Vital Football

Latest Wigan Atletic News

Villarreal, A Model For The Latics To Follow?

Villarreal, A Model For The Latics To Follow?




On Sunday Wigan Athletic face La Liga side and Champions League qualifiers, Villarreal at the DW Stadium in the last of this preseason's friendlies, Vital Latics member Jonathan Moffatt, aka J_Mo, takes a look at the similarities between the two clubs, over to you Jonathan:

On Sunday, the Latics will host Spanish side Villarreal, a club that has established itself as one of the major teams in the Spanish top flight over the last decade. They made it to the semi finals of the Champions League in 2006, finished runners up in La Liga in 2008, and most recently also appeared in the Europa League semi finals last season. Looking at the success that they have achieved over the past few years, at first glance it's difficult to imagine that a club like Villarreal ever shared anything in common with Wigan Athletic. But digging a little deeper reveals just how similar the two clubs are.

Villarreal, also known by their nickname 'The Yellow Submarine', were founded in 1923, and spent much of their early history as an obscure football club plying their trade in the regional leagues. In 1970, the club achieved promotion to the Spanish second division for the first time, staying there for two seasons, before being relegated and spending the next two decades mostly in the third and fourth tier of Spanish football. This all changed in the 1990s, returning to the second division in 1992 following two consecutive promotions before reaching the top flight in 1998. Although they were relegated after a tough debut season, they made a swift return to La Liga in 2000 and have remained there ever since.

Frequently referred to as the underdogs of La Liga, Villarreal have been punching above their weight for a number of years despite playing in front of relatively small crowds (the club rarely fill their 25000-seater stadium, averaging attendances closer to 18000, but this is still an impressive achievement in itself for a club located in a small city populated by just 50,000 inhabitants.)

Their success has allowed them to attract big names over the last few years - former star players include Juan Roman Riquelme, Diego Forlan, Juan Pablo Sorin and Robert Pires, belying their status as a 'small club'. Also most of the names in the current squad aren't as familiar, they still have ex-Man Utd striker Giuseppe Rossi, who is scoring goals for fun, and Marco Ruben, who some of you will remember we were close to signing 18 months ago.

They have, of course, been helped by the healthy financial backing of chairman Fernando Roig, the owner of a local ceramics business, but it's hardly on the same scale as the staggering amounts of money pumped into some clubs by various American or Middle Eastern billionaires - in terms of wealthy benefactors he is probably more comparable to our own chairman Dave Whelan.

They've also invested sensibly, focussing on improving the club's infrastructure and the youth system, and as a result the club has very strong reserve teams (Villarreal B will play in the second division next season; Barcelona are the only other club that currently have a B team so high up the Spanish football league system.)

The whole point of this article then is to show that perhaps there is some hope for a club like ourselves to progress further in the Premier League than being mired in relegation battles like most seasons so far. The transformation of a team like Villarreal from unknowns to European competition regulars is fairytale stuff, and is something which I'm sure many clubs around Europe would hope to emulate one day.

We'll obviously never be able to compete with the top teams in the league, but like Villarreal, we can certainly aspire to be the 'best of the rest', and hopefully if the club sticks to its long term plan of developing youth and reaping the rewards from it, this goal can be a realistic one.



Bookmark and Share



Join The Vital Debate


















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



Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Jonathan Moffatt
Date:Thursday August 4 2011
Time: 1:52PM

Best of Vital Network

Comments

0
Good article J_Mo, Villarreal show what can be achieved with the right infrastruction, a little patience and a good manager, hopefully we are on similar tracks here at Wigan
worbo
04/08/2011 14:00:00
0
good article i enjoyed reading it,good to see a small team doing well.
johnney handsome
04/08/2011 15:09:00
0
Yep, they have Rossi who scores goals for fun and we have Hugo who misses them for fun. If we have to rely on last years crop then we will again be in trouble. Every team seems to be strengthening except us.
longtom
04/08/2011 15:20:00
0
good article...J_MO longtom.....be nice to read what you pen. can you get past a critical soundbite ?
Thorpyness
04/08/2011 17:15:00
0
Yes, I agree, we should model ourselves on Villareal and play 4-4-2 like them.
WN1
07/08/2011 11:46:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Wigan Athletic Articles

Will Grigg Off To France With Northern Ireland

Will Grigg has been named in the Northern Ireland 23 man squad that will take part in the Euro 2016 tournament in France

Will Grigg Scores His First International Goal

Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg scored his first international goal for Northern Ireland in last night's Euro 2016 warm up game at Windsor Park in Belfast

Wigan Athletic 2016/17 Home Kit

Wigan Athletic have revealed their new home kit for the 2016/17 Championship season

No More Quarter Final Replays For Wigan

Should Wigan Athletic progress through to an FA Cup quarter final from the 2016/17 season onwards, the game will no longer be subject to a replay.

Archived Vital Latics Articles

Vital Latics articles from

Site Journalists

Barry Worthington
Editor email
Profile
Dan Farrimond (JWAW)
no email
Profile
Adam Convery
no email
Profile
Frank Ford
no email
Profile
Noel Wards Leg
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Man Of The Match v Barnsley
Suggested By: Gary Caldwell
Lee Nicholls16%
Donervon Daniels2%
Craig Morgan1%
Jason Pearce1%
Stephen Warnock1%
David Perkins4%
Max Power1%
Chris McCann1%
Yanic Wildschut48%
Michael Jacobs1%
Will Grigg20%
Reece Wabara2%
Ryan Colclough2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Wigan Athletic Results (view all)

Wigan Athletic Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Moonay294
2.Whittleblue290
3.BrickLatic225
4.Thorpyness162
5.Noel Wards Leg105
6.Ihaventaclue98
7.hindleymonwafc90
8.TRUE BELIEVER80
9.Jonny_SuffolkLatic70
10.Barry W68