Martinez’s Wigan Steal Weekend’s Headlines
Roberto Martinez is a man who worked wonders with Swansea City in his two seasons at the club, leading them to League One glory in 2007-2008 and then guiding the Welsh side to an unexpected 8th place finish last season in the Championship. At Premier League Wigan Athletic, he has appeared as cool and calm as previously in his first months as manager, whilst still having an imposing effect on his team. His managerial skills shone through as Wigan stunned Chelsea to win 3-1 at home.
Against Chelsea, Martinez’s side exploited yawning gaps on both wings exposed by Chelsea’s slack backline. Jason Scotland and Hugo Rodallega danced around Carlo Ancelotti’s defenders with ease for most of the afternoon. The movement and clever runs from the front two were the most impressive aspect of the performance as well as the convincing manner of victory. Martinez has the two playing on the same wavelength and his side were a delight to watch this weekend.
The crafty play by his side off the ball was also attributed to the taking of set-pieces. On numerous occasions the outstanding Rodallega’s short corners to former Newcastle winger Charles N’Zogbia caught the Chelsea defence napping. Wigan were one step ahead of their opponents and dominated particularly in the second half . With leaders in the side such as Austrian international Paul Scharner, Martinez’s side look assured and organised.
The Spaniard has had to wait for success as Wigan manager due to five defeats in six games before, but you can already sense echoes of his fantastic Swansea side of last season. Going forward, Wigan look dangerous and the likes of Scotland, Rodallega and N’Zogbia will capitalise on any space and can ghost into dangerous areas around the penalty spot as shown against Chelsea. Scotland’s ex Swansea teammate Jordi Gomez also looks a great signing for Martinez. Gomez possesses a varied box of tricks and can dazzle defences with his intricate skills and pace. The ex Espanyol man has only played three times so far for Wigan but if Martinez can get Gomez in the form which got him 12 goals last season from central midfield, he could be a fantastic addition to Wigan’s squad.
Martinez appears to have finally got what he wants from his Wigan side, a side playing with confidence, flair and no fear. In Trinidad & Tobago striker Scotland, Martinez has a natural goalscorer. His side are also a threat at set-pieces thanks to the rejuvenated newly imposing Titus Bramble and have all the tools to finish in the top half of the table this season.