Amigo and Social Media reaction to a “long ball” draw at Cheltenham

January 29, 2022: Cheltenham Town 0 Wigan Athletic 0

“Any point away from home in this league is a good point. “

Leam Richardson post-match comment was fair in the context of accumulating points over a long season of 46 league games.

The draw means that Latics have now gone 19 matches without defeat in all competitions. This was their fourth consecutive game against a team in the lower reaches of the League 1 table. Three wins and a draw against Doncaster, Morecambe, Gillingham and Cheltenham have helped raise Wigan into the top two, with games in hand against all of their promotion rivals.

“It was either going to be a piece of magic or a set play, but we will certainly shake hands on the draw, take our point, and look forward to Tuesday.”

Latics’ display was lacking that magic yesterday, although they did look dangerous in set plays, with their big men up there. Good football was in short supply, with Latics content to constantly launch hopeful long balls gratefully received by the home side’s corpulent central defence. A draw was a fair result in the end.

Richardson sprung a surprise in his starting lineup, leaving out Steven Humphrys, who had not only scored in consecutive games, but had led the line with some style. He was replaced by new signing Josh Magennis, a battering-ram type of centre forward who had a thankless task in chasing those awful long balls against Cheltenham’s back line of three big central defenders.

Richardson’s style of play invariably includes a strong element of long ball. It is not an aesthetically appealing way to play, but it has produced results up to this point. His team is physically strong and tends to wear down the opposition by attrition, with late goals winning so many matches as the other team tires. However, it was not the case at Cheltenham, who held their own to the end. Tom Naylor and Graeme Shinnie in the centre of midfield are very experienced and accomplished players at this level. Both are capable of receiving the ball under pressure and playing accurate passes along the ground to the players further forward. Their talents were wasted in this game, the ball so often launched over their heads.

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:

Dudestalker commented:

Horrible football, no width. He may just get us promoted playing this style, but we would get destroyed in the championship. Before anyone kicks off, I’m fully aware we were top at 3pm but it’s terrible football to endure.

Zakky stated:

Everyone loves Leam but his tactics stink. I’ve said all season I hate the way we play, and we are awful to watch, and today’s display highlighted everything that’s wrong with his tactics it’s obvious we are struggling at present, but he changes nothing.

Megennis was just as isolated as Wyke was, and the result was the same, we had no idea how to break them down today and if anyone was going to win it was going to be Cheltenham. It might sound very harsh given our position, but we will have to massively improve if we are going to come out of February unscathed.

FrancosLoveChild wrote:

Think it’s a result we should not be surprised over considering we have not actually been performing well in games, especially the last few weeks. To be honest it’s been coming.

I can’t say much as I was not there, but I do think Leam got it very wrong leaving Humps out altogether and not going to a back 5 quicker.

WalgarthJohn added:

It was always going to happen. One game without scoring. Feel for Humphreys. As the lad was just starting to show some form. See what happens now before the window shuts. Missed max in the middle of the park. Keep playing him at full back and we will get more of these results.

Jeffs right summarised:

This is how we play. Its the same every week. We are the best side in the league but far from the most attractive to watch. However in Leam we trust and he will turn this around.

Hindleymon commented:

We aren’t capable of playing through them…haven’t been all season. What we are doing is getting results by hoof ball so until the wheels come off, he won’t change it.

King_deZueew06 provided an eloquent overview:

Only real positive out of today was we didn’t lose and Sunderland and Wycombe losing. But make no mistake MK are now in the mix and very dangerous as they play the best football out of everyone. Team selection, subs and tactics were quite counter intuitive today for me.

I don’t think we played that different today than we have done in many games this season but the difference was normally one of our players pulls out a moment of individual quality to find a goal to grind out a win while today it never arrived. If one of our set pieces goes in we excuse the rest of the performance as it’s a results business but I think if you keep playing well results will follow and i fear if you rarely play well results are going to become harder and harder to come by.

We’ve been talking about the same issue all season – we are rubbish at long ball. Our long ball style of play is playing to our weakness and against our strengths, it gives the opposition possession back constantly, nullifies our quality by making every game into battles for 50-50 balls and it’s not seeing us hit anything like our potential. There’s been a direct correlation with our best performances being the ones we’ve played less long ball and our worst performances being the ones we’ve played the most. It makes no sense why we keep persisting with this less effective style when we’ve seen us play teams off the park in patches playing it on the deck. I have no issue going long if we were any good at it but we aren’t and we aren’t talking tikka-taka we are talking just doing what we’ve shown we can do if we don’t always try and bypass midfield.

It’s not the players aren’t good enough, it’s not the formation, it’s not a lack of fight, effort or spirit – we have all of those attributes in abundance and those characteristics are the reason we are where we are. While we are where we are despite our style of play making it harder.

Last week in the first half against Gillingham we tried to play football and it was the best we’d looked in so long. While Gills were poor in their own right there was a concerted effort to avoid going long and it made us look so much better than normal – it was the first sign of progress or improvement in our game we’ve seen in months. But today it seemed like all of that went out of the window and it was a massive step backwards. Granted the pitch might not have been perfect for playing nice football but we made zero attempt to play football despite it being apparent long ball wasn’t working after about 20 mins.

I don’t think anyone played very well – to be fair the way we played made it near impossible for anyone to look good as we never strung enough passes together. But Magennis hasn’t played in nearly a month and didn’t look at all fit. Starting him at the expense of Humphrys who was fit, in form and full of confidence was a really poor decision and you didn’t need hindsight to see that. If Magennis so obviously needs to build up his fitness why wasnt he starting against Arsenal u21s in the PJT that would’ve been the perfect opportunity to ease him back in rather than in at the deep end. Im sorry to say Humphrys has been very poorly man managed for me – the lad was not given a proper chance and his confidence had clearly taken a big hit. But he finally gets a break – takes his chance, gets his confidence back and scores 2 in 2 and you drop him for an unfit player and bring on a centre back and an under performing winger ahead of him – it’s going to be a unnecessary hit to his confidence. I think writing off Magennis on today is really unfair, he was a 1 in 2 striker at this level last season and besides not looking fit, he was given absolutely nothing to work with. I know he’s a target man but he was on his own against 3 massive centre halves and none of the long balls were played into him with any precision or control they were just blasted as hard as they could in his general direction. Obviously you want your target man to challenge for everything and try and make the most of anything played towards him but he was fighting an up hill battle to make much out of some of those balls. Even if he did win the ball there weren’t many men running off him or ready for the knock downs.

I’m not worried because we didn’t win 1 game, I’m worried because the style of play is something we’ve seen so little evolution or improvement over the months and we don’t seem to learn or adapt from our mistakes. We’ve been playing teams that are low on confidence, in poor form and vastly weaker quality of players and we’ve been scraping by. When we’ve played teams that play more passing football we’ve come unstuck previously and we’ve got a lot of those coming up.

We are in a fabulous position, we have so much going for us – work rate, fight, fitness, spirit and often vastly superior players – but this style of play levels the playing field for the opposition and gives everyone a chance against us. It’s like us going into a boxing match with one hand tied behind our backs.

This run of fixtures coming up really worries me as I fear we’ve been getting away with so many lack lustre performances and giving away soft goals before turning it on for 30 mins at the end to save ourselves. B against teams who are going to be much more competitive we wont be able to play poorly for most of the game or give away leads without being punished.

No one is saying we need to sack anyone or buy a new team or throw the baby out with the bath water. There is a great deal we do very well as proof by our league position but we certainly need to improve our style of play if we want to keep on track for promotion and look beyond that. We are far better and more capable than hoofing it all the time, it’s just getting a much lower return out of the great amount of quality we have. If we could just play more pass and move football than long then we’d be unstoppable.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media Reaction to a low-quality draw with Ipswich

December 11, 2021: Wigan Athletic 1 Ipswich Town 1

It was a frustrating afternoon with another woeful refereeing performance in a game largely devoid of good football. With Latics a goal up Will Keane was adjudged offside when he put the ball in the back of the net. It was the tightest of decisions signalled by the linesman. If the goal had been allowed Wigan would surely have gathered the three points. As Paul Cook would say: it is a game of fine margins.

Leam Richardson continued to play Callum Lang at centre forward, leaving specialist central striker Stephen Humphrys on the bench. He brought in Tom Pearce for Joe Bennett, Gwion Edwards for Gavin Massey, Max Power for Jordan Cousins. There was no place for Thelo Aasgaard, arguably the MOM in midweek.

We had seen the “playing it long” (aka hoofball in this case) tactic in midweek and Latics got away with it against Shrewsbury through a spectacular late goal from Thelo Aasgaard. It reared its ugly head throughout this game.

After a mediocre first half Ipswich used their bench in the second period to provide more options. Latics continued to play the same long ball game and Ipswich got their reward in the 78th minute when substitute Norwood picked up a loose ball following a well flighted free kick from Lee Evans. Many of us were hoping that Richardson would utilise the flair of Thelo Aasgaard and maybe even change the shape, but his riposte was to make a like-for-like change, bringing on Gavin Massey for Gwion Edwards after 80 minutes. The out of favour Humphrys was brought on after 90 minutes for Tom Pearce.

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:

Jeff’s right commented:

An additional stat. 3 shots on target in 90 minutes.
We have the players so why not go with three at the back and the two strikers at least for home games. Edwards ahead of Humphys. Just can not weigh this up when it’s glaringly obvious that this formation/style of football besides being awful on the eye is just not working at home. Is Cook still pulling some strings as we play the stuff he played.

Victor Moses stated:

With the game waiting for some luck/mistake or a piece of quality to win the game. Really not performing anywhere near their peak. Its so rigid slow and lacking in ambition, it’s what you’d expect from a team low on confidence.

NorthernSoul opined:

Our players can’t play 4 at the back at home. Too rigid and we create nothing and it’s been like that all season. We have scraped a lot of 1 goal wins through individual play.

Away from home when teams attack it works as you have more space to exploit.

At home, teams just sit in and we do little aside from set pieces. We are set up to try and draw at home and may as well start every game with 10 men. Away from home we are the tank out team in the division.

Change to 3 at the back at home and the fortunes will change straight away.

FrancosLoveChild wrote:

I agree but sadly it does not change the needless hoofball that is so ineffective, we rely a lot on individuals brilliance like you said and let’s be honest, we have played poorly home and away for a few weeks now, late goals have papered over the cracks of late.

Bodies are really needed in January, need some creative central players, Keane is absolutely anonymous most of times, and I think he would help stop the hoofball if he played right up too with Thelo behind. But Leam is choosing hoofball, hopefully until he identifies players we need to be more dominant in games.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media Reaction to a last-gasp win against Shrewsbury

December 8, 2021: Wigan Athletic 2 Shrewsbury 1

Why are these midweek home games so difficult? Latics were playing a team in the lower reaches of the table, with no away victories in League 1 this season.

 But after getting off to a flying start with an opportunist goal on two minutes from Tendayi Darikwa they struggled and the visitors were playing the better football, their equaliser in the 39th minute being no great surprise. Wigan improved in the second half but had to wait until the 93rd minute for Thelo Aasgaard’s long range winner.

Leam Richardson had left Stephen Humphrys on the bench with Callum Lang playing at centre forward. The manager once again gave a vote of confidence to Gavin Massey, playing him on the right wing in preference to Gwion Edwards and Jordan Jones. Joe Bennett came in for his League 1 debut.

Latics have now gone 10 games without defeat and are level on points with Rotherham at the top of the table, but with a game in hand. Capable of really incisive finishing and dogged defending this Wigan team is not always pretty to watch, being more pragmatic in their approach than aesthetically pleasing.

In the absence of Charlie Wyke and with Humphrys being out of favour we saw Lang being used in a role that does not suit him. Too often he was left to chase wayward long balls from the centre backs that were easily gobbled up by the Shrews defence. It was a like a throwback to the darker days of the Championship when central strikers like Josh Windass had such awful service from the defence.

There was always a strong element of long ball in the Cook/Richardson era. It was at its best when the balls were well targeted with a big target man there to hold off the defenders, as it had been this season with Wyke playing that role. We saw it close to its worst last night with defenders taking the easy option of “playing it long” rather than work the ball through midfield. Lang is not Wyke: he needs the ball at his feet, not hooved above his head.

No matter what the style of football is on display it is results that football managers are judged on. Richardson’s team is resilient, and they wear the opposition down so that as the second half progresses there is always a chance of a late goal. Shrewsbury looked tired in the closing minutes, with stoppages that might have given weary legs some respite. Latics have a solid goalkeeper, tenacious defenders and capable midfielders who protect the defence. In Callum Lang and Will Keane, they have players who can both score and create goals, with James McClean looking a class above League 1 level on the left.

After the match Leam Richardson commented: “It was a great finish to the game and a great start to the game. I didn’t think we were great in the first half; we weren’t able to force Shrewsbury into a negative shape because we kept turning the ball over. I thought we came out for the second half and controlled large parts of it and with good habits you will get them moments where your flair players need to produce and thankfully tonight young Thelo Aasgaard has produced. We want to be expressive and expansive and score those types of goals but then we don’t want to be disrespectful with the ball and with ourselves and have a first half like tonight, because we have set good standards and it certainly won’t happen again.”

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:

Jocklatic commented:

Great start to the game, crisp, sharp & quick passing got us a well worked lead within 2 mins of the start, just a shame we didn’t keep it up but I’ll take an injury time winner all day…..we weren’t at our best but managed to secure the 3 points which they say is the sign of a good team. Was impressed by Joe Bennett but less than impressed with JM’s & his misplaced passes, hopefully just a bad day at the office…..there were a few Latics players guilty of misplaced passes but perhaps that’s down to the terrible conditions & it was nice to get the ‘winless midweek at home’ monkey off our back.

FrancosLoveChild added:

Not gonna lie, we are one of the worst sides in this league passing the ball, Shrewsbury look like Barcelona compared to us, it’s quite incredible how Leam gets results out of this squad. No disrespect to them but there are 4/5 better squads in this league, just hope we can keep up those results till the end.

Zakky stated:

Sometimes it looks like the pitch is to big for us.
Joe Bennett has been outstanding so far.

C_Latic opined:

Good point this. I respect that Tilt is very good in the air, but it feels like he’s a got a big mistake in him at some point and it also feels like he’s far too easy to wind up which will lead to him getting sent off one day.

As a matter of fact, I hate the chopping and changing of our centre backs in general. It’s never healthy doing that in my opinion as it makes it impossible for the full-backs and keeper to build a solid understanding and rapport with them, especially at set pieces. It’s no coincidence that we’ve stopped keeping clean sheets since Leam started tinkering with the CBs every game.

The crowd was poor, but expected. It’s a UCL night before Christmas payday and has been absolutely p..ing down non stop for two days straight. That rain will have knocked hundreds off the gate tonight I bet.

Oscarbon wrote:

Agree. I thought Massey worked hard and showed some nice touches. He was our most attacking player tonight. I think McLean can be forgiven one bad game after the blood, sweat and tears he has put into the rest of the season so far.

I am getting a bit concerned about Will Keane’s prolonged drop in form. He was class up to the last 5 games but seems too easily marked out of the game recently. Aasgaard had another cracker although there were times when he looked like he was in the back four he had to come so deep for the ball.

Can someone explain why our back four, when presented with 20yards of open field in front of them still feel the need to pass either sideways or back to Amos. Bl..dy infuriating.

OnLoanFromEnfield added:

Short Pass sideways, short pass backwards, repeat and hoof (straight to the opposition) … simple !
Just like watching Dunkley playing in the Championship albeit the current crop keep the ball in the stadium.

Shrewsbury were effective at filling the spaces and did have 11 players behind the ball for long periods of time. Tricky to break down and the players that you would expect to assist there not stepping up.

Naylor’s passing was poor in the first half too.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media Reactions to a home defeat to Lincoln

Wigan Athletic 1 Lincoln City 2

“We’ll learn from tonight” said Leam Richardson after a third consecutive midweek home defeat.

After a high intensity performance at Wimbledon on Saturday this was quite the reverse. The Wigan players just did not have the energy and drive to deal with a stubborn and determined Lincoln side. They simply looked jaded as they did in those other Tuesday night defeats to Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

The style of football we have seen since Richardson took over has been a carbon copy of that we saw in the Paul Cook era. At its best it is dynamic, high intensity attacking football. At its worst it is lethargic, with seemingly endless, sterile, inter-passing across the back four, too often terminating in a hopeful punt forward.

Paul Cook’s side won promotion by a canter, buoyed by a solid defence, a functional midfield and flair up front. David Sharpe had allowed him a wage bill of some £12m, retaining a key core of players from the Championship, with Dan Burn bossing the defence and the talents of Nick Powell and Will Grigg further forward. The wage bill for this squad is reportedly well above the norms of League 1 but will surely not approach that which Cook was afforded.

Even with the departure of Cook his legacy has remained. Latics continue to play 4-3-2-1, doggedly sticking to the system even when things are not going well. Management remains loyal to a core group of established senior pros, substitutions are made later in the game than those made by the opposition and are “like for like”, with no modification of the team’s shape.

Despite there being 46 games to play in a League 1 season and despite having a squad laden with players of quality and experience, Richardson continues to stick to the same starting line-up, unless injuries intervene. Regular squad rotation is resisted, resulting in key players looking jaded as the fixtures pile up.

Despite now having experienced assistants and coaches around him Richardson continues to doggedly follow the old, familiar blueprint. However, that is not to say it does not have its advantages: sticking to a similar starting XI and that familiar 4-2-3-1 formation leads to a certain type of cohesion and motivation among those chosen players.

Despite those midweek home defeats Latics have 28 points from 14 matches, just two points behind the top two teams. A fine start to the season with a newly assembled squad, for which the manager and his coaches deserve credit. The challenge for Richardson is to avoid burnout of his key players and to provide opportunities to all of his squad. But, like Cook, he is reluctant to tamper with a formula that he has had success with in the past. However, adjustments will need to be made and he needs to seek a balance between squad rotation and keeping a settled team together.

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:

Zakky commented:

Why are all our passes 15-20-25yarders every team that comes play short pass and move pass and move and play through us as there goal tonight. We are far better away and very frustrating to watch at home and if we don’t remedy this home form it will cost us dear.

He later added:

That was truly dreadful, Sunderland Sheff Wed MKDons Lincoln all played the same way pass and move and we just can’t cope with it.

FrancosLoveChild opined:

Probs the worst start we played so far this season, players losing every ball and can’t even play simple passes. Tactically outplayed so far, teams are starting to learn how to play Vs long balls.

Jocklatic commented:

For the last month or so been taking the usual path to the DW for a much anticipated under floodlight game hoping to see a tantalising, energetic & rip roaring game with three points or a cup progression in the bag….sadly this hasn’t been the case & surely this isn’t going to be a monkey on our back – a win at home midweek??

Tonight was much the same as previous visits where the visitors have sussed us out very early doors, counter act us, get on top & inevitably take control with us becoming an unrecognisable team who fluff passes, panic in possession & become a team who uncharacteristically lose confidence in what they’ve been doing well in previous matches. Sadly imo LR follows the team & seems unable to react to the oppositions gameplan…doesn’t bode well going forward & I really hope this midweek hoodoo doesn’t hang around long.

Jeffsright summarised:

All down to Leam. No hoodoo, no ultra tiredness. Just down to Leam and how we play at home.
Wolves youth, Sunderland, Sheff Weds, Milton Keynes and now Lincoln. Possession football and too many passes, lack of wideman, wing backs one up top, players out of position is just not working in home games.

The_Pon concluded:

I’m not having it that Lincoln were a decent team, nor did they play well. They were absolute cr.p. But somehow, we managed to be even worse. I can take losing to MK. They were a good team, well organised, came with a plan, executed it well, and fair play to them. It happens. Losing to Lincoln is an absolute embarrassment though. We need to change how we play.

Power is not a RB. He’s also too slow (not necessarily pace, though he’s no Usain Bolt, but I mean that far too often, he takes too many touches and ends up under pressure and playing it backwards, losing all our attacking momentum). He needs some practice hitting passes and crosses first time if he’s going to continue in that position.

Darikwa isn’t a left footer, so shouldn’t be playing at LB. He has to cut inside to hit a good pass or cross from wide positions, which isn’t going to work long term because good RBs force him outside so he can’t get a ball away. He should be playing RB, because that’s his natural position and he’s top quality when he plays there.

Bayliss isn’t a holding mid. He’s a #10 or attacking mid. Playing him so deep is wasting his attacking ability, and he’s not defensively minded so he gets caught out of position in that role, which puts him under pressure and then passes go astray. Further up the pitch, he’s going to look for those killer balls and if we attack with pace, he’ll create a lot because he has the attacking instinct; he won’t have to take half a second to think what to do: further up the pitch, it comes naturally.

Looks like Tom Naylor is going to be out for a while. I reckon it’s a hamstring from how he went down and he looked to be in a lot of pain. Could mean Power will step into midfield, which I have mixed feelings about: love his attitude, professionalism and commitment, but I still don’t really rate him for ability. Keane looks knackered. We know he’s a quality player, but maybe time to give him a couple of games R&R: let Bayliss play in his natural position because he’s a perfect like-for-like deputy for Keane.

Humphrys is a good striker, but he’s not a target man. To get the best out of him, we can’t just lump long balls to him. He needs proper service. Same goes for Wyke… though Wyke is more suited to that role, I still think we’re going to get far more out of him if we stop the hit and hope stuff.

Not going to get on Leam’s case though. We’ve played well in far more games than we haven’t, but I do hope he now spends some time on the training ground practising some alternative ways to play, because keeping doing the same things when it clearly isn’t working isn’t what genuine promotion chasing teams do. They have different ways to play, can switch between them on the fly, and by doing so find what works during the course of the game.

Hopefully, losing to such a poor team will be the catalyst for some of the changes we need to happen.

ExiledViking commented:

We’ve won all our Saturday Home games this season, so I’m not concerned at all about the tactics. The problem is Tuesday Night games come too soon after Saturday, Players don’t have enough time to recover and always look leggy and lethargic. 2 midweek games running we’ve been 2nd to the ball every single time. The big test for us will be next Tuesday. If it is tiredness after Saturday, then our 5 game unbeaten away record will disappear at Fleetwood.

Hampton wrote:

Would be very surprised at any tactical changes – 4231 is ingrained into our club and the Cook / Richardson playbook.
Get ready for another no man’s land in the middle of the pitch – hopefully with a different outcome ….!

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Amigo and Social Media Reaction to a stunning win at Bolton

October 16, 2021: Bolton Wanderers 0 Wigan Athletic 4

What a scintillating performance from Wigan! They bossed this game from start to finish, outplaying the home team. Will Keane’s 6th minute goal got Latics off to a flying start. The home team’s main threat was from inverted left winger Dapo Ofolayan, a capable player, but one who has the ability to fall to the ground after the mildest of challenges. His threat was nullified by crowding him out and the tactic seriously hindered Bolton’s attacks. Wigan’s defence was rock solid and they were full of energy in midfield and up front, with the line superbly led by Charlie Wyke.

James McClean had his best match ever for Latics, scoring two and providing the assist for the first goal. A very experienced Premier League and Championship player he is revelling in playing in the third tier. His rocket shot put Latics two up in the 50th minute and he showed good composure to add a fourth in the 80th minute. McClean’s best goalscoring record in league games is 7 goals for Stoke City in the Championship in 2019-20. He already has 3 goals this season and looks like he will go on to eclipse that previous record.

In a post-match interview McClean remarked on his first goal: “It was a great strike. I had a couple in the first half on my right foot which was more Row Z rather than the top corner. To get that away and see it fly into the top corner was a great feeling. It was absolutely fantastic.” He added that Latics have a side that “can pretty much do anything”, being able to play football and match opponents on a physical level when the going gets tough.

It was a memorable performance from Latics, marred only by crowd trouble. The local  police superintendent commented; “I am saddened that a group of individuals took it upon themselves to ruin the game today for the rest of the fans. The game had to be paused several times due to objects being thrown on to the pitch and one of our officers was assaulted, as well as rival supporters causing disorder following the game. This is quite frankly disgusting behaviour and will not be tolerated in any shape or form. We will continue to work closely with the football clubs to carry out a full investigation into the criminal activity that occurred today and bring those involved to justice.”

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:

JockLatic commented:

Absolutely brilliant performance, best I’ve seen in a while, from Amos all the way to Wyke who worked his socks off. MoM was JM closely followed by Naylor who mopped up everything that came his way but the rest of the team were top drawer as well. From kick off we didn’t let them settle & at 1 nil we missed a few chance which had me thinking will this come back & bite us in the ar.e – no need to worry once JM screamed the second in much to the dismay of the ‘crazy corner’ ….JM doing what he does best, winding up the opposition fans. Couldn’t go without saying that our fans today played their part with a brilliant atmosphere from start to finish & I’ve no doubt that ‘Bolton get battered everywhere they go’ will be ringing in them Bolton fans ears for some time to come. Coming away from the ground wasn’t too bad but there was certainly a fair few looking for it from both sides…luckily we didn’t see any. Onwards to MK Dons n hopefully a similar performance.

WalgarthJohn said:

The way this fixture is going it’s attracting every trouble maker from both sides. And over the last few times we have played these lot it gets worse every game. our fans. Ripping down hoardings. Was not nice to see. Wigan Athletic has always been a family club. Shameful behaviour from both sets of fans.

KingdeZeeuw summed up:

After the last international break we saw a big improvement in our style of play and we saw another big step forward today. By far our best performance of the season we retained the foundations of out working, out running and out battling the opposition but were far more composed in possession and playing more football. There were long balls but very few of were hopeful punts that came straight back at us they were more targeted into areas that hurt Bolton and helped us. Centre mid is now getting involved in the build up play all the time and it’s made the world of difference. Cousins I felt had his best game for us and was far more positive on the ball so it was a real shame he went off injured – hopefully it’s nothing serious and he’ll not miss any time.

It was a very balanced performance where we looked dangerous every time we had the ball and every time we broke up play we were rapid to counter in numbers. We’ve said all season that we have been very effective without playing great and we hadn’t really seen the finished article yet in terms of style of play. But today all of the hard work and tweaking we’ve done from game to game really started to pay off and it was superb.

Bolton have a lot of method in the way they play and that type of football earlier in the season was causing us issues but today our high press and pressing all over the pitch killed them and they had no plan B. We just forced them into error after error. When you look at the stats they had more possession and lots more passes but it was all possession in non dangerous areas and passes that didn’t really help them – compared to us who were ruthlessly efficient in and out of possession. Evatt I’m sure will do some mental gymnastics to say that their possession and passing proves they’re a better side but we looked a class above them. We’ll be playing MK Dons next who are very much in the same camp of possession based football and playing out from the back. So hopefully we can’t repeat this performance.

Hard to pick anyone out as MOTM as everyone was excellent but special mention to Wyke. He may not have got on the score sheet but he was playing against a much larger centre half in Santos most of the time and he was winning so many balls in the air. His work rate is always high and his hold and link up were great. He looked a proper target man today and it made everything we did so much more dangerous with Lang and Keane anticipating the flick ons.

I bet Evatt wishes he hadn’t talked so much as i got the impression a few of our lads had a little extra spring in their step to put one up him. Evatt has done well for Bolton but he’s firing up other teams and lumping extra pressure on his players with his comments and today should’ve humbled him. But I get the impression he isn’t the type to learn from his mistakes.

No doubt Richardson was backed in the market to bring in a squad better than most in the division but to get them so organised, so fit, so hard working and fight so hard is a massive testament to him and the coaching staff he brought in. It’s still early days so you can’t get too carried away but it feels like they are building something special.

C_Latic commented:

Simply wonderful and the best thing was that wasn’t even the best we’ve played this season. We were better against Wycombe. An absolute pasting and credit to Ian Evatt for the assist with his pre match team talk. Well in Jimmy Mc!

Bolton fan WarrenBluffit commented:

No complaints today guys you were head and shoulders better.

No apologies necessary Becky and no excuses you were head and shoulders better than us today in every area of the pitch. I just don’t know what our lot we’re on today, that’s the worst I’ve seen since the first half of last season, nervous, slow, clumsy and lacking in any kind of passion. I say that without taking anything away from Wigan, you were excellent, won every 50/50 ball, forced us into mistakes and kept your shape for the whole game.

You were clinical where it mattered and defensively in the second half you totally shut us down. You’ll know better your own players but for me Wyke was outstanding, totally dominating Santos and Johnson and nobody else has bullied Santos that way. On that performance I can’t see anyone stopping you going up and it rammed Evatt’s stupid comments right back where the sun don’t shine!! Good luck for the rest of the season and apologies for some of our moron fans who resorted to chucking things.

Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com