Be it by accident or design, this particular fansites forum arrived at a good time. The past month has posed so many questions we could have sat and talked with Mr Mackay about the weather and Christmas television schedules for twice, nay, thrice as long. But 75 minutes seems to be the optimal time period for the most important topics to be discussed at reasonable length without the outlandish ‘favourite soft drink’ or ‘best pie filling’ creeping in. Actually I think the meeting might have been halted had I thrown in the odd reference to Lucozade or good ol’ meat ‘n’ taters…
Malky was joined by his right hand man David Kerslake and Jonathan Jackson to field questions from the fansite and fanzine representatives, and… well, I could sit here and transcribe them all, but I get the feeling you’d rather listen to the whole thing for yourself. Luckily, I ‘borrowed’ a microphone from the PWU Studio to capture the whole thing on digital tape. If indeed such a thing exists.
In attendance: Simon Gregory (Supporters Club), Jimmy T (Mudhutter and TNS), Jason Taylor (Cockney Latic), Paul Farrington (wiganer.net), Dan Farrimond (Jesus Was A Wiganer and PWU Podcast), Liam Sephton (All Gone Latics) and Barry Worthington (Vital Latics)
Textual highlights version
Most topics were at least touched upon across the hour and fifteen minutes, from Malky’s overarching football philosophy to the coaching and academy setup and what might happen in January. Each question was fielded expertly and with great confidence by the manager, who wasn’t afraid to crack the odd joke in between serious(ish) footballing matters.
Malky spoke about his training sessions and how he would like a reactive strategy that changes according to opposition. While not wanting to single out particular players, he did cite McManaman, Kiernan, McClean and Tavernier as good young players. Watson and McCann were also mentioned as bringing experience to the side, and Shaun Maloney is still very much in his plans.
Mr Mackay was proud to get the call to be the new manager of Wigan Athletic, and is impressed by the staff who, while small in number, are highly skilled. Jonathan Jackson explained how Mr Whelan’s grandson David Sharpe is becoming more involved with the club with a view to eventual succession, and Malky says this ‘can only be good’ for the club.
Malky talked about what he had been doing in the months prior to taking the Wigan job, and it could have something to do with rugby league. He also ran through his pre-match rituals including the importance of his match shoes!
As for what exactly might happen in January, the answer was very much ‘let’s see what happens’. Hey, you wouldn’t want him to spoil the excitement, would you? But Malky hinted that he will be looking ‘outside the box’, and assess individuals such as Maynor Figueroa based on the need for players in particular positions and financial viability.
Most importantly of all, Malky has a big plan to win back the FA Cup which may or may not involve him coming out of retirement… reminds me of a certain April Fools joke from a couple of years back!
Big fat list o’ question/topic timecodes:
0:00: How do we get more out of the squad?
4:50: One or two strikers?
7:06: Characters with leadership quality in the squad.
10:20: Silent training sessions.
11:30: Grant Holt.
13:00: Who are your main strikers?
14:40: Short term (this season) and 16:30 medium term (next season) goals (with Jonathan Jackson)
19:50: Outperforming the Burnley and Blackburn academies – it’s ‘not sexy’
22:30: The magic of the FA Cup.
24:20: Formation/tactical setup – Malky’s footballing philosophy.
29:45: Most impressive players so far?
31:50: Championship experience: similar situation to Watford?
34:30: The future of Tim Chow and Fraser Fyvie – youth setup.
37:10: Biggest changes at the club thus far?
41:00: The fight for goalkeeping #1.
42:30: Pre-match rituals and switching dugouts.
45:50: What about the Wigan job appealed to you?
47:36: David Sharpe (Mr Whelan’s grandson) and his role at the club.
49:30: January transfer window plans – 51:50: any areas in particular to strengthen?
52:25: Malky’s Clough/Taylor relationship with David Kerslake, and his coaching staff.
58:00: Do Malky and David work together on team selection?
59:20: Enough pace in defence, particularly at centre back?
1:00:00: How hard is it to be out of work as a football manager, and what do you do to ‘keep your eye in’?
1:02:30: What can we achieve this season?
1:03:30: Plans for Maynor Figueroa in January?
1:05:02: Thoughts on two up front – strike partnerships.
1:06:44: Roger Espinoza’s short term future.
1:07:40: Recruiting from Scotland/abroad.
1:10:00: Will Thomas Rogne be leaving?
1:10:25: Big plans to win back the FA Cup?
1:10:50: Shaun Maloney – should we believe everything in the media?
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