Beware of the Zog

Stephane Sessegnon and Charles N'Zogbia'Sunderland AFC v Aston Villa FC
Stephane Sessegnon and Charles N'Zogbia'Sunderland AFC v Aston Villa FC

ROBERTO Martinez has warned Latics to beware a very familiar foe when Aston Villa visit Wigan on Saturday.

The Villans have lost just once on their eight trips to Wigan, but are struggling for form this term and sit sixth bottom of the Premier League.

However, any side containing the likes of Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Robbie Keane – playing his last game before returning to Los Angeles – deserves respect.

And the sight of Charles N’Zogbia in claret and blue will be enough to have any Latics fan fearing the worst.

The Frenchman’s season has so far mirrored that of his club – bright in patches but ultimately unsatisfactory – and he has spent much of his time on the bench.

But his old Latics manager is a fully paid-up member of the ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ school of thinking.

And Martinez promised N’Zogbia will be afforded maximum respect if and when he takes to the field on his old stomping ground.

“Sometimes it’s difficult when you move to a different football club, it takes time to adjust,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“Even simple things like moving house can have an effect on a player and set him back.

“What is clear is that the ability Charles has got will never go away, and he will be a very important player for Villa in the years ahead.

“There’s no doubt about that – I just hope that he only realises his potential after Saturday’s game.”

N’Zogbia has struggled to get going following his £9.5m move last summer, and admitted last month that “for the first time in my life I’m not happy playing football”.

Martinez, though, is well aware the 25-year-old needs only a sniff of a chance on Saturday – and it could spell big trouble for his side.

“We all know about Charles’ talent – we shared a dressing room with him for years and we know all

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