Vital Football

Latest Wigan Atletic News

Latics Speyk To Sunderland

Latics Speyk To Sunderland

This week I managed to grab a chat with Vital Sunderland editor and Black Cats fan Tom, we shared a brew and a packet of chocolate Hobnobs, anyway, lets take a look at how it went:

worbo - Hi Tom, good to meet up, how's it going? Can I ask if you are one of the famous, or is it infamous, group of Sunderland fans sliding down the grassy bank at Springfield Park back in 1988?

Tom - It's going well. No I am afraid I'm not one of the fans sliding down the bank at Springfield Park - before my time unfortunately!

worbo - Let's get straight down to it, Steve Bruce, he came in at the Latics when we were really struggling, steadied the ship so to speak and built a half decent side around some good players, Heskey, Zaki, Palacios, Valencia and Cattermole, but then he seemed to get found out around the back end of his last season and we couldn't buy a win, obviously he left in that summer for Sunderland and after starting off quite well it looks like the wheels have come off, what's happened?

Tom - Well that is the question. If Bruce knew the answer to that question no-one would be on his back!

First and foremost, we've lost our goal-scorers. Darren Bent obviously moved to Villa in January, Asamoah Gyan left for a heap of money, and Al-Ain late in August, Frazier Campbell is only just back in training and Danny Welbeck has returned to Manchester United after his loan spell. All that has left us with Nicklas Bendtner, who doesn't look like he will fit in; Connor Wickahm who is young and injured and Ji Dong-Won who is young and very naive to football in this country.

There is clearly a good player in Bendtner just waiting to get out, but he does not suit Sunderland. He is used to playing alongside better players and you can see that he is one or two moves ahead of certain players in the side. When it doesn't go his way he sulks and comes deep or works the channels to try and move the play forward. Wickham and Ji are both young and need time to bed in. If we didn't have these striking problems, they wouldn't have featured as heavily as they have so far.

Secondly, we are missing the excellent loan additions we had last season. The afore mentioned Danny Welbeck was excellent whilst Nedum Onouhah added defensive stability. John Mensah and Sulley Muntari might not have ripped the league up but they are good players and the depth they provided was invaluable.

As a result of losing all those players we have signed plenty too, and thus continuity has gone out the window. Bruce may not have spent as wisely as he could though this summer. £5m on Craig Gardner?! £8m+ on a player with 'potential' in Wickham - we are crying out for a first-team striker ready to get the goals!

worbo - I usually ask opposing fans if they could choose any Latic player to take who would it be but with your track record under Brucie regarding our players I'm a little nervous! Only joking, if you could take one of ours, who would it be?

Tom - Very true! I would have to say Hugo Rodellega - probably the stock answer to be fair, but he is an excellent player. I can only imagine what he would do in a better side. No offence intended; we're not that far ahead of you!

worbo - When Bruce managed the Latics he liked to play a 4-5-1 formation, usually with Heskey out wide on the left, at times it was very negative but when we had our big name players all together we were very hard to beat, how has he got Sunderland playing and are the fans happy with his style?

Tom - It's a flat 4-4-2 usually, but with Bendtner the senior forward, Stephane Sessegnon usually floats around behind in a free role so it becomes 4-4-1-1. When you throw in Bendtner's tendancy to drift it, annoyingly, becomes 4-6-0. Sort of.

The style is fairly unclear. With Bendtner and Wickham on the books, the temptation is to go long but there are good ball-players on the books in Sebastian Larsson, Jack Colback, Kieran Richardson and Sessegnon. Does it appease the supporters? Not really, but if we string a few wins together and have a decent season I think most detractors would quieten down.

worbo - Who should we look out for in the Sunderland side and what are his strengths?

Tom - Larsson and Sessegnon are both excellent. They love the ball at their feet and Sessegnon in particular causes havoc when he runs at his marker. If we were going to score in the 0-0 draw with Fulham on Saturday, it was going to come through Sessegnon who turned Aaron Hughes inside out on multiple occasions.

Larsson has a brilliant set-play delivery on him but can pass too and utilizes his excellent vision in doing so.

worbo - How do you see your season panning out?

Tom - It's not looking too good to be honest. The squad have not gelled and with continued bad luck in the injury department we're down to the bare bones.

Re-enforcements are needed in January, which is essentially accepting that we are in for another season of transition because a good number of players are needed to get the squad into the position which would see it motor up the league.

After last season, we would have wanted a top-half finish, but I really can't see that happening. There are worse sides than us so I am expecting somewhere between 11th and 16thpersonally. That isn`t good enough for the investment made and Bruce would be going if a manager who could progress the club was available.

worbo - Finally Tom let's get down to business, you might be feeling quite confident of turning round your dreadful form that's seen you plummet down the table and fancy your chances of beating us, but I was quite pleased with our performance against Blackburn last week so I am going for a 1-2 away win, what's your thoughts and prediction?

Tom - I'm not confident at all. Owing to Wigan's poor defence I reckon we will actually run in a goal or two. I cannot see many goals in this - 1-0 to the Black Cats.

Ha'way the lads!

Thanks very much for the chat Tom

There is an interview with yours truly over on Vital Sunderland and can be accessed right here

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

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

Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Friday November 25 2011
Time: 9:11AM


Thanks again Tom
25/11/2011 09:18:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Wigan Athletic Articles

Latics v Latics - Big Game Preview

The new pitch has been laid, marked and hovered in time for the visit of Oldham Athletic in what could be a very significant League 1 clash.

If results go our way, come 5pm tonight we could find ourselves in second spot in the league table, a position that would set us up nicely for next week's clash with promotion rivals Walsall, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The last time I was thinking like this with full on confidence was prior to the Blackpool game in December, what a

Early Team News - Latics v Oldham Athletic

Early team news ahead of the big game at the DW Stadium

What The Bosses Say - Latics v Oldham Athletic

In the build up to the game both bosses have been speaking to the media, let's take a look at what they have been saying:

The New Pitch Is Down At The DW

Eurika! Cried the head grounds man, the new pitch is laid and nailed down in time for Saturday's battle of the Latics.

Archived Vital Latics Articles

Vital Latics articles from

Site Journalists

Barry Worthington
Dan Farrimond (JWAW)
Adam Convery
Frank Ford
Noel Wards Leg

Current Poll (see more polls)

Man Of The Match v Sheffield United
Suggested By: Jimmy Crankie
Jussi Jääskeläinen0%
Donervon Daniels2%
Craig Morgan2%
Jason Pearce6%
Chris McCann2%
David Perkins6%
Sam Morsy20%
Max Power6%
Yanic Wildschut48%
Conor McAleny6%
Will Grigg2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Burton 30 20 3 7 63 17
2 Walsall 29 16 8 5 56 17
3 Wigan 30 15 10 5 55 21
4 Gillingham 30 16 7 7 55 19
5 Coventry 30 13 10 7 49 16
6 Millwall 29 14 5 10 47 9
7 Southend 29 13 8 8 47 6
8 Peterborough 29 13 5 11 44 13
9 Port Vale 31 12 8 11 44 -1
10 Barnsley 29 13 3 13 42 6
11 Sheff Utd 29 11 9 9 42 4
12 Bradford 28 11 8 9 41 -3
13 Scunthorpe 28 11 5 12 38 -4
14 Rochdale 28 10 7 11 37 -2
15 Bury 28 10 7 11 37 -7
16 Doncaster 29 9 9 11 36 -4
17 Swindon 30 10 6 14 36 -5
18 Blackpool 29 9 6 14 33 -7
19 Chesterfield 30 9 3 18 30 -12
20 Shrewsbury 30 8 6 16 30 -15
21 Fleetwood 28 7 8 13 29 -3
22 Crewe 29 6 8 15 26 -20
23 Oldham 27 4 12 11 24 -13
24 Colchester 29 5 7 17 22 -32
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Wigan Athletic Fixtures (view all)

Feb 13 2016 3:00PM : Oldham Athletic (H)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Walsall (a)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 27 2016 3:00PM : Bury (H)
Sky Bet League One
Mar 1 2016 7:45PM : Millwall (a)
Sky Bet League One
Mar 5 2016 3:00PM : Peterborough United (H)
Sky Bet League One
Mar 12 2016 3:00PM : Colchester United (a)
Sky Bet League One

Recent Wigan Athletic Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

6.Noel Wards Leg64