Wigan Athletic News: Roberto Martinez Shows David Moyes Who's The Real Miracle Worker On A Budget

  on March 09 2013 12:21 PM

Roberto Martinez reminded everyone who's the real miracle worker on a budget, by showing up Everton's David Moyes in the FA Cup. Martinez's Wigan Athletic trounced Moyes' Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park.

Moyes is often lauded by most of the media as some kind of managerial wizard. The claim is the Toffees boss performs miracles with his Everton squads, despite having little money to spend.

It's a bizarre claim to make considering Moyes spent £15 million to snare Marouane Fellaini in the summer of 2008. Presumably he didn't fund the transfer with Monopoly money.

Even a cursory look at Moyes' current squad shows a pattern of spending. Defenders Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka cost, as did recently acquired strike duo Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas.

That's not to say Moyes is a reckless spender. Yet he also isn't quite the budget-buying, tight rope walker he's often described as. Considering he's also managed just one top four finish and failed to win a single trophy, his reputation for performing miracles leaves a lot to be desired.

It's frankly a terrifying reality that some Arsenal fans have even coveted Moyes as a replacement for Arsene Wenger. What a world.

However, if there is a true budget-based miracle worker deserving of praise, it is Martinez. The Spaniard consistently keeps Wigan in the English Premier League, despite thin crowds and sparse resources.

Wigan itself is a town noted more for its passion for Rugby than football. Yet the football club remains both relevant and just as importantly, entertaining, thanks to Martinez.

He is a daring coach who insists on playing an attractive, expansive brand of football. Such lofty principles are easy to indulge for the top teams and their inflated budgets.

However, it is truly a brave thing for a minnow to advocate style over pragmatism. Particularly when Martinez doesn't have the money to secure gifted, elite-level attacking talents.

Instead he is left to rely on prudent scouting and responsible judgement. That combination yielded a £1 million deal for former Celtic star Shaun Maloney. The tricky forward is a natural flair player whose career has been blighted by injuries.

For Martinez he plays an integral role in a system based on stylish fluidity. Journeyman Spanish midfielder Jordi Gomez was also plucked from obscurity. His clever late runs and knack for key goals serve Wigan's attacking football well.

The often small crowds at Wigan's DW Stadium mean relatively meagre revenue from match days. That in turn means Martinez can't keep hold off prized assets for long. Charles N'Zogbia and Victor Moses are the most recent examples of stars the Latics have been forced to sell.

Martinez responds with smart, low-risk loan deals. Two seasons ago, it was Manchester United's Tom Cleverly. The Red Devils youngster was given valuable game time in a style of play that emphasises technique and control.

Cleverly promptly returned to Old Trafford as a ready-made starter. This season Martinez has gambled on Arsenal youngster Ryo Miyaichi. Sadly, injuries has prevented the fleet-footed wide forward from developing in Martinez's own version of the tiki-taka.

The real bravery about the way Wigan play, comes from the jeopardy they face every season. They are regular regulation favourites. Yet despite having everything to lose, Martinez doesn't abandon his principles regarding attacking football.

So many teams in the lower echelons of the EPL refuse to follow this example. They instead rely on negative, defensive tactics designed to snatch points and graft for safety.

Sunderland, Stoke City and West Ham United do it and bemoan their budgets in comparison to the top clubs. That's despite all three outspending Martinez by a handsome margin. Martinez resists the sanctity and cynicism of this pragmatic approach. Wigan's football remains quick, intelligent and creative, even in an annual scrap for survival.

That shouldn't be a surprise, considering Martinez valued the same principles at Swansea City. He took the Swans from the bottom division to the Championship, playing classy, fast-flowing passing football. Swansea have carried that on in the EPL and Martinez tries to recreate it with Wigan.

He isn't afraid to tweak the structure. His 3-4-3 design earned victories over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United last season. Martinez emphasises a team design that provides a platform to attack and dominate possession. Hopefully Wigan can play their way to another great escape this season.

Martinez will continue to direct a Barcelona-style brand of football without players even approaching the same pedigree. He'll also keep a club dwarfed by many of its rivals, competitive in a top division.

And now he'll lead his club out in their first-ever FA Cup semi-final. Talk about working miracles on a budget.