For me, there are three reasons why we have struggled this season.
Jason Roberts, Jimmy Bullard and Pascal Chimbonda.
Three big players for the club, lots of skill, work rate but most of all, big personalities.
Their very presence around the team seemed to spur others on.
Jason Roberts carried an air about him, he isn`t the best forward in world and he missed his fair share of chances, but he led the line for us superbly.
When he played well, the whole team played well.
Jimmy Bullard, what can be said that`s not already been said about the guy?
His main contribution to the team, in my opinion, was his enthusiasm to play.
He wanted to take every corner, free kick, throw in and even dead ball kicks if we`d let him.
Jimmy brought a ray of sunshine to our club that shone for three and half years, his never say die attitude endeared him to the fans, media and his team mates; quite frankly Jimmy Bullard is irreplaceable.
Pascal Chimbonda, we loved him, then we hated him, but what a player.
Pascal oozed class, good on the ball, superb defending, excellent going forward, good in the air and hardly ever wasted possession.
He also played with a smile on his face, he appeared to love every moment that he was on the pitch and the fans simply adored him.
These three players were the heart of the Latics team for the majority of last season.
They brought a smile and admiration from onlookers, they have simply not been replaced.
It is as though we have had the very heart ripped from the team and it`s never recovered.
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