Luis resurrects the race issue as Martinez edges closer but will Fenway’s conditions bog him down?

It looks increasingly as if Wigan’s Roberto Martinez is to be our next manager however, I won’t be putting any money on it just yet!

 Why? Well most of the chat seems to becoming from Dave Whelan, Wigan’s Chairman.

 “He had a meeting on Thursday with the owner of Liverpool inMiami, I think they have made some kind of offer. They will speak again on Tuesday. I’ve said I want a decision by Thursday.”

 We remain silent and one also wonders about this deadline given reports about Fenway’s extensive recruitment campaign which appears to be casting the net as wide as it can be thrown. There are stories about whittling candidates down to a shortlist of six and then further “assessments” from which presumably will emerge a “winner”. Will all this be done by next Thursday? I doubt it there’s the assault course test, then the “cake bake off” not mention the film clip observation round, all this takes time!

 One has some sympathy for Whelan. He has been co-operative regarding making Martinez available for talks something he always promised he would do if a so called “bigger club” came sniffing. He clearly needs a quick decision as he needs time to find a successor. I also guess Fenway can’t drag their heels too much? Euro 2012 is looming which may put the brake on things so surely they will want someone behind the desk before that so he can prepare for next season once every one is back?

 Another thing that occurs to me with Martinez is the change of circumstances he is likely to experience if he moves to L4. It seems to me that Wigan is a club that is run in the more traditional way. Whelan seems reasonably “hands off” leaving Martinez to decide things from the first team to the youth team right down to the hardness of the toilet paper in the changing room!  

 “I think Roberto has put his cards on the table and said ‘If I’m going to LiverpoolI want the following’, Roberto has to run the football club from top to bottom. Without that I don’t think he would go.”

Signs are that that Martinez won’t get that with us. It seems he will be required to team up with someone who will be given the title “sporting director”. Quite what the demarcation lines are between the two roles are I don’t know. This is not necessarily a bad thing as Martinez can concentrate on the first team however, surely no manager worth his salt would surrender control in say transfers? One can’t help wondering if it’s a case of “once bitten twice shy” for Fenway after shelling out all that cash last summer for, let’s be diplomatic here, a limited return!  Said Whelan who is increasingly beginning to sound like Martinez’s agent….

 “Roberto works seven days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day. He is not the average manager, but he likes to run the football side, and I can see Liverpool’s point of view about the amount of money spent on players. If they agree to let Roberto take responsibility for the transfers than I think he will go there”

And the implication being if they don’t………

 Meanwhile without any football to occupy his mind Luis Suarez has been dredging up the past. Re his race row he said

 “The suspension, I suppose, you could call strange and unbelievable. Without a single shred of proof, they suspended me. ….There was not a single convincing proof that I had done any of the things they accused me of doing. I am very calm about all of it. I have played all my childhood and everyone knows that in Uruguay there is a huge black population. I had team-mates and friends of both colours all the time in the national team, in Liverpool, inHolland, where the majority (of players) are from Surinam, and I never had any problem with them.”

 Whatever you feel about the issue perhaps the best time for Suarez to be speaking like this was when he was banned. Surely now it is too late and all he has done is to rake it up again which can’t help the club or, more specifically and importantly, himself.

At least Suarez’s argument is more convincing than Joey Barton’s who, after his latest escapade, continues to fly in the face of the bleeding obvious by claiming he has been wronged or misunderstood. Barton’s ban is twelve games so as he has plenty of time on his hands. Surely more efforts to preposterously try and shroud his true self in a pretentious mish mash of social networking mystic are bound to follow? He’ll be releasing a prog rock concept album next!

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