Wigan Athletic 12th Man - 18/10/12
This weeks Wigan Evening Post 12th Man feature had two contributions from Vital Latics:
Well the seasons momentum has been halted abruptly once more with another international break, the third time since August that the players have been away on international duty, not an ideal situation for any club, but considering the size of our squad and the fact that quite a few of our players have been half way round the globe then you've got to sympathise with Martinez when he bangs his drum about how disruptive all this is.
We don't have the best record from recovering from the excessive travelling, last time out we took a pasting at Old Trafford when fitness levels dropped off the scale in the second half, we looked like a team that was well and truly knackered, the opening game of the season against Chelsea also followed an international break, in the first seven minutes we conceded two goals to lose the match, the Latics players looked like they were still in duty free, definitely not at the races.
Last season's two worst performances came against Bolton and Swansea, both games followed international breaks, definitely a pattern, there must be something in it.
To this week, we face a trek to South Wales to face Swansea on Saturday, Jean Beausejour and Maynor Figueroa are only due back in the UK on Friday after travelling a combined total of 32,000 miles, our left side arriving home the day before a game with more air miles than Richard Branson, anything but ideal. Add to this Arouna Kone was away with the Ivory Coast squad for their game with Senegal when rioting broke out in the stadium, threatening the safety of the players leaving them extremely shook up.
Martinez has asked that all Premier League games following international weeks be moved to Sunday, just to give the players time to re-acclimatise and give the coaches at least one day in preparing them for the games ahead, not an outlandish request by any means and I'm sure it would be welcomed by all managers. After all we want to see teams given every chance to perform to the best of their capabilities.
Goalscorers Scoring Goals
I'm not a fan of international week, as I'm not overly inspired by the England team. More importantly, as has been theorised by others, they never seem to do Latics any good. The 'internationals' continue though as we repeat the first ever 'Premier League' game played outside England with Latics travelling to Swansea.
It is the home game against Swansea that stands out more in the memory of last season, we were rock bottom, beaten by ten men and things were looking bleak. This was the catalyst for the Fans to mobilise in the form of the 'meet and greets'. A positive action which I was proud to be a part of and which helped spur the team onto great achievements over the rest of the season.
It's easy for people to look at the results at the back end of last season and presume that as a team we are not quite as strong as we became back then. I think the contrary is true, even though the results show us to be in a very similar position.
We have goalscorers that have been scoring goals. We have much more momentum than at this time last year and we are still in the cup with a favourable draw. I think we are stronger as a squad, and that the results will come. A decent result this weekend, will see us looking comfortably mid table, looking up and with something to build on.
The above articles first appeared in the Wigan Evening Post on Wednesday, 17/10/2012
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