It's awkward when a club captain finds himself on the bench; especially when it's because others are simply considered better in a particular position, rather than for tactical reasons. Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen has experienced this in recent weeks, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny preferred at the back, and the same fate has befallen Wigan's Steven Caldwell.
The Scottish centre-back has been a regular for Wigan this campaign, despite his obvious lack of pace. Roberto Martinez's preference for a back three actually suits Caldwell, because he can play alongside two pacey players who cover the flanks, then tuck inside when the ball is on the opposite wing. Caldwell's role is primarily about aerial battles and clearances.
However, his lack of mobility has been exploited by opponents in recent weeks. Liverpool's thumping 4-0 win at the DW Stadium last month exposed Caldwell's inadequacies; he was removed shortly after half-time, and didn't return for the home match with Newcastle the next weekend. Paul Scharner, Antolin Alcaraz and Maynor Figueroa were the preferred trio, and Wigan won 2-1.
Therefore, Martinez named an unchanged XI the following week, and Wigan recorded a second consecutive victory, a 1-0 win over Norwich City. Now, they appear more solid at the back, with the increased pace in the backline meaning the entire side can play higher up the pitch.
Caldwell remains useful at the rugged, scrappy side of defending, and he may yet play a part in Wigan's latest bid for survival. However, with Wigan up against the sheer speed of Loic Remy this weekend, expect to see Caldwell on the bench again.