It’s been a nightmare few weeks for Wigan Athletic, the fantastic win over Spurs at the start of November was followed by back to back defeats against West Brom and Liverpool and the beginning of a series of injuries to senior players which could have a serious impact on the rest of Latics season.
At one time or another this season Latics have been without Ryo Miyachi, Albert Crusat, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney, Antolin Alcaraz, Franco Disanto, Gary Caldwell, Ivan Ramis, James McArthur, Jean Beausejour and also had suspensions for Maynor Figuorea and Gary Caldwell to contend with. Add to that a serious injury to Adrian Lopez and James McCarthy following last weekend’s defeat at Norwich and the Latics are really down to the bare bones.
After falling in to the bottom three last week Wigan face an Arsenal side who seem to have overcome their mini crisis by beating Reading 5-2 on Monday night. There is no doubt Wigan need a result this weekend, performances bar a handful of games have been largely decent this season and injuries to key players have prevented Roberto Martinez from naming a settled side throughout the season. Those who have deputised have done well and although from an attacking perspective we always look likely to score its defensively where we are suffering the most, Roberto’s Thursday press conference revealed that we could welcome back any of the injured trio of Ramis, Caldwell and Alcaraz on Saturday.
To have one of three back on Saturday would be a boost to have all three available again would be a miracle, the Latics defence has looked decidedly shaky since the Spurs game and it’s no irony that our worst period of the season has coincided with the series of injuries inflicted on us.
This has also gone hand in hand with a run of form for Ali Al Habsi that can only be described as patchy, high profile errors in the games against Reading, Manchester City and Newcastle where uncharacteristic in their nature but as the Omani number one gets set to make his 100th appearance for Wigan Athletic this weekend the hope will be that he has recovered from that period.
Jordi Gomez celebrates after scoring against Arsenal at The Emirates
Arsenal looked lethal in attack on Monday night but were easily exposed by Reading at the back, the key to getting anything out of Saturday’s game is a clean sheet and the hope has to be that our three senior centre back’s will be ready to return to action again.
Looking further ahead to January Roberto has revealed he will be making signings in January due to the injuries at the club “We are having a few difficulties, especially with injuries. So we have to find a solution. We need to make it difficult to get into our starting 11. So we want to do some business in January. I think it’s important that every transfer window works in your favour and you finish with a stronger squad.”
Honduran international Roger Espinoza has joined from Kansas City after being tracked by the club, he was arguably Honduras best player of The Olympics and should bring some much needed steel and energy to the side, other targets will no doubt include defensive cover and a new striker to complement Franco Di Santo and Mauro Boselli whilst Aurona Kone is at the African Nations Cup.
There’s a lot of doom and gloom around at the minute and rightly so as not many people would have expected us to be back in the bottom three after the end to last season and indeed the start to this season, but injuries and poor form have transpired against us. We need to begin picking up points throughout a difficult festive period if we can emerge from the next four games with six points we will have done extremely well and look in a much healthier state than we do currently. I don’t mind how we get them the key is that we do get them.
Anybody for another Jordi Gomez inspired win?