Swansea City - Roberto Martinez - A Portrayal Of Betrayal
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Roberto Martinez - A Portrayal Of Betrayal

It's fair to say that this week has been a shock to the system for Swansea City fans everywhere. 'In Roberto we trust' has been the mantra of many since the Spaniard took over the South Wales club in February 2007.

Since then a combination of excellent media skills, scintillating football coupled with fantastic results has made 'El Gaffer' a hugely popular figure amongst players and supporters alike. Amidst all that, Swans fans everywhere believed they had a man fully committed to Swansea City, someone who felt as strongly about the club as they did, but it seems that faith was misplaced.

Repeatedly Martinez spoke of wanting players who would 'walk through the night' to play for Swansea City, players who could look at their long-term careers rather than short-term financial gain. And, when players disappointed him in this way, the main examples being Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson, they were carefully lambasted by the Spaniard for their lack of loyalty and foresight.

On top of that, Martinez professed from very early on, that his departure from Swansea City as a manager would be as it was as a player - forced. He describes how terribly Kenny Jackett treated him, and openly criticised the fact that players' contracts were allowed to run down, despite the fact he was to oversee the same thing happening at the end of this season.

Taking us back to the end of the 2002/03 'Great Escape' season, and maybe many people forget it took him a long time to sign a new deal. Many people criticised him at the time for holding the club to ransom, but welcomed him with open arms when he took to the pitch, but there is unlikely to be such forgiveness at the Liberty Stadium in the future.

Football can be and is an incredibly cruel game, and it is easy to understand (if not accept) why those involved with the game, as average people in average jobs would, accept jobs for more money. Lee Trundle escaped mass criticism because he moved to a higher level at the end of his career, and whilst proclaiming to be a Jack at heart, never went to the lengths Martinez went to in portraying his dedication to the club. A portrayal which now represents betrayal for the Swansea masses.

In stark contrast to that, Martinez now faces the criticism of all the fans to whom he sold 'the dream'. Their unwavering belief and support has been left to look futile, and his reputation as an honest individual can never totally be repaired. Players that he wants to bring in wherever he manages in Britain will surely think twice before signing, as Stephen Dobbie and Nathan Dyer might have wished they had.

When Celtic approached the Swans for Martinez's services, the overwhelming feeling of foreboding was subsidised by a reluctanct acceptance that Celtic could offer him something Swansea could never - Silverware, Champions League football, 60,000 fans, and, in the future, potentially winning the English Premier League.

While Wigan do play in a division higher than Swansea, they have gained a reputation for being a 'selling' club, a club who buy players cheaply, allow them to prosper at the club, before they move on for a higher fee, to a bigger and better club. By and large, Wigan's stay in the Premier league has been one long battle against relegation, with little sign of development of the club beyond it's means. The club is funded by Dave Whelan, and is not currently a self-sustained club like Swansea City or Celtic.

Whether it proves to be a shrewd decision by Martinez or not remains to be seen, but football, the beautiful yet cruel game it is unerringly provides poetry, and do not be surprised should Wigan or Swansea cross paths in the foreseeable future, or indeed pass eachother between the Championship and the Premier League. It may yet prove that his career stalls in the same way Robinson and Trundle's has, and if so it can only be hoped that he recognises the mistake he made in the way he conducted himself at Swansea City.

So what now for Swansea City? It can go one of two ways. The fans, players and board alike can all revel in the misery of the situation and mourn the loss of the man responsible for the recent success of the club. Or, they can all dig their heels in and say, we are Swansea City, we are 7 places away from the greatest league in the world, and one man's departure will not change our destination.

However, whether the new man at the helm be Steve Coppell, Gary Speed, or Chris Coleman, it is imperative that everyone gets behind him, so the club can continue to enjoy football in the Championship and indeed progress to the Premier League. Because with or without Senor Martinez, Swansea City has proved that it is potentially a Premier League club.

Swansea 'Til I Die

Thanks to Dominic O'Shea for the article. You can read more of his articles on his website here

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: VitalSwansea Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 5 2009

Time: 11:46AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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i couldnt agree more one man didnt make this club what it is, and why shud one traitor stop it continuing !!!!
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05/06/2009 12:13:00

this man had a massive part to do with it though and unless replaced by a footballing manager the team will be useless, and how many players will follow him out the door, bleak times ahead
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05/06/2009 12:20:00

Brilliantly said and summed up there.
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05/06/2009 12:20:00

pessimistic as ever cyjax
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05/06/2009 12:24:00

Come on Swans fans...Martinez was good but he's just one inexperienced and relatively unproven man. Your squad, stadium and support all seemed pretty impressive last season. OK so you fell for RM's passion and were let down but you're damn sure better off than when he took over and should be looking forward with optimism....
Aderyn las
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05/06/2009 12:50:00

Excellent post but one small error in it - we will win silverware one day!
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05/06/2009 14:53:00

Wow Mr O'Shea as far as your knowledge of Wigan Athletic goes it is Mr O'*****e! Selling club? Thats a little bit of lazy journalism there, the only player we have sold at a profit in the past 5 seasons is Wilson Palacios so thats bollox, next you say one long battle against relegation? Again what total BS, we have had ONE relegation tussle since joining the Prem in 2005, the rest have been midtable and we have also been to a Cup final. Next, we are funded by Dave Whelan but we are working towards and are very close to becoming self sufficient, yes even on our crappy crowds. Roberto Martinez speaks a good game, he is articulate and he has certainly instilled in to Swansea City a belief that the club can go all the way, is that not what you wanted your manager to do? You are slating him for saying and doing the right 'thing' for the past two years, you'd have thought so with Paul Jewell as your boss!!! He was a manager who constantly spoke of wanting away to 'bigger and better' and blamed EVERYONE bar himself when things went wrong. Bruce has 'walked out' on us for the 2nd time, so what, he aint a Wiganer, he's a good manager and he talked about what he was going to do at the Latics in the future, but its football and changes happen. We thank Bruce for the past two years and now move on, surely you are just shocked and upset at Martinez leaving, and understandably, but all the venom seems totally uncalled for especially considering what he has done for your club.
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05/06/2009 23:58:00

Dominic O'Shea Sat, 06 Jun 2009 05:12:33 Ah, worbo, you're post might be taken a little more seriously in future if you do not resort to personal insults in the opening lines. 1) I'd take a careful look at Wigan's record following their arrival at the 40-point mark this season - if that doesn't imply 'avoiding relegation is the aim' I don't know what does. You reached 43 points on march 22nd, then subsequently lost 6 of the next 7 games, before winning on the final day of the season. No desire for Europe, escaping relegation the aim. 2) I mentioned Wigan were a selling club, correct, but I did not mean that they necessarily made a profit. Look at Heskey, Taylor, Valencia is apparently on his way, and if Zaki wasn't so mental there's no way you'd have an option to keep him. Steve Bruce has left because Sunderland has more money, more ambition, and isn't likely to sell it's best players through necessity. Why is the need there? Because of the lack of money. Dave Whelan is a ruthless businessman who could force his players to adhere to their contracts, except he needs the money. 3) Close to self sufficient?? Have a look at this link - http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/table/2009/jun/03/premier-league-turnover-wages-debt and then tell me you are close to self sufficient - £64million in debt, and with the second highest Wages/Turnover rate. And before you give me spiel about Dave Whelan being owed £49 of the £64 million, I can't see him writing all that off if it's what you might try and get at. And even if he does, it does not make you self-sufficient - it makes you reliant on him doing so. 4) Nobody is slating Martinez for saying and doing the right thing, people are slating him for lying. Nobody asked him - will you have to be forced out of the club and he replied 'uhhh....yes' - he volunteered it all by himself. He was a 33 year old player with no experience when we took a punt on him, and given his professed loyalty we trusted his word. Unfortunately we learnt the hard way that it was all talk. Nobody is questioning the job he did, it was outstanding. We question the need to lie - all we asked for was honesty, not for him to say the things he did.
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06/06/2009 13:16:00

It's the way he went about it saying how much he loved the club and talked about big things for us here in the near future and all of his plans, he's given all that up. Everything he's said along those lines was complete BS, it would have been ok if hadn't said that and installed confidence in the fans. He's let us all down.
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06/06/2009 16:42:00

In Dominic's defence as well, i think its a great article and he's spot on with what he's saying
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06/06/2009 16:43:00

Worbo Sun,707/06/09 A little word manipulation is sometimes the only way to get noticed in the crowd Dom, and as they say if you cant take it…. Where in your article does it say ‘avoiding relegation is the aim’? It doesn’t, what it does say and what I disagree with is ‘Wigan’s stay in the Premier League has been one long battle against relegation’ and now you are saying ‘Wigan's record following their arrival at the 40-point mark this season’, that was a FULL SIX weeks before the end of the season, wow that is a long battle!!!! The fall away from challenging is all too clear now for many Wiganers and Bruce’s departure suggests his mind was else where and it is no wonder the team didn’t look motivated during the final weeks of the season when we fell from being comfortably 7th in the Premier League to finishing 11th, still not bad for a team ALWAYS battling against relegation. How are we a selling club? We sold ONE player for a profit, does that make Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal etc, etc, etc selling clubs?, You speak of Antonio Valencia, yes he will be sold, why, because he is sheer class and deserves to be playing at the very top with European football guaranteed every season, Zaki would have been a Wigan Athletic player if he had behaved himself, we did have an option to buy which we declined, contrary to media publication, how do I know that, you’ll have to trust me on that one. Close to self sufficient, yes we are, Whelan has stated and that all debts to Whelco (his company) are not to be paid back and we are on a stringent course to becoming self sufficient, though the reason for this is because he wont be around for ever and wants the club to still be able to prosper when he has gone, similar to Blackburn and Jack Walker….I know all about the clubs financial reports etc and if we had some out of town owner I would be worried, it’s a bit like Swansea and Huw Jenkins. I have no umbridge with what you say except the lazy assumptions that you make about my club, it shows you have no knowledge of what we are about so don’t slate us as you would a tin-pot affair, most Wigan fans have had a soft spot for Swansea these past two years, and that isn’t meant in a condescending way, a soft spot because of Martinez and Jones and the success of the Swans has been followed closely and with admiration, articles like yours and comments and over reaction by some of Swansea fans towards Wigan Athletic is starting to spoil this liking and create a little animosity, that’s all I was trying to say
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07/06/2009 09:59:00


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