Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday September 22 2011
This weeks 12th Man fans page in the Wigan Evening Post featured a couple of pieces from Vital Latics:
All Eyes On Franco
With Hugo Rodallega suffering the blow of a knee ligament injury now is the time for Franco Di Santo to step up to the plate and fulfil his undoubted potential. Three goals already from the opening five Premier League games, Di Santo has made the best scoring start to a season of a Latics forward since Amr Zaki burst onto the scene, the young Argentine, yes he`s still very much a youngster having just turned 22, looks all the part a centre forward. He`s started the season off in great style, putting himself about, hustling opposition defences, not afraid to shoot, holding the line well, his link up play has been very good and his goals have been a highlight of the season so far.
The next few weeks will see if the former Chelsea man can maintain his good start and it will be vitally important to the Latics that he does, Rodallega has been topping the scoring charts at the club for the past two seasons, it`s not been the quantity though but rather the importance of his goals that have meant so much to the Latics, scoring winning goals has been an art that the Colombian striker has perfected and who can forget that 78th minute headed winner at the Britannia Stadium on the final day of last season that sealed our Premier League status for another season.
So with Hugo now out of action for the foreseeable future all eyes will be on young Franco, indications so far seem to suggest that he will carry on in his good vein of form, his manager is behind him saying that his 'mentality is superb` and that he is 'ready to fulfil his potential`, the fans are behind him and even adapted the old Paul Scharner song in his honour, 'he comes from Argentina but now he`s a Wiganer`, Franco all eyes are on you.
Bouncing Back When The Chips Are Down
Throughout last season there were signs that the team had spirit, quality and the odd touch of class, Spurs, Blackpool and Stoke away, Birmingham and West Ham at home. It was clear that despite the league situation, we had what it took to achieve the main goal of staying up. These good performances were of course interspersed with lapses, errors and results that would have been pointed out as the obvious signs we were not good enough had we failed to survive. Reading the mixed signs and predicting the right outcome is difficult to say the least, with only Roberto and a few stalwarts getting it right last season before the 20/20 hindsight was available.
I reviewed the fixture list for what I would consider the early season pointers to our final position. 5 games in and we are starting to discover how our season will shape up. It seems we are starting this season in much the same way as we played most of last season, with mixed signs. We started with reasonable if not spectacular results, followed by 2 losses in what you have to describe as tough games.
On Saturday I was listening to radio commentary, and it sounded that we played average, but still were well worth a draw - positive signs. Others I`ve spoken to were less impressed by our display, and of course we lost - negative signs. I think the jury is still out on which way it will ultimately go, but whilst we might not be playing at our best, it`s not hard to spot 3 worse teams in the league. Also worth remembering is that one of the keys to last seasons success was bouncing back from poor results. Our best results came from when the chips were down. Here`s hoping.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Thursday September 22 2011
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