Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday December 19 2009
In the build up to the big game on Monday between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers Vital Latics met up (cyberly) with Vital Bolton for a chat about the game, the season and life in general, as usual representing the Latics was worbo and this week centrelink1 joined in the fun as well, from Bolton Richard McCormick sampled the hospitality of the mince pies and festive music at Vital Towers, lets see how it went:
worbo: Hi Richard, hope you are well, looking forward to Christmas?
RMc: I don`t really do Christmas, apart from the drinking excessively bit, but there is plenty of football to look forward to, so that`ll do me.
worbo: I see your results have started to pick up of late and that win against West Ham was a great result, an early Christmas present from Megson to his doubters, what are your thoughts on the ginger one, is he the guy to keep you up or should you get shut and bring in someone new?
RMc: I suggested we jettison Megson at the end of last season, with thanks for the work he`s done in stabilizing Bolton as a club. Sadly, the chairman was too dim to take the advice.
Megson has too many shortcomings as a manager to succeed at the top level, so I`d prefer we look for someone else. Of course that`s easier said than done. There aren`t a lot of able candidates out there, especially ones who can work with a limited budget.
worbo: You have in your ranks two players that we were apparently close to signing at one stage or another in the past, Johan Elmander and Ivan Klasnic, to be honest Elmander hasn`t impressed me when I have seen him but Klasnic looks like a true goal scorer and could be a good signing for you, what are your thoughts on the pair?
RMc: Klasnic is a real find. Quick and alert around the penalty area and the best in the box goal poacher we`ve had since Stelios. I hope we can make the deal permanent.
Elmander`s had a bit of a nightmare with injuries, a loss of form, a lack of confidence and a team that don`t play to his strengths. He`s capable of much better than he`s shown so far, but I fear we won`t see that while he`s wearing a Bolton shirt.
worbo: I have with me one of our overseas fans centrelink1 who lives in Perth, Australia and he would like to ask you a few questions Richard if that`s ok.
centrelink1: Earlier in the year, a rumour went around about a merger between our two clubs. Personally I think it was a wind up but we had some fun thinking of appropriate names for the new club. What are your thoughts and for interest`s sake, what would you like the new club to be called?
RMc: It`s the first I`ve heard of it. Given the antipathy between fans of the two clubs, it`s bound to be a wind up.
Rivalry aside, I like the idea of two smallish, unfashionable clubs being in the Premier League. Why change that for one slightly bigger unfashionable club playing in the Premier League?
A fist fight between Phil Gartside and Dave Whelan to decide who gets control of the new outfit might be fun, but apart from that the idea has no merit. In the extremely unlikely of it happening, I`d like the new club to be called Bolton Wanderers.
centrelink1: We look at this as a big game each year, local rivals and usually round about each other in the table, I know for some Latics fans this is the must win game of the season, are there any games you would rather win than this one?
RMc Wigan fans don`t much like Bolton, so it`s always good to get a result against them. A pity we haven`t done so that often of late.
I might not be typical in this, but the team I enjoy beating most is West Ham. Their fans and the media haven`t forgiven us yet for surviving relegation at their expense in 2003. The howls of anguish as we beat them yet again are always great fun.
Turning Arsenal over in the Allardyce days was always enjoyable as well, if only to hear Arsene Wenger moaning.
centrelink1: Wigan have become very inconsistent or unpredictable, but one thing that you can be sure of is that we will try and keep possession as much as possible and play a fluent 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation, what can we expect from Bolton?
RMc: I don`t know what to expect from Bolton these days, and I suspect our manager doesn`t either. The safest bet would be a 4-5-1 with Kevin Davies ploughing a lonely furrow up front.
centrelink1: You have already spoken about Megson but what are your thoughts on Roberto Martinez, do you rate him?
RMc: Martinez did good things at Swansea, but managing in the Prem is a different matter, just ask Paul Ince. So far he`s done ok, but it`s a little soon to judge.
centrelink1: A question to both worbo and Richard, if you could have one player from the other team, who would it be?
worbo: Jussi Jaaskelainen is a class keeper and I would have loved to have him sign for the Latics a couple of years ago, but at 34 he is getting on a bit, Gary Cahill looks to have found his feet and he is playing very well at the moment and scoring goals, we are a little short of defenders at the club so it would be Cahill for me.
RMc: We`re short in midfield, so I`d take Maynor Figueroa, and not just because of that goal last week. (he`s a left back Richard)
centrelink1: Finally I see us winning this game 2-1 and getting some Christmas cheer, what`s your predictions?
worbo: A scrappy 1-0 Latics win for me, with big Jason Scotland ending his goalscoring nightmare with the winner.
RMc: A 1-1 draw with Bolton yet again failing to keep a clean sheet.
worbo: Thanks very much for the chat Richard, have a great Christmas and good luck for the rest of the season, after Monday of course and a big thanks to centrelink1 joining us all the way from sunny Perth.
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Saturday December 19 2009
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