Prem Survival Series Part 3: Wolves & Wigan
By Sunday evening, any one of seven sides could be propping up the Premiership following what should prove one of the best weekend programs of the season. Local pride is at stake in no less than three derbies, the neutral will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of Tottenham hosting Manchester United, whilst the rest who find themselves in the mire of a relegation battle seek to treat us suffering supporters to another weekend dose of shock therapy.
A Wolves win at Manchester City would complete the unlikeliest of doubles thus far this season, whilst few would bet on Wigan beating Arsenal.
To say stranger things have happened would prove an almighty understatement considering the results we have already seen this season.
Considering our upcoming fixtures, what better side to feature than one of our closest relegation rivals Wigan.
Thanks to Vital Wigan for the detailed reply and who, we may notice, do not gloat over the six points they have taken from us this season.
You will also notice, I have perhaps taken my eye off the table as is pointed out Wigan have not in fact been in the bottom three most of the season. West Ham have been there all season, and I knew there was another one beginning with a W, so that would have been......us :)
What were you expectations at the start of the season?
expected to be outside the bottom three for most of the season, it`s a little bit nervous being in there but it`s so tight at the moment a win and your practically mid-table, so all though down slightly on my expectations not down hearted.
You have spent most of the season in the bottom three. Whilst you have beaten us twice, deservedly, that means you have taken 14 points from your other 18 games which, considering you don't get to play us again! is relegation form. What's going right and, more importantly, wrong?
We haven`t been bottom three for most of the season, just the past three weeks although it does feel like most of the season! We have been decimated by injuries and suspensions to key players. James McCarthy is a colossus in our side but he was injured against Bolton back in October and boy have we missed him. Add to that N`Zogbia, Rodallega and Hendry Thomas being suspended and our club skipper Gary Caldwell sidelined from the start of the season until December, Di Santo, Boyce and Moses suffering long term injuries then I think we have done well to take the points we have, just watch us go in the second half of the season when all the star players are back! (Oh we also paid £6.5 million for a centre forward, Mauro Boselli, that is well, shall we say rather unsuited to the Premier League.)
What level of support is the manager receiving from the fans?
The majority are behind the manager, just. We have a section of supporters that have never taken to Martinez and being in the bottom three brings cries for his head, but most fans can see the bigger picture and the changes that he has brought to the club through the youth system and the reserves, who are both flying at the moment, we just need the first team to take off now!
If applicable, how many more games should he be given?
e`s here for the long haul hopefully, he has transformed behind the scenes, the scouting, training methods, style of play, it`ll take time to bear fruition but we have got to keep the faith.
What players would you like to see brought/sold in January?
We definitely need a goal scorer, a poacher who can sniff out chances. A creative attacking midfield player would be good also and I`d love us to sign our keeper Ali Al-Habsi on a permanent deal, he`s currently on loan from Bolton, a cracker as they say.
Sold, no one, our squad isn`t big enough to let anyone go, not even our so far under achieving record buy centre forward
Where will Wigan finish this season?
firmly believe we will finish the season strongly and I see us finishing around 14/15 in the table (fingers crossed.)
Well, there you have it, an optimistic outlook from Wigan.
I predicted West Ham, Wigan and Blackpool at the start of the season and whilst I conceded Blackpool were but three wins away from ensuring safety last week, I am sticking with the other two. Despite the optimism, it sounds like Wigan suffer from quality in depth, and whilst some important players may be due to return we know only too well from our own injury woes that those returning have quickly found themselves out for another couple of months.
Thanks again to Vital Wigan for their reply.
Fixtures and table are included as an all in one easy-to-reference ahead of your eagerly anticipated reply!
Take it away...........
The full fixture list.
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Chelsea v Blackburn, 15:00
Man City v Wolverhampton, 15:00
Stoke v Bolton, 15:00
West Brom v Blackpool, 15:00
Wigan v Fulham, 15:00
West Ham v Arsenal, 17:30
Sunday, 16 January 2011
Birmingham v Aston Villa, 12:00
Sunderland v Newcastle, 12:00
Liverpool v Everton, 14:05
Tottenham v Man Utd, 16:10
Okay, the way the table is showing, you'd need Stephen Hawking to make sense of it. You shall have to ref it yourself until I can format it!