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Wigan mission impossible

Bolton Wanderers
4 - 1
Wigan Athletic

Reebok, Horwich

9/12/07 3pm

Attendance: 20,309


Baskerville reports from the Reebok:

Wigan fans travelled to Horwich today with renewed optimism following last week`s battling draw against City although concern was expressed in the bars whether we would concede another first minute goal.

Well we didn`t, but we didn`t hang on much longer

A cross from Diouf on the left which was going nowhere except into the hands of an unchallenged Kirkland was powerfully headed into his own net by the most controversial player in the club Paul Scharner.

This was Scharener`s (who was barracked by a section of the Wigan fans throughout) only contribution to the game.

Wigan then clicked into gear against what was in all honesty a poor Bolton side and when a ball came lose to Landzaat in the 13th minute he slotted the shot into the net past a stranded Jaaskalainen

After that the game ebbed and flowed both teams looking ok going forward and awful defending however in the 30th minute Granqvist handled the ball in the penalty area.
True to the ineptness of both teams however Anelka blazed the ball over the bar.

Latics let off didn`t last long and in the 38th minute when Koumas broke from his own defence but let the ball run away from him. Bolton quickly got the ball into the penalty area and Nolan beat Kirkland to restore the advantage.

In reality this was unjust at the time as both teams were as bad as each other.

Latics back four with the exception of the ever dependable Boyce were poor, Valencia was reluctant to take players on passing back to the hard working Landzaat and Scharner was nowhere near the ball .

Up front Bent was working hard but receiving little support form a strangely subdued (or unfit) Heskey.

The second half started very brightly for Latics with seven consecutive corners with Jaaskelainen having to make two good saves and then Heskey headed over the bar.

As Heskey moved away he indicated to the bench that he had a problem with his groin.

Inexplicably they decided to see if he could run it off when it was obvious to everyone that he couldn`t thereby leaving us with ten men.

Before Brown could be brought on (a full ten minutes after Emile started limping) Bolton scored again.

Wigan`s defence which was so poor at times it was embarrassing allowed Diouf to stroll through feeding Davies who slotted past Kirkland.

Heskey then limped off and the arrival of Brown sparked a reshuffle with Scharner going up front with Bent although he was no more effective there.

Bolton totally dominated the last half hour and could have scored more but for some goal line heroics from Emerson Boyce

At times the most forward player was Killer from left back.

Wigan had a good shout for a penalty when Scharner was clearly pushed in the area by Campo but Atkinson and the assistant waved away the appeals.

Latics didn`t look like scoring but did look like conceding and in the last minute Anelka beat some even more woeful defending to score the fourth.

The final whistle was a welcome relief for the 500 or so Wigan fans who had stayed to the end which will surely send a clear message to the players what their fans thought of the display


Its hard to see where we are going to get a win from. The defence isn`t good enough Landzaat is carrying midfield with flashes form Koumas and we only have one fit forward in the squad in Bent.

If Bruce keeps us up he will have earned every penny of his millions.

My opinion is we will be adrift by January which will make it more difficult to attract players. This squad isn`t big enough or good enough to stay up

Star Player

Emerson Boyce

Tried throughout but was let down by those in front of him and alongside him.

Player Ratings

Kirkland 5

…Again questions are being asked about whether he called for the cross when Scharner headed past him. Didn`t make a save because he let them all in. Pollitt must be close to a recall.

Boyce 6.5

…tried throughout but was let down by those in front of him and alongside him.

Kilbane 5

…tried hard but was outpaced time and again. At least tried to attack in the last 20 minutes but was on his own

Granqvist 4

…Too slow, gave the penalty away and was exposed by Anelka and Davies

Bramble 5

…Some good clearances but too often exposed by his defensive partner and his midfield.

Valencia 5

…why won`t the most skilful player on the team take a man on. Time and again he stopped and passed back

Landzaat 6

…Played his own role and that of Scharners until Brown came on. Tried hard and never gave up. Took his goal well

Scharner 3

…didn`t tackle, didn`t pass, was out jumped and off the pace. Scored a great header, pity it was in his own net.

Bent 5

…ran hard but lacked support, never looked like scoring and effort alone isn`t enough

Heskey 5

...Not fit and it showed

Koumas 4

...playing for Jason Koumas and not Wigan Athletic not a team player

Brown 5

…didn`t do anything but in fairness the game was out of sight by the time he came on

Manager Rating

Bruce…5/10 Should have hauled Scharner off as he was having a nightmare and shouldn`t have persevered with the injured Heskey. Has limited options available with both other forwards in the club injured.

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Date:Sunday December 9 2007
Time: 7:18PM

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