Date:Friday September 16 2011
This weeks 12th Man fans page in the Wigan Evening Post featured a couple of pieces from Vital Latics:
Can you take on the real title contenders in the Premiership with two of your best players missing and expect to compete. Well that's what we tried on Saturday, and we competed with a team that are currently one of the top sides in Europe. The problem was that we only managed to compete for about 10 minutes in the second half, the rest of the game was just damage limitation. Accepting a defeat at the hands of moneybags City is one thing, but the crucial question is whether we are still able to go into the Everton game believing in ourselves. We did better than Spurs against City, and better than Arsenal against United. I'd be happy to finish between Spurs and Arsenal. We limited the damage enough that the answer should be yes we can deservedly beat Everton.
It's never nice walking away from a ground having been beaten by three clear goals, but on Saturday, I experienced a new feeling, I was "optimistically depressed". Yes we'd been beaten by three clear goals and it could easily have been more, but it wasn't actually that bad, there were plenty of positives. We looked far from our worst form, with room still to improve. Albert Crusat got some game time and looked a reasonable player if small. Ronnie Stam added drive when he came on. We escaped one of the hardest games of the season with our dignity intact. Driving home it was made even more palatable as their neighbours were doing a demolition job on our neighbours. We're still top half having got one of the hardest games of the season out of the way. So still lots to be optimistic about.
The City Slickers
Leaving the Etihad Stadium on Saturday I should have felt disappointed, frustrated even, but to be honest I was feeling quite excited, yes we had just lost 3-0, but the performance of City as an attacking force that afternoon had left me somewhat in awe. The movement of Silva, Clichy and Tevez down their left and the finishing prowess of Aguero was something to behold, yet, for spells, we competed, created our own chances, held the ball well, knocked it around and, in those spells, we actually looked quite good.
I suppose the main priority on Saturday, especially with the form that City have been in of late, was to not have our hard earned confidence dented too much, in previous years going a goal down early in a game to a quality side usually meant that a hiding was on the cards, full credit to Martinez and the Latics, they held their shape, the heads didn`t drop and with both Di Santo and Rodallega going close to scoring the Latics were in the game up until the third goal went in.
Everton are next, a visit to Goodison Park at the weekend gives Wigan the chance to get back on track and gain some more early season points, the Toffees are a place below the Latics in the table and a totally different proposition to that of mega rich City, with apparently not two brass farthings to rub together manager David Moyes had to rely on loan signings for new recruits this summer and saw star midfield man Arteta leave for Arsenal on deadline day. The game should provide a realistic gauge as to how well the Latics have settled this campaign following the opening four matches, hopefully a draw will be the minimum that we come back with.
Going back to the City game, new signing Albert Crusat made a cameo appearance for the last twenty minutes, not enough time on the pitch to make any sort of judgement but surely he must be the smallest man to play for Wigan Athletic.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Friday September 16 2011
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