In a new HammyEnd feature, I will be interviewing an opposition fan ahead of Fulham’s next game. In our first edition, I have interviewed Liam O’Connor (@wiganontour) who follows Wigan up and down the land. Here is his view from Behind Enemy Lines.
Q: Hi Liam and thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. Firstly, How long have you supported Wigan for?
A: Hi Will, I’ve supported Wigan for almost 15 years, since I knew what a football was, although the time has flown by.
Q: Wigan have been on fantastic form recently, beating United at home and beating Arsenal away. Do you think that you will be staying up this year?
A: I’m not the most optimistic of fans but fresh from our trip to the Emirates we’ve got to be very hopeful of survival, when people were saying “Wigan have been their before/They know what to do” I wondered whether this would really have an effect, but I genuinely think it could of helped us, where not knowing has hindered other teams.
Q: Who would you like to see come to Wigan in the summer?
A: We’re crying out for the complete front man, we have Sammon/Di Santo who are well capable of playing it, but they have not brought enough goals, and Rodellega will be off in the summer. The rest of the team is very settled at the minute and if we can hold on to them and add that extra goalscoring touch up front we can really push on next season (on the assumption we get over the finish line this time!) I don’t believe we’ll shell out big money for a striker, I think it’s more likely that the loaned out Mauro Boselli will return to play the role next season after spending the latter of this season on loan at his former club.
Q: Roberto Martinez has proven to be a very able and talented manager, beating the likes of Liverpool, United and Arsenal this season with his inventive 3-5-2 formation. Do you think that Wigan can hold onto him during the summer?
A: Firstly I’d argue that the formation is a 3-4-3, rather than the 3-5-2 you have mentioned which gives us the numbers back in defence, but players in the right positions to be able to break at speed on the counter. It’s only a couple of weeks ago that Martinez was under some pressure to get us off the bottom of the league to safety, it just shows you what some high profile wins can do. All of a sudden everyone is united behind the team again, Martinez knows what this club means to the Wigan public and just as importantly himself, he will be three years into a five year plan, he rejected Villa along the way, it’d take a huge job to prize him away and even then I am not convinced he would leave the club he loves.
Q: Fulham’s defence has been very strong as of late, defending well in recent games. Do you think you will pressure us into making mistakes or will you sit back and wait for the right times to attack?
A: The latter, watching recent games under the new 3-4-3 formation we like to soak up pressure and counter at speed, we’re on a huge wave of confidence and we’re hoping that your team might of packed up for their holidays a little early!
Q: Who do you think Fulham and Fulham Fans should be watching out for as the danger man from the Wigan side?
A: Without question Victor Moses, if Shaun Maloney is fit then he has to be watched as well, they are the two dangers from either wing. When Victor arrived from Palace he was a bit rough around the edges, as the weeks go on he’s becoming a real asset, on his day he’s up their with the best, I just hope we can hold onto him in the summer!
Q: If you had to pick one Fulham player to join Wigan, who would it be and for what reason?
A: Clint Dempsey, this season he’s been immense, I watched your recent game against Chelsea and he’s probably the most lethal player behind the striker in the division at the moment. Any player with his qualities who can back it up with a huge work ethic would be welcome at Wigan Athletic.
Q: Looking at your current squad, which player has been your stand out player this season and if you had to choose one player that you would think would make an impact at Fulham who would would it be and why?
A: The recent revival has coincided with the introduction of James McArthur, the world seems to look at James McCarthy when they look for one of our bright young talents, but his recent upturn in form has been alongside his namesake. The lad runs his socks of from box to box every game and has talent to match. Al-Habsi, Caldwell, Boyce and Maloney have all been immense, but if I had to pick it would be Jimmy Mac!
Q: Fulham have a very good record against Wigan at home, but Wigan have scored in their past 8 away games, a current Premier League high. What do you think the final score will be in our fixture against you this Saturday?
A: Your average Wigan fan would be very pessimistic when answering this question, however, after recent results we have to be confident, if you offered me a point now I would take it, every point is a point nearer safety, I’m going for a reasonably exciting 2-2!
Will: Thanks for answering the Questions and may the best team win. Good luck on your mission for staying up- I think most Fulham fans have a soft spot for Wigan!
Liam: No problem at all! Best of luck for the rest of the season, although not Saturday!
Fulham play Wigan Athletic tomorrow at Craven Cottage in a 3pm kick off. You can follow me on Twitter (@willpaul25) for more Fulham related news, opinions and rambles.