This weeks Wigan Evening Post 12th Man feature has two contributions from Vital Latics:
Wrong Tome For A Break
It’s often said that international breaks come at the wrong time, well the latest one certainly has where the Latics are concerned. Following a slow start to the season Rösler’s side slipped into top gear on Saturday and demonstrated against Birmingham just what they can do when firing on all cylinders.
A fantastic performance all the way through the team, even the three substitutes that came on, Barnett, Maloney and Waghorn played their part in what was a top, top team performance. Callum McManaman was once again simply outstanding, two first half goals for the Latics striker and a display worthy of the highest stage.
James McArthur played his last game in a Latics shirt before he took the plunge to join Crystal Palace and return to the Premier League. Sitting in the stands it was quite obvious that it was a goodbye performance from the Scotland international, throughout the match he looked desperate to score a farewell goal, his team mates trying to set him up near to the end, but it just wouldn’t go in for him.
McArthur has been a model of professionalism during his four years at the DW Stadium, a player who never failed to give 100% on the field of play and always had time to speak to the fans off it, when most players choose to live away from their clubs in towns and cities that are perhaps considered a little more chic, McArthur chose Wigan to make his home, living amongst the towns people that followed the club he must have had a sense of the pride that we all feel in the Latics, McArthur, although a Glaswegian, is one of our own.
I for one am very sad to see him leave, I believed that one day he would become club captain, sadly that isn’t going to happen, but the legacy he left behind, well the £7 million transfer fee, helped soften the blow of his departure with the club announcing four fantastic signings on deadline day.
Brentford midfield man Adam Forshaw and French striker Andy Delort we all knew were likely to happen, just a case of having the deals ratified and then officially announced, but William Kvist, a 47 cap current Denmark international signed from Bundesliga club Stuttgart came out of the blue, obviously a direct replacement for McArthur, the defensive midfielder spent time on loan at Fulham last season and was highly rated by their supporters, so looking forward to seeing him in the team.
The best deal of the day though for me was the making of Emyr Huws’ loan a permanent deal, the Wales international has displayed enough quality in his five appearances so far this campaign to suggest that he will be a top player. He has the potential to succeed at the highest level and, considering his age, it is a brilliant coup to land such a talented youngster for the club.
Three of the four new signings are in their early 20’s and are on long term deals, the future of the club looks to be sound, we have a great squad of players on the pitch, a host of what will be highly desirable assets to keep our financial status secure and the team are starting to play some exhilarating football.
There is a real buzz about the place and it is just a pity that the international break as come at a time when it would have been good to build upon it, the anticipation though will surely build as we can look forward to five games this month with high expectations in each of them.
Bring them on.
Competitive And Exciting
The only way to start this piece is with a huge thank you and a fond farewell to James McArthur. It is a measure of the man that when his proposed move to Leicester fell through, he put in a man of the match performance. As another of our FA Cup winners departs, I have no doubt that this one will leave behind him one of the larger holes to fill.
That takes us onto the performance on Saturday, I think James edged man of the match, but only just. That’s in a team performance where all players contributed, and you’d struggle to pick a single player that wasn’t on his game. It was the second consecutive comprehensive display and that bodes well. It does look like we`re starting to get things together in the Rosler way. They were harrying and hassling right from the off and pouring forwards effectively, with the ball on the floor when opportunity arose. Things are starting to look good, however there remain for me at this time 2 considerable questions to answer.
Firstly the two teams that we have effectively destroyed in the last fortnight are not the toughest tests in the division, I suspect they are both lower half teams, though Birmingham might argue with me on that one. If we can prove we can also treat a competitive team to the same pasting, then we have every right to finish wherever we want to in this division.
The second question is one of whether we can fill the huge James McArthur shaped hole in the central midfield. If the remaining players and the new lads can suitably cover for his absence and keep the performances and results coming, I reiterate that we can finish wherever we want to finish in this division.
The business in the transfer market to try and replace James and complete the squad appears to represent a very productive day in the clubs history. Across the whole window we’ve established a squad that contains a good balance of youth and experience. We’ve now got cover across the whole team and solid competition for places. We invested in the clubs future by snapping up young talented players, whose value we should be able to enhance whilst they are with us. The squad looks good, the results look good, all boxes are ticked.
Most impressively of all, this has been done in a context of managing the loss of the premier league income, and the reduction of the parachute payments. We as supporters are just as excited and just as expectant, we haven’t felt the loss of income as players have been sold and replaced. This is despite the fact that Jonathon and Uwe are no doubt operating in a context where loss of income, and managing costs must be very high on the agenda indeed. To be able to take us into a season with a competitive squad, and some exciting talent, at the same time as keeping things under control represents something which I think an awful lot of fans will under appreciate.
Both of the above pieces appeared in the Wigan Evening Post Friday Football Supplement, along with other contributions, they are reproduced here with permission.
Check out the latest PWU podcast
In the studio at the Beech Hill Book Cycle are Barry, Gareth, Greg, Paul, Mick and Dan.
This week the podcast crew look back at the Birmingham game, great performances throughout the team. James McArthur playing his last game for the club and he looked emotional.
Well transfer deadline day came and went and what a day it was, James McArthur, Adam Forshaw, William Kvist and Andy Delort, but the biggest surprise of all was Emyr Huws becoming a permanent signing, a very exciting day.
Five games in and we have 7 points, what will the next five bring? 23% of the season will have gone by the end of September, will that be the time to analyse the squad, some believe it is whilst others don’t, we’re in the Championship and anything can unfold!
We finish off with a special song for James McArthur, will he return one day, that’s the big question and it would be nice to think he will.
The podcast can be listened to by clicking the embedded player below or downloaded to listen at you leisure by visiting www.buzzsprout.com
Latics fans – please support the walk4tilly
Saturday 11th October, DW Stadium to Haigh Hall and back to the DW, in aid of Alder Hey Children’s Charity
Who is Tilly? My granddaughter that’s who and it’s thanks to Alder Hey that she, and many other local kids are running around today, help us to give something back.