Reasons to be cheerful?

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Like pretty much everyone who claims to follow ‘WAFC The Religion’, I was rather disappointed by last week’s result at Hull. Off the back of a defeat of Chelsea, I’d say we’d have certainly been looking to claim a point at the very least.

Things looked to start well enough, Latics dominating first half possession. Once again, though, it’s the same old story: you don’t stick your chances away, you don’t win. This is a mantra applicable whoever the opposition, be it Fartchester City or Mudchester Town, or even Hull.

It’s a result typical of Latics’ start to the season. There is quality there, of that there is no doubt: the way that, for periods, Wigan outplayed Chelsea and Aston Villa – two teams that have otherwise been almost untouchable this season – shows much promise and is evidence of Martinez’s ambitious tactics paying off, at least to some extent.

The negative Nancies amongst us would claim crucial moments went our way in those games – but as had been mooted since Roman times (or whenever people started commentating on other blokes kicking pigs’ bladders around) you need that sort of thing against that kind of opposition. The reason for the all-too-apparent discrepancies may be put down to one or more factors; we do not have the players for this sort of game; Roberto and his new players are still settling in at the club; this tactic has serious limitations.

It was painfully apparent during the Hull game that Latics lacked a backup plan. The need for one of these was masked against Chelsea by the fact Cech very kindly offered to trip Rodders in the penalty area – consequently, it was relatively plain sailing from thereon in. At 0-0 against Hull, although you thought it was only a matter of time before the Hull defence broke down, two quick goals against facilitated a need to change things.

Sinclair’s introduction seemed to make some difference, which leads me to think that if Charles N’Zogbia had a marginally better game the outcome last Saturday may well have been different.

But let’s not dwell too much on that match. It would be typical of Latics’ relatively unpredictable start to the season if they somehow managed to overturn a Manchester City team with the likes of Ribeno and Tevez, and by jove let’s hope that happens eh? I vouch Gomez to start ahead of Scarner, and for Sinclair to play a bigger part earlier on if Zoggie isn’t quite hitting his straps.

Latics first 8 games – breakdown

From a pessimist’s point of view…

Villa: Expected 0, got 3; Wolves: Expected 3, got 0; Man U: Expected 0, got 0; Everton Expected 0, got 0; West Ham: Expected 1/3, got 3; Arsenal: Expected 0, got 0; Hull: Expected 1/3, got 0.

If my maths is correct, the predicted nine points would have constituted a solid, if not remarkable start to the season. And, oh, look how many points we have, how convenient! Draws against Everton and Hull, which could conceivably have occurred, would have put us on a heady eleven points and a convenient eleventh place in the table. However, that’s only one place above where we are now, give or take a few games in hand.

Thank you for that, Statto. Now, it’s time for ‘Pheonix from the Flames’.

Dan, Jesus Was a Wiganer

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