“Overall, I feel personally embarrassed to the chairman and to the supporters that we as a group can’t deliver better results at this time. We’re lacking confidence; we’re lacking Championship qualities in certain units of the pitch, in power, strength and confidence to move the ball quickly.”
The words of Uwe Rosler following a limp and lifeless performance. The alarm bells are now truly sounding for Latics. Despite having a squad that can match any in the division Wigan have won only two league games out of nine and lie only three points above the drop zone.
Once again Rosler surprised us with his team selection. Andrew Taylor was brought back to facilitate a move back to 3-5-2, with Emyr Huws replacing William Kvist in midfield. But it was the choice of Marc-Antoine Fortune and Martyn Waghorn as the two forwards that left fans perplexed. The names of neither McManaman nor McClean appeared on the teamsheet.
Bournemouth looked like the team that was going to win all the way through. What we saw from Latics was a continuation of the sterile football we have seen too often in recent weeks. There was minimal movement off the ball, with soulless possession football typically terminated by a long hoof. Once more goalkeeper Carson conceded possession to the opposition through his long punts to opposing defenders.Several times Carson was to find a nearby teammate from a goal kick, only for the ball to be passed back for him for to hoof it upfield. Was he acting under orders?
It was not a surprise when Bournemouth opened the scoring after 36 minutes when dangerous winger Francis crossed for Kermorgant outmuscle Rob Kiernan to put the ball past Carson. Wigan went into the half time break looking like a team that did not have the desire or belief to get themselves back into the game. Was Rosler going to shake things up with a couple of half time substitutions?
The answer was to be no and Latics continued after the break in the same manner. Rosler finally made substitutions in the 66th minute, bringing on Leon Barnett for the injured Kiernan, with Oriel Riera replacing Waghorn. It was no surprise when Bournemouth got their second four minutes later, Francis finishing off a good move. Andy Delort came on for Ivan Ramis after 75 minutes, as Wigan played with three upfront. Delort had a good 30 yard free kick well saved near the end, but it was not to be Wigan’s day.
Barnett finally made it on to the pitch. Most fans would argue he should have been on from the start. Adam Forshaw got another 90 minutes under his belt.
The social media and fan forums are teeming with rumours that there are divisions within the Latics camp. The name of McClean is prominent.
There is a general lack of confidence in the squad following a series of bad results, but the way the team played at Bournemouth suggests the problems are more deep-rooted.
Whatever the problems are, they need to be resolved soon. Thoughts of promotion are quickly drifting away.
Carson – Boyce, Ramis, Kiernan – Perch, Cowie, Huws, Forshaw, Taylor – Waghorn, Fortune – all 4/10.
Substitutes: Barnett, Riera, Delort.