The Wigan chief foes head to head with the Italian on Saturday as West Ham travel to the DW Stadium.
Martinez could not hide his admiration for counterpart Zola.
"I admire Gianfranco massively because he never moans - he has had to deal with a lot of problems at the club - and he has found a winning formula," said
"The greatest strength of a manager is to adapt to any conditions you have in front of you and Gianfranco has done that.
"I would say West Ham and Wigan are very similar in the way they play and their approach.
"They are probably a little bit more advanced in what they are trying to do than we are but the way West Ham plays is the right way and I'm sure it will be a great advert for Premier League football."
Right gameMartinez is looking for his Wigan side to bounce back to form following a poor run and he thinks West Ham is the perfect game.
"Games like West Ham are what we need at the moment; games at home where we have to take the responsibility," he added.
"West Ham are going to be a hard team to play against because they are attack-minded and I admire the way Gianfranco Zola plays the game.
"They have a great mixture of youth and experience in their squad and every game they have played in they have been very competitive and been difficult to beat.
"We know we will have to be at our best.
"We have been competitive in all our games but there are small decisions and situations that we have to control a bit better.
"We need to make sure we get the points our performances deserve - that is the next step."