Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday October 17 2009
Wigan Athletic Vs Manchester City, the build up
Vital Latics and Vital Manchester City met up for a cyber chat ahead of the weekends clash between the two sides at the DW Stadium, worbo from the Latics and City`s Johnny Baguette both have a lot to say for on their clubs, season so far and the season ahead, lets see how it went:
Season so far - How`s it going?
worbo - we have been a bit inconsistent to say the least, our last two games sum this up perfectly, demolish Chelsea, quite literally play them off the park in a 3-1 win and then go to Hull and lose 2-1 with a whimper, but the signs are there, Martinez has come in and he is in the process of changing the club around from top to bottom both on and off the pitch and has he keeps telling us we are in transition.
Though if you`d have said at the start of the season after our first 8 games we`d be 12th with 9 points I`d have taken it, I think its very promising and we are in for some exciting times.
Johnny Baguette - So far so good, Wigan pals! Despite the undoubtedly solid and flair led start to City's season, it's feet on the ground as far as this correspondent is concerned. Sparky looks to have finally instilled a siege mentality into his squad after the repeated batterings the club has had since His Highness Sheikh Mansour came to town. Still the tests come and they don't come much tougher than Latics away, yet the spirit and preparedness to mix it when necessary that we've seen on the road at Pompey, Palace, the rags, Blackburn and Villa bode well.
Hopes and priorities
worbo - I have already said that we are going through a transitional phase and I would class staying in the division a priority which I feel we will achieve comfortably and gain a mid-table finish once more, Martinez has some quality players at his disposal and they are starting to gel together now with centre midfield paring of Hendry Thomas and Momo Diame looking very good together
A hope would be a cup run; the Carling Cup is gone, so a day out in May at Wembley in the FA cup final would be a fantastic finale for all Latics fans this season, also another hope for me is that all our supporters get behind Martinez, it`s a hard enough job without having the fans getting at you.
Johnny Baguette - In the absence of European competition that came a season too soon for us last campaign, Sparky has made all three domestic competitions our priorities and will afford them maximum respect. Consequently, that approach has seen the squad gel far quicker than anybody anticipated. In turn, the vast majority of hacks have been deeply frustrated in an inability to crow over any City failures. The priority has to be to win something and get back into Europe. Top six or bust!
What do you think of us then?
worbo - City are obviously a quality side with some top class players, but like ourselves this is a transitional period and I am sure you will suffer some surprising defeats as the squad settles down, looking from the outside it is similar to when Sven took over, Hughes is job is to maintain the current momentum whereas Sven let your season slip after the early promise but I can see you challenging successfully for the top four and displacing one of the league big guns out of their Champion League spots, I feel City will finish 4th this season behind United, Chelsea and Arsenal
Johnny Baguette - Wigan were always a uncompromising proposition under Jewell and Bruce, as we've discovered to our cost. Now there looks to be some fragility in there following Martinez's seeming commitment to entertain. The results so far are baffling yet promise thrills and spills this weekend! I'm looking forward to seeing which Wigan will turn out.
What should we expect
worbo - We will line up with what appears to be a 4-5-1 formation but quickly changes to many different variations as the game progresses, we will play keep ball and be quite content to knock it across the back line in a patient build up, don`t expect any blood and thunder football and keep an eye out for our two centre midfield lads Thomas and Diame, they are awesome.
The big question will be does Martinez start with Jason Scotland and put Hugo Rodallega wide left of midfield or will he revert to having Hugo up front and Scotland to the bench with a return for Jason Koumas or a start for Scott Sinclair.
My guess would be that we will see the same side that started the Hull game with Hugo wide left and Scotland as the striker, but like I say don`t expect any blood and thunder football
Johnny Baguette - City are likely to go after Wigan from the off and aim to get the job done. A lot of the caution we saw fail us on the road last season has gone and when the side get's going it's a whirlwind of fast pass and move with everyone wanting the ball. De Jong/ Ireland and Barry Marshall midfield allowing Bellamy/Petrov, Tevez, Adebayor and Wright-Phillips to tear it up if we go 442 but I'm expecting 443 in this game initially as opposed to the 451 employed throughout the last campaign.
At the back, we're still gelling and if Captain Toure is out injured as I expect him to be, we are sure to be tested. That Rodallega bothers me. We have a fair few out knacked this weekend and defence has the biggest casualties, yet knowing Shay Given is in nets is big reassurance.
And finally chaps, whats your predictions
worbo - I think we will continue our recent good form against City and confidently predict a 2-1 home victory for the Latics
Johnny Baguette - The way I see it, if we score first, it'll be a City win. If Wigan score first and City's makeshift defence wobbles, this could descend into a we'll score more than you classic. This is too close to call. 2-3 to The Blues!
Thanks to Johnny Baguette for the chat, as always its been a pleasure and I know he is a very busy guy so big thanks for finding the time for the cyber meet.
Vital City interview Vital Latics
There is an article entitled The Seven Deadly Questions on Vital City and I give an interview about the game, if anyone is interested just follow this link to read, link
Win Wilson Palacios Shirt Competition With Vital Latics
Vital Latics are giving you all a chance to win a fantastic prize, Wilson Palacios` away top from his last season at the Latics.
Wilson Palacios star of Honduras and now Spurs was a very popular Wigan Athletic player in his time at the club and when he left he forgot to take with him his away shirt which Vital have managed to get hold of and now offer it as a prize to Vital members.
You need to be a Vital member to enter, if you are not already it is quick and easy to join just click here to register and get involved in the Vital family.
To win Wilson Palacios` away shirt simply answer this question.
From which club did Wigan Athletic sign Wilson Palacios:
a) Birmingham City
b) Deportivo Olimpia
c) Deportivo de La Coruña
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:Saturday October 17 2009
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