Roberto Martinez: Wigan boss on Premier League management

Having defied the odds to steer Wigan clear of relegation at the end of this season, Roberto Martinez has made himself one of the most sought-after managers in the English game.

On 11 March, the Latics were bottom of the Premier League table and odds on to be relegated but a stunning late run of results, which began with a 2-1 win at Liverpool and also included victories over Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle, helped the Lancashire side reach safety with a game to spare.

Wigan under Martinez

Roberto Martinez with Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Games: 127
  • Won: 34
  • Drawn: 36
  • Lost: 57
  • Win percentage: 26.8

That this feat was achieved without the 38-year-old abandoning his principles of passing, attacking football merely adds to his credibility.

As a player, Martinez was a classy midfielder who began his career with Real Zaragoza in his native Spain before making a name for himself with the likes of Wigan and Swansea.

His managerial career was a reverse of this as he began with the Swans and led the Welsh club back into the Championship for the first time in 24 years in 2008 before leaving to take over at Wigan in 2009.

In June 2011, Martinez turned down an opportunity to manage Aston Villa, claiming he had unfinished business at the DW Stadium.

A successful season later, the Spaniard told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek about the realities of life in charge of a Premier League side.

ON JOB OFFERS:

"When we started our working relationship, the chairman Dave Whelan and I always spoke about a plan for three seasons.

Whelan would not shy from sacking Martinez

"The chairman always made very clear that he would give me all his support, and when Aston Villa's approach came [in June 2011] we were two seasons into the plan.

"It was impossible from a human point of view. I would never let Wigan or my chairman down.

"I just felt it wasn't the right time for Wigan Athletic to have a change of management group. I always want to manage the football club in a manner like I was going to be here for 50 years. I think any manager should do that."

ON JOB SATISFACTION:

"I think any manager or any player would tell you that their happiness revolves around football results.

"When you don't get those results you are really bad company and you need time on your own to wind down and just become human again.

"I think the passage from a professional footballer into a human being sometimes can be quite drastic for the people around you."

ON PRESSURE:

"The pressure is huge because of the pressure I put on myself.

Martinez quizzed on Villa link

"I never feel the pressure comes from outside, it is the standards you set internally because you want the best for the football club.

"But I am privileged and really grateful for the relationship I have with the fans and my chairman [Dave Whelan]. They are very supportive.

"In the modern game you don't always get that time and support you need to develop your project.

"If you look in the British game in the last two or three years, I think we have lost that patience. We used to be the envy of world football.

"In Spanish or French football, managers would say they would love to have the time that we had in the British game to develop their projects.

"In many ways I have always wanted to repay that loyalty from the chairman and the fans whenever I get the opportunity."

AFTER DEFEAT:

Did you know?

  • Martinez has a degree in physiotherapy and a postgraduate degree in business management.

"I need to watch a game probably seven or eight times and, until I find all the answers and convert all the doubts into solutions, I don't stop watching.

"I am very bad company for anyone. It is better for my family and friends that I don't spend time with them. But probably that is where I find my happiness internally, by focusing on the game and finding the solutions and then, so many times, it is watching other football.

"I love watching other games and other leagues, seeing other players and other managers' problems with a very relaxed feeling, and that is the way I find calmness internally."