LATICS’ former hot-shot Stuart Barlow believes current boss Roberto Martinez deserves plenty of credit for sticking to his principles of good, attacking football – despite results not always going his way.
Martinez’s team were regularly showered with praise for their easy-on-the-eye style of play last term, although that philosophy didn’t always reap dividends as an ultimately successful battle against relegation had to be endured after Christmas.
However, survival was secured with three points to spare in the end, so Martinez’s way clearly paid off in the end.
“Roberto has always wanted to play football the right way,” said Barlow, a former playing colleague of the popular Spaniard.
“If ever we knocked it long during a match, he’d start moaning, and have a go at us at half-time.
“He’s taken that approach into management and it’s the way forward, I think.
“There are too many teams who play for throw-ins and set-pieces – I’m not naming names, but they know who they are – but I wouldn’t like to have a season ticket there.
“At least with Wigan, you’re watching a team who want to play football, even if it doesn’t always come off.
“At the end of the day, football is an entertainment, and the only way to do that is to try to play as much football as you can.”
Latics, like many teams, have been silent in the transfer market so far but fans are resigned to losing Charles N’Zogbia.
Aston Villa are leading the chase for the French international.
Wigan are still hopeful of doing a deal with Bolton for keeper Ali Al Habsi following his successful loan spell last year.
Bolton fly out for a three-game pre-season tour of USA next weekend.
Meanwhile, as the majority of the Latics players enjoy their summer breaks, striker Hugo Rodallega and defensive kingpin Antolin Alcaraz are aiming for success in the Copa America tournament, which got underway last night in Argentina.
Rodallega is expected to start for Colombia against Costa Rica in San Salvador tonight (6.30pm kick-off UK time).
And Alcaraz ought to feature for Paraguay against Ecuador in Santa Fe tomorrow night (9.30pm kick-off UK time).