Wigan Athletic - Wigan Embarrassed by Arsenal Youth
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Arsenal 3 - Wigan Athletic 0

Emirates Stadium

11/11/2008 7.45pm

Attendance: 59,665

Wigan Embarrassed by Arsenal Youth

Latics were given a footballing lesson today by a team whose average age was 19 and the lack of passion and commitment today from an a group of players who are paid a lot of money to perform raises concerns about Latic's ability to remain in the Premier League.

Latics travelled to the Emirates, to face a largely young Gunners side, without their talismanic England striker Emile Heskey. Steve Bruce resisted the tempatation to shuffle his pack replacing Emile with De Ridder and playing 4-3-2-1, with De Ridder and Koumas slotting in behind Zaki, whose fitness before the game had been called into question.

This meant no place in the starting line up for Henri Camara and this must raise questions about Bruce's faith in Henri's ability.

Latics started brightly with Koumas producing two sublime passes across field to Valencia and De Ridder but neither could take advantage.

At the other end, a superb double save from Kirkland kept out Wilshere when he seemed certain to score and then Simpson hit the bar from the clearence.

Arsenal were in the ascendancy and once again Kirkland had to be sharp to deny Simpson.

Latics seemes determined to press down the right. Valencia crossed and De Ridder's fierce shot was beaten out by Fabrinski and as usual no Wigan player was there to pounce.

Once again Kirkland saved Wigan with a superb one handed save from Ramsey.

Again Arsenal's youngsters poured forward and Kirkland who looked in agony with his back saved Wigan again.

Koumas led a counter attack, finding Valencia on the right, the cross came out to Koumas who blazed over the bar. The next half chance fell to De Ridder but the shot was well saved by the keeper.

The game then settled into a midfield battle the biggest scare coming from a corner which Bramble missed and Melchiot came to the rescue.

Latics appalling defence was painfully exposed by the kids, when a through ball from Wilshere split the Wigan defence played onside by Melchiot, leaving Kirkland with no chance, as Simpson coolly slotted the ball home.It was no more than Arsenal exhuberant attacking play deserved but was cruel on Kirkland.

Half time dawned ,with the Latics totally embarassed by what is essentially a youth team and if Kirkland had not been on form we could quite easily have gone in at five nil down.

Latics has the first real chance of the second half but as on Saturfay there seemd to be a relucance to shoot.

Latics had a good shout for a penalty when Djourou appeared to handle the ball in the area, Mr Tanner ignoring the pleas.

Simpson was close to getting his second goal at the other end but his header went just over the bar.

Kirkland put his back to the test once again with a fine save from Merida.

After 57 minutes Latics opted to replace our most creative midfielder Koumas with Camara switching to 4-4-2.

Mr Tanner then showed his lack of comprehension of the game giving a free kick for a foul by Zaki when he was a good five foot from the defender. Arsenal went straight up the other end and Kirkland once again was forced into a good save.

A quick break from Arsenal after Wigan passed the ball around the penalty area once again to no effect so Boyce totally left for pace and Simpson scored again.

Vela outlined Arsenal's dominance with a superb chip exposing Wigan's woeful defence once again.

Not surprisingly Latics heads dropped and apart from aimless balls from De Ridder Latics offered absolutley nothing and Vela almsot got a fourth.

Latics almost got a consolation with a good break by De Ridder put Zaki in but the ball was tipped onto the bar.

Arsenal Team

Fabianski, Hoyte, Song Billong, Djourou, Gibbs, Wilshere, Randall, Ramsey, Merida, Simpson, Vela.

Wigan Team

Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, De Ridder, Valencia, Cattermole (Brown ), Palcios, Koumas (Camara) Zaki.

Star Player

Chris Kirkland. Prevented the result from being a rout.

Player Ratings

Cgris Kirkland...9/10

WOuld have been double figures but for him.

Mario Melchiot...3/10

Slow, off the pace and as captain should have led by example...he didn't

Maynor Figueroa...4/10

Given a testing time by the youthful Arsenal team

Titus Bramble...4/10

Newcastle will be praying he plays on Saturday

Emerson Boyce...3/10

Awful,can't beleive how bad the defence was tonight

Jason Koumas...6/10

Played some good balls and again was our most creative midfielder

Lee Cattermole...5/10

Tackled hard but exposed by the skill of the Gunner's team

Wilson Palacios...4/10

Failed to impose his personality on the game

Daniel De Ridder...5/10

At least he kept going but awful final ball

Amr Zaki...5/10

One chance , well saved. Doesn't look fit

Antonio Valencia...5/10


Henri Camara...5/10

Ran around a bit

Michael Brown

Did he touch the ball?

Manager Rating

Steve Bruce...2/10

Gambled with a half fit Zaki, took his only creative midfielder off and failed to motivate a well paid experienced team of professiopnals agaisnt a team of kids

Opponent Rating

Arsene Wenger...10/10. What an exciting bunch of kids he has created.


With the exception fo Kirkland all the other players shoulc give their wages for the week to compemsate the fans who travelled to London tonight.

I have not been as ashamed of a Latics performance since losing to Canvey Island. No matter how good Arsenal's kids are, our experinced players should have dominated the game. Instead they were toothless, clueless and spineless.

The Journalist

Writer: Baskerville Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 11 2008

Time: 9:55PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I can't print what I really think
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11/11/2008 21:56:00

5/10 for De Ridder? I thought he was superb!
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11/11/2008 21:59:00

De Ridder couldn't pass to a wigan man if his life depended on it.
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11/11/2008 22:08:00

I thought apart from Kirkland, de Ridder was our best player !!!
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11/11/2008 23:02:00

Words cant describe how bad i feel.
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11/11/2008 23:07:00

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11/11/2008 23:25:00

De Ridder did at least keep going which is why he got a 5
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12/11/2008 07:47:00

Only Kirkland deserved to get more than 5
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12/11/2008 09:13:00

how rubbish where we honestly, I remember going to the Canvay island game and losing 1-0 that felt awful. this was ten times as bad. in our last 7 games we have lost 5 won 1 and drawn 1 (to STOKE!!) this is relegation material. De Ridder played well, but it seems to be a disease that players get when they come to Wigan that they can't put the final ball over. De Ridder's slicing of the defence was the best i have ever seen him play. the commentator even said whilst he ripped song (the 5th player in sequence) "...and if anyone deserves to score!!..." i felt sorry for De Ridder and for Kirkland. I do not have any sympathy for Koumas, the only ever time he has performed for Wigan athletic was against Liverpool last season where he ripped Gerrard to pieces. other than that he is a lazy, unmotivated, selfish wonnabe. his dad still lives in New Brighton, maybe he should go back to Tranmere Rovers. Danny O
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12/11/2008 10:27:00

It was embassasing to see Latics torn apart by youngsters albeit fantastic youngsters
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12/11/2008 10:50:00

you would have done better agains their first team.......
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12/11/2008 12:40:00

Couldnt believe how u lot was shown up by a bunch of teenagers, dont think Bruce's tacics were any good neither appraching the game as if it was a league match hoping for a 0-0 draw, should have played it as it was Prem Men Vs a bunch of excellent Teenagers, cant do well for confidence neither.
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12/11/2008 14:16:00

Arsenal's youth didn't show us up. We managed that all by ourselves. If we'd played Stevenage Borough last night we would have struggled (no disrespect to Stevenage!)
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12/11/2008 15:20:00

Poor, dejected performance.
Report Abuse
12/11/2008 17:31:00

Sell the club to some richies, we need players!!!...we looked very heavy & slow..our players seem to need ages to receive ball, look around and make a pass...very slow and heavy team. 3 questions: 1- is Zaki not excited as before?? 2-why the article seem to claim he is injured? was he? 3- why Koumas is never productive??
Report Abuse
12/11/2008 20:50:00

who is going to buy us when Everton and Newcastle can't find buyers
Report Abuse
12/11/2008 21:14:00

They are exceptional young players
Tiny T
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15/11/2008 00:47:00


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