This weekend sees Wigan entertain Fulham with both in desperate need of a result of any description. So what has happened to Wigan this year? Nothing much really if we’re honest. Their form has been pretty abysmal for a sustained spell of time and if this continues then they will no longer be plying their trade in the top flight. So what is the problem? With a chairman as loyal and enthusiastic as Dave Whelan, they should be doing a lot better but this is simply not the case. The players and Martinez have a lot of questions to answer. Their performances this season have been embarrassing and something has to change.
With a goalkeeper the calibre of Al-Habsi and sprinklings of star quality in McCarthy, Rodallega and Moses, they should be commanding a higher league position than they currently are. The question arises why are they so bad? Simply put there is no easy answer but a large portion of blame must fall on the shoulders of Roberto Martinez. In fairness to the man, he did a fine job with Swansea and initially at Wigan he seemed to be perfect for the club. However slowly but surely their form has died and they are now one of the favourites for the drop. Questions have to be asked about his management style as his team are not performing to their obvious potential. Could anyone have realistically seen that any of the promoted sides had a better team at the start of the campaign? Yet somehow Wigan find themselves below all three! It is all well and good staying loyal to a manager for so long, but somewhere along the line someone has to make the hard choice, and unfortunately for Martinez that very moment is now imminent for Whelan. The decision on the future of the manager is critical to stabilising results on the pitch and giving the club every possibility of remaining in the top flight next season.
No one likes to see a manager of obvious potential come under fire and eventually get the sack. However, in this case it seems Martinez has had an abundance of time to remedy the problems but he has thus far failed to do so. His refusal to speak to Aston Villa illustrates the character and quality of the man, but these should not be cited as reasons for his stay of execution. Certainly in the future he will do a fantastic job at another club, yet at Wigan he has had his chances and failed to grasp them.
There are plenty of hungry managers available to take on this challenge and maintain Wigan’s status as a top flight team. The job will certainly not be easy and perhaps after the weekend’s football is concluded, Martinez may well be having the last laugh. But as a neutral observer I strongly feel Wigan need a change of direction if they are to stand any chance of preserving their Premier League status.
Throughout the season so far one man, Steve Kean, has come under sustained attack from fans and reporters alike for the ‘’woeful’’ job he has been doing at Blackburn. However, lest we not forget they are in the last eight of the League Cup. Where are Wigan? Martinez has essentially escaped under the radar for too long, his team’s performances this season have at best have been abject. How long this pattern will continue unquestionably lies in the hands of the Wigan chairman Dave Whelan.