Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday August 13 2010
The new season is almost upon us so it must be time to rinse out the mugs and crack open a new packet of chocolate Hobnobs, brew the coffee and enjoy a chat with our opponents ahead of Saturdays game.
The Latics kick off the new season with a home game against newly promoted Lancashire neighbours Blackpool who are making their first top flight appearance since 1971 and meeting up at Vital Towers is Vital Latics editor worbo and his Blackpool counterpart Jack Gaughan, so without further ado:
worbo - First of all welcome to Vital Towers Jack, nice to meet up with you and secondly welcome to the Premier League, this will be your first season in the top flight for a while, are you excited or is that an understatement?
Jack - Unfortunately the feel good factor after Wembley evaporated whilst we were on tour in Devon. It strangely coincided with Franny Jeffers joining the club on trial! But we`ve made a few signings this week and they have served to bulk up the squad which was desperately thin so bring on Saturday!
worbo - We have made quite a few signings since the end of the last campaign most notably Mauro Boselli and Antolin Alcaraz, on top of that we have managed to keep hold of both Charles N`Zogbia (so far) and Hugo Rodallega which are massive pluses, so a good preseason with regards to new recruits at the Latics, how have Blackpool fared in the transfer market, any potential stars brought in?
Jack - We`re fairing far better than we were doing two days ago! Craig Cathcart has come in from Manchester United, as well as Malaury Martin, Elliot Grandin and Ludovic Sylvestre from abroad. Expect the latter two to come straight into the starting eleven on Saturday.
We`ve been knocked back dramatically by Championship clubs, most notably for DJ Campbell, which has been frustrating but the facts are clubs and players simply want too much money and our Chairman has spoken about not putting the club in financial danger if we were to go down in May.
worbo - My hopes for the Latics this season are a comfortable mid-table finish and a run in one of the cups and you know what I can see it coming off, as for Blackpool I really hope you stay up but I fear that due to your squad size you might struggle in the second half of the season similar to what Burnley did last time out, so I`m sorry but I`m tipping you to go down.
What do you see happening for both clubs in the coming nine months?
Jack - Who`s interviewing who here? I didn`t ask for your predictions? Haha! No, seriously, I can see Wigan flirting with relegation again this year, largely because of the type of football you play. Like ourselves, I fear for you playing against stronger sides. If you were to finish mid table, surely games against the Stoke`s and Blackburn`s are key?
As for Blackpool, heart says 17th. Sadly my head says we`ll be relegated but people will be surprised by us.
worbo - If I had to pick out a danger man from the Latics it would be Charles N`Zogbia, he`ll rip you apart if he`s on song, a superb talent, fast, direct, great control and he can shoot.
As for Blackpool I am looking forward to seeing Charlie Adam and if he can carry his form from last season through into the Premier League, he looks a great player, plus I have picked him in my fantasy team so I hope he continues his scoring record, after Saturday of course.
Which two danger men would you pick from the Latics and Blackpool Jack?
Jack - For the 'Pool, other than Charlie, I`d go David Vaughan (cultural central midfielder) and Gary Taylor-Fletcher. GTF is quite deceptive in that he looks like he doesn`t pose a threat but he`s technically sound and a real attacking force.
For Wig`un, you can`t look further than N`Zogbia and Rodallega (who`s in my fantasy team!) can you?
worbo - Our boss Roberto Martinez is a returning hero, a player from the mid 90`s that graced the Latics midfield and I was very pleased when he took over from Steve Bruce as the boss.
Your guy, Ian Holloway is a bit of a character to say the least but in my opinion he`s also a top, top manager, so I was very surprised last season when talking to some Blackpool fans who didn`t rate him? What`s the story there I`d have thought he would be a cult hero?
Jack - Firstly, who are these people?! Remarkable! Opinion was split half and half on whether he was the right man for the job last year when he joined us but he`s been brilliant. We play more attractive football than at least 15 teams in the Premiership (whether that`ll continue I don`t know...) and have attracted players we`d only dream of two years ago.
By the way, I don`t want to disappoint (ok, maybe I do a bit!) but Ollie has dropped the joker act slightly.
worbo - Right Jack down to business, a prediction, we owe you from the tonking you gave us in last seasons Carling Cup, plus we really need a good start to the season, I am going for a closely contested 2-0 home win for the Latics, how do you see it?
Jack - 1-0 to the Seasiders, obviously. Charlie Adam, in front of 4000 'Pool fans.
worbo - Thanks for the chat Jack and good luck for the rest of the season
Catch my return interview over on Vital Blackpool
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Date:Friday August 13 2010
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