Sunday, 29 July 2012

Hoffenheim 1-1 Wigan - Boselli Run Continues

Argentinean international Mauro Boselli netted his third goal in three games, as the Latics drew with their Bundesliga counterparts on Saturday evening.

The game rounded off the club's tour of Austria, and Hoffenheim provided Roberto Martinez men with their toughest challenge, of the pre season campaign to date.

Mauro Boselli

Following the 2-2 draw in midweek against Bulgarian outfit Botev Polvdiv, the Latics impressed up against a strong outfit. Martinez took the opportunity to use his entire squad, fielding ten different outfield players in each half.

A fantastic cross was finished off by Boselli mid way through the first half, the German’s quickly responsed with Mathieu Delpierre’s header beating Mike Pollitt, who was on hand with a couple of key stops.

Many have written off Boselli (myself included),after a disastrous start to life at the DW, if he can finish off pre season in this form he will be given a chance when it matters. His game is very simple, he is a poacher and nothing else, and is what is needed at the club.

As they showed towards the back end of last season,  Martinez's men have plenty of creativity but lack the killer instinct at times. Franco Di Santo needs to have some of the workload lifted from him, and Boselli could well be the perfect solution, and without having to go into the market would free up funds to strengthen elsewhere.

Victor Moses
Elsewhere long term target Ivan Ramis looks set to join newly promoted West Ham, after his agent had confirmed the Spaniard was on his way to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms, following a deal having being struck between the two clubs. Defensive cover is key and as we head into August the new season will be quickly upon us in no time, Martinez will be keen to get a couple of new faces in.

We should get a resolution to the Victor Moses saga, by the end of this week. Unless the Latics’ valuation of the Nigerian international is met in full, he will line up, against his potential suitors in the first game of the new campaign.

Up next are a few Wigan XI games in and around the North West, we will have to wait and see if any of the first team squad will be given a run out in any of the games. The pre season campaign will end in Spain with a game against Celta Vigo a week before the arrival of the European Champions on Sunday the 19th of August.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Latics Land Scottish Star

Wigan have completed the signing of Aberdeen teenager Fraser Fyvie, for an undisclosed fee on a 3 year deal, becoming the first signing of the summer.

Martinez beat off rivals Fulham to the signature of the 19 year old, who has captained Scotland at various age levels.

Fraser Fyvie
With his contract ending in January, Aberdeen have decided to cash in on their academy grown player, who made his first team debut at only 16.

Fyvie's arrival will add much needed cover for the midfield, after the departure of Mohamed Diame on a free at the end of the season. 

Martinez was delighted at his latest recruit from North of the border: "Technically he's very gifted, enjoys playing in midfield where he can cover large areas, he's very powerful off the ball and in possession is someone who can read the tempo of the game very well."

Despite his tender age he has gained a lot of exposure in the top flight in Scotland something, Martinez believes will allow Fyvie to settle in quickly: "Also you have to remember that for such a young player he's played a lot of games in the Scottish Premier League at a high standard which shows maturity."

He joins a growing group of fellow Scot’s plying their trade at the DW Stadium, with Gary Caldwell James McArthur and Shaun Maloney already on board.

Gary Caldwell & James McArthur
With the future’s of a number of the current squad still to be decided, Latics fans can expect to see a few player head for the exit doors. Although Martinez will be keen to add further cover to both his defensive and forward line, before the start of their eighth campaign in the Premier League.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Latics Start Pre Season With A Win As Rodallega Seals Move To London

A Jordi Gomez penalty was enough to ensure that Roberto Martinez’s men got their pre season, off to a perfect start in Sweden. 

In what was a reduced game, lasting 70 minutes played on an artifical pitch, Martinez took the opportunity to give his whole squad some game time. 

Jordi Gomez
Gomez dispatched the penalty confidently, when Ben Watson was brought down, the result signalled a solid start to pre season for the Latics.  

Martinez will be pleased with his side as he looks to ensure they build up, in time for the visit of Champions League winners Chelsea on the opening weekend.
Elsewhere the hero of the 2010/11 great escape, Hugo Rodallega completed his free transfer to Fulham, after failing to agree a deal with the Latics.
He is set to earn a reported £70,000 a week from the move, although his departure leaves the Latics somewhat short upfront.

Mauro Boselli
Franco Di Santo looks set to lead the line once again, but it remains unclear if Martinez is going to look into the market for backup. Flop Mauro Boselli looks set to have at least pre season to impress, as he returns from a season long loan in Argentina.
Rumours are circulating that Irish striker Conor Sammon is set to join Championship side Derby County on loan. As for youngsters Callum McManaman, Nouha Dicko and Rakish Bingham, they are likely to provide cover to the first team, or be sent out on loan for first team action.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Pre Season Awaits

After a few weeks off to digest last season’s goings on, with my season ticket purchased, Latics in a Nutshell returns just in time for the opening of the transfer window.

The immediate post season was an anxious affair for all concerned with the Latics, at one point it looked almost certain that manager Roberto Martinez would be on his way out. Two of the biggest names in England came calling, first of all Aston Villa, as they did twelve months earlier, asked the question, but were quickly rebuffed by Dave Whelan.

Roberto Martinez
That was just the start five times European Champions Liverpool were next to show an interest in Martinez. It seemed almost certain that he would be making the short move to Merseyside but in came Whelan. For a week or so we were all treated to the ‘Dave Whelan’ show, with minute by minute updates of his manager’s movements, and for good measure he threw in the odd one liner.  For me Whelan, is free to say what he likes about his club, he took us to the promise land and we are preparing for an eighth season upsetting the establishment. 

Liverpool eventually decided to go with their ‘first’ choice Brendan Rodgers, who let’s not forget really did just pick up where Martinez left from his time at Swansea.

Despite the constant presence of Adrian Chiles there was something comforting about seeing our man covering the Euros.

As for the playing staff despite the rumours, Hugo Rodallega left the club on a free and former number 1 Chris Kirkland joined Sheffield Wednesday. The main transfer saga looks set to be where will Victor Moses? His agent seems pretty adamant that he is moving, for me Moses is not half the player Antonio Valencia was when he left the Latics and will not improve his game by warming the bench up. One thing is certain Whelan will ensure we get very good money for him.

Victor Moses

As for comings in the Latics could well secure the services of a right back, with the aptly named Rod Fanni attracting some interest, also a winger is on the cards with Moses’ likely move away.
Also with Maynor Figueroa being picked for the Olympics we could well need a left back to also provide cover for injury and so on. Defensive cover is key, the lads who saw the Latics through the run in will be key once again but cannot make it through a full season unscathed.

A striker is needed to share the workload with Franco Di Santo, I’m not convinced with Mauro Boselli and doubt he has the hunger and fight that will be needed.

With the pre season plans now outlined, the Latics are first up this season for Sky sports as we will all be making our way to the DW on Sunday the 19th of August, I for one cannot wait, weekends without football is just wrong.