Wigan Athletic will be looking to push on from last season, in which they finished 18th. That was a deemed a success considering the club had been relegated the last time it was in this division, however after the financial backing from IEC, it’s time to aim higher.
Wigan spent big money (for our standards) in the summer, the owners have done their part and backed the manager, now it’s time for the rest of us to pull our weight. The pressure is on Paul Cook. They’ve signed the players he wanted, now it’s up to him to get the best out of them and see us progress as a club.
Looking into the future, we have a relatively young squad and there’s a lot of our players that I can see having big futures. I hope we’ve got sell-on clauses in their contracts, ever the optimist. However, there’s a couple of teenagers that are promising huge things, it’s important we don’t put too much pressure on them at a young age, but it’s difficult to not be excited by their early performances.
Joe Gelhardt will be involved in the first-team when returning from injury. An England youth international, with bags of flair, quality and confidence. Despite being just 16, he has no issues with expressing himself on the pitch, obviously a big believer in his own ability. For example vs Burnley, albeit it was just a friendly, the youngster smashed his first shot into the bottom corner, a great finish. Still very raw, but I like that. Take that edge and tenacity out of his game, suddenly you have half the player. Let him loose, enjoy yourself and show us what you’ve got.
On the other hand, Jenson Weir is Wigan’s Xavi. What did I just say about not lumping pressure on them? Never mind. This kid is a diamond, mature way beyond his years. When coming on vs Burnley, I was expecting a few attempted ‘ Hollywood balls’ or long-distance shots. None of it, just simple but effective midfield play. Even the crowd were urging him to shoot from range, but no, pick the pass out wide and get back into position. A player that just reads the game so well and looked at home immediately.