Spyin' Kop: Liverpool V Wigan Athletic, 16th December 2009

Posted by El Rey, por favor on December 16, 2009, 02:46:30 PM

Spyin’ Kop

Liverpool Vs Wigan Athletic

El Rey

This game takes center stage as a memorial for arguably the greatest manager to have ever graced football, Bill Shankly. 50 years ago Bill Shankly took to the helm at Liverpool and slowly created one of the most celebrated football sides the game has ever seen.

Now with Rafael Benitez as manager, the club is enduring a torrid run of form, Languishing 8th in the league table, 3 points behind Birmingham and sitting 15th in the form guide, Liverpool are a team in crisis but with star names such as Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Alberto Aquilani all returning from lenghty stints on the sideline, maybe there is a silver lining to Liverpool's season. The team in the away dressing rooms for todays encounter is Wigan Athletic, similar to Liverpool, Wigan are managing to be one of the more inconsistent teams in the league of late, with a 3-1 win against Chelsea at home, and more recently a 3-1 loss to Birmingham and a 9-1 demolition at the hands of Tottenham, Martinez has turned a steady Wigan side into this seasons Jekyll and Hyde act.

With an away record that would make even Burnley cry, Wigan are never going to be favourites for Tonight's clash but if Martinez's , or Bobby as he's referred up the East Lancs, team turn up we could have some serious trouble getting a result and the likes of Hugo Rodallega and fellow Spaniard Jordi Gomez could provide another dagger into our season. A draw is simply not enough after last night’s results and falling further behind forth spot will be catastrophic to our chances of making it into the Champion’s League for 2010.

Let's do it for Shankly! Come on you Reds!

Hope you enjoy.

Liverpool V Wigan Athletic
Barclays Premier League
Wednesday 16th December 2009
Kick off: 8.00pm


Liverpool V Wigan Athletic
Barclays Premier League
Wednesday 16th December 2009
Kick off: 8.00pm

Wigan Athletic Football Club
JJB Stadium
Loire Drive
Robin Park
WN5 0UH.

Chairman:      David Whelan
Manager:         Roberto Martinez

Brief Overview :
Wigan Athletic won promotion to England's top flight for the first time ever in 2005 and have stayed in the Premier League for the last three seasons. Remaining in the top half of the table for almost the entire 2005/06 campaign, the Latics also reached the League Cup final for the first time in their history.

They surprised teams with their dynamism in attack and ability to continue carving out chances. Wigan's rise has been swift. Playing in the old Third Division when local millionaire Dave Whelan purchased the club in 1995, his Premier League ambitions were realised in just 10 years.

Wigan found the 2006/07 season more taxing and were pulled into a relegation dogfight. However, they survived on the final day of the campaign after a 2-1 win against relegation rivals Sheffield United. Manager Paul Jewell chose to step down after survival had been guaranteed and was replaced by his assistant Chris Hutchings.

However, after a run of six consecutive defeats, Hutchings was sacked in November 2007. He had lasted just 12 matches. Steve Bruce, who had briefly managed the Latics in 2001, was lured away from Birmingham City to take over and helped the club avoid relegation and finish a respectable 14th. After Success at Swansea and playing success at Wigan Athletic, Whelan looked to Martinez as Bruce’s successor and has seen his club become abit of a two-sided coin. Winning against the league leaders yet managing to acquire the unwanted record of being held to the biggest defeat in Premier League history to Tottenham.

Honours :
Football League Championship       Runners-up 2005
Football League Second Division       Champions 2003
Football League Third Division       Champions 1997
Football League Fourth Division       Promoted 1982
Football League Trophy          Winners 1985, 1999
Northern Premier League          Champions 1971, 1975
Northern Premier Cup          Winners 1972
Northern Premier Shield          Winners 1973, 1974, 1976
Lancashire Combination          Champions 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954
Cheshire League             Champions 1934, 1935, 1936, 1965
FA Cup                Best performance: 6th Round 1987
Football League Cup          Runners-up 2006
Elected to Football League       1978

Records :
Record League victory,          7-1 vs. Scarborough, 11 March 1997
Record League defeat,          0-6 vs. Bristol Rovers, 3 March 1990
Highest attendance,          25,023 vs. Liverpool, 11 February 2006
Most League appearances,       317, Kevin Langley 1981-1994
Most League goals scored (total),       70, Andy Liddell 1998-2003
Most goals scored in a season,       31, Graeme Jones 1996/1997
Record Cup Run,          Carling Cup Final vs Manchester United, 2006
Record Transfer Fee Paid,         Emile Heskey £5.5m, from Birmingham, July 2006

I got on the train to Wigan North Western and visited the lads over at the "Ye Olde Tree And Crown" and also "Cockney Latic" to get their views ahead of the game.



Thanks to all those who answered (which wasn't as many as i expected, thus having to use all your answers!)  :wave

1. With Martinez as manager your season has been exceptionally inconsistent, how much of a problem is this for you guys when your getting wins at home against the big teams, namely Chelsea but losing against the little teams, namely Birmingham?

The Egg (TE): As with any club there are teams that we must aim to beat in order to get to where we want to be.  Unfortunately these are the teams we are losing to (hull, wolves, birmingham, portsmouth)  Hopefully it won't be something that costs us too much because with a few more players we have the potential to be a good side.

Parakeet: It has been very inconsistant which is a massive dissapointment to all of us consider our excellent first game on the season. It is a huge problem for the team one which Bobby needs to sort out asap.

Ben_Dawb: Well it’s rather frustrating if I’m honest. I just don’t know what they are going to do from one game to the next. The Tottenham game for me just summed up our season so far. Our defending hasn’t been up to scratch.

Hollywood: It’s definitely a major relegation threat as it shows that manager Martinez is pretty clueless. I think he's a decent manager at a lower level but lacks experience when it comes to mixing with the big boys.

2. Heskey's left, Valencia's left. Gomez, Rodallega, Scotland etc... have arrived, who's impressed you the most and why?

TE: From the new signings - Diame and Thomas.  Gomez was ok on Saturday but seems to want too much time on the ball which you don't get in the PL.  Scotland is working hard but seems low on confidence.  A winning goal tomorrow will hopefully solve that.   ;)  Diame and Thomas though have been superb. Diame especially. N'Zogbia looks really good and Scharner is playing pretty well too.

Parakeet: Gomez has been a sensation in midfield to be honest but I've been most impressed with Rodders, if only Bobby would place him upfront consistantly I think we would be higher up in the league. Without him in my opinion we wouldn't be a high in the league as we are.

B_D: Rodallega has been quite impressive. He has everything to be a good premier league striker. We definitely miss Heskey upfront though and Cattermole/Palacios as the steel in the midfield.

Hollywood: I think Valencia leaving was possibly the biggest loss the club have ever had. Also, i was sad to see Heskey go. However, i think Rodallega is doing a great job up there at front virtually on his own, answering the next point in haste I think Jason Scotland is possibly the worst striker the clubs had since promotion to the Premier League.

3. On the other side of that coin, who's been your most dissapointing player of the season?

I would say Scotland.  You can't have players up front who aren't scoring in this league.

Parakeet: No doubt my dissapointment of the season has been Scotland. Although he was from the Championship I expected much better of him. He has still yet to score and seems to have become a scapegoat for many Wigan fans, although alot of the time I think he deserves it.

B_D: Gomez or Scotland. Came in with a good reputation at Swansea. Just haven’t delivered the goods at a consistent level.

Hollywood: That would have to be Big Jason Scotland i'm afraid. To me, he doesn’t seem interested, very unenthusiastic and is always second to the ball. Not much of a threat up in the top flight. Very disappointing in my opinion.

4. What sort of team can we be expecting to face when the teams line-up tomorrow night?

We'll go 4-3-3 (or 4-5-1 as it seems to be to me).  More than likely with the same XI as Saturday.

Parakeet: It's most likely Bobby will keep to what he thinks is best. Which is a 4-5-1 formation. Kirkland in the net if he is injury free, back four consisting of Figs,Bramble,Boyce and Melchiot. The midfield will consist of Rodders on the left cutting in on his favoured foot with N'Zogbia doing the same from the opposite side. Scharner,Gomez and Diame through the middle. With Scotland most likely doing FA up front on his own. 

B_D: 4-5-1
Melchiot - Boyce – Bramble - Figueroa
N’Zogbia - Thomas - Scharner – Diame - Koumas

5. So, moving onto your season; what's your hopes and where do you actually believe you will finish

A little more consistency (the good kind) and we could easily finish top 10 I think.  I'd be happy with anything from 8th to 14th though really providing there is no last day drama.

Parakeet: If the boss can sort out the inconsistancy we could easily finish in the top half, we have a better squad than Birmingham and the are join on points with you. If doesn't sort this inconsistancy out I can see us slipping towards relegation but I don't think we have a chance of actually getting relegated because the are plenty teams than are easily worse than us. Eg Pompey etc etc.

B_D:  My hopes and my expectations are two different things. I hope we will finish in the top half. But the expectation is that they will avoid relegation. Probably 14th or 15th at best.

Hollywood: Well, in previous seasons in the top flight, we’ve done relatively well. Finishing 10th in the first season under manager Paul Jewell. However, the way the season is goin at the moment, we're not looking too promising therefore, I predict a possible relegation battle. We'll finish 14th.

6. I'm going to steal this one from last years Spyin' Kop; Taking one player from our defence, midfield and attack which three Liverpool players would you like to see sign for Wigan tomorrow if money was no option and Why?

Agger - real solid player who would sure our defence up no end
Babel - don't understand why he doesn't get the game time he deserves at Anfield. Cracking player with pace, a good cross and an equally good shot
Torres - do I need to explain?

Parakeet: I'm going to cheat a little, I would have Reina over Kirkland any day of the week because I don't really rate Chris. I'd snap up Johnson in a second as I think one of the major problems with our defence atm is our 'captain' Melchiot. Glen Johnson is easily the best RB in the prem atm and soon will be one of the best in the world. He is up there atm already to be honest. From midfield and strikers it's quite obvious who would get picked. If Gerrard was to show the passion for Wigan like he does for Liverpool he would be a GREAT addition to the squad because of the range of his abilities. Of course from the strikers I would pick Torres ( Have you actually got any other good strikers?  ) , behind Drogba he is the best striker in the Prem atm.

B_D: Daniel Agger. Top youngish defender with plenty to offer in terms of attack and defending, obviously. Has a belter of a left foot on him to which can help us out with our goal threat.

Steven Gerrard. Has been one of the best midfielders of his generation. Can attack, defend, play out wide, play deep or play in his most noted role of being just behind Fernando Torres.

Fernando Torres. Possibly the best striker in the world at the moment, especially when fully fit. Has everything a striker needs.

Hollywood: Well firstly, i would love to see Steven Gerrard in a Latics shirt. I think it would be good to see Daniel Agger and it would also be an honour to have Fernando Torres playing for us too. I think those three players mentioned are possibly the best three players in the premierleague, in their positions.

7. If you've seen Liverpool at all this season, what one Wigan Athletic player do you think would bring some improvement to our team?

I think N'Zogbia would fit in well because Kuyt seems to be playing wide and is far from a wide player.

Parakeet: Easy decision imo, Rodders would be a good addition for Liverpool, it seems that without Torres, Liverpool don't know how to score. If Rodders was to get the same service as Torres recieves he would bag plenty. He can score screamers from the edge of the box aswell as poach from inside the area.

B_D: Someone out wide such as N'Zogbia, Liverpool are lacking natural width and he hugs the touchline.
Plus someone who can step in if Torres isn’t playing. Rodallega has been a revelation this season and would be superb cover for Torres.

Hollywood: I think that would have to be either Rodallega or N' Zogbia. I think Rodallega could work quite well with Torres as a dominating strike force once established a partnership. Also, i think N' Zogbia would possibly improve the teams performance with his productivity and sheer pace down that left or right hand side.

8. 15th and 18th in the form league suggests both are teams are playing pretty poorly at the moment, who do you think will come out on top tomorrow evening?

I'd like to say us, but I think a draw is the best we can hope for.  The 'big club, little club' attitude will always hinder us at places like Anfield.  Just look at last years game for example.  Best side, beaten by a poor decision.

Parakeet: Even though Liverpool are in a slump, I think that tomorrow with a fit Gerrard and a fit Torres you won't have a problem taking all three points.

B_D: Honestly, Liverpool. They are in need of a win and the pressure is all on them to get the result. Its going to be a very scrappy 1-0 to them I reckon. Hope i'm wrong though.

Hollywood: That is very true, however its Liverpool with that little bit of extra quality and, that to me will be the difference between the two sides tomorrow. Unless of course good old Titus Bramble suprises us like he did a few seasons ago back at Anfield. Liverpool v Wigan is a no win situation for the away side in my opinion. However, Wigan are a very unpredictable team at the moment as the Chelsea game proved, so on the possitive side its anyones game. I predict 3-1 to the home side unfortunately.

9. Finally, I have to mention it, Figueroa's goal... Goal of the season?

Distance wise definitely.  Sometimes I think team goals deserve more credit than they get, but it'll certainly be up there.

Parakeet: Definitely.

B_D: Definitely a contender isn’t it? We’ll have to see what the rest of the season brings but such a great goal that was worthy of winning the game.

Hollywood: Haha, its definitely a contender. However, some may say it was just a fluke whereas, others (me included), would like to say goals like that are a real joy to see and its a rare occasion that this actually happens, and that takes exceptional skill itself.

Just for a little bit of a laugh, Parakeet provided a idiotic Wigan supporter with a rather clinical reply in one of my Spyin’ Kop threads, and shows we have some allies within the Wigan faithful:

Quote from: Parakeet
Quote from: Mycal51
Why is Gerrard a diving kangaroo?
The same reason Hugo is, the same reason Scharner scored using his hands at Tottenham. The same reason Rooney dived at the weekend. The same reason Ronaldo used to dive everyweek. The same reason Drogba falls over like he's been shot.

We'll be coming,
We'll be coming,
We'll be coming down the road,
When you hear the noise of the Billy Shankly boys,
We'll be coming down the road.

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