Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday June 6 2009
Roberto Martinez said his goodbyes yesterday at Swansea City before he headed up to his first UK club Wigan Athletic to take the managerial seat off Steve Bruce.
With all negotiations over and everything agreed between the Latics and Martinez and Wigan Athletic and Swansea City the return from holiday of Latics owner Dave Whelan is all that is required for the announcement to be made officially that Roberto Martinez is the manager of Wigan Athletic.
The 35 year old was down at the Liberty Stadium yesterday clearing his desk and saying his goodbyes to a club that has served him well this past two years giving him the platform to show his talents and get him on the road of football management.
Martinez is like a shinning light in the managerial world, he is young, vibrant, passionate, knowledgeable and held in high regard by his peers, he is by no means the finished article and there is no doubting that he will make mistakes but if he can get the Latics playing the brand of football that Swansea play then he will be alright in my book.
Swansea fans are afraid that Martinez will take his backroom staff with, this is par for the course, Bruce brought his entourage from Birmingham and then took them to Sunderland, Jewell when he took the Derby County post returned to the Latics for the men he felt he could trust.
Today a manager is much more than a bloke with a camel coat, he is the head of a little empire of assistants, coaches and scouts and they do seem to move around together, so we can expect more new arrivals at the JJB this coming week and two names that are certain through the incoming doors are ex Manchester City, Norwich and England forward Kevin Reeves and old Latics favourite Graeme 'Jonesy` Jones.
Burnley born Reeves was once one of the worlds most expensive football players when he left Norwich for Manchester City in 1980, he has had assistant managers jobs at Wrexham and Swansea but his current role as the Chief Scout for the Swans is where he has made his name finding a clump of highly talented players that have electrified South Wales, long may that continue up in the North West.
Graeme Jones needs no introduction to Latics fans and he is etched into folklore and legend in Wigan for his bustling centre-forward play during the promotion year of 1997 when he banged in a Latics record of 31 league goals in a season.
After leaving the Latics in 1999 to join SPL side St. Johnstone, Jones` career was plagued by injury at a variety of clubs in both England and Scotland and he was forced to retire from playing in 2006 and took up the mantle of Roberto`s assistant boss in March 2007.
A new era will begin this week at the Latics and it is indeed exciting times, I was sad when I heard that Bruce was about to leave but with the emergence of Roberto Martinez has the man to take his place I am absolutely delighted and if I had the choice of between Bruce and Martinez I would have picked Roberto anyway.
Welcome back on board Bobby, get the Sombrero`s out again, Y Viva España
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Date:Saturday June 6 2009
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