Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday August 23 2009
Three games into the new season and the knives are out and the vultures are circling, the Roberto Martinez honeymoon period looks to be over, my message to the whiners and moaners, get a grip for goodness sake.
The signing of Martinez has Latics boss heralded a new era in how we are going to progress as a club and a football team, it was obvious from the outset that Bobby puts a lot of faith in youth, apart from Jason Scotland none of his nine signings are over the age of 25 and the vast majority 22 and under, also his footballing philosophy would be so different to what we have seen under both Steve Bruce and Paul Jewell.
Bruce and Jewell are harem scarem managers and their teams play an in your face high tempo game with more emphasis on aggression than finesse, Martinez is different, firstly it is plain to see that he wants a patient style, if there is nothing on, don`t panic, keep the ball, unlike the previous four seasons of punting it up field to either a big clumsy forward or hitting the corners and getting someone to chase after it. Invariably with both these options possession would be lost and the opponents would stage a counter.
The change isn`t going to happen over night and there will be both highs and lows as the season progresses, obviously so far we have had these with Villa away being the high, though the Wolves game was a low in that we lost but with further analysis you could argue that we were unlucky to lose with the majority of possession and nearly 20 attempts on goal. Yesterday against Manchester United we did well for 40 mins and then the fitness of Diame told and heads went down after the first goal, but 5-0 was never a true reflection of that game.
At times though its as though some supporters cant wait for Bobby to fail, even before the Villa game there was doom and gloom around and why? Most of the criticism that I have seen comes from people challenging the style of football and the incessant debate about formations is getting quite hilarious, Roberto Martinez is a fully qualified Uefa coach, he has managed successfully for the past two seasons and he is highly regarded by people who have been in the professional game for decades, surely he has some idea of what he is doing.
In the home game against Wolves, the first home game of the season and following on from an emphatic win against Aston Villa three days earlier, there was a shout from a bloke sat behind me, he screamed `Bramble you are useless, get that f***ing ball up the field` I looked round at the scoreboard, time played 2:37. Two minutes and thirty seconds into the home game and idiots are screaming abuse.
Martinez has been hailed the new Wenger by some and you can see why there are comparisons, both are thinkers of the game, they prefer a passing style and keep ball to the traditional hump style, neither played at the top in football.
When Wenger was appointed Arsenal manager back in 1996 the Evening Standard had the headline 'Arsene Who?`, he was given time and he has proved to be one of the greatest ever managers in English football, his sides play with style, flair and finesse, possession of the ball is always high on their agenda and they are very attractive, but this wasn`t achieved in his first three games!
In 2008 Swansea City were crowned League 1 Champions, Martinez had been in charge for just over a year, they won the league comfortably and in style but the first four games of that season only brought one win yet at the end of the season they were 10 points clear of their nearest rivals.
In our first TEN games last season under Bruce we only managed 2 wins and that was playing 4-4-2 hoofball, is that what we want to go back to?
Roberto Martinez is transforming our club, he needs time and above all he needs the support of the fans, yesterday`s score line was disappointing and I hope that the staff and players find it embarrassing but there is a long way to go, Everton got smacked by Arsenal but are they going down?
Get off the managers back, support the team, he needs to be given a chance, get a grip and get behind them, we all know that supporting the Latics is a rocky road full of ups and downs and we are all passionate about the club, but lets put that passion behind the lads, they need our support not our whinging and for goodness sake Give Bobby A Chance
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Date:Sunday August 23 2009
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