With relegation looming large on the JJB horizon fingers are starting to point in every, and any, direction to find the root of Latics’ current predicament.  On one end of the scale there’s the ‘we’re doomed’ camp, resigned to our fate and on the other, either eternally optimistic or in denial, are those who are ‘keeping the faith’ and know we’ll be alright come May.

As you’d expect, there are a whole spectrum of views in-between laying the blame with either the players, the manager, the chairman or even, in some circumstances, the fans.  There is however one common thread through all their complaints.

As far as Latics are concerned, money may not be the root of all evil but it’s not far off.  Whether it’s not been spent and should have been or thrown in the wrong direction, whether it’s the chairman who won’t spend it or the manager who can’t, whether Paul Jewell has wasted it or the players are stealing it, the inference is the same.  We’ve got money so we should be doing alright.

Whilst it seems that, for many, the only solution is to chuck more notes on to the Premier League fire.  Ironically it may be that we have already spent too much.

Looking back to the deals that were allegedly offered to Ellington and Roberts and possibly would have been put in front of Bullard there was a common theme.  The perception was we should have been offering more.  The Duke is probably the best example.

The stories at the time placed the offer as low as £9k when the club had mooted figures of more than £20k.  How could there be such a difference?  It’s simple; the preference of the chairman and manager is clearly for structured deals.  You want £15k a week? Well how’s about we say you 10.  Score us goals, win us games and keep us up and we’ll bump it up to twenty.

It’s a simple policy and one that has paid dividends in the past.  We cannot under estimate the effect of the millions of pounds in bonuses shelled out at the end of the last two seasons had on performances during them.  If things leveled off in the back end of last term could it be that safety had guaranteed the players the maximum amount of ‘extra’ cash they were going to get?

There’s been no mention of similar bonuses this time around and you have to assume that they’re not on the table.  The most likely reason being that our new players are getting that money up front.  In any case, if your bonus is only going to buy you another Aston Martin, what’s the point?

It’ll not please those that reckon that paying ‘the going rate’ will solve our problems, but you’re only going to get effort if there’s a reward for it.  Too many of our players feel they have nothing to prove (to anyone other than us) and pride in the shirt is a concept lost on all but a few these days.  Have a look at Saturday’s performance and try to convince yourself that most of that mob aren’t just happy to draw their wage.  If we get relegated, well there will always be another newly promoted club to make a mug out of.

Whilst there’s logic in the calls to sign proven Premier League players, that may not be enough.  Latics need hunger and a fighting spirit to do that, not players who are waiting for payday.
Jewell’s signings so far this January have one thing in common; they have something to prove and a lot to gain from performing well.  When it comes down to it that’s the template for our survival.  You may cringe when we’re linked with player from lower leagues, they may be short on real quality but they won’t be found wanting for effort.

With relegation looming large on the JJB horizon fingers are starting to point in every, and any, direction to find the root of Latics’ current predicament.  On one end of the scale there’s the ‘we’re doomed’ camp, resigned to our fate and on the other, either eternally optimistic or in denial, are those who are ‘keeping the faith’ and know we’ll be alright come May.

As you’d expect, there are a whole spectrum of views in-between laying the blame with either the players, the manager, the chairman or even, in some circumstances, the fans.  There is however one common thread through all their complaints.

As far as Latics are concerned, money may not be the root of all evil but it’s not far off.  Whether it’s not been spent and should have been or thrown in the wrong direction, whether it’s the chairman who won’t spend it or the manager who can’t, whether Paul Jewell has wasted it or the players are stealing it, the inference is the same.  We’ve got money so we should be doing alright.

Whilst it seems that, for many, the only solution is to chuck more notes on to the Premier League fire.  Ironically it may be that we have already spent too much.

Looking back to the deals that were allegedly offered to Ellington and Roberts and possibly would have been put in front of Bullard there was a common theme.  The perception was we should have been offering more.  The Duke is probably the best example.

The stories at the time placed the offer as low as £9k when the club had mooted figures of more than £20k.  How could there be such a difference?  It’s simple; the preference of the chairman and manager is clearly for structured deals.  You want £15k a week? Well how’s about we say you 10.  Score us goals, win us games and keep us up and we’ll bump it up to twenty.

It’s a simple policy and one that has paid dividends in the past.  We cannot under estimate the effect of the millions of pounds in bonuses shelled out at the end of the last two seasons had on performances during them.  If things leveled off in the back end of last term could it be that safety had guaranteed the players the maximum amount of ‘extra’ cash they were going to get?

There’s been no mention of similar bonuses this time around and you have to assume that they’re not on the table.  The most likely reason being that our new players are getting that money up front.  In any case, if your bonus is only going to buy you another Aston Martin, what’s the point?

It’ll not please those that reckon that paying ‘the going rate’ will solve our problems, but you’re only going to get effort if there’s a reward for it.  Too many of our players feel they have nothing to prove (to anyone other than us) and pride in the shirt is a concept lost on all but a few these days.  Have a look at Saturday’s performance and try to convince yourself that most of that mob aren’t just happy to draw their wage.  If we get relegated, well there will always be another newly promoted club to make a mug out of.

Whilst there’s logic in the calls to sign proven Premier League players, that may not be enough.  Latics need hunger and a fighting spirit to do that, not players who are waiting for payday.

Jewell’s signings so far this January have one thing in common; they have something to prove and a lot to gain from performing well.  When it comes down to it that’s the template for our survival.  You may cringe when we’re linked with player from lower leagues, they may be short on real quality but they won’t be found wanting for effort.

You can find the latest episode of the Pie at Night Podcast on ITunes, on Stitcher or by searching for us in your favourite podcast App. You could also pop along to our AudiBoom site where you can find all our episodes. Or you could just use the player below. Give it a go, we might go on a bit, but you might enjoy it.

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