Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday October 6 2011
This week's Wigan Evening Post 12th Man submissions from Vital Latics:
Thank Goodness For The Break
I don't usually look forward to the international breaks in the season, they can disrupt the team's progression just as they are hitting a bit of form, but this time around it's a God send. The Latics are coming off the back of four straight defeats, three of which were in the league and to be honest we have looked like we're missing a spark.
Possession football without a cutting edge is what we have been like recently, Villa last Saturday was a point in case, 368 passes completed out of 437 passes made a very impressive 84% completion rate, compare that to Villa who only completed 194 of their attempted 272 passes (71%) but we still had no thrust where it matters, the energy in the final third was distinctly lacking and clear goalscoring opportunities did not materialise.
The break will hopefully allow one or two of our players to recharge their batteries, Moses has been looking a little flat these past two games, the midfield needs some drive and the defence looks unbalanced, hopefully the break will allow Antolin Alcaraz time to complete his recovery from injury and he will be returning for the Bolton game, for all the qualities that Maynor Figueroa has as a left back, he is clearly not a Premier League centreback and we have been let down in this area in our two previous games.
I also hear that Hugo Rodallega is pencilled in for a return against Bolton, we have missed the Colombia international these past two weeks, his clever forward play and ability to stretch the opposition defences is an edge to the Latics than always looks dangerous. Speaking to the Post this week Martinez has said:
'It gives us time to work hard to get everyone back on the field, and try to regain that competition for places that has served us well.'
For once the break is probably at the right time for the Latics, recharge, regroup and bring on Bolton
Just how important is next week?
After a disappointing show against Villa where once again we were the architects of our own downfall, we go into the international break on the back of our worst record for 2 years. We also complete the contingent of local Lancashire clubs in the bottom 3.
With Bolton, our next visitors to the DW also in the relegation zone, it's fair to say this next game is a big one, and I can`t wait for it. Some might call it the archetypal 6 pointer, but to me this misses the point. It's much more important than 3 points on offer to either side. Whoever loses this game will not only firmly cement themselves in the relegation zone, but will also begin to believe they are where they belong, and this affects how you play from then on. If you play 8 games and are rooted to the bottom, then it's hard to convince yourselves it's down to luck or the odd bad decision.
We need to win against Bolton for the sanity of the supporters who have belief in the team. I wholly believe we have what it takes in terms of ability. There have been patches, we scared Spurs, and were competitive with City. It's just that our players don`t seem to trust themselves at times, and this leads to indecisiveness, and then to the mistakes that are costing us dearly. I cling to the fact that on several occasions last season we showed our spirit and dug deep when we needed to. It's time to do it again lads, and then for once believe you're better than the relegation fights and kick on over the next few games to show how good you can be, it's either that or it's going to be a long hard winter.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Thursday October 6 2011
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