Match preview: Wigan v Real Zaragoza [Pre-season friendly]

Spanish flu: Roberto will be breaking out the paella

Good day fellow Latic fanatics and esteemed guests. I report to you from a rainy Hindley on the day of Wigan’s first and only home friendly (well, that’s if you don’t count the game at the Robin Park Arena) in preparation for the 2010/2011 campaign, which is now but ten days away.

A report on the Real Zaragoza match, which I am looking forward to, shall appear in due course, providing I make it back from the DW in one piece.

Now, readers, I am faced with a dilemma. Due to having a job that involves working Saturday afternoons, I am unlikely to make each home game as I did the previous season. In fact, I’m not sure how many I will actually be able to attend. Thus, it would be a bit of a gamble to get a season ticket… yet I probably will end up doing.

Can’t resist the temptation, you see. Even though there were some incredible downers in 2009/2010, nothing ever seems to discourage you from coming back for more. Am I sucker for punishment? Well, I wouldn’t say so – the victories over Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea more than made up for the bad times, at least in my opinion.

Work commitments (boo) mean I’m still unsure at this stage exactly what level of coverage JWAW will provide, or even what kind of direction we may take for the new season. In some ways that’s quite exciting because you never really know what’s around the corner, a bit like our team under Martinez. It’s a mini adventure.

One thing’s for sure, though. I shall attempt to keep JWAW Towers up and running for as long as the budget cuts and internet censors will allow. You see, I need this place to vent my spleen on matchdays almost as much as Pompey need a spare tenner. Well, I suppose that comment was uncalled for but I’ve typed it now so I can’t take it back.

Who knows what’s gonna happen? As ever, we hope for a season of success, progression and at the very worst a place in the Prem for 2011/12. It’s perhaps a bit too early to be thinking about that just yet, but you can’t help but look at the bigger picture. Will the Whelan-Martinez coalition go balls-up, or will Boselli finish the season’s top scorer and move to Chelsea for 25 million?

Will Liverpool’s new owners lend us a bunch of players on loan contracts because they simply can’t resist the lure of Big Dave’s offer of free Pooles pies for all concerned?

(The actual match preview bit starts here, if you want to skip the above. Whoops, should have said that at the beginning, shouldn’t I?)

Expect absolutely none of those questions to be answered tonight at the DW, open for business once again in eager anticipation of the world’s greatest footballers: Rooney, Torres, Fabregas, Drogba, Tevez and… erm, Jordi Gomez. Hmm.

Hoping to grace the hallowed turf for the first time this evening, however, will be Latics new boys Mauro Boselli, James McArthur and World Cup superstar Antolin Alcaraz.  Hopes are high that Bob’s summer signings will live up to the hype that’s been building since he first put pen to paper as Latics’ head honcho. Well, I say ‘hype’, but that’s more in my own head than anywhere else.

Hailing from Martinez’ homeland of Aragon, Real Zaragoza are certainly not here in Wigan just to sample the local cuisine. They finished 14th in last season’s La Liga and boast international talent such as Uruguay keeper Carlos Diogo, Edmilson and ex-Liverpool ‘bad boy’ Jermaine Pennant.

Expect a tough time for the Latics as Martinez puts his continental style to the European test. I guess you could say this Latics team is ‘meeting its maker’, of a fashion.

  • Wigan v Real Zaragoza, pre season friendly, tonight @ 7:45PM. Pay on the door, East and West Stands open only. Tickets: £10, £5 for concessions.
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