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Opposite View – Wigan Athletic

Opposite View this week comes in the form of Alan from the Wigan Athletic blog Thas not a patch on Harry Lyon. We asked him his views on the upcoming game and Wigan in general. Here is Alan’s response.

Hi Alan. Thanks for the interview. Wigan got off to a terrible start. What happened against Blackpool?

Basically they caught us cold.  I really don’t think our team were properly prepared for how ‘up for it’ their players would be.  I’m not say that was necessarily down to the manager and staff, I suspect that a few of our lads had taken it for granted that they’d stroll to three points.  They didn’t and we’re still feeling the repercussions.

I don’t think anyone expected the Chelsea result but Wigan are now three games unbeaten. Can you see the Latics staying clear of the relegation zone?

The Chelsea result was always on the cards, when they get into their groove then their like a machine.  That said we made it easy for them with some individual errors.  The unbeaten run should be taken with a large pinch of salt but it’s much more reflective of how I think the season will go with a few good results against teams in the top echelon of the division and hopefully a better shift against teams around us than last season.

We’ve got Wolves and Birmingham up in the next few weeks, games that for different reasons we should perhaps have won last season and didn’t.  How well we do in those this time around will give a clear indication of how we will manage.

That said, it might surprise you to know we kept out of the bottom three all the way through last season, October will be a key month for us this time, but if we can manage to get up to around 12 or so points by the time we play Liverpool on 12th November then I reckon we’ll be safe.

Preston at home in the League Cup after the City game. Do you think Wigan can make it to Wembley?

No, I just don’t think we’ve got a large enough squad, or a strong enough set of kids to carry us far enough without causing problems in the league.  Unfortunately that’s the reality of the early stages of both cups these days.

To put a more positive spin on things, if the draw is kind and we can get to the quarter-finals quite cheaply then why not.  We’ve already shown that we can beat almost anyone given a fair wind.

Turning to the City game, Wigan seem to hold the Indian sign over the blues at the DW Stadium and are yet to be beaten by us. Can you see that run continuing on Sunday?

I feel like a right gloomy bugger today, but no again.  That’s partly because of the attacking quality available to City and partly from a reluctance to predict anything good for Latics in case I put some kind of curse on them.  I’m looking for a competitive performance tomorrow and for us not to collapse if we end up under extreme pressure.  To some extent we need to get back to that “small club with its back to the wall” attitude and Sunday is the perfect sort of game to do that, City’s start hasn’t been the greatest, given that they beat Liverpool so well and I think they’ll feel the need to come at us all guns blazing.

Who in the Wigan line up will pose the biggest threat to City?

It’s anyone’s guess, all of our lot are capable of great stuff on their day, but in general Latics will be hoping for performances across the team.  Our errant left winger Charles N’Zogbia is high on any team’s ‘one to watch’ list and he’ll be looking to get back in the good books but Franco Di Santo who we signed from Chelsea on deadline day had a good debut last week and looks as if he’s got enough about him to unlock most defences, what the hell he was doing playing for Big Sam at Blackburn last season is anyone’s guess.

And who in the City line up will Wigan not want to face?

We hold grudges long and hard in Wigan and the fans will no doubt focus on Carlos Tevez which basically goes back to the season he kept West Ham in the division despite his signing being against the rules.  The player will do well to keep an eye on Adam Johnson though, we’ve looked vulnerable in wide areas this term and no doubt he’ll still be buzzing from his last spell with England.

What do you think the score will be?

I usually try to avoid making predictions like the plague, but seeing as you asked nicely my head says 2-1 City my heart a 1-1 draw.

Where will Wigan finish the season?

Not pulling any punches and at the risk of ridicule from my fellow fans I reckon between 11th and 14th, still bottom half but comfortably so.

And what about City?

I think that football teams take a while to settle down from the sort of investment that you’ve seen over the last couple of years.  City exceeded my expectations a little last season, but I guess only because of the way Liverpool’s season went.  This year I expect them to be competing for 3rd and 4th probably with Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool, which I think should keep people happy.  Next year will be the big one the team have matured together more and I think that you really need to make it a three way race at the top from then on in. 

I am still waiting for City’s knack of making the worst out of the best of any given situation to kick in though, as I suspect are a few of your fans.

Thanks Alan. Hope you enjoy the game and best wishes for the rest of the season (minus the City games of course)

Thanks for letting me spout off, and the same to you (but the other way around, obviously).

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