Local journalist, Paul Kendrick, was summing up Wigan Athletic’s first half performance through Twitter. The second half saw Latics shaking off the lethargy of the first 45 minutes, dominating the play, pulling back two goals. But sadly it was not enough.
The starting lineup was a shock to most of us. It had just one holding midfielder, with two wingers and two central strikers. For the second game running Warren Joyce had put forward an attacking lineup. But it proved to be a naiveity as Wigan’s midfield was unable to feed those attacking players and to adequately shield its defence.
It has been a depressing Christmas period for Latics fans. The announcement of a loss of £2.3 million for last season was accompanied by a realistic, if somewhat foreboding, statement from Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson:
“The future outlook after the current season is a challenging environment. The club is now receiving the final year of parachute payments which have significantly inflated turnover for the last four years. The EFL Championship is populated by clubs backed by extremely wealthy owners, who are prepared to lose enormous amounts of money in pursuit of promotion to the Premier League. Even clubs recently relegated from the Premier League are finding it difficult to compete in this expensive and ultimately unsustainable race for the ‘promised land’.
The financial support of the Whelan family has allowed the club to enjoy incredible success in recent years, without incurring the large financial losses suffered by similar clubs, and that support allows us to continue to pursue long-term goals in the future. The club will always aim to compete at the highest level possible but we must also be realistic in our ambitions and ultimately financial sustainability must continue to remain our priority.”
At the moment Latics are on the road back to League 1. Can Joyce turn things around? Will he get the backing he needs from his chairman for urgent January signings? Are the current problems due to the manager, the players or “the club” itself?
We took a look at the social media following yesterday’s match and came up with a wide range of views. Our thanks go to the Cockney Latic Forum, Vital Wigan – Latics Speyk Forum, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Facebook) and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen. Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below.
Jordi Gómez @JordiGomez14 tweeted:
Missed opportunity to get a result today, but table looking the same than yesterday. Let’s keep going.
Paul Kendrick @PKendrickWIG listed the injured players unavailable to Joyce:
Worth pointing out missing from today’s squad: Morgan, Burke, Garbutt, Daniels, James, Powell, MacDonald, Perkins, Gilbey, plus Bogdan #wafc
Chairman David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91 tweeted:
Know you all care, so I understand your frustrations. However, we’ve always faced adversity together, so let’s continue to face it together.
But ex-Latics captain and WISH FM commentor Neill Rimmer @neill_rimmer sent a couple of tweets saying:
Terrible result today, time to stop blaming the managers & look above!
Lot of good people have been pushed out of the club. Results getting worse.
Nottinghamlatic on Latics Speyk suggested that Latics do not belong in the higher echelons:
Brutal fact of football life is that if too few fans are interested a club will not survive at the top level i.e. Premier League and Championship. We are heading back to our natural level i.e. League 1/2. This is where we belong after our brief flirtation with the big time. I think we have to get used to it. We have people at the top who won’t take risks now. Wigan people won’t take risks with their hard earned dosh, either.
Neil Aspey on The Boulevard of Broken Dreams said:
The owner and the alleged chairman need to think about what they want for the club. Cheap everything done on the cheap and a series of disastrous decisions have got us to where we are now.
Stuart Alker@stuartalker was also critical of the chairman:
The sooner some of our fans wake up and get from up the chairman’s backside and realise he’s a big part of the problem, the better. #wafc
Bickymon on the Cockney Latic Forum talked about the Whelan family possibly selling up:
Not looking good is it i said give joyce a chance but now i fear for the clubs future. Only way forward is whelan familly to sell up and go. Too many huge mistakes made last couple of years we are going backwards division 1 looks like our level With this lot.…….I must be going blind because we seem to be heading back to those dark years before whelan. Understandable nobody wants to buy us whelan knows that his familly is stuck with the club and we are stuck with them
Henski on Latics Speyk advocated a return for Gary Caldwell:
Sharpe made the biggest mistake of his short career sacking Caldwell. He followed it up with an even bigger one.He has ruined the season and perhaps many more to follow.He should go cap in hand back to Caldwell before it’s too late. Sharpe needs to fix this mess he has created!
Hindleygreenlatics on the Cockney Latic Forum went so far to suggest that Graham Barrow be put in charge:
I am not one for changing managers – I never wanted Caldwell to be sacked I firmly believe he was starting to turn it around and we would have been ok. I also believe the club has made a big mistake with Joyce. I don’t like him putting the cones out before the game, him wearing shorts, seemingly side-lining all the coaching staff, making Barrow sit in the dug out when he used to do an effective job in the media gantry sending down messages to the bench. I don’t like him referring to one of our players as “Powelly”. I don’t like the fact that he comes across as an idiot!
I guess I don’t seem to like his amateur approach. Most of all I don’t like the negative almost defeatist attitude to games.A mistake has been made in this appointment and while it will look bad on the club I believe the mistake needs to be rectified ASAP. Even if that means giving the job to Barrow until the end of the season.
King_dezeeuw06 on Latics Speyk added:
We can never say how Rosler and Caldwell would’ve done for sure. But if they stayed without a big improvement in their managerial skills, results, performances and transfer dealing we were very likely going down. So sacking either made sense and i look back i don’t regret either.But the issue has come with picking poor replacements and things getting worse. Those replacement choices I do look back on and regret.
Wiganfanfrank on Latics Speyk commented that:
It’s a joke that managers are fired these days for so little. We havent had a healthy right back all year, no true goalkeeper, inconsistency in the center of the park, striker personal issues and a lot of unlucky goals. Then we had to start over in the middle of the season, and the performances have not been any different than under Caldwell. We have the talent to stay in this league, we need a lot of help in January to stay in this league. I never agreed with firing Caldwell, but now I think sacking another manager would hurt us even more.
Tom Prescott @tomprescott94 tweeted:
Joyce doesn’t fill me with any enthusiasm but I still think it’s as much the players then the manager. We just aren’t good enough. #wafc
Garswoodlatic on the Cockney Latic Forum put the blame on the players:
it was the Summer window in which we got rid of players who had bonded well into a feelgood team who knew how to win, and replaced them with some very poor replacements.Not Joyce’s fault. Blame the so-called players.
Owen Hughes on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams advocated bringing in youth:
AFTER TODAYS RESULT PLAY THE KIDS AT LEAST 5 OF THEM ARE GOOD ENOUGH WE WILL SEE MORE EFFORT
Paul Knowles @paulknowles66 tweeted Paul Kendrick@PKendrickWIG
I feel like the managers lack of charisma is reflected in the team. Our players are better than this! #WAFC
Bert Hughes @_Bert_Hughes tweeted the chairman:
@DavidSharpe91 Depressing financial message last week and now this result. We are in a downward spiral at this moment in time.
Wigan Athletic’s strategy for the upcoming transfer window revealed –