Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors fan Adam Conroy has been threatening to this for a few years now, so here is his inaugural piece on Cockney Latic…. I have no doubt that future episodes will have a few more contentious issues, but hey, what the hell.
Well the football season is back, and even though I don’t have the same empty summer that some have, I’m glad. No doubt after 6 or 7 games I’ll be wishing it away again and wondering why I bother, but isn’t that what sport is all about?
The summer from a Latics fans point of view seems to have been constant checking of Sky Sports News to see if Charlie had left or not. I was hoping he’d stay simply because towards the end of the season I thought we were starting to show signs that Bob’s tactics were working (and he’s our best player of course). We put some very promising displays in that had me thinking if we could keep the nucleus of the squad together (by that I mean the likes of Watson, McCarthy, Charlie, Hugo, Moses and Momo) and add to it slightly with Ali (happiest I’ve been with a signing in a long time) a new Centre Back to replace Barry Chuckle and a goal scorer we could easily dream of a top 10 finish. Alas, we’ve probably lost the one that we needed the most from that list.
I don’t tend to do friendlies as well, honestly, they bore me and seem to have no indication on the season at all (unless it’s a good away day like Leeds and Sheff Weds were) but from what I’ve read it seems that Moses has really stepped up a gear. I think he would have probably been in the side anyway with Clev heading back to United so we still need to find another wide player. Hugo out wide with the fish through the middle maybe? Not sure that would work. Gomez on the right? Please God no. Is SWP the answer? Yes and no in my opinion. I don’t think he’s been half the player since he went to Chelsea and had the life sapped out of him (which I think has happened to the likes of Steve Sidwell too) but if we can give him regular football and a key role in the side then maybe, just maybe, we can resurrect his career like we did with Heskey. The fact is though we need an out and out winger whoever it may be.
The three promoted clubs up first. The sort of start that could see us in a relegation fight from the off, or give us a huge springboard towards a top 10 finish. As always I look at the fixtures and think to myself ‘who is likely to be fighting the drop?’ They are the games we MUST take points from as we don’t want those sides stealing a march on us or we’re in a relegation fight. Lets be honest we aren’t going to pick too many points up against Utd, City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs or Liverpool. Yes we’ll get the odd good result, but we can’t really rely on that so the games against the likes of Wolves, Blackburn and the three promoted sides are huge. The worst time to play them? The start of the season. It seems that at least one side goes on a run and wins games you wouldn’t expect. We were 2nd for a few weeks and won away at Everton, at home to Newcastle and finished 10th. Reading finished 8th I think it was and recently Blackpool beat us 4-0 (nobody would have called that) and hovered around the top 4, Burnley beat Man Utd and Hull City won at Spurs, Newcastle and Arsenal. My point is, they won’t be the easy games that they may be come November/March time but we need to take points otherwise we’re behind the three sides that will probably go down already and then face the likes of Chelsea and Spurs who we’ll more than likely lose against heavily. I’d have much rather had Stoke, Newcastle and Fulham. Struggle in these three games and it could be a loooong season.
I’m absolutely crap at these usually but here goes. I don’t think City will win the league or finish in the top 2 even because I don’t think Mancini has the man management skills needed with a squad like that. He can only pick 11 players at a time and that leaves a good 3245 that won’t be happy sat in the stands or on the bench. If he tries to please them all and rotate the side then they’ll struggle. If he has the balls to say ‘This is my starting XI, and I’m sticking with it for the majority of the time’ like Jose did at Chelsea and Fergie does at United then they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think he has the balls to do that though and slowly but surely they’ll implode. I think Chelsea will be the side to watch and that is where my money is going for the title. I even think Torres will find his form and repay the £50m they spent on him.
Anyway that’s enough from me; I’m off to dream about August 27th and Wembley. Yet to visit the new one as I said I wouldn’t go until I was watching either Latics or Warriors so any advice of pre-match watering holes would be appreciated. I know the majority of you will hope I have a terrible day (well, that the result is terrible anyway) but I think it’s our year and the trophy is coming home. Let’s hope either the FA Cup or Carling Cup is sat next to it in the trophy room next year. Here’s to a good season. I hope.
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