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SEASON REVIEW: PRE-SEASON AND AUGUST

Franco Di Santo celebrates first goal of the season against Southampton.

PUBLISHED

12:00 27th May 2013

by Nick Taylor

We start our season review with focus on preparation and the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

The foundations of the 2012-13 season started in the first week of July as the players returned to training and Latics took their third annual pre-season trip to Sweden.

Roberto Martinez’s side played their first game on July 12 against the now familiar Ostersunds FK, with the third fixture in a row against the now Swedish Superettan side ending in a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Jordi Gomez penalty.

Shortly after the return from Sweden, Latics made their first summer signing as Aberdeen midfielder Fraser Fyvie arrived on July 16.

Arouna Kone signing 820x620Signings two, three and four followed later in the transfer window, with towering Spanish defender Ivan Ramis joining shortly before a friendly against his previous club Real Mallorca; Ivory Coast hot shot Arouna Kone (pictured right) from Levante and Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi arriving on loan.

Meanwhile, the pre-season games continued as the team travelled to Austria for games against local side GW Micheldorf, Bulgarian ‘A’ Group Botev Plovdiv and Bundesliga strugglers TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Upon their return to home soil, Latics then hosted Real Mallorca at the DW Stadium but slipped to a 2-0 defeat, before completing a Spanish double header by travelling to Celta Vigo a week later.

With all preparations completed Roberto Di Matteo brought his European champions to town for the opening game of the season.

Moses v Chelsea 820x620It wasn’t an ideal start for Latics as Chelsea netted twice in the opening six minutes through Branislav Ivanovic and a Frank Lampard penalty but, dominance throughout the following 84 minutes left promising signs for the following games.

The game also marked Victor Moses’ final run-out (pictured left) for Latics as he signed for Chelsea just five days later but the influential winger’s departure didn’t have too much of a negative impact as Southampton found out to their discomfort.

A trip to the South coast for the first away game of the season ended with smiles all around as Franco Di Santo rocketed Latics into a 1-0 lead at St. Mary’s Stadium before Arouna Kone scored his first goal for the club with another powerful strike in stoppage time to seal a 2-0 win.

With a win and a defeat Latics ended the month in eighth place in the Barclays Premier League and in a healthy state in the Capital One Cup after a crushing 4-1 victory in the second round away to Nottingham Forest.

Gomez and Boselli cele v Forest 820x620Latics free-flowing attacking proved too much for Forest as Mauro Boselli (pictured celebrating) headed Latics ahead before Maynor Figueroa’s pile-driver doubled the lead and a similarly spectacular effort from Jordi Gomez made it 3-0 before half time.

Simon Cox matched them both with a long range strike of his own to make it 3-1 but despite the dismissal of Antolin Alcaraz for a second yellow card, Callum McManaman made it 4-1 late on when Ryo Miyaichi set him up on the counter attack to see Latics through to round three.

Following the cup victory against Forest, Roberto Martinez declared himself happy with the look of his strong squad, saying:

“I was very pleased because we made seven changes and everyone who came in was competitive and really showed what they can do.

“Overall the performance was exactly what we wanted and the players that were desperate to play really showed what they can do.

“We have got a very competitive squad and we want to win every game."

You can view highlights of the following games from August 2012 by clicking on your chosen game below:




Part two of the season review will follow next Monday as we take a look at September and October.

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