Liverpool v. Wigan Athletic: Young Managers and Anfield Hopefuls
At the end of last season Roberto Martinez, the Wigan Manager and Brendan Rodgers, the then Swansea Manager were battling each other for the position of the manager at Anfield. Both were appreciative of each other’s approach to the game, as both prefer to implement their own style of play, preferring expansive football to defensive football. While the owners might have been impressed by the results towards the end of the season for Wigan, it was Swansea’s consistency which might have tilted the job in Brendan Rodger’s favor.
Fast forward to November, Wigan and Liverpool are both separated by a point. Both have been impressive with their football, making the optimum use of the resources available to them, albeit it’s Wigan who have relied on their manager to dig, scrape and make a team which can survive the Premier League rigors as well as play entertaining football. While Liverpool are still harboring hopes of a Champions League place, the results haven’t been forthcoming, nor will Brendan Rodgers welcome any unwanted attention on his striker, especially with the transfer window coming.
Reports of a possible move for the Uruguayan, Suarez by Manchester City is the last news that any Liverpool fan would expect. But assurances from Brendan Rodgers have been welcomed and given the form Suarez is in, it is not unexpected as well. Time and again Rodgers has insisted that Suarez is a world class player, and his performance as a one man goal scoring machine has been welcome. It’s his creativity, vision and the unpredictability that make him a joy to watch. Expect the unexpected from him.
As Carragher admitted coyly after the Chelsea game, that if the strikers of the teams were swapped, Suarez would probably have had a handful goals and in the process taking a dig at former Liverpool favourite, Fernando Torres. Liverpool haven’t been doing too badly but the points tally is what matters and Liverpool will aim to get their third win of the season as soon as possible.
With an European game coming up this week, and the transfer window coming up in a few weeks, Rodgers knows that a few wins here and an addition of a striker and if possible another player, will probably strengthen his campaign. A few wins till the start of the winter transfer window will also give him better leverage when he negotiates with the owners over the transfer kitty.
Wigan on the other hand haven’t been awful as last season and have continued their form of sorts into the current season, with the Tottenham win being the highlight already. Add that to Di Santo’s call up to the Argentinian National side and it’s indeed one of the better times in their campaign.
Given the turmoil of the summer over Martinez and Rodgers as to the Anfield job, Martinez would like to put this one over Rogers, which would give him immense satisfaction. Last time around, Wigan did take away all three points and thus raising questions over Dalglish’s reign; this time a win may not be that damaging as to the managerial aspirations of Rodgers, but in the scheme of things it would be a loss of face and an embarrassment of sorts.
Liverpool would do well if they can turn the positives into a result and it would be most pleasing if the goals would come from other than Suarez. Indeed, it will benefit the Uruguayan the most if others start chipping in.