The 12th Man - Spurs Reflections
This weeks 12th Man in the Wigan Evening Post featured one piece from Vital Latics, one missed out because of deadline issues, but it's printed below:
Encouragement After Better 2nd Half
Latics manager Roberto Martinez's words seemed to ring true this weekend 'If we are going to win on Saturday it will be because we will be outstanding... you need to be perfect as they have no real weakness' well we weren't outstanding or perfect and we didn't win.
I'm all for being realistic but why do we need to build the opposition up so much that we are on a loser before the players step out onto the pitch. The team started the game looking like they were a bag of nerves, the passing was awful, no cohesion, the midfield provided no support to Di Santo who plugged away on his own to no avail and we gifted Spurs an early goal to give them the perfect start.
Sloppy passing and edginess led to Figueroa misplacing his pass for Caldwell to the feet of Adebayor, who had no problem setting up van der Vaart to smash home the opener on just three minutes. Now I am not saying that we lost because the boss had bigged up the opposition, but we did start the game in a very timid fashion.
Whatever was said at the break though appeared to work and the Latics second half performance was very good, we actually looked a different side, there was more pace and snap about the team and when Diame scored to pull the Latics back into the match it looked like we might go on to get something. Unfortunately Gohouri's sending off on 60 minutes didn't help but in fairness the damage was done in the less than outstanding first half.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
They came in the wrong order for the article title, but we saw the full set on Saturday. It was a bad mistake that Maynor made, which gave a team pushing for champions league football a head start over the Latics on Saturday. This seemingly turned the whole team ugly. We failed to settle and just didn't get going. Any mistakes - and they were not in such short supply - were the fault of somebody else. The players seemingly only opened their mouths to blame each other, not talk to each other. I'm sure the odd exception slipped by unnoticed, but their body language, and the half as a whole was ugly. This is not teamwork.
The bad comes in the availability of defenders. We started with just one spare defender on an unbalanced bench. With Gohouri picking up a suspension, and Figgy limping near the end, lets hoe we're closer to getting Boycey, Alcaraz and Lopez back before that turns ugly as well.
The good bit about Saturday was clearly the reaction post half time. We regrouped, Bob changed it a bit and we showed that we can play and compete. Stam added fight, the midfield were getting a grip, Spurs didn't have time anymore, more chances were made by us than them, and belief was created. Just when you started to think, more good than bad, Big Steve went walkies. He's not the first and won't be the last to see red trying to stop Bale. We remained the equal of a team that will scare anyone this season, and they were ultimately happy to escape with the points, but escape they did and we now need some points from the next few games.
Latics and Proud
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