Spyin' Kop (Wigan V Liverpool)

Posted by WorldChampions on December 1, 2006, 08:26:29 PM

After the dire 0-0 draw against Portsmouth at Anfield it's time the Reds finally got the away form going. Two draws and five defeats on our travels sees us languishing down in 7th, sixteen points behind the leaders from the other end of the East Lancs Road.

You can guarantee it won't be easy though, as Paul Jewell's feisty Wigan side have an excellent home record since getting promoted to the Premier League in 2005.

Wigan Athletic v Liverpool
Saturday 2nd December, 2006
JJB Stadium
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Referee:  Howard Webb (Yorkshire)

Former Red Emile Heskey is poised to start against us after fully recovering from a calf strain. Elsewhere Wigan skipper Arjan de Zeeuw is a doubt with a toe injury, while wingers Gary Teale and Antonio Valencia are injured.

For us Craig Bellamy is back after finally clearing his name in the court case down in Cardiff. Xabi Alonso has a chance of playing after resuming training this week, thought don't be surprised to see Carra start in central midfield again. No one else from the lengthy injury list is likely to recover in time for the match.

Wigan boss Paul Jewell:
"They can win the title, but I don't think they will. It's now a fight between Manchester United and Chelsea. Liverpool will be disappointed with their points tally and, by their standards, they won't be impressed with their away record. I think everyone is a little surprised at Liverpool's form."

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez:
"We have been gaining more confidence, so now we have to show that at Wigan. The race this season for third and fourth place is very open, more so than usual between several teams. We believed this season we would see the top clubs all losing more matches, you can see now that is the situation."

We've taken a trip to Ye Olde Tree and Crown and Cockney Latic to test the temperature among Wigan fans with our Spyin' Kop thermometer.

How has the season been shaping up so far?

Admin: Slow start but very much on the up after a string victories recently. Still on course to prove the 2nd season doom-mongers wrong. We have around 7 new first teamers this year so it was bound to take time for things to settle down. Beginning to click into place now.

Henski: I have to say these are my own opinions, nothing more, nothing less.
I feel the season has gone exactly as I expected so far, it has taken some time for so many new signings to gel as a unit, some still haven't in fact. But we are starting to see signs of what sort of team are to become.

Shauniebaby: The season so far looks good in the league table but personally i would think that weve only won the games we could've expected to win and after december i think the league will give us a better idea of were we stand. I also think with the team weve got this year we should be improving and looking at a finish of around 6th to 9th this year.

Scouselatic: not too badly seen as we had such a change in squad over the summer, but i also feel that we have been unlucky with playing newcastle, for example, when they looked a good side which was the one and only time this year. we have struggled once more, to put games to bed although the midfield looks stronger since skoko's introduction.

Who's your best worst and most improved players?

Admin: Best - Arguably Camara now that he's found the target again, worst - wouldnt like to single anyone out - most improved has got to be Skoko

Henski: The best player for me has been Baines, he is continually improving and will no doubt represent his country in time. The worst is easy, Teale, he is useless, has always been useless and will continue to be useless.
The most improved is a difficult one to answer as so many players have been turned over. I dont see a massive improvement in any of the players that were here last season.

Shauniebaby: Best players either Baines or Kirkland both have started well. Im very surprised you let Kirkland go espacially considering his age and reina start to the season. Worst player has to be either Teale ( great going forward but cant put a final ball in ) or Landzaat really not impressed me expected a lot more from a dutch international. Most improved from the start of the season has to be Boyce hes getting better with each game and could be pushing into the PFA team of the year like Chimbonda, from last season Scharner or Camara; Scharner looks like hes not a headless chicken anymore and camara looks like he might hit a lot more goals this year unless mckay gets hima transfer in the new year.

Scouselatic: Best:scharner or baines: scharner is an absolute machine and baines is simply a class above.heskey deserves a mention coz he has surpassing all expectations this year.
worst: either teale or landzaat. teale looked poor in the championship and the number of landzaat's international caps are a complete mystery to me.[/b]

Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs? Say something that happened to you that day or a decision you disagreed with?

Admin: No real Latics fan will ever forget Donny Page and Brian Griffiths scoring at Anfield in the first leg of a 2 leg cup game at Anfield in 1989. We lost that leg 5.2, but for a brief, and wonderful period we were winning at Anfield! I lost my hat, scarf and pie when that 2nd one went in.
Its never happened since! (and I've never lost a pie since either come to think of it)

Henski: The particular memory of our previous matches against Liverpool was how extremely poor we were at Anfield and the decision to award the goal to Crouch I am afraid beggars belief.

Shauniebaby: Last year against you i dont feel we did ourselves any justice but defencivly we looked weaker last year. Before the match though you just knew Crouch was gunna break his duck. The gifted goal was just what he needed and i still think if he hadnt scored that he wouldnt of had the chance to go to the world cup.

Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an explanation?

Admin: My personal faourite has always been "We come from Wigan and we live in mud-huts" does it need explaining?

Henski: There are no good chants at Wigan, our fan base is too young and the chants are in the main immature. My favorite though is probably the "1-0 to the Wiganers" song. The worst by a country mile is "lets hang on to what we've got".

Shauniebaby: Favourite chant is the teale will tear you apart one although i think he believes his own hype. Also a special mention to you are my sunshine even though its hated nowadys reminds of back when i was younger.

Scouselatic: '’little wigan taking the piss" can be amusing but is sung far too often.

How much do you rate your scouse manager Paul Jewell, could he do a job at a 'bigger' club (no dissrespect meant) or even internationaly?

Admin: Said before - I'll say it again, THE best young manager in the country, and should one day manage the national side. No-one gets more out of his players.

Henski: Paul Jewell has done a job and a half, obviously. But I don't think he is a big club manager, never will be. He doesn't play the right sort of football, nor sign the right sort of players. In fact whenever we have a player that you might describe as a "quality" player, he doesn't seem to know how to use him properly.

Shauniebaby: Jewell is a legend and no doubt if he carries on we probably will lose him ( if he wants to go that is) but as for a big team his style is all about having passion bit like stuart pearce. He can be taticallly niave and does seem to stick with his personal. Good for maybe Celtic and Rangers. Internationally i think hed do a job for Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland as he gets the best out of lower level players ie Lee Mac and Jason Roberts.

Scouselatic: Jewell has done a great job and will continue to do so for Wigan Athletic. I dont think any "bigger" clubs will take a risk with him.

Which player and manager of another team do you hate the most?

Admin:  The fake Ronaldo for all the obvious reasons, plus stripping off his shirt like a pre-pubescent dreamboy when he scored against us in last years cup final - horrible little snot.

Scouselatic:  I personally hate blobby savage but tranmere deserve a mention because their fans are arsholes

Chimbona was an improtant player for you last year, do you miss him? What did you think of his antics towards the end of last season?

Admin: We sometimes miss his inspirational runs from the back, but they were rare enough for it not to be a problem. He went missing for the middle of the season and we need solid reliability more than flashes of rilliance. His behaviour was a disgrace. If he wanted a move, he could have saved his transfer request for at least a week or two after the season finished rather than 5 minutes.

Henski: Chimbonda didn't cover himself in glory in the manner of his departure, but he's a Tottenham player now and I don't care what he does or doesn't do from here on in. We don't miss him as Boyce is turning out to be a very decent replacement.

Shauniebaby: Chimbondas not been missed after the first 4 games. Boyce has stepped in and looked class. Personally i still think either him or Mckay were tapped up by spurs in london before the Arsenal game. Took the wrong advice and next year could start to regret the move if not in the transfer window when spurs have money to spend.

Scouselatic: Pascal who?

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Admin: Gerrard

Henski: I don't fear any Liverpool player at all, the only possible eception might be Gerrard, but I think he is vastly over-rated, he might score a great goal, but he'll give the ball away plenty of times.

Shauniebaby: Gerrards the man to fear but also Alonso as he has the ability to split defences with great passes.

Scouselatic: After crouch's "wondergoal" last year, probably not him. Bellamy's pace could trouble Jackson.

Where do you expect liverpool and wigan to finish this season?

Admin: Liverpool top 4. You are bound to sort out the away form soon enough, (hopefully after tomorrow), and Wigan top 10 again.

Henski: I think liverpool will finish about 6th and we will be 2 or 3 places behind.

Shauniebaby: Liverpool should of been looking at the top 2 finish but now i think it has to be top 4. You should finish 3rd. Wigan will probably finish 9th.

Scouselatic: Liverpool will finish 4th and wigan in 10th, but will deserve better.

What do you make of Rafa Benitez so far?

Admin: Haven't paid a lot of attention to be honest, but you arent exactly underachieving with him.

Henski: I don't like Benitez, but then again I don't like foreign managers in our game.

Shauniebaby: Rafa's been class for you but i still think he would be better if you had someone like Pinnochio on the bench.

Scouselatic: He's done a good job in the cups, but hopefully his poor record away from home will continue. he still seems a bit clueless about the way some sides play football.

And last but not least a predicition for the match?

Henski: Result? I fancy this is our best chance to record our first win against a "big five" club, I'll go for 2-1 Wigan

Shauniebaby: And finally tomorrows score..........Wigan 1 Liverpool 0

Scouselatic: Wigan wont keep a clean sheet, so hopefully 2-1 wigan with heskey grabbing 1.

Good lads I think you will agree. Special thanks to Ye Olde Tree and Crown and Cockney Latic for allowing me to post my questions and thanks to the members that answered them.

© Worldchamps 2006

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