If there has been a player who has failed to win over the fans since arriving in Wigan this season, it is, unmistakably, Jordi Gomez. Whilst Jason Scotland may have come under the most criticism from the support, he has also been greeted by many as a hard working under dog, a player with time and luck neither on his side, trying his best at his only shot of playing in the top tier in his career.
Jordi, better known as ‘Bloody rubbish Gomez’ seems to bring more groans to the DW (if people are actually content to call it that) than a Daniel De Ridder warm up on ladies day.
When quizzed about his decision to keep with Gomez, who is surely Spain’s least intuitive attacking midfielder, Roberto – the man who helped show us Latics supporters what Spanish midfield flair meant, stated that Jordi had the ability to change a game’s pace.
If you asked the average supporter they would probably agree, Jordi does indeed have the ability to suck the momentum out of any Latics attack. Gomez’ infuriating play; turning his back to goal, playing safe passes back to centre halves only for them to lump the ball up field and a severe lack of vision for a player who was signed to spread attacking play and feed the strikers with scintillating through balls, has certainly made him unlikely to be a fans favourite any time soon.
There seems to be a widespread state of disappointment amongst Latics supporters when they see the Spaniard pulling on the blue and white, or diabolically luminescent orange (I don’t remember the Holland national team of 74 looking as though they had just completed road works on the M62), but what do the statistics have to say about a player who most would consider a liability in the side?
At first glance it seems as though most would be correct in thinking we are a better side without Gomez. In the games that Jordi has started we’ve only managed a lowly two wins whilst we have amassed 20 points in the games that Jordi has been on the bench.
Gomez’ obvious inability to settle in the Premier League has meant that he has been quite rightly starved of many starting opportunities, starting only 10 of our 29 games this season. Instead, Gomez has been used as an impact substitute and following drubbings including a certain game at White Hart Lane and much more recently the 4-0 defeat to the Rotters of Horwich, Gomez’ appearances from the bench would seem to be a curse. However, statistics suggest, surprisingly, that Gomez’ appearance in a match has, more often than not, been beneficial for the Latics. In five of the twelve games in which Jordi has come off the bench the Latics have scored more than the opposition, including the Birmingham defeat in which Gomez scored a free kick to make the throw away loss a little bit more respectable. Only in three games, according to statistics, has bringing on Gomez been detrimental to the team, most notably in a game in which 5 goals were scored after Gomez came on to the pitch, though it should be mentioned that 4 goals had already hit the Latics’ net before Jordi was brought on.
So there you have it, according to statistics Latics are a better team with Gomez coming off the bench, though to use a warn out football cliché the game isn’t played on paper and there are few who would agree with the above statement.
Roberto Martinez is, however, in the minority of those who would and as well as many of us may feel we could manage a club there is only one man’s opinion that counts and that is Bobby’s. He, as much as Gomez, needs our support in these hard times. So stop with the booing of individuals, get behind the team and give our struggling players a break – after all, the stats are on their side.
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