Uwe’s Magic Hat – 12th Man

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Uwe Rosler picks his team out of a hat doesn’t he? This slightly disparaging remark seems to have been a staple of his early time here. However, if as ludicrous as it may seem the manager really does spend all week on the training field, assessing players’ form, running tactical routines and then at noon on Saturday at Midday simply picks eleven names out of a hat: well for me, he can continue.


In reality, there are a number of sub plots behind the squad rotation which aren’t really that hard to figure out. Firstly, we have loan players who aren’t eligible for cup games. Secondly, there are players – usually some of our better players who aren’t quite up to the rigours of two games a week and are used sparingly. Ivan Ramis is an obvious example, as is McManaman.


That Callum has been in and out of the team for so long implies there’s more to it than meets the eye and would point to a niggling injury rather than the past three managers all not fancying him and disregarding the constant clamour for him to be in the team. I doubt he’s alone given the punishing schedule of games. We’re not all built the same – humans and footballers and for every Leon Barnett and (until his recent injury) Chris McCann there are others who have the ability but not the physique to play constantly. I call it the Darren Anderton effect.


Aside from eligibility and injury niggles, there’s also the small matters of form and keeping the squad fresh and competitive. We can all agree that selections were a bit odd in Uwe’s first few games but considering our record of 7 continuous wins, he has now got them all fighting to play and performing with maximum endeavour no matter who is on the field.


I suspect Wednesday night was always going to be a bit tired after Sunday no matter who played but we still have the desire, drive and what we also needed – a little bit of good fortune. Not to be confused with Marc Antoine Fortune or Fortune Chippy in Pem.


The squad are all playing their part, along with recent fallen soldiers Watson and McCann. We now have wee Shaun stepping up to fitness and Gary Caldwell not to mention a bevy of Scandinavians and another Honduran waiting in the wings. Oh I’d forgotten about him! Just what IS the story with Juan Carlos Garcia – are Wigan Athletic going to have a reserve team player at the World Cup in Brazil?


First published in the Wigan Evening Post Friday 14th March 2014

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