Roberto Martinez the pros & cons of pieland

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Wlidhearts & Bar Staff’s views on “to go or not to go,”  first up Widheart who wants him to leave with our blessing, while Bar Staff reckons we are blessed to have him.





Sorry Roberto, its time to go.

Another summer, another will he or won’t he move. Over the last two years Roberto has been linked with a myriad of jobs, two of which we believe resulted in definite offers from Villa and Liverpool last summer.

I believe that if Roberto doesn’t leave now he risks his stock falling for the following reasons;

·         Championship football……… an unforgiving beast, it is a very hard league to get out of and 17 of this season’s  24 championship clubs were former members of the Premier League. Wigan, who play a particular brand of football, one which pleasing on the eye , are susceptible to teams closing them down thus nullifying the effectiveness of that  silky passing, as Stoke and especially Bradford City proved at the DW this year for example. Unfortunately for Wigan, the vast majority of Championship clubs play that way, high on effort to compensate for a lack of skill. Wigan under Martinez could well struggle in this league and with the parachute payments reducing dramatically after this season, promotion is critical in 13/14.

·         The volume of games…………46 league games, 6 Europa League games with subsequent travelling, will result in playing at least twice a week most weeks in the early part of the season at least. As was proved with the Swansea and Arsenal games, mental fatigue leads to mistakes and Wigan cannot afford to slip off the pace early in the season, something which is a very real possibility.

·         Size of squad………….already we have lost 8 players from this seasons squad of 22ish players ( 5 free transfers and 3 loanees) with another four players out of contract and the real possibility of marquee players such as McCarthy being sold to fund replacements. Martinez has already said that you compete in Europe and the Championship you need to increase your squad by at least 5 more players meaning possibly 17 new signings and the difficulty in getting them to buy into your style of play which is unique at this level. To do this would take time and time isn’t something you have in the Championship for reasons already listed.

·         Reduction in funds………..Even with the parachute payments there is likely to be a reduction in backroom staff not to mention the quality of players. Watford have proven that you can have success with a multitude of loanees but with five of those coming from the same club there was a degree of continuity not often found. Martinez’s style of football is best suited with players such as Barcelona and the Spanish national side and the lack of funds vs the number of players needed to be recruited means the quality of players will not be what is needed to deliver his ambitions.

·         Defence…………….this is our Achilles heel, one that Martinez has failed to address, with only two defenders under contract and one of those with a chronic hip condition needing surgery it is doubtful that Martinez could attract the right calibre of defenders to play his style of football whilst delivering the defensive steel associated with a physical championship season

·         Personal ambition…………..Martinez standing is high but like the emperor’s new clothes some pundits are questioning whether he has delivered. “Sure we won the F.A.Cup final”, they say, “but Wigan only just scraped past Bournemouth and Macclesfield and only had to play well against two top quality teams in Everton and Man City to win the cup and then he got Wigan relegated. “

Now I wouldn’t swap that wonderful victory against Manchester City for anything but if Martinez is to move onto a bigger and better club with more finances to develop his vision both on and off the pitch he needs to strike while the iron is hot. Otherwise he risks becoming the next Owen Coyle who was hailed as the messiah when he arrived at Bolton but departed with the club in mid table championship mediocrity and hasn’t been heard of since

·         Lack of ambition……………..Martinez has turned down two “big clubs” in Liverpool and Villa. If he was to turn down another one say Everton or Malaga there is a very real fear that he lacks ambition and offers may dry up. I believe that he is destined to manage a big club possibly in Spain and for that reason he cannot afford to be perceived as lacking in ambition


So in conclusion, it’s been good whilst it lasted, there are some wonderful happy memories such as the F.A.Cup final and our first ever win over Manchester United , some not so wonderful such as relegation and that defeat to Spurs but all good things come to an end.

Another TNS poster likened it to a relationship which you have been in for years and grown comfortable in, it becomes stale but neither of you want to break away because you have been there so long even though you know deep down its the right thing to do.

 So good luck Roberto, you are a thoroughly decent human being with a passion and drive for the game which is unchallenged but for the good of both parties it’s now time to go. – Widheart.


No other manager as far as I can remember has split the DW faithful like Roberto Martinez, of course he should stay and complete the vision he and Dave Whelan had many moons ago.

A quick footnote of history, after taking over the club Dave Whelan left both the supporters and the assembled media thong incredulous with smirking laughter when he stated that Wigan Athletic will be in the Premier League in ten years.

Paul Jewell made it happen but bailed out in 2007 soon to be followed by Chris Hutchings then Steve Bruce until the amiable Spaniard took the helm.

What more could you want from a man who manages your club?

First up, like the club he is making history  along with mistakes, both Wigan Athletic & Roberto Martinez are making errors as they go along but is that the reason to wave bye, bye?

His articulate well-mannered attitude to the world media is a joy, don’t forget he is representing our club across the globe.

Courteous and well-spoken with a vast knowledge of the game both home & abroad he lives and breathes the game.

Never refuses time, autograph’s or a picture opportuni

ty with the fans and turns out for numerous charity’s including matches in the local borough.

The very last match at Springfield Park was a reserve match against Bury (I think!) we lost 2 possibly 3-1 but what sticks in my mind was the captain for the day one Roberto Martinez pulling his tripe out in an end of the season reserves  fixture.

That commitment and drive is evident now as he plots our return to the top flight and an exciting adventure into Europe.

He has the club and its loyal band of followers at heart.

Work in progress is term used as a get out clause when stuff isn’t going to plan but when does sport and football as in our case always run smoothly ?

Both City & Chelsea have spent millions upon millions and still are not loved nor respected by the masses nor have they won everything in sight.

For the neutral this year’s Cup Final was a joy, Moneybags City against relegated to be Wigan Athletic , unless you were a City fan, or have a sporting heart of stone the support was all in our favour, even die-hard rugby folk in the town cracked a smile when Ben nodded the winner.

One of the reasons for that was Roberto Martinez, did anyone have goods words to say about Stoke City when they lost two seasons ago to the Sky Blues ?

Of course being Mr Nice guy does not win matches, players do but that’s another blog.

What Roberto has done is drag the club into the echelons of respectability on the world stage by winning The FA Cup that was no mean feat I can assure you.

Look at the players he has brought to the club, youthful 100% lads who are a joy to watch with a few steady old heads to guide & educate them along the way.

People point to Bournemouth & Macclesfield that we were lucky, scuse me when does luck not play a part in any game?

My colleague mentioned about lack of ambition on Bobs part by turning down relegation candidates Villa and Liverpool last season, well  isn’t the job of pushing Latics into Europe ambitious ?

I have a feeling that Roberto wants to be a hands on boss at the club, he wouldn’t get that freedom at a lot of other clubs, certainly not at Anfield.

It is a daunting task ahead so walking away now could in some eyes be an act of cowardice just because we have a few extra matches home & abroad.

I don’t subscribe to the theory that “we play to many games”  syndrome, first up if they were not playing matches they would be training and trust me players would rather play than train.

The club in my mind is at a critical cross-roads, stability is the key and that starts at the top, if the manager bails out now then so will the quality players that Bob has nurtured.

A new manager would destabilise the corridors of power at The DW, change should not be made for the sake of change because no-one likes change and if Bob leaving is it for the right reasons or just to comfort the disappointment of relegation.

(Last time I looked we were the 18th best team in the land)

More educated and knowledgeable people than me always state that swopping managers willy nilly is not the way, yes it does have a bit of the old boy network stick together chums take on it but you do need time to build a healthy well run club.

Roberto is still learning his trade and has had to put up with strict financial constraint’s whilst building the club up and keeping it in “the best league” © in the world.

He has done that with an attractive brand of football, not to everyone’s liking but when do you please all the people all the time ?

Plus all the errors of judgement with regarding tactics, transfer policy and signings are made in every club throughout the land, why should another club benefit from the knowledge  he has undoubtedly gained from his time at Wigan, what price experience?

He has to stay to continue the extraordinary work that our club has in front of them, to leave now would be classed as failure in his eyes, remember sin miedo Roberto

Even SirAlex has his detractors at Old Trafford and he didn’t do bad. – BarStaff


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