Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday September 12 2009
Latics take on West Ham today in what boss Roberto Martinez has described as a must win game.
With just the opening day win at Aston Villa to show for the new season Martinez says now is the time to get tough and get another 3 points on the board and add to that last seasons defeat to the Hammers following Lee Cattermoles sending off at the hands of some dreadfull play acting by Scott Parker and a touch of revenge just might be in the air.
Latics have four international players returning from South or Central America, Hugo Rodallega has been on duty with Colombia, Jason Scotland with Trinidad and Tobago and both Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa have been away with Honduras, so the condition fitness wise of these will need to be assessed before Martinez announces his team today.
The last outing at Everton saw the Latics give a good display up until 30 seconds from the end when a rash challenge in the box resulted with a penalty being awarded and ex-Latic Leighton Baines stepped up to smash 3 points into the Goodison Park account, heartbreaking for the Latics but hopefully lesson learned, concentrate to the final whistle.
It looks like being a bright, late summers day so lets hope that the Latics can play some sunshine football and get the three points to jump start the season.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
"We will never rely on our physical ability to win games. But off the ball you have to be more physical because you need the physical strength to compete in the Premier League.
'There`s huge character within the squad and the results hurt. It`s how you react when you are under the cosh that matters."
"We haven`t got the points our performances have deserved in the last three or four matches.
"Apart from the 5-0 defeat to Manchester United, we have been in every single game.
"There are still small details to be ironed out. It shows we are still growing and still adapating to what`s needed in the squad.
"We need to make sure that the DW Stadium is a tough place to come for visiting teams. It`s a must-win game for us.
'West Ham are as brave a side as you are going to see in the Premier League. They have a mixture of youth and experience.
'They rely on their attacking threat to win games and we are very similar."
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola
'Roberto's not got an easy task, because I believe the team is playing differently from how they used to, so he'll have to be patient in imposing his ideas. But he's a good manager and he's done exceptionally well last year in Swansea.
'I'm sure he will get his team playing his own way - hopefully not tomorrow but in the next few weeks! He is a good manager and he will do well.'
Olivier Kapo is still out injured but Jason Koumas is now recovered from the thigh strain that kept him out of the Wales Russia game in mid-week.
Kirkland, Edman, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Scharner, N'Zogbia, Gomez, Koumas, Rodallega, Scotland, Cho, Thomas, Figueroa, King, DeRidder, Pollitt, Amaya, McCarthy, Sinclair, Diame
Hugo has been quite lively in the opening games so far this season, travelled to Colombia but didnt feature in their two games, lets hope he's returned fresh
Alessandro Diamanti and Valon Behrami are available but Kieron Dyer and Luis Jimenez are doubtful, Dean Ashton and Luis Boa Morte are definitely out
West Ham from:
Green, Faubert, Upson, Collins, Spector, Parker, Noble, Jimenez, Dyer , Collison, Kovac , Stanislas, Cole, Kurucz, Gabbidon, Tomkins, Hines, Nouble
Nasty piece of work and following last years disgraceful play acting to get Lee Cattermole sent off Parker should come in for a bit a stick from the home fans
Latics and West Ham have met 14 times in all competitions.
Latics won 4, West Ham 8, Draws 2
Wigan Athletic 0-1 West Ham
Heart says Latics win 2-0
Head says 1-1 draw
Arsenal Vs Latics
Saturday 19/09/09 3pm
Latics Vs Chelsea
Saturday 26/09/09 3pm
Vital Latics have teamed up with the author Ken Barlow to offer one lucky Vital member the chance to win a personalised signed copy by Ken himself of his fabulous new book about life supporting the Latics back in the 1970`s, entitled `Mild and Bitter Were the Days`.
To enter the competition simply answer the following question:
Which league were the Latics in before they gained election to the football league:
A - Southern Premier League
B - Northern Premier League
C - National Premier League
To enter click here don`t forget your name and address in case you are the lucky winner and also include your Vital username, good luck
Date:Saturday September 12 2009
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