As you might be aware SB Nation recently added Pie Eaters Footie, a Wigan Athletic blog. Kieran AKA HeapyLatic is the site's manager and he and I traded some questions about Saturday's game. If you'd like to read my answers to his questions (and he asked some very good ones) head on over to the post on his site.
My questions and his answers are below.
Compared to some past seasons the number of players leaving Wigan this summer wasn't especially eye-popping, but Charles N'Zogbia's name looms large. How much of an effect has his departure had on the team?
Personally I would say it hasn't made that much of a difference, N'Zogbia was a quality player for us and undoubtedly would score or create chances; but I think as a team, losing him has been good as we now have less concentration on one player.
To say it's been a bit of a rough road for Victor Moses would be an understatement. He's clearly got a lot of talent, but just when it looked like he was going to hit his stride he ran into some injury trouble. What do you think of him as a player? Is he capable of a breakout this season?
I think he is already breaking out, having watched him played this season, he has looked by far our best player in attack. His ability on the ball and getting past player is first class, but his finishing is the lacking product. Moses could well be the next big thing out of Latics.
What was your take on Aston Villa's courting of Roberto Martinez and the manager's subsequent rejection of their advances?
I like how Whelan approaches these situations; if someone wants to go then let them go. Personally I wanted Martinez to stay and always will do as he is a top quality manger with the club and has its needs at heart. I was overjoyed when he turned down the chance to move, although I wouldn't have resented him had he moved on.
Where do you see Wigan ending up in the table this season? What do you see as a realistic expectation moving forward for the club? Is a push for Europe within the next few years likely?
This year round aiming for comfortable survival is the key. We only just managed it last year and we are slowling building a team of talented players who are at the club for a long term plan. Europe is Martinez's and I think in a couple of years once our players start coming of age and we get a few more bodies we will be challenging for a top 10 finish.
It seems as though every season the pundits call out Wigan as something of a sure bet for relegation at the end of the season. Despite this, they've been in the top flight for seven years now. What's it going to take for people to view them as something of a more permanent fixture?
I don't think people ever will, for most people we are a small club in a town full of egg chasers(rugby players.) However, slowly under Martinez we are changing the club's apperance and the way we play which always helps. I think a couple good season when we are completely safe will start to change people, but 'til then we are just the little club who will fight to survive, which in a way we are, but only as we choose to play football.