A Quick Year For Roberto

Friday, 22 February 2008, 8:29
2 mins read

It was this time last year that Martinez took charge of a side that was hovering outside the play offs but without any real form over the course of the season.   A great run of form at the back end under the new manager almost saw the Swans sneak into the last play off spot but they missed out – with one more point than they had achieved the previous season to get into the lottery of the play offs.

But that was pretty much the only thing that has gone wrong for Martinez who celebrates his anniversary with the Swans eleven points clear at the top of the table – looking to take that to fourteen with a win over Luton at the Liberty Stadium this evening.  And with a potential Wembley date looming on the horizon it could cap an incredible twelve months for the manager who took over from Kenny Jackett – currently at Millwall.

“The time has flown by. I can’t believe how quickly it has gone, but that’s definitely a good thing,” explained Martinez in today’s Western Mail.

“I am always learning new things, you have to. Football is always changing so much. It’s a cliche that everything is invented in football, but it’s true.

“There are always new ways to play, new philosophies so you have to keep it going every day or you will go backwards.

“I’ve been fighting to get teams to play a certain way for 13 years and now that we are playing like that I can’t participate,” he joked.

“If any former player says they wouldn’t prefer to be playing they are lying, there’s nothing better than to be involved in football and playing in front of a packed Liberty Stadium.

“But I knew exactly what I was doing when I accepted the job because I am a firm believer that you can’t do both. You can’t be a player-manager.

“As a manager, you need to be able to read the game over the 90 minutes, assess how players are doing in their individual positions, and I am just happy the players are doing such a good job.

As ever though, Martinez was not under-estimating the opposition despite the huge gulf in terms of position and points between the two sides although he admits it won’t be too hard to motivate his side ahead of the fixture “It’s a huge incentive and we know how important those three points are for both teams.

“The fans can really get behind the team and start to enjoy the position we are in.

“We played Luton not so long ago, but there have been many changes in the team since then, so it’s going to be a difficult game for us.

“They are going to be very strong as a unit and work hard for each other. They have some players with a lot of experience, so they will be used to playing in arenas like ours.”

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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