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Roberto Martinez is one of football’s good guys. 

Whether throwing shapes at a Jason Derulo gig, hiring his pet Pomeranian as a bridesmaid for his wedding or guiding Wigan Athletic to FA Cup glory, the 48-year-old is a warm and welcoming presence in a game renowned for its cut-throat cynicism.

But it’s not his charming persona or snake hips that have made Martinez one of Europe’s most astute, well-respected coaches. 



Aston Villa knew in 2011, when Martinez was just two seasons into his job at Wigan, that the then 37-year-old tactician had a bright future at the top of the game.  

Following the departure of Gerard Houllier a decade ago, the Midlands giants wasted little time in making an approach for Martinez. Former owner Randy Lerner held talks with the still-hirsute Spaniard (The Guardian). 

“Over the last two years, the chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal. And now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him,” Martinez said in June 2011, explaining why he decided to commit his future to Wigan and Dave Whelan rather than taking over a far larger, more historic club. 

Well we did say he was one of football’s good guys. 

“I haven’t finished my job at Wigan Athletic. There’s much work still to be done. I don’t know how long that will take but I will only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new manager.”

Will Roberto Martinez reject Aston Villa – again?

Ten years on, with Sky Sports reporting Roberto Martinez is back in contention for an Aston Villa side without a manager again, it remains to be seen what his response will be this time around. 

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Martinez is under contract with the Belgium national team until the 2022 World Cup. And, when asked about speculation linking him with the Tottenham Hotspur job a few months ago, Martinez made it clear he remains a man of principle. 

“Right now that’s not my concern,” he said. “I have ruled out the chances of returning to a club and now I am going to commit to the European Championship. 

“If I had focused on my own career, I would not have renewed my contract a year ago.” 

In short, don’t be surprised to see Martinez smile politely and say “thanks but no thanks”, spurning Aston Villa’s advances for a second time. 

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