Roberto Martinez – A peerless Wigan manager
He is a football fanatic whose attention to detail verges on the obsessive. Post match he will repeatedly analyse the game over and over from every single player's position on the pitch.
August 24th, 2012
It was confirmed this week that Roberto Martinez had turned down the Liverpool job to remain as Wigan Athletic manager.
The Daily Mirror reported about the extensive talks he held with the Reds earlier in the summer.
Martinez stayed – causing Liverpool to hire Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers – because of the support of chairman Dave Whelan.
Martinez said, “I stayed because my chairman is unique.”
“He knew that I had spoken with other clubs. But he is so persuasive… I extended my contract for three years.
“He wants to take the club to the next level. I know it will be difficult, but it excites me a lot.”
Martinez had previously turned down the advances of Aston Villa and several clubs in his native Spain. His commitment and loyalty to the club and Whelan is almost unprecedented in modern football.
Most managers and players will move quickly to another club given the salary hike and kudos of moving to a big club, but Martinez is made of different stock.
He is a thoughtful and intelligent man who talks of long-term projects and is not driven by short-term results. He likes to have full control and wants to take the club to the next level while making use of his own unique skills.
Whelan brought Martinez to Wigan from Spain as a player in 1995 and the close relationship has developed since those early days.
Martinez was a successful manager at Swansea and the architect of their current playing style and he was an obvious choice for Whelan when Steve Bruce left Wigan in 2009.
He has strong footballing beliefs and his attractive style of play has won Martinez many admirers. He is undoubtedly one of the best young managers around.
He is a football fanatic whose attention to detail verges on the obsessive. Post match he will repeatedly analyse the game over and over from every single player’s position on the pitch.
Roberto has achieved more than any other Latics manager. He has kept us in the Premier League with one of the smallest budgets and last season for the first time ever we defeated Manchester United at home and Liverpool and Arsenal away in the league.
Overall we are making significant progress both on and off the pitch, with an improved football squad and better training facilities. With Roberto in charge the future of the club is looking very bright.
One day he will leave for a new challenge but for now he is dedicated to making the club the best it can possibly be.
His time at Wigan has to be one of the most exciting in the history of the club. Roberto Martinez should be regarded as Wigan Athletic’s greatest ever manager.
Words by Ian Aspinall from Let’s Hang On – a blog about the highs and lows of following Wigan Athletic at www.lets-hang-on.com