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Over-used Mertesacker in need of rest

Arsenal
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Everton not 'big enough' for Martinez

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan insists Everton are not "big enough" to lure manager Roberto Martinez to Goodison Park next season.

Martinez has been linked with the Everton job since David Moyes was confirmed as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement at Old Trafford.

Such speculation only grew following Wigan's FA Cup final triumph over Manchester City, but Whelan insists he will only allow Martinez to leave for one of Europe's powerhouse clubs.

"Roberto's always in demand," Whelan said. "Whenever he wants to go I'll release him immediately but he'll only go to a big, big club and I don't think Everton are big enough.

"It's Roberto's decision. All I do is support him. He's the most honest man you'll ever meet. If anybody approaches him, he comes to me and says. I trust him implicitly.

"I don't think he'll go this season but if he does I'll shake his hand and wish him good luck because he's been a brilliant manager for us and I hope he continues for another four or five years."

Meanwhile, Whelan is hoping the recent silverware will boost his team's chances of avoiding relegation as they prepare to travel to Arsenal on Tuesday.

Wins for Norwich and Newcastle on the weekend and a draw for Sunderland means anything less than a victory at the Emirates will all but condemn the cup winners prior to the final-day clash with Aston Villa at the DW Stadium.

Whelan said: "We know what we've got to do. The lads know the job is still there. We've got to go to Arsenal and perform and we've got to perform at home and beat Villa. They're all aware of it and they're up for it big time."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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