It is a quirk of fate that if referee Mark Halsey had seen the challenge against Newcastle last month, or his assistants had not, McManaman would not have been playing in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final and instead been completing a three-match ban.
That the 21-year-old avoided punishment just made the vitriol even worse, with McManaman being depicted as a thug, which was totally at odds with the knowledge Martinez has of him.
It is to McManaman's credit that he was not ground down by all the fuss and proved capable of delivering a performance at Wembley that hinted at a bright future for the Merseysider.
"Callum McManaman is a simple guy," said Martinez.
"He is not someone who plays football to feed his ego. He is not someone who is always checking the press and what the media is saying.
"He just loves the game. I don't think he read any headlines. That would have been extremely hurtful.
"But obviously he doesn't live in a bubble. You do get affected by what is going on around you.
"When people hear the name, they just get a picture for the wrong reasons. It was just the wrong place at the wrong time."
As McManaman's only previous international experience came during the Under-20 World Cup in 2011, it is probably asking too much for him to be elevated into Roy Hodgson's squad just yet.
However, he must surely be on Stuart Pearce's radar for European Under-21 Championship duty in the summer.
"Give him a football and he is the happiest boy on earth," said Martinez.
"He is an exciting player. He knows how to score goals, which is something you can't really teach.
"He has already played in a World Cup for England at Under-20 level and he is going to be a real asset for English football."
McManaman was shaded for man-of-the-match honours on Saturday by fellow goalscorer Shaun Maloney.
Yet the most remarkable aspect of Wigan's performance was the manner in which their fluid passing game was so easily transferred on the biggest stage.
The lack of obvious nerves was a credit to Martinez's preparation, although considering the Spaniard never betrayed his passing philosophy last season, when Wigan skirted with Premier League relegation for such a long time, it should have been no surprise.
"I have never been tempted to change," he said.
"From starting as a manager at Swansea in 2007, it hasn't been easy.
"Everyone looks at Swansea now and thinks they have played that way for 20 years. It took six months.
"It was very new and people had to be educated. But since I left my country to join the British game I would never change my football beliefs."There could be a huge sense of satisfaction for Martinez from the possibility that both Wigan and Swansea could be in the Europa League next season.The matter is slightly complicated as far as the Latics are concerned, with their opponents on May 11 needing to finish in the Champions League places.Even then, as runners-up they would go into the competition two rounds earlier than the group phase, which is the prize for actually winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history.So victory is preferable, with Martinez insisting it can be done.
"If you look back at the games we played against the top teams in the league, you will see we are brave," he said.
"We play eye-to-eye. It has given us incredible results in the past.
"Four years ago we had never beaten a top four club. Now we have a very good record.
"At times we have been on the wrong end of a bad result but what the people will see in the final is two teams trying to get on the ball and sharing similar concepts."That is a fantastic compliment for us as a football club."