IT’S three years since Dave Whelan unveiled Roberto Martinez as his new manager at the DW Stadium.
One-third of the Three Amigos ‘coming home’ – the future of Wigan Athletic looking as bright as ever.
The Wigan chairman showed his faith in Martinez by announcing he’d be staying for the duration of his three-year contract “even if we get relegated”.
It’s fair to say the Spaniard has more than repaid that loyalty by turning his back on the chance to move to a bigger club – Aston Villa and Liverpool to name just two.
Martinez has consistently said that he won’t leave Wigan until his job is done.
Three years down the line, it’s clear that remains the case.
The state of Latics as a football club – both on and off the field – is immeasurably better than it was when Martinez took on the reins.
But the challenge now is to elevate Latics on to the next step. And it’s a challenge Whelan is looking forward to taking on.
“The progress we’ve made in three years – and that we’re continuing to make – has been fantastic,” he told the Observer.
“We’ve got a great bunch of young lads now – Roberto feels it’s the best bunch he’s had since he’s been here.
“He is absolutely delighted with the way they’re training, the way they’re performing, the signs are so positive for the future.
“Roberto is like me – we both believe in youth, we both believe that’s the future.
“It is seriously important for the future of English football that we have more English boys, more British boys, coming through and playing in the Premier League than we have now.
“It’s important we all recognise that – and we at Wigan Athletic certainly do.”
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S WIGAN OBSERVER