Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday January 3 2011
Attendance: 15, 277
Wigan Athletic lost their first game of the New Year with a bit of a whimper after being bullied all over the pitch by a more passionate Newcastle United who wouldn`t let the Latics settle.
With Charles N`Zogbia missing through suspension Jordi Gomez was drafted in to provide some creativity, the fact that Gomez was replaced on 59 minutes will no doubt tell you how that worked out.
The first fourteen minutes of game the Latics looked bright, well sort of, with Tom Cleverley having two good efforts, one that went wide through a deflection and another that brought a fine save from Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper, who pushed the Latics youngsters curling effort out for a corner.
Newcastle then took the lead on nineteen minutes, Gary Caldwell knocked a ball to Ben Watson who played a pass to Steve Gohouri, poor control from the Latics fullback allowed Joey Barton to steal in and hit a shot that Al-Habsi got down well to block, Gary Caldwell under pressure cleared the loose ball onto the foot of the post, the rebound fell to Shola Ameobi who had the simple task of side-footing into an empty net from a yard out.
Latics huffed and puffed for the rest of the first half without creating anything, Newcastle`s tenacious midfield harrying the Latics players into making over or under hit passes or simply losing possession.
Without the presence and creative outlet of N`Zogbia, Latics looked a shadow of the team that drew with Arsenal and beat Wolves in their last two games.
Martinez threw on McArthur for Thomas at half-time and the young Scot injected a little bit more urgency into the midfield, but in all honesty he really didn`t make that much difference and the Latics were running into brick walls.
Just before the hour Martinez pulled off Gomez and sent on Boselli to go two upfront, the expected goal rush never materialised and the game petered to the none event that it was.
Possibly the worst game at the DW this season, certainly the worst the Latics have played, especially in the second half when instead of picking up the tempo they actually appeared to be going slower.
Let`s hope that it was just one of those days and that we have gotten it out of our system, please can we have Figueroa back in the side, Steve Gohouri isn`t a left back and he`s cost us two goals in the last two games playing there.
Date:Monday January 3 2011
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