Fan views – Part 1: Yanic Wildschut and Jordy Hiwula

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.

Yanic Wildschut – a Middlesbrough fan’s view

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Written by: Robert Nichols, Fly Me To The Moon fanzine fmttm.com.

Date: October 2, 2105.

 

 

Yanic Wildschut is the kind of player that draws the fans to games. He is fast, strong, powerful and direct. 

 When I say he is fast, let me qualify that by saying Yanic wears athletes compression socks under his football socks. He can give defenders ten yards start and tear past them. A good span of games at Wigan will help him sort out his weak spot, the finished product. Although get him running into the box and it doesn’t matter what he does with his final delivery he will cause mayhem and bag free kicks and penalties by the bucket load.

 If defenders can knock him off the ball. He is, as they used to say in Mark Lawrenson circles, a very big unit.

 Wildcshut has been desperately unlucky at Boro. He helped destroy Oldham away in the 1st round of the League cup. He scored a superb break away goal and was generally far too hot for the other Latics to handle. His promotion to first team action was only a matter of time and indeed we saw more of the same from him at home to Bristol City. Every time he got the ball and went on the run Bristol City were running scared. Yanic was subbed at half time in a tactical switch to allow Stewy Downing to go wide. It didn’t work but we have such a surplus of good wide players, wingers and overlapping full backs that no less than three are out on loan at present. 

 It was expected that Albert Adomah would be leaving but he settled his differences with the manager yet in the meantime we had brought in a talented Uruguayan called De Pena. Thus Carayol, Adam Reach and Wildschut have been allowed on loan. They need first team football rather than Development side starts.

 Wildschut’s debut was as sub at Anfield in the League Cup last season. He was thrown on as a centre forward. And he caused Liverpool threats running through the centre. He scored in League action in a win away at Rotherham. But needs more starts to get consistency.

I would be very excited right now if I was a Wigan fan. Wildschut will destroy defences with pace. He might need a few games to find a level of consistency to impact through 90 minutes. But he is worth the wait because he can split and sprint through a defence in a minute.

Watch him go. And watch Yanic grow.

 

 

Jordy’s arrival at Banks’s Stadium was greeted with something of a whimper, he’d had an nine game, almost goal-less loan spell with Yeovil Town which gave the impression of a player that wasn’t about to turn our campaign around.

However just three minutes into his debut Jordy proved all the doubters wrong as he slotted home, helping the Saddlers to a 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers.

Following several solid displays Jordy went on to have his initial one-month loan deal extended to the end of the campaign and finished with nine goals in twenty appearances, including netting twice against Crawley Town and Bristol City.

Jordy is a very capable player, with bags of pace and, given the right formation will surely be a good acquisition for the Latics.

Click here to get a Manchester City view on Hiwula via the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yanic Wildschut – a Middlesbrough fan’s view

wildschut

Wigan Athletic have signed 23 year old winger Yanic Wildschut from Middlesbrough on a three month loan. Wildschut has made 11 appearances for Boro, including two this season. He has represented the Netherlands 10 times at under-21 level.

Gary Caldwell told the official Latics website  that:

“He’s something we definitely haven’t got at the moment. We’ve lacked that bit of creativity from the flanks and we were interested as soon as we found out he may be available. With his background – coming through at Ajax – he is technically very comfortable and has had 12 months to get used to the pace of the English game. He is a very powerful boy, who stands at over 6ft tall and one we have been admiring from a distance and with him not being involved at the moment, he is looking for game time. Hopefully it will be an arrangement that suits everyone. We look forward to working with him.”

The 6 ft 1 12 in tall Wildschut was born in Amsterdam and played in the Ajax academy. He joined second division FC Zwolle and made 33 appearances for them in the 2010-11 season, scoring 3 goals. In summer 2011 he signed for VVV Venlo in the Eredivisie. Wildschut made 61 appearances for VVV, scoring 8 goals before leaving them in the summer of 2013, after they suffered relegation.

In summer 2013 he signed for another Eredivisie side, Heerenveen, on a three year contract. In January 2014 he was sent out on loan to Ado Den Haag until the end of the season, making 7 appearances. Wildschut made 18 appearances for Heerenveen scoring 2 goals.

Middlesbrough signed Wildschut in September 2014 on a two year contract for a fee of around £600,000, with the option of a further year.

In order to learn more about Wildschut’s time at Middlesbrough we contacted Robert Nichols of the Fly Me To The Moon fanzine fmttm.com.

Here’s over to Robert:

Yanic Wildschut is the kind of player that draws the fans to games. He is fast, strong, powerful and direct. 

 When I say he is fast, let me qualify that by saying Yanic wears athletes compression socks under his football socks. He can give defenders ten yards start and tear past them. A good span of games at Wigan will help him sort out his weak spot, the finished product. Although get him running into the box and it doesn’t matter what he does with his final delivery he will cause mayhem and bag free kicks and penalties by the bucket load.

 If defenders can knock him off the ball. He is, as they used to say in Mark Lawrenson circles, a very big unit.

 Wildcshut has been desperately unlucky at Boro. He helped destroy Oldham away in the 1st round of the League cup. He scored a superb break away goal and was generally far too hot for the other Latics to handle. His promotion to first team action was only a matter of time and indeed we saw more of the same from him at home to Bristol City. Every time he got the ball and went on the run Bristol City were running scared. Yanic was subbed at half time in a tactical switch to allow Stewy Downing to go wide. It didn’t work but we have such a surplus of good wide players, wingers and overlapping full backs that no less than three are out on loan at present. 

 It was expected that Albert Adomah would be leaving but he settled his differences with the manager yet in the meantime we had brought in a talented Uruguayan called De Pena. Thus Carayol, Adam Reach and Wildschut have been allowed on loan. They need first team football rather than Development side starts.

 Wildschut’s debut was as sub at Anfield in the League Cup last season. He was thrown on as a centre forward. And he caused Liverpool threats running through the centre. He scored in League action in a win away at Rotherham. But needs more starts to get consistency.

I would be very excited right now if I was a Wigan fan. Wildcshut will destroy defences with pace. He might need a few games to find a level of consistency to impact through 90 minutes. But he is worth the wait because he can split and sprint through a defence in a minute.

Watch him go. And watch Yanic grow.

Toothless Latics go down

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It was by no means the worst display of the season, going down 1-0 to a team with the best home record in the division. In fact in the second half Latics put Boro under some pressure. But sadly once again it seemed like toothless Wigan would not score if they played all day.

Two moments stick in my mind from the game.

Half way through the first half. With Latics already a goal down they get a throw in ten yards into the opposition half. Gaetan Bong steps up to take it. He looks around, keeps holding on to the ball. None of his teammates are looking to receive it. They are static and look disinterested. In the end he puts the ball down the line. End result – Middlesbrough win back possession.

The final quarter of the match. Latics are succeeding in putting some pressure on the home defence. Kim Bo Kyung put a lovely lofted pass through for James McClean in the box. A goal on the volley looks on the cards. Sadly the Irishman makes a complete hash of the opportunity, sadly lacking the technique and poise of a true striker.

Despite scoring a spectacular last-minute equalizer against Bolton, Martyn Waghorn was left out of the starting lineup. Mackay started with Leon Clarke and James McClean up front and Josh Murphy and Jermaine Pennant playing wide. They were to pose practically no goal threat in the first half.

Mackay took off the naïve and inexperienced Murphy – toothless up front and poor in helping out his defence- and brought on the goal-shy Marc-Antoine Fortune. Once more he livened up Latics’ play. A neutral observer, who did not know MAF’s previous record, might have wondered why he had not played from the start. But with just one league goal all season would you play him? MAF did actually produce one magic moment – a fine effort when fine control helped him elude the Boro defence, putting in a good angled shot pushed away by the keeper. He showed that same kind of control later in the proceedings, but his effort from it was woeful.

After the game Mackay once more shot himself in the foot, by reiterating his concern about Wigan’s lack of firepower. Did he really expect his initial forward lineup to deliver the goods? Has he not learned from past experience?

The majority of Wigan Athletic‘s fans could tell him that McClean does not have the skills or aptitude needed to be a central striker. The Irishman looked so much better running down on the left flank after MAF came on. Decent left winger he is, striker he is not.

Neither has Mackay learned that the journeyman centre forward Clarke is not the answer to Latics’ striking needs. He was poor once again, being replaced by Waghorn after 61 minutes.

Pennant’s best years as a footballer lie in the distant past. His pace has gone and other than two spectacular free kicks at Rotherham his delivery from set pieces has been disappointing to say the least. It has certainly not reflected the levels one would expect from a player with a distinguished career record as a wide player. Once again he was taken off two thirds of the way through the match. He looked distraught at Mackay’s decision. Sadly his manager was probably right – the winger had achieved little in his time on the pitch. In the event Pennant was replaced by William Kvist, a quality player in a squad short on such matters. Why the Dane was not in the starting lineup only Mackay will know.

The unbending Mackay simply refuses to learn from his mistakes. With just six games left he is running out of time.

In the meantime relegation beckons for a team with a toothless attack.

Turning the tide – Latics v Norwich

Tide2

The arrival of a new manager so often spurs a team in to playing better. With the improved performances come better results.

Malky Mackay will be hoping that is the case when Latics face Norwich tomorrow. He had a positive start when he recalled the old guard against Middlesbrough, who did well but could not quite get the win they hoped for. But his second match saw two defensive errors give away three points against a mediocre Sheffield Wednesday side.

Like Latics, Norwich come off a run of bad results. In fact their records over the last six games are identical W1 D2 L3. The Canaries started the season well and new signings Cameron Jerome and Lewis Grabban were banging the goals in. However, since then they have found the Championship division harder than perhaps they had anticipated.

As Callum McManaman and Shaun Maloney will testify, referees in this division do not protect skillful players like they do in the Premier League. The Norwich playmaker, Wes Hoolahan, has only played 12 games this season and is still carrying an ankle injury. However, given his importance to the team, manager Neil Adams might risk the little Irishman tomorrow despite not being fully fit. Norwich can be expected to field an attacking lineup with winger Nathan Redmond joining Grabban and Jerome up front.

Ben Watson made his first start in nine months at Sheffield and looked understandably rusty. However, Mackay is likely to continue with him and Chris McCann in central midfield. Shaun Maloney is expected to return following illness. Should he be given a central midfield role then Adam Forshaw will find himself on the bench. However, Maloney could be played wide on the left with Forshaw continuing. Don Cowie is fit again and will challenge for a place, either in central or right midfield.

Mackay fielded two wingers- Callum McManaman and James McClean – at Sheffield. But he will surely have found, as did Uwe Rosler and Owen Coyle previously, that playing the two wide men at the same time just does not work.

Emmerson Boyce moved into the centre of defence in the second half at Sheffield with Leon Barnett. The lack of form of central defenders in recent games is a cause for concern, but Mackay will most likely stick with the two Bs, with James Perch and Andrew Taylor at full back.

The performance at Sheffield once again highlighted the need for a goalscoring centre forward, who receives the necessary support. McManaman and McClean ended up putting in crosses that were too often uncontested.

Mackay’s preferred formation at Cardiff was based on a version of 4-5-1 that was close to the 4-3-3 preferred by Rosler. Like Rosler, it has not been his wont to play with twin strikers. However, given the repeated failure of Latics to put the ball into the back of the net, will he is willing to change his formation? The exciting McManaman is much more effective in a free role than marooned out on the right wing where he it is easier for opposition defenders to pick him off.

Various combinations exist for a twin strike force – choose any two from Delort/Fortune/McClean/ McManaman/Riera/Waghorn. A switch to 4-4-2 would certainly be worth a try.

Once again this is a match that Latics can certainly win. Perhaps Lady Luck might be on Wigan’s side this time? There have been so many times this season when Latics have been within a whisker of getting a crucial goal.

Perhaps the tide will turn tomorrow?

Wigan Athletic v Middlesbrough Preview

The furore that has surrounded Malky Mackay’s appointment has overshadowed everything else happening at Wigan Athletic this week. However, there is a fascinating contest coming up on Saturday with the team third from the bottom of the Championship playing the team third from top. Can a Latics team that has been down on its knees lift itself to defeat a team riding high?

Ex-Real Madrid centre half Aitor Karanka took over at Middlesbrough a year ago this month. Karanka had been Jose Mourinho’s assistant during his time in the Spanish capital. It seems that the Basque learned from his time working with the ‘Special One’. Boro are a physical team with a high workrate. They have the best defensive record in the Championship with only 12 goals conceded in 17 matches. They will prove a hard nut to crack.

Mackay has confirmed that assistant manager, Graham Barrow, and first team coach, Eric Black, will be continuing in their positions. He will most likely to consult with the two of them regarding Saturday’s lineup. For the first time in years a Latics manager will have the luxury of choosing from a full squad, with the return of players from short and long-term injury. Two players Mackay will know are Don Cowie and Andrew Taylor, who were not key members of his squad that won the Championship a couple of years ago, but also played under him previously at Watford.

Despite their league positions few could argue that Wigan do not have at least as strong a squad as Boro. Mackay’s task will be dealing with the egos in the dressing room and getting the best out his players. He has some six weeks before the transfer window opens – time to assess not only his players’ capabilities, but their commitment to the club. It would not be a surprise to see some high profile names leaving the club in the next couple of months.

It so often happens that a new manager breathes new life into a club – at least in the short term. Dave Whelan will be hoping Mackay can do that, despite the huge pressure of media and public opinion surrounding him at the moment.

As an ex-centre half, Mackay can be expected to build a team based on solid defence. He might well opt for experience with a back four of James Perch, Emmerson Boyce, Ivan Ramis and Maynor Figueroa. He might well opt for a conservative midfield with Don Cowie and William Kvist bolstering the defence, with Adam Forshaw pushed a little further forward. It will be fascinating to see how Mackay will deal with Andy Delort and Oriel Riera, two capable strikers who had a rough time under Uwe Rosler.

It is hard to predict what will happen on Saturday. But a Wigan Athletic win is by no means impossible.