* this article was written by Jakarta Jack but somehow listed under my name. I agree 100% with his views however!
A sleepy Sunday afternoon in May 2011. I turn the television on and inadvertently come across an Italian league game. The atmosphere in the Genoa-Sampdoria derby I am watching is frenetic. It is 1-1. In the 97th minute, the on-loan striker Mauro Boselli receives the ball to his right just inside the box, pirouettes and hits a cracker into the far left hand corner of the Sampdoria keeper’s net. The Genovese home crowd goes crazy.
Looking back to November 2010 at West Ham – Latics are losing 2-1 and get a penalty. Not long off the bench, Boselli steps up but fluffs it. It turned out to be the key moment for Boselli and Latics, his homesickness exacerbating the issue. Here we are a year and half later, and Boselli remains a Latics player. This columnist advocates his return.
Mauro Boselli started his career at Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, a big club in a country that produces great players. He made 42 appearances between 2003-2008, scoring 10 goals. That he did not make more appearances for them was largely due to the form of World Cup forwards, Martin Palermo and Rodrigo Palacio. So he moved to Estudiantes de la Plata in 2008 — a small club with a ground capacity at the time of 23,000, where he was key to their Copa Libertadores success in 2009. He scored the winning goal in the final. His 9 goals made him the tournament’s leading goalscorer. During his time at Estudiantes he scored 32 goals in 57 appearances in a league where goals are hard to get. He is an Argentine international..
The Argentine came to Wigan at a time when they desperately needed goals. He did well in pre-season, but found the role of lone centre forward difficult, as had Jason Scotland before that. At Estudiantes he had played with a twin striker, Argentine international, Mariano Pavone. To find himself alone and up against the giant, physical defenders of the Premier League must have been demoralizing. At the time, service from Latics midfielders was scant, in a time when Roberto was concerned about committing men forward after some notably heavy defeats. Despite scoring a well-taken cup goal, Boselli had failed to score in the Premier League and his time was a miserable one.
His next stop was a loan move to Genoa, where he got few opportunities. His goal in the derby was the exception. He played 7 matches, netting 2 goals. He clearly missed his native Argentina and returned to Estudiantes on loan for the 2011-2012 season, where he has scored 11 goals in 29 appearances.
Mauro Boselli is a fine centre forward who never had much of a chance before at Wigan. He is a much more natural goalscorer than anyone we have. Given the improved support from the midfield and number of quality crosses now being provided from the wings, conditions suit him. Let’s hope that those who have criticized him – like those who have criticized Roberto Martinez in the past – will give him a chance. We’d love to have you back, Mauro. You can do a great job!