Writer: Pete Reece
Date:Thursday September 5 2013
Wigan Athletic Have Attracted The Numbers This Summer But Will There Be Room For Its Academy Graduates?
Deadline day of the transfer window has become one of the great pieces of theatre of modern day football. We are well used to the drama involved as the witching hour approaches while this year's close also brought a large dose of farce with huge embarrassment suffered by some of the biggest names in club football.
In the case of Wigan Athletic, we made more headlines for who was leaving on deadline day but the measure for us has to be 'Is our squad now of promotion chasing standard?' While everyone will have their own opinions, an in-depth look at our new squad is revealing.
We now not only have two players for every position in the team, for some positions we seem to have more (although with the rigours of a 55 game season that seeming extravagance will perhaps soon turn into a necessity). Listing all players from goalkeeper onwards with their replacements in brackets illustrates the point.
Carson (Al-Habsi, Nicholls, Pollit)
Rogne (Shotton, Caldwell)
McArthur (Espinoza, Fyvie)
Maloney (McManaman, Dicko)
The picture seems slightly less rosy when the injuries to Al-Habsi, Caldwell and Ramis are taken into account. These mean that with further injuries or suspensions to the back line we are looking at utility players, such as Perch and McCann, as the replacements. Also, as has been discussed at great length on the forum and acknowledged by Owen Coyle, the squad looks bare in attack, a fact which was made astonishingly obvious with Holt's injury and Fortune needing to be substituted after working so hard last Saturday. The Latics' fans hope the powers-that-be have back-up options in the loan window.
However, even if we accept, perhaps with reservations, that the numbers may be there for a long season, we still must ask if the quality is there for a successful one?
The answer to that can only really be given in May but in reputation terms the club surely has what is needed. When all are fit, we have most of the players who featured for us regularly in the Premier League and we know their quality. Maloney is obviously at the forefront of our minds here but the other midfield players are also probably too good for this division.
If we can get Al Habsi and Caldwell back to the form and fitness of two years ago plus Boyce and of course Ramis, then we could have the best defence in the Championship.
In attack, the signing of Grant Holt was seen as a major coup but where will the goals come from when he's not playing? Surely the answer to that conundrum is the same as last year. Kone contributed thirteen goals, leaving the likes of Maloney and Gomez to chip in and others to boost the tally when needed. Already we can see a similar pattern developing this season.
Additionally, the players recruited have promotion experience and/or enough on their c.v. for us to be reasonably confident that they will get the job done for us. In most cases it is perhaps too early to comment on their performances but Carson has done well and Rogne was possibly man of the match in his first league game.
So is everything rosy in the Christopher Park garden? Perhaps.
Discussion of the squad's abilities should not take place without mentioning the potential contribution of our young starlets. Jordan Mustoe and Danny Redmond have already appeared for the first team and Rob Kiernan is also in this year's squad. Owen Coyle has been sufficiently impressed with Adam Buxton and Rakish Bingham to take them to America and now send Bingham out on loan. Mustoe, Redmond and Kiernan have already benefited from loan spells at League One and Two teams. The question is now, are they ready to make the step up?
They are all 22 years of age, the same age as Callum McManaman. Will they be given the same opportunities he was last year or will it be deemed too risky given the push for promotion? Coyle says he has always given young players their chance (and Bogdan at Bolton was definitely one of those) but there is the concern that he will feel the pressure too much this year and succumb to other priorities.
Surely a young player like Mustoe, who made fourteen appearances for Carlisle in League One in the second half of last season, deserves his chance to be competing with Crainey and Garcia for the left back spot one division higher. Or will this be another case of a young English player unable to break through the ranks?
One thing we do know is that Dave Whelan is about to invest heavily in upgrading both the first team training facilities and the club's academy. Under the influence of Coyle's predecessor, Whelan agreed that the future for Wigan Athletic is to be found in developing its own young players in a way and of a magnitude not seen before in WN5. He more than anyone else will be keen to see that our young players make progress and that Roberto Martinez's aim of introducing one young player per season into the first team is fulfilled.
It would be a folly of the highest order not to give these players an opportunity but with Coyle's reputation and Whelan's wish for an enduring legacy, there are grounds to be positive that the impressive squad already assembled may well find itself strengthened from within as the season progresses.
The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download.
If you would like to get involved in the podcast or have any topics that you'd like to be discussed please get in touch at email@example.com marking your email PWU Podcast
The podcast can be downloaded from itunes or via our hosting site www.buzzsprout.com or by simply hitting the play button on the embedded player below
Thank you very much for listening, your support is very much appreciated
Previous podcast episodes can be accessed at progresswithunity.blogspot.co.uk
You can listen to the podcast on various equipment, please check manufacturer's instructions
Date:Thursday September 5 2013
What The Boss Said - NK Maribor 2 Latics 1 (Thursday December 12 2013)
Stats: NK Maribor v Wigan Athletic (Thursday December 12 2013)
Latics Europa League Team News From Maribor (Thursday December 12 2013)
Maribor v Latics Europa League Preview (Thursday December 12 2013)
PWU Latics Podcast - What Are Words Worth? (Thursday December 12 2013)
Get The PWU Latics Podcast App - It's Free (Thursday December 12 2013)
Uwe Rosler Makes His First Signing (Thursday December 12 2013)
Wigan Athletic - The 12th Man - 12/12/13 (Thursday December 12 2013)
What The Boss Says - NK Maribor v Latics (Wednesday December 11 2013)
James McArthur - Man Of The Match v Millwall (Wednesday December 11 2013)
|6.||Noel Wards Leg||87|
|Watford youngster joins Wealdstone on loan
» Watford : 13/12/2013 00:15:00
|What The Boss Said - NK Maribor 2 Latics 1
» Wigan : 12/12/2013 23:46:00
» Wigan : 12/12/2013 23:23:00
|Stadium Plans Announced
» Q.P.R. : 12/12/2013 22:57:00
|LUFC McDermott to speak with Diouf in January
» Leeds Utd : 12/12/2013 21:31:00
|LUFC McDermott was keen to keep Blackstock
» Leeds Utd : 12/12/2013 21:13:00
|McDermott - Pugh role model for those not playing
» Leeds Utd : 12/12/2013 20:48:00