Shaun Farrell continues his series of articles looking back at the 2009/10 season, over to you Faz:
Whether you love them or hate them the lads pulling the shirt over their head on match days are the ones who can make or break our season. Arguably this year we`ve had some outstanding contributions but we have also had more men go missing than planes in the Bermuda Triangle. Therefore I`d like to take a look at the contributions of the players that have already been at the club.
I hope he doesn`t read this but in my opinion Chris Kirkland has taken a backwards step this season. Last year we called for him to be England`s number 1 but the fact those chants have dried up point to me that I`m not the only one with this point of view. Chris seemed to have found a training regime that made sure he was injury free for the majority of the season and his shot stopping and presence seemed to improve with the former Villa keeper Nigel Spink, however with the new manager came Bergara from Swansea and leaving with Spink seems to be Kirkland`s form. This year we have seen a poor shadow of the man whether it be his distribution, his cross taking, his jumping or his diving it seems something is bothering Chris the question is what?
Mike Pollitt the old man of the team hasn`t really been called on this year yet when he has he has looked like it is time for him to move onto the coaching side. I for one hope he stays with Wigan if only to keep the morale as he really is one of the good guys of the team and someone that young and old all respect.
Richard Kingson, yes believe it or not he is still with the team although I`m pretty sure that he won`t be here by the start of next season.
Overall it`s been a hard season for the defence. Even ignoring the 9-1 and the 2 Manchester United games we have still conceded 50 goals this season. Whilst some blame can go to the keepers we have to say that up until January the forums were flocked with people criticising how a top 7 defence could drop to a bottom 3 defence whilst keeping the same personnel.
We`ve lost speed on the flanks for 2 very different reasons. Mario this season has reached the very end of his top level career. It was said last season his legs were going but this year you can see he is taking a smaller slower stride which says he is either scared of a injury or his knees just can`t do it anymore. The other side has had a torrid season because of off field issues namely the tapping up by Picasso. Even when Figgys had a good game the fans haven`t really got behind him because he`s a become a hate figure, he`s a bit like the Royals in that you know had the Nazis taken over they`d be firmly rooting for Hitler. Fig`s had one foot in Sunderland all season and in doing this I think he may have cost himself a move to a bigger team!
In the Centre we have had Titus and Boyce (although we have all tried to get Boyce at RB since Caldwell came in) and they`ve both been dependable if not excelling this year. I would still say though that hand on heart we have the best defence in the bottom half of the table, we are just not playing like they are.
Our Defensive midfield pairing obviously took a knock at the very start of the season with the loss of Michael Brown and Lee Cattermole but I don`t think any of us would want them back after seeing the players we have been able to replace them with. In fact dare I say our midfield has been the strongest area of the team this season.
All this without having a recognised RW in our squad. In fact the form of Charlie on the right wing has been our catalyst for staying up. I strongly believe that N`Zogbia is the best player to ever play for Wigan and it`s a pity that he is being overlooked by France and England for the World Cup. This season we have seen teams try to kick him, man mark him, Double mark him and even triple mark him yet he has always produced even if sometimes we would of rather him passed the ball (although if I was him and saw Scharner free I wouldn`t pass). I can count on 1 hand the number of bad games he has had this season and as such its only right that he`s a shoe in for Player of the Season.
Obviously with the overall of the playing squad we had to rely on playing everyone`s favourite Austrian (well its either him or Hitler) in the midfield. If Bruno needs any proof that he is not a midfielder then show him the tables from the 2 seasons that he has played their. Both show Wigan as relegation candidates yet in his mind hel probably think he managed to keep the club up single handily whilst playing fly goalie! I`ve nothing against Scharner off field but if your best position is in Defence you don`t demand to play in midfield or demand a transfer to a bigger club. I`ve never seen a player go one on one so many times and miss and that includes Emile Heskey.
Jason Koumas is a man wrapped in a enigma. On his day he has the talent to be at top 4 club as we saw against Aston Villa on the first game of the season where he not only ran the show but got on the score sheet as well, however since that game he`s done his usual fall from grace and decided to self implode if the rumours are to be believed. This is a player who both Gerrard and Carra mention as being the best player in the same youth teams at Liverpool as them yet he never made the grade due to off field issues…..a bit like his life here at Wigan. Maybe he should take a look at Ben Watson!
We started the season with 2 strikers already on the books by the end of October we had lost one of those to the British Prison Service football team although I don`t think any of us saw that as a loss. Hugo has performed remarkably this season as a striker on the Left Wing yet he has continued to score when given the chances. Its no surprise that Big Teams like Arsenal and Liverpool are closely watching him yet I think he needs to improve his penalty technique before a transfer. I just hope that Hugo`s move to the big time doesn`t mean him sitting on the bench for the majority of a season as he is an exciting footballer who could with the right move be a big star!
So overall we have to say that the majority of players have worked hard if not getting the results they deserve it`s just a pity that we have some players in the squad that think they are better than the rest!
Let`s just hope in the next window we clear out some of the Deadwood and bring in some more new exciting young stars!!!!!!!
Faz`s other articles:
Seasonal Expectations and Targets
Transfers In and Out
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