So sue me, I have high hopes for Wigan
Maybe it’s my naivete, but I am genuinely excited about Wigan’s chances this year. I’ve read predictions that have run the gamut from near certain relegation to competing for a spot in Europa.
They have a fresh striker in Mauro Boselli, who early reports suggest may be one of the top transfers to hit the Premiership this season. The Argentinian was one of South America’s top strikers the past two seasons and was the leading scorer in Copa Libertadores while helping lead Estudiantes to the title in 2009. He scored two goals in Wigan’s final warmup against Dundee, and that $10 million transfer may turn out to be a decent bargain.
He seems poised to create quite a scoring duo with Hugo Rodallega, who was the team’s leading goal scorer last season. The 25-year-old Colombian closed out last season with goals in three of four matches and appears to finally be adjusting to the English game.
Both players are of similar stature and seem to play similar styles, so it will be interesting to see if that’s a problem or not.
The midfield, too, seems to offer some promise of hope. Charles N’Zogbia is another youngster (24) and just earned his first cap for France in their recent friendly. There have been rumors swirling that he’ll leave the team, but if he stays it could be the difference between fighting off relegation and aiming for something much more significant.
Mohamed Diame, just 23, has shown much promise as more of a defense-minded central midfielder. Unfortunately, he also has been linked in transfer rumors.
Quite honestly, I’m not sure what to think of this team. I’ve never followed EPL closely, so the fact there are a bunch of players that seem interesting seems great. The fact that so many of them are young, seems promising, but also potentially scary. It’s hard to imagine that a bunch of guys in their mid-20s will be able to hang with players that are in their athletic primes and have more years of high-level competition under their belts.
Still, I am quite honestly looking forward to this season. No matter what happens — barring a complete collapse in which relegation becomes a foregone conclusion — I’m expecting this season to be exciting. If that means the Latics will be fighting for their Premiership lives, I’ll be sure to find that interesting. If they end up being the surprise side of the league, that would be even better.
My biggest concern is figuring out how to watch these games without making my wife leave me (the early morning starts will not be popular).