Wigan Warriors fans discuss the areas in Matty Peet's squad they would strengthen
It’s been a rocky start to the season to say the least.
We don’t yet look like a side who are going to stop Saints from being five-peat champions.
Then again, the way the season’s going, it seems Saints won’t be walking out at Old Trafford themselves.
I do feel we struggle in tight games and also games where they’re won down the middle.
We don’t look quick or strong enough at times, and when we come up against a bigger pack, we crumble.
I’d be open to some changes in the line-up, to just test things while it’s still early doors.
I think many agree Powell has come to the end of his Wigan run, well, everyone but Matty Peet.
I’ve preferred Cust at nine on the odd occasion he’s moved there this season, and he’s looked a much better hooker than Powell.
As does young Brad O’Neill.
I’m not saying we kick Powell out, but I would be definitely limiting his minutes in games.
The fact that Kruise Leeming is free to speak with, and we aren’t jumping on that, is crazy to me. We desperately need to be looking at a new hooker.
With regards to recruitment for next year, I think we will see a number of departures freeing up quota spots hopefully for players that will be utilised every week, instead of bit parts.
For me we need stand-off, hooker, a couple of big yard making props and a second rower, with the majority hopefully being top NRL players, although if we could pick up some top English players then it would be all well and good.
No idea of names but I will leave that up to Matty Peet and the coaching staff.
It can sometimes be difficult to try to suggest improvements to a squad without a feeling of disloyalty toward the current team members, but sport is a cut throat business about winning and it can be precarious as an employer.
Over the last few years I would have had no hesitation to say that the centre positions on both sides were missing creativity and energy.
Where some other teams cut opposition to ribbons with a good centre on each edge, it has been a difficult time for us and only the high quality of the wingers have papered over the cracks.
But then the arrival of Toby King and Jake Wardle showed that the club recognised this too and thinking in a greedy manner I can’t wait for Iain Thornley to come back into the mix too which will give some well needed competition and also respite if injuries are picked up.
So there is not much in our squad to suggest that we would need to add to the roster overall.
I am pretty impressed by what I see this year, certainly the backs are sorted and when the summer eventually arrives I think we will see the best of that section.
If you insisted, I would love a dominant prop forward. You know, like a Peacock or Morley or even a Sam Burgess.
It seems several teams use them to great effect and as freaks of nature, lads like Alex Walmsley can play a real part against tiring defence punching holes when there seems to be no chance.
In Australia there are quite a few big lads who stamp their authority on defences and explode onto the park like Josh Papalii or Jason Taumalolo and there is a recognised need for an enforcer in the pack, but I would not want to just sign an old Aussie wanting a crack in the Super League before he’s done as there are very few top drawer lads available, which leaves us to develop our own.
The nearest we have I think is Liam Byrne and whilst he is darn impressive as a prop, I think his best years are still in front of him.
So I do hope we can keep him in the fold and develop him into the final piece of our puzzle instead of sending him off to the NRL to make his living on all we have invested in him.
We are in a good place at the moment with the right backroom staff, trainers, squad and fans, all we need to do now is press our advantages and build towards October.
We are currently a long way from being a dominant successful team but for the 2024 season we will have ample opportunities to improve the squad as there are several players off contract.
The major area for improvement is in the forwards and we need two experienced and proven back-row forwards replacing Kai Pearce-Paul and John Bateman.
I suspect we will see Mago and Singleton exit and potentially Ellis from the front row. Personally I would keep Ellis but I’m pretty sure Mago and Singleton will not get offered new contracts.
Ideally I would like two experienced props who can make good yardage.
We cannot afford anymore unproven props as we urgently need experienced front row forwards.
There are very few available UK forwards so I think that we will have to go to the NRL to cover our current gaps, which I think will mean that Miski and Isa will also depart to give us some room on quota players.
If we need to recruit 4 forwards from the NRL then we may see Cust also departing to give room on the quota with possibly Hampshire covering the number six role.
It is a difficult time and making four changes in the forwards is far from ideal but if we are to become the dominant team in the competition then we need at least four new experienced forwards.
Many fans would want to see a new hooker but personally I would look to give Forber and O’Neill more game time in advance of Powell.
Kris Radlinski and Ian Lenagan have a very imposing change in the squad coming down the track and I’m pretty hopeful that even at this early stage they will have identified potential recruits in the forwards.
In the backline we need another winger to replace Miski and if Thornley’s contract isn’t extended then another centre/winger would also be required.
The other consideration on the playing front I think will be at half back.
Salary Cap and Quota restrictions may mean that to find a suitable long term partner for Smith will have to be put on the backburner until 2025.
Personally I would also like to see us recruit Martin Gleeson or another attacking coach.
It is early days but we currently seem exceptionally clunky in attack and maybe we need to be thinking about replacing Lee Briers.