Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday March 15 2010
Wigan Athletic fan and Vital member Phil Blinston aka Zakidaman gives us his take on the Bolton game sat amongst the enemy so to speak and what to expect on Tuesday when we face Villa at the DW Stadium
By Phil Blinston
A day at Bolton
I was sat just behind the Bolton Players Tunnel on Saturday surrounded by Bolton fans (Eeeek) staying up is the priority for Wigan Athletic FC.
Now that all the Euphoria has settled down regarding the Liverpool game has gone, and the reactionary feelings regarding the Bolton game are still raw, I`ll try and analyse the situation a little if I can.
It`s clear the ship needs steadying. We are swinging precariously from side to side. It`s possibly more than just a sway.
Against Liverpool we were first to the ball and we created our own chances and capitalised on the mistakes Liverpool made. All fans were proud of the players, as we played with passion, effort and commitment, and we needed to take this into the Bolton game. This unfortunately didn`t happen due to a number of things.
Owen Coyle has got Bolton back on track and they are playing survival football. They bludgeoned their way through the game, and Wigan had no time to settle on the ball. It wasn`t pretty football to watch, and I`d find it somewhat disturbing, if I had to watch that type of football every week. The Bolton Players went into tackles, feet up, most times, than I care to remember. At one stage I was beginning the think the referee had forgotten the rules, and I could sense the Latics players were getting very frustrated with bad tackles from Bolton players going unpunished.
The Elmander challenge on Diame could have been a sending off.
I was in the 188bet lounge after the game, and Bolton fans had voted Elmander man of the match. I had the privilege (not) of hearing that player speak after the game, and he said " I went for the ball and not the player" and when jokingly asked again about this, he said "I always goes for the ball", which even made a mostly pro Bolton fans in the room laugh. Maybe
For me, it was a very careless, if not cynical tackle which happened right underneath the nose of the referee and both managers. (maybe Owen Coyle chose not to see it). I can understand all managers getting upset at this type of tackle, and I can understand the lack of respect for inconsistent refereeing.
I also heard Owen Coyle speak after the game, and he took applause from Bolton fans, he obviously felt he deserved for the way Bolton played; but to be fair to his commitment, he did appeal for Bolton fans to keep up their support, and to continue to get behind their players as they did on the day. There is no doubting his passion to stay up in the Premiership, come what may.
It is difficult times for the Latics fans, but Bolton fans have got behind their team, and their club have learned, how to stay in the Premiership over the years, and we as a club, must do the same. If I may say so, I have supported our club since the Lancashire Combination days. Our club has a great history and we can go on to make more wonderful history. We are in the Premiership because we deserve to be there. Be of no doubt about that and please give 100% positive support to the team on Tuesday night.
I believe Roberto is a gent first and foremost. He is however a quiet man on the pitch, but he does stand throughout the game and I`m sure the players are aware of his presence. I had a clear view of Roberto. Yes the arms were folded a lot of the time, with few gestures in the second half towards the players, as opposed to the animated style of Coyle, but we have what we have and to a degree have to accept the fact that this is our manager`s style on the pitch. When we appear not to be playing well and the players appear to be making little effort, we feel naturally frustrated because Roberto is so calm throughout. We may all think at times that some of the players deserve to be screamed and shouted at, and maybe that`s so. I hope those players also realise that Roberto Martinez is a Legend at our club and is highly respected and loved by most fans. We need the players to do their stuff, and we the fans will do our bit.
My Prediction for Tuesday
Villa couldn`t play a style like Bolton if they wanted too. Martin O`Neil`s is also a gent and a very good manager and has his team playing some exciting football. They are looking like genuine possibilities for a Champions league spot.
I don`t see many goals in the game, but we must defend well at all costs and create chances and take those chances. Villa will be expected to beat us. They have came close in the Carling cup final this season but failed. They are in the FA cop semi final but their real achievement this season would be a 4th place position and qualification for the Champions League, so in that view O`Neil`s men won`t be looking for anything less than a win.
Wigan Win 1-0
C`mon the Blues.
By Phil Blinston
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Monday March 15 2010
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