If Roberto Martinez is such a good manager...

Roberto Martinez

Mal James defends FA Cup winning Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez from critics who point to his side's perennial battle against relegation as a mark of his ability.

"if Martinez is such a good manager, how come Wigan are always fighting relegation?"

This is typical of comments I've seen, especially from critics of Roberto Martinez, especially at the time he almost went to Liverpool, and now he is being linked with Everton.

It also shows the lack of awareness that supporters of big clubs have of life at the other end of the table.

At Wigan, Martinez has to live with a paper-thin squad. This season, for much of the time, the club has had to get along with long-term injuries to their two most influential central defenders, Alcaraz and Ramis; and in recent league games and the Cup Final had to play a midfielder at left back.

And look at the team that Wigan put out at Wembley, one that outclassed the most expensive side in history.

Maloney has been an influential player for the last two seasons. He would now walk into almost any premiership side. Cost? - £1m

McManaman, new to the first team and a future England star. cost?- Free

Alcaraz, a superb, quality defender who dominated the back in the final. Cost? - free

Espinoza, who ran City ragged down the left. Cost? - Free

Compare these signings with Joe Allen for £15m and Fabio Borini for £11m. What couldn't Martinez do with that £26m at Wigan?

He is a superb manager and one of the best around when it comes to spotting talent. He was also the man who initiated the sort of play at Swansea that saw them promoted. The football Wigan play is a joy to watch at times.

What keeps the club rooted near the bottom of the table is a pitifully small squad. This season, it has been injuries to critical players that has undermined the chances of Premiership survival.

As Wigan fan I hope that Wigan manage to keep Martinez. If not, then as a Liverpool fan, I regret that the Reds failed to bring him to Anfield.

Did Liverpool make him an offer? He suggests yes, but the club says no. I suspect this is a face-saver - that he was flown to the USA, shown the plans and then made it clear he was not prepared to take a job in circumstances where he did not have full control of transfers. If so, then, technically, a formal offer was not made and that is their get out.

Do you agree Martinez would be a success at a club with more resources?

image: © illarterate

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