Roberto Martinez is like a younger me – I hope Wigan stay up, says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager admits he would be 'sad' if Wigan go down but knows his side must win tonight

Arsène Wenger sees something of his younger self in Roberto Martinez and said it would be "sad" if Wigan Athletic are relegated, as they surely will be if they do not beat Arsenal on Tuesday night.

Arsenal and Wigan are both desperate for victory at the Emirates tonight for very different reasons. A draw would give Tottenham Hotspur the advantage over the Gunners in the race for fourth while also leaving Wigan needing a goal-difference miracle to stay up.

But having kept lowly Wigan in the Premier League for so long, and having won the FA Cup on Saturday, the 39-year-old Martinez has earned the admiration of the Arsenal manger. When asked whether he saw similarities with a young Wenger, the Frenchman agreed. "I don't remember – it is a long time ago – but the dedication, certainly yes."

Like Wenger, Martinez has based his approach around a commitment to attractive football and imaginative scouting. "Martinez has a positive philosophy. Above all, what you want is that he tries to play good football," added Wenger, who predicted he could go much further in the game. "That for me, is a good basis to go forward and move higher up. He looks to master the situations well."

While Wigan's game is no longer unique to them, Wenger praised their recruitment too. "More and more teams play that kind of football now. Swansea has joined in as well so all the teams play good football, Norwich plays good football," he said.

"That in the Premier League is now common but Wigan, what they have done as well is always discover players. You have to give them credit for that. With a small budget they find very good players and that's sad of course if they go."

After outplaying Manchester City to win the FA Cup final through Ben Watson's late goal on Saturday, Wigan will give Arsenal a real test tonight. Wenger said: "The level of energy they have shown on Saturday is absolutely huge, the transitional play they have done is absolutely fantastic, the speed from defence they've shown on Saturday was fantastic.

"It is a surprise that they are in the position that they are in because they have produced a remarkable game on Saturday and they played absolutely remarkably well on both flanks.

"They defended very well and they kept Man City very quiet for a big part of the game." Wenger acknowledged that Wigan's unpredictability could make for a difficult evening for his side. "You could see on Saturday they have quality and they played a remarkable game," he said. "We want to be at our best in a game of that importance." Arsenal come into this game in good form, having won nine of their last 12 Premier League games. "We are on a great run, a remarkable run," Wenger said. "We have a good spirit, a good understanding within the squad, so let's just continue to play."

Presuming that Tottenham beat Sunderland on Sunday, Arsenal need maximum points from their last two games to come fourth.

"They are important games but that is what you want to play for," Wenger said. "Two months ago we had no chance to be where we are today so we can only be happy with what we have done. Two months ago our destiny was not in our hands. Today it is, so we have done very well, so now let's finish the job and continue to play like we have been doing and take the points."

Points of order: what the teams need

An Arsenal win would mean Spurs would have to better Arsenal's result on Sunday. A draw would require Arsenal to win at Newcastle and Spurs only draw against Sunderland. A loss means Arsenal must win and hope Spurs lose. Wigan need a win to give them a chance of survival. A draw would require an 11-goal swing on Sunderland on the final day.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own