A Derby County fan’s view of Jamie Hanson

 

Wigan Athletic this week announced the signing of Jamie Hanson from Derby County on loan until the end the season. The 21 year old Hanson is 6 ft 3 in tall and played 5 times for the England under 20 team.

On signing Hanson, Warren Joyce commented that: “Jamie is an exciting prospect and Derby feel that his immediate development will be better served by coming on loan to us. He is versatile and can play in a number of positions in midfielder or in defence and we are delighted to have brought him to the club.”

James Hanson was born in Burton-on-Trent and has spent more than 10 years at Derby. He  had built up a reputation as a set piece specialist having scored from several direct free kicks at youth level. He made his first team debut in a holding midfield role in a 1-1 draw at Norwich in March 2015, scoring directly from a corner. He was named Player of the Season for the under 21 squad for 2014-15.

Hanson now has made 27 appearances for Derby, with 14 starts and 11 substitute appearances being in the Championship.

In order to learn more about Hanson we contacted the Ollie Wright at the @derbycountyblog.

Here’s over to Ollie:

First and foremost, he’s a defender or defensive midfielder, who wants to scrap and tackle. There’s no doubt over his effort and commitment levels, as his nickname ‘bruiser’ implies. The swelling band of ex-Rams at your place will be well aware of him, so hopefully he will have no problems fitting in.

 His willingness has led to his been used as a utility backup player at Derby, covering the holding role and both full back positions, but we were always told that he was being trained as a defensive midfielder and that is where he’s most comfortable.  A bonus is that he is possessed of a bit of a rocket shot and has scored some fairly impressive free kicks for Derby’s U23s in his time. 

 At this stage in his development, he’s pretty unspectacular on the ball – more the kind of player who wins the ball and shifts it than someone you would look at as a creative threat.  In his emergency duties as a full back, he very much stayed in his own half, which points to some technical   limitations.

 Supporters always love to see youngsters coming through the ranks, so his progress at Derby has been followed with interest and some indulgence.  Personally, I am not sure that he will make it with Derby long-term, but if he can establish himself in your team and learn from playing regular football at this level, then that might well give him the platform to kick on and prove me wrong. 

 

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Fan views – Part 3: Will Grigg and Craig Davies

Given that we now have a wider readership than in our earlier days we will occasionally republish articles from our archives, that some may not have seen. We ask our long-established readers will bear with us on this. We will continue to put out our stream of current articles.

Our site stats have shown that our readership has been particularly interested in perspectives of Latics players from fans of their previous clubs. Thanks to contributions made by bloggers on the fan sites of those clubs for these articles from our archives.

Click here for our previous fan views on Yanic Wildschut and Jordy Hiwula.

Click here for our previous fan views on Andy Kellett and Haris Vuckic.

 

An MK Dons fan’s view of Will Grigg

Grigg

Written by:  Harry Wright of the Cowshed Chronicles BlogSpot.

Date published: July 15, 2015.

 

 

 

When Will Grigg arrived in Milton Keynes on a season-long loan from newly promoted Brentford, the midlands-born striker was the second of three young, hungry strikers Karl Robinson was to employ for the 2014/15 season after Tom Hitchcock was acquired on a free transfer from QPR.  A week later Benik Afobe joined from Premier League Arsenal and the Dons front line, that was to score 101 league goals, was complete.
 
The Northern Ireland international was to make an instant impact at Stadium:MK, netting an equaliser in the Dons season opener as we came from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2, however it didn’t take long for Grigg to truly endear himself to the Dons faithful as the frontman scored the first two goals in our unforgettable 4-0 annihilation of Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, famously using his chest to caress the ball past a helpless David De Gea. 
 
Playing second fiddle to the prolific Afobe for the first half of the season, Grigg had to accept he was not going to be given a constant run of starts due to Karl Robinson’s rotation policy as Afobe grabbed himself 19 goals until Wolves decided to pay big money to lure the England u21 international to Molyneux in mid January.  The departure of Afobe was followed up by Tom Hitchcock’s loan move to fellow League One club Fleetwood Town and left the former Walsall forward as the lone striker at Stadium:MK and oh how he delivered.
 
A blistering second half of the season containing a crucial brace away at Swindon left Grigg with 20 league goals from 43 games taking his total tally for the season to 22, only the second ever player to reach the milestone of 20 league goals in a Dons jersey, finished off with a header against Yeovil in a 5-1 demolition resulting in the Dons automatic promotion to the Championship for the first time.
 
But it’s not just the goals Grigg gets that made him a fans favourite in Milton Keynes, despite not even being our player, it’s the manner in which he plays and the qualities he brings to the squad as a whole.
 
Without having much strength due to being just 5’11 Grigg is a very clever player, his movement and trickery to evade defenders often means he finds himself in acres of space.  A classy, natural goal scorer, Grigg is a poacher, frequently in the right place at the right time to finish off the hard work done by those supporting him. Effective yet unspectacular the forward will get goals wherever he plays for sure.
 
Grigg’s work rate his also very good, never giving up on chasing a lost cause, combining an element of comedy in his celebrations with a dance branded ‘the Griggle’ by Dons fans, the striker’s personality rubs off on the fans and team mates alike and will not only add quality to the squad but also lighten up the dressing room at the DW stadium.
 
Grigg is undoubtedly a brilliant signing at League One level with proven experience and quality. The only question will be, can Wigan get enough support up to him to the poacher to get the goals to fire Wigan back to the second tier?

 

A Bolton Wanderers Fan’s View of Craig Davies

Davies

 

Written by:  Chris Mann  of the Burnden Aces fan site http://www.burndenaces.co.uk (Twitter @BurndenAces )

Date published: July 7, 2015

 

 

Wigan Athletic today completed the free signing of Craig Davies, seven days after his contract at Bolton came to an end.

Davies joined Wanderers in a £300,000 transfer from Barnsley in January 2013 and went on to score a total of 11 goals in 58 appearances for the Trotters, prior to his release.

Whilst those statistics may not look too appetising, it’s worth noting that 31 of those outings were from the substitutes’ bench.

Davies was a hugely popular figure amongst Bolton supporters, with his never-say-die attitude and willingness to put his body on the line earning him many plaudits, although it wasn’t until Neil Lennon’s arrival as manager in October 2014 that we began to see the best of what he had to offer.

All of a sudden, Davies became a focal point of the Bolton attack and was producing arguably the best form of his career – including a Man of the Match display in a 3-1 win over Latics at Macron Stadium.

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, he was struck down by three separate hamstring injuries that restricted him to just three starts after the turn of the year.

The club weighed up whether to offer him a fresh deal, but financial restraints at the present time meant it made little business sense to take a risk on an injury-prone player and Davies was an unfortunate victim of the cost-cutting measures currently in place.

 If he can put his fitness issues behind him, Davies has the ability to be one of the Championship’s top players. However, inconsistent form and the amount of time he spends in the treatment room has stopped him from fulfilling his undoubted potential.

If you can get 20+ games out of him next season, Wigan will have got themselves a good player who is more than capable of scoring the goals to get you out of the division at the first attempt.

With all those aforementioned worries, though, it would be unwise to pin all hopes on him, so I’d be expecting Gary Caldwell to bring in at least one more striker during the summer transfer window.

Fan views – Part 2: Andy Kellett and Haris Vuckic

Given that we now have a wider readership than in our earlier days we will occasionally republish articles from our archives, that some may not have seen. We ask our long-established readers will bear with us on this. We will continue to put out our stream of current articles.

Our site stats have shown that our readership has been particularly interested in perspectives of Latics players from fans of their previous clubs. Thanks to contributions made by bloggers on the fan sites of those clubs for these articles from our archives.

Click here for our previous fan views on Yanic Widschut and Jordy Hiwula.

 

A Bolton fan’s view of Andy Kellett

Date: September 2, 2015

 

The lasting memory of transfer deadline day from times gone by usually hindered around Harry Redknapp talking to reporters from his car, or crowds gathering at stadiums and training grounds with indescribable adult-themed objects.

A new trend seems to have been set, however, and that is ‘Transfer Deadline Day = Andy Kellett is on the move’.

Having spent the early part of last season on loan at Plymouth Argyle, Kellett had looked set to return to Home Park only to become one of the country’s biggest talking points when he sealed an 11th-hour switch to Manchester United back in February.

United were short of options at full-back, but the move baffled supporters of both clubs. As predicted, though, Kellett’s time at Old Trafford was consigned to the development squad that would eventually go on to win the Under-21 Premier League title.

Kellett signed on at Wanderers as a seven-year old and, having impressed at youth level, made his senior debut in April 2014 – making a total of three appearances before the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Hopes were high for the hometown boy, but a change in management seemed to put the brakes on his progression and it quickly became obvious that he just wasn’t rated by Neil Lennon.

His big chance arrived in a game at Rotherham United in January, prior to his United move, but a shambolic performance from the entire team saw Kellett sacrificed after 51 minutes – at 3-0 down – and he hasn’t been anywhere near the first-team since.

Kellett was a popular figure amongst the Bolton fans, many of whom believe he should have been given more of an opportunity. But Lennon has granted chances to the likes of Zach Clough, Josh Vela and Tom Walker, while a group of other names are also on the verge of breaking through, so the manager has shown he will put his faith in youth if he deems them good enough.

It’s a shame to see him leave, but Kellett had entered the final year of his contract and wasn’t being considered for what has been a position lacking in cover. Lennon hasn’t made many mistakes in terms of player recruitment so far, so we’ll trust his judgement and wish Kellett the best of luck down the road.

A Rotherham Fan’s view of Haris Vuckic

Vuckic

 

Written by: It’s Millers Time @millerstimerufc)

Date published : September 3, 2015

 

 

Vuckic has good experience of League One having spent more than half the season on loan at Rotherham in 2013/14.

At the time, he was a bit raw and untested and was used mainly as a substitute by boss Steve Evans, but he did make an impact.

He can play as an out-and-out striker, in a target man role, is comfortable playing behind the main striker and can also be employed on the left. He is tall, has good aerial ability, but also can run with the ball and beat men.

A Rangers fan’s view of Haris Vuckic

Written by:  Stewart Franklin of Gersnet Independent Rangers Fansite gersnet.co.uk @GersnetOnline

Date published: September 3, 2015

When Haris Vuckic signed for Rangers on loan from Newcastle in the January transfer window, it’s safe to say the transfer initially polarised supporter opinion. Although the player’s reputation was impressive enough, conflict between Rangers and Mike Ashley’s Newcastle, meant many Light Blue fans were suspicious of any deal between the clubs – never mind five loan players arriving from the North East.

Vuckic’s first game didn’t help. Although he played reasonably well and scored a fine individual goal, Rangers were beaten 2-1 at home by Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup so the jury remained out. Nevertheless, as the other Newcastle loanees struggled to feature through a combination of injury and illness, Vuckic was able to retain his place in the team going forward. Indeed, a change of manager also improved our form through the rest of the campaign and, it’s fair to say, Vuckic was central to our attempts to achieve promotion back to the Scottish Premiership.

In that sense, the Slovenian not only supplied several excellent goals himself but was a creative force in the side. Mainly featuring in wider positions, Vuckic had the strength and ability to take the ball in and, despite a lack of genuine pace, could beat players in any area of the park. It was through this contribution, Rangers fans started to warm to the player and many fans were certainly open to the idea of a permanent move. Unfortunately, the end of the season wasn’t quite as positive. Vuckic’s form dropped off and in our two final play-off defeats against Motherwell, his flaws were all to obvious and the player struggled to affect these vital games as he had previous matches. Despite an excellent return of 9 goals in 16 appearances his loan spell ultimately ended in disappointment as Rangers failed in their promotion attempt.

In June, Mark Warburton took control and Rangers’ style of play completely changed. The team went from playing an awkward blend of direct football to a fast, free-flowing possession game. Over ten new players arrived (including Tavernier, Waghorn and Kiernan from Wigan) and Rangers have started the season very well. Despite this, the club were still linked with Vuckic through August and the player himself was quoted in the Slovenian media as being happy to return to Scotland. However, our new style of play suggested these rumours were never going to come to fruition and the player moved to the Latics as the transfer window earlier closed this week.

To conclude, I’d suggest Wigan have signed a decent player. Vuckic won’t win you games on his own and there were will be periods where he can go missing. However, he’s clearly talented, will create and score goals if used effectively (probably best playing just off another striker in a free role) and will prove a key signing as Wigan attempt to make their way back to the English Championship. A contract extension at Newcastle suggests the North East club still have faith in the lad and I think Rangers fans will also keenly follow his development. Certainly this will be a big year for the lad’s career and only time will tell if he can show the kind of genuine consistency to fulfil his early potential.”

All the best for the new season and thanks for the three lads above who’ve all started well! Amazed we got them so cheaply from you chaps!

 

 

 

Fan Views – Part 5 – Josh McEachran and Jack Collison

Given that we now have a wider readership than in our earlier days we plan to occasionally republish articles from our archives, that many may not have seen. We ask our long-established readers will bear with us on this. We will continue to put out our stream of current articles.

Our site stats have shown that our readership has been particularly interested in perspectives of Latics players from fans of their previous clubs. Thanks to contributions made by bloggers on the fan sites of those clubs for these articles from our archives.

Click here for our previous fan views on Roger Espinoza and James McClean.

Click here for our previous fan views on Martyn Waghorn and Thomas Rogne.

Click here for our previous fan views on Uwe Rösler and Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Click here for our previous fan views on Stephen Crainey and Markus Holgerrson.

 

 A Middlesbrough fan’s view of Josh McEachran.

Photo courtesy of thechels.net

 

Written by: Robert Nichols of Middlesbrough fan site Fly Me To The Moon

Published: February 4, 2014.

 

There was much excitement around the arrival of Josh McEachran at Middlesbrough. A promising young England Under 21 international from Chelsea for whom great things were expected and we had him on a season long loan in August of last year. What a scoop we thought. That is exactly the way it turned out for both Josh and Boro, initially at least.

Josh made his debut immediately after signing in a night match in what turned out to be a 3-2 victory over Burnley. Two stunning late strikes by Boro youngsters Adam Reach and Luke Williams clinched a victory on a night of real optimism and youthful endeavour. Josh was interviewed after the game and spoke of his excitement at joining such a young and able team. It was a brilliant beginning.

McEachran’s vision and ability to thread passes through a crowded defence made him the perfect midfield partner for the non stop Grant Leadbitter. He quickly began to really make his mark on the first team and along with Leadbitter was central to our rise up the table. Josh had tons of ability but thankfully no big time Premier attitude; he worked his socks off for our Championship cause.

Off the field too he blended in with the young squad. I remember seeing him with team mates in the VIP area of Middlesbrough Town Hall, the night X Factor winner James Arthur played his victory concert.

For me there were real comparisons to a young Manchester United midfielder that Wigan fans will know all about, Tom Cleverley. Tom’s loan spells at Leicester, Watford and Wigan had been the perfect preparation and spring board to pitch him from Under 21 to Manchester United and England first team. At Boro we had witnessed Cleverley unpick our defence whilst with Watford and Josh McEachran was doing the same thing for us now week in week out. This could be the start of big things for a future rising star.

Sadly the wheels fell off for Boro and McEachran. Before Christmas we were poised near the top of the league. McEachran was at the top of his game also. Manager Tony Mowbray went on record saying that he felt the young player could now push on further in the New Year and start to fulfil his potential and add goals to his game. McEachran had been able to pull defences apart and set up others but at times had looked a little shy of shooting himself, ironically also a problem for Cleverley in his early England career.

Sadly rather then pushing on, after New Year the Boro engineroom of McEachran and Leadbitter ran out of steam and the team started to tumble down the league. Young Josh was feeling the pace of his first full season and also suffering stage fright when one on one with a keeper. He couldn’t get that all important break through first goal. In the end what promised to be a great season for both club and player turned to disappointment. Boro ended up nearer the bottom than the top and McEachran found himself in and out of a disjointed and misfiring first team and still unable to break his own personal duck.

I am sure those 38 appearances for Boro will stand Josh McEachran in really good stead for Wigan. He will have learned a great deal about himself and the Championship. The Under 21 player should now know exactly what it takes to make the next step forward. With his Chelsea contract running down he will also have that extra pressure to make a big impact with The Latics. A first goal would no doubt mean a great deal but as long as he can use that vision and undoubted ability to be a star provider then he will be a big plus for any side in the Football League.

A West Ham fan’s view of Jack Collison.

Coll2

 

Written by: Sean Whetstone of the “West Ham Till I Die” fan site.

Published: March 20, 2014.

Jack Collison joined West Ham United in 2005 as a fresh faced 17 year old after Peterborough disbanded their youth setup. West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr was impressed with him to offer him a one year scholarship.  He broke through to the first team in 2007 to face Bolton.

In June 2009 he signed a five year contract which expires this summer, during an away win at Wigan in 2009 he dislocated his kneecap while attempting to chest down a long ball and was ruled out for six weeks. To be honest he has never been the same player since that injury and has struggled with his knees for the past 5 years.

He has a special training programme and careful management to keep him match fit. In 2012 he was told told he has a similar knee injury to those that plagued Spurs captain Ledley King who retired age 31.  

Sam Allardyce was quoted as saying “He has a problem that is going to stay with him for the rest of his career. He manages it brilliantly, but there are times when he gets a lot of fluid in there and he is not available for training. It is us managing that side of it. His knee, unfortunately for Jack, is never going to be 100 per cent so he has to do a management job. It is not as drastic as, in the past, Paul McGrath or Ledley King, but it is similar. He is gutted, obviously. He is almost like the forgotten man.”  

In 2013 Collison himself commented on his knee situation saying “I’ve heard that before about my knee, I expected the comparisons to Ledley and I suppose to a certain extent it is true because I have to manage my knee, but I think loads of footballers are in that position, where you have to be very concerned about an injury.“I have to box a little bit clever and be smart with the injury, but at the moment I feel as good as I have done in two or three years and that’s encouraging.”

 In October 2013 he was loaned to AFC Bournemouth for who he played four games before returning to West Ham. He remains a fan’s favourite at West Ham and we always sing his name calling him Jacky Collison but his injury means he may not have lived up to our expectations to make him a West Ham legend from our youth ranks.

 No-one expects him to be offered a new contract in the summer and he will be available on a free transfer looking to match his £20,000 per week wages which I assume Wigan will be picking up for the remainder of the season.

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Fan Views – Part 4 – Stephen Crainey and Markus Holgersson

Given that we now have a wider readership than in our earlier days we plan to occasionally republish articles from our archives, that many may not have seen. We ask our long-established readers will bear with us on this. We will continue to put out our stream of current articles.

Our site stats have shown that our readership has been particularly interested in perspectives of Latics players from fans of their previous clubs. Thanks to contributions made by bloggers on the fan sites of those clubs for these articles from our archives.

Click here for our previous fan views on Roger Espinoza and James McClean.

Click here for our previous fan views on Martyn Waghorn and Thomas Rogne.

Click here for our previous fan views on Uwe Rösler and Marc-Antoine Fortune.

 A Blackpool fan’s view of Stephen Crainey

Ex-Blackpool player Stephen Crainey thinks the game is massive for both clubs.

 

 

Written by: Dan Bennett of Vital Blackpool

Published: July 15, 2013

 

 

Although not one of the most exciting footballers to admire, Stephen Crainey certainly is one thing — consistent.

In total he has made 295 club appearances and had played for four different clubs before joining Wigan. He started his career at Celtic where he was never really first choice left back, and made 58 appearances over five years at Celtic Park before moving on to Southampton.

Crainey never truly found his feet at Southampton and only made 5 appearances for the club before a swift transfer move to Leeds United. It’s fair to say he did well at Leeds, his solid performances at left back won him many fans and in the 2005-2006 season made a total of 30 appearances for the club. This was the season Crainey had made the most appearances for any of his clubs until that point. 

However this was soon set to change as Crainey made his move to Blackpool, a club where his talents were truly appreciated. His ability never looked in doubt, and in the first season he spent with the club he made 43 appearances. His excellent work ethic and fantastic defensive play pleased many Tangerine fans and he soon became a favourite.

Crainey was part of the famous team that secured promotion to the Premier League with Blackpool, and featured many times the following year in the top division. Blackpool’s defence often came under scrutiny whilst Ian Holloway was manager of the club, and although Crainey was not the ‘perfect defender’ he rarely performed badly in a Pool shirt.

He’s certainly a player that Blackpool fans wanted to see back at the club next season; he was offered a fresh deal at the club but took the opportunity to move on. If he features frequently for Wigan next season, he’ll be a player that will always give his all in every game he plays. Even if he’s used as a squad man, Crainey’s performances are still likely to impress Latics fans.

He is certainly the solid and decent championship standard player that many of the clubs in this league desire. Luring Crainey to the club away from other potential suitors was certainly a great bit of business on behalf of Wigan Athletic. Latics fans will surely hope his championship experience can help you bounce back first time of asking.

A New York Red Bull fan’s view of Markus Holgerrson

2014-holgersson

 

 

Written by:Dan Ryazansky of MetroFanatic.com, the  website for the MetroStars (now Red Bulls) of Major League Soccer since 2001.

Date: February 5, 2014.

 

 

 

It’s hard to think of a player whose lot with Red Bulls supporters changed as much as Markus Holgersson’s. He arrived in 2012 at the tail end of the team’s Scandinavian invasion: a group of players acquired by Norwegian Sporting Director Erik Soler and Swedish manager Hans Backe. A rather tepid show in preseason led to many question Holgersson’s inclusion in the starting lineup.

Yet there he was, from the get-go, starting in central defense and quickly becoming a liability. Too slow. Too awkward. Not able to keep up with MLS’s physical attackers. And — worst of all — poor clearances and defensive lapses that led to scoring opportunities and, alas, goals.

And then, with Thierry Henry absent due to injury, Backe gave Holgersson the captain’s armband. Was it a case of Swedish nepotism, the supporters thought?

But something happened to Holgersson. Thrust with new responsibility, the much-maligned defender started to improve. His ability to read the game trumped his slowness of feet. He became excellent in one-on-one situations. The mistakes started to disappear as well. Even the goalscoring came, as he became a threat on set pieces.

Then, the offseason came. With Soler and Backe fired, many thought that Holgersson would be gone as well. Not so; new head coach Mike Petke kept him on, but the Swede did manage to lose his starting job in preseason. He won it back after the first two matches and didn’t relinquish it afterwards, playing almost every minute the rest of the way. By the end of the season, he was the team’s most consistent defender. When called upon, he even played some at right back.

Unfortunately, Holgersson’s high salary (by MLS standards) made it very hard for the team to keep him. When his departure was announced, the same supporters that called for his head expressed concerns over his departure.

So, in summary: a solid central defender who should be able to hold his own on the Championship level. Might have difficulties adjusting early, but will be able to adjust. Good at reading the game. Can start the attack from the back. Can play right back if needed, but not an efficient crosser of the ball. Thrives when given responsibility. Passionate. Will be missed.

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