Another narrow defeat against a team vying for promotion. It was a game practically devoid of good football, hardly an advertisement for the EPL in front of a large television audience. There were few moments of general entertainment in the whole game: a header from debutant James Weir that went over the bar and a disallowed goal when Callum Connolly ran through.
Warren Joyce has certainly created a team that can stop the opposition playing. Frankly, Sheffield Wednesday were made to look poor, despite being seventh placed in the division and their large investment in players.
But stopping the other team scoring goals is only half of the recipe for success. The other side of it is to be able to score goals yourself and Latics hardly looked like doing that last night. Once again Joyce had packed his starting line up with midfielders. It was the same eleven that sparkled against Brentford, but this time around the midfielders were preoccupied by their defensive duties, leaving Will Grigg without support. Latics’ attack was not surprisingly sterile.
The debate about playing twin strikers continues. Joyce had the opportunity to bring Omar Bogle on to pair up with Grigg, but chose not to do so. But even if you are playing with a single striker you can still push men forward to support him. Was it the midfielders themselves who were reluctant to push forward or were they following the manager’s instructions?
The quality of football played by Latics was reminiscent of the dark era of Malky Mackay. Now that Joyce has his team able to curb the opposition, will he move on to the next step which involves creativity and movement going forward?
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.
Paul Rowley @PaulRowleyBBC tweeted:
Worth noting ‘LaticsOfficial have lost 7 of their last 8 league games at the DW. Just 3 home wins all season. @BBCMancSports
Sam Morsy @sammorsy08 talked of fine margins:
Great effort and commitment from the boys today, fine margins cost us today, but we will go again Tuesday, fans roaring us on till the end !
Matthew Taylor @matty123tay added:
Disappointed with that. Thought they were there for the taking really, onwards to Norwich…#wafc
MR Brownbill on the Cockney Latic Forum was unimpressed:
Wasted 1st half….Never score in a month of Sundays with this bo..ocks Grigg on his own .No surprise he hasnt scored in 16 league games. Totally inept going forward…hit and hope. Final ball ,set pieces, corners dire. Wake up please…he will not budge in his plan….pack the middle with no support hope something drops our way. Bogle on….Grigg off….Ch..t almighty…another single goal di..ing. Jacobs..Power..time to rest em. Don’t give a toss how many players we signed he’ll just swap the midfield personnel and play with an isolated pi..ed off forward.
Martin W @dmartw opined:
No width, no urgency, no pace. Hard to believe that was the same team that beat Burton and Brentford. Slightly better in 2nd half #wafc
Dave Carter on The Boulevard of Broken Dreams commented:
Two thoughts from tonight. One, the disallowed goal was very marginal and we can feel just a bit hard done by. Two, Joyce is incredibly naive tactically. We had no support at all for Grigg and the only time that changed at all was after the substitutions with twenty minutes left. We’re going down unless someone kicks some sense into the manager.
Donnys Page on the Cockney Latic Forum questioned the approach:
Game plan exactly the same as against Utd. No support for either lone striker, lone strikers both looked like Fortune, Boseli, Riera and Delort totally lost. Not even a winger or even a wing back to replace a winger putting crosses in bar Jacobs efforts on the wrong wing with 20 minutes to go. No attacking midfielder supporting lone striker. Strikers forced out wide leaving their position in the box vacant. It’s going to be a real battle to get out of this mire but we may have to be a little more cavalier to escape the drop. Same team as the Brentford game but different approach. Why?
Power Jacobs Perkins McDonald all ready for a rest for a few weeks and new ideas needed but it may be too late for that. This season was bal.. ed up last June.
JamesSaintLatic @JamesSaintLatic added:
Another Saturday of sitting and praying Burton, Bristol City & Blackburn don’t win #wafc.
Pauvre Jean on Latics Speyk has not lost hope:
It wasn’t for lack of effort we lost, it was the same old reliance on playing one badly out of form lone striker. When Weir and Bogle came on we started to threaten. A shame it took 75 minutes to try something different. So yet another disappointing 0-1 defeat to a ‘top six’ Team who were frankly little better than us.
I’ve not lost hope like some on here as I can still see that we can turn it around. I’d like to see the line up that finished tonight starting on Tuesday for a start.
Stuart Kelsall @StuartKelsall believes Latics can stay up:
Not one team played us off park this season and that’s why am more than confident that will stay up there are worse sides than us #believe
Jonny_SuffolkLatic on Latics Speyk advocates a more attack oriented approach:
Our wins against teams around us in recent weeks already shows we can stay up, it’s just that against the higher positioned opponents we should be setting up, and playing, more attack orientated than we are. Against weaker opposition, the team we started with tonight might be able to deliver the points, but better teams need to be tested with more than Grigg up front supported by Jacobs on the wing.
SamWhyte @SamWhyte referred to Grigg’s role:
Grigg spends more time doing defensive work than actually being a striker that when chances do fall his way, he’s knackered. Waste IMO #wafc
Stewart Hart @No1fan referred to a Grigg/Bogle combination:
Should have got something tonight. Clear we can’t play Grigg alone, needs to be paired up, or Bogle on his own. Impressed with Weir. #wafc
Jeffs right on Latics Speyk added:
Bogle and Grigg together could have got us a point. Bogle on his own just reminded me of Mark Antoine Fortune. No service to either of the strikers from Power, Jacobs, Perkins, McDonald. For sh..s sake give Grigg some service and he will get us goals. Power and Jacobs have been more inept than Grigg all season yet Grigg gets the slag off.
Moonay on Latics Speyk summarised:
Sheff Weds – nowt special
Latics – not clinical enough
Rhodes v Grigg – both as poor as each other
Their goal – scabby ……………… & offside ?
Our goal – marginal ……….. but probably was just offside
Our chances – Weir & Burn & Jacobs should have scored
Negatives – reaction of some of our fickle fans, Connolly had his first poor-ish game
Positives – Weir, Morsy played well again, Weir, Bogle looked a handful, …….. oh, and Weir looked a good prospect.
WhittleBlue on Latics Speyk concluded:
A game we didn’t deserve to lose nor win.
Regarding the goal yes it had an element of fortune about it and perhaps Burn, in an otherwise excellent display, could have got closer to Rhodes but that passage of play should never happened in the first place. A lack of footballing intelligence cost us that goal this evening and the blame for that is solely down to Power. Why on earth having sent the centre backs forward would he choose a six yard sideways/backward pass to another player who wasn’t exactly free instead of putting it forward toward those who had ventured forward? What the hell did he expect MacDonald to do with it other than put it forward himself? Absolutely f**king clueless.
Other than that plenty of effort, we look decent defensively overall butlook bereft of quality in attacking areas. I thought Grigg had a thankless task with little service but the one opportunity he had he again spurned, miscontrolled and appears to be low on confidence. Morsy was good but had little support. Jacobs, whilst he tries hard is out of his depth at this level. The problem is who do we replace him with? Weir is a left sided player as is Obertan and the other midfielders all are of a similar type. Yanic is a massive loss and despite signing a load of players I don’t think they strengthen us in the area we needed strengthening which is offensively. The squad is very poorly balanced. The right back looks more threatening and likely to score than anyone which is a poor reflection on the attacking players. Sadly I don’t see enough creativity or goals in this team to see us winning games comfortably and I’m not convinced we will score enough to get us the victories we need to stay up.