Fan Views – Part 3 – Uwe Rösler and Marc-Antoine Fortune

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.

 

 A Brentford fan’s view of Uwe Rösler 

Billy and Uwe at Brentford

Billy and Uwe at Brentford

 

Written by: BillytheBee (@billythebee99) who writes for Beesotted fanzine www.beesotted.co.uk (@beesotted)

Published: December 31, 2013.

 

I remember exactly where I was when Wigan made an approach for Uwe Rosler. I was setting up the equipment at Hounslow Civic Centre for Beesotted fanzine’s first ever live YouTube video broadcast.

 It may sound like a dull show – a council planning meeting. But it was our new stadium decision and was possibly one of the most important events in the Brentford calendar this century.  
 
The news soon drifted around the room that Rosler was almost definitely out the door. Five hours later, the council had rubber-stamped Brentford’s move to a new stadium. There were cheers all around. 
 
Everything was finally beginning to go right for Brentford this season after a stuttering start. We were on a 9 match unbeaten streak – 8 of them being wins. We were well on the way to getting a new stadium. 
 
Then there was this. 
 
Many fans I spoke to that night tried to remain upbeat. But deep down there was a niggling worry that everything would fall apart now the manager was leaving. Personally, I thought Whelan could have held it down for at least another 24 or 48 hrs, negotiated with Brentford in private and given the club their night of victory and Uwe time to settle the team before an important FA Cup match. But he had to go public before the deal was done as obviously no one else matters. 
 
Should Rosler have gone? To be fair he had spent over two years living away from his family so a move closer to his home in Stockport was a no brainer really. We just had to accept and move on.
 
Uwe Rosler was personally one of my top 3 favourite managers ever to manage Brentford. And that’s above Steve Coppell, who managed one of the best Brentford teams ever (Sidwell, Ingermarrson, Stephen Hunt, Owusu, Rowlands etc), and Phil ‘Noddy’ Holder, who was the last manager to have got us promoted to what is now the championship. Why was that? Rosler never actually won anything with Brentford. 
 
Rosler was very much a fans’ manager. He understood football fan culture and truly believed that fans were incredibly important to the game. He admired clubs like St Pauli as he felt they were a club who has great liaison with their supporters.
 
He regularly held fans forums and even organised a pre-season friendlies in Germany encouraging fans to stay at the players’ hotel and hang with the players during the trip. 
 
When visiting Wembley for a Man City cup final, he decided to swap the glitz of Club Wembley with drinking with Man City fans in the Green Man pub before the match. 
 
He would often call our fanzine Beesotted to discuss issues and even volunteered to do a video interview for us after we had missed that final day penalty against Doncaster to help motivate the fans. 
 
And despite the wee spat he had with some Brentford fans during our dodgy spell at the beginning of this season when a small section of supporters sang “You’re gonna get sacked in the morning”, Uwe has had a brilliant rapport with the majority of supporters who saw him as being open, welcoming, honest and humble. 
 
On the pitch, Rosler got Brentford to play some of the best football we have ever seen at Griffin Park. 
 
We’ve had some glorious moments under him. We were a mere 7 minutes from victory against West London neighbours Chelsea in a day out that many Brentford fans will remember for years to come.
 
When Rosler arrived his catchphrase was “pass them to death” and that’s just what we did. We quite simply outplayed our opponents week after week – in some games we would have over 80% possession. 
 
He instilled a never-say-die spirit into the team which saw Brentford score a ridiculous amount of goals in the last minutes and injury time – Sheffield United away (with 9 men) , Portsmouth at home and Swindon away in the playoffs being three thrillers in which we scored last minute goals. 
 
And he orchestrated pre-season friendlies in and around Leipzig, Germany which will be talked about in Brentford for many a year – Brentford fans’ first foray into Europe since the Anglo Italian Cup in 1992. 
 
Uwe did have his detractors though. Although the majority of Brentford fans stuck with Uwe through thick and thin, there was a small minority who thought his tactics were often negative and he played too safe too often. 
 
His tactic of always having 11 men back to defend a corner frustrated some fans no end. And another thing that did frustrate folk was – despite often having the lions share of possession and creating 20 or 30 or even 40 chances per game – our goalscoring ratio was low, scoring at times one … or maybe two goals after creating a hatful of chances. There is an argument that if we had put away the numerous chances we had created, no one would be blaming Marcello Trotta for missing the penalty against Doncaster on the final day of the season as we would have long been promoted. 
 
All that aside, Wigan are lucky as they have got hold of a young ambitious manager who will have learned from his mistakes at Brentford. Hopefully, this will be to Wigan’s benefit.
 
Uwe was always learning on his toes and realised after a season in Division one that ‘total football’ does not get you out of that division and we needed to have players and tactics that could mix and match between different styles. And so we did. 
 
He was brilliant at switching the game up. If we were looking poor in the first half, he would often change the tactics in the 2nd half and make a substitution that would completely change the game around. 
 
The counter argument to this was some believed that Uwe was too cautious in the first place and should have been taking the game to the opposition from the start. 
 
Uwe was also humble enough to acknowledge his mistakes. As a manager with a set plan, he would unsurprisingly try to stick with it and try and get the team to deliver his vision. 
 
When things were going wrong at the beginning of the season and Brentford were on a three match losing streak, Uwe decided to have a clear the air session with his players in the dressing room after a defeat away to lowly Stevenage. The players were locked in the dressing room for 90 minutes and apparently it was a real ‘air your dirty washing’ session. 
 
As a result of the meeting, Uwe then decided to switch to a fixed team week on week as opposed to the team rotation system that he favoured from when he had arrived. He also dropped ever-present and highly popular right back Logan for midfielder McCormack as apparently his defensive errors were raised in the meeting (as an attacking right back he was awesome). The result – Brentford won all nine subsequent games before Wigan poached him. 
 
All in all I wish Uwe well at Wigan. He will have learned from his mistakes at Griffin Park and will hopefully go on to make great strides. Our biggest fear is that he may try and take some of our young hopefuls with him – Adam Forshaw being the most likely to leave in the near future but we fear for losing Harlee Dean and Jake Bidwell too amongst others. 
 
Hopefully with him understanding the true meaning of loyalty, Uwe won’t leave us in the lurch. We would be gutted if any of our players left but if the inevitable happens, the least he can do is to sort us out with a decent fee and give us someone in exchange. 
 
I have no doubt that Uwe will not forget that Brentford’s owner Matthew Benham took a great risk in employing him from Norway as a left-field option when he was completely off the radar from clubs on their ‘manager hunt’. He put him firmly on the map by giving him time to develop as well as adequate finances to assemble a decent squad. 
 
It hasn’t gone un-noticed that Uwe has already done us a favour by recalling Nouha Dicko from Rotherham right in the middle of him banging in the goals down there left, right and centre. Where Dicko may now end up in January who knows? But no doubt Uwe has got a master-plan in place
 
And on the plus side, from Brentford’s end, things haven’t fallen apart. New manager Mark Warburton (who was in fact Uwe’s technical director and has been at the club even longer than Uwe) has won his first two games – both difficult ones at that against potential promotion rivals. We are continuing to play attractive football so Uwe Rosler’s legacy continues at Brentford. 
 
With any luck, Mark Warburton will finish off the job that Uwe Rosler came soooooo close to finishing last season come May this year. And finally, Brentford fans can lay to rest the ghost of constant failure that started way way back in 1985 at Wembley in the Leyland Daf Final against …… Oh ….. it was Wigan. 
A West Bromwich Albion fan’s view of Marc-Antoine Fortune
Fortune
Written by: Iain Bate, editor of fan site westbromwichalbion-mad,
Published: August 26, 2013

 

’I was a little surprised that he dropped down a division into the Championship – although a two-year contract was more than Albion were offering.

Fortune was a good player at Albion – although the more I think, I struggle to remember any real outstanding performances or memorable moments from him. He was always a hard working individual and a team player. But, If I’m honest, he probably lacked that extra bit of quality you need to excel at the highest level.

When he originally joined the club under Tony Mowbray we were desperate for a striker. He joined in January and did well. He scored 5 times in 17 appearances. I remember his debut against Middlesbrough and he ran himself into the ground. He trundled off to a standing ovation with his socks around his ankles. Fortune’s link-up play has always been good. However, he never really offered a goal threat. I wouldn’t say he’s a natural goalscorer – despite his goals from January to May. He was unable to prevent the club from being relegated.

When Fortune came back to the club after a spell in Celtic, he never really reached the level of performance he had when he was at the club the first time around. In fact, he struggled to get in to the side first under Roberto Di Matteo and then Roy Hodgson. His time at The Hawthorns seemed up. He went on loan to Doncaster Rovers in order to get some game time and he came back with renewed vigour and purpose. By this time, Hodgson had moved Fortune away from the centre to the right-hand side.

Marco was intelligent enough to adapt his game and did well as a right-sided forward. He always tracked back and put the required effort in. In fact, he earned himself an extra year at the club. But once Hodgson had moved on he found it difficult to get in the side under Steve Clarke. The arrival of Shane Long, Romelu Lukaku and Markus Rosenberg meant that Fortune wasn’t even considered in a central option any longer.

Fortune didn’t really feature in the first half of last season as Peter Odemwingie and Zoltan Gera kept him out of the side. But, as both either dropped out of favour or were injured, he got his chance to earn himself another deal. He performed well and scored the odd goal. Albion earned him a one-year contract, but he chose more stability at Wigan.

I don’t think you’ll find any Albion fan which would have a bad word to say against Fortune. He maybe lacked the quality to perform regularly at the highest level, but he always tried his best and was liked by the fans. Hopefully we’ll see him at The Hawthorns again soon.

Fortune favours the brave!

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Fan Views – Part 2 – Martyn Waghorn and Thomas Rogne

The first posting on our Amigos site was made by Ned on August 11, 2011. It received less than 10 views that first day. But by the end of the month the site had received over 700 views.

Our readership has continued to steadily grow. In this current month of April the site has already received more than ten times the number of views than in that inaugural month, from viewers in more than fifty countries. The growth has been particularly significant in recent months.

Given that we now have a wider readership 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.

A Leicester fan’s view of Martyn Waghorn

Martyn Waghorn celebrated his permanent contract with his fourth goal in Latics colours.

 

 

Written by: Mark_w.James fan’s forum on the Leicester City fansite http://www.foxestalk.co.uk/.

Published: February 3, 2014

 

For the benefit of lurking Wigan fans (I ventured over to their forum and some have decided he’s rubbish based on posts in here and his goal scoring record so) I’m going to repeat what I’ve been saying for the last few years. Feel free to skip it.

Martyn Waghorn did a very good job during his loan spell at the club, in the Championship. Injury and misuse (being played on the wing when he isn’t a winger) has prevented him from performing to the level we saw during his loan spell. However his performances in the run of around ten games he had for us last year and the reception from the Millwall fans on their forum after his loan spell would suggest that he is very capable of recapturing that form.

It’s not going to be for us because this season Jamie Vardy has proven that he offers as much as in terms of work rate with a superior goal scoring record and with Nugent and Wood as well, it’s pretty clear that  Waghorn isn’t going to get a look in and it would be a very silly decision on his part to sign a new contract with the club.

His commitment and passion for football rather than his ability are the reason he’s revered by a surprisingly large number of Leicester fans, myself included. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of becoming a very good footballer.  If he is given a prolonged run as a striker by a team in the Championship, for the first time since his loan spell, then there’s every chance that he can perform to level he did during his loan spell and at the age of 24 there’s still plenty of time for him to develop and improve.

Unfairly written off by some of our fans, I imagine because of impatience, an inability to recognize that he simply hasn’t started enough games to make the same impact he did while on loan (fewer starts since signing permanently than he made during his loan spell and those have been in short bursts rather than one prolonged run) and increased expectation because we pretty clearly paid way too much for him.

Will be an incredible free signing for anyone who takes him on in the summer and gives him game time, if he gets that I’m sure we will see the Waggy of old, I think we’ll be at a level where we won’t need to kick ourselves about it, but if he does succeed elsewhere then I’m sure that many people will be saddened that circumstances have conspired against him time and time again since he signed permanently.

I really hope he gets his career back on track and is given the opportunity to show to those who have written him off that he is capable of once again reaching the level he was at three years ago and there’s no reason he can’t surpass it in the future. Good luck to him, clearly cares about playing football and gave me a lot of great memories during what was probably my favourite season supporting Leicester City until this year (I’m young).

If Pearson hadn’t left and we had still been able to sign him then I’m sure things would have been very different, I’m delighted that we’ve got Pearson back and are on the up again. Hope that the same can happen for Waggy on loan at Wigan and in the future, hopefully at a club that isn’t Millwall.

Not the greatest player to play for Leicester City during my life time but easily one of the most likeable.

 

A Celtic fan’s view of Thomas Rogne

2013-rogne

 

Written by: Liam Power, aka Brummie Bhoy of Celtic  blog, Lost Bhoys

Published: July 1, 2013

 

 

I think it is reasonable to say that Wigan were not one of the more glamorous Premiership clubs during their spell in the top league so they would generally slip under the radar of most Celtic fans. However, this changed in recent years as we have seen a number of ex Celts and SPL players move to the club under the tenure of Roberto Martinez.

My former boss is a Wigan season ticket holder so we have had many amusing conversations over the last few seasons when discussing the contribution of Gary Caldwell and more serious chats about the continued development of Maloney, McArthur and McCarthy as they become integral to the Wigan team in the last season, culminating in your magnificent FA Cup victory.

Wigan now also has lifelong Celtic supporter Owen Coyle in charge and have just acquired the services of Celtic’s out of contract defender Thomas Rogne.  As a season ticket holder for most of the last 9 seasons and as a weekly blogger for the LostBhoys on www.hailhailmedia.com I can provide an insight into Rogne’s time at Celtic, what sort of player he is and what you can expect from him in the seasons ahead.

Rogne turned 23 last week but still features regularly for the Norway under-21 team despite being capped at full International level. He joined Celtic as a 19 year old on the 20th January 2010 and was described by former Celtic favourite Vidar Riseth as the hottest young talent in Norway.

Rogne was signed by Tony Mowbray whose single season in charge at Parkhead can most politely be described as a disaster, culminating in a 4-0 defeat to St Mirren that signalled the end of his reign. Rogne only managed 4 appearances during the second half of season 2009/10 but would have been encouraged by the appointment of Neil Lennon who has always been happy to give young players opportunities within the team.

Rogne didn’t start a game in the following season until 30th October 2010 as an injury interrupted pre-season prevented him from establishing himself in the manager’s plans. However, he then featured 15 times in the following three months, including an outstanding performance at Ibrox in a 2-0 win over our former rivals.

Further injuries took him out of the team and he only featured intermittently during the rest of the season. This was to become the story of his time at Celtic as he could rarely muster a run of games in the team without picking up knocks that would require spells on the sidelines. As an 18 year old Rogne damaged his cruciate ligaments and missed the entire 2008/09 season, which may explain his continual injury problems.

The following season 2011/12 saw a depressingly similar pattern as injury disrupted his pre-season and he didn’t make his first start until 26th October 2011. He played 3 times before injury sidelined him again but once back in the team in December Rogne managed to establish himself and struck up a good partnership with Scottish Player of the season Charlie Mulgrew.

He featured in 17 league games during the remainder of the season and was considered as a first choice pick for the first time in his Celtic career, keeping out new signing Kelvin Wilson who had experienced a difficult start to his Celtic career.

This should have signalled better times for Rogne at Celtic but the signing of Efe Ambrose and the re-birth of Kelvin Wilson produced a solid partnership that was not going to be split up. This partnership, added to more niggling injuries for the player meant that he had drifted out of the first team picture.

He only made 8 league starts last season, a situation that was not helped with his ongoing contract dispute with the club. Rogne was looking for a deal that would put him in with the high earners at the club but he had done nothing during his 4 seasons to justify such a position.

The club expressed their desire to keep him but no compromise could be reached so the player allowed his contract to expire and today he becomes a free agent meaning that Wigan will not have to pay any compensation to Celtic.

There is no doubting the ability of Rogne as a footballer. He is a tall player who enjoys doing the basics of good defending.   He is good in the air and reads the game well which enables him to win a fair amount of challenges staying on his feet without over committing himself.

He has reasonable pace and his positional sense is good although he can suffer from lapses in concentration. He is not a ball playing defender and is happy winning possession and giving the ball to his more talented colleagues.

What he desperately needs is a run of 20-30 games in a side without injury so that he can establish himself as a first choice. He is easily good enough to play in the Championship but needs to contribute much more in terms of appearances. As a free transfer on relatively modest wages he fits the bill for Wigan’s transfer policy and would be deemed as a low risk signing.

Wigan have the best chance of promotion from all the three clubs who were relegated as they should manage to retain a decent nucleus of last seasons squad, unlike QPR who have huge financial implications to deal with.

Providing he can stay fit then Rogne will be a good addition to the squad and should be a success at Wigan. He is familiar with British football and knows Caldwell and Maloney well from his time at Celtic, so his transition to Wigan should be relatively straight forward.

Good luck to you for the forthcoming season and I will definitely continue to keep an eye on our former bhoys

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