By Rebecca Hawksworth

Hoping to guide the Belgium national team to glory at this summer’s FIFA World Cup, Roberto Martinez gave UCFB Etihad Campus students an insight into life as a football manager during his Executive Guest Speaker session.

With modern day football managers seemingly only ever a handful of games from the sack, having a good relationship with the senior management at a club or organisation is essential.

Speaking from experience of how iportant it is to create and sustain these relationships, Martinez said: “In football, the relationship between the manager and the owner or the chairman needs to be really good so that you can be honest and help each other in order to share views.”

He added: “For me it is always important to know that the chairman or the owner of the football club knows why we are doing things. You could have lost a game but if you know why you lost it and in the manner that you lost it, I think you can become better as a football club at the end of it.”

A former FA Cup winner with Wigan Athletic, Martinez gained a wealth of experience in the game managing at club level before turning to the international scene.

Having also had stints in charge of Swansea City and Everton, he went on to speak of the key differences between being a manager at club and international level. Martinez said: “In my case it helps a lot that I have been a club manager. I had to lend my players to international football. There is a situation where international and club football doesn’t go hand in hand, and I think to understand how the club manager feels when the players go on international duty is important.”

Further speaking of the difficulties that managing a national team can bring, the former Everton boss added: “The coaching time with the players is minimal – it is maybe three sessions before a game and that’s why it is important that in my case I do a lot of scouting and I can see the players playing live.

“I think that’s been a really interesting part of international football – learning how you can coach a player from a distance and how you can use that small time with a player in the best possible manner.”