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2012/13 Report Cards: Centeral Defenders

Its been a hard season for our defenders. For most it have been a year to forget with injuries, and for others it has been a year to forget with the significant large amount of goals we conceded (a total of 73 League goals). So in this edition we look at the men who had mostly played for us in the center this season.

Michael Steele

Gary Caldwell

Captain Gary. The man we all expected to lead the team onto big things at the start of the season has yet again slipped into a below par performance. The start of last season he recovered from an injury to come back to form, this time round his form started pretty well before dipping significantly. The official reason a long term hip problem which has resulted in Gary having injections to be able to play.

Now though Gary has gone under the knife to resolve the problem for next season. The fact remains though he shouldn't have played in the games he did at the end of the current season; showing against Swansea City that he was lacking that yard of pace that is so important.

Grade: C

Antolin Alcaraz

Slow start for the Paraguayan international who was carrying a slight knock going into the start of the season. Then just has he was getting back fit, another international game and out for the majority of the season. It meant that we didn't see Alcaraz play in a Wigan shirt for over four months of football.

When the defender did return, he returned in style. Coming on against Liverpool who held a leaky defense together before putting on a spectacular run of form as Wigan past Everton and Millwall to the final of the FA Cup. He was also part of a Wigan team that beat Norwich City and Newcastle United at home; before getting injured against West Ham United. Antolin returned to play against Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

Grade: A

Ivan Ramis

The new Spanish defender came in for our first game of the season against Chelsea. The defender really struggled and was caught out as we went down 2-0. Yet slowly but surely Ramis learnt the English game and suddenly was turning out as one of our figure head players.

You felt that he and Alcaraz would make a mean defensive partnership. Yet for the start of the season he was the only consistent presence in our defense and showed why Roberto Martinez had spent that much money on the defender. Strong, fast and comfortable on the ball all the traits you want in a top quality defender.

Had it not been for his knee injury, then he could have even hit another gear for the club.

Grade: B+

Adrian Lopez

When you saw this name on the team-sheet we would all bow our heads and say dear me what have we done to deserve this. Yet when the chips were down and we needed a defensive hero, Lopez jumped to it and showed all the traits that makes a fan favorite defender.

Putting his head in where it matters, last ditch tackling and never giving up on the chance to win the ball back from the opposition. Again another defender who was slowly starting to improve for the team and you felt he could go on to be a key defender for the team.

Yet another injury and another missed opportunity as the player has now been released by the club.

Grade: B-

Maynor Figueroa

Figgy had yet another massive season for Wigan Athletic making 41 games for the club. As ever he managed to score the spectacular goal. A 35-yard strike against Nottingham Forrest was phenomenal and was worth the watch as it bulged the back of the net.

It wasn't the best of the seasons performance wise for Maynor, there were some really great performances for him this season, then there we some when you wondered why he was on the pitch. The most disappointing thing for Figueroa was getting injured just before the FA Cup final. A man who has been at the heart of our past few seasons was one of the few players who deserved to play in our FA Cup Final win.

Grade: B

Paul Scharner

The on loan hero of years gone by, came back to try and save our season and stop us from being relegated. The defender put in some impressive performances which mirrored a the man who first appeared at the club. Down at heart Scharner will always be a Latic and that showed.

The sheer jubilation on Paul's face as we won the FA Cup and the despair as we were relegated from the Premier League. All this was summed up with his speech after the final game of the season were he thanked the Latic fans for their support. Saying that Wigan is his footballing home. Scharner you will always be welcome in Wigan.

Grade: A-

Roman Golobart

How old? Sorry did you say that Roman is only 21 years old? How the man is built like a brick house and play like an experienced head. Going out on loan to Tranmere Rovers early on in the season Roman Golobart (a.k.a the pink iguana) was given time to bed back in at Latics before making his starting debuts.

Playing against Bradford City in the League Cup he stopped everyone trying to break through on our defense. As was the same for the other FA Cup games against Bournemouth and Macclesfield. This then gave Martinez the chance to play him against Stoke City. Golobart didn't put a foot wrong and was solid.

A great season for the young defender and he had a big future ahead of him.

Grade: B+