Thursday, February 22, 2018

Martinez has no regrets over staying at Wigan

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Nov 2012


Roberto Martinez revealed he chose to stay at Wigan because he intends to build a legacy at the club.

The manager was heavily linked in the off-season with a move to Liverpool, who Wigan face on Saturday at Anfield.

Martinez explained he rejected an approach from Aston Villa before the start of last season out of loyalty, but admitted he considered leaving the club this summer before opting to stay with the aim of leaving a long-term impression.

“I had an agreement of three years with my chairman, who has been loyal and supportive. I had the opportunity to pay back that loyalty after my second season here. The third year was the time to think what it was he wanted to do,” he said.

“I wanted certain things done internally for me to stay. That meant investing in a new training ground, which we are 12 months away from. It meant investing in the structure of the Under-21s and trying to keep the players we wanted to keep.

“It took the chairman a week or two to think about it. Then, he was as excited as I have ever seen him.”

The Spaniard began his career as a manager by leading Swansea City to the second tier of English football for the first time in 24 years, and the possession-based style he installed before leaving in 2009 has endured as the club have since reached the Premier League.

“I like to build a football club. I did at Swansea and there is a pleasure in seeing football clubs three or four years down the line even when you are not involved,” he said.

“Having been in the Premier League for eight years, Wigan have not got enough to show for it. The summer was a key moment to do that and the chairman agreed to have a legacy to leave behind.”

His success almost ran out last year as the club were dragged into a relegation battle for most of the season, before a change of formation led to wins over Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, and ultimately kept the club clear of dropping into the Championship.

Martinez accepted the uncertainty inherent to managing at the top level but insisted it would not change his approach.

“You have the risk of losing any job in football. That is the nature of the game,” he said.

“What is important is that you understand what you have got and how you can improve it. Always have a plan, not for one season but for the next two, five and 10 years.

“There is always a right time and a wrong time to leave a football club.”


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