Ahead of our Premier League clash with Wigan Athletic, we caught up with Daniel Farrimond, a Latics fan who runs the blog Jesus was a Wiganer. He answered a few of our questions about where he thinks his side will finish the season, and what he makes of Wigan’s transfer business.
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: What do you make of Wigan’s transfer activity this summer?
Daniel Farrimond: I’m relatively pleased, especially because the new boys have already made themselves heard. Arouna Kone is the obvious one – he looks to be strong and has a decent finish, as evidenced by his goal against Southampton. Ryo Miyaichi on loan from Arsenal, is also an exciting prospect with his pace, and certain outlets are already touting him as ‘better than Victor Moses’. They are mostly Gunners fanzines though, ha!
Ivan Ramis has recovered from a shaky start against Chelsea and now looks solid, like he’s been here for ages and it’s only been a couple of months! Just you watch though, he’ll have a stinker against United now I’ve said that.
Jordan: What would have to happen for you to consider this season a successful one?
Dan: Personally I’d be happy with an improved league placing from last season’s 15th. We had a really bad run of losses towards the back end of the last calendar year, and without that we could easily have finished mid-table – a win and two draws more would have put us in 10th. I recall Ferguson, and even Gary Neville, acknowledged our ‘false position’ as the season drew to a close. Mid-table is a good, positive target to aim for, I reckon.
Jordan: Who do you see as your most influential player for this Premier League campaign?
Dan: I could be boring and go for Shaun Maloney, who, providing he stays fit, will play a key part throughout the campaign. But I think Jean Beausejour could be just as important on the wing now Moses has gone south, quite literally. He may not get us as many goals as Victor, but has the ability to be influential in his own way by helping create opportunities and getting those crosses in from the left.
Jordan: What do you make of Roberto Martinez? Do you think he will get a job offer for a so called ‘big club’ one day?
Dan: I really like Martinez as a person. It’s always easier to back the ex-players, but especially so with ‘Bob’ because he’s a real professional, a smooth talker and clever bloke. He really knows the club and has a genuine respect for the fans. I’m not just saying that, either – he conducts regular fan forums and meetings with fansite leaders and seems to enjoy himself every time.
Although Roberto may still have a bit of maturing to do tactics-wise, it must be remembered he’s still only 39 and will improve with experience. He could easily be at a top European side in five to ten years’ time, maybe even, dare I say it… United?
Jordan: Possibly one day!, As an ex-Wigan man, did you have any doubts about Antonio Valencia making it at United?
Dan: Actually yes, but that’s only because most Wigan players who leave for bigger clubs never quite fulfil their potential. It’s like a curse or something. Antonio seems to be an exception to this rule, and though he was never going to be another Cristiano Ronaldo, he’s a more than able candidate. I remember him taking a while to settle in at Wigan, but once he ‘clicked’, you sensed he was destined for bigger things.
Jordan: If you could take one United player for your team, who would you go for and why?
Dan: Can I say Van Persie? I think every fan in the country would like him at their club, but that’s a bit too obvious, isn’t it?
Someone like the aforementioned Valencia would really add an extra dimension to the team, namely pace, the ability to beat a man and that finishing touch. Proper attacking threat. Not that we don’t have those abilities strewn across various positions, but this one man has the lot.
Shinji Kagawa looks a bit tasty too, but not as much as his girlfriend.
Jordan: Finally, what score do you think it’ll be this weekend?
Dan: Hoping for a Wigan win of course, but a draw would represent a decent afternoon’s work. A point at Old Trafford? Yes please. 1-1, methinks, providing Caldwell can keep a lid on you-know-who.
Jordan: I’ll go for 3-1 United, cheers Dan!