Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has admitted his respect for Arsenal, who his team face on Saturday at the DW stadium, and believes that they are a ‘phenomenal’ team.
The Latics, who are yet to lose at home against Arsene Wenger’s team since Martinez was appointed in 2009, have undergone a mini-revival after a slow start to the season, and are unbeaten in two games.
And Martinez says he is a strong advocate for good football and aspires to be able to play football the way Arsenal believe in.
“They are a phenomenal team,” Martinez told Absolute Radio.
“I think their philosophy and their football concepts are inspirational to other football clubs, and obviously when you play against Arsenal you really get tested and in every department you need to be perfect.
“We need to find that concentration and be as good as we can, and if we do that you’re going to see a very similar style of football from both teams.”
The former Swansea manager also quashed beliefs that Arsenal are a one-man team in Robin van Persie, stating that they have a long list of players who can perform on a world-class stage.
“I think you need to be very, very careful because I agree that Van Persie is in amazing form right now,” he added.
“Obviously he’s a world class player and I don’t think you can describe many players nowadays with that title, but the truth is he’s got all the individuals around him as well that can really hurt you if you leave yourself exposed.
“Gervinho, [Theo] Walcott, [Mikel] Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, they are all players that are very, very good at one-on-one situations, so you have to be very, very careful.
“The truth is that Van Persie is a player that can really get a result just based on his performance and it doesn’t need much to affect results, so we’ll have to be well aware.”
Listen to Wigan v Arsenal this Saturday December 3 on Rock ‘N’ Roll Football only on Absolute Radio extra - on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK from 1.30pm. Tune in for the full Roberto Martinez interview. For more visit www.absoluteradio.co.uk/football
By Matt Maltby