Martinez: Two-footers too risky

Martinez: Two-footers too risky

Published Jan. 13, 2012 1:19 p.m. ET

Martinez has entered the row over Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany's controversial dismissal last week.

City will have Kompany suspended for their visit to Wigan on Monday after he lost an appeal against a four-match ban imposed after his red card from referee Chris Foy in the Manchester derby FA Cup defeat.

And Martinez claims referees need to take the same approach to all such challenges in order to protect flair players.

He said: "I do believe that we need to protect the players that we all love and are excited to watch, the only thing you need is consistency and you want to all those challenges being red-carded.


"That's where the frustration comes in. Two-footed challenges should be red cards, that should be the end of the debate.

"If you are a player and go into a challenge with both feet, that should be a red card.

"That's what the rules say, you can agree or disagree - are we losing the art of tackling or are we protecting the flair players? - but that's the law of the game."

Martinez says City will hardly be weakened by Kompany's suspension, nor by Yaya and Kolo Toure heading off to the African Nations Cup, and that Roberto Mancini's side should be viewed as title favourites.

He added: "All the big teams can lose two or three players without being weakened and Manchester City are so strong, and they deserve the label of being title favourites because of what they have done in the first half of the season.

"The title race is going to be a really close affair. Spurs are up there and Manchester United with their experience and know-how are contenders but I think City are favourites.

"The football they played in the first third of the season was breathtaking and they have the strength to keep it going to the end of the season."

Martinez added that he is looking at bringing in up to three players in this transfer window but said it was important to ensure they were able to hit the ground running - perhaps an indication he will favour those already with experience of English football.

The Wigan boss said: "They have to be players who are ready to have an impact.

"It's easy to find good players but for a foreign player to come into the British league and have an effect straight away... not many can do that so we need to be well aware of the characters we want to bring in."

Martinez has his own African Nations Cup absentee with Mohamed Diame part of the Senegal squad.

Winger Albert Crusat is back in contention after a couple of weeks out with a back injury while young striker Callum McManaman could be on the bench after impressing in the otherwise disappointing FA Cup defeat at Swindon.