Wigan Prediction: Martinez to Perform Miracles Again as Koné Fires the Latics to Safety
By Adrian Back | August 17, 2012 8:40 PM EST
Roberto Martinez has lost Mohamed Diame and Hugo Rodallega this summer but he has secured replacements in Arouna Koné and Fraser Fyvie. Add to that the addition of Ryo Miyaichi on-loan from Arsenal and Ivan Ramis from Mallorca and it has been a good summer of spending for Wigan.
Koné has proved himself over many years in both Holland and Spain. Last season he scored 15 league goals for Levante as the tiny Spanish club enjoyed an incredible season - at one point threatening to qualify for the Champions League. Ramis has Europa League experience and is a solid performer at centre-back, while Fyvie is described by Martinez as "technically gifted and very powerful". Well that sounds promising.
Wigan have been busy in pre-season, playing some 11 games. It has been a mixed bag with four wins, four draws and three losses. The final two games have been played in Spain against strong opposition in Mallorca and Celta Vigo; both have resulted in losses and without a goal being scored. Still, we all know Wigan start badly.
Reasons Why They'll be Successful
If Martinez can somehow get his players to emulate the performances at the tail end of last season then Wigan should finish comfortably in mid table. They outplayed Liverpool at Anfield, beat Manchester United at home and Arsenal away, before thumping Newcastle 4-0 and relegating Blackburn with a 1-0 win. The players must remember the freedom with which they expressed themselves and anything is possible.
Reasons Why Not
Let's face facts, in the last two seasons Wigan have been incredibly close to relegation, only for Martinez to somehow conjure up another great escape. It could be that this season they run out of luck. The defence looks weak and if Kone fails to deliver then Wigan fans will not want to be relying on Franco di Santo for vital goals - his record of nine in 86 Premier League games is less than impressive.
Wigan have, at the time of publishing, managed to keep Victor Moses and in James McCarthy and James McArthur they have some real talent in midfield. Miyaichi is a huge talent and if Martinez gets his side to play their exciting brand of attacking football then they will hope to steer clear of the relegation zone throughout the season.
16th - That's right Wigan fans, safety. No flirting with relegation but a decent season when safety is secured and they can afford to switch off at the end of the campaign.
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