Last summer Roberto Martinez remained incredibly loyal to Wigan Athletic, rejecting the temptation to manage Liverpool in favour of continuing his heroics at the DW Stadium.
At that time, the Liverpool job wasn’t right for Martinez. He would be under intense pressure to succeed, and whilst performing minor miracles at Wigan is an achievement he should be proud of, his reputation as a highly talented young manager could have suffered.
Fast forward a year and we have ourselves a similar story. Another year of languishing around the relegation zone for Wigan, and a vacant post on Merseyside waiting to be filled.
Once again, the young Spanish manager is being heavily linked with the post, and rightly so. On the back of an FA Cup triumph, Martinez has won more trophies this season than David Moyes did in his whole Everton career.
That’s not to say Moyes didn’t do a wonderful job with what he had. With the finances available at Everton during his tenure, he has created a very strong team.
Factor in his excellent eye for a bargain and he has been highly successful at Goodison Park, hence why he is leaving to become manager of Britain’s biggest team.
With this role now vacant, there is an opportunity for Roberto Martinez to snap it up should he be offered it. His Wigan side look incredibly likely to be playing Championship football next season, and Martinez is better than that.
He has remained fiercely loyal to Wigan, and would go with chairman Dave Whelan’s blessing. The Wigan chairman; who himself should be proud of his running of the club, has given Martinez his blessing should he decide to leave, albeit with a subtle begging for Martinez to stay by suggesting Everton aren’t “big enough.”
However, whilst last season Martinez was praised for his loyalty, I feel this year he would be making the wrong decision not to leave if given the opportunity.
If he remains at the DW Stadium, and Wigan underperforms in the Championship next season, this highly talented manager may become an average one who had potential. Nobody wants to see Martinez become a forgotten man, yet his loyalty could lead to his falling.
The time is right for Martinez. He has brought a hugely miraculous trophy to Wigan and is receiving the rightly deserved plaudits alongside it. This is a step in the right direction.
Maybe it isn’t the top club Martinez will end up at, but it’s a necessary step along the way. Football is about winning, and he has given his all to Wigan. But now is Roberto’s time to shine.
Loyalty is loved so passionately in England, but loyalty can lead to stagnation and regret. Winners don’t stand still and wait for success, they make it happen. Martinez has the ingredients to coach at the very best, and the very biggest of clubs, but standing still when everybody is moving isn’t the way to the top. Martinez must take this opportunity because you never know when the next will come along.
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