Let Martinez go with dignity

It’s amazing how the fickle lose faith. The exhileration of that epic cup victory has worn off and the grumblers have already started to stick their knives in the back of Roberto Martinez. What a transformation in a couple of weeks.

Martinez always had his critics. But then again his self belief and resilience made it hard for them to get on top. He stayed calm and dignified even in the darkest of hours. Like him or loathe him, for goodness sake wish him good luck in his next job.

There are Everton fans who wanted a more high profile manager. They will make Martinez’s life a misery if he does not have immediate success. David Moyes has been lauded for having his team punching above their weight, but the football during his tenure has not compared with that of the club’s past history. Moreover one could debate the value that Moyes added.

The Premier League is financially tiered. In simple language you usually get what you pay for. Everton are not going to win the Premier League under any manager if their financial situation remains the same. They are in the third tier, which is going to place them in a better part of the top ten. The top three – Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea – have wage bills way above anyone else. The quality of their squads is such that challengers on lower wage bills – like Arsenal and Tottenham – have to perform at near maximum potential to challenge the elite.

David Moyes’ teams at Everton might have punched a bit above their financial tier level, but not by much. Manchester United fans can expect less attractive football next year and will probably rebel.

When Roberto Martinez arrived at Wigan Athletic he was immediately surrounded by budget cuts. Players on bigger salaries were sent off, with more to come at the end of his first season. Steve Bruce had done a wonderful job of keeping them in the Premier League, but at a cost.

It amazes me that Martinez can be criticized for not keeping the club in the Premier League. In reality, with the budget he had, every year was a bonus.

Martinez kept Latics in the Premier League – on a low budget – for three consecutive seasons. In his fourth he couldn’t quite manage to do that, but he brought the FA Cup to Wigan. Moreover they played a quality of football never seen before by Latics supporters.

My message to all who love Wigan Athletic – give Martinez a graceful exit and do not pre-judge his successor.

Dave Whelan has a difficult appointment to make. I have already heard comments about top managers who are contenders for the manager position. Some of those are quite depressing.

Let’s be realistic. For Wigan Athletic to receive applications from such a strong field of applicants is way beyond what they have had before. Phelan, Meulensteen, McClaren, Coyle, Poyet – all have much to offer. Either one could do a great job, with the support of the owner, the players and the crowd.

I was so proud that Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup. Even my southern wife, who never liked football, was in tears when Ben Watson’s goal went in. It was one of the happiest times of my life.

I have watched Wigan Athletic through the Lancashire Combination, Cheshire League, Northern Premier League, then through the ranks of the Football League to the elite Premier League. A transition year is coming, but Latics will stay in good stead if Dave Whelan remains.

You have to believe to be a Latics supporter. Most supporters love the club and support whichever manager is appointed. One hopes that Whelan’s impending appointment will be supported.

Roberto Martinez has been not just a football manager, but a wonderful ambassador for the club and its supporters. Negative press about him at this stage is off the mark. Let him go with dignity and let him show what he can do with a bigger club with greater resources.

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One response

  1. Great article Jack.

    I don’t get how anyone can criticise him either. He has shown great strength of character and has never let doubt effect him or his team. All the best to him.

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