Rob's Preview: Wigan V Everton
Wigan suffered a bad loss and even Roberto Martinez said on the BBC website for the match report it was a game we needed to take something from - I think Wigan will be OK, but what a desperately disappointing season it has been and I do believe that disappointment will spill into this weekend's game and it doesn't get any easier with an away game to Sunderland after that but wouldn't it be ever so lovely to do the double over Steve Bruce? For me, just ONE more away win will more or less give me much optimism for what is to come.
Everton travel to Wigan and Wigan have a so-so record at the DW Stadium and originally the JJB Stadium against the Toffees. We registered our first ever win against Everton last season and that was a great bonus for the team and for me as it meant I could rib my friend at work as he is a die hard Everton supporter, but it was a pivotal moment as we got our season back on track after that win and sorted our home form out.
Those who believe we will register a win over Everton, I am afraid that their vein of form at the moment suggests to me that this will be another Saturday disappointment. The real worry is the endeavour that isn't present. I mean, the team lacks any type of enthusiasm in the game and perhaps this is down to one of many things but if there is unrest at the club, these could be a signal of what is to come.
Also, a lot of questions have been raised about the suitability of Martinez - having been hailed as a manager with promise, I have been desperately disappointed with his first season in charge. Despite a great win over Chelsea as my main highlight, it has been more down than up for the team and their long-suffering fans. Add to that a very poor transfer window, with the exception of Caldwell's addition, that suggests to me a second-half season of disarray may be the result, but the game's a funny old thing so we may pick up wins or points where we least expect it. Furthermore, lets start with a morale boosting performance on Saturday.
Much as I'd love a great result against the Toffees, I don't see a result here because they are on a great run and have the players to cause us real problems. Although we have some great skill in the team, I don't think it really matches Everton's calibre and I believe they will win this game, but I think also that it will be a fairly close affair.
The good news is Lawro has us down to lose - does he ever have anything nice to say about Wigan? I personally thought his appraisal of the game was highly insulting but that's just Lawro. Not to be taken seriously. Perhaps he's jinxed us for the better and we'll get something against the Toffees - 3 points would be wonderful, but somehow, I believe this day will unfortunately belong to the Toffees and that will mean a hard slog ahead for the team and their loyalist fans and for me, an extra barrage of abuse from my Toffee supporting chum at work.
A difficult game for the Latics but I don't see them being able to edge this one. Everton will have too much quality. After such a great start to the season with a win over Chelsea, what has happened to the Latics since our fairly promising start? I don't think it'll decide anything major with a loss to the Toffees but I do know that points mean prizes and they need to be on the board sooner rather than later.
Wigan 1 Everton 2
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
When will the good times roll again? I don't believe relegation will loom over the Latics and their fans personally deserve better than what they've got so far. This is a dark period for the Latics but I think there will be light at the end of the tunnel, but it won't be anything happening overnight. Its been a very disappointing season, but one that can end with us achieving safety. However, if things continue as they are, what will it take for the club to finally cotton onto the fact that they need to act? Was Roberto Martinez truly the right man for Wigan? I'm not yet decided. As much as people dispel it, I do believe this is the transition period and the summer recruitment drive is essential, but it could be the start of something very special for the Latics, once all the problems have been resolved.
UP THE LATICS!!!