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Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez spurns Villa, Madrid appeals Mourinho ban and more

MartinezWigan (Getty Images)

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has reportedly turned down an offer to take over for Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa, opting to remain at DW Stadium for the foreseeable future.

According to reports, Martinez met with Villa's American owner, Randy Lerner, who wanted the 37-year-old Spanish manager and former Wigan player to become his new manager.

Instead, Martinez signed a three-year extension at Wigan, which finished in 16th place and three points clear of the relegation zone in the Premier League this past season.

Reports out of England suggest that Villa will turn its attention to trying to pry Owen Coyle away from Bolton.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Real Madrid has appealed the five-game European ban to manager Jose Mourinho, which was handed down in the aftermath of his comments following Madrid's first-leg loss to rival Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Mourinho was sent to the stands during the match after a red card issued to Pepe caused him to go off on the referee.

After the game, Mourinho made comments insinuating that Barcelona gets preferential treatment from officiating crews.


Juventus is the latest European power to be included in the World Football Challenge after it was announced on Thursday that the Italian side will play Club America at New York's Citi Field on July 26.

The match is reportedly one of three that Juventus will be playing the United States this summer, and it will be based in Philadelphia while it is in the states.


French midfielder and Wigan star Charles N'Zogbia had a shot deflected into the goal by Poland defender Tomasz Jodlowiec, and the tally held up as France defeated Poland, 1-0, in an international friendly on Thursday in Warsaw.

France is unbeaten in its last 10 matches under manager Laurent Blanc.


Former Manchester United standout Gary Neville was in Chicago on Thursday and had the honor of throwing out the first pitch before the White Sox' game with the Oakland A's. If there was a soccer equivalent for the outcome, it'd have to be "over the bar." Watch for yourself (pitch is at the 0:25 mark):



What do you think about Martinez turning down Villa to stay at Wigan? Who would be a good fit as Villa manager? Think Mourinho's ban should be reduced? Hope to see Juventus play against the Union? What do you think about France's form? What'd you think of Neville's toss?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Classy but dumb move by Martinez. Wigan will be relegated eventually, it’s only a matter of time.

    And I hope Coyle doesn’t leave Bolton, unless he’s taking Holden with him.

  2. You mean Lampard at West Ham – West Ham would be stacked, by the way, and traditionally have one of the best academies in the England: Lampard, Ferdinand, Carrick, Defoe, Glen Johnson… and Joe Cole (say what you will about that). That’s a good chunk of the England set-up, there. The Academy of Football.

  3. Martinez is a moron – Wigan is and will ever be a rugby town. What is their average gate anyway, about 12k? He tries to play quality ball but will never have the players to do it well at Wigan. I realize that he never was formally offered the job, but he should have jumped at the opportunity to work with the incredible AVFC academy and the money he’d probably have access to.

  4. I like Martinez too. Classy guy. A man of his word, which is rare these days. Imagine he’ll stay at Wigan for another season or two, and assuming he continues to do alright, then jump to a big club (Madrid perhaps?).

  5. I wish more managers and players would stay loyal to the smaller clubs. Yes, I realize this is hopelessly utopian; I’m not naive enough to think that money isn’t important, but if more clubs kept their best players, we wouldn’t have the same 2-3 teams fighting for a title every. single. year.

    Imagine if Rooney had stayed at Everton, Lampard at AV, etc. There’d be more parity, and more variety at the top of the table each year.

    Oh well, without a salary cap it’ll never happen, so kudos to Martinez for choosing loyalty over the almighty dollar.

  6. Yea poor Wigan. They keep losing all their good players, Valencia, Baines, Palacios. They are really working with a bare cupboard.

  7. I’ve always liked Martinez. Thought he was a good commentator during the World Cup, and he’s somehow managed to keep Wigan up — a team that, frankly, has no business in the Prem (N’Zogbia excepted).

  8. could we see Stu Holden starring in a midfield with Mbradley at Aston Villa???? I doubt it, but it would be cool to see


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