The breaking up of the Martinez legacy at Wigan

Posted by Tony Brown

Matthew Lewis/Getty ImagesAntolin Alcaraz: Could be part of the mass exodus from Wigan

It is time for change at Wigan Athletic with a new manager having come in and a huge quantity of new players to recruit. It is exactly the situation Latics supporters would have wanted to avoid.

There are too many change parameters to cope with at the moment. What is going to happen to Roberto Martinez's backroom staff? How can Owen Coyle bring in nothing but quality players when the number needed to make up the squad reaches outrageous proportions?

We have heard nothing about the likes of Graeme Jones and Graham Barrow going off to Everton with Martinez. In terms of stability it would be much better if they stayed at Wigan. Then again, what is going to happen to Kevin Reeves, Dennis Lawrence, Inaki Bergara and those ex-Latics stalwarts who are scattered around the club, especially at youth level?

Owen Coyle recently said Latics had 14 senior squad members left. Soon after that he was talking about James McCarthy and Arouna Kone going if the price was right. Add to them Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman and the squad decimates to 10.

Of the end of contract players, Maynor Figueroa has already signed for Hull and Roman Golobart for Cologne. There is talk about Antolin Alcaraz going to Everton or into Europe.

Latics have lost too many good quality players at the ends of their contracts over recent years. Dave Whelan's philosophy of giving players the chance to move to bigger clubs, if the price is right, is admirable in many ways. However, there comes a point when you have to stem the flow and require players to meet their contractual agreements.

The more players Whelan lets go - even at good prices - the more difficult for Owen Coyle to find adequate replacements, even with money to spend. It is a matter of sheer numbers.

The club stands the risk of its heart being ripped apart in both backroom and playing staff. Coyle is going to be faced with employing journeymen to make up the numbers, rather than build on a strong base that was there before.

Whatever happens, I ask Wigan Athletic supporters should bear these things in mind and not make instant assessments of Owen Coyle's worth. He has come in and is already speaking about having to sell prized assets.

It is to be hoped that he does not make the Martinez mistake of bringing players from his former club. Thank goodness he has already insinuated that he will not be pursuing the 36-year-old Kevin Davies. However, he is already being linked with Burnley veterans Martin Paterson and Chris McCann.

Latics need to avoid a mass exodus. All that Roberto Martinez built could be gone within a matter of weeks. It would be crippling for the club.

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