Tag Archives: chey dunkley

‘Thanks to Massey playing for the name on his back and not the badge on the front.’ Wigan fans react to their draw

Wigan Athletic travelled to Bristol City this weekend. They nearly grabbed the first away win of the season but unfortunately were subject to a late equaliser.

Chey Dunkley was Wigan’s goal hero. For the majority of the game, it looked like Wigan would get the first away win of the season.

However, Paul Cook’s side ended up drawing with Bristol City. The game finished 2-2 after an 86th minute equaliser.

The fact that Wigan managed to score two goals and take the lead is an improvement on their away form.

However, this is still disappointing for fans and the players. Here’s your Twitter reactions…

Twitter reactions

Fox and Pilkington are integral to Wigan Athletic’s season, agree?

Wigan Athletic drew 2-2 with Burnley, in a game which saw the away side dominate early proceedings before the Latics hit back. Wigan starts their Championship campaign against Cardiff City this week at the DW Stadium.

Paul Cook’s men ended their pre-season preparations on two positive performances, drawing with strong Premier League sides Everton and Burnley.

Wigan now has six days to strengthen their armour, ahead of the season starting next Saturday. Although, after a number of impressive displays from youngsters, do they need as many incomings as originally planned?

Let’s look at two things we learnt from Wigan’s final warm-up match vs Burnley…

Danny Fox is our best central defender

Bear in mind he’s vastly experienced and played at this level for many years, it’s expected. Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre are young, inexperienced but strong and improving defenders. The difference for me – Fox reads the game so much better. In the first half, Burnley opened us up a number of times, particularly through the movement of Jay Rodriguez, which resulted in the away side grabbing a quick 0-2 lead.

Fox was introduced after the break and we looked a completely different side. Reads the game brilliantly, strong in the air, and also a very good footballer. He starts attacks with his arrowed cross-field passes, just an underrated player.

Anthony Pilkington is pushing for a start vs Cardiff

The majority of us expected Michael Jacobs and Gavin Massey to be starting on the wings next week, however, Pilkington has played himself right into contention. He scored his third goal of pre-season yesterday, a good finish following quality play from Josh Windass. The winger is playing with confidence and looks back to his best.

Also, his versatility is key. Pilkington can play across the forward line, both footed, scores goals, beats players, just all-round a good player to have in your squad. After his superb debut vs Aston Villa, I was expecting a big season from him. However, it faded out, whether it was down to lack of match fitness or just not clicking with the other forwards. Hopefully, a full pre-season has allowed him to get up to full speed and form partnerships with Windass, Jacobs and Massey. An important season coming up for Pilkington.

Speculation rises with Wigan Athletic fans over mystery centre half signing

Wigan are reportedly close to signing a centre back if they can fight off competition from an unnamed club. There are further rumours surfacing that the target is Birmingham defender Michael Morrison.

The defender was one of The Brummies’ best players last season, but he has yet to commit his future to the Midlands club. With his contract running down this summer, a move to Wigan may tempt him into leaving.

It’s common knowledge that Latics manager Paul Cook is targeting a ‘ball-playing centre half’ to form a partnership with Danny Fox. Chelsea youngsters Matt Miazga and Jake Salter-Clarke have both been linked with loan moves in recent weeks, however, Cook may be looking for a permanent deal, if thinking long-term.

Chey Dunkley is being linked with a move to Sheffield Wednesday, which wouldn’t come as a massive surprise to Wigan fans. Although the young defender is learning and performed well last season, he just doesn’t look comfortable playing out from the back. Dunkley is a solid defender, very physical and strong, however, tends to panic on the ball and rush clearances.

The signing of Danny Fox in January certainly helped us, with him offering that leadership, calmness and footballing abilities we needed. So I imagine Cook will be desperately trying to sign a centre back similar to Fox, in order to be able to adopt his passing style from minute one next season.

A fully fit Rolls Royce defender will make the difference for Wigan Athletic this season

If you think Virgil Van Dijk is good, wait till Danny Fox gets a full season under his belt. A Rolls Royce defender.

He was signed in January from Nottingham Forest for around £400,000 and was brilliant in pretty much every game he played. Not only good defensively, but also quality on the ball and starts attacks from deep. A couple of knocks cut his season short. However, with a full pre-season, he’ll be like having a new signing and we can build our team around him.

Paul Cook likes his defenders to play out from the back. In the opening months of the season, Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre both struggled to adapt their games to a style they clearly hadn’t played before. It wasn’t until Fox came in, then they looked different players.

He just has that experience to create space, pick the right pass, order the team to move and use the full pitch. Fox never panics or rushes a clearance, always looking to find a midfielder and build an attack. I like having a left and right-footed centre half partnership too, it’s just a lot easier to adopt that passing style because they are comfortable playing on that side of the pitch.

I imagine we’ll sign Matt Miazga or Jake Salter-Clarke from Chelsea, as they possess the ability to play out from defence, which is seemingly very important to Cook. They’ll slot alongside Fox perfectly.

Should Wigan Athletic Be Going All Out for Oldham Athletic’s Edmundson or Focus Elsewhere

George Edmundson is presumably on route to Peterborough or Rangers. Both clubs are battling for his signature, although it seems The Posh have moved ahead in the race, after reportedly having an offer accepted for the young defender.

Edmundson was named in the 2018/19 EFL League Two team of the season and, is attracting interest from a number of sides. Oldham will be hoping for an auction, to raise as much money as possible for their departing defender.

Wigan manager Paul Cook is on the hunt for a ‘ball-playing’ defender, but I think Matt Miazga will sign on loan from Chelsea, which will fill that void. The Latics signed Danny Fox in the January transfer window, who has performed brilliantly since joining from Nottingham Forest. He’s a real leader and comfortable playing out from the back. Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre are both young, strong defenders, but aren’t great footballers in terms of distributing the ball from the defence. Miazga would give us that physicality and ability to start attacks from the defence, that Cook is looking for.

I expect the majority of our transfer budget to be spent on a new number nine, to score us 15-20 goals, and the rest on a new midfielder to replace Reece James. Most of our signings will be frees and loans unless we sell one of our assets like Sam Morsy for a sizeable fee. A centre back isn’t an immediate priority, so I’d say it’s unlikely we’ll be joining the chase for Edmundson. Especially considering an auction will likely see the fee rise to around £1 million, Wigan could put that money towards a new striker.

Don’t get me wrong, I really rate Edmundson, and I believe he’ll be worth a lot more than £1 million in a couple of years time, so he’s a very good long-term investment. However, Wigan needs to buy players, for NOW, players that are going to impress from the off and push us up the table next season.

Two Things Mansfield Town’s Krystian Pearce Could Bring to Salford City

Salford are reportedly interested in signing Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce. The Stags lost out in the League Two play-offs, and with Salford being a club on the rise, could Pearce be tempted by a move North?

Mansfield missed out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season, then lost on penalties to Newport County in the semi-finals of the playoffs. Salford are an exciting proposition and could provide a new challenge for Pearce to tackle.

Graham Alexander has already started the building process, to prepare his side for League Two, by signing four players. The gaffer has looked to sign experience and talent, Pearce would certainly within that bill.

I looked at the positive impacts Krystian Pearce could have on Salford…

Physicality

From experience of watching Wigan in the lower leagues, it’s important to have two physically strong centre backs. A lot of the other teams (with all respect) don’t play Guardiola football, they play the exact opposite. Lots of long balls and crosses into the box, you need to be prepared for that. Wigan had Chey Dunkley and Dan Burn who just cleared everything, it wasn’t always pretty, but it was effective. Pearce is one of the best defenders in League Two and would be a top signing for Salford.

Leadership

Pearce was Manfield’s captain last season and guided them to a fourth-place finish. The season ended in disappointment, narrowly missing out on promotion, but Pearce was a rock at the back for The Stags and one of their shining lights. Mansfield will be keen to hang onto their top defender, however, Salford seems to be able to attract players by their clear signs of ambition to rise through the EFL.