The week that was

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So that’s the week that was, it’s very much one step forward and two steps back for Wigan Athletic at the moment. This is natural with a club still in the pits of administration and all the chaos that goes with it, especially a side that is so young and with such a high turnover of players.

If Saturday’s match with Fleetwood was the good the heavy defeat to Blackpool on Tuesday night was most definitely the bad. It was reminiscent of that match with Rochdale last month where our young guns looked out on their feet.

Leam Richardson was right when he described moments in the match going against us, to concede one before half-time was bad enough. To allow Blackpool the chance to score a second a couple of minutes later showed the naivety of this young side.

If Kyle Joseph had scored that chance just after half-time to make it 2-1 it could well have been a different story but in the end Latics didn’t deserve anything from the match and it was one of those games that just have to be chalked off (as long as you learn the lessons for the future) ironically we were well in the match until Blackpool got in front.

Hopefully there’ll be a similar reaction to Tuesday night’s defeat as there was to the aforementioned defeat to Rochdale last month where Latics embarked on a five match unbeaten run.

That run only earned Leam Richardson’s side seven points but those young lads will know it should have been more if they had converted the chances against Fleetwood and not conceded at the death against Rochdale. If there is a silver lining to this week it’s the fact that none of the other sides at the bottom made up ground on us.

It’s also another game under the belt for the new signings, we need to remember thanks to loans ending and players leaving we’re looking at a virtually new side again – certainly in defence with only Tom Pearce remaining from the back four earlier this season. There were decent signs against Fleetwood and if we can forget Tuesday’s horror show against the other side from up the coast then we can hopefully show the real Wigan Athletic in the next  few games.

We’ve strengthened in recent weeks but we are still missing experience all over the pitch, we’re desperate for an older head amongst the central midfield positions and perhaps even further back in the side as Jamie Jones endured another difficult night against Blackpool.

Away from the pitch we were told earlier this week there was some light at the end of the very dark tunnel of administration. I’m not getting my hopes up, it’s a cynical view point but we’ve been told the same virtually every week since this nightmare began in July.

The hope has to be that what we are being told about parties in advanced talks and already at the stage of being checked by the EFL is right this time and one of these parties can get across the line.

Whoever it is that does get across the line we have to hope that the deal is completed as soon as possible and allows us the chance to at least have a fighting chance in the remaining months of the season. In a completely unexpected turn of events it emerged that the new favourites to complete a takeover of Wigan Athletic were Darron Gibson alongside former chairman Darren Royle.

It’s the most Wigan Athletic thing ever for the news of a Bahraini consortium interested in buying us to not be the most dramatic story of the day. But there you go, 2021 following on in 2020’s footsteps with remarkable clarity.

Through a combination of work and home schooling two kids I’ve barely looked at all the rumours and conjecture. I have no idea whether D&D or a Bahrain led investment consortium would be our best bet, all I know is that this club desperately needs some stability and direction.

In normal times a 5-0 defeat against our friends in Blackpool would be a source of shame, not now. Too much has changed in the last few months – it’s now simply a blip, a blip on the road to some sort of salvation for Wigan Athletic.

Three years ago this week we beat Premier League West Ham 2-0 in the FA Cup, we did that as a League One side. It truly shows just how far we have fallen since then. Though as people pointed out after last night’s defeat Blackpool were a club in turmoil a couple of seasons ago. They have recovered and once again are looking upwards, we have to hope the same can be said of Latics and we will rise once again.

Keep the faith, it’s been an awful year but at least we’re still in there fighting. Who knows where these young lads can go if Begbies don’t sell them off before next week and if we can manage to survive in League One this season.

Sean Livesey

 

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