Shaun Farrell continues his series of articles looking back at the 2009/10 season, over to you Faz:
Never has a manager spilt support like our Bobby has done at Wigan Athletic this season. But the question is was the hatred, cat calls and banners (yes we all saw it at the Liverpool game although it soon disappeared) deserved?
In my opinion the biggest problem that Bobby has hit since he returned to the club is the fact that many people don`t remember when he sat in our midfield pulling the strings of the crowd and doing his all to become a club legend. It`s not only the younger fans that haven`t had the chance to see him but also the bandwagon jumpers that have joined us in the premiership years and it`s from these that we have heard the biggest outcry. These are the type of people that don`t look at football in general and can`t see outside the fabulous game that Sky invented circa 1990 (that`s sarcasm by the way).
Roberto did what every manager should be made to do, he served his apprentice in the lower leagues and did it with great success taking Swansea to the Championship and making them real contenders to come up. He did this by building a strong footballing side that played great attractive football and made stars out of players. All of this on a small limited budget, sounds perfect doesn`t it, but from day one people complained, “he wasn`t a big enough name”, “we should of gone for someone established”, “if we are going lower league why not Darren Ferguson” but we forget that he turned down Celtic and the assistant managers job at Utd to come back home!
I don`t know what some of these fans expect but we are Little Wigan and every year our first priority will be to stay up and he`s done that with 2 games to spare.
Don`t get me wrong I`m not criticising every fan that called for his head as later in the season I had my own questions about whether he was up to the job. I also called for us to bring in someone like Matt Jackson or Arry as a bigger name in the backroom for the players and as a defensive coach.
I`m also big enough (shut it Phil) to admit I made a mistake and should of thought about it properly. For instance how long before the crowd would be calling for Jacko or Arry to take over?
All in all Bobby has done what he was asked to do and done it by bringing in some players that have the potential to take his place as legends in the fans eyes. He`s also brought in a few players that haven`t quite cut it but there`s always next year or we can sell them on. Next year I`ve every confidence we will be stronger and Bobby can continue to stamp his style on the team.
I do have to say though that what concerns me with the gaffer is that before he took over we heard about his revolutionary methods such as training at the time of matches so the players are ready, or using exercise bikes for the subs to keep them warmed up. We haven`t seen many of these brought in for various reasons yet if the chairman is backing him these should be things put in place to help aid the team and I still stand by that Circulation boosters and tens machines could help players (give the gaffer my number Barry I will talk him into it).
Behind Bobby this year he brought in his own team including another Wigan Legend and probably one of my favourite players Graham Jones.
For those of you that didn`t get the chance to see Jonesey in action he was everything we need in a striker right now. He had a natural goal scoring ability and took no nonsense from anyone, as such I`m pretty sure he is the disciplinarian of the two. This year we haven`t heard much from him and he hasn`t seemed to do much apart from stand and chat with the gaffer on the sidelines whilst getting the subs and tactics prepared but I`m sure that he is the hardest number 2 in the prem and if it comes to it he would be in front of Roberto in any battle.
It`s also a surprise to hear players like young James Mc stating that Jonesey is the reason he came to the club so who knows when Roberto goes to replace Pep at Barca we may have the next manager already in place.
I`ve already spoke about Bergara in the players section but I think us the fans need to know just who he is. He was a top goalkeeper in La Liga for Real Sociedad amongst other teams and went on to be a great Gk coach in La Liga. He was considered something of a coup when Bobby brought him to Swansea and if you look how Nicholls has progressed he is obviously good at his job. The only thing is we can see that Kirky has taken a backwards step and if it`s not his injuries it`s the fact that his training regime doesn`t work for him so maybe they should take a closer look at that.
The Ram is another former player and manager of the club that has been brought into the club. To be honest I don`t know what his role is but he seems to have taken control of the youth team. This is an area were we haven`t produced for numerous years. In fact we`ve had players that looked like good prospects disappear and fall into non league or lower league football including little Craig Mahon, Russell Saunders and Lewis Montrose. In fact since Leighton Baines we haven`t had a player come through the youth ranks.
I will speak about youth players in more detail in another article but it does concern me that we haven`t had anyone knocking on the door. Saying that though the youth team has had some great results towards the end of the season. Graham Barrow has to take the credit for this along with the other staff and he seems to have 2 or 3 players on the fringes of the first team squad something that none of our previous youth managers have managed.
The rest of our coaching staff have done what they were asked to do although I would still like to see us bring in a Defensive coach if only to make sure that we aren`t shipping goals like this season.
It`s been a long hard season but I`ve got 100% confidence in Roberto Martinez and as such his backroom team, so much so that I feel by keeping hold of the manager we have a real chance of taking the club to the next level like Roy Hodgson at Fulham.
Faz`s other articles:
Seasonal Expectations and Targets
Transfers In and Out
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