Second season in charge, and has it been as good as the first? Well summing up his transfers and results so far we can see he has massively improved on the last season. But what about how his tactical mind has worked, whether the game plan has worked and has his philosophy of passing football starting to pay off for Latics?
Last season we beat the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, all at home. This year we managed to beat Tottenham away, while picking up draws against Tottenham, Liverpool (home and away) and Arsenal. So we may not have won as many games against the big teams this year. Points lost here for Martinez, but still good results against the countries top teams.
The important wins really came towards the end of the season. The ones that come to mind are Birmingham, Blackpool, West Ham and Stoke City. All four games were very important and gained the club twelve valuable points.
Coming into the back end of the season we need to beat the above teams. First up was Birmingham, although we went behind, Martinez kept the team the same and on we went. Only bringing on Sammon, Rodallega and Diame when it was getting desperate. None of which made a difference due to Figureoa strike stealing the show.
Blackpool was an important result and picking up all three was a must. All though it was really helped by Blackpool mistakes, the decision to start with Rodallega, N’Zogbia and Cleverly proved vital as they caused havoc attacking the tangerines.
West Ham, what can you say. 2-0 down and at half time looked doomed. Bringing on Moses and Sammon was the right idea and both changed the game completely for Latics. Sammon getting his first goal for Wigan, and Moses making the runs to provide Charlie with space.
Finally Stoke City, although Martinez didn’t really affect the game, his line up did in the second half. Sammon up front was the right call for most of the game, it allowed Rodallega to get involved in the game more and gave us some steel up front.
We all know what Martinez wants, to have free flowing passing football. Slowly the players are getting there but it may still not be totally working for the team. Early on in the season we were caught out for sloppy passing and punished in games for it. But with Watson moving centeral and Diame coming into form it has helped bring the team on and allow for more free passing.
By the second half of the West Ham game our passing was phenomenal and it is how we should be playing next season, it will be a shame if we don’t. The team really opened them up. Saying that we have been caught doing an ‘Arsenal’ sometimes this season and holding onto the ball too much without scoring, but we are getting there.
Hopefully we don’t lose him in the summer, rumors of a move away from Latics have been circling. But Martinez is part of the club and always has been. I don’t think he will be going becuase of the ‘project’ he is building. That ‘project’ is coming together slowly, hopefully with some more shrewd signings in the transfer market looking up will be on.
His season has been tactically sound, and he has looked more and more like a Premier League manager. He sometimes holds on too long to bring players on, and hopefully he will start to change games earlier like he has done towards the end of this season.
7/10 for his second year in charge.