Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday September 18 2009
Wigan Athletic take on Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium tomorrow and already we are being written off by much of the media and indeed some of our own fans, why?
The Latics are an established Premier League club, fifth season at this level and have every right to be competing against clubs of the stature as Arsenal, with two wins from the opening five league games we are also on the same number of points as our illustrious opponents, so this game could be billed as a six pointer!
Martinez` new style of football is slowly but surely being played by his team, keeping possession of the football won`t hurt when going to places like the Emirates and Arsene Wenger just might be in for a shock in the change of playing styles that the Latics now adopt.
Gone are the days of aimlessly punting the ball up field in the hope of, well I never quite knew what it was in the hope of, in its place is a more patient approach with keeping the football a priority and not being afraid to knock the ball back if there is nothing on.
Now I am not saying we have perfected this style and Martinez himself is quick to point out that the team is still in transition but you stand more of a chance of getting something from a game when you have the ball rather than the opposition having it all the time.
I watched the Arsenal Standard Liege game on Wednesday and to be honest there was nothing there to put fear into me about the result tomorrow, the Gunners were quite poor at the back, their midfield lacked any bite or real creativity and up front there wasn`t much real punch.
Fabregas was off the pace and the Eduardo Bendtner combination looked awkward at best, Van Persie is expected back and granted he is quality but the missing Arshavin will be more of an impact on the game than the Dutchman`s return.
Let`s not forget the quality within the Latics ranks, Bramble for all the poking of fun and laughter is an absolute rock at the heart of the defence and Figueroa and Melchiot also bring class in there, in midfield the emerging partnership of Thomas and Diame will be the talking point of the Premier League this season, with Diame already being likened in the press with former Arsenal favourite Patrick Vieira.
The attacking force of Rodallega supported by N`Zogbia brings pace as well as quality to the goal threat, yes we do have a quality side, attempting to play good patient football and with the rub of the green could cause a shock in the eyes of the media.
Personally I feel the game will end in a 1-1 draw and the Latics will continue to grow under Martinez into a force to be reckoned with.
The latest competition on Vital Latics closes Saturday 19th September at 5pm, see below for details on how to enter
Vital Latics have teamed up with the author Ken Barlow to offer one lucky Vital member the chance to win a personalised signed copy by Ken himself of his fabulous new book about life supporting the Latics back in the 1970`s, entitled `Mild and Bitter Were the Days`.
To enter the competition simply answer the following question:
Which league were the Latics in before they gained election to the football league:
A - Southern Premier League
B - Northern Premier League
C - National Premier League
To enter click here don`t forget your name and address in case you are the lucky winner and also include your Vital username, good luck
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Friday September 18 2009
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