Many people across the Wigan Wide Web have vented their anger at being disappointed by the team sheet on Saturday. Nine changes from the game against Manchester United, many have said this is the FA Cup, why aren't we going for silverware? Shall we just first clear this all up.
Roberto Martinez used the game on Saturday as a chance to rotate his squad. When Manchester United or Manchester City make changes, do their managers get it in the neck? No they don't. Although of course I will add what they do is a little different. They have a much greater strength in depth that Wigan could ever hope for, but we still have to allow for reserve and youth players to have their go. That was what Saturday was all about.
The younger lads were given the chance to breathe and get 90 minutes of football under their belt. It allowed us, the fans the ones who are suppose to care about this sort of stuff, to see just who could be the next big thing at Wigan. What it told us was we have a few good young talents.
Roman Golobart, Daniel Redmond, Frazer Fyvie and Callum McManaman all put in good shifts for the side. We saw how Redmond is a talented player, but hasn't yet grasped the physical abilities needed for this level. Fyvie tries to do to much to impress, the talent is there it just needs bringing out. While McManaman had a quite game, when he got on the ball he can be dangerous.
That just leaves one other young lad to talk about. Yet another Spanish defender, this one however isn't built like a twig. Roman Golobart hasn't had it easy at Wigan, breaking his leg in his second year at the club, then slowly rehabilitating till last season he spent a year up in Scotland with Inverness CT.
What a year that must have been for the lad. He became a favorite with the Caley fans, and you can see why. Strong and sharp both on and off the ball. Roman is a talent of a defender to behold even now, he was in total control at the back on Saturday and showed just how the central role should be played.
Golobart's performance was the main bonus for me.
There were downsides to Martinez's selection though, I am not denying their weren't some flaws. For example not playing Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez from the start. The two players were crying out for a chance like this. Get them 45 minutes in the FA Cup against a lower league side and see how they do. It would have meant that two senior player, David Jones and Mauro Boselli bot of whom had poor games, wouldn't have had to play.
The other man I would have liked to see play was Nouha Dicko. The winger recently recalled from Blackpool I feel should have played in McManaman's position, while Callum himself take Jordi Gomez's place in the center of the midfield. It wasn't Jordi's best day at the office, but then it wasn't for any of the senior players. Every time he got the ball he looked more or less instantly to pass it backwards, not helpful in the slightest.
Giving the side a more attacking edge should have been the key factor at the weekend. With the defence having to play two senior players, and then one senior wing-back. Surely a younger fresher strike force, backed up with a senior midfielder and the new arrival of Espinoza would have made a big difference, to the game?
Alas we will never know. We must take the positives. Golobart has developed well into a talent young defender; Aneglo Henriquez looks like a talented striker; and Mike Pollitt was able to perform a good 90 minute shift.
Latics now will have a chance for a second bite at the cherry when they travel to Dean's Court on the 15th January.