Roberto Martinez’s interview with Spanish sports paper, AS, appeared on their website on Sunday. The interview was in a Q&A format where he was asked questions concerning how Wigan could compete financially, about television revenue in English football and who inspired him. Martinez claimed Liverpool were too reliant on Gerrard on Torres, that Valencia isn’t good enough to replace Ronaldo and that Wigan’s victory over Chelsea was “magnificent”.
However, amongst these questions AS magazine apparently slotted in another which asked about Sir Alex Ferguson, although Martinez “categorically denies” this is the case. He didn’t say that the FA had practically apologised for charging Ferguson, he didn’t say that Ferguson had his group of faithful coaches in Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce, he didn’t say Allardyce fancied the United job, and he certainly didn’t say another managed would have been “crushed” for doing what Ferguson had done.
“It is not in my nature to be outspoken,” Martinez said today. “I have the utmost respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez. Sir Alex is probably the best manager in the world while Steve has worked under him and we have a good relationship as he worked at Wigan before me. As for Sam I respect his achievements and what he has done in the Premier League. I also respect Rafa as he is one of the most successful Spanish managers ever.”
I think Martinez may have just learnt a very important lesson as it’s hard to believe that he didn’t say what he’s been quoted as saying. I can’t imagine the FA’s dealings with Sir Alex Ferguson is of much interest to the Spanish press so it certainly seems an odd thing for them to fabricate but you can make your own mind up on that.