see it as a pressure position. I see it as a real exciting challenge.”
“We’re looking forward to facing the challenge head on. We’re going into the last third of the competition, which is where everything happens.”
Martinez inspires his players and gives them confidence. He does not criticise his players in public and engenders a great team spirit. Some say he overly accentuates the positive but this gives the players the belief that they can achieve great things. He is cool and calm, even under the most intense pressure, and his decision-making during the previous relegation battles has been exemplary.
As the season enters the final stages and the pressure builds, players and supporters can become increasingly affected by the situation they are in, but Martinez remains remarkably calm. If anybody can steer the club through to Premier League safety it is him.