Opposition View: Wigan Athletic
By Ric Turner, Wed 07 September 2011 13:59
Ahead of Saturday's game against Wigan Athletic, Bluemoon caught up with Paul from Wiganer.net for a lowdown on the opposition...
Who do you think will be Wigan's key players this season?
The departure of Charles N'Zogbia has seriously shifted the demographic of the squad. He was by far and away our key attacking player and whilst Victor Moses certainly looks to be a big talent, there is much more emphasis on the team aspect of our play.
Along with Moses, Hugo Rodallega, Franco Di Santo, Jordi Gomez, and James McCarthy are going to be key if we are going to score the goals to keep us in the division.
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
Very happy. Roberto Martinez has said all along that he wants to keep aside some of the N'Zogbia money to develop the training ground and he has been able to do that.
The addition of Al-Habsi between the sticks was our main target whilst Albert Crusat and Shaun Maloney will hopefully offer us further depth going forwards.
David Jones has arrived on a free transfer from Wolves and he will add depth to the midfield whilst Patrick van Aanholt could be an interesting loanee at left full back.
What are your expectations for this season?
First and foremost we are looking for survival and anything beyond that is a big bonus. I hope we have enough to earn an eighth season in the top flight and possibly a cup run along the way?
Are you happy with the manager?
Roberto Martinez is the best thing to happen to Wigan Athletic since Dave Whelan. He has the club's interests 100% at heart, as shown by his rejection of Aston Villa this summer.
He is building a football club rather than just a first eleven. We have a solid core of young players who are playing exciting football to watch. Whilst we may not be battling for Europe or trophies, we're certainly punching well above our weight.
Are there any rising starts in the squad that we might not have heard of?
We have the usual suspects of James McCarthy and Victor Moses but the lesser known names would be Lee Nicholls, our England under 20 international goalkeeper, and striker Callum McManaman, also an England under 20 international.
McManaman in particular is being tipped to play a role for the first team towards the end of the season.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
I think Yaya Toure would be a great addition to our midfield but Vincent Kompany would be the man I'd love to see in a Wigan shirt.
He has really grown during his time with City and is now amongst the best centre backs in the world.
I'd be tempted to say Tevez or Silva, but I think we need a strong character like Kompany more than we do a fancy striker.
What is your perception of City as a club?
As a club City are obviously not short of a few bob, with most of it coming from the Middle East.
In terms of the supporters, it is without doubt a pleasure to see the blue half of Manchester doing well, and with any luck you will pip United to the title.
I can remember the visit of City to Springfield Park back in Division 2, as it was then, and my first ever visit to Maine Road. Shaun Goater's handball apart I enjoyed the day and was certainly amazed by the loyalty of the City support.
Likely Wigan starting XI for Saturday, and score prediction?
Al-Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Lopez, Figueroa, Watson, McCarthy, Diame, Di Santo, Moses, Rodallega
Score prediction: 2-0 City