McCarthy injury a concern, but less so than last year

James McCarthy will miss the season opener against Norwich tomorrow afternoon with an ankle injury sustained in the 1-0 friendly win over Villareal, and there is no doubt he will be missed. His return from an injury to the same ankle last season kick-started the Latics’ revival, proving just how important he is to the side.

But I’m tempted to say his absence is a smaller blow with the Latics’ current squad than it proved to be last year. If Latics have a strongest department, it must be the midfield. In addition to the starting trident of Watson, Diame and McCarthy, Roberto can call on the tough-tackling and reliable Honduran Hendry Thomas, promising all-rounder James McArthur, or creative new signing Dave Jones. It’s anyone’s guess who will start tomorrow. Thomas is the most experienced of the bunch, McArthur would be the closest to a like-for-like, while Dave Jones could play the attacking role if Mo Diame drops a bit deeper.

It is comforting and somewhat unfamiliar however, to have three good options to replace a key player ahead of an important match. Now lets hope McCarthy’s replacement doesn’t have a shocker and prove me wrong.

James McCarthy se perdera el partido de mañana contra Norwich por una lesion en su tobillo (el mismo tobillo que lo mantuvo afuera de las canchas la temporada pasada). No hay duda que la ausencia de McCarthy le pesara al equipo, pero el tecnico Roberto Martinez maneja varias opciones en esa zona del campo. El Hondureño Hendry Thomas es el mas experimentado y podria cumplir una labor mas defensiva, permitiendo que Ben Watson y Mo Diame se lanzen al ataque. James McArthur ha mostrado mucha promesa y es buena opcion. Y Dave Jones, el nuevo fichaje, le prestaria creatividad al mediocampo si se le da la oportunidad.

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