This story is, admittedly, a bit old but it is worth reporting that Charles N’Zogbia will miss the EPL opener against Blackpool in order to earn his first call-up for the French national team. This likely ends the possibility that he will play for England (not that this particularly bothers me) but it does hamper the Latics efforts to start their season off right.
The move could also add some closure to the possibility that N’Zogbia will be transferred before the window closes at the end of the month. Among the teams that won’t, apparently, be acquiring the midfielder’s services are Birmingham, which should come to a relief to our friends at Aston Villa.
At some point, I guess I’ll start getting used to this stuff, but for now this stuff still amazes me: a.) a team in the same league would agree to let you use one of their players and b.) they’d just decide that they aren’t really that into the idea.
Apparently a day or two after agreeing to transfer Tom Cleverley to Wigan, ManU manager Sir Alex Ferguson has decided he’d like the 21-year-old midfielder to stick around. Here’s what Fergie had to say:
“Tom Cleverley is going to stay. He is an exceptional young player in the sense of his ability to play in different positions.
“He is such a mobile boy who can play wide on either side and in central midfield. Also, which he has showed at Watford last year, he is a goalscorer.
“Tom has got outstanding qualities as far as goalscoring is concerned, so he is going to stay.”
I’m honestly not sure how big of a loss this is, but it is a bit of a shock to the ego. I still don’t know much about Cleverley but he promised to be an interesting player to watch mature.
While Charles N’Zogbia may be on his way out of town, Wigan may have found a midfielder to replace him. Tom Cleverley has apparently been loaned to Wigan, with manager Roberto Martinez beating out several other EPL sides for the opportunity.
Cleverley is considered an up-and-coming talent, although not quite ready to earn heavy minutes for Manchester United who still owns his rights.
Among the highlights of Cleverley’s recent form was a goal against the MLS All-Stars during ManU’s match at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
Cleverley spent last season at Watford, a Championship team, and scored 11 goals in 33 matches.
As an aside, I’d like to add that as someone who’s still rather new to the EPL this is an odd development. Basically, there is such a gap between ManU and Wigan that there’s little concern with loaning out a quality player to another team in the same league. Unless I’m missing something, Wigan will play ManU at least twice and Cleverley will likely play significant minutes in those matches. I’m trying to think of an American equivalent to this, but I really can’t fathom what that would be.
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.