A busy week for Wigan Athletic with lots of positives following the Blackburn result. James McCarthy receiving media attention following his two goals and his possible international switch between the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. Dave Whelan announces that he will be writing off £50 million pounds of debt from the club and Roberto Martinez giving a frank and informative briefing to the fans.
James McCarthy only recently returned from a long lay off from injury but has quickly re-established himself in the side with some outstanding performances. Three goals in his last three games has made a significant difference to our results and his all round play has been top-notch. If he continues to perform at this level he will be invaluable in the relegation dogfight. The performances have not gone unnoticed by the Republic of Ireland and Scotland who are vying for his long-term international future. Whichever country he decides to go with will have a gained top player many years to come.
Dave Whelan has been much maligned by some members of our fan base. Many, young and some not so young, fans do not understand the economics of modern football. When Whelan purchased Wigan when they were in the bottom tier of English football in 1995 and he has since presided over their climb through the divisions, as well as overseeing the construction of the DW Stadium. Now he is ready to write off £50 million as he seeks to ensure Wigan are free of debt in advance of his eventual handover of the club.
Whelan says his time as Wigan chairman will be coming to a close in “two or three years’ time” and he is determined to clear the club’s debt before relinquishing his ownership. In order to do so, he will turn £50 million owed to him into equity.
Without Dave Whelan’s investment it is very unlikely that Wigan would be in the Premier League or survived there for the last five seasons. Whelan may have his faults but the great work he has done for Wigan Athletic should never be forgotten.
This week Manager Roberto Martinez, Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson and Head of Media Ed Jones, attended a question and answer session with the fans websites. Roberto gave an intriguing insight into his thinking and his plan’s for the club. Some of the key points to emerge were:
- Youth development will be key to the Manager’s plans. The team had the youngest average age for outfield players in the Premier League against Blackburn.
- According to Roberto relegation is not going to happen. The next 5 games are, on paper, extremely difficult, but he’s looking at the number we will get over the next 12. He believes if we can keep everybody fit we will be okay.
- A big problem for the Latics in recent years has been the lazy, negative coverage of the club by the media, which Martinez admits can sometimes have a detrimental effect on the players.
- On the subject of the rapidly deteriorating pitch, Martinez says the pitch can hurt us just as much as other teams. Injuries can happen much more easily on a bad pitch.
- A small, but very vocal, minority of fans have called for Martinez to be sacked. Yet Roberto prefers fans expressing their disappointment towards him, rather than taking it out on the players.
Liverpool away is never the easiest of fixtures, but since Kenny Dalglish took over their good form has gone to another level. Four wins on the trot and their last result was an away win at Champions Chelski.
I’m expecting a difficult game, but if Wigan can continue their improved form, I’m hoping we can secure a point towards our aim of staying in Prem.