Talking football: Latics busiest club in world football for transfers

Andy Kellett was one of three players to arrive on transfer deadline day
Andy Kellett was one of three players to arrive on transfer deadline day

WELL that’s it, the transfer window is done and dusted – for another few months at least.

Or, as every journalist/broadcaster/media man appears contractually obliged to observe, the transfer window has now “slammed shut”.

And there can’t have been a club in world football that did more business than our own Wigan Athletic.

This summer alone, we saw 17 players depart and a whopping 20 new bodies arrive.

In fact, when added to the club’s January dealings, the total number of transactions – including loan deals – came to a staggering 68.

Yes, that’s right: 68 players have either come or gone from the DW Stadium in 2015 alone. Which goes some, clearly significant, way to explaining how Latics find themselves in the salubrious surroundings of League One. Whether the huge turnover in staff was necessitated by the on-field shambles that eventually led to relegation, or whether it actually contributed to the problem, is a debate for another time.

What is not up for debate is what happens now.

Which is the whole of the Latics family must get right behind Gary Caldwell and his new-look Latics for the big battles ahead.

It would take a super-human effort for the most hardened boss to deal with the current comings-and-goings and keep the good ship Latics on track for promotion back to the Championship.

For a managerial rookie such as Caldwell, with an equally inexperienced chairman in David Sharpe, the task clearly becomes infinitely harder.

But that formula will hopefully, and paradoxically, work in Wigan’s favour this term. They’ve started with a blank canvas, with everything to gain and not much more to lose.

The usual pre-season hope and optimism was only exacerbated by the recent win over Scunthorpe, which showed just how good this new-look side can be when it finds its feet and, more importantly, consistency that should stem from increased understanding among the playing staff.

With the loan window reopening next week, it will give Caldwell the opportunity to tweak his squad further, and perhaps bring in the extra centre-forward that would give him strength in depth across the board.

One thing’s for sure – the weeks and months ahead will be anything but dull.

It rarely is with Wigan Athletic.

But would you have it any other way?

CRYSTAL Palace’s 2-1 victory at Chelsea at the weekend was both surprising and deserved in equal mesaure.

And James McArthur would no doubt have felt extra satisfaction having had to wait four years for that winning feeling at Stamford Bridge.

McArthur was part of the Latics side who went down 2-1 (two offside goals) against a Chelsea side who should have been reduced to 10 men after Branislav Ivanovic’s off-the-ball run-in with Shaun Maloney that wasn’t spotted by the official.

Latics subsequently received an apology from referee’s chief Mike Riley, but McArthur will have preferred exacting his own revenge on the field.

The progress Palace have made since McArthur joined them this time last year has been little short of staggering.

From relegation candidates, they are now rightfully being seen as Euro contenders.

And I wouldn’t back against them doing it if they can hold their form under Alan Pardew.

IT’S always interesting to see how former Latics stars fare after they’ve fled the nest.

And I can’t help feeling Victor Moses hasn’t made the most of his undoubted potential.

The wing wizard appeared to have the world - or at very least the Premier League - at his feet three years ago. But after leaving the DW for the bright lights of Chelsea, it’s fair to say his career’s gone into reverse a tad.

A frustrating debut campaign at Stamford Bridge saw him on the fringes, while he’s spent the last two seasons on loan at Liverpool and Stoke respectively.

Now, rather than get his chance at Chelsea, Moses has joined West Ham on another season-long deal.

Roberto Martinez always reckoned the Nigeria international had left the DW a year too soon, believing his career would have benefited from another 12 months at Wigan before securing his big move.

Instead, he seems to be making a determined bid to become the first player to successfully complete the 92 clubs.

Which is a shame.

AMIDST the blanket coverage of the transfer window, I didn’t see a better summation of all the madness than @HarryFremantle on Twitter.

“£9m for Andre Gray? In 1804, you could’ve bought Mozambique and got change from £9m. The game’s gone mad.”