Good summer everybody? Well, now that this World Cup nonsense has been put to bed it's finally back to what matters, and that's the Premier League with an opener against the mighty Blackpool. It was a topsy turvy campaign last time around, hopefully the 2010/2011 season will bring some stability to the club with some foundations with which to build on.
Roberto Martinez is going to have to serve up some better results this season after some of the poor displays last time. Wigan fans all agreed that it would take time for Martinez's style of play to properly take shape but he's had a year now and an opportunity to buy players of his own choosing. To put it simply, there has to be at least some signs of improvement this time. Dave Whelen has proved before when the appointment of Chris Hutchings wasn't working out, that he's not shy in replacing a manager when it's required.
However, I have looked on with confidence at some of Martinez's buys. I'll look in more detail at some of our signings in another post but Antolin Alcaraz had a good World Cup and will be a very welcome addition at the back. Ronnie Stam as well also looks to be a decent buy who did well last season at eventual Dutch champions FC Twente.
Looking at some of the players who have left the DW Stadium this summer doesn't exactly bring a tear to my eye. Paul Scharner has started to outstay his welcome and contributed very little last season. I don't think he'll be missed. Titus Bramble has gone to Sunderland but endured a torrid time last season. He looked lost at times last year, especially at the thrashings we experienced at Spurs and Manchester United. Martinez has done well to strengthen our defence and replaced two players who were starting to look past their best.
So we start the campaign on the 14th August with a very winnable game against Blackpool. That particular game will maybe give us quite a few clues about what we can expect from both Wigan and Blackpool's seasons. After that however we find ourselves playing Chelsea and Spurs. Tough times.
August was a good month for us last year. Maybe we can spring a surprise or two this time around.