A maiden FA Cup final appearance is a fitting reward for Wigan and Roberto Martinez.
The small Lancashire club continue to punch above their weight and have a real chance to make it nine consecutive Premier League seasons in a row. However, with European football secured at the DW stadium for next season, it is time Martinez made the move up the football ladder.
As fun as a Wembley final and a cameo in the Europa League might be, it is PremierLeague survival that is vital to the Latics.
Martinez told Sky Sports: "The last few seasons our aim is to obviously stay in the division and to fight against relegation.
"It was a completely different way to go out and express yourself and fight to win something and it was a unique moment.
"It's a special day in the calendar to look forward to even though it's all about normality and focusing on our work in the league which is the real priority of our season."
Wigan currently sit 18th, three points behind a trio of teams – Sunderland, Stoke, Aston Villa – with two games in hand. It looks like the great escape is on again for Wigan but the Europa League has hurt the league form of all four of England’s participants this season.
Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle have far larger resources and playing squad than Martinez has at his disposal and have all struggled to maintain performances in the league as a result. How would Wigan fare?
Also, Martinez’s reputation cannot be higher. Wigan will enter the FA Cup final against Manchester City as massive underdogs but just being at Wembley is some achievement.
Martinez has been linked with some big jobs in the past and reportedly turned down the Liverpool job. Question marks remain over whether Martinez would succeed at a truly big club – the same issues that come up when David Moyes is linked with one of the big four – but if Martinez can pull off the biggest cup final surprise this millennia then there will be no doubt over his readiness for the big time.
If Martinez did consider his future, the first question that would pop into his head is where would he go next? The Spaniard has shown great loyalty to Wigan, and Dave Whelan, this chairman, has shown great loyalty to him in return.
It is unlikely Martinez would consider swapping a happy working environment simply to take over a team with only mid-table aspirations, which rules out half the league. There is a chance David Moyes will leave Everton, which would be a step up for Martinez, but his profile is surely too small for a Chelsea or Man City.
West Ham might fancy his style of football and have a bright future ahead with the move to the Olympic Stadium. The resources are no doubt bigger at the London club but would Martinez be afforded the time to change the Irons style of play?
Martinez’s rep has never been higher and this might be his last real chance to become a manager of a big club. Wigan have deservedly earned plenty of praise for their stout victories over relegation and the way they approach the game, but one day they will go down and if Martinez is at the helm, he might go down with them.
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