Wigan Athletic – like Fulham – have won many plaudits over the years for their brand of football, with both sides keen to play the ball on the floor with pace.
It’s a trait that Latics boss Roberto Martinez has stuck with during his time at the DW Stadium, and Fulham Manager Martin Jol admires what the Spaniard is trying to achieve in Lancashire.
“I feel that he showed us that he’s got an idea to football and that is a continental sort of philosophy,” Jol said ahead of Wigan’s visit to the Cottage on Saturday afternoon (3pm). “20 or 30 years ago it was probably different and difficult in England to try to introduce these new styles.
“He did that and everybody sees the advantage of keeping the ball and playing in a certain style. But I have to say that he changed his philosophy a bit as well and all credit to him - it’s not only about one thing, it’s about different styles. It’s about learning all the time for managers and coaches, and that is what he did.
“He’s trying to be successful with his system and he’s played a couple of different systems until now. When he was at Swansea City, they played in a totally different system to what he is playing now with Wigan. So I felt that there was a good foundation at Swansea and they still play in that style and they are still successful. You could say it’s good to have a style and he’s certainly got a style, so that is what I always admire.”
The Latics, despite losing 2-1, enjoyed over 63 per cent of the ball when the two sides met in the corresponding fixture back in September, and Jol is well aware that they will do what they can to dictate the play on Saturday.
“His [Martinez’s] teams always have a lot of possession. They play out from the back – even the goalkeeper needs to be talented on the ball - so I think he’s certainly played his part over the last five or six years.
“We will try to do something to stop them and I think we did that the last few times we played them. Last year we were quite satisfied to be one of the only teams to take maximum points against Wigan.”