November 17, 2011
Technically, we're one and a half matches late for a quarter-season analysis. Like most Latics supporters, I tend to need a few days to recover from the latest loss. Fulham and Wolves took a bit longer than usual. But along came the international break, allowing me the space and time to cycle through all five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance - and a new one, faith-based optimism. Warning: this final stage may set you up for another round of the previous. But what if it doesn't?
I'll stop short of predicting a turning point in our season this Saturday against Blackburn, as I've made that mistake before. But it certainly seems an appropriate time to look back at our disastrous start and assess the individuals involved in it. First, we've averaged each player's match performance ratings this season (which are admittedly subjective and only based on those given by Los Three Amigos writers, but serve as an interesting starting point for discussion).
There are some surprises in there, but all interesting and insightful. For instance, defying all emotion, the struggling Gary Caldwell scores the same as reliable Emmerson Boyce. But while Emmerson has been steady and Gary Caldwell poor of late, it was the latter that scored highest (8) points in matches against Swansea and Newcastle. We try to make sense of it all below...
October 20, 2011
Bright-eyed, congenial, eloquent as they come, Roberto Martinez is the kind of character people in the game love, with good reason. In the past year alone, he has led our unfashionable Wigan to survival on a shoestring budget in the most principled of ways. Then, he follows it up with an encore of rare football loyalty, turning down an offer from a much bigger club that would double his paycheck, not to mention spending power in the transfer market. The chairman treats him like a son, guaranteeing him a job for life. It’s a match made in heaven.
And it doesn’t stop there. His relationship with the club — and town — dates back to 1995, when he arrived as a player with fellow amigos Isidro Diaz and Jesus Seba, scored on his debut, finished club top scorer and was voted player of the year in the old Division 3. His return was to Wigan as a manager was greeted as that of the prodigal son, and rightfully so.
Fast forward to present. 19th in the league, fresh off a mistake-riddled 6th consecutive defeat, this time to our despised local rivals. Supporters have taken to the web and are understandably upset. If Martinez’s lineup on Saturday raised some eyebrows at kick-off, then even more so at full-time. Specifically, the inclusion of Steve Gohouri at left-back when both Maynor Figueroa and Patrick Van Aanholt were available; and the conservative decision to field James McCarthy in an unfamiliar left-wing role when more natural — and adventurous — options were available for the position.
August 24, 2011
So, two games into the new season, two draws having played two of the newly promoted teams. It could have been a lot worse - remember Blackpool at the start of last season?
Obviously I think we're going to need to get better but it's a fairly solid start considering we've just sold who was in my opinion, our best player from last season. In fact, lets be honest, we should have won the game at Swansea were it not for a great penalty save by Michael Vorm.
July 11, 2011
After almost losing our manager, lots of our big names being linked with a move away form the DW Stadium and hardly any transfer gossip concerning new recruits to speak of. I guess it could be a better summer.
May 31, 2011
It's only beginning to sink in for me ! What an amazing, heart trembling, nerve finishing set of events. At the end of it all, we're still standing. Who'd have thought that back in December !?
May 16, 2011
Wow, what an amazing game ! That surely has to be one of the most incredible games of football that I have ever seen. The prize at the end of it all is that we've got a fighting chance of staying up next Sunday. Phew, don't think my nerves or emotions can take much more of this !
April 25, 2011
So, back in the relegation zone after a mere seven days out of it. In the end it was a comfortable win for Sunderland after a blitz of a comeback.
April 18, 2011
What a difference a week makes. From the excruciating loss against Chelsea and being mired in the depths of the relegation zone to Saturday's magnificent win over Blackpool and into the lofty heights of 17th place. It's magical stuff.
April 11, 2011
I guess not many of us were expecting too much from the Chelsea game, but like anything hard to take, it's still not nice to see the final conclusion take it's inevitable shape. So the facts are these - bottom of the league, two points from safety and six game left to play. It isn't over yet....
March 14, 2011
It's not looking too good at the moment is it ? Rock bottom in the table and four points from safety with only a few games remaining. It really is squeaky bum time right now. How the hell are we going to stay up ?
February 21, 2011
I thought the defeat to Bolton which knocked us out of the FA cup was hard to take, especially after our recent home form has been so good, but at least we can fully concentrate on the league now. Something that Birmingham, Villa and Everton can't say.
February 7, 2011
How are your nerves after the Blackburn game? Still jangling ? Yup, me too. A fantastic result on Saturday it has to be said, however we still find ourselves in the drop zone.
It was almost indescribably important that we beat Blackburn on Saturday if we're to have any chance of beating the drop. Our next three league games are against a resurgent Liverpool and then the two Manchester clubs. I'm sorry if I sound like a negative so-and-so but it's quite concievable that we might not pick up any points in any of those matches. That said, under Martinez we always seem to give the big clubs a decent game when we play them.
January 20, 2011
So, who's staying up and who's going down? In this season of topsy turvyness (Dalglish back at Liverpool! Beckham training at Spurs! Wayne Bridge earning a reported £90K a week!) why not take a look at some of the teams who are a step closer to playing Barnsley at home next season? Step this way...
January 17, 2011
The Fulham result was very disappointing. To be leading 1-0 against one of our relegation rivals you'd have thought we could have hung on. I don't think we were that bad though and Fulham were lucky in the end. Here's some thoughts from the game and other news from the week.
January 4, 2011
Happy New Year everyone ! Despite a lacklustre result against Newcastle I'm feeling optimistic for 2011. We've got our noses in front in the relegation fight and now is the time to kick on.
The result against Arsenal was particularly encouraging. If we can play with that tenacity and desire for the rest of the campaign we should be fine. Bearing in mind we were playing with 10 men in the latter stages I thought we were brilliant and Tom Cleverley has been really special in midfield so far.
December 15, 2010
A good result at Everton still hasn't done us much good in regards of league position. We currently find ourselves in the relegation zone in the lofty heights of 18th position. This still shouldn't detract from what was a gutsy performance away at Everton.
December 3, 2010
After Tuesday's game at the Emirates it was confirmed that Victor Moses has dislocated his shoulder and is now facing a three month. For a Wigan side struggling for goals this is a major blow.
November 23, 2010
I honestly thought that we could nick a point against United. Silly me ? Well, for the first half at least we perhaps looked the better side and the home team had offered very little until we completely imploded and chucked away what could have been an excellent performance.
November 2, 2010
A disappointing 2-0 loss to Fulham brought our seven game unbeaten run shuddering to a halt in West London. I think I can just about take a loss to draw specialists Fulham, especially at Craven Cottage where they seem strong, however, it was the manner of the defeat that got to me. Wigan just looked like they didn't want to be there.
October 11, 2010
Whenever I hear anybody talking about teams primed for relegation the summary seems to be that people would be glad if Wigan Athletic went down because they don’t usually pack their stadium out. Arguments about football clubs lacking supporters isn’t anything new, it’s been rattling on for years since teams like Wimbledon were in the top division, but what are the reasons for a clubs lack of support ? Does a lack of support really justify other supporters sticking their nose up at smaller clubs ?
October 5, 2010
Dare I say it, but we're actually on a little bit of a run at the moment. Just one loss since August and a solid home win against Wolves. I could get used to this!
September 25, 2010
So, the last two results – one ok(ish) winning 2-1 against Preston, one not so good losing 2-0 against Man City. We’re hardly setting the world alight at the moment. With a tricky few games to come such as Birmingham and Newcastle away I want to see some good performances that will convince me that we aren’t going to struggle this season.
September 13, 2010
So, the unpredicatable ride that is Wigan Athletic just keeps on continuing. A point earned against Sunderland now on Saturday. But does the fact that we were up against a 10 man Sunderland team who had only earned a solitary draw in 4 appearances at the DW stadium mean that this is a point gained or two points dropped?
August 30, 2010
A big welcome back to the schizophrenic form of last season. After shipping ten goals against Blackpool and Chelsea it feels a welcome relief to get some points on the board after Saturday's visit to White Hart Lane. Just think, this time last year we had come away from Spurs completely demoralised after losing 9-1. So, did we just get lucky, or is there a brave new Wigan team emerging ?....
August 24, 2010
It's not an easy time being a Wigan fan at the moment. Successive thrashings at the hands of Blackpool and now Chelsea, fused together with a very forgettable end to last season has meant that the pressure is now very much on Roberto Martinez. Are things going to get any better any time soon ?
August 16, 2010
Ouch ! There were painful moments last season which I had to cover in this blog, but none more depressing then the 4-0 loss at home to Blackpool this Saturday. I can take losing to the likes of Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea - they're good teams so I guess there's no shame in it.....but this was BLACKPOOL ! It's going to be a long hard season.....
August 2, 2010
Good summer everybody? Well, now that this World Cup nonsense has been put to bed it's finally back to what matters, and that's the Premier League with an opener against the mighty Blackpool. It was a topsy turvy campaign last time around, hopefully the 2010/2011 season will bring some stability to the club with some foundations with which to build on.
May 4, 2010
With relegation now having been officially avoided it's time to start reflecting on this season. Sometimes it's easy to forget just what an achievement it is for a club like Wigan to be in the Premier League at all.
April 19, 2010
What an amazing win over Arsenal. To come back from the dead the way we did has really convinced me that we're moving in the right direction.
April 15, 2010
I'm sure a lot of pundits will be saying how we earned a 'precious' point on Wednesday against Portsmouth, but surely we should expect to be beating a bottom of the table club who could barely scramble together a full team ?
March 30, 2010
Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit you were beaten by the better team. The game against Manchester City was definitely not one of those occasions however.
March 22, 2010
Saturday's result was probably one of the most important of the season in order for us to avoid relegation. Currently, we're 15th and 7 points clear of the dreaded drop zone. While this maybe doesn't sound like a lot considering it's only March, I'll be astonished if the three teams that are in the relegation zone at the moment aren't doing the same come May.
March 9, 2010
Wow, what a performance ! Where did that come from? I feel that I need to apologise for my last column for not having enough faith in the lads. How wrong can you get ?
March 8, 2010
So...Liverpool on Monday night. I hope I don't sound too negative but I'm really not looking forward to this one. Liverpool seem to be slowly but surely easing themselves into the form that we all knew they were capable of, while we seem to be embroiled deep into a relegation battle. If we lose on Monday it'll be our third loss in the last three games. I know I asked for some consistency earlier on this season but this isn't exactly what I had in mind......
February 23, 2010
There seems to be lots of excuses flying around about why we lost to Spurs. I'm sure you've heard them all. Defoe's goal was about a mile offside. Defoe and Huddlestone should have been sent off. We were playing on a pitch torn to shreds by the egg chasers. These are all valid excuses but are all blown away when confronted by the main reason about why we sunk to another uninspiring loss. We just weren't good enough.
February 15, 2010
I really hope the mini break we've had has done has some good. Some important games are coming up and we need to start turning things around to avoid a nerve tingling relegation dogfight come the end of the season.
January 29, 2010
Don't worry ! Don't panic ! Whisper it in hushed tones, things aren't as bad as they seem ! I know you think I may be going mad, but i'm telling you - everythings going to be ok. Ok, we have definitely played better in the last few seasons but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. As the comedic genius Gerrard Houllier would say: "We've turned the corner"
January 21, 2010
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has again questioned Steve Bruce's transfer record at the club as Roberto Martinez looks to make further changes in January.
Earlier in the season, Whelan claimed Bruce had made "a few dodgy signings" during his time at Wigan. Bruce suggested Whelan was "trying to take the heat off his manager" and said he would be happy to sign Hugo Rodallega and Charles N'Zogbia if they were the players in question.
January 11, 2010
The holiday season is finally over so now we can finally concentrate on our beloved game with no distractions to take hold of us - or rather we will when the country has stopped grinding to a halt because of a few centimetres of snow.....but enough of my soap box politics ! So, whats in store for Wigan this year ? Will things start to pick up or will we get sucked into a relegation dogfight ?
December 27, 2009
Thre was reports this week that Wigan have hired a snow plough in order to beat the freeze at the DW stadium. Please God, let that not be the only arrival for us this Winter !
December 8, 2009
Here we go again. We couldn't possibly have followed up last weeks victory over Sunderland with a result against Birmingham could we ? The shining light that surrounded Martinez when he joined in the summer has certainly dulled. Hopefully the man can start to sort this out.
December 2, 2009
Ok, so I know we've been inconsistent but it's getting a bit silly now ! Our last three results have been a 1-1 draw, a 9-1 defeat and a 1-0 win. We seem to be having more mood swings then a teenage girl.....
November 25, 2009
Wigan Athletic's playing staff have offered to reimburse the entrance fees for all supporters who travelled to White Hart Lane to witness their 9-1 destruction at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Spurs equalled the record for goals scored in a Premier League game when producing a ruthless second-half performance, with Jermain Defoe scoring five goals to equal the record jointly held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.
November 10, 2009
Not a good couple of weeks. The Marlon King stuff was bad enough but add to that a thumping at the hands of everyones relegation favourites Portsmouth and a draw against Fulham - two games which were very winnable - and I don't think thats what Wigan fans had in mind ideally for on or off the pitch business. Where is it going wrong ?
October 5, 2009
Arghhhh! Well, the good vibes from the Chelsea match were good while they lasted! We seem to be going for the record of most inconsistent results in the Premier League at the moment. Our next two games are Man City at home and Burnley away... your guess is as good mine for what can happen with those two!
I'm not here to say 'I told you so' but I did mention in my last post after beating Chelsea that it wouldn't surprise me if we were to get nothing from the Hull game. It's a cliche but our unpredictability is getting to be a tad predictable. We'd be really dangerous if we could just get some consistency from stringing a few results together.
October 2, 2009
What a fantastic result the Chelsea game was ! An exceptional performance from every one of the Latics proves we have a team which can beat anyone on our day and with the next game at Hull - definitely a winnable game if ever there was one - things are looking up for the mighty Wigan !
September 6, 2009
Well that wasn’t supposed to happen after the great start at Villa! A thrashing at the hands of Manchester United, exiting the Carling Cup at Blackpool and losing to Everton. Suddenly the game at Villa is starting to seem a long time ago. There are quite a few doomsayers around at the moment predicting that the dreaded 'R' word is already hanging over us.
However here's a few reasons why we can still be cheerful.....
First of all let’s put things in perspective about how far we've come. I think a few of the people who are constantly running us down have to be reminded that we were in the bottom two divisions just a few years ago. I still have to pinch myself every time we play the likes of Man United or Liverpool. Every week we're in the Premier League is an adventure in itself.
August 19, 2009
Wow...the league is finally back and what a weird start ! Only Wigan could play off the park a team who flirted with Champions League Qualification and yet barely 3 days later lose to a team who literally havent been in the same league as Wigan for the last few seasons. Fasten your seatbelts...looks like this could be a bit of a topsy turvy season.
July 22, 2009
As much as it pains me to write this clubs like Wigan are probably never going to be a glamorous Northern club in the shape of a Manchester United or even the on-going soap opera that is Newcastle United, for us to compete amongst the big boys we have to be a little bit smarter then the rest. Signing an unheard of Paraguyan might not capture the imagination but who knows what can happen if we can continue unearthing the likes of Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios. With this in mind I thought I'd explore some signings from outside the Premier League......yes, outside the Premier League.....Scary eh ?
July 8, 2009
With the dust finally settling on the Steve Bruce era at Wigan it’s time to stop reminiscing and look to the future !
It’s a case of out with the old and in with the new at the JJB Stadium. Wigan have probably the most talented lower league manager on board in Roberto Martinez which is a really positive appointment. Hopefully he is going to set about buying players which are today unknown but by January will be coveted by the likes of Manchester United !