Archive for July 2010
I haven’t had time to really get attached to any Latic, but one that I had fully expected to fall in love with was Frenchman Charles N’Zogbia. Unfortunately, it’s starting to look pretty unlikely that I’ll get the chance.
According to L’Equipe (via The Independent), Wigan officials have told N’Zogbia that they won’t stand in his way if he finds a more desirable location.
“When I came here, I was in a period where I wanted to relaunch myself,” N’Zogbia told L’Equipe. “Today I’m at Wigan but if tomorrow a good club with great aims contacts me, I am open.“I have talked about it with my bosses. They won’t put a spoke in the wheel.”
N’Zogbia is also set to make his debut with the French National Team when they play a friendly against Norway. Obviously, this would be a blow to Wigan’s hopes of improving upon last year’s 16th place finish. It also serves a stark reminder of what kind of battle I’m facing in terms of rooting for a lower-table side. At least it’s interesting, right?
Among his rumored suitors are Juventus, Olympique Marseille and Birmingham City.
This is an opinion piece, in case you’re wondering …
I was pretty excited to see that Wigan has redesigned, and slicked up, its official website.
Unfortunately, as I soon discovered, the way they are paying for that new shine is by asking its supporters to pay fees to get “exclusive” content such as interviews with players and, in some cases, pretty basic news.
Now, there’s still some free content on there, but I’m not sure that I get this strategy. Maybe they just do things a little different across the pond, but I’m used to primary sources, such as team websites, doing everything they can to disseminate information as widely as possible.
It strikes as a bit shooting-yourself-in-the-footy, especially coming from a team that should be doing everything possible to expand its brand.
Far be it from me to question to online decisions of an EPL side, but as someone who is trying their darndest to get to know your team, I just don’t get this move.
James McArthur, considered to be a dynamic young midfielder while playing in the Scottish Premier League, has completed his signing with Wigan.
“James is a really exciting prospect,” Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said, “and we are all delighted that he is chosen to join Wigan Athletic. We are building a squad here at the DW and I see James as being another real quality addition who will add great competition in the midfield areas.”
The 22-year-old scored 10 goals in 168 league appearances for Hamilton
After a fair amount of speculation that the deal was less than iron-clad, Paraguayan national team player Antolin Alcaraz has officially signed with Wigan.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez told the club’s website: “It’s fantastic news we can confirm the arrival of Alcaraz.
“He was one of the very best at the World Cup – this is a massive boost for the club.”
The defender is 27 and should provide a boost to a side that allowed 73 goals last season.
I wrote this for the awesome 7500 to Holte blog and am reproducing here, because … I can.
Location: Wigan (Greater Manchester)
Stadium: DW Stadium (25,138), which they share with rugby team Wigan Warriors
Last Year’s Record: 9-9-20 (16th place)
League Cup: Second round (lost to Blackpool)
FA Cup: Fourth round (lost to Notts County)
The Latics rolled out some new faces for their first match since the Chelsea thrashing, and earned a 1-1 tie with Oldham.
Among the debuts were keeper Ali Al Habsi and striker Mauro Boselli.
Habsi had a rough start, mishandling a ball on the wet surface early, but stabilized after that.
Boselli had a couple quality chances, but was dispossessed after breaking free on one and having a late volley blocked.
Oldham took the lead at 15′ on a volley from Dale Stephens. Wigan equalized at 47′ after Jordi Gomez was dragged down and then hit the ensuing penalty.
Here’s a link to the official website. I’m not sure what to think. I guess it looks fine and I suppose I should be buying one.
I will say that I’ve figured out why finding their jersey was so hard: They switched manufacturers and hadn’t been selling their old ones.
Mifit, a company who is just entering the replica business, is handling Wigan’s kits. Up until now, Mifit made mostly workout clothes, which goes along with Wigan’s theme of partnering up with fitness companies (DW Stadium is named after a chain of health clubs).
In my ongoing quest to become a Wigan literate, I have been reading whatever I can about my new favorite side. Lately, it’s been quite eye-opening.
An amazing amount of the news generated out of the Latics Swedish training center, is about whether players like newly signed Paraguayan international Antolin Alcaraz will ride his World Cup buzz to a more lucrative contract with a bigger name team (all indications are that he won’t) or how several potential targets of Wigan played so well at the World Cup that they are no longer in the Latics’ range.
As a follower of MLS, it just strikes me as a bit odd that an EPL side has these kinds of issues. After all, we here in the States are brought up believing that just playing in Europe is a major accomplishment and that playing in the EPL is akin to debuting on Broadway.
Of course, I realized that the EPL is a world of haves and have-nots that render all talk of it in American sports leagues as utter hyperbole. Still, I was thinking that merely having access to the riches of EPL play would allow even a Wigan to basically get any non-headliner they wanted. This is obviously not the case. In addition to all of that Wigan lost another player, Mario Melchiot, to a Qatari side. This just strikes me as something that doesn’t happen to many EPL sides.
Yes, I will be sharing news stories as well as tales of my Wigan education.
With that in mind, it appears as if there will be an honest-to-goodness battle for the No. 1 keeper spot at DW Stadium as the Latics signed Ali Al Habsi, a Oman International, on a loan from Bolton, according to the BBC.
“We need competition in all departments and Ali will do that. We are delighted to welcome him,” said Martinez.
“He has a terrific attitude to the game and after four years in England knows all about the Premier League.”
In my ongoing quest to become a die-hard Wigan supporter, I figured I needed to at least look the part.
For me, that means picking up a scarf and, eventually, a jersey.
You’d think that in 2010 these would be pretty easy thing to find, at least in regards to a EPL side. The Internet is flush with sites that cater to fans of just about every league in the world, surely there’s got to be someplace hocking Wigan gear … right?
The obvious starting point is Google.
I typed in “Wigan Athletic scarf.”
There are really only four relevant hits, one is to Amazon, one is to Sporting Kicks and two more are to Wigan’s official site (one of which is apparently under construction).
While some teams have many options to choose from, Wigan apparently has just two scarves available online. Both are pretty hideous. This is the better of the two. I may be a devoted fan, but I’m going to go ahead and hold out for some better choices. I have an image to uphold, after all.