Barcelona are set to sack their manager Ernesto Valverde according to a report in Gianluca Di Marzio, with current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez the Catalan giants’ number one managerial target.
It would cap off what has been a magnificent rise for Martinez, who was manager at Wigan Athletic just six years ago. He took the Belgians to their best ever World Cup finish last summer. Now could take over at one of the world’s greatest clubs.
That would be a brilliant honour for Martinez. It wouldn’t be half as great, however, as playing at Fir Park for Motherwell is.
Thankfully for the reported Barca target, he’s already had that honour.
Martinez had it rough in North Lanarkshire
The former Wigan boss was signed as a player for the Steelmen in 2001 by Billy Davies. He arrived from the club he would go on to manage in the Lactics, with the Spaniard becoming a fan favourite in his time there.
He was seen as an excellent addition to the midfield, despite losing his place in the Wigan side to former Well player Ged Brannan prior to his departure. Sadly, things just didn’t go to plan.
The defensive midfielder had great vision and technical ability but he wasn’t able to implement that at Fir Park. His great skills came to nothing in the end. Martinez was unable to cope with the pace of the Scottish game.
Davies soon had Martinez out on the fringes of his squad. The Spaniard only made eight starts over the course of the 2001/02 campaign.
Three managerial changes over the course of that season perhaps didn’t help things, but Martinez just never got going in claret and amber. In fairness he joined Motherwell at a turbulent time, seeing his contract terminated after the club entered administration.
A decent player on his day, but ultimately, the man Barca reportedly want as their new coach failed to live up to the hype in North Lanarkshire. If he does get the Barca job, hopefully he has more success with Lionel Messi than he did with the Steelmen.