A large squad poses problems for Rosler

 

It reads Ali Al-Habsi , Leon Barnett, Emmerson Boyce, Gary Caldwell, Scott Carson, Don Cowie, Andy Delort, Roger Espinoza, Adam Forshaw, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Fraser Fyvie, Juan Carlos Garcia (on loan), Grant Holt (on loan), Emyr Huws, Rob Kiernan,William Kvist, Shaun Maloney, James McClean, Callum McManaman, Lee Nicholls, James Perch, Ivan Ramis, Oriol Riera, Thomas Rogne, Chris McCann, James Tavernier, Andrew Taylor, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair , Martyn Waghorn, Ben Watson.

But let’s not forget to add the name of Maynor Figueroa to the list.

The Honduran got a deserved warm welcome from the DW crowd on his return to action for Wigan Athletic. It was a bolt out of the blue. Who could have expected the stalwart who had made 148 appearances in five years at Wigan to come back?

The addition of Figueroa means there are now 31 names on the above squad list. If we consider Figueroa’s primary position to be that of left back, it means that Latics now have four who play there. Does the squad really need to be so big? Has it just happened or was it planned? How is Uwe Rosler going to keep so many players happy?

Before the transfer deadline the list numbered 27, but included long-term absentees Chris McCann and Ben Watson whose returns to action were looking distant at that time. However, the recent news on the two has been uplifting and fans will be looking forward to seeing the two back in action in the near future.

 

 

With six extra games coming up in the Europa League last season, Owen Coyle saw the need for a large squad. He signed ten new players and brought in two more on loan. At this time last year Coyle had 25 players in his senior squad, but three were long-term absentees through injury.

The return of Figueroa serves to remind us of how the club’s circumstances have changed. The Honduran was one of Roberto Martinez’s key players. He originally played at left back, but when Martinez switched to a 3-4-3 system in the middle of the 2012-13 season, he played with great effect on the left hand side of the back three. Latics were to go on to that winning spree against the finest in the land. Given the current state of affairs at the club many of us are beginning to wonder if we will ever see that quality of football again.

Figueroa gives Rosler options. Reportedly brought in because of an injury to Andrew Taylor we can expect him to be largely employed as a left back. However, given Ivan Ramis’ hamstring problem and a trip to a strong Derby County on Saturday, Rosler might be tempted to revert to 3-5-2 with Figueroa in the back three and James Perch at left wing back.

The critics will say that Rosler’s acquisition of Figueroa on a month’s loan smacks of desperation. Moreover he had cover at left back in Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, who arrived at the club with a fine reputation following a stint at Partick Thistle. It could be argued that the 23 year old is not yet ready for the hurly burly of Championship football. However, Rosler has brought young James Tavernier in at right back for the last couple of games and Taylor-Sinclair could hardly have performed worse than the rest of the players who played against Millwall.

Rosler’s squad has swelled in numbers because he has brought in ten players since his arrival, with not so many leaving. Ironically the players who did leave included quality players such as Jean Beausejour, Jordi Gomez and James McArthur.

If the squad remains so large Rosler will be hamstrung in efforts to bring in loan players when the transfer window reopens. He will be keen to send more players out on loan as well as bringing funds in by offloading more senior professionals through permanent transfers. He has already signaled the departure of Roger Espinoza back to the United States and that could happen sooner rather than later.

In the meantime Rosler has exacerbated his problems in keeping a large squad happy by bringing in Figueroa. Let’s hope that the arrival of that icon of days gone by will help raise the spirits in a squad that is low in confidence and self-belief.

Only time will tell if Rosler was right or wrong in bringing the likeable Honduran back.

 

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Aaron Taylor-Sinclair – a Partick Thistle fan’s view

taylor-sinclair-
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair is Uwe Rosler’s second summer signing. The 23 year old left back was out of contract at Partick Thistle.

Born in Aberdeen, Taylor-Sinclair joined the youth set-up at Montrose, making his debut for the senior team on the last day of the 2008-09 season against Albion Rovers. He established himself as a regular in the Montrose side over the next two years, making 66 appearances.

He signed for Partick Thistle in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee. Taylor-Sinclair was to make 116 appearances for Thistle during his three year stay at Firhill. He was a key player for the Jags when they won the First Division championship in 2012-13. Over the past season he started in 36 games for them in the Scottish Premier League.

In order to get some insight into Taylor-Sinclair’s time at Firhill we reached out to Robert Jamieson through the Partick Thistle Twitter site @PTFC76.

Here are Robert’s comments:

At 23 years old, he is a strong, fast and attacking left back. He works his socks off on the left flank. A player with great feet and a wonderful ability to beat players.

He has come a long way over the past years. Just over 3 years ago he was playing in the Scottish 4th tier division with Montrose, where he earned a move to Partick Thistle for whom he made over 100 appearances. Here he improved massively and consolidated himself in the Thistle starting eleven, and also this season as one of the SPFL’s best left-backs. Over his 3 years with the Jags, he has attracted attention from the likes of Celtic and Cardiff City, and of course, Wigan Athletic.

Now he finds himself at Wigan, where I see him being a star. He still has a lot to learn- his crossing often let’s him down, and occasionally he gets caught too far up the pitch- but Wigan is the perfect club to help him remove these negatives from his game, and to help him become the player he has the potential to be. He has the ability to earn himself a place in the Wigan team, and who knows, will the future hold a place in the Scotland squad? Only time will tell.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him this season at Partick Thistle. He has been one of our best players this season and last (where we gained promotion to the Scottish first tier). I thank him massively for his services and his commitment to the club, and I wish him all the best at Wigan Athletic. Wigan have signed an excellent young left back, with the potential to become one of the Championship’s best.

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