Latics started their UK and Dutch pre season tour with a six nil victory over championship side Barnsley.
Steve Bruce opted to field a strong side with only Zaki, Kapo, Valencia and Kirkland missing from the provisional first 11.
A surprise starter was Marlon King giving credence to the rumour circulating that his move to Hull was on the verge of collapse.
Latics started brightly with Palacios and De Ridder looking particulary sharp in midfield and it was no surprise when after 8 minutes Latics opened the scoring. What was somewhat of a surprise however, was that the goal scorer was King with a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area leaving the Barnsley keeper with no chance of stopping it. This was King’s first goal in open play for the Latics.
Cattermole making his first start for the Latics showed why he is viewed in some quarters as a younger version of Michael Brown with some crunching tackles.
A crunching takle by Barnsley resulted in Scharner being carried off and being taken to the tunnel with an ice pack strapped to his ankle. Scharner is a tough guy and must have been in considerable pain not to continue or at least walk off.
Valencia replaced the big Austrian and Figueroa moved from left back to centre back with Kilbane dropping back to left back.
Latics quickly adapted to the new line up and on 18 minutes Heskey broke through and slotted the ball past the advancing keeper.
The third goal came around the half way mark with Valencia recieving a ball from the impressive De Ridder and blasting the ball past the keeper.
Half time saw Heskey replaced by Henri Camara who once aagin looked sharp and was denied two goals by superb saves.
De Ridder opened his account shortly after half time and doubled it less than five minutes later with a sublime chip. De Ridder was given the opportunity to score a hat trick when Kozluk handled the ball in the area but failed with a truely awful penalty easily saved by the keeper.
Latics then made several substitutions with Montrose, Kupisz and Brown replacing Melchiot, Valencia and Palacios. These substitutions resulted in a loss of momentum for the Latics and allowed BArnsley into a game in which up until then they had been spectators. However they found the previously largely redundant Mike Pollitt in imperious form.
Latics did get a six goal with Micheal Brown scoring with a header.
All in all a good workout marred only be the injury to Scharner.
During the first half he could have come and sat in the stands with us but pulled off some good saves in the second half.
Surely the most technically gifted right back in the Premier League.
Looked a good option as a centre half.
Not on the pitch long enough to judge.
Rarely troubled by the Barnsley strike force.
Industrious and showed up well on his first day at the club.
Started off as he finished last season.
Provides the balence to Valencia. Was absolutely superb expect for that penalty.
Reliable as always.
A good goal and one other shot which brought a good save but anonymous for most of the game.
A hard working first half.
Looked very sharp and motivated. Hopefully the answer to SB’ striker issues.
This bloke just gets better and better.
If he was unsettled by rumours of a move he didnt show it.
8/10 Has seemed to get the team focussed early and playing good football.
A Good Start
There will be tougher matches to come but a good start.