Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wigan Athletic

Roberto Martinez's boys were hammered again yesterday, and it is only the fact that other clubs have also been hammered so far that is keeping many from banking on relegation for Wigan.

The score-lines have been ugly, but I still think this club will have a decent chance to stay up IF they hold on to all of their players, not to mention change the goalkeeper. Charles N'Zogbia wants away, and he may be their best attacking player. Fullback Maynor Figueroa as well as forward Hugo Rodellega have also been mentioned as possible departures. That is probably Wigan's three best players. A club of this size and scope cannot afford to lose their three best players ten days before the transfer window closes. Chairman Dave Whelan (who named the stadium after himself) has never sold players for purely financial reasons, especially this late in the window, and I just can't see him starting now.

The second issue Wigan have is that they are shipping goals at a shocking rate. It is hard to blame one player when it is this bad, but goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has been dire thus far this season. Truth be told, he has never been more than an adequate keeper. The fact that he made some appearances in goal for England says more about the sorry state of that countries goalkeepers (Joe Hart excluded) than about his own abilities.

The strangest part of the saga in goal is that Wigan have a very good keeper on the bench in Ali Al-Habsi, who has shown when playing for Oman as well as in limited appearances for Bolton that he is a very reliable figure to have in the net. I thought he might be in the starting XI this week, but there is no way he is still on the bench next week.

No comments: