Ok, I know we are playing at The Emirates but the way we’ve been playing away from home this season, maybe we need to approach tonight as if we were away from home. Why can’t they play with the same grit and steel as they do on their travels is beyond me.
Anyway, I think our home form will take a turn for the better tonight and see us through to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup. Semi-Finals of a cup, it’s been a long time hasn’t it and right now I don’t care that it’s the Carling Cup, a trophy is a trophy and let’s start by winning this one. Then you just never know what will follow!
No doubt a few changes will take place but I’m sure we don’t want or need to many. Wigan may sit eighteenth in the Premier League but this is a one-off game and every club wants to go and play at Wembley so Wenger can’t take tonight’s fixture in any other way than seriously! Wigan have lost their last two games, and are without a win in six away from home, they were on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line at the weekend against West Ham but their manager is a good man, a footballing man who wants to build his club the right way.
Martinez had this to say about the set up at Wigan
I think developing players is key for a football club and, as we all know, for the nation. I think it’s a clear model that has produced outstanding talent and is carrying on doing that. That’s been a great example throughout football and for many people to follow.
To have the ideas very clear, to have those strong beliefs, they bring you success. It’s quite clear that it’s someone who started a model and football in general has benefited from that work.
Martinez plans to stand by that approach heading forward, with Wigan set to reap the rewards in the long run.
We’re following that philosophy, we want to have young players with huge potential, players that haven’t reached probably the best moment of their careers, and that’s something for us to develop, to carry on working and make sure Wigan Athletic gets that sort of football and gets that talent. That’s our philosophy and that’s the way we’re going to work.
Mme, I wonder who bought that model to the game in England?
So, Eboue has suddenly recovered from what appeared to be a season ending injury and could play tonight, Fabregas we know is out as is Frimpong, Diaby and Vermaelen. Next up for us is a home fixture against Fulham and for Wigan it’s another home fixture against Stoke. Martinez had made it clear that the Premier League is his priority so no doubt he will make a few changes to his side tonight.
We played Wigan in the Carling Cup in 2006 It was at the semi-final stage and they won on the away goal rule, two years later we got our own back by knocking them out by a 3-0 scoreline. In the league we can remember only too well what happened earlier this year so we need to be on the ball from the kick off!
Our head to head record against Wigan is good, we’ve won 10, and Wigan have won only two of the 13 previous matches between us.
This is the eighth successive season we have made it this far in the Carling Cup, the last two seasons though has seen us exit at this stage.
Not today though, not tonight, this is the season we finally get to lift this trophy!