A Peterborough United fan’s view of Callum Elder

Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of the 22-year-old Australian left back Callum Elder on a season-long loan from Leicester City. Elder has a contract with the Foxes until June 2019.

On signing for Latics Elder said “I spoke to the gaffer last week and he was really interested in bringing me in and for me to be a big part in his plans. I can’t wait to get started. I’m a left full back and an athletic player who likes to get up and down the flank and bring a real energy to the team, which is what the gaffer says he wants.”

Callum Elder was born in Sydney but went to Leicester City as a 16-year-old. In January 2015 Elder went on  a short-term loan to Mansfield Town which was to be extended until the end of the season, making 21 appearances. In August 2015 he joined Peterborough United, his loan being cut short in December due to a foot injury. He had made 18 league appearances and scored one goal.

In July 2016 Elder joined Championship side Brentford on a season-long loan. Although a regular in the opening games of the season, a knee injury was later followed by a thigh injury and he returned to Leicester in mid-December for treatment. Elder went back to Brentford in mid-January for a couple of weeks, but was recalled by Leicester, then sent to Barnsley for another loan. He had made 6 appearances for the midland club, going on to make 3 for Barnsley.

Elder has represented Australia at U20 level.

In order to learn more about Elder we reached out to Peterborough fan, John Verrall (@JohnVerrall).

Here’s over to John:

Callum Elder should be a great addition. He is the best left-back we have had a Posh since Darragh MacAnthony became owner and a stand out player at League One level.

Elder possesses great attacking ability, and he tirelessly creates an option down the left-side. In offensive positions, he has an excellent delivery and also showed enough trickery to get past a player.

Defensively, too, he is strong and he rarely was beaten by an opposition winger.

I believe he struggled on loan at Barnsley last term, but in League One he will be one of the best left-backs in the division. 

 

Like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter here.

Advertisements

An Inverness fan’s view of Billy Mckay

Photo courtesy of BBC Sport.,

Photo courtesy of BBC Sport.,

Inverness Caledonian Thistle souces today announced  that Billy McKay is due to have a medical tomorrow in the finalisation of a move to Wigan Athletic. Can Mckay become that goalscoring striker that Latics have sought for so long?

The 27 year old Billy Mckay was born in Corby and began his football career in the Leicester City academy. Despite a good goalscoring record at youth and reserve team levels he did not make a first team appearance and joined Northampton Town at the age of 20. He was to make 74 appearances for the Cobblers, scoring 13 goals over two seasons.

In summer of 2011 Mckay went to Inverness to join Caley Thistle and play in the Scottish Premier League. In his first season he only scored 3 goals in 22 league games, but after that he got better and better. He played in all the 38 league games for the next two seasons, scoring 22 goals in 2012-13 and 18 in 2013-14. He has continued in goalscoring form this season, notching 10 in the 23 league games so far.

Mckay has made 9 appearances for Northern Ireland since making his debut in February 2013.

In order to find out more about Mckay’s time at Inverness we reached out on twitter to Lawrie (alias @Nareystoepoker). Lawrie says he actually went to watch Latics three times in the Premier league days and enjoyed each visit.

Here is over to Lawrie:

Will Billy Mckay (it’s a small ‘k’, by the way) be a success at Wigan Athletic?  That depends on how much of a step up going from the Scottish Premiership to the English Championship is.  But the Latics have signed one of the best strikers in Scottish football; Mckay has scored 59 goals in the last two and a half seasons, more than anyone else in our top flight during that period.

 I wouldn’t have said that in the summer of 2012, however.  His first season in the Highlands after joining from Northampton Town was pretty unimpressive, though not helped by an injury that wrecked his pre-season.  Once he had broken into the team, he managed just three goals in the entire campaign, and at one point went sixteen games without scoring.  The decision by manager Terry Butcher to give him a two year deal that summer was a surprise at the time, but he clearly knew something we didn’t, as 2012-13 saw him hit the goal trail spectacularly.

 The crucial difference was a dramatic increase in the quality of service he was getting.  After all, he’s only 5ft 7in, and we were playing him as a lone striker; pumping high balls up to him is no use.  Whilst his link-up play in deeper areas is decent enough, there’s no question that Mckay is at his best when he is in the final third and facing goal.  His movement off the ball is terrific, with a speed of thought matched by a rapid acceleration over 5-10 metres.  This allows him to shake off his marker, and is why, despite his size, he still manages to score with his head every so often, generally having found a gap between defenders.

 Like all but the most elite of strikers, Mckay is confidence-dependent; he is prone to dips in form which inevitably lead to droughts.  His attitude remains excellent during these periods, and his work-rate will be as high as ever, but his finishing, especially in one-on-ones, will become erratic.  He needs his manager to stick by him in these periods; he’s played in every league match for three years (which also tells you something about his durability).
 
A lot of players have left Scottish football for the English Championship in recent years; some have succeeded, but many have failed.  Will Mckay make the cut?  My worry is that the step up in quality will be too big.  Our league is full of big, lumbering centre backs that the Northern Irishman could leave for dead, but now he’ll be up against guys who are just as strong, but can match his pace; they might also be more tuned to his off-the-ball movement.  But he’s certainly earned the right to give it a shot, and he leaves Inverness with our best wishes.
 

FFP and Latics – should Whelan splash the cash?

2012-moneyball

Bournemouth has never had a team playing in the top tier of English football. They entered the Football League in 1923 and AFC Bournemouth play in a stadium that holds 11,700. They had 91% occupancy last season when they challenged for a playoff place, eventually finishing 10th in the Championship.

Owned by Maxim Demin, a Russian petrochemicals billionaire, they would like to see the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules changed. They claim that less than half of the clubs playing in the Championship now were present when current FFP regulations were agreed. In May their chairman, Jeremy Mostyn, said that “What we have is an ambitious owner who has a desire to take this club as far forward as he possibly can…….but what is wrong with having an owner who is determined to put his own money into a football club and take it as far as he can?

Demin wants to see his club in the Premier League. In gaining promotion from League 1 in 2012-13 they lost £15.3m. He is clearly prepared to put in the funds to launch them up another division.

Wigan Athletic fans know what it is like to have an owner who wanted to get his club into the Premier League. It cost Dave Whelan an awful lot of money not just to get Latics into the elite circles, but also to keep them there. If FFP had existed a decade ago it is highly unlikely that Wigan Athletic would have been able to climb up to the Premier League.

In their final two seasons in the Premier League Latics were among a small minority of clubs that actually made a profit. After years of Whelan pumping money into the club it was starting to look like it could become self-sufficient. But relegation meant that the parameters changed – breaking even in the Championship was to be a very different proposition to doing the same in the Premier League.

Last season Latics were due to receive £23m in parachute payments from the Premier League. With an historic Europa League campaign coming up the club decided to largely invest the parachute payments into maintaining a large squad. It is believed that the club had previously written into players’ contracts that their salaries would drop if they were to be relegated from the Premier League. Moreover a number of players left the club, several at the ends of their contracts, others for significant transfer fees.

The proceeds from the sales of Arouna Kone and James McCarthy to Everton probably amounted to around £18m, although the payments were to be staggered over a time period. Most fans expected a sizeable chunk of that money to be reinvested in signing players who could help get the club back into the Premier League. Owen Coyle came in and did a remarkable job in bringing in 10 new players in the space of a couple of months, some having been at the ends of their contracts, some loan signings and others for what appeared to be bargain prices.

With hindsight Coyle was to make one major blunder, paying around £2m for the 32 year old Grant Holt and giving him a 3 year contract. At the time Holt looked like a good signing, given his proven goal scoring record, although the length of the contract raised eyebrows at the time. However, Coyle paid modest fees to acquire Leon Barnett, Scott Carson and James Perch, who have proved to be good signings. He paid a little more to sign James McClean, who took a drop in pay to join Latics from Sunderland. Although the Irishman remains enigmatic he might well become a key player in the future. Coyle’s acquisition of Chris McCann, who had reached the end of his contract at Burnley, was by no means lauded at the time, but the Irishman was to prove a quality signing. Seven of Coyle’s signings remain Latics players, although Juan Carlos Garcia has gone to Tenerife on loan.

The sum total of the transfer fees paid by Coyle would approximate to that received through the sale of Kone. It is assumed that the sum roughly equivalent to that due to be received through McCarthy’s transfer will be allocated towards the development of the new training and youth development facility at Charnock Richard.

Latics actually performed relatively well last season in using their parachute payments to assemble a squad good enough to reach 5th place in the Championship. In the previous season the clubs who came down from the Premier League – Blackburn, Bolton and Wolves – finished in 13th, 16th and 18th positions, despite parachute payments of £16m.

With the parachute payment and funds gained from the Europa League campaign, together with prudent financial management, it is likely that Wigan Athletic at least broke even financially last season. The projected cost of the Charnock Richard facility has not been announced by the club, although Latics clearly made a bargain in buying the site, which was auctioned at a guide price of £650,000.

The accounts will make interesting reading when they are announced in a few months’ time.

Under the current financial regime at the club, Wigan Athletic are highly unlikely to incur penalties under FFP rules. The challenge is whether they can secure promotion back to the Premier League against clubs who are spending millions on new players. Fulham’s investment of £13m on Ross McCormack was staggering, especially for a player who has never played in the Premier League. Last season both Leicester City and Queens Park Rangers flouted FFP rules in gaining promotion. The London team is reported to have had a budget of £70m last year, exceeding that of Atletico Madrid, La Liga winners and Champions League finalists. They lost £23.4m over the season.

The rules for FFP for the Championship division differ from those of the Premier League and Leagues 1 and 2. For the 2013-14 season clubs were required to restrict any losses to £3m. However, it gave the owner of the club the option of converting up to £5m of any loss into equity, putting in cash to buy shares in the club. It cannot be done by borrowing money. However, if these were to be met and the losses did not exceed £8m there would be no penalty.

Clubs are required to submit their accounts for the 2013-14 season on December 1st. Any club that exceeds the limit will have a transfer embargo imposed until it turns itself around to reach FFP rules.

One club that appears certain to have a transfer embargo placed on it in January is Blackburn Rovers. They lost an incredible £36m in the 2013-14 season, wages alone accounting for 115% of revenue. The transfer of Jordan Rhodes for big money would help them to balance their books for the 2014-2015 season, but they face at least a year of transfer embargoes until the accounts are once more submitted in December 2015.

The Football League has a “Fair Play” tax in the case of clubs who overspend, but are promoted to the Premier League. The tax is on a sliding scale, but QPR are due to pay over £17m on their overspending last year. The Championship clubs voted overwhelmingly to impose the Fair Play tax, but the implementation of the scheme relied on the support of the Premier League, which has not materialized. At this stage it looks like QPR have got away with it, but it remains to be seen what will happen if they get relegated and return to the Championship.

Championship clubs continue to overspend in their ambitions to reach the Premier League, not only in transfer fees, but also in salaries. In the 2012-13 season only five clubs in the Championship made a profit. Leicester City lost £34m that season and if FFP rules had been in effect there is no way they would have avoided a transfer embargo, making it unlikely they would have been able to build up a squad strong enough for promotion the following season. It will be interesting to see if clubs fared any better last season, knowing that FFP was coming into effect.

Almost half of the clubs in the Championship are receiving parachute payments. This gives them a considerable financial advantage over the others who receive a “solidarity payment“of £2.3 million from the Premier League, one tenth of that of a club in its first year of parachute payments. The imbalance among the clubs has led to suggestions that clubs with parachute payments should have TV money withheld and that a salary cap be introduced for clubs.

Because of the financial support through the second parachute payment now is the time for Latics to really push for promotion. Over the next two years the payments will decrease and after that Latics would receive only the meagre consolidation payment that teams like Bournemouth are receiving. However, they are now competing against clubs who have just come down with bigger parachute payments plus other clubs who do not seem to be afraid to splash money on transfers despite FFP.

Latics desperately need another striker who can win matches by scoring goals. The question is how far is Whelan willing to go in the bidding wars that start up as the transfer window deadline day draws closer? Brentford sources are suggesting that Latics are going to have to pay more for Adam Forshaw than we previously thought. Moreover a good central striker is going to cost money.

Whelan will want to squeeze as much as he can out of any deal for James McArthur in order to finance the other two purchases. The hold-up in the Forshaw transfer might well be because Latics need to get the McArthur deal finalized first. There has been no news about other Latics players being sought by other clubs, but it remains a possibility at this late stage.

Whelan, Jonathan Jackson and Uwe Rosler deserve credit for the way the club is being run on a sound financial basis. Looking at the plight of near neighbours Bolton and Blackburn highlights the fact. Latics are likely to be one of the leaders in the division in terms of meeting FFP conditions.

However, whether Whelan will allow potential outgoings on transfers to exceed the incomings is a moot point. If he does not do so it will almost certainly jeopardise Latics’ chances of going up this year.

Dave Whelan is first and foremost a businessman. He will have some key business decisions to make over the next few days.

Like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter here.

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

Like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter here.

 

A Leicester fan’s view of Martyn Waghorn

Thanks to englandfootballblog.com  for the photo.

Thanks to englandfootballblog.com for the photo.

As I mentioned in my last postRosler’s loan signings can make a difference” Latics’ recent loan signings have been greeted with less than universal approval from fans.

Of the four loanees it is the signing of 24 year old Martyn Waghorn from Leicester City that is the most controversial. Why would Uwe Rosler want to sign a player from a rival club who has been sent out on loan although his contract expires in summer?

Is Waghorn capable of being a success at Wigan, given his inauspicious record at Leicester?

In perusing the fan’s forum on the Leicester City fansite http://www.foxestalk.co.uk/  we came across this fascinating piece from a certain Mark_w.

It is with kind permission of the Foxes Talk site that we are publishing it below.

Mark’s article gives us a glimpse of what Waghorn has achieved in the past and his potential for the future.

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.

Like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter here.