Martinez impressed by Clarke
Steve Clarke may have cut his managerial teeth under Jose Mourinho but the West Brom boss is his own man, according to Roberto Martinez.
Martinez crosses swords with Clarke when their sides meet at the DW Stadium with the Spaniard saying the Baggies boss has brought his very own style to management. West Brom are riding high at fifth place in the table and Martinez claims that is no fluke. He said:
"Steve Clarke has brought a new approach and been really successful. "I think he knows the British game really well and has developed his own method out of his experiences with some of the best managers in the world - Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish, his experience at Newcastle.
"But what he's bringing into the game is not what he's getting from someone else but something he has developed himself.
"Steve Clarke has very strong values about the game in Britain and has developed very good man-management skills, always calm, always relaxed, always thoughtful.
"West Brom are now the in-form team in the Premier League in my eyes, they are fifth in the table and they have dropped a few points with conceding a 91st-minute goal against Man City and against Villa, both games where they deserved more than that.
"They are very well-balanced, and have kept the same group of players together for a long time."
Martinez has also managed to establish some stability at Wigan and the players he has brought in have enhanced the strength of his side, none more so than Arouna Kone, the Ivory Coast striker bought from Spanish side Levante in the summer. At 28, Kone is no spring chicken but Martinez believes his strength and ability makes him ideally suited for England's top flight. He added:
"Arouna is someone we followed for a long, long time. He first had a real impact in Holland, moved to Sevilla but had a very difficult time there with injury.
"I have always been a massive fan and I tried to sign him before but we ran into problems with a work permit.
"He's powerful and strong and that allows him to cope with the physicality of the league but he's a technical player within that. He relies on his build-up play and he is a real, real finisher."
James MacArthur is rated as only 50-50 to play for Wigan tomorrow due to a dead leg, while Martinez will again be without wingers Ryo Miyaichi (groin) and Albert Crusat (knee).
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