Editors Blog: What a Difference a Summer Makes

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

We are now two months into the 2013/14 season and the international break is coming at a fantastic time for Wigan. The players having had a turn around of seven games in 22 days it gives them a chance to rest and we the fans a chance to look back on what has happened.

19th May 2013 and after eight years in the Premier League Wigan came tumbling down. Yet a team that only a week ago had lifted the greatest domestic cup competition in the world, was about to unravel in the space of two weeks leaving us with a squad of ten senior players and no manager.

When you look at back it now you realize just how much work Owen Coyle has had to do to get Wigan up and running; and why in our eyes he never stood a chance. Coyle came in replacing the man who changed the style of the club both on and off the pitch and won us our first ever major trophy.

Roberto Martinez will be one of the club's greatest ever managers for those simple facts.

The gauntlet that Owen Coyle picked up was a tricky one. First off he had to try and rebuild our squad, secondly he had to replace any vacant holes in the coaching staff. After all that, there was the small matter of trying to mold is own style of play on a group of players who hadn't really played together, as well as getting them fit for the start of the season.

When a new manager comes into a team full of players that have played together for a while it is very easy to sit them all down and tweak how you want them to play together. That isn't what has happened here, the squad has had to been built for a baseline of a few players, and integrating them successfully.

Yet on the 3rd August, Wigan stepped out onto the pitch at Barnsley and looked like a team that had gelled quickly and efficiently to play with quality and class and win a game comfortably 4-0. That was really the wrong result, a tight sloppy 1-0 win would have been better for the players and the fans.

As a club we probably got a bit carried away, not realizing how much work we still had to do.

The players would have felt on cloud nine and think that maybe this Championship isn't all it is cracked up to be (one huge mistake). While we the fans, well we just thought our team was going to be invincible. The rest of the performances in the month showed the work we had a lot of work to do.

Going into the last game of the month, against a strong Nottingham Forrest we played outstandingly well, in both areas of the pitch and it looked like we had cracked it. That time the international break didn't work in our favor. Players went away got more tired and even injured and the squad lost some of its cohesion.

Its hard to imagine that a team that was so well drilled in passing a few months ago was struggling to pass the ball, but that is what we were doing.

The simple fact was the players were strangers and it wasn't the same team that under Roberto Martinez had been so fluid, it was a new Latics with a new game plan under a new manager. The transition period here was always going to be a painful one, we just never imagine how painful it could be.

Even so the period hasn't been as bad as many of us are really seeing it has. We do currently sit 12th in the table, bare in mind we have two games in hand (they will be vitally important), we also have only lost three league games this season, none of which have come at home; something that we must be very proud of as a club.

Looking away from the League, a youngish side did an okay job against Manchester City. In the end it came out as 5-0 but for a large portion of the game we kept them out. Then there is the continental competition to look at, one draw and a win. Two very strong performances and we should all be happy.

There has been a lot of change over the Summer, but now as we head from the back end of Autumn towards Winter the Latics ship does look to be steadying and it could be a good end of the year for the boys in white and blue.

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