Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday January 8 2010
Wigan Athletic meet Aston Villa in the Premier League at the DW Stadium tomorrow so in the build up to the game Vital Latics (worbo) met Vital Villa (The Fear) for a bit of a chat about the game, the weather and football finances, lets see how it went:
worbo - First off Happy New Year, I hope all is well with you, did you have a good festive period or like me was you left worse for wear following one too many tipple`s, what a head ache I ended up with!
The Fear - All is good, was a bit miffed we had hired a coach for our semi-final trip to Blackburn Rovers only for it to be snowed off (and the horrible coach company refused to move the booking to next week when it should be played!) moan over! I didn't over indulge over Christmas though, I just spent my time being a bah humbug and moaning like an old git. I love it! Lol
worbo - The last time we spoke was back in August, the sun was high in the sky and we were getting our usual three points at Villa Park and life was good, since then we have had what you could call a topsy turvy few months, we have slid down the league like a sled in the snow and sit precariously above the drop zone, not what we`d have hoped for, hows your season been so far?
The Fear - Been strange hasn't it? Villa's performance was totally shocking; it looked like 'something' had gone on as no one including the coaches/manager/bench looked like they were at the races. Bizarre that you didn't take confidence from that win and that we followed up an awful capitulation (not taking away the victory from you - just our performance was the worst no show I've seen from Villa, especially on an opening day when spirits should be high) that we went up to Anfield and beat Liverpool (well, I guess we'd not go to Anfield and beat anyone else would we?!)
Maybe we lulled your guys into a false sense of security or gave them an over inflated opinion of themselves? Goodness knows how we turned it round but thank goodness we did!
We have had a few poor results, Wolves we should have beaten, Everton at Goodison were injury hit and there for the taking but we only managed a bore draw and losses at Upton Park and Ewood Park were less than impressive but then you mix that with great wins against Liverpool, Chelsea and away at Manchester United plus getting to the semi of the Carling Cup and progressing to the 4th round of the FA Cup. In balance, not bad at all and if we'd brought in a top striker last summer, it could even have been better!
worbo - it looks like there might be a fair bit of comings and goings at the DW Stadium this January, we have already brought one in and let one go with Martinez saying there will be another 5 set to leave, we could do with a bit of quality coming in and a goal scoring forward wouldn`t be amiss, do you anticipate any activity at Villa or are you happy with your lot?
The Fear - No, think we need a striker but not convinced the quality we now need will be available this January and don't think anyone in the Premiership would be keen to sell us what might well be the missing link to us breaking the top four.
We have a good squad now, the missing pieces are those 'world class' quality players, there aren't that many around and we have seen from the Arsenal and Liverpool (at Villa) defeats, it only takes the one world class player to undo any team, even one with as good a defence as ours. Can we attract them to Villa? Well, that is the next stage for our development, watch this space I guess. Can't see it being this January though, still I will keep dreaming!
worbo - There are one or two clubs in the Premier League that seem to be struggling a bit with their finances, we have an old miser in Dave Whelan in charge and he does look after the clubs coffers quite well which is reassuring at times like this, I do feel sorry for the supporters of the clubs concerned though as they face an uncertain future, surely the FA should act to make sure these occurrences don`t be come commonplace, perhaps by bringing in salary capping or something similar, whats your thoughts on this?
The Fear - I'm baffled by the debt. I think the Champions League has led to the ruination of our league though, how can 4th place get you into a CHAMPIONS league? It makes no sense at all. Fancy having fans excited by 4th which used to be 3rd loser.
I hope to see a big boy or two go bust, I guess there will always be some other rich idiot willing to come in and bail them out like Abramovich did at Chelsea but our league won't normalise until some of these debt ridden clubs - who in my opinion make it so the well run clubs like Villa don't really have a chance of getting back to where they once were - go bust or until the rules change so you can't carry such huge debts. Won't happen though, too much self interest and power with the 'big boys'.
worbo - Martin O`Neil has always impressed me, he comes across very intelligent, passionate and he appears to really care about the club, do you think he is the man to get Villa into the top four or will you fade ala last season
The Fear - I think he is as mad as a March hare and a fascinating character! Is he the man to take us to the Holy Grail? I honestly don't know. There are some who are sure he is the messiah - having got soaked at the last few games I see little evidence of that, if he was surely he could stop the rain and snow for me?! - and others that he has taken us as far as he can with his tactics and some of his signings.
For me? On the fence, I have my doubts and then I see some of the performances and think we are building well and just need that missing link of one or two TOP quality players to supplement a pretty useful squad. I hope he turns out to be what we need because the last thing we need is a return to the Doug Ellis days of manager-merry-go-round. Certainly he knows the pressure on him to resurrect Villa and I pray he can realise the dream.
Will we fade this season? I fear a striker injury, we don't have depth there but our defence is pretty solid, so I can't see the same sort of capitulation, just remains to be seen if we can do the opposite and push on, even if only one place higher.
worbo - The weather at the moment is atrocious in and around Wigan, we have a very deep carpet of snow which seems to have been around for weeks!! The word from the club is that the game is definitely on but if you are travelling up by car allow plenty of time and also be aware that some of the carp parks at the ground are shut, our lot last week in the cup game against Hull coped well with the bad conditions and we ran out 4-1 winners, so from that point of view I have no worries about the weather affecting the Latics, what about the Villa though, are you a fair weather team?
The Fear - Not a fair weather team I don't think, John Carew doesn't always look keen on the cold which is strange as he comes from Norway but we have enough battlers to turn up and play in any conditions! Lets hope the game does go ahead, last thing any of us need is a fixture pile up!
worbo - To the game then, I can see us getting our first double of the season and my prediction is a 3-1 home win, with a strong second half from the Latics, how do you see it going?
The Fear - Pretty confident our boys will want revenge on the opening day defeat, I'd take a scruffy 1-0 to the Villa although a bit of entertainment and a thrashing wouldn't go amiss obviously! A win is much needed after the losses to Arsenal and Liverpool though, we have to get the league season back on track.
All the best Latics, well all the best for all but the 90mins v us!
worbo - yeah all the best to you as well in your quest to break into that top four though tomorrow you`ll get a beating aha. Thanks for the chat always good to talk to the Fear and have a safe journey if you`re coming up for the game.
Check out the interview over on Vital Villa
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Friday January 8 2010
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