Wigan Athletic 0 Ipswich Town 0
“It’s another point in the right direction”
So said Leam Richardson in his post-match summary.
It was a tight game with few chances created by either team with defences dominating. With Scott Wootton out through injury, Curtis Tilt moved to the right hand side of the centre of defence with George Johnston on his left. With various options for employing his front four Richardson had Will Keane at centre forward, with Callum Lang and a strapped-up Viv Solomon-Otabor playing wide and Thelo Aasgaard given a rare chance to play in his natural position as a number 10.
Aasgaard is a very talented young player and it was brave of the manager to give him the chance in the central creative role. However, in a game where defences and holding midfielders dominated the 19-year-old was so often crowded out when receiving the ball. Moreover, Keane looked lost at centre forward and the wingers could not get into the game. Solomon-Otabor was clearly not match fit and it was only later in the game when Lang played a more central role that he got more involved. Richardson’s dilemma is that Aasgard, Keane and Lang play best in that role behind that central striker.
Following a ragged performance at Accrington the defence was solid in this game with Johnston having a man of the match performance and Tilt not far behind. Moreover Jamie Jones was more authoritative in goal. If the defence can play like that in the games that remain then Latics will have a good chance of avoiding relegation.,
Let’s take a look at how fans reacted to the match through the message boards and social media. Our thanks go to the Vital Wigan – Latics Speyk Forum and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen. Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below:
True Believer commented:
As Arthur says it is a matter of opinion and in my opinion the game was fought out by two teams who were intent on winning three points but lacked the necessary skills to break the other down. Neither team showed any composure up front and lacked the ability to dominate the game. Both teams had opportunities to win the game but in the end I think both managers will be happy to come away with a point.
MoM for me was George Johnston who once again showed that he is a versatile player and a very solid performer. Alongside Curtis Tilt, who showed his commitment to the cause by returning from international duties a day earlier and still making himself available, they made a very strong CB pairing. Tendayi Darikwa had a decent game and is improving game by game and his forward runs caused a few problems for Ipswich, however his final ball needs improvement. Young Luke Robinson once again put in a solid shift but his inexperience shows in his pass selection and on a couple of occasions his wayward passing caused us problems, but I have no doubt he will improve.
Midfield has been a problem this season as we lacked experienced heads able to slow play down when necessary and pick out a pass when needed. In Evans and Ojo I think we have solved the problem as both had decent games with Evans spraying the ball wide to Darikwa to release him and set up a crossing opportunity.
Aasgaard looked good again playing in the central role but once again his lack of experience allowed the Ipswich players to crowd him out and snuff out the danger when he was in possession. Viv SO flatters to deceive and his control let him down today, although once again I have to applaud him for wanting to play even though he was heavily strapped up and this clearly hampered his pace.
Will Keane worked hard but doesn’t challenge enough for the high balls and is a poor substitute for Proctor, he is a much better number 10, playing off the main striker. Unfortunately for Will he is also second best as a No,10 to Callum Lang who once again makes you ask the question “why was he out on loan for the first half of the season”. His running with the ball directly at defenders causes panic and he was unlucky today not to have got a penalty, his energy is boundless and his enthusiasm rubs off on other players whilst his willingness to show for the ball gives the defence and midfield options.
Now to the scapegoat for many JJ.
I thought he commanded his area today and marshalled the defence well making a couple of decent interceptions and clearing the ball under pressure. His near post block saved the points when they did eventually get past the defence, and although you would expect him to make the block I still believe it was worth the mention.
To sum up, it was not one for the purists but given the performance last weekend it was certainly an improvement and pre match that is all I could ask for. A win would have been a great result, but at this stage of the season, and considering three points would have seen Ipswich back in to the play off places at the start of play, I’ll take the point, the performance, and look to build on that against Gillingham.
Jeffs right wrote:
I don’t expect us to roll any side over. We are struggling at the bottom because we have one of the weakest squads in the league. So long as we give it a go is important but two shots on target in 96 minutes is not going to get us up to finish fifth from bottom. Ipswich were depleted too and since Cook went there are struggling to get wins so have been slipping away from contention and like Stanley last week are not exactly buzzing. Today was another of those games where if you were to expect three points then this was one of the games. Alas two shots on target is not going to do it.
Victor Moses summarised:
Viv was done 20 minutes before he came off.
Evans actually played to the standard you would expect from him today. Some lovely switch passes which led to some of our best openings, several sliding tackles and used his body well to win several freekicks. Was good to see him play well.
Lang was excellent but didn’t see enough of the ball out wide, really had the beating of them almost everytime he had the ball.
Johnston had a very good game, won the ball back a lot.
Robinson struggled but thats expected every now and then.
The rest had good and bad moments, had chances to win that, ball never fell kindly and wasted too many opportunities to be creative.
You are my sunshine summarised:
Thought we played well today and all that was lacking was an end product and cutting edge at the top end of the pitch. We’ve created 3 good chances and also got into some good areas and situations without making the most of them.
We were really solid defensively today and the clean sheet is a real positive. Johnston was outstanding and Tilt was excellent as well especially after his whirlwind few days.
After an even 1st half I thought Evans and Ojo then controlled the game in the 2nd and we were the better team, so I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t win the game.
Lang needs to play centrally and only out wide when we have no other options to play on the wings. He’s wasted out there and we need him more involved in the game which he will be through the middle.
Although I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t win,because we were the better team that 2nd half, it’s a point closer to safety and very much all to play for going into the last 9 games.
Additionally we have the official takeover to look forward to next week, which,fingers crossed should be rubber stamped before Good Friday!
Keep the faith!