Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday March 8 2012
This weeks Wigan Evening Post 12th Man page features two contributions from Vital Latics:
Team Selection Lost The Game
What a poor, disappointing weekend, so much pre-match hype during the week and a big let down on the day. For me the game was lost at 2:30 when the starting line-up was announced, I have not a clue what that team selection or formation was about. Prior to Saturday there had been talk about a must win game, a goal fest, the start of the run, but surely to win a game and score goals you have to be positive, attempt to play attacking football and get about your opponents. The side put out had no pace, Beausejour apart there was a lack of any player who can carry a ball forward and run at the opposition, we played a centre forward who can't head or hold the ball up, you could tell after 10 minutes that it was all wrong.
Sat on the bench were Diame, Rodallega, Moses and Crusat, four players who can create opportunities for themselves and others, why oh why at least two of those didn't start the game is beyond me.
We are crying out for goals this season, yet the clubs leading goal scorer in each of the two previous seasons can't get a start, why not? Momo Diame, touted by the manager as the best midfield player at the club has been sat on the bench for the past four games, what's going on there?
If there is a problem between Martinez and Diame and Rodallega then it needs sorting, no one is bigger than the club and that includes the manager, we need the best players that we have on the field of play not sat on their backsides.
This weekend sees a trip to Norwich, a tough game, the Canaries are playing really well at the moment, if we play like we did last Saturday then I suspect it'll be more than the turkeys that will get a stuffing in Norfolk on Sunday
We Need Points
The result on Saturday does not need to be analysed in any depth, it was no points at a time when we need points. Points are paramount, and we`ve not got enough of them. Swansea were one of the better teams to have visited the DW in the last couple of years. It was certainly a game where we were outplayed and beaten well, apart for about 10 minutes when they went down to 10 men, we were clearly second best. As a result the management team have come in for justifiable questioning from all angles. I always seek to at least explore the opposite way to the bandwagon, and evaluate what Roberto was trying to do rather than simply moan because it failed to work.
Primarily selection policies are being questioned, but aside from 1 player it was the same team that started the last 2 games and picked up 4 points, playing well in the process. The only player dropped was one of the poorer players against Aston Villa, so to my mind the starting line up at least had merit. I wouldn't have agreed with it, but I could se sound reasons for picking it. Sammon was totally ineffective, I don't recall him making any significant contribution and he was therefore subbed out at half time. Again, I can see what drove the decision at the time it was made and agree it was correct, Same with the removal of McArthur, who has been good in recent weeks but was not as effective on Saturday.
As a club we continually have to rebuild, we started this season with 2 of last seasons major contributors in N'Zogbia and Cleverley missing, thus we had to start to blend in and offer experience to players that have come from lower leagues. It is a common misconception that Charlie alone kept us up last year, but it takes 11 players plus subs and backoom staff to do that. When the legend is built around 1 man though - and he's gone - it's easy for the others to under estimate their contribution and ability.
I just wonder if along with the recent decent performances we were trying to ensure that those who do the business for us are the same players starting next season. The plan was not wrong, just because the execution failed. We're still only two points from being safe and there are other clubs struggling as well. I can still see us escaping because it's far from impossible, we're not the worst and quite simply I refuse to give up.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Thursday March 8 2012
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