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Prem Survival Series Part 3: Wolves & Wigan

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 :)


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!

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:New York City Wolf
Date:Wednesday January 12 2011
Time: 4:35PM


Cheers for the opportunity to talk to the rivals, very tense at the bottom at the moment and any team that can string together three wins will pull clear, hope we do but I think its all up in the air, though I do believe that Birmingham will finish in the bottom three
12/01/2011 18:45:00
Yes, an optimistic view from the end of the pier, though I detect an under-current of doubt. As at Wolves, the fans seem to be divided in their opinion of the manager and I wonder how the pressure is getting to Martinez ... and to the players for that matter! If the Boxing Day match was any guide, they are holding up better than we are. I don't think that they deservedly beat us twice. As I have argued in earlier threads, the match at the DW stadium turned on Henry's dismissal. Indeed, I still believe that the captain's stupid challenge has had a material effect on our lowly position in the table. In Rodallega and N'Zogbia Wigan have match-winners but, as WHU are discovering a team needs more than one or two stars to survive. Neither should a team wantonly play someone incapable of maintaining the requisite standard, as we do.
12/01/2011 19:26:00
Well, thanks again Worbo- it's been interesting hearing from clubs in the mixer. I hope you have brought the interview to the attention of your fellow Latics' and we hear from a few more as we did from the lads and lasses at Villa. You raise a good point, three wins on the bounce would pull a club fairly clear looking at everyone's respective inconsistencies and I am sure the lift such a run would bring, could see a team parking it up around 11th/12th which is where I expected us to finish at the start of the season. The 'experts' (perhaps they are after all) were still predicting if not just a tough season, then relegation for Wolves which I smirked at in the summer. We got promoted with a young, committed team playing exciting football that few could handle. We added reasonably and finished 15th- when then spent 17 MILLION on top of what seemed a solid foundation, and on paper, from the caliber of player we were bringing in, well- I thought 12th to be a reasonable expectation at the time, and stick with it now, especially to read from yourselves who have, on paper, less quality in depth, have spent less than us, and will spend less than us. Crete Wolf left me disturbed with a post on another thread when he pointed this out................... 1st game of the season 2008 against Plymouth Argyle 9/8/2008 Result 2-2 Team: Hennesey, Foley, Stearman, Craddock, Elokobi, Kightly, Henry, Jones, Sylvan Ebanks Blake, Ward, Keogh. Look familiar? It should, because other than Keogh, if they were all fit that would probably be the starting line up this Saturday, three years and two months on. The drugs (prescribed) have brought back the avid interest I had as a mere boy for footballing history, and all related statistics in particular (which have seeped into recent articles, which I reigned in due to declining responses!) (what football fan doesn't love statistics I yelled at the wife, before being sedated) so, the point, yes, the point, on the pre sleep wind down I have not the energy to investigate how much our Mick has spent/brought back in- if someone out there wants to boffin that one then the invitation is there (Crete, this is your bag my friend, take it by the leash) but how far have we come if we are playing, in effect, the same side that we started with 3 years ago? against Plymouth. You can look at it two ways- I think Jarvis will play for England. I think that if he had stayed fit Kightly would already have played for England. That side of the coin tells me that the club has been fashioned on former traditions, work ethic, commitment, determination, belief and pride- the flip side tells me whilst all that is well and good, better than we could have imagined whilst under the Hayward illusion years (I criticize not the man, but the mismanagement and pipe dream misdirection saw a lot of money and hopes wasted) I am afraid that Mick, whilst able to make big signings, as in spending over the course of a year 13plus million on the strike force of his choosing, more than 50 per cent of that he may as well have p*ssed into the gutter- I am not sure how well available funds will be spent- I can't imagine huge funds are available anyway- what irks me is that whilst David Bentley probably somehow wouldn't get a game he is a quality player that has gone to a very troubled unattractive club in Blues. Wayne Bridge, one of the best left backs in the country, has signed up for a relegation battle with West Ham United- I wouldn't mind if there had been a mention we had even tried to sign him, not as cover or 'competition' for our weakest position but just to know we had some sense to be in for such a player instead of being linked with a 20 year old striker from Dundee, a Barnsley midfielder and a player Portsmouth won't give another game to. I forgot the original point but one shall rest better on a full nights sleep. Crete my friend, hats off on detailing that line up and unfurling our development over the course of three years- thus far you are front runner for most poignant point of the season award. You won't find a better raised point all year, but one at City on Saturday would run a close second. As I sign off, the bin men have pulled up outside the window, clearing the streets of Brooklyn. What is now rubbish once served a purpose to us. There's another word for rubbish and there is a name for what sits on top of your shoulders. Put them together and you may guess which player my next article will be about.
New York City Wolf
13/01/2011 04:46:00
New York!,Binmen!echoes here of The Sopranos!,waste managment was Anthony's speciality.Wait a minute,bet he would make a good board member or even chairman!.Think of the players we could sign?,would'nt need mega bucks like City for players to sign,we'd make them an offer they could'nt refuse!.All joking aside I was a bit taken aback when I saw that team from 3 years ago.Never mind Man City next,would'nt it be lovely to get one over on them again with their big new signing making his debut?shame big George wont be in the team to welcome him with one of his well timed tackles!,we'll have to leave that to Karl?.Good time to record our first double of the season and shut up a customer of mine for another 6 months who is a city fan.Will work on Merlin stats and see what I can conjure up NYC.We are the Wolves.
Crete Wolf
13/01/2011 09:00:00
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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Burnley 45 25 15 5 90 34
2 Middlesbrough 45 26 10 9 88 32
3 Brighton 45 24 16 5 88 30
4 Hull City 45 23 11 11 80 30
5 Derby County 45 21 15 9 78 24
6 Sheff Wed 45 19 17 9 74 22
7 Cardiff 45 17 16 12 67 5
8 Ipswich 45 17 15 13 66 1
9 Birmingham 45 16 14 15 62 4
10 Brentford 45 18 8 19 62 1
11 Preston 45 15 16 14 61 0
12 Leeds Utd 45 14 16 15 58 -8
13 Q.P.R. 45 13 18 14 57 -1
14 Wolves 45 13 16 16 55 -6
15 Blackburn 45 12 16 17 52 -2
16 Reading 45 13 13 19 52 -5
17 Forest 45 12 16 17 52 -5
18 Bristol City 45 13 13 19 52 -16
19 Huddersfield 45 13 12 20 51 -7
20 Rotherham 45 13 10 22 49 -14
21 Fulham 45 11 15 19 48 -14
R Charlton 45 9 13 23 40 -37
R MK Dons 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Bolton 45 5 15 25 30 -39
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