Roberto Martinez furious over 'ridiculous' scheduling


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The Independent Football

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez last night launched an angry tirade at the Premier League for their decision to host a number of matches just hours before the closure of the transfer window.

Martinez watched on in despair as his Wigan team slumped to another defeat last night - this time at Tottenham, where they lost 3-1 thanks to a double from Gareth Bale and Luka Modric's first-half strike.

His task was made harder by the fact that he had to drop star striker Hugo Rodallega to the bench after he became unsettled by talk of him leaving the Latics on deadline day, with Tottenham one of a number of clubs linked with the Colombian.

Martinez believes the decision to play games just over three hours before the closure of the window at 11pm was a terrible idea and is sure that it inhibited his team's chances of pulling off an unlikely victory at White Hart Lane.

The Wigan boss said: "From our point of view, I don't think it was a good idea.

"It becomes a bit of a circus. One of my players (Rodallega) was in the middle of that speculation and it's not the right way to approach one of the most important games for this football club. I don't think it's the right thing. You want to make it a really special moment of the season and there's nothing bigger than a football game.

"It's just ridiculous. It affects human beings. Hugo today had a little bit of a soft tissue problem... but it was a big day of speculation and that should never be bigger than the celebration of the game, which is playing football."

Bale put Spurs ahead in the 29th minute with a left-foot volley before Modric made it 2-0 five minutes later with a fierce 18-yard drive.

Bale's second from a similar distance killed off the game in the second period before substitute James McArthur scored Wigan's consolation 10 minutes from time.

Bale was denied a hat-trick three times in the closing stages and looked a menace throughout, much to the joy of Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

He said: "Bale was terrific tonight. He is an amazing talent.

"He's unstoppable when he's like that."

Martinez, whose team are still bottom of the table and are now four points from safety, criticised referee Lee Probert for not sending off Benoit Assou-Ekotto for a tackle on Franco Di Santo in the second half.

The Italian had to be substituted after the Cameroon full-back opened up a large cut on the striker's shin with a studs up challenge that went unpunished by the referee.

Martinez said: "It was a red card. It was high. Big decisions against us seem to get forgotten too easily. I was shocked and surprised when Lee Probert didn't show the red card because he was in a great position.

"He had a good game. We were very fortunate because Franco escaped the tackle with minor injury and I've seen broken legs from (tackles like) that."