Date: 13th August 2009 at 1:27pm
Written by:

The latest episode in the fans ‘Hopes and Fears` series sees Wigan Athletic supporter Danny from Perth in Australia, better known on Vital Latics as centrelink1 giving his thoughts on the coming season now that summer is drawing to a close, over to you centrelink1:

Season Preview and round one analysis.

All you need to know about the Latics 09/10

Hopes and fears:

As all fans know, a striker would be nice. I have no doubt at all that Martinez and his staff are working on it, but I hope we get a quality striker. At the moment Camara and Zaki are probably the most successful strikers we have had, which isn`t that good considering Zaki only managed 6 goals from open play. Rodallega will probably better these two this season, but he needs some support. We definitely need to be seeing more goals from open play, as the lack of it last season was appalling.

Another hope is that we can hang on to key players until the end of the season. The departures of Wilson Palacios and Emile Heskey really shook up the team last season, and losing Cattermole or Zog half way through the year would have the same effect. Dave Whelan has to do all he can to secure these players.

Also a man we would like to see at the club the entire year is Roberto Martinez. Whelan`s comments have assured all of us that he will be staying, but if things turn really pear shaped anything could happen

Defence hasn`t been all that flash in pre-season friendly`s, which has many fans worrying. If we concede to the likes of Norwich and Crewe, what chance do we have against the likes of Man United or even Bolton?

Player by Player

(1) Chris Kirkland: The Latics no.1 man in the net had a good season last year, but suffered from injuries. With good health and good fortune, we should see another good year for him. Last season, while Pollitt and Kingson were by no means bad, there was a gap in between them and Kirkland.

Season Prediction: 8/10

(3) Erik Edman: While a very capable replacement, Figueroa takes his spot in the team. Not a big year for Edman.

Season Prediction: 5/10

(5) Cho Won-Hee: An overdose of CM`s means Cho will struggle for game time this season. Praised by Bruce for both his professionalism and work ethic during training, Cho is a player who could feature, though he is not in the clubs reckoning for places at the present.

Season Prediction: 5/10

6) Hendry Thomas: Fits into the formation nicely, having him and Cattermole at the back would give Koumas, Gomez and other attacking midfielders some real freedom. He has a major role in the starting 11, although due to an international match may not play this week.

Season Prediction: 7/10

(7) Paul Scharner: Has expressed desire to leave, most Wigan fans are preparing for life without him.

Season Prediction: N/A

(8) Ben Watson: Scored a couple of goals for us late last season, but another player who won`t like the amount of CM`s bought in. Watson could struggle for a place in the team.

Season Prediction: 5/10

(9) Jason Scotland: Brought from Swansea in a move many fans disagreed with. At the moment he is our second striker and has showed promising signs in pre season. Martinez knows better than anybody what he is capable of. Personally I believe he is a lot better than fans have given him credit for.

Season Prediction: 7/10

(10) Jason Koumas: Koumas has been given a new life under Martinez. While at the end of last season he was seen as an unwanted player, Koumas now features in many fans starting 11`s. Has also showed promising signs pre season, and we might finally be able to get our money`s worth.

Season Prediction: 8/10

(11)Michael Brown: Another player who could struggle for game time this season, although he and Scotland seemed to gel really well together in the pre season match against Preston, both assisting each other`s goals.

Season Prediction: 6/10

(12) Mike Pollitt: If last season is any indication, Pollitt is our 3rd choice keeper. If pre season friendlies will serve as our looking glass, he will be right behind Kirkland. Could come into serious contention if the injury prone Kirkland isn`t around.

Season Prediction: 4/10

(14) Charles N`Zogbia: Shifted from the left to the right easily enough, and has showed some great form pre season. If Cattermole is our best and most important player, then record transfer N`Zogbia is a close 2nd. He has unbelievable potential and jumped ship from Newcastle at just the right time.

Season Prediction: 10/10

(15) Jordi Gomez: One of two players Martinez brought from Swansea. Really rated, and while not pivotal to the team`s success, he will have a role to play just behind the strikers.

Season Prediction: 7/10

(16) Scott Sinclair: Speedy player from Chelsea wouldn`t be surprised if he was put in straight away to the left wing. On loan from Chelsea, he will have a role in Wigan`s success, and is a real contender for starting 11.

Season Prediction: 8/10

(17) Emmerson Boyce: The looming departure of Scharner makes Boyce one of our new starting CB`s. A hard working, reliable player, Boyce has well and truly earned his place.

Season Prediction: 8/10

(18) Daniel de Ridder: The departure of Valencia is probably a good thing for De Ridder, but his best chance at action is coming off the bench.

Season Prediction: 6/10

(19) Titus Bramble: The next captain of the club. Brain fades are a really worrying sign, as most fans thought they had been extinguished under Bruce.Pre season form is hopefully no indicator, as 99% of the time Titus is a dream defender.

Season Prediction: 9/10

(20) Hugo Rodallega: Star striker for the year and at the moment there is absolutely no threat to his position. An injury to this man would leave us in more trouble than an injury to Zog or Cattermole, due to our current lack of forwards. Struggled to score last year although created many chances and had a few near misses. In the end his goals came from a deflected free kick, a good shot against Man United, and a tap in against Pompey.

Season Prediction: 9/10

(21) Tomasz Cywka: While talented, and a good future prospect, still a few years away from the first team.

Season Prediction: 2/10

(22) Richard Kingson: Fighting for the role as 2nd keeper.

Season Prediction: 4/10

(23) Olivier K (r) apo: Wants to leave, fans happy to see him leave.

Season Prediction: 2/10

(24) James McCarthy: Really rated by Accies and Wigan won the bidding war. Another future prospect who will feature a little this season

Season Prediction: 6/10

(25) Mario Melchiot: Another good year from Melchiot

Season Prediction: 8/10

(26) Rachid Bouaouzan: Has shown a little pre season form, but fans don`t like him. I can`t see him doing much.

Season Prediction: 4/10

(28) Tomasz Kupisz: See Tomasz Cywka

(30) Marlon King: Not prem quality, most likely no game time this season.

Season Prediction: 2/10

(31) Maynor Figueroa: Great player last season, in both his attacking and defending qualities.

(38) Jonathon Routledge: See Tomasz Kupisz

(40) Joe Holt: See Jonathon Routledge

(41) Callum McManaman: See Joe Holt

Golobart and Serrano: Great future prospects. Might feature a little this season, but it`s too hard to call.

Team Analysis

Best Starting 11

Melchiot Bramble Boyce Figueroa
N`Zogbia Cattermole Thomas Koumas

Subs: Kingson, Edman, Brown, Watson, Sinclair, McCarthy, Scotland


Finish in 12th, after losing to Chelsea on the final day. Had we won, we would have finished 9th.
Player of the Year: Charles N`Zogbia, on account of his 12 goal season
Roughie: Jason Koumas. Yes I`m serious…

Premier League Round 1: Aston Villa (Away)

We have all been counting down to the start of the season and now its judgement day.

The new, Martinez style gets its first proper test against the bland, long ball style of Aston Villa. Emotions are mixed between Wigan fans, most too worried about our lack of strikers than the game. Villa fans are equally worried about signings, as a look at Vital Villa will show.

The Latics have a great record at Villa Park, and although last time was a lucky 0-0 draw, the fans have every right to be confident.
Wigan Team News:

The Hondurans from Wigan probably won`t feature, because of the recent international matches. This means Erik Edman will get a run at LB, and Michael Brown as a CDM.
Possible Formation

Melchiot Boyce Bramble Edman
Zog Catt Brown Koumas

Villa Team News: Luke Young and Stiliyan Petrov will not play due to injury.
Possible Formation
That`s all we need to know, as Villas entire game play revolves around the two.

Aston Villa 1 – 1 Wigan Athletic
Carew (52)
Koumas (75)

Hopes and Fears #1 by fazman can be found and read here

Hopes and Fears #2 by wigan-latics can be found and read here

Hopes and Fears #3 by lathamwafc can be found and read here

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