Jordi Gomez arrived art Wigan with Roberto Martinez from Swansea for the 2009-2010 season. Having picked up huge plaudits for his fluid, playmaking style and the not unimportant 14 goals he scored for the Swans, he was greatly welcome to a Wigan side lacking central midfield virtuosity. Maybe we had found our new Jimmy Bullard!
Roberto Martinez clearly rated Gomez and not just because they are fellow Catalans - he made him his first signing on moving to the newly re-christened DW Stadium. We Wigan fans were cock-a-hoop.
He made his debut in the magnificent season opening 0-2 away win at Villa. So far so good.
But from his first home game onwards, he has failed to win over a large section the Wigan crowd. Okay, so he hasn’t scored 14 goals in the Premier League. Few do. He hasn’t had a long run of games, Martinez preferring to use him as an impact substitute - he has a sublime skill with a dead ball. None of this seems material to a Wigan crowd, many who have already made up their minds about his participation before Gomez kicks a ball.
I recently sat amongst a small home crowd at the DW for the Carling Cup game against his former club where he got pretty much constant abuse from a number of the home fans, who had decided that every touch was a dud before he made it.
With the size of the crowd, we can be sure that he heard at least some of this ‘encouragement’.
Given that he already had 4,500 Swansea fans screaming ‘Judas’ at him, I thought he played pretty well under awful circumstances. On his substitution, the solid wall of boos from the Swans fans was impressive but not as impressive as the standing ovation Jordi received from the home fans - which he seemed genuinely pleased with.
Now here’s my question: If the Wigan fans who can be bothered to turn up for Carling Cup games can make such a racket to put one over on opposition fans, why can’t they provide this level of support to the guy himself?
He then might, with the extra confidence gained, become the player that Roberto Martinez knows he is and the boo boys quite clearly think he isn’t.
Give the lad a chance!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.