Amigo and Social Media reaction to a hard-earned victory over Portsmouth

August 28, 2021: Wigan Athletic 1 Portsmouth 0

Table courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Portsmouth arrived at Wigan having won three and drawn one of the first four games, not having conceded a goal. They were going to provide stern opposition for Latics.

Wigan had started the game without Max Power, presumably injured, with Tom Pearce coming in at left back and Tendayi Darikwa reverting to his more habitual position on the right. Both clubs have had major changes in their playing staff over summer and it can only be expected that they will need time to gel.

However, the visitors immediately settled into their stride, their smooth running and passing movements depriving Wigan of possession. Fortunately, this Latics team is better set up defensively than most, with a solid goalkeeper and a cohesive back four and holding midfielders who do so much to shield the defence.  The downside for Latics was the return of that hoofball/hopeful long ball approach that remains dormant in the players’ mindsets. Going into half time one hoped that Latics could get the ball back on the ground and challenge a Pompey defence that had been underworked up to that point. The defence had held firm and the visitors had not scored.

Things did improve for Latics in the second half, gradually clawing back into the game against a tight Pompey rear-guard. It was not pretty, but they did get the ball down more and as the match went on they looked the more likely to score. Jordan Jones was substituted for James MacClean to come on after 54 minutes and the Irishman added life on the left, even if his final touch was somewhat lacking. Pearce had started to overlap on the left, where he can be so exciting to watch. But his crossing had been wayward until the 78th minute when his pass reached Callum Lang who rifled the ball home with aplomb.

After the game Leam Richardson commented:

I thought the response in the second half was the most pleasing aspect. I thought in the first half – credit to Portsmouth – they imposed themselves quite quickly on us and the game. I thought our distances weren’t great, and I felt it looked like we played on Tuesday night in a derby, and they had a free week.

In the second half, I thought our lads responded well to the information, imposed themselves a lot better, and took the game 10-15 yards up the pitch. They were tough. They’ve got some good players, and they are a fantastic football club. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience it down in Portsmouth, and they are carrying a healthy squad. They are expecting to get out of the league, and they’ve probably been in it too long, but today, I thought it was up to us to impose ourselves a little bit more.

I thought we were on our heels a little bit and our distances through the centre of the pitch weren’t what they should or could have been, and I felt that we didn’t really have contact around the pitch, so we spoke about that at half-time. The subs that came on gave us impetus in the game, and our energy and high-speed running was excellent again. Normally when you tick a few boxes, you normally land on the right side of the result.”

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:

C_Latic commented:

That is an outstanding three points, it really is. I thought they were the best team we’ve played so far. Really is the sign of a good side when we can get three points from a game like that without really dominating. McClean changed the game. Also, whilst he made a mistake for Wycombe’s goal, Kell Watts is looking like a very good signing indeed and any centre-back we sign between now and Tuesday will not walk straight into this side.

FrancosLoveChild opined:

Tell you what, that was a poor performance, especially the first half, but last season we would have lot that 4-0 and I always see teams that eventually go up to pick up wins in those types of games and we did, do think we felt a little leggy with the number of games in quick succession and the team looking to gel.

Can give chance to more of the youth and Fringe lads for wolves u21 Tuesday and the. Have a well deserve rest.

Considering we only played really strong sides for our first 5 games, the team exceeded expectations

Up the tics!


Well done Leam as well, good substitutions. Lang had a stinker, but again that’s why you have to keep him on for 90 mins, because he always has a goal or a big moment in him.

Exiled Tic stated:

Not our best today but the defence stood up to everything they tried and Amos had his easiest game yet! Agree McClean changed the game Their defence fell apart when he came on! What an astute signing he’s proving already!!

Jeffs right summarised:

Fabulous win. Well done Latics.
Fourth from top and with an un-gelled and incomplete squad with a difficult fixture list to start.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media reaction to an entertaining draw against Wycombe

August 17, 2021: Wigan Athletic 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1

“Results don’t always match performances” is an old adage in football, but it could certainly be used in the context of this match. Wigan Athletic played some scintillating football and would have won the game with a canter had they put their chances away. But they did not and tired legs in the last quarter invited Wycombe pressure, resulting in a 91st minute equaliser as Kell Watts was outjumped at the far post from a corner kick.

The game was so different to that we saw on Saturday against Rotherham. That dour encounter was won by a late, late header from Will Keane. This was an entertaining affair.

Leam Richardson had retained the back four that completed the previous game, with Tendayi Darikwa  at left back and two specialists for that position on the bench. It proved to be a successful move as Darikwa had one of his better games. Jordan Jones was brought in on the left wing and his running and accurate crossing promised much for the future. Latics had gone ahead after 47 minutes from a thunderbolt finish from Callum Lang. The goal rattled the visitors and Latics were looking dangerous but were unable to add to their lead.

Keane’s header had hit the crossbar in the 69th minute with Jones taken off soon after, being replaced by Gavin Massey. Massey had looked more like his old self coming off the bench against Rotherham, playing on the right. However, this time he was placed on the left where, time after time, he has failed to deliver. Richardson is a wonderful motivator of his players, but his substitutions can be unimaginative and ill-timed. Gareth Ainsworth had made two substitutions for Wycombe in the 59th minute, the third being the huge Akinfenwa after 73 minutes. It signalled an aerial bombardment from the visitors who looked full of running at that stage compared with Latics.

After the game Richardson commented:

“I thought in the first-half we were excellent, and we were worthy of going in at half-time in-front. With the quality and the energy levels that we show, and the entries into their final third, we’ve got to be pleased.

Wycombe are a fantastic, well-drilled football team, and they are a threat from any dead-ball and set-piece, as well as from open play. If you do not put the game to bed, you obviously succumb to what we did.

I thought we were worthy to go in front and we started the second half where we left off. If we were going to be disappointed, it would be for the result, and possibly the last 15-20 minutes where we came off the page a little bit and started trading blows with Wycombe which is what they want.”

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:

Zeb2 commented:

Football eh ?…..probably got two more points than we deserved on Saturday ….and got two less than we deserved tonight.
not conceded from open play in 3 matches but two direct from corners.

Went way too deep last few minutes (a long standing trait with us) and invited waves of attack which caused us to crack in the end, but we should have been out of sight by HT….maybe we ran out of gas in that last ten/fifteen minutes ….unfortunately they didn’t.

C_Latic stated:

The positive is that we’ll play a hell of a lot worse than that this season and win. That Wycombe side are a very good team who like Rotherham will be right in the top six equation and we’ve absolutely pummelled them.

I’d say if we can get one more win from our next two, we’ll be a good spot heading into the international break. Then the fixtures will ease up and we can look at putting together a run.

JockLatic added:

Best I’ve seen us play in some time….shuda been 2/3 nil up at half time & thoroughly deserved our goal, such a shame we couldn’t have got a second as that would have seen out the game. Unfortunately we sat back & had little possession the last 10 mins or so n it just seemed like they were gonna equalise….didn’t think it was a corner n possibly a free kick to us beforehand. If we play like that for a good chunk of the season we won’t be far off so long as we convert the chances. Disappointed coming away from the ground tonight but only because we should have been out of sight in 1st half…..

Made in Wigan opined:

Disappointing ending but will look at the bigger picture. It’s a brand new team and we have some decent players. We can only improve as the season progresses if McLean doesn’t upset the apple cart.

We really do need to start taking our chances. Miss of the season contenders in consecutive games and today its cost us two points. Whilst Wycombe were okay I thought Rotherham looked a tougher opponent. That said I don’t think we’ve much to fear in this league though the time it will take the team to gel and for LR to find his best team and tactics means we’ll have to come from behind to make any impact of the league table.

Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Amigo and Social Media Reaction to a difficult contest at Sunderland

August 7, 2021: Sunderland 2 Wigan Athletic 1

It has been an uplifting summer with Wigan Athletic putting together a squad that might compete with any in the division. That rebuild is not yet complete, with more players due to arrive shortly.

But despite the upbeat mood it was always going to be difficult facing a crowd of more than 30,000 at the Stadium of Light. Moreover Bobby Madley had been assigned the match: a referee hardly known for giving favourable decisions to Latics.

Latics had opened the game in style, pushing players forward, causing headaches to the Sunderland defence. Their football was a revelation and it came as no surprise when Gwion Edwards opened the scoring following a flowing move in the 15th minute. But the clock seemed to be turned back a couple of minutes later when the home team launched a rapid counterattack, with centre forward Ross Stewart going down from a challenge by Tendayi Darikwa. The large crowd bayed and Madley obliged with a penalty decision in their favour. Aidan McGeady scored with ease.

The penalty knocked the stuffing out of an away team that had been buoyant up to that point. Sunderland went from strength to strength and the gangly Stewart scored the winner after 52 minutes, outjumping the Latics defence. Wigan’s football transformed into pumping long balls, a tactic that could raise its ugly head in the Cook/Richardson era when the team was under pressure. A disappointing end to a game that started with so much promise.

Darikwa made reference to the style of play in a post-match interview saying “It’s a new squad, we’re still working on new relationships and building on that. There is a lot more to come from us; I think we could have probably got the ball down a bit more today but we will look at it as a squad with the manager and come back next week.”

Let’s hope the captain and coaching staff can work on that with effect.

Leam Richardson commented:

 “I thought we battled well. I thought we started the game good. I thought we imposed ourselves quite quickly. We were worthy in front and then I think the penalty turns the game. I don’t think really we recovered.

Whether it’s a penalty or not, I’ve been told it’s not but I’ve not seen it, so it’s disappointing again. But it gave them momentum. I thought they built on that momentum so I thought the were worthy winners in the end. It was eight or nine debutants and I think it showed in some parts but you can see they come together quickly.

In other parts as well, they’ve been in a matter of weeks. Everybody knows that we’re a football club we’re building slowly and I think you could see that little bit today.”

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:

FrancosLoveChild commented:

Problem with Cook and Leam we always end up playing hoofball to suit the striker. We have always been better actually playing football and we have the players for it.

True Believer opined:

First game of the season for players brought together in the last 6 weeks and people expect them to play like they have been together for a couple of seasons.

Whatever happened to “give them time to gel”.

We have just lost by one goal in three to a side that have played together for the past two seasons and made the play offs in both those seasons. Get real.

Definitely need to see some action in the transfer market though as this is a reality check.

Jocklatic replied:

So no criticism allowed then TB, posters will def be driven off if not allowed to have their say be it against your point of view or a certain moan of a player. Went today & imo for first 10 min we seemed like a side that knew each other & how to go down field….cue the certainly unnecessary penalty by Darikwa n we seem to fall apart not helped through the game with some bizarre refereeing decisions in favour of Sunderland. Think we …well me anyway had expectations of a decent game against Sunderland but we seemed to lose our way after the penalty n made a very mediocre Sunderland side look good, again not helped by dire ref decisions. Coming away from the ground it was easy to hear that Darikwa is already a possible whipping boy….imo shouldn’t be captain as he certainly didn’t seem to command anything on the field today…..upwards and onwards to our first home game.
On a side note didn’t rate Amos, thot Power / Lang were our best players with motm….the ref

Power was the only player that performed.


Victor Moses 🙂 added:

Darikwa cost us the game, might of went that way anyway. But you cannot foul a player that is near the byline going nowhere, at best he gets a shot off at worse a cross. We we’re getting shredded down our right all game.

Wasn’t expecting an optimal performance, but thought we would have had better composure. Lots of players bottled it, Naylor was shocking on the ball. Played great against Preston, but I wouldn’t trust him to take care of the ball after today he was panicking. Cousins looked much calmer.

Edwards did nothing apart from scoring an open goal, doesn’t deserve to start next game. Jones was very wasteful when he came on.

Long ball, after long ball from the back. Too much time and space for them when they had the ball wide.

Lots of work to do, much further away then I was hoping we would be. But we do have an excellent team that will get better game by game.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media reaction to losing to a clinical Portsmouth team

Wigan Athletic 0 Portsmouth 1

Lying fourth in the table, with three consecutive victories behind them, Portsmouth were the favourites to win this match. They did so in a clinical manner through a fine strike by substitute Andy Cannon after 46 minutes. There was no shortage of effort and commitment from Latics but despite their pressure they rarely looked like scoring. Altough they created opportunities Wigan’s final touch was severely lacking. Crosses into the box were eagerly lapped up by a tall and physical Pompey backline. Many of the crosses were speculative but there seemed to be no one in the box for Latics willing to attack the ball as it came in.

Viv Solomon-Otabor was once more played when he looked so short of fitness. Callum Lang, Wigan’s most dangerous goal-threat, was played on the right wing. Jamie Proctor was once again chosen at centre forward. The net result was a lack of penetration and goal-threat from the home team.

Leam Richardson and his staff have done a fantastic job in keeping Latics in with a possibility of avoiding relegation in extremely difficult circumstances. Reports suggest that he has been approached by the new ownership with a view to staying on next season. Richardson has a real strength in motivating players and their commitment was there again today for all to see. But he can be inflexible in his team selections and tactics.

Due to the dire circumstances faced by the club, Richardson has been dealt a poor hand in terms of the quality and depth of the squad. Moreover, he has a number of players who have had major injury problems  over the past couple of seasons. The recurring injuries of several players have been no surprise given their recent history. However, fielding Solomon-Otabor, given his current state of fitness, was unlikely to work out. Putting his best available striker on the right wing was less than ideal. Like Paul Cook, Richardson constantly reverts to a favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. He has flirted with playing three central defenders and wing backs, but has not persevered.

Wingers have played a major role in Latics’ success during the Cook/Richardson era. But today Richardson persisted with his 4-2-3-1 despite the absence of two fit, specialist wingers. In the second half, with Pompey a goal up and Latics not looking like scoring he could have taken off Solomon-Otabor at an earlier stage and put Callum Lang at centre forward with Thelo Aasgaard playing in the space behind him. But he took off the creative Aasgaard after 68 minutes to bring on senior pro Will Keane who has been out of form since January. Solomon-Otabor stayed on until 79 minutes when he brought on another senior pro in Dan Gardner. The changes made things no better.

Richardson had chosen like-for-like replacements, sticking to the same shape. He had the option of bringing on Adam Long as a third centre back and to thrust his full backs further forward as wing backs. Jamie Proctor’s main role in the Richardson system is as a target man. However, Proctor has a career goalscoring record akin to that of Marc Antonio Fortune. He is by no means a goal-machine. Switching to three at the back the manager could have employed Proctor as a twin striker with Lang close-by to latch on to his flicks and any deflections.

Despite the result Latics are by no means dead and buried. They can still avoid relegation. However, to do so will depend not only on the commitment of the players but also getting the best out of what is available. The defence has become more solid and that is a welcome sign. But blind faith in 4-2-3-1 and senior pros is unlikely to get Latics over the hurdles to come. The lack of creativity and the sterile passing across the pitch and back to the goalkeeper has become too repetitive. Richardson will need to open his mind to alternative approaches as needs arise.

After the game Richardson said:

“In the first half, in my opinion, we possibly let a game go. We got into some great areas, could have gone in one or two goals up but we didn’t work them enough and our quality has to be better. 

We’re playing against an in-form Portsmouth side and our lads matched the fight and we took the game to them. Unfortunately, we dropped on the wrong side of the result. We are in a routine where people are saying ‘unlucky’ & ‘you’re the best team’, but we’ve fallen on the wrong side of the result and we need results. 

At the minute, we’re getting the performance but not the results, but we will. I’ve got to give credit to the lads with the effort levels. They don’t leave a breath out there; they may be misguided in certain areas but they’re giving everything and that’s all we can ask.”

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:

FrancosLoveChild commented:

I’ll be honest, I’m thankful for Leam and for all he is done but I really hope he decides to go to Ipswich under cook, fresh start for him and back in a role he is good at.

He is sadly not a manager, we need a great start with a new manager and team who has no bias to any players. And just a different chapter for us.

This frontline is awful, only Lang is decent at this level.

Victor Moses wrote:

12 shots vs 5, with zero on target for us. Can’t fault the effort again today, just wasteful in the final third. Played much of the game in their half, just the players didn’t put the ball in the net.

Need to find better openings in the next game and work on hitting the ball cleanly. So many scuffed crosses and shots.

Zeb2  added:

I’m increasingly of the view that we will go down and I genuinely think it’s better if we start over with a new manager in situ ASAP to effectively recruit a new squad.

That in itself will be a huge challenge, as we’ve just seen Bolton had to endure a ‘write off‘ season to reset …and ….pretty much half of this one as well, before they really started to ’motor’ .

LR has been a hero and we owe him our gratitude for everything he has withstood this season, but as others have said neither he nor we necessarily see the managers job as his role.
The team could still surprise us …but yet another inadequate, pointless and goalless home performance offers little evidence that they will.

There needs to be a definitive future direction set, during this month, whilst that doesn’t have to mean a new appointment, they absolutely do need to map out the criteria and terms of their search and get it underway even if concluding it isn’t possible for a month or so yet.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is porth5.png

Moonay gave his perspective:

I really, really can’t get worked up about today’s loss. Not too long ago, it was more than possible that we were going to be playing as a Phoenix club in the National League … or even NW Counties !!!

For me, the question is “were they trying?”, and the answer (maybe apart from Evans’s “chase” for their goal) was obviously, yes. However, there was no improvement in the quality of the shooting, and that’s what’s p..sing us all off.

In January, Richardson and Rioch had an impossible job – entice players to come to Wigan, on a contract till the summer, with very possibly, no chance of a further one. They did their best, and we got who we got … numbers being just as important as quality, given the rate we were losing people to injury.

On reflection, it may well have been better to stick with more of the kids, though that would have been a massive gamble.

But, as the saying goes, we are where we are, and for me, that’s a far better place than I was hoping for much of February. The new management team don’t sound despondent about the likelihood of League 2, so why should we?

Hindleymonwafc said:

Only difference today was a goal threat…im not going to be too harsh on them because we more than matched a play off certainty. Its the final 3rd that will undue us but let’s not throw um all out because the back 4 are showing some ability bringing the ball out.

True Believer responded:

You are right Hindley, for the first 45 we were comfortable playing the ball out from the back and both Ojo and Evans were influencing the game.

The problems came when they scored !!

Once ahead they switched to five across the middle and stifled our play, so our back four then lost the out ball to midfield and went long, Evans in particular had no influence in the second half and we struggled to break them down.

We are desperately missing a wide right player and, although he is much maligned, we looked a more balanced side with Massey on the wing. Callum Lang is wasted playing out wide and his goals have dried up since he started playing there. He needs to be more central and running the channels turning CB’s and playing to his strengths. I would try Gardner out there for a game or two, I know it’s not his preferred side but I am sure he could do it and that would free Lang up to get back to what he is good at.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media reaction to a narrow defeat at Gillingham

Gillingham 1 Wigan Athletic 0

The style of football varies in League 1. Some teams like to keep the ball on the ground and build up moves from the back. Others prefer a more “direct”, physical approach and rely on pumping crosses to their big men in the penalty box. Less than a couple of weeks ago Latics had been badly undone by a physically imposing Accrington side employing that latter style of play. They had allowed themselves to be bullied.

It was always going to be a hard task at Priestfield Stadium. The last time Latics had won there was in April 2004. The opening exchanges saw Steve Evans’ Gillingham constantly launch balls into Wigan’s penalty box to two big central strikers, almost a throwback to John Beck’s days at Preston. Having withstood the initial barrage Latics took the game to the Gills, matching them physically, creating some opportunities, playing the better football. But they just could not get the ball in the back of the net and were undone by a towering header from the 6ft 2in centre forward Vadaine Oliver in the 76th minute.

After the game Leam Richardson commented:

“The longer you give these types of teams that kind of impetus that one ball in your box might hurt you, they’re always a threat and fair credit to Gillingham for that. We had to meet them head on with what they’ve got; Steve [Evans] plays a certain way and balls come into your box from different angles – not many players take too many touches and they put you under pressure and you have to deal with it.

We had to play with two personalities; one out of possession and then a calmness in possession and through the gaps. In large parts, I thought we did it very well but we were just missing that calmness and bit of quality.”

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:

Coddenchips wrote:

That was like turning the clock back to the horrible times when we would regularly play against teams managed by John Beck. Nasty, cynical, thuggish, no thoughts of skilful football. Totally unattractive but with the right players effective in an ugly way. Thankfully people cottoned on to the way Beck played so Gillingham’s “success” should only be short lived.

Victor Moses added:

Yeah this league is a poor standard, Oliver for example is 29, played his whole career at league 2 level not scoring many. Joins a team that plays to his strengths and now he’s doing very well within a system that suits him. They don’t have much possession or creativity but they put the ball in the box and he’s very good in the air.

King_dezueeuw06 wrote:

Getting results in winnable games is what keeps you up in a relegation battle but when the golden opportunities have arisen this season we’ve nearly always bottle it.

We can and should still be able to stay up in theory as this league is utterly garbage but i can’t see us suddenly finding that bottle if we haven’t by now unfortunately – unless we roll the dice and try and get a new manager in immediately and get fresh ideas in now rather than wait until next season. I don’t think that will happen though, I think they will wait until summer after Richardson likely joins Cook.

Moonay wrote:

Taking the positives …
– that was as well as we’ve played for a few weeks
– creating chances is a good thing
– learning to put ’em away is easier than learning to create em in the first place.

April next up … the season starts here !

True Believer summarised:

Reading the comments from some of you I think I have just watched a different game.

We dominated the game from start to finish and but for some poor finishing would be coming home with a comfortable win and three points.

Apart from a short spell in the first half were they just threw everything high into the box they were never in the game. Evans and Ojo were running midfield and the overlapping runs from Darikwa caused them all sorts of problems. Callum forgot his shooting boots tonight, or had them on the wrong feet, but his overall contribution to the game was outstanding. He is a little greedy at times and doesn’t make the telling pass, but I am never going to criticise a striker for that.

Proctor makes a difference and uses his strength to hold the ball up and has a decent lay off, he also bullies the CB’s and makes them make mistakes. He connects the midfield and forwards and is willing to put his body on the line when doing his defensive duties.

Jamie Jones should be celebrating another clean sheet to add to his other hundred in first class football, he made a very good one on one save when Johnston sold him short and then went on to make another decent save later in the game. The goal was another poor mistake as the ball should have been closed down at source and then Johnston failed to get off the ground as it came into the area. Not Georges best game for us but up until then he and Tilt had dealt with the aerial threat well.

VSO hardly got into the game again and I wonder if the injuries he is carrying is worth playing him as it seems to be hampering his game.

Overall we played well and should have had a comfortable win, however we let ourselves concede another sloppy goal and have been punished for it. A lot of positives to take from the game, for now we go home lick our wounds, rest and go again on Monday and hope for a similar performance but a better result.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com