Another sterile performance from Wigan Athletic resulted in a 0-0 draw with an undistinguished Nottingham Forest side. Latics did not have a single shot on target.
Forest manager Gary Brazil summed things up by saying: “I thought we handled them well. Only Bogle got into the game. It wasn’t a game for the purist. There was a lot of duels and fighting and a lack of quality with both teams in the attacking third. The biggest thing I take away from it is the clean sheet, and I take a positive from the fact a team fighting for their lives has made it tough to get a result and we were resilient. I don’t recall our goalkeeper having to make a save, and I thought the back four and goalkeeper were really good.”
We had had some hints from Warren Joyce that he was not going to change his ultra-cautious approach, despite the fact that it has not been producing results. Yesterday morning before the game he was quoted by Wigan Today as saying: “Just throwing the kitchen sink at it, you’ll get absolutely battered because you’ve got no way, no method of play. The opposition is always there to try and stop you as well. There are some good sides in this league and some good players but we’ve hurt them and stopped them creating chances. That’s what you’ve got to do – that’s the idea of football.”
The manager is sticking doggedly to his belief that the Latics team’s “scrapball” approach is the best way ahead. Moreover in the week he hardly raised his level of credibility by saying: “It’s not an easy situation for players coming into this side because any player we’ve signed has been signed because they’ve not been playing at other clubs.”
But Mikael Mandron had been playing regularly at Eastleigh and he made his first start yesterday. However, he was replaced on 58 minutes by Gabriel Obertan, who had only a smattering of games for Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. Once again Joyce had chosen the defensive option of playing central midfielders in the wide positions, but he later switched Max Power for the return of Alex Gilbey after 5 months out through injury.
There are only 12 games left for Joyce’s new players to make their mark. Omar Bogle, Matt Gilks and Ryan Tunnicliffe are already established, with Jamie Hanson showing his versatility by playing at right back yesterday. James Weir has had a couple of appearances, Marcus Browne one as a late substitute, but Alex Bruce, Jack Byrne and Josh Laurent have not yet appeared.
Will the new players have sufficient impact to steady a sinking ship? Will Joyce amend his negative tactical approach? More than that – will Joyce remain Wigan Athletic manager?
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.
Colin Prunty on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams noted pigeons:
Memory (only memory) from this game was in the first half and that group of pigeons in the Latics final third in a little group grazing what little grass was on the pitch. They were never disturbed and there isn’t much else you can say to that is there?
Owdmon on Latics Speyk commented
I have not posted on here for quite a while but after today`s abysmal performance i came on here to share my thoughts, but after reading the forum nearly all of them have been well documented in the above posts, but here i go anyway. When Joyce was appointed i saw it as a poor decision by the club , but i would give him time and support him up to and just after the transfer window, allowing him to bring his own players in and given them time to blend. A few weeks ago i thought he had proved me wrong after we had a couple of back to back wins. Well since the Utd game unfortunately things have gone back downhill drastically, with totally inept performance`s, team selection and tactics. After today performance I`m afraid to say my first instincts of him where correct, this guy is totally out of his depth .
The final straw today were his tactics of playing two upfront but with no width to give the pair any service and when Obertan a natural winger came on he played him up the middle then he took Bogle who looked our must dangerous player, off. I can`t attend the fan`s forum on Wednesday but can someone please ask him if he his Owen Coyle in disguise.
Sean (DJKENNO) @KennouUTJ gave his view on the entertainment:
Worst game of football ive ever seen
WN5 on Latics Speyk commented:
If you thought the second half at QPR was bad,this was worse. Today we managed to reach new levels of turd. Other than a Max Power cross Latics failed to make the Forest goalkeeper work, thankfully for us, Forest are just as garbage and Matt Gilks was a total bystander bar 1 good save from a deflected effort.
Ultimately I thought the performance was dire, how Joyce can set up at home with Power and Tunnicliffe as wide men is baffling. Morsy looks a shadow of the player of a few weeks ago due to being moved into a holding midfield role -WHY!? I get the argument about the pitch but I thought our style of play was equally as poor. There were various times were the likes of Hanson, MacDonald and Buxton opted to hoof the ball into the channels rather than try and build a move.
Another horrendous setup from Joyce. Taking Bogle off for Will Grigg shows how inept he really is. Anyone with eyes can see Grigg is a poacher- why bring him on when you aren’t creating chances? How Tunnicliffe lasted the 90 was beyond me, no way on earth is he a better option than Kellet or Colclough – both of whom would offer attacking flair although Mr Joyce doesn’t seem to like that.
Absolutely no improvement from the Caldwell days. In fact we probably look less like scoring than we did back then!!
Lowey on the Cockney Latic Forum cannot understand Joyce’s intentions:
What I cant get my head around with his tactics is that they must be completely foreign to him too no way he employed anything remotely like them at United. Pack your bags Warren
Philip Moss @mossylatic tweeted:
WJ: “On another day some of the chances go in.” – no, they wouldn’t because NONE of them were on target.
Cupwinners on the Cockney Latic forum commented:
Today was the perfect opportunity to gain 2 points on 3 of our nearest rivals. If we lose next week the vengaboys will have proved that getting rid of your manager can save your season.
For me he has to go, totally out his depth. If Sharpe thinks he’s worthy of keeping his job he needs to go to specsavers, that was as poor as I’ve seen even under Malky and Coyle so please go and thanks for……………. I give up
While walking over the bridge I heard 3 different groups of fellas all saying the exact things. No width, all midfielders doing the,same job, Why did he bring Obertan on and play him up front when he’s a wideman, Why take off Bogle when were desperate for goals ?, 7 minutes won’t make make a sod of difference. I’m sorry but I don’t blame any player. This manager thinks that if he floods the midfield we can stifle the opposition. Zero shots on goal is embarrassing.
And why the F bring on Gilby for 35minutes when he hasn’t played for months on end with bad injuries. 10-15 minutes would have been enough. Joyce, you did a fantastic job at Utd but it’s time to throw the towel in at Wigan and fook off, your out your depth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out were your going wrong.
Andrew @ndrewwafc also mentioned pigeons:
It is genuinely worrying when a flock of pigeons spent more time on the right wing than any of our players.
Filmoss on the Cockney Latic forum said:
|I was fairly hopeful of him being a success when he first arrived but the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say and it is now quite patently obvious that the guy is clueless and out of his depth!|
Dave Carter on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams said:
Depending how his contract is structured, we may not be able to afford to pay him up
Trevor Silcock on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams responded:
Dave we may not be able to afford to keep him on, I’ve been one who thought he was the right guy to take us forward how wrong was I,love the club and always will but that today was bloody disgraceful SACK HIM lets move on
Adam Melling @AdamMello89 also commented on the entertainment:
Us and forest should be automatically relegated for arguably the worst game of football thats ever taken place Terrible display #wafc lots of effort but no game plan. Grigg ready to come on at 66 mins but only on pitch at 83! WJ out of his depth.
Th10 on Latics Speyk commented on Mandron’s performance:
I thought he was the only positive from today. He won headers and his hold up play was good. For me once he went off was when the Forest came into the game more. I know I’m clutching at straws here, but I wanted to say I think he did well today. Was far more involved than assombalonga was for them and he did more today than Craig Davies did in 18 months!
King_deZeeuw06 on Latics Speyk responded:
Totally agree any chance of winning the game was over when he went off. Him and Bogle were a real handful he probably won more headers than any striker we’ve had since Heskey! Very impressed just needs some better service.
True Believer on Latics Speyk added:
The lad had some good points but was raw. However a fine prospect for the future and given our problems up front this season worth a punt up front in the next couple of games. The problem today was the lack of a winger to give both of the strikers service, it meant that one or the other was chasing down balls out wide. I would like to see them play closer together and be competing for crosses and knock downs as I think this is what they would thrive on.
OnLoanfromEnfield on Latics Speyk looked at Joyce’s past and present:
Or perhaps he spent 10 years hanging on the coat tails of others and knew his time was up ? The ‘sound’ foundations that he put in at United u23s are there to see since the beginning of their PL2 season …… If anyone else watches them on a regular basis, you will know what I mean. The correct job for the Coach was assistant manager job at Villa …. Our foolish Chairman (like so many others) then gets burned by hiring this Ferguson legacy and all the ex cronies that come along with that. How many of these United protégés have achieved anything ?
The Fan Forum and the Radio Show tomorrow will be interesting … only because people will be too polite to ask anything and will lap everything up. The club is trying to treat fans like mushrooms by opening up …. Something that has was totally been lacking since the summer. (I could be wrong here as I only know of one F.A.B so far. But if there has only been one F.A.B meeting there has to be another meeting with fan respresentatives … these are the EFL rules and not the club being generous.)
At the base of Dave Whelan’s statue … it should really read …. “I wished I had bought Manchester United”
I don’t think we are going to be relegated as the players still have a fighting attitude. There is trying not to lose and trying not to lose.
Thank god i’ve not used my ticket since Nov been in hospital.Back now..Not missed a thing by all accounts.
Still no wide men,still no “sniffers”in the box,make that No_one in the box ! We aint had a striker since Jason and Nathan.Nobody has a go at keepers,nobody gambles ! Bye Bye Bunny …bye bye Championship