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Martinez: Allen is like Pep

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has likened Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen to Pep Guardiola, admitting he knew the Welshman was going to be a special player.

Last Updated: 17/11/12 at 12:11 Post Comment

Joe Allen: Roberto Martinez is a big admirer of the Liverpool midfielder

Joe Allen: Roberto Martinez is a big admirer of the Liverpool midfielder

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Martinez, who handed Allen his league debut at 17 when he was manager at Swansea, will be looking to combat the midfielder when he takes his Wigan side to Anfield on Saturday.

Latics chief Martinez is a big admirer of Allen and feels he has many of the qualities similar to former Barcelona and Spain schemer Guardiola.

"I know Joe really well because I gave him his debut," said Martinez. "Joe was at Swansea from nine years old and because of his build he always reminded me of Pep Guardiola and that sort of player.

"His debut was the last game of 2006-07 and I really tested his character, because we needed to win by many goals to get in the play-offs but at 17 you could see he was a special character.

"He dictated the play, wanted the ball, and the season after he played a part in the campaign when we won League One and then in the Championship he played 23 games.

"His development was progressive and he became a very different British player.

"He was very talented that he could control the game, read the tempo, knew when to play backwards and sideways instead of forward. He was a quiet, distinctive young player coming through."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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