It took two years, two loan spells and becoming a father but Mauro Boselli thrillingly found his voice as a Wigan Athletic player last night. The Argentine striker, an expensive signing from Estudiantes two years ago, played masterfully up front and scored twice in a well-warranted 4-1 win over West Ham United. Wigan are in the Capital One Cup fourth round, but, even more importantly, they might finally have their quality goalscorer.
Roberto Martinez, who staked so much on Boselli's signing in 2010, was relieved and delighted afterwards. "I'm really pleased," he enthused. "Mauro has come back with a real desire to be successful and to score goals. He showed mental strength and how focused he is to be a success this season and to enjoy his football. If he is at his best he will be a real asset for us."
A few months into his first season Boselli went on loan to Genoa. A few months into his second he returned to Estudiantes. But now Martinez believes he has the balance and focus to succeed: "I thought that going back to Argentina, to Estudiantes – his home – got his mentality back, if anything it got him hungry again for Wigan Athletic. And real stability at home, he became a dad in the summer, his wife is really happy now, and everything at the same time seems to fit in and fall into place."
West Ham United had taken the lead through Modibo Maiga's emphatic finish but were abject from then on. "We couldn't defend a fish supper," said Sam Allardyce, the manager. "There were so many howling errors from our defenders in all four goal situations, it was comical."