Connect with us


Can Martinez Stop The Rot At Wigan?

Roberto Martinez Manager Wigan Athletic 2009/10 Aston Villa V Wigan Athletic 15/08/09 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International

Last season, the one team who no-one was surprised to see to go down were Hull City. The dreadful run that began in November 2008 saw them go the rest of that season with just two wins, against Middlesbrough and Fulham out of 23 matches. Incredibly as we remember, they stayed up on the last day of the season as none of their rivals could win to overtake them.

Last year, they managed to get 4 more wins before December 31st to end with the dreadful record in 2009 of just 5 wins in 38 league matches. It was at times painful to watch, but strangely another team is currently on a run of 4 wins in 21 matches this year, Wigan Athletic. Yet unlike Hull, Wigan are beginning to ship goals like it’s going out of fashion.

Of course, some may say losing 6-0 to Chelsea is no shame, West Brom had conceded the same amount on the opening day visit to Stamford Bridge. Yet losing your opening two Premiership matches, at home, with a deficit of 10 goals against and none for is more than troubling. Chelsea have set off like an express train, but losing to Blackpool by 4 clear goals is disturbing. Of course, Wigan finished last season awfully, as once again Chelsea ripped them to pieces 8-0.

They lost by 3 or more goals 9 times last season, including Chelsea’s 8 and Tottenham thumping 9 past them. What astounds me is how a team, which at times plays an excellent brand of football, can cave in so spectacularly when they go 2 goals down. Surely Roberto Martinez has to say to his chairman that the club’s transfer policy has to change immediately. For me the chairman Dave Whelan has a part to play in the clubs transfer policy of buying young raw talent and then selling it on for profit. The team is woefully short of experience in all areas of the pitch and it is really beginning to show.

I’m not one of those people who thinks teams like Wigan shouldn’t be in the Premiership. They got there on merit and despite crowds being the lowest on average in the Premiership, the club rightly deserved it’s place in the top tier. Worryingly though, the club is beginning to haemorrhage supporters. The average of 17,884 last season has already fallen this year by 2,500, despite Blackpool and Chelsea selling their allocations of 4,200. The home fans are leaving in droves, the attendance fell by 1600 between those two game alone.

I appreciate in this day and age that some clubs need to be prudent with the finances but Whelan’s policy of selling every asset has had a detrimental effect on the side. Last year the club made a net profit of £25 million in transfer activity with the Valencia and Palacios deals alone coming to £28 million. Financially, it is excellent business but it has left a team completely bereft of any expeirence and guts. When the chips are down, Wigan simply fold time and again.

It is crushing to watch this side get taken apart so easily. The game against Blackpool must have been humiliating for Latics fans to stomach as they should have and could have lost by more. The performance improved markedly against Chelsea, but once again the game ran away for them and towards the end, certain players stopped trying. With the clubs player of the year, Charles N’Zogbia now wanting to leave, the club is sliding away already.

The transfer window is shutting on Tuesday and Martinez has tried to bring in some experience at the back, with Steven Caldwell joing brother Gary, but the team is crying out for more nous throughout its ranks. Martinez impressed people with his achievements at Swansea City but he is seemingly carrying the weight of financial responsibility at Wigan to the extreme. Whelan has to realise that fans will not come to watch their team get hammered week in and week out.

No-one is saying that they have to go out and spend stupid amounts of money, but they are in free-fall. Something needs to be done to help Martinez out. No one is in any doubt that without Dave Whelan, Wigan Athletic would not be in the Premiership. Of that there is no doubt, but at this rate they’ve only got 8 months left as a Premiership club and as Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City, Sheffield United and others can testify, it’s a damn sight harder to get back in to it once you fall out.
Please leave me your comments and you can find me at

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more


  1. the other robert

    August 28, 2010 at 3:21 am

    love to see sean sticking with his boys regardless of the league they’re in. roberto is a damn good coach; a players’ coach. a keeper. give that man some strength on the pitch and he’s going to be in the top flight a while. he’s actually a man who can breed it, i believe. they’ve just got to get it into their heads that they’re winners. tough to do after such a horrid start. a backslide is a tough thing to stop.

  2. bcfcfan

    August 27, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Was impressed w/ Martinez when he was on ESPN this summer – hope he turns things around. Dave Whelan is something of a rarity in the EPL these days – a football man running a football club – so I think he will be patient. But he has to be concerned about those dwindling attendances in a town that loves it’s rugby league

    • Sean

      August 27, 2010 at 8:20 am

      why do people think that wigan loves its rugby league so much, over the last few years, wigan athletic have had bigger attendances than wigan warriors!!


      most football fans hate wigan warriors and vice versa

  3. Cricketlover

    August 27, 2010 at 12:37 am

    It would be a shame if Martinez were fired. He is a very good manager and he showed his worth last season by doing reasonably well in only his first season in the top flight. It is going to take a few matches before Wigan take shape and play with more consistency. There have been some player changes already and there could be a couple more transfers before the deadline so I think it will take a little longer before the team settles. For teams in the bottom half it’s not how you start the season but how you finish that matter most. I definitely think that Martinez can stop the rut if given time. Patience will be rewarded.

  4. Scott Mac

    August 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Sir Alex was almost sacked too, every coach has bad spells. Martinez is young and as a former WIgan Player I know his heart is in it as well which is always a positive. I trust he will remain manager for years to come improving each year.

  5. The Gaffer

    August 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I agree with most of the readers that Roberto Martinez is an excellent manager and he will not get sacked anytime soon. He needs time. This is only his second season in the top flight. The Blackpool result was a disgraceful performance by his defenders, but Wigan looked much better in the first half against Chelsea. Plus they won midweek in the Carling Cup.

    No one expected them to beat Chelsea, and aside from the terrible result against Blackpool, what’s the big deal? Sky is making a mountain out of a mole hill and trying to create a panic where there doesn’t deserve to be one.

    Yes, Wigan will have a tough time staying up this season but there’s a long way to go. Martinez is definitely much more qualified as a manager than Paul Ince. Plus Martinez is much more talented. This is a man who knows his football. He just has to get his players organized.

    The Gaffer

    • Guitarearl

      August 27, 2010 at 7:43 am

      The trouble for Wigan becomes…the more his players pull diva and quit working once the chips are down, the more that a deep-pocketed team needing a manager goes to Martinez and lures him away with money and talent. Regardless of the checkbook aspect, a good manager wants to win, and if he’s a manager who could get a quality team into the Champions League competition, there’s no way he’s going to (or should) sacrifice his career accolades in order to sink to League Two.

      • Dave C

        August 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

        I don’t think there’s ANY chance fo a deep-pocketed team trying to poach Martinez away from Wigan at this point.

        I’m not saying he should be fired, I’m not saying he’s a bad manager, I just don’t think all those 0-6 defeats are boosting his resume right now.

  6. Scott Alexander

    August 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Martinez is an excellent coach and I’d be happy to have him at my club. His style of play will ship a lot of goals sometimes but he has gotten tremendous results given the talent levels in his possession. Give him time. He’ll repay it many times over

  7. Raatzie

    August 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Told you so. My West Ham relegation pick looks good too. Bolton not so much (shakes fist at Coyle.)

  8. Smokey Bacon

    August 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Dead man walking. Doesn’t seem up to Premier league standard, a bit like Paul Ince. Expect to see him more often on ESPN shortly.

    • Sean

      August 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      and who do you support, give him time and look at facts before you spout sky nonsense.

      He will not be sacked, whelan has backed him and previously said, even if we go down to the third tier (league 1), he will still be the manager.

      Also, hes 37 ffs, he as plenty to learn and will learn if given the time, if this takes moving down a level, i will accept that.

      PS, who do you support?

      • Smokey Bacon

        August 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm


        • sean

          August 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

          ok thanks, good luck for the season, you have started really well this season if im not mistaken

          • Smokey Bacon

            August 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

            Not bad but its early days. Likewise, I don’t have a problem with Martinez and Dave Whelan is one of the few honest men left in the game. Good luck!

  9. Lee

    August 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    They have lost their way and Martinez seems the same, his tactics aren’t working and he is under huge pressure. Lets hope they keep patient and start stringing some points together

    • Sean

      August 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      lee, the thing is, he is not under huge pressure at all, many fans back him and the chairman has promised to not sack him even if we go down. However, once again sky have been spouting rubbish saying he is going to be sacked, yet he isnt!! It is really annoying!!

      We will never change our transfer policy, as i would much rather play in the championship and be financially stable then having a good squad in the premier league and having 200 million pound debts, the premier league is a joke nowadays, its a 7 team battle full of money, arabian money. Oh, and even more money! The other 13 teams are completely irrelevant and are just there to stay up, and pose a small challenge to the top 7, its like SPL, but a bit better.

      If we do go down, many people who have supported teams who havent been there seem to think it is the end of the world for the club, i know that even if we go all the way down to league 2 like bradford for example, i will still be there supporting my team every week.

      Hopefully, martinez can be our long term manager as he genuinely cares for the club (he is a legend as a player here) and has a long term plan for wigan, unlike a certain harrods shopper (steve bruce).

      In bobby we trust

      • sean

        August 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm

        PS, thanks for the good luck, it isnt you hating on him, it is sky spreading crap, and making everything dramatic, making people believe them, and then spread it, its like sky are trying to put him under pressure more than anything

      • Lee

        August 27, 2010 at 2:21 am

        Yes Yes i see your point, and you’re right. He will be there and Wigan is indeed a very small club doing well on a financial basis. it simply cant compete to make big money moves for players. I was suggesting however that it seems Martinez is putting pressure on himself. Of course his pride would have been dented these first couple games. Despite having the support from the fans, and im sure the players also he must keep a clear mind and push ahead with the job at task. Football is a funny game and they could get 6 points in their next two matches and be back on track, you never know

    • doomed pie munchers

      August 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      dead meat………4 sho tee hee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Blackpool

Translate »