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Wigan are selling their best players: but can they survive another season?

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It’s the question that gets asked at this time of year. While we wait and wait for the season to finally start, everyone satisfies their need for football by discussing transfers and make predictions for the season ahead. One of those predictions is always who will be going down this year. The answer to that question every year always involves Wigan Athletic.

Ahead of the season every year you look at Wigan and you think that they are doomed. Their squad looks threadbare and compared with the rest of the Premier League they look like odds on certainties for relegation. In the opening weeks of every season we all think, yeah this time they cannot possibly survive. The Latics are invariably adrift at Christmas and nobody sees anyway that they will still be a Premier League team when May comes around.

And then February comes along and Wigan transform into the Barcelona of the North West. Those players who had Championship written all over them suddenly turn into world-beaters. Gary Caldwell goes from pedestrian plodder to defensive rock. Jordi Gomez changes from a timid midfielder to a craftsman around the box. Wigan find the kind of form that keeps them up time and time again. Last season they beat Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in the run in and finished in a terrific fifteenth place.

So why do their fortunes change in the back half of the season? My own personal view is that Wigan are a terrific technical side with the ball at their feet. Unfortunately they share a ground with Wigan rugby union side and this often leaves the pitch in dreadful condition. As a result, Wigan are not able to get the ball down and play as Roberto Martinez has taught them to do. This is a big hindrance during the Winter months and so when the weather starts to improve and the pitch gets better so does Wigan’s football.

Another of their major issues at the start of the season is that Wigan always need to sell their best players to financially support the club. Consequently the often have a new first eleven at the start of the season and it takes time to build understanding and coherence. Once the manager gets to grips with his squad, their fortunes improve and so could explain why it takes until February for Wigan to really find their feet.

Sadly it will be the same again this summer. Wigan have already seen Hugo Rodallega, Mohamed Diame and Hendry Thomas leave on free transfers and now it looks as though Victor Moses is heading to Chelsea. Moses was a key man last season as Wigan pulled themselves out of trouble. Once again Wigan need to rebuild and you have to feel that sooner of later they will finally be for the drop. But we say that every year and every year they prove us wrong. It will be interesting to see if they do so again.

One advantage they do have is that I don’t believe the promoted teams this year are of the same strength we saw last year. Southampton and Reading in particular look like they could have squads that will struggle at the top level but there is always one team that produces a mid-table finish at the first time of asking. Wigan need to find a way to perform more consistently across the season. If they do so there is every chance that survival will be achieved once again. Or they could do what they do every year and tease us until February and then rise like a phoenix out of the ashes to claim their spot in the Premier League for yet another year.

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8 comments

  • HeapyLatic says:

    Dear me typical blogger knowing nothing of Wigan and writting a load of rubbish, would you have said Chelsea were going to get relegated for getting rid of Drogba!

    No because that would sound silly, Rodallega would not have made our season any better. And Moses is a half developed player that Chelsea are willing to pay £10 million for, who will not come to much if he goes, so Wigan are quids in.

    As for pitch in dreadful condition, the football and rugby season only over lap in latter half of the season, so we started playing well when the pitch got bad? Mmm doesn’t work sorry!

    Wigan have added well with two great players, plus youth players are ready to step up. Two more players before end of the transfer season, and it will be comfortable mid-table for the Latics!

  • fatmando says:

    You really are a plonker. Are you posing as an authority on Football?
    Wigan Athletic share a ground with Wigan Rugby League but if you had put any research into your artice you would quickly see that Rugby league play their season in the summer so there is only a conflict in the first few weeks of the start and finish of the season. During their stunning finish last season, the rugby team was also playing. You will also note that during the period that Wigan were at their best, Rodellega had very little part in the team. Thomas wasn’t even making the bench for the vast majority of last season and only Diame contributed as a substitute. So again you have no idea of what you are talking about.
    Only Moses will be a loss but less of a loss than you think if Maloney is fit. Moses was most effective as a left winger but Moloney filled that space extermely well and Moses played on the right. Less effectively in my opinion. You also know nothing about what Martinez has been doing to fill the inevitable loses of star players. Moses will not be missed as much as you think.

  • Hayzee says:

    If I were you I would save this article somewhere so that next season you can just change the names of the players and put the whole article out again with a few small match amendments.

  • Wigan fan says:

    This is one of the worst articles about our club i ever read. You may want to do a little bit of research. Its not a rugby union club for a start it’s a rugby league club, a complete different sport. Also the pitch has been in great condition for about 3 years since they had it completely relaid. Just because it was once in bad condition doesnt mean it is now. Obviousely you would know this if you actually knew anything about our club which from reading this article it’s clear that you don’t.

  • David says:

    He has already done that, its the usual drivel we get at this time of year. At least he didn’t mention low attendances this year!

  • Worthy Latic says:

    ditto to all of the above, yet again more Lazy Journalism and regurgitated Non facts about Wigan, everyone writes us off every year because they know nothing about us and can’t be bothered finding out who actually plays for us. Well done Scott, let me guess you’re probably a Spurs/West Ham or some other “Landan clab”, who have who has mentally blanked out the time we beat you, because believe it or not little Wigan have now done the lot, home or away and in several cases both… come on what have you got to say??

  • jrf says:

    The only loss will be Moses . Rodders , Diame hardly played in the second half of the season , so the starting 11 will not have changed that much . This is just the same rubbish that comes before every seasom starts . Please research before writing such a weak article.

  • Worthy Latic says:

    ……… and another thing the whole article is titled “Wigan are selling their best players…” Rodellaga, Thomas & Diame all left as their contracts had finished so no selling there and Moses hasn’t gone yet?!?!?

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