Date:Sunday February 20 2011
Just how important is James McCarthy to Wigan Athletic?
Having only turned 20 in November, the influence on the team of the former Hamilton Accies star is far greater than what it should be, and that isn`t a slight at the Latics but recognition of what a great talent McCarthy is.
After forcing his way into the starting eleven last January, McCarthy made himself a permanent fixture in the Latics midfield with some excellent performances at the back end of last season, at times it was hard to believe he was still only 19 such was the maturity of his play.
So it was set-up for the youngster to flourish this season. We`ll forget the opening two games against Blackpool and Chelsea, as a whole the Latics were awful, but in the next league game away at White Hart Lane, McCarthy put his stamp on the midfield as the Latics returned with 3 points after beating Spurs in their own back yard.
The seven league games that followed Chelsea saw the Latics pick up 10 points and suffer just one defeat, against Manchester City, in these seven games McCarthy was excellent, full of energy, supporting both defence and attack, a true box to box midfield player, unfortunately in the seventh game the young Scot suffered ankle ligament damage and missed the next fourteen Premier League matches.
Some say that you realise just how good a player is when he is out, well without doubt McCarthy was sorely missed, those fourteen games without the influential midfielder saw a return of just 12 points, six defeats and a disjointed midfield that looked like it needed some inspiration.
McCarthy made a goalscoring return to action when he started the game against Aston Villa on 25th January, unfortunately he could not help the Latics avoid defeat but his presence in the team certainly brought about a greater sense of urgency to the rest of the midfield.
Since the loss to Villa, the Latics have played three Premier League games, McCarthy has started all three, scored another two goals and inspired a win and two away draws, that`s 5 points from three games.
The stats back up the importance of James McCarthy to Wigan Athletic, but to be fair stats can be manipulated, but what cant be manipulated are, his presence on the pitch, his running, tackling, supporting play, enthusiasm and his never say die attitude.
McCarthy makes the team play, he is the rhythm, the heart beat if you like, that drives the rest on.
Just how important is James McCarthy to Wigan Athletic? Extremely important and with a fit McCarthy in the team the odds on avoiding relegation must massively improve.
James McCarthy is the Latics heart beat
All in-article photo`s courtesy of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Proud
Fancy writing an article about the Latics? Why not get in touch, we are always looking for new contributors, after all we are all Latics fans here and want to get the Latics message to the world, so if you have a favourite match or Latics memory get it jotted down, or whatever you want to say put it into an email and send it to us here at Vital Wigan
To get your article published just click here and we will put it onto the site
Date:Sunday February 20 2011
12th Man - Let's Put The Frighteners On Fulham (Friday October 31 2014)
Any Previous? Latics v Fulham (Thursday October 30 2014)
PWU Latics Podcast - A Ghost In My House (Thursday October 30 2014)
James McClean Named In Rep of Ireland Squad (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Fixture Change - Boro Away Day Brought Forward (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Roger Espinoza Vital Man Of The Match v Derby (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Vital Office Party Tickets - Supporting Alder Hey (Tuesday October 28 2014)
Latics To Go All Star Trek With Brighton Beam Back (Tuesday October 28 2014)
Meet The Ref - Latics v Fulham - James Adcock (Tuesday October 28 2014)
'Family Day' - Latics v Fulham - Special Offers (Monday October 27 2014)
|18. Leeds Utd||14||4||4||6||-4||16|
|Boro visit New York Stadium
» Middlesbrough : 31/10/2014 13:11:00
|Head coach hails squad
» Middlesbrough : 31/10/2014 13:06:00
|The Opposition View - Blackburn
» Reading : 31/10/2014 13:00:00
|Defender back at Boro
» Middlesbrough : 31/10/2014 12:57:00
|Defender seeks killer touch
» Middlesbrough : 31/10/2014 12:49:00