Wigan Athletic – Just how do they do it?

By on September 10, 2012 - 31 views

I think we all know the usual season routine in the Premier League for Wigan Athletic – be nailed on for relegation until in the final month; then suddenly beat every top six team, decide the title race with an inconceivable and wildly celebrated win and defy logic to stay up. Annually ridiculed and questioned at the start of every campaign, you start to question whether anyone really believes that Wigan are capable of becoming a stabilised top flight club, well I don’t, and this is why.

We’ll start with the manager. If there was an award for being the best manager at the worst club, I’m afraid Roberto Martinez would be a strong candidate. Questionable tactics, unruffled management style and an atypical formation riddled the club last season, albeit keeping them afloat – it is difficult to decipher how good of a manager Mr Martinez is. In terms of youth and exuberance, he is well up there; declining job offers from Liverpool and Aston Villa in the summer takes some bravery but you question whether he has missed the boat sailing towards notoriety and eminence in the big bad world of football management. One bad season for the Spaniard and that boat may never come again however I feel it may become an annual service, yearning Martinez to board.

So the manager is competent and proficient – what about the players? Crammed with dramatic personas who you query their worth on a public field on a Sunday morning in a local pub league never mind the greatest league on earth; yet time and time again, they flout these ridicules and somehow, somehow, linger just above the drop zone.

Albert Crusat, Jean Beausejour and Ronnie Stam are not quite names that would excite a crowd – maybe the reason for Wigan’s largely scarce fan base – but there are some lights in the darkness.

Despite his bizarre acquisition of the number two shirt, Arouna Kone looks a decent player, whether that’s because he is competing for a starting spot with the dire Mauro Boselli remains to be seen. There is the possibility that Kone and the emerging Franco di Santo replace the departed Hugo Rodellega although it would probably take the pair of them to emulate the Colombian. The Latics were the third lowest scorers last season; amassing just 42 goals, one for each supporter (sorry). Wigan will probably rely on Kone’s few goals and di Santo’s preposterous number of deflected efforts.

Another potential goal shy season beckons but surely the midfield could chip in? James McCarthy and James McArthur share another palpable fact other than their first name – a lack of goal threat. Between them, they have offered five years of Premier League football at the DW Stadium, accumulating in a meagre seven goals. Midfield partners Jordi Gomez and Shaun Maloney are on and off more times than a tap and although the loan deal for Ryo Miyaichi may bring some pace to proceedings, it may only speed up the wait for disappointment. Couple this with the loss of midfield stalwart Mohamed Diame, Wigan’s central armoury seems to be lacking somewhat.

Then we come to the defence. Guilty of conceding an alarming 62 goals last term, describing them as a sieve would probably be too harsh though a comparison with a leaky roof seems more suitable. With each day left unattended, its tendency to collapse completely becomes more feasible. It’s just crying out for that one handyman to renovate it, I qualm that Ivan Ramis is the answer.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover!” – But Ramis’ dismal debut, though against the European champions Chelsea, will not fill Wigan fans with hope ahead of a long season.

Joining Ramis in Martinez’s eccentric defence will most likely be club captain Gary Caldwell, partnered by either the extravagant Antolin Alcaraz or the incoherent Maynor Figueroa, putting a reasonable quantity of flesh between the ball and the goal guarded by Ali Al Habsi, who really has grasped that number 26 shirt with both hands.

To summarise, I do think Wigan will stay up – by a point. Their encounter with Arsenal on May 12th will probably decide the Champions League places at least then the following week an emblematic win over Aston Villa will ensure their survival. After Figueroa has conceded a penalty which was subsequently converted, a custom deflected di Santo strike will level the game and the often forgotten man, Maloney will pop up with a stunning winner.

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Lewis Dunwoody

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  1. Graham

    September 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    You obviously know nothing about WAFC or football. I’m betting you watch a top four club on telly every week you shit arsed cunt.

  2. Luke

    September 10, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Wow, what terrible comments, how many wigan games have you actually watched in full?

  3. latics76

    September 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Have you actually ever watched wigan ?

  4. mark

    September 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    What a poor piece of Journalism… Rodallega got 1 goal and Di-Santo 7 last year… emulate Rodallega?
    Beasejour is class, Maloney is most certainly not forgotten! You sound quite bitter, Bolton fan? Its a poor, disrespectful droning essay. Find yourself a new job, Your shit at this!

  5. jrf

    September 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Dear Lewis You obviously know absolutely nothing about Wigan , its players or its fans . If this had been on paper it would only have been good for wiping my backside on .

  6. Ian

    September 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I’m not even a Wigan fan but this is an absolute joke of an article. Total lack of respect for the club. Pathetic and pointless.

    Bolton and Blackburn went down last season and nobody saw that coming. In a league that is dictated by money, Wigan are a shining example to the lesser teams in the divisions below. We can only hope to emulate what they have done. I think its 8 years in the top flight now for them, that is a great achievement for such a small town club.

  7. swt

    September 11, 2012 at 12:45 am

    What a load of rubish, you know nothing about football, did we beat your team last season, was it Arsenal by any chance?

  8. Andy

    September 11, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Yawn. Lazy, lazy, lazy

  9. Believe !!!!!!

    September 11, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Then it wouldnt be a clean sheet !!!!

  10. Hayzee

    September 11, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Don’t be too harsh on him. It isn’t bad journalism for a 14 year old Aston Villa fan. He used a lot of quite big words. Obviously he didn’t do his homework (as I suspect he doesn’t most nights) but it’s his opinion, no matter how misguided.

  11. LowergrounfdLowergrounder

    September 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Congrats Lewis. You have somehow raised the bar in writing the most patronising shit about Wigan Ath, and that takes some doing

  12. ELatic

    September 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Not sure how low your esteem must be if you want to take a pot shot at little old Wigan Athletic, 8 seasons in the top league tells its own story.

    Most premiership teams seem to revel in the glory of a top 8 finish or such like, where there are very few teams with the excitement come the end of season than Wigan. Football is about entertainment, come pop in one Saturday and see what the fuss is all about !

  13. bill

    September 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Lewis what a cheap useless swipe at my club !A lack of research and shows your disregard for a well run club with a decent local fan base.

  14. J Gallagher

    September 11, 2012 at 8:50 am

    That probably has to be the biggest load of tosh i have ever read, do you know at thing about that football club?

  15. Jamie Ashcroft

    September 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Lewis, let me start off by saying, you’re an idiot. You obviously know nothing about our club otherwise you wouldnt of wrote the bullshit that you did. What a pointless article, us Wigan fans laugh at it. Obviously looking for a bite and you aint getting one. 8years in the prem says were pretty established already, and we’d apologise to you and everyone else who cant stand it, but we dont because we dont care. Were here, were making noise and you better get used to it. Little Wigan taking the piss!

  16. Benjo

    September 11, 2012 at 10:25 am

    May I ask who you support, Lewis?

    This is absolute tosh.

  17. gaz

    September 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Another patronizing article about wigan little or no research and stereo types about crowds, why not drag out the rugby town cliche and something bout pies.

  18. frank ambrose

    September 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Quite simple. This is childish rubbish.

  19. Matthew Wood

    September 11, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I don’t think the article is as “patronising” or “rubbish” as some make out. I think the point Lewis is trying to make is that Wigan have stayed up consistently with their limited resources – which is only to be applauded.

    I actually rate Wigan as one of the most entertaining and attractive sides to watch in the league. Their problem, for me, is their inability to convert certain dominance in matches to clear cut opportunities. Obviously, this could be argued that the personnel at Martinez’s disposal limits the extra creative element needed to “open the door” so to speak, but certainly, their refreshing approach has to be admired.

    I can’t recall too many relegation-threatened teams trying to “play” their way out of trouble (Blackpool, perhaps) but Wigan did and they survived. Fair play.

  20. Gary

    September 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’m not sure, so excuse me going out on a limb here, but I don’t think you could have done any less research on this article.

    Let’s start up front, ask any Wigan fan of their views of Mr Rodallega and they will answer along the lines of: “Couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo at 3 paces.” Ask any other fan (who saw his 15 second highlight package on MoTD two years ago) and they seem to give him delusions of adequacy. The fact that Di Santo has already equalled “Hot” Rod’s scoring record from last year is clearly lost on you.

    Next, midfield, and the loss of Momo Diame. That midfield stalwart who started a handful of games from January onwards last year. A good player indeed, skillful and powerful. And yet he did not strike up a nearly as effective partnership as the two Jimmy’s have. So although it was disappointing to see his head turned we cannot moan at his search for first team football.

    Defence is your strong point, Ramis was poor on his debut, you clearly paid good attention to MoTD that night. But Figueroa, Caldwell and Alcaraz are vastly improved and are far from the worst defenders in the league this year.

    As for goalkeepers you clearly had little ill to say of Ali so left it to some tenuous mocking of a shirt number (seriously?!).

    You hit the nail on the head with Gomez though, that boy is shocking!

    Anyway, GCSE Football Journalism result 15%, U for unclassified, college will have to remain an unfulfilled dream for you this year.

  21. Jonny

    September 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Your article it pathetic and you have shown you know nothing about Wigan Athletic.

  22. Whitebrazilians

    September 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    It is atricles like this that make me smile the most. Little Wigan will forever take the p$ss and we will forever see the results of it in pieces such as this.

    We are coming for 3 points from your club next, Lewis. And we’ll do it on a fraction of your club’s budget….but don’t worry, it’ll be on last on MOTD.

  23. laticsmon

    September 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Very pporly researched article emphasised by some brilliant comments in reply especially Gary

  24. NW

    September 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The verdict is unanimous, the author (and that is a generous statement in itself) hasn’t a clue what he is talking about! I hope he wasn’t paid to write this because it is a large steaming pile of garbage. Most people wouldn’t keep their job with this type of quality.

    The so-called pillars he has spoken about, Rodellega and Diame couldn’t even get in the side in the last 1/2 of the season, so it is doubtful they will even be missed this season. Apart from the first 10 minutes against Chelsea the defense has played solid, and it seems to me that Hazard has already twisted someone else into a penalty, so Ramis can’t take too much flack for his play.

    I could go on more about all of the trash in this article, however anyone who has watched Wigan (and there is a growing number!)know what this team and manager are made of. The biggest challenge is keeping the side together as all of the clubs who will splash the cash without regard for finances (note, not bigger clubs)always seem to be chasing after players.

    Perhaps Lewis should stick to writing about West Ham’s hoof ball style or Stoke’s thug ball, something he might be more familiar with.

  25. Derek Hyde

    September 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Lewis Dunwoody hasn’t a clue.
    Jean Beausejour does excite my crowd, ’cause he’s pure class. More than I can say for you Lewis.
    Try watching WAFC, at least once. How about vs Man U this Saturday?

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