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Without Martinez - What next for Wigan Athletic?

What does the future hold for Wigan in the wake of Roberto Martinez's departure?

The sad truth for Wigan Athletic is that Roberto Martinez leaving following relegation was somewhat inevitable. The likelihood now is that Martinez will take on the Everton role and be given a chance to continue the work started by Moyes.

One potential difference from the outset though is that there is a high possibility that Martinez will need to build and plan for a team and future without Fellaini.

So Martinez will have money to spend (unlike for a large portion of Moyes’s time at the helm of the club) but he will have to rebuild the hub of the team. Which is where our story takes us back to Wigan Athletic… 

In the summer after a club has just been relegated – departures are inevitable. In some cases (such as QPR’s) players will be hard to shift - but this won’t be a problem for Wigan.

Whilst defensively Wigan have had issues all season (understatement) - their forward play has won plaudits. Their players have been in the shop window for the entire season and offers will inevitably be arriving for a number of the stand out performers (something very odd to write after a club has gone down).

Perhaps Wigan’s biggest asset though is midfielder James McCarthy – a player that has already been linked with big money moves to the top clubs. It should go without saying then that when looking to fill a Fellaini like hole at Everton – one of the first players that Martinez will look to add will be McCarthy.

But what of the Martinez like hole at Wigan? Early reports have Coyle and Stuart Pearce as frontrunners for the position – either of whom (on paper) could potentially be great for the club. And with players like Watson, McArthur, Fyvie and McManaman already in place – the club has the foundations for a young and resilient team that can grow together.

Both candidates have shining records of working with younger players in the past and that is an attribute that they will need to get the most out of the players already in the first team picture and to push players from the Under 21’s and academy teams towards their true potential. Wigan have become a good football playing club as well – so whoever comes in will need to keep the ethos (whilst constantly running defensive drills).

The key thing however is going to be trying to keep hold of the players that the new manager can build a team with. Whelan will support the new manager – whoever they may be.

There is no question about that. But it is now we will see how loyal some of the players are to the club – and who was simply loyal to Martinez.

Don’t bet against Martinez continuing to build his relationship with Wigan whilst at Everton though. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see some “soon to break through” Everton players spending some time developing their football education at the DW stadium in the future.

Wigan fans who do you want as boss? Can you hang onto McCarthy and McArthur?

image: © illarterate

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