Friday, 16 August 2013

Another big fish – bring it on!

If Jesus was a Wiganer is any inspiration for this game then come 5 O'Clock one of the teams will be walking on water and the other may well be on thin ice. But have we much reason to be on our guard against the FA Cup holders when they come to grace the pitch at Dean Court. I am wondering when did we last host an FA Cup holder in a match? I don't mean Wigan last season as they hadn't won it then. Where's my stats man?

As you would expect, Wigan have a lot of talented players and it will be difficult to work out where the main threat will come from, but we can probably start off with their new summer signing Grant Holt. I was never confident that Grant would score many goals when he was in the Premiership with Norwich, but he always seemed to pop up with a goal or two – 15 in the first season and 8 last season. He was devastating in the Championship in 2010-11, when Norwich went up and I suppose he feels he can rekindle that kind of display, now that he is back at this level in a strong side. He has already scored this season against Barnsley and, while he is not the most mobile, it is his heading ability that I think will cause our defenders the most nightmares.

You can also look at Wigan's wide men as having great quality. The FA Cup final really showed how good Callum McManaman was as he cut loose at every opportunity during that game. They also have Shaun Maloney who not only produces killer passes but had an excellent midfield goal record when Wigan were in the Premiership. Another midfield maestro is James McCarthy who is currently the subject of some Premiership interest. 

Even on the bench we know how good Mr Jordi Gomez is from last season's FA Cup tie. Did I mention Chris McCann, the signing from Burnley? He'll probably be the chief play maker and one for Arter to keep hounding. Eddie Howe will know all about Chris.

In defence, as well, Wigan has some very accomplished players. They have Scott Carson in goal and Stephen Crainey who signed from Blackpool this summer, and had a spell at the Saints at one time, is at right back. Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell have played in the Premiership. Boyce is one of the longest servants at the Latics and is a popular member of the team with fans.

I could go on and on, Wigan has a talented team. Lots of Scottish players are in there too as well as Owen Coyle. But these are the games our players should be looking forward to - a real test against ex-Premiership players.

By the way, I stumbled across a PWU podcast of Wigan supporters on Wigan Vital and Cherry Chimes kind of got a few mentions (after 20 minutes) which is great. If you want to listen in to their thoughts on AFC Bournemouth ahead of the game try the link.

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