12th Man: Where do we go from here?

Liam Ridgewell

New loan signing Liam Ridgewell

Yet another defeat last Saturday this time to local rivals Bolton in the FA Cup and Wigan’s terrible run of form continues. Malky Mackay has been unable to improve results and has now lost six of his eight games since taking over as manager.

This latest defeat could have been much heavier if it was not for the heroics of Ali Al Habsi. The manager and many of the players should now be taking a very close look at themselves.

The first half performance was simply unacceptable and although there was improvement in the second, it appears that some of the players have lost the desire to play for the club.

If the club is to get out of this downward spiral there needs to be a massive change in attitude. Some of the players may believe they should be playing in the Premier League but they are likely to be playing in League One next season.

With the transfer window upon us it is a great opportunity for the manager to shape his squad, bring in the right type of players and ensure that we keep our best players.

The players must want to wear the Wigan shirt and be prepared to fight to maintain the club’s Championship status.

But so far the signs are not looking hopeful with the rumoured incomings uninspiring. Defender Liam Ridgewell is tipped to come in on a short-term loan from MLS team Portland Timbers and striker Danny Graham who has played for a multitude of different clubs during his career is expected to come on loan from Sunderland.

Some outgoing movement has already taken place with midfielder Roger Espinoza making a return to the MLS with Sporting Kansas City and striker Oriol Riera surprisingly allowed to depart on loan to Deportivo de La Coruna until the end of the season.

Shaun Maloney has been the subject of several transfer enquiries from Premier League clubs and one firm bid has come in so far from Leicester City of around £750,000. His contract is up at the end of the season but the club should do everything in their power to retain him until then.

Maloney is the most skillful player at the club and is currently one of the few capable of turning a game in Latics favour. When he came on at half time against Bolton the whole team was given a lift and he was the architect of all Latics best moves.

Maloney was a constant threat, twisting, turning and probing the Wanderers defence. He set up Wigan’s best chance of the game supplying Chris McCann to centre for Adam Forshaw’s close range header and almost equalised when his late free kick was tipped over by Adam Bogdan.

The Scottish international’s technique from dead ball situations is renowned and he could be a critical force in the fight for survival. A player of Maloney’s abilities should not be allowed to leave when Wigan are in such desperate need of quality.

Bringing in a transfer fee at this stage should not be the priority, but keeping Wigan in the Championship certainly is.

Questions are being asked about the manager’s team selections and now his activity in the transfer market is starting to look suspect.

The calibre of proposed signings doesn’t inspire confidence and making the wrong choices at this stage could be disastrous.

We have now reached a critical point and Malky Mackay’s decisions in the next few weeks will dictate whether Wigan are a Championship or Division One team next season.


About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Ali Al Habsi, Championship, Danny Graham, Liam Ridgewell, Malky Mackay, Oriel Riera, Roger Espinoza, Shaun Maloney, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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