Early doors – Latics preview

Will Grigg Wigan Athletic

Will Grigg could be the goalscorer Latics have been crying out for. Photograph courtesy of Wigan Athletic.

With less than two weeks to go before the start of the 2015/16 League One campaign Latics are very much a work in progress. Manager Gary Caldwell is in the process of revamping the playing staff but there is still much work to be done before the season kicks off.

Many players have already left the club and eleven new players have been brought in, but I expect more comings and goings in the next few weeks.

Several players have been the subject of interest from other clubs including James Perch QPR, Billy Mckay Dundee United, and Emyr Huws Burnley.

It is possible that they and some others could leave before the transfer deadline on September 1st.

Caldwell and Chairman David Sharpe have talked about a ‘New Era’ but this should only be regarded as marketing speak until Latics get back to being a winning team.

My personal view is that some of Latics recent signings have been less than inspiring and may struggle to make an impact. Midfielders David Perkins and Max Power signed from Blackpool and Tranmere after both suffered relegations from their respective leagues last season.

Winger Sanmi Odelusi has only made 25 Football League appearances in three seasons at Bolton, MK Dons and Coventry City.

Defender Donervon Daniels never made it into the first team at West Bromwich Albion and made only 44 appearances in three seasons of loans at Tranmere, Gillingham, Blackpool and Aberdeen.

Striker Craig Davies was signed from Bolton after being released. The well-travelled striker has been troubled by hamstring injuries and could prove to be a less than reliable addition to the squad.

Caldwell has made some promising additions in Manchester United’s Reece James and Everton loanees Francisco Junior and Johnjoe Kenny.

The manager does seem to be on the right lines with the signings of striker Will Grigg, goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell and defender Craig Morgan.

Grigg could be the goalscorer Latics have been crying out for. The Northern Ireland international has the pedigree to be a hit in League One. He bagged 20 goals in 31 starts for MK Dons last season, as well as netting two against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup.

O’Donnell has an impressive track record and played in 54 matches for Walsall last season and kept 21 clean sheets. Not surprisingly after such a good season he was named Player of the Season by Walsall supporters, and Players’ Player of the Season.

Morgan was a consistent performer as Rotherham captain and could have stayed in the Championship with local rivals Bolton but decided to join Latics in League One.

From the evidence at the friendly matches Caldwell has yet to establish a clear style of play. He has alluded to the fact that he would like to get back to the style of football adopted under Roberto Martinez but if that is the case then there is still a lot of work to do.

Following the high turnover in players it will inevitably take some time for the players to settle, but it is imperative that they make a good start to the new campaign if they are to have any chance of promotion.

As one of the promotion favourites and recent FA Cup winners the expectations are high. The pressure is on Caldwell to put together a team that can hit the ground running. Anything less and the critics will be out in force.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Craig Davies, Craig Morgan, David Perkins, David Sharpe, Donervon Daniels, Francisco Junior, Gary Caldwell, Johnjoe Kenny, League One, Max Power, Reece James, Richard O'Donnell, Sanmi Odelusi, Wigan Athletic, Will Grigg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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