Can Rösler rescue Wigan’s Europa League campaign?
Wigan Athletic’s new manager Uwe Rösler will have a tough task for his first game in charge when he tries to rescue the Latics' Europa League campaign and progress to the last 32 of the competition.
December 11th, 2013
Following the 2-1 home defeat to SV Zulte Waregem in the last round of games, the Latics will need to win Thursday’s fixture in Slovenia at NK Maribor and hope that SV Zulte Waregem lose at Group D winners Rubin Kazan.
The current FA Cup holders have had a torrid time recently, culminating in the departure of Owen Coyle after less than six months in the hot seat. With new manager Rösler only able to watch from the stands, the team suffered their fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions on Saturday – 2-1 at Millwall.
Rösler will be hoping to reverse the recent poor form and inject some new confidence into a team that’s found it hard to adjust to the demands of playing in the Championship and a European competition.
Although the manager will have one eye on the weekend’s derby against Bolton Wanderers, he will want to get off to a winning start against a Maribor team who can also qualify if they win and Zulte lose in Kazan.
Rösler had a very good record at Brentford in winning 60, drawing 40 and losing 36. But he suffered a huge disappointment when they narrowly lost out to Yeovil Town in the League One play-offs last season.
With less than a week in charge, it will be interesting to see how quickly the players can adapt to Rösler’s style of play. Under Martinez the play was typically Spanish and often had to be patient. Under Coyle the play was often very direct and bypassed the midfield altogether. The former Manchester City striker prefers to adopt a high-tempo pressing game similar to the successful German teams like Borussia Dortmund.
The new manager recently outlined his football philosophy in an interview with Talksport.
“I try to orientate myself on the new tendency in football which started in 2006 with Jürgen Klinsmann and Joachim Löw, with the emphasis on quick transition, not a game based on possession but based on counter attack, the 8, 9 seconds rule to finish the attack.”
“In German teams, apart from Bayern Munich, no team is interested in having possession. They are interested in attacking the goal as quick as they can.”
“At times when I see the Premier League there is a lot of emphasis on possession, the most important thing is having the ball as long as you can have. But for me it’s more important to counter quick with good technical quick players, with forward passes and attack in numbers.”
Rösler’s belief in this flowing style could be the launch pad for a Wigan revival, but he has also recognised that it could take time for the physical and technical improvement to bed in. So it remains to be seen whether he can have an immediate impact on Thursday night.