Wigan Athletic manager praising the contribution of a virtually unknown striker? Some things never change. However, this season it is not Steve Bruce beaming at the performance of Amr Zaki but Roberto Martinez outlining the efforts of Hugo Rodallega.
Rodallega struck a wonderful volley on Saturday to help Wigan record an unexpected yet not undeserved victory over Aston Villa and while the Zaki experiment ultimately failed last year after the Egyptian's glorious start to life in the Premier League, Martinez is confident the same will not happen to the Colombian.
After scoring 11 times in his opening 19 matches last season, Zaki's ego caused a total implosion in form. He did not score again and his selfish histrionics and frequent no-shows forced the club to let him go following the conclusion of his season-long loan.
But Martinez believes Rodallega has the right mentality to continue to put his team, who face Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight, before personal glory. "He is not that sort of player," Martinez said yesterday. "He is the sort of player who would swap personal success for team success. He knows his goals will help the team achieve that but he is not a selfish player."
Wigan expect to tie up a deal for the Madrid club Rayo Vallecano's midfielder Mohamed Diame soon. Martinez sees the 22-year-old as a replacement for Lee Cattermole, who joined Sunderland earlier this month.Reuse content