29/01/13 – Stoke vs Wigan (Premier League)

Stoke vs WiganStoke host Wigan in what is not only a severe clash in playing style but also a classic ‘English’ system against an Italian-inspired 3-5-2. Despite their league position Wigan are a tricky opponent for Stoke, who haven’t won a league meeting between the two in the last six attempts. Stoke’s main strengths are largely neutralised by Wigan – three centre backs provide cover for Crouch’s knock-downs or flick-ons, Gomez ensures there is no numerical advantage in midfield, and wing backs work hard to keep opposing wingers away from danger areas. As is so often the case when discussing 3-5-2 systems, the result is likely to be determined who wins the wing battles… (Read more)

17/08/12 – Wigan 12/13 Season Preview

WiganWigan will begin their fourth season under celebrated manager Roberto Martinez, but just like the last three years they will continue to be amongst the favourites for relegation. It is this that ultimately lies at the paradox of Martinez’s reputation. For all the nice interviews he gives and the sporadic moments of genuine quality from his team, it seems that Wigan are no better off in 2012 than they were in 2009. With this record it seems bizarre that Martinez could have ended up managing Aston Villa and Liverpool. Like a boxer rallying towards the end of a round to impress the judges, Wigan’s traditional end of season form seems to falsely place Martinez on other clubs’ wish-lists… (Read more)