Wigan have been misfiring all season. More correctly put, they haven’t been firing at all. Eleven Barclays Premier League goals after 15 games is a poor return, and it’s clear that no matter how poor the defence has been, it’s the number of times the strikers have hit the net that’s the problem.
"It was a good performance but we didn’t get the result we deserved," is the standard post match line from the club.
So who do we have in our strike force? The three recognised front men are Hugo Rodellega, Mauro Boselli and Franco Di Santo.
It’s early days but neither Boselli nor Di Santo have actually scored in the Premier League to date, leaving the goalscoring to Rodallega who generally starts games on the left wing and then moves to a central positions as substitutions are made later.
This often leaves Hugo looking frustrated and often exhausted as he is played out of position. We don’t seem to be making the most from Hugo as he is clearly a class act but doesn’t appear to want to be a winger.
I have little doubt that Roberto Martinez acquired Boselli to repeat the 32 goals in 56 appearances he scored for Estudiantes in Argentina and on paper he appears well equipped to do so.
His fellow Argentinean and ex-Chelsea man Di Santo is a less obvious prospect but Chelsea don’t generally kiss many frogs and Franco clearly has a lot to offer.
Watching both Di Santo and Boselli play it’s easy to see their contrasting styles - Di Santo big and powerful, very quick for a man his size and a general nuisance about the place - in a way not dissimilar to Wayne Rooney albeit currently without the results to show for his efforts.
Boselli on the other hand is more static, still working hard but waiting to get on the end of a cross or providing a neat flick on - a classic striker.
Exactly what Wigan need.
Anyone who witnessed their disassembling of Liverpool at the DW recently would have been puzzled at the number of low crosses that fizzed across open goals - the type that a foot in or a head to would have resulted in a goal. If only someone had been there!
Watching Boselli on YouTube in his native land, this is exactly the type of service he can provide and rather than Martinez playing his wide men on the wrong side and cutting inside, he could be getting them wide to the byline and getting a cross in for Boselli to put away.
‘Winger crosses to striker’ would seem an obvious, if hardly inspired, tactic but I believe it would have resulted in another five or six goals and probably the same number of points.
We can’t wait for the midfield to find us the goals through sheer industry and skill. We need a striker to perform. Look at the recent past: Nathan Ellington, Jason Roberts, Henri Camara. Maybe Martinez should check these guys out on YouTube.
They had their eye on goal and boy, could they find it!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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