Latics

Blame Game

In his latest 12th Man piece, Jimmy plays the Latics blame game...

Welcome to this week’s episode of The Blame Game! Please press the red button to interact and get the list of options to vote for your chosen scapegoat this week. Don’t forget to text 110513 followed by a number of your choice to cast your vote.

Vote 1 for Jussi, Vote 2 for Joyce, Vote 3 for Caldwell, Vote 4 for the whole board, Vote 5 for Barrow and of course – ever popular – Vote 6 for Roberto Martinez, because all roads eventually lead back to him don’t they? Please ask an adult first if you are not responsible for paying the bill.

I jest but the fact is that there is more finger pointing going on amongst Latics fans than at a Saturday Night Fever reunion gig. I have my own theories, yet being someone who is always willing to read and take on board contrary opinions, it’s clear that there are some fairly complex issues which have led us to the dismal outlook we find ourselves with now.

The simple facts are that results haven’t been good enough. Gary Caldwell was sacked after losing 7 out of 14 games. Warren Joyce has now lost 7 in 10 games. In my opinion – and it has now become mandatory to include those three words in any piece of this nature despite it saying my name at the bottom – we looked a lot closer to getting it right under Caldwell than we are now.

However, Joyce has now got a transfer window to try and mix things up a bit and rectify purported recruitment errors made in the summer – another big bugbear of the club and the fans, resulting in our head of recruitment getting potted at the same time as Gary Caldwell.

The players as a collective have also attracted their fair share of blame. For me (IMO) they seemed happier, more purposeful under Caldwell – and have bordered on rebellion at times under Joyce; if indeed you can have such a thing as a half-hearted rebellion. Player power (no pun intended) is never a good thing but unfortunately is a key factor, which has caused serious distress to Wigan Athletic as little as two years ago.

The argument that they are not good enough simply doesn’t stack up, given nearly every one of them has prior experience at Championship level, indeed half a dozen or so have played in the Premier League, and the only regular player who hasn’t is currently attracting attention from other Championship clubs.

Surely it is the job of a manager and/or coach to get the best out of them rather than complaining of a bad hand? Surely those ten days in which Warren Joyce and the club were deliberating, he must have had a look at the squad, done research and if he thought it was no good, then withdrawn his barge pole and sailed his boat back down the Leeds and Liverpool canal?

It looks increasingly like a repeat of two years ago where a series of either purposeful or accidental decisions are leading us to prepare ourselves for League One. There is no positivity around the club, only silence and the occasional hard luck story. If we are to stand any chance at all of staying up, something needs to change soon.

Maybe a morale boosting cup run would help?

First published in the Wigan Evening Post’s 12th Man column on Friday 6th January 2017

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