…and the FA Cup!
As the door creaked open, at least half a dozen pairs of eyes simultaneously stared in its general direction. A small ripple of applause ran through the home dressing room to greet Uwe Rosler, who took a seat by the coffee machine. It was a relatively low-key entrance, especially considering the motley crew of Latics fansite editors had been keenly anticipating his arrival for about half an hour.
Jonathan Jackson was currently screening highlights of last season’s FA Cup (any excuse to do so is a good one in my book) and fielding questions on club finances while that bloke from JWAW sat scratching illegible letter forms into the back of waste printer paper. I don’t know why, because not even the strongest of beer goggles could translate them some 48 hours later. It’s a good job, then, that I recorded the experience for posterity.
Just in case you don’t have much time to listen right now, I shall sum up the afternoon in one handy blog post for you to skim over.
First up, the burning question. Nope, not Uwe’s soft drink of choice (watch it!), but the issue of constant line-up changes. It was almost as if Mr Rosler had been expecting this, as he immediately cited Alex Ferguson as the main inspiration for his squad rotation tactics. And it wasn’t through gritted teeth – there was not a hint of his past allegiance to Manchester City. Well, maybe a tiny bit.
Next, something to take away and paste into your headline boxes – players have to wear shin pads in training. Seems sensible enough to me, unless you’re Chris Kirkland… except Kirky might need back pads these days. A pity, really, that those injuries prevented him becoming a more regular England international. Ooh, on the subject of internationals:
Callum McManaman is a big asset for us. That sort of quality we have to get in or develop. — Rosler
Wigan Athletic Academy
Uwe spoke of the proposed academy which, according to Jonathan Jackson, should come to fruition in the next 2-3 years. Again, it’s hard to disagree with the overall aim of attracting young players that would otherwise head off to Manchester United or Liverpool. High hopes perhaps, but you have to have that ambition, and who was to say it won’t be fulfilled? We had, after all, just rewatched Sir Ben Watson’s goal in the FA Cup Final with broad smiles on our faces.
Youth is very much a part of Uwe’s plans. Owen Coyle brought in experienced players with the short-term aim of regaining Wigan’s Premier League status at the first attempt. The new regime of player development seems to tally with the club’s (and the fans’) longer-term aspirations, which is heartening.
Also heartening was the news regarding Ivan Ramis:
I think he can play, but not every three or four days and recover in time. I don’t know how long it will take … it depends how quick Ivan will respond to the training. — Rosler
Shaun Maloney is 4-6 weeks from being back in consistent training, while Gary Caldwell is ‘ahead of Shaun’. And that’s your February injury report, folks!
We were given a brief run-down of the ’4 Second Rule’, which has nothing to do with dropped food, but has its roots in the German playing style. Central to this philosophy is getting shots on target as soon as possible – within four seconds of receiving the ball in the final third, in fact. This differs from Roberto’s setup in that attack is an effective form of defence as opposed to vice versa.
Finally, there was a word for players out of contract in the summer. It is ‘too early to say’ what will happen at the moment, but then this was to be expected – I’d suggest a quick return to the Premier League would help make up their mind. But then you aren’t here to listen to what I have to say, so here’s a few other points raised along with some links to more detailed articles on the afternoon.
The Best of the Rest
- Grant Holt’s loan move was instigated by Paul Lambert at Aston Villa.
- Nouha Dicko wanted to leave, the club agreed to the price.
- Rosler sees Rob Kiernan, who ‘has a future at the club’, as a centre half rather than an all-out midfielder.