The end of Coyle's honeymoon period

Posted by Ned Brown

The honeymoon period for Owen Coyle and the FA Cup winners came to an end at Dean Court Saturday.

Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesNew Wigan manager Owen Coyle must regroup after Saturday's loss to Bournemouth.

Latics were brought back to reality as a nervy, but resolute, Bournemouth team proved strong opposition in a 1-0 victory. A succession of errors by Wigan handed the initiative to the home side who took full advantage of a weak performance from referee Graham Scott.

Wigan had brought back Jean Beausejour in place of James McClean on the left wing. Shaun Maloney was to operate in central midfield together with James McCarthy, James McArthur and Ben Watson. Continue Reading...

Preview: Wigan pay a visit to Bournemouth

Posted by Tony Brown

Michael Regan/Getty ImagesIt's back to league play for Owen Coyle and Wigan who travel to newly-promoted Bournemouth.

Wigan Athletic travel to the south coast on Saturday to take on newly promoted Bournemouth.

The two clubs have a significant history of encounters, of which Bournemouth have won 13 times and Wigan 14, with 10 draws.

Last season's FA Cup run started with a 1-1 draw against the Cherries at the DW Stadium, Latics being saved by a Jordi Gomez penalty. A Mauro Boselli goal helped Latics to a narrow 1-0 win in the replay at Dean Court. League 1 Bournemouth provided stiff opposition to the mixed lineups that Wigan put forward in those games. Continue Reading...

Latics go down in return to Wembley

Posted by Tony Brown

Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesWigan's James Perch, left -- an unlucky participant in Robin van Persie's second goal -- walks off the pitch with manager Owen Coyle after Latics' 2-0 loss.

Two goals from Robin van Persie -- a spectacular header in the sixth minute and a lucky deflection in the 59th -- were enough to give Manchester United a 2-0 win over Wigan Sunday in the Community Shield match at Wembley.

Wigan keeper Scott Carson had no chance with either goal. Despite the bad start, Wigan gradually clawed back into the game and Carson was underemployed most of the match, apart from a fine save from a Danny Welbeck shot as half-time approached.

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Wigan, the FA Cup champions, started with six new players, including James McClean, who joined them in midweek. Continue Reading...

Moyes has more to lose than Coyle -- Community Shield preview

Posted by Tony Brown

Dave Whelan is well known for supporting his managers and his comments during the week have already taken pressure off Owen Coyle ahead of Sunday's Community Shield match at Wembley.

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Whelan said that he regards the match as "a show game and a bit of a friendly game". He downplayed its importance in comparison with league games adding that: "It is the game in the football season that our boys can enjoy. Every league game is something where there is a lot at stake -- three points -- and we've got to fight for every single point. Continue Reading...

Maloney -- the key to promotion

Posted by Tony Brown

Matthew Lewis/Getty ImagesShaun Maloney had eight assists and scored six goals last season in the Premier League with Wigan.

Who was the best "playmaker" in the Premier League last season? Big names from big clubs quickly come to mind: Juan Mata, David Silva, Santi Cazorla, Eden Hazard, Wayne Rooney, to name but a few.

The name of Shaun Maloney probably would not even get a mention from the majority of football fans outside Wigan. Playing for a struggling team and often pushed into a wide role, it was not easy for Maloney to compete for public attention with those more illustrious names as a top playmaker. Continue Reading...

Coyle's revolution takes a firm step forward

Posted by Tony Brown

Jean BeausejourEmpicsJean Beausejour: Made up Wigan's foreign contingent

Owen Coyle's revolution at Wigan Athletic took a firm step forward on Saturday with a rousing win at Barnsley. Not only was the result impressive, but Latics did it in such a style that it will send shockwaves to all teams in the Championship who consider themselves promotion contenders.

In a short amount of time Coyle has built on the style of play that was developed over a period of four years by his predecessor, Roberto Martinez. That silky approach is still very visible, but this Latics side can also mix its possession football with a directness that adds an extra dimension to their play. Continue Reading...

Barnsley-Wigan preview -- the Coyle revolution put to the test

Posted by Tony Brown

AP Photo/Clint HughesRoger Espinoza and Wigan begin their attempt of a Premier League return with a visit to Barnsley.

How times have changed.

Less than a year ago Wigan Athletic were entertaining Chelsea in the opening match of last season's Premier League campaign. On Saturday they travel to Barnsley to open their Championship season.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that encounter with the London giants. Wigan's eighth Premier League season was constantly punctuated by injuries to key players and the impact was a very tospy-turvy season. The finale came in a bizarre last week of the season with the club winning the FA Cup, but then getting relegated just three days later. Continue Reading...

Wigan Athletic v Dundee United preview

Posted by Tony Brown

John Peters/Man Utd/Getty ImagesOwen Coyle's Wigan face Dundee United in their final tune-up prior to the start of the Championship season.

On Saturday, Wigan Athletic play host to Dundee United at the DW Stadium. It will be their final warm-up fixture before the Championship season starts for them at Barnsley on August 3rd.

By the time it gets to the final pre-season game, a manager tends to have a good idea of what his first choice lineup will be.

Owen Coyle has skillfully shuffled his pack in the previous four pre-season games, giving game time plus an opportunity to all his available squad players to show their mettle. Continue Reading...

Wigan Athletic 2 Atromitos 1 -- a game of two halves

Posted by Tony Brown

Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesJordi Gomez scored the first of Wigan's two goals against Atromitos.

Wigan Athletic continued their run of pre-season victories with a win over Atromitos at Leigh Sports Village. The Athens-based team, also competing in Europe, promised to give Wigan a stern test and so it was to prove. Despite standing on a 2-0 lead at halftime, Wigan must have been glad to hear the final whistle as the Greek team continued to press in the second half.

Wigan started the game with a patched-up defence, with midfield players Chris McCann and Jean Beausejour playing at left centre back and left fullback. Continue Reading...

From Wigan with style -- reviewing the U.S. trip

Posted by Tony Brown

The spectacular fireworks that followed Latics' 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Friday at Highmark Stadium in Pennsylvania provided a fitting finale for the first phase of Owen Coyle’s revolution at Wigan.

AP Photo/Scott HeppellNew Wigan coach Owen Coyle got off to a good start with a successful U.S. trip.

It is only around five weeks since the effervescent Scotsman took over at the club, but a lot has happened in that time.

To be honest, Coyle's appointment to the Wigan job did not initially go down well with the majority of supporters. It seemed Dave Whelan was doing things on the cheap, bringing in a manager whose Bolton team was relegated from the Premier League in 2012. Continue Reading...

Solid start for Coyle's new team in Ohio

Posted by Tony Brown

Wigan Athletic got their preseason match preparations underway with a 2-1 win Saturday over the MLS's Columbus Crew in Ohio. Latics looked in control from the start. After a pedestrian first half in which neither side looked like scoring, Wigan were 2-0 in front when a deflected goal got the home team back in the game after 73 minutes.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesNew Wigan manager Owen Coyle saw encouraging signs from Latics in their friendly win over the Columbus Crew.

Columbus put forward its first-choice lineup with the intention of withdrawing them after the hour mark, which they eventually did.

Wigan brought in Academy product Adam Buxton to make his debut at right back. Continue Reading...

Are Grant Holt's goals the key to Coyle's revolution?

Posted by Ned Brown

Grant Holt has signed a three-year deal at Wigan Athletic.GettyImagesGrant Holt has signed a three-year deal at Wigan Athletic.

The signing of Grant Holt might well be a landmark for Wigan Athletic. The centre-forward's rise through the divisions mirrors that of the club he has joined - early years in non-league football followed by a period of consolidation in each of the three Football League divisions before enjoying Premier League success. Like Wigan Athletic, he has come up the hard way and he should be very proud of his achievements.

Holt is not the type of player that Roberto Martinez would have been looking at bringing to Wigan. Continue Reading...