Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday November 20 2009
In the build up to Sundays game at White Hart Lane between Tottenham Hotspur and Wigan Athletic, Vital Latics and Vital Spurs met up for a cyber chat, worbo from the Latics and OxfordSpur from Spurs, let`s see how it went:
worbo - welcome OxfordSpur, it`s good to talk as they say, I am looking forward to this weekend`s game following the international break, I don`t like too many free weekends it gives the missus ideas.
OxfordSpur - Know what you mean, mine has got me decorating the living room in time for Christmas and the in-laws... I enjoy the internationals, but it does get in the way of real football.
worbo - I am looking forward to seeing Wilson Palacios and how he reacts to playing against us and his good friend and international team-mate Hendry Thomas who has been an absolute revelation in our midfield this season, hands-off 'arry, we have missed Wilson at the Latics, not just for his excellent midfield play but also his enthusiasm for the game, he always played with a smile, how has he settled at Spurs?
OxfordSpur - Wilson has been fantastic for us and has become the main man in our midfield and not only has he added his own quality, but enhanced the games of those around him. The fans love him, not just for his football ability, but also the way he has conducted himself off the field. The loss of his brother has understandably been a massive trauma and was bound to have affected his football and in a strange way the build up to this game may actually reignite the fire in him.
I would hope that Wilson will be ok after the international break. He hasn`t looked himself after his other trips back home this season. Hopefully the banter has been going back and forth between the Honduran players and Wilson is able to show his quality that you have all witnessed.
worbo - You lot are doing quite well so far this season, though the Stoke game must have brought you down to earth with a bump, is this the year that you make a mark and burst into the top 4 or is it just early season promise that`s going to fade when we get to the nitty gritty end come February and March?
OxfordSpur - In truth we haven`t really played well in recent games and have nicked points that last season we would have lost. Top four remains a little beyond us in my opinion, but if we can regain our form of the first few games of the season, we might nick it, but that could be as much down to the failings of others than our own quality.
I actually think we will be fine as the season gets into the final third, as we do have quality in reserve, that the likes of Aston Villa or even Liverpool don`t. Personally I would be delighted with 6th, as the main priority is to see progress.
worbo - Spurs have always been noted for playing decent attractive football but sometimes that has also let you down because you needed some steel in there, I`m thinking down the years, Hoddle, Ardilles etc, at present you have the nice footballers in Huddlestone, Kranjcar, Modric etc but have you also got that steel?
OxfordSpur - The boy Palacios isn`t too shabby in this department, while Jenas and Huddlestone can put their foot in, although it isn`t really their main strengths. I agree that we have traditionally looked to be style over substance, but I think that Harry is looking to improve the side not just physically, but mentally, which has been our main weakness for me.
You can have as many kickers as you like, but if they are lacking heart and fight, they will always be prone to capitulation.
worbo - During the close season we got a new manager, Roberto Martinez, he is an absolute gem, we play patient possession football, we make over 500 passes per game and you will find it difficult to get the ball once we have it.
Now the new boss has also brought in some new players, I have already mentioned Hendry Thomas, he is steel, the top Premier League tackler so far this season, fantastic, but we also have signed a young French lad that was playing in Spain`s 2nd division, Momo Diame.
Diame is superb, destined for the very top, I wouldn`t be surprised if he ended up at either Real Madrid or Barcelona for a ridiculous amount of money, he is that good, very impressive, a midfield man not too dissimilar from Patrick Vieira both in physique and playing style, now it is obvious I feel which of our new signings has impressed me the most, which if any of the Latics summer signings have impressed you so far?
OxfordSpur - Your play really doesn`t surprise me as I rate Martinez very highly. I watched several Swansea games last season and was really impressed at the way they played their football and was convinced he would be a great replacement for Steve Bruce.
The main bonus is that you have embraced the chance so well and quickly. My worry was that he could find it tough to alter the mindset of players used to Bruce and his methods, much in the same way Paul Ince did at Blackburn.
When I have watched you I have been impressed with Thomas, but will keep an eye out for Diame, who has to an extent gone under my radar.
worbo - If I could have one Spurs player to bring to the Latics it would be Robbie Keane, he is quality, a goal scorer, can hold the ball up, intelligent and plays with passion, either a lone striker or in the hole, yep Robbie Keane for me, if you had to choose one Latics player to take to Spurs who would it be and why?
OxfordSpur - An interesting pick going for Robbie. Since his return, he hasn`t really set the world alight and is a player the majority of Spurs fans want out of the side. I am a fan of his, although I accept he hasn`t been at his best, but I believe he has been played far too deep where he loses his edge and becomes a cog in the midfield rather than a real danger man in attack. Watching him for Ireland against France, proved he is still a fantastic player, but he needs to be more selfish and look after Robbie Keane instead of prioritising team over self, but then of course he would be labelled selfish....
I have been really impressed with your striker Hugo Rodallega, who looks a real live wire. Add to him your two Hondurans and the likes of Charles N`Zogbia and even an unsung player like Jason Koumas, who I have always liked, and you are a team who can mix it, as well as match any side in ability.
worbo - Like I said I am really looking forward to the game on Sunday but I don`t see us winning, I think it will be a 1-1 draw and I also think we will definitely surprise you with our style of play, you are in for a treat (last time I said that Pompey stuffed us 4-0), so what`s your prediction?
OxfordSpur - Anyone who thinks this will be an easy 3 pts for Spurs is being naive. Your results against Villa and Chelsea tell us that you are a team who we can`t take lightly. Saying that you do look vulnerable away from home and we will have to play better than in recent weeks. If we play to our strengths, I think we should win and will go with 3-1 and Robbie will get one to stick two fingers up to the French. That is assuming that we don`t play him in midfield....
worbo - well it`s been really good talking to you and best of luck for the rest of the season, after Sunday of course.
Vital Wigan are running a competition for three lucky members to receive a Latics WN1 T-Shirt signed by the boss himself Roberto Martinez.
So how do you get to win a T-Shirt signed by the gaffer? Simply answer the following question.
Where is the new Latics WN1 situated?
A - The Galleries
B - The Grand Arcade
C - The Royal Arcade
Send your answer to: email@example.com, be sure to mark your email T-Shirt comp, include your name and a postal address and T-Shirt size required (these will be passed onto Wigan Athletic who will distribute the prize) and Vital username.
Closing date Friday 4th December 5pm
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Friday November 20 2009
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