Roberto Martinez is one of the most likeable characters in the Premier League as he led Wigan to survival year after year in some of the Premier League’s greatest ever escapes. The Spaniard who had a wonderful playing career moved into management in 2007 and has never looked back.
After taking over at Swansea in 2007 after retiring as a player, Martinez excelled as he took the managerial hot seat as his attractive brand of football lead the Swans to become League One Champions as he took the League One Manager of the Year award. After commenting that he would have to be forced out of the Welsh club, he decided to take his opportunity to manage in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic. Martinez first season with the club was not the most consistent. Big wins against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool coupled with crushing defeats to Tottenham and Chelsea saw Wigan finish in 16th place as Martinez adjusted to life in the top flight.
His second and third seasons at the club saw them once again pull of great escapes as they won on the last day at Stoke to secure top flight survival before in the 2011/2012 season saw Martinez produce a miracle which saw Wigan defeat Manchester United and Newcastle at home coupled with wins at Liverpool and Arsenal saw the Latics win 7 out of their last 9 games to survive.
The 2012/2013 season was one step to far in the league. Not in the cup. Wigan produced one of the shocks of the decade to stun big spenders and former Premier League champions Manchester City with a 90th minute Ben Watson header to seal the cup and delight chairman Dave Whelan who had broken his leg in the FA Cup final in 1960. The jubilations in the cup though were met with heartbreak in the league as they could not pull of the great escape and fell into the Championship.
Martinez today left Wigan and is now in negotiations with Everton Football Club who saw long serving manager David Moyes depart for Manchester United and take the reigns from the worlds most successful manager. Sir Alex Ferguson. After earning rave reviews from so many people down to his fluent passing game and confidence and belief in what he tries to do has always seen him destined for the top. Should Martinez take the job at Goodison Park, then it is nothing less than he deserves and will see him working the Premier League again and trying to set his mark on a team in the higher reaches of the top flight.