With the eyes of the whole world on the city of London last night, it’s no surprise that broadcasters chose not to screen Wigan Athletic’s clash with Spanish ‘giants’ Celta Vigo at the Balaidos Stadium. I should think that’s the only reason, however, and that such a high profile friendly would normally have ESPN scrambling for Big DW’s phone number. But with the lure of a Spice Girls reunion too tempting to resist, not a single public house in the Wigan area would be seen dead with a dodgy Latics satellite feed on their big screens.
Ordinarily, Wigan’s final pre-season friendly is a chance for the gaffer to try out his first choice XI, just to see how well they’re gelling with imminent Premier League tests to follow. No such luxury here, however, for with five players away on international duty, Bob was forced to field a somewhat experimental XI against Premera Division opposition. Not that McManaman, Fyvie, Crusat and Adrian Lopez would have complained much, but I have no doubt the backsides of many a Latics fan will be clenching simultaneously this morning. It wasn’t that great a game, you see.
With no new attacking options brought into the ranks as yet, the hopes of many are pinned on a returning Mauro Boselli. You’d have been forgiven for thinking we’d never again see the Ten Million Dollar Man, but here he is, back challenging for a first team place. So don’t call him a $10m flop just yet. He got a full 90 minutes and came close to scoring last night, but might not have done enough to warrant a berth in the starting line-up for Chelsea next week – pending injuries, of course.
Speaking of which, the James McArthur ‘injury’ ploy worked perfectly, ensuring he has not gone on international duty. Hahar, now we can rest him up for the start of the Premier League next week! Quick thinking that, Roberto.Celta Vigo, Friendlies, London 2012, Olympic Games, Pre-season, Report