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A Latics point of view

worbo - from Vital Wigan answers some questions ahead of the Pompey v Wigan game this weekend.

Early days I know, but are you happy with how your season is going so far? It does seem you are a little inconsistent though perhaps - would that be fair?
No it wouldn't be unfair but we are getting the consistency there now as the team settles together, I am delighted to be honest with our start, we are playing some really good football and we have smashed one of our hoodoo's when we trounced Chelsea, it appears that Martinez is getting it all together, slowly but its coming together.

How did you feel about Steve Bruce 'leaving' in the summer?
I heard a whisper about a week before it happened, Steve Bruce was fantastic for Wigan Athletic, he made us solid, very difficult to play against and he is what I'd call second tier profile, not one of the big guys like Fergie or Benitez but definitely in the bunch below like Moyes and Redknapp and this gave us quite a bit of exposure.

His leaving to be honest though was all about who would replace him that would be the key as to whether it would be good or not.

That brings me round to Roberto Martinez perfectly, he has come in though and 'seems' to be doing a good job, so you must be happy with him, right?
Martinez was a hero of mine as a player, I always say with all things considered he is our best ever player, certainly the most influential that we have had at the club and to bring him back as manager I would say is a master stroke by Dave Whelan.

I watched Martinez at Swansea with envious eyes and thought he would be perfect as a Premier League manager and hoped against hope that we would get him to the Latics, low and behold we did, but not everyone shared my point of view.

With firstly Paul Jewell and then Steve Bruce we have been served rough and tumble, up and at 'em football for the best part of eight years, some of our fans have grown up with this, now Martinez comes in with his patient, possession football and we have quite literally got hysterics from a large quantity of our fans saying 'it'll never work' and 'we're going down' and all this before the season started!

There were some quite heated debates on the message boards and in the pubs around town I can tell you, but now that we have strung some decent results together most have come round to acknowledge that we have one of footballs brightest young coaches guiding us through this season and hopefully he'll stick around for a few seasons yet, he has revitalised the club and stated that he intends to change everything from how we recruit the kids to the way the first team plays and he is doing a great job, so to answer your question, yes I am very happy to have Roberto Martinez as our boss.

Are the club treating the fans well, or are they fleecing you?
Absolutely not, firstly the cost of an adult season ticket at £250 has to be one of, if not the cheapest in the Premier League; the next three home games against Fulham, Sunderland and Birmingham are being offered for just £30 for all three and if you are a season ticket holder you can purchase a ticket for anyone of those games, for a mate, for the princely sum of £1, yep just a quid, so no I'd say they are definitely not fleecing the fans.

Who do you think has been your best summer signing and why?
That is a difficult one because we have a new centre midfield pairing of Hendry Thomas and Momo Diame and they have both been outstanding so far, Thomas was spotted by Bruce and was due to sign last season but work permit issues led to that being delayed by a full year, he has come in from the Honduras league and plays like a seasoned Premier League player, aggressive and can play and pass the ball, strong in possession and a big lad a tremendous acquisition, but with him being Bruce's find I will say that Momo Diame is the best summer signing.

Martinez brought Diame from Spanish 2nd Division club Rayo Vallecano; he is just 22 and a French national, Diame was being tracked by Real Madrid, Arsenal and Celtic who had an offer turned down by his club, he is likened to Patrick Vieira and you will see why on Saturday, he is a complete midfield man with everything in his locker, strength, passing ability, the lot, he is 6' 2" and looks like he is still filling out, we paid Rayo £3 million for him and another player this summer, he must be worth at least double that already.

Could you have done with more arrivals - if so in which areas and maybe even who?
Definitely needed a striker to provide at least some cover up front, we have Rodallega, Scotland and Marlon King and that's it, Martinez likes to play with a lone striker supported by an attacking midfield but we are a little short up there, we tried to bring in both Kris Boyd from Rangers and McDonald from Celtic on deadline day but the deals fell through, I now believe Martinez has turned his attention to two different targets and deals to bring them in during the next window are nearing completion, for more details on that, well you'll have to check out Vital Wigan.

What were your expectations, or hopes before the season kicked-off? Have they changed since?
Expectations were that we would be competing around the mid-table area and a hope to push for a top eight and also have a little cup run, these haven't changed though the cup run will have to be the FA cup seeing as Blackpool trounced us in the Carling cup.

What about Pompey, what do you think we should expect or hope for now?
Sorry to say but I think you are in for a long hard season, I know you aren't getting battered every week but it looks like luck is against you, can you pull off a great escape again, I hope so and it is still early days but having seen you play on TV you lack a bit of quality and desperately need some in there.

Who is the real danger man that Pompey need to watch?
Player to watch from us would have to be Hugo Rodallega the lad is dynamite and with five goals already this season he is on fire.

If you could take any Pompey player and put him in your squad who would it be and why?
I like the look of Jamie O'Hara and of course you got Michael Brown off us and he will be really fired up for this, unless he is suspended? But John Utaka has always impressed me when I have seen him play. So I would say John Utaka, pacy forward with a good eye for goal and up front is one area where we need to strengthen.

Is there anyone that you would like to send Pompey's way? Not that we can sign anyone with our 'transfer embargo anyway!'
You can take your pick from: Olivier Kapo, Daniel de Ridder and Jordi Gomez, none of them could fight their way out of a paper bag, no don't take your pick, take all three.

Go on; is it going to be a home win, an away win or a score/bore draw this weekend?
I think we will continue our good run of form and beat you 1-2.

Questions answered by worbo from Vital Wigan - my answers will appear, if they have not already, in due course so keep an eye out for them!


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 30 2009

Time: 9:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Cheers for the chat Rug, your side of the coin is now up on Vital Wigan if you'd care to check it out.
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 11:02:00

cheers worbo, i've been pretty interested in Wigin this season mainly cause i saw what Martinez was doing at swansea and tbh was a little surprised he got a prem job so soon. but to be fair to the guy he looks like he's doing a fantastic job so i was obviously wrong lol. anyway good luck for the rest of the season bar tomorrow ofc :)
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 12:05:00

oh and you can take Utaka, just pick him up on the way home no-one will notice haha
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 12:07:00

every other team rates utaka ! why they probley just see the highlights of him pompey see him for 90 mins.
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 12:14:00

cheers for this worbo - whilst i think your 2-1 scoreline is right i think - and hope - it will be to us!
i answered my own thoughts on utaka in my interview with you, please take him...
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 12:44:00

Now now fellas, lets do it properly. I have bought the wrapping paper and a nice bow and a card. Everyone form an orderly queue to sign: Utaka - to Wigan, lots of love, from Pompey. xxx
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 15:08:00

I was very pleased to see you guys winning against Chelsea; you showed us how to beat a top four team. Only if we can do something like that, I would love to get beaten tomorrow and win against Manchester United!
Pompey Malta
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 15:38:00

can't we just win both malta :D
Report Abuse
30/10/2009 17:18:00


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