Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday August 13 2010
Wigan Athletic are ready to kick-off their 6th consecutive season in the top flight of English football, the Premier League, the country`s elite and we are part of that band, we are at the party and we are ready to dance.
Newspaper forecasters and so called pundits are once again tipping the Latics for relegation, but to be honest I would be worried if they didn`t also if I am being honest I couldn`t care two hoots what Paul Wilson of the Guardian or Paul Merson of Sky Sports or any of the other so called experts think, the Latics are my team, I know them and that`s what matters to me.
When Roberto Martinez came in to the club as manager in May 2009 he said that he wanted to build a squad of players who can play the game in the right way, on the floor, passing the ball around and not forcing the issue, he also said he wanted his squad to have youth on its side.
A full year down the line and he has made massive changes, out have gone some of the clubs stalwarts like Paul Scharner, Mario Melchiot and Titus Bramble along with what the fans classed as deadwood in the likes of Olivier Kapo and Jason Koumas
Martinez has brought in a fresh blend of youth and experience over the past year, players who can knock the ball around and he has assembled an exciting squad of players that can hopefully carry the club through an exciting and successful season ahead.
Antolin Alcaraz and Mauro Boselli are two players that I am looking forward to seeing play in the next nine months, Paraguay world cup star Alcaraz looks a class addition to the defence, his performances in South Africa were assured and cultured, he looked strong and intelligent in his play and he caught the eye of many respected managers including Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Mauro Boselli is an out and out goal scorer, the type of player that we`ve missed at the club perhaps since the days of Stuart Barlow, someone who`s sole job it is to stick the ball in the back of the net and hopefully Boselli fits the bill.
He arrives at the DW Stadium with a big reputation earned in South America where he was the leading goal scorer in the Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of the Champions League and his preseason form suggests that Latics fans could be in for a treat this season with Boselli about to take the Premier League by storm.
Of Latics first 13 fixtures 8 are at the DW Stadium so this should allow the team a great opportunity to get a good start and hopefully set the season up nicely. If a good start can be achieved the confidence will be high and we should see the team fly considering last season how they still managed to respond even after taking some sound beatings.
The only downside at the moment is the uncertainty over the future of Charles N`Zogbia who is reportedly seeking a move away from the Latics, but even if he did go the money that the club would receive from his sale would help to strengthen the squad even more and in Victor Moses there is a more than capable replacement for N`Zogbia waiting in the wings.
So here we are, standing on the edge of the new season, bright young stars in McCarthy, Diame, Moses, Boselli and Rodallega alongside seasoned pro`s in Kirkland, Boyce, Caldwell, Alcaraz and Figueroa gives genuine reason for optimism and the promise of some exciting times ahead.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Friday August 13 2010
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