Writer: Frank Ford
Date:Tuesday October 15 2013
Vital Latics Frank Ford takes a look at the need to keep the starting eleven fresh, over to you Frank:
As many of you know this year's campaign to reach the top flight will see the Latics playing a lot of football. Owen Coyle has done a great job of bringing in the right number and right type of players to see us get back to Premier League at the first attempt. The key to our success is taking advantage of our deep squad and picking the right players each game in respect of our schedule.
Goalkeepers - Expect Carson to start all of the Championship games, his form has been great, and has definitely established himself as top goalkeeper. He has started the first two Europa League games. Lee Nichols, I think, will get at least one chance in the Europa League, depending on how we are doing near the end. When Ali comes back I expect the competition to be high with two very solid keepers and a tough choice for Owen Coyle.
Defence - The Latics have 10 defenders currently on the first team squad (excluding Jean Beausejour) able to fill our back four. Barnett and Rogne have looked to be a solid partnership when it comes to our Championship games. Boyce is the clear number one right back, but Perch and Shotton are able to cover. Left back is the real question. Crainey has not gotten off to the best start this season, Latics still have Juan Carlos Garcia on the bench who is yet to make his debut, and versatile Perch can fill in there as well. With Ramis and Caldwell still to return when they recover from injury the Latics look more stable in the back than last year.
Midfield - The Latics arguably have the best midfield in the whole Championship. The midfield is bossed by McArthur and Watson in the centre of the park. Owen Coyle has used Gomez, Maloney, McManaman and McClean to link up with our attack and all provide real threats. The question is who to start on the day.
Beausejour has been excellent so far this season, so puts either McManaman or Mclean on the bench. When Maloney comes back it surely will ask some questions. Gomez has been playing as an attacking midfielder but Maloney may go to that position with one of the two Macs and Beausejour on the wings. The real question is the lack of involvement of Roger Espinoza, he showed some good potential last year. The Honduran has seen little game time this time round and would surely shine at this level. Another player to see little game time is the youngster Nouha Dicko. I think given our hectic schedule both should be given a start and given a chance to show their talent.
Forwards - Two over forwards aged over 30 and a 20 year old are all that are listed as a striker on this year's roster. Owen Coyle failed to bring in a big name striker to help out, but we still have quality. When fit Holt and Fortune have always been one of the better players on the field. Now with the lively Nick Powell, hopefully a partnership can form between Powell/Holt or Powell/Fortune and see the goals flying in.
Picking the right squad will be a tough task for Owen Coyle due to our deep squad this year. We certainty have the quality to go up the Premier League and succeed in the Europa League, it's just a matter of staying healthy and performing.
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Date:Tuesday October 15 2013
Latics To Play MK Dons In 3rd Round Of FA Cup (Sunday December 8 2013)
What The Caretaker Boss Said - Millwall 2 Latics 1 (Sunday December 8 2013)
Millwall 2 Latics 1 (Sunday December 8 2013)
A Wigan Way (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Millwall v Wigan Athletic (Saturday December 7 2013)
The Team Sheets - Millwall v Latics (Saturday December 7 2013)
Millwall v Latics Preview (Saturday December 7 2013)
Uwe Rosler Is The New Wigan Athletic Manager (Saturday December 7 2013)
Meet The Ref - Millwall v Latics - Graham Scott (Friday December 6 2013)
Previous Meetings - Millwall v Latics (Friday December 6 2013)
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