Latics fans react to the Ipswich defeat on social media

An hour before kick-off, anxiously waiting for the lineup that Graham Barrow was going to play at Portman Road. The caretaker-manager was severely hamstrung by the loss of both of his mainline strikers, Omar Bogle and Will Grigg. Was he going to put in the raw Mikael Mandron, plucked from non-league football, but nevertheless  a physical presence and goals to his name, albeit at Eastleigh Town? Or was he going to field the same forward line that finished the Newcastle game, short of physical presence?

Once the lineup was posted most of any pre-match hopes were doused. Could Latics really go into a crucial match like this without a recognised central striker? They did.

In the event it was defensive errors that handed the three points on a plate to Ipswich. On the other hand did the Wigan Athletic team really have the belief that they could pull off a good result in East Anglia?

After the match Graham Barrow was clearly fuming about the performance and critical of senior professionals for making errors that gifted a 3-0 win to a mediocre Ipswich side. But in our heart of hearts, did we really believe that Latics lineup was going to get a result? Confidence at rock bottom, following the devastation of the Joyce era, was there really any way Barrow could change the mind-set of a group of players who had unlearned the basics of good football?

It has been an awful season, paralleling that of 2014-15. Gary Caldwell certainly made mistakes this season, but was prematurely dismissed. Maybe we assumed the club would put in someone with more experience, who knew the division. But the disastrous outcome was the inept Warren Joyce.

Barrow is not everyone’s favourite to take the helm, but he had a mountain of a task to repair the damage done by Joyce when  he took over.  The players too, had a mountain ahead of them.  Under Caldwell they had played possession football.  But Joyce had them playing hoofball, often with ten men in defence. Joyce killed whatever fire Will Grigg had left by first leaving him out of the lineup, then playing him out of position. Then he brought in Omar Bogle, full of confidence, but destroyed that by isolating the player, devoid of support. Both are injured. Hopefully, with time, both will regain their confidence, but whether that might be at Wigan remains to be seen.

The sad situation is that, under Caldwell in the Championship, Latics were cautious, seemingly in awe of the opposition. As a result the goals were not going  to flow. But under Joyce it got much worse. Some said the defence tightened up under Joyce, although the stats do not reflect that. Many would say that the central defensive partnership of Burn and Buxton looked much more solid, although how much of that is due to the midfield having taking up primarily defensive roles alongside them is open to conjecture.

Although staying up might remain mathematically possible, Latics are practically relegated. According to who you speak to, the outlook of getting back to the Championship is either rosy or bleak. The half-full brigade will say Latics have enough good young players to come back up and become a backbone for the future. Their half-empty counterparts will say that most of the talent will be sold off in summer as Latics adjust to a massive cut in income. Instead of a £15-20 million wage bill in the Championship they will adjust towards the £2-3 million figure typical of so many clubs in League 1. Investment by the Sharpe/Whelan family is the unknown factor. Without it, Latics are unlikely to get out of League 1 for years to come, competing on an even keel with others in the division.

Once again we trawled the social media following another adverse result , with more speculation on the future. Our thanks go to the Cockney Latic Forum, the Vital Wigan – Latics Speyk Forum, the Boulevard of Broken Dreams on Facebook and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen.  Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below:

WhittleBlue on Latics Speyk commented:

Six games remain, sadly four of these are at home.

With the absence of any strikers (are Grigg and Bogle out for the season – I can’t recall any club communication actually confirming they are injured) the chances of us seeing the ball hit the back of the opposition net is somewhat slim.

The entertainment value is nil at the best of times and God only knows what affect another four goalless games and likely defeats will do to the prospects or retaining anyone other than the long term, hardcore fans next season. I’ve already heard kids on the way out of the DW saying they don’t want to go anymore. We don’t have a manager so it’s difficult to see the vision going forward and we don’t know what the season ticket prices will be next term. If we shift more than 3000 I will be very surprised. We all know it will be all change on the playing front again and only the dross will remain. The powers that be don’t understand the concept of a balanced squad nor do they feel communication with the fans is important. There is little for the casual fan to buy into. The damage being done is long term, not short term and incompetence at boardroom level that has led us here is quite remarkable and shows no sign of abating.

Our performances are pathetic and we have become relatively uncompetitive. We can longer field a centre forward as we only have two that are unfit and so it’s seems pointless taking to the field to see out the campaign. We are an embarrassment to this league. It’s a slow, torturous death and the end cannot come soon enough.

Stephen Warnock23 @StephenWarnock3 tweeted:

I can only apologise for my own performance last night. Simply not up to the standards I try and set myself.Embarrassed is an understatement

Jonny_SuffolkLatic on Latics Speyk commented:

Probably in a minority, but to me the entertainment value has come back a bit. I’ve gone into the past 2 games having accepted relegation, just wanted to see some attacking football and us not frightened to have a go as we were under Joyce, and we’ve done that pretty much. Yesterday was a shambolic display defensively, and unlike Villa and Newcastle we definitely deserved to lose, but at the other end, with no striker, we put in a good shift at least – and could’ve had a couple if it wern’t for Bialkowski being phenomenal. You’re probably right in that nothing but getting a win is going to win over casual fans, but for those who have followed us through the darkness of this season, I would hope there might at least be something to get out of seeing the team go at the opposition for 90 minutes each game until the end of the season.

Donnys page on the Cockney Latic Forum asked the questions:

What’s needed is a time machine to take us back to the end of last season to see what really happened and to why Mr Sharpe let this freefall happen.
Why have we played in such a negative manner all season?
Why Gary was not replaced with an experienced manager.
Why was Yootha allowed to sign players that were unfit?
Why has there been such an emphasis on midfielders all season?
Why have we been so dull to watch all season?
Why has there been no emphasis on attacking football?
Why do players not performing get picked?

Cupwinners on the Cockney Latic Forum said:

Whoever made the desision to let Fondre go in the Jan window should be taken down to market square and publicly flogged with a cat n nine tails made up of knotted Tic scarfs.
No club at any level should ever be left with anything less than 3 recognised strikers,but then again its Latics.

Andronicus on Latics Speyk added:

We actually did okay tonight attacking wise and their keeper made some cracking saves although it has to be said Gilks also made some great saves as well ! Defence though was abysmal and pretty much non existant with the central defenders looking like strangers!! Sadly Barrow is not the answer to our problem and we should be bringing someone in now to get his feet under the table for next year! So sad walk back to the hotel now and talking to the Ipswich fans they cannot get over the fact that their own mis firing team were given such an easy game tonight! Get someone in NOW!!

Jeff’s right on Latics Speyk opined:

I would have had Colclough on the right of midfield where he should be. Two youngsters from the development and youth up top. Jacobs (if the worst signing in our history Obertan isnt fit yet fit yet) out left, Gilbey and McDonald in centre midfield and four at the back. Simple. Every player in position.
Tomorrow though Sharpe needs to be down at Euxton and overseeing his shambles. Sack off all the loan players and Obertan and do what he should have done after the Bristol game start preparing for league one.

David Green on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams said:

So league 1 here we come. Lets look at the possitives no negatives because had more than enough of them.

1 cheaper tickets
2 not that many long trips ( exeption of possibly portsmouth ,plymouth and southend ) but wont be bad weekenders unless on a tuesday night .
3 a few more local games/derbies
4 good standard of football
these are only a few things i for one am looking forward to. Up the tics

Vincehill  on the Cockney Latic Forum gave his view:

From what I saw of Rotherham last Saturday in just the highlights footage I’m fully expecting them to drive the final relegation nail in on Saturday.
Let’s be honest the team is just not good Enough for this division which is so frustrating when you look at what Barnsley and Burton have done.
I keep reading deluded posts saying we can still do it but i gave up the ghost after the Bristol city game and with no strikers ( ??????) it’s all over end of .
The rot set in last summer with poor planning and investment and then the sale of wildschut and again no proper investment has left is in a real
Mess that quite frankly will continue next season if a major change in the club isn’t made .
To say it’s a disgrace isn’t doing it justice but they need to make these changes NOW especially with the season tickets sales about to start.
3 relegations in 5 years when only one in the previous 35 suggests the club has a major problem that lies beyond the players and manager and a huge change is needed throughout the club.

King_de_Zeeuw06  on Latics Speyk was far from happy with the performance:

The fact we played 5 at the back with 3 static defensive midfielders in a must win game shows me despite Barrows talk of ‘going for it’ – we simply aren’t. Negative tactics have been a common theme through all 3 managers this season and if it’s not changed by now i can’t see it changing at all until the new boss comes in.

I was really unhappy with last night after seeing that performance, but I’m absolutely seething now i’ve seen how other results went. They all went for us and if we could’ve got a win against a poor Ipswich side who had nothing to play for we’d have been back to 4 points adrift with Rotherham at home next and a ray of hope. But the set up lacked any ambition, there wasn’t enough fight and we might as well scored 3 own goals for them with the appauling mistakes we made trying to suicidally over play from the back under pressue. It was the type of game you expect the team to come out like men possessed and show some bravery and fire and we just completely bottled it. In other games we’ve been poor but at least the lads made the opposition work to earn their points, but last night was the easiest 3-0 win any team will ever get. We had everything to gain and nothing to lose by having a proper go and nearly all of them went missing – utter disgrace.

Martinh on the Cockney Latic Forum gave his summary of the season:

There’s no doubt that this has been one of the most depressing seasons in living memory, but can we put our fingers on what exactly went wrong? Below, I’ve listed my thoughts, but please chip in with your own in the hope that someone at the club might read and learn from some of this.

1) Caldwell’s clearout. He should never have let Pearce go, or send Morsy and Colclough out on loan. The team that won the league last year should have been given a chance in the Championship.

2) Going the whole season without a recognised right back. That’s apart from Luke Burke, of course, who impressed over three games or so, then was allowed to go out on loan.

3) Signing so many midfielders. How could the team possibly incorporate Nick Powell, Jordi Gomez, Michael Jacobs, Yanic Wildschutt and Alex Gilbey, or David Perkins, Shaun McDonald and Max Power? The squad was so imbalanced that just about all those players ended up filling in at right back.

4) Certain players not turning up. Alex Bogdan goes without saying, but Power, Grigg and Jacobs were all disappointing.

5) Did we panic and sack Caldwell too early?

6) Hiring Warren Joyce. I think we can all agree this was a mistake. Whatever reputation he had as a coach was undermined by some of the most boring football Wiganers have ever seen. To his credit, though, we did start defending better and he brought Morsy out from the cold.

7) Lack of professionalism.,We’re run by a 20-something chippy manager (or are we?), and Jonathan Jackson has been invisible all season. No manager since Martinez has been allowed to bring in their own backroom staff. Instead, we rely on a network of old boys who, this season, seemed to come and go intermittently (Pollitt, Cribley, Jackson, Atherton, Doolan, Barrow). It’s great to see them back st the club but are they the best people for the job? Joyce’s comments about fitness levels or the number of unexplained long-term injuries recently (Reece James, Donervon Daniels) would suggest not,

Getting rid of the local lads. Chow, Flores, Jennings and Burke may not have been worldbeaters but, in this situation, they may just have tried a little harder for their local team. Furthermore, we might have given them time rather than getting on their backs; local players are good for morale and no seen as mercenaries like Tinnicliffe and Hanson.

9) Too many loan signings, some of whom (Marcus Browne) were moaning as soon as they got here and half of whom were injured anyway.

10) Selling Wildschutt. The price may have been right but he was the only player who provided any surprise bits of magic all season.

So, which is the most important? Or can you add your own thoughts as to where it all went wrong?

 

 

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Latics fans react to Villa defeat and reflect on club’s future on social media

Another home defeat and a step closer to relegation. But following the desolate reign of Warren Joyce there are signs that positive football will once again become the norm at Wigan Athletic.

Graham Barrow is by no means universally popular among Latics fans. His supporters will say he is “Wigan through and through”, someone they associate with the successes of the Martinez era, a lover of good football. His detractors identify  him as being the lowest common denominator in  the club’s slide from their heyday. But in any case, David Sharpe has told us that Barrow can keep the manager’s job if he can steer them clear of relegation. That is unlikely, if not impossible.

With relegation staring their club in the face, fans are wondering if Latics can get back up to the Championship if they once again find themselves in League 1 next season. Last time they had a huge financial advantage over the other clubs in the division, through parachute payments. Will we see a fire sale at the end of the season, with the best young players sold off to the highest bidder? Would enough good players remain to get Latics back up?

The financial gulf between Latics and most of the other clubs in the Championship was highlighted once again yesterday when Villa brought the £12 m Scott Hogan off the bench. Villa’s lavish spending contrasts with the austere approach of the Sharpe-era Wigan, where the player most likely to help the team stay in the Championship was sold off in January. Sharpe may yet come to rue the £7 m sale of Yanic Wildschut.

This is not to suggest Latics should splash money around like the bigger clubs in the division, but perhaps they should have made more investments over the summer. One of the players that Gary Caldwell wanted, but could not get, was Barnsley’s Conor Hourihane, who played against them for Villa yesterday. Given the so-often woeful deliveries we have seen from set pieces this season, someone with Hourihane’s ability to launch dangerous deliveries into the box could have made a huge difference.

What kind of financial backing will the Whelan family continue to give Wigan Athletic? Is there any possibility that they will sell the club in the near future? Would the club be a proposition for a willing investor, given the fact that it is the Whelan family who own the DW Stadium, not Wigan Athletic?

Once again we trawled the social media following yesterday’s result. Our thanks go to the Cockney Latic Forum, 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.

Moonay on Latics Speyk responded:

…..Whittle …… you support a club who since breaking into the Football League in 1978 have reached the League Cup Final, spent 8 years in the top flight of English football, and put their name on the most famous Cup in Club football ……. you support Wigan Athletic.

‘Be reet ! ;o)

Laticsince1978 on the Cockney Latic Forum commented:

What an improvement! As daft as it sounds we were so much better today took the game to the opposition and looked the better side.We took the game to the opposition and have now finally got something to work on. The points will come now with performances like that even if its to little to late we were relegated 2 years ago with a poor side if were relegated again we still have a very strong squad. And as for the villa fans good support pity they weren’t behind the team that much when they were mid table just in front of us in the premier league last time they were here half full away stand another example of big club we support when we want.

Stewart Hart @No1fan tweeted:

Most entertaining #wafc performance for a very long time. Villa quality told in the end, but shows what a wasted 4-5 months under Joyce.

Fathamp on Latics Speyk said:

 Whittle has a downbeat view, completely justified just now but the last few years have spoilt us and really we haven’t got the right to expect to be beyond the bottom 2 divisions. We are gravitating to where we belong so we simply should accept that, otherwise a world of pain awaits. I don’t see an Armageddon scenario unless the support drops off a cliff due to unfair expectations

 Adding:

 Or should that be doesn’t deserve one. The townspeople simply won’t back the club enough to enable latics to properly compete now. We have had our day in the sun at whelans expense, but now it’s back to our natural place with the support we have….old div 3 or 4. Forget whether the rugby town, too many other clubs nearby, poor area etc excuses/ reasons are legitimate, the fact is that a club with 7,000ish fans….and fewer next term, can only be competitive in the lower leagues.

 Vital Wigan @LaticsSpeyk tweeted:

#wafc so much better today despite the result pity Joyce wasn’t sacked 2 months back

 Tertsflan on the Cockney Latic Forum commented:

That was a good performance. Awful decision by officials for first goal. Would have been a different game had we have got the foul on the keeper

 Jonny_SuffolkLatic on Latics Speyk added:

Sharpey is making mistakes, and whilst they are financially costly, I don’t think they are club threatening – not like something you’d see at a QPR or Pompey. The ownership are often accused of being tight, and taking the cheap options, but whilst I don’t see that to be the case, the fact that such allegations are made shows that we are far from the recklessness financial spending that comes round to spell a club’s doom. Might be being naive, but I just don’t see the current ownership driving us to a position where our very existence is in question.

On the pitch, I think there’s a good chance we may settle to our natural level for the size of the club in League One, but the right manager and squad can still change that. Problem is, Wigan Athletic have had a journey that other clubs can only dream of over such a short space of time of only decades; promotion through the leagues, Premier League survival miracles, Europe and an FA Cup win, and the problem is that adjusting to the slightly more mundane reality most clubs hold as the norm will take some getting used to. The idea that we may float along in League One for a number of seasons is so alien to us that questions about the future of the club can seem grave, but I imagine that even if we end up with seasons of obscurity in League One, we’ll still be striving for something, and there will certainly still be a Wigan Athletic.

Peter Millward @PeteMillward79 tweeted:

Barrow: ‘We want to try and throw all that caution out of the window – get out there and enjoy it’. And so say all of us! #wafc

Jocklatic on Latics Speyk summed up the performance:

I too came away from the Villa game with a better feeling than I have for a few months albeit with disappointment in not getting something out of the game. I could have taken where we are in this league now if we’d given the same sort of fight / determination we did today all season but sadly we didn’t thanks to the negativity / set up we had under WJ. Saying that tho we are still woefully lacking in any sort of goal threat / clinical finish despite the stats increase from today’s game. Had we this impetus a month or so ago then who knows…..might even have been sitting mid table safety by now….. . But hey as we know that’s not the LATICS way…till its mathematically impossible to survive then BELIEVE…. u never know.
I get what ur saying in that the stadium is too big for us but there’s nothing we can do about that & despite the lack of parachute payments next season I just hope upon hope that we can keep a good chunk of this squad if / wen we go down….if not then it cud be very Portsmouth esq. No doubt numbers will decline but we’ve hardly been blessed with a big fan based nor even a very vocal one despite the great effort today against a near capacity away end who for the first 10/ 25 min made us sound like the away support…..great atmosphere today btw & just shows how the crowd respond to positive play.

On a side note…. the fat lady ain’t singing yet

Leylandlatic4ever on the Cockney Latic Forum provided his perspective:

Yes can’t disagree. Much better performance and unlucky not to have scored given the number of chances (when was the last time we said that?). Downside….well that’s sadly obvious. Whilst we’re not technically down, and I won’t give up until it’s physically impossible, I think today was the end of the line. Now 7 points off safety…a minimum of 3 games.  Sorry but just can’t see us escaping from that, especially with the away games we’ve got. Even if we can win all 4 home games left, 46 points is very unlikely to be enough.. Upside…we’re going to Southend again to stand under that corrugated iron roof

Neil Eccleston @wiganlaticsgoon tweeted:

If Barrow can get a performance like that after only 4 days he will do for me , just luck the Difference today , still Fighting #wafc

YonMon on Latics Speyk gave his opinion:

I would say Wiganers will support a Wigan Football team. But only if they are winning regularly. Our rise up the leagues proved that from averaging around 1500 when Whelan took over to just under 20000 in our last Premier League season. Unfortunately we don’t have a large established fan base to fall back on like our Northwest neighbours. As attendances drop as we fall back down the leagues they will grow if we climb back up.

I still think though that the Barnsley performance and result last season had a negative affect on this seasons ST sales. A large expectant crowd left disappointed meaning some of our old fans not returning this season.

TrueLatic4ever on Latics Speyk  suggested:

Divisions 3 & 4 are full of skint clubs with no ambition and owners who refuse to invest.

We will fit in nicely.

Pskl on the Cockney Latic Forum added:

 Tell me why anyone wouldn’t buy us. Stadium runs 12 months a year weddings etc plus whatever we get from the rugby. It as a restaurant unlike alot of stadiums and a football team which will attract crowds in a region of 10000-12000 fans in the championship. All this could be sold if the whelans would include the stadium in the sale.

BickyMon on the Cockney Latic Forum concluded:

Really enough saying its manager fault ._..The fault lies directly at the top thats where our problem is.
We are owned by people that are stuck with the club and cant sell it and wont push the boat out anymore
Thats why we get likes of caldwell joyce and its not their fault ._.Yes we know they where not good enough the owners knew and took a huge gamble that has made us see the worst season in football i have seen in years
Worst of all not one of the owners have stood up and said anything to the fans about this tragedy of a season
And why they let it get into this sorid state. Whelan out

He also said:

Was not long ago whelan stated if a suitable buyer came along with good intensions for wigan athletic he would sell the club to them for just 1 quid. Has he did not want to burden his familly with wigan athletic if anything happened to him. Thing is nobody will buy wigan athletic for 1 quid because it would not include the stadium or any training facility
He wants to sell but own the stadium thats the problem what would any buyer be really buying ?

 

 

 

 

 

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Joyce has gone – time to BELIEVE again

Do we BELIEVE that Latics can get out of this predicament? Table thanks to Statto.com

David Sharpe did the right thing today by dismissing Warren Joyce and his close associate Andy Welsh. Some might say the chairman deserves praise for swallowing his pride and realising he did the wrong thing in November. But Sharpe is pragmatic enough to know that if he had kept Joyce in charge, Latics would surely have been doomed to relegation.

One of the fundamental building blocks in Wigan Athletic’s rise from the fourth tier to mingle for so long with the elite clubs of English football was sheer BELIEF. It was the belief of Dave Whelan in his managers – Paul Jewell, Steve Bruce and Roberto Martinez – that led to the club to an FA Cup, a League Cup Final and eight years in the Premier League. Whelan backed them, not only with his chequebook, but with his driving ambition to hold Wigan Athletic up there.

There were certainly sticky moments along the way, but there was always the hope that things would turn out alright in the end. They did apart from that fatal night at the Emirates, just three days after Ben Watson’s unforgettable goal had won them the Cup. But Whelan had chosen his managers wisely.

Jewell’s teams were built on solid defence, but always had flair players in attack. Whelan opted for continuity when Jewell left, giving the post to his assistant, Chris Hutchings. Sadly it did not work out and Hutchings was gone after barely three months in charge. Bruce came back to the club, Whelan backed him in the transfer market and he righted a foundering ship. His teams were based on a solid defence protected by a rugged midfield, but with a good smattering of flair players to provide balance.

Martinez was brought in to keep Latics in the Premier League on a much reduced budget. He went on to produce the best results in the club’s history, away wins at Arsenal and Liverpool, the club’s one and only victory at home to Manchester United, that epic victory on cup final day. Martinez was a great ambassador for the club, through his insistence that his teams compete against star-studded opposition by sticking to the principles of skilful possession football. The FA Cup victory against Manchester City was no fluke: Wigan had played the better football on the day, with not a hint of skulduggery.

Was Whelan just lucky with his appointments of Jewell, Bruce and Martinez or did he have a vision of what they would do? If he was lucky with those three, he certainly was not with his appointment of Owen Coyle. Neither was he in appointing Malky Mackay and his grandson made a similarly woeful appointment in Warren Joyce. None of those three names – Coyle, Mackay, Joyce – became synonymous with good football at Wigan Athletic. Indeed it was quite the reverse.

But Whelan did make a good appointment in Uwe Rosler, who picked up the mess left by Coyle and got Latics to the FA Cup Semi Final and the Championship playoffs. Sadly the going got rough in Rosler’s second season, but rather than showing faith in a manager who had achieved so much, Whelan showed him the door, bringing in the hapless Mackay. Sharpe did a similar thing with Gary Caldwell, who had only months before won the League 1 title. His replacement was the inept Joyce.

Sharpe has done the right thing for the moment. The odds are that Latics will not be able to avoid relegation, but without the shackles imposed by Joyce the players can make things happen. Few of us really and truly believed that Joyce was the right man for Wigan. To BELIEVE that Joyce could save the club from relegation was asking too much, given his obsession with the defensive side of the game and the hoofball we were witnessing.

Graham Barrow has been appointed caretaker manager again. Barrow is a survivor who has seen six managers come and go since rejoining the club in 2009. Barrow is not the kind of coach who will throw caution to the wind, but we can expect him to field line ups that are more balanced that we saw under Joyce. Due attention will be paid to the offence, as well as the defence.

With Barrow in charge we at least have a hope that we can BELIEVE our team can avoid the drop.

Courtesy of Statto.com

 

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“Joyce must go” – Latics fans react to Bristol City defeat on social media

The fan reaction on the social media to the midweek win at Birmingham was muted, to say the least. Put simply, so many people were wondering if that result was the heralding of another false dawn. Sadly it proved to be the case. Yesterday’s defeat by struggling Bristol City was not a surprise, despite the fact that the west country club had not won away since September

On this site we make an effort to provide a balanced view. We have never advocated the sacking of a Wigan Athletic manager. But a week ago we suggested that David Sharpe might look at giving Warren Joyce “sick leave” until the end of the season, after even a German commentator had used the English term “Kick and Rush” during his commentary of the televised Blackburn game. Quite frankly, the transformation from possession-style football to the type of “fightball” that persists in the Joyce era has been numbing. The manager’s focus on stopping the other team playing has blown away his own players’ ability to pass the ball.

Unless Joyce suddenly sees light on the road to Damascus, Latics are finished for the season. But the manager seems to have a stubbornness to confront reality, regularly shooting himself in the foot with inane comments that give people even more doubt in his credibility.

David Sharpe certainly made a mistake in ridding the club of Gary Caldwell so early, with Latics just one point from safety. But when Joyce was appointed we expected to see the kind of skilful football that his young teams at Manchester United produced regularly. Despite his lack of managerial experience Joyce must have been appealing to Sharpe. The promise of attractive football, together with an ability to develop young players, were Joyce’s trump cards.

The young chairman was hoodwinked. The standard of football we have seen since is on a par with that of the Malky Mackay era, hardly above what Latics could produce pre-1978 as a proud non-league club. Moreover Joyce has not used the young talent at the club, preferring to bring loan players from bigger clubs. Jordan Flores was dispatched on loan to Blackpool and seems unlikely to return. The exciting Luke Burke was pushed out of the senior squad and sent on loan to Barrow. In the meantime he is giving regular game time to young players from other clubs who will be gone at the end of the season.

Given the turnover that Latics have had with managers over recent years, added to the fact that Joyce has a three and a half year contract, Sharpe will be reluctant to dismiss Joyce. But if the inevitable (relegation) happens, and it almost certainly will, Latics will be back in League 1, but this time without parachute payments. What is even less palatable, for lovers of attacking football, is that Joyce might well continue. The near future seems bleak.

We have once more tried to compile a balanced view of social media comments, following today’s defeat. The reality is that pro-Joyce comments were practically impossible to find, following another sterile performance.

Once more, 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.

Charlz54 on Latics Speyk stated:

When Mackay was sacked, Sharpey said that as a fan he wanted a manager that would bring back the Wigan way in terms of how we played. Good passing football with an eye for goal! Well what I sat through this afternoon was certainly not the Wigan way……absolute rubbish to watch and a style of play that clearly does not excite the crowd and does not bring results. We need to get shut NOW and then maybe, just maybe a new manager might just bring that uplift needed to get us out of this……I know it’s a big ask but the way we are playing at the moment we will be relegated sooner than later with games to spare.
I want to enjoy my
football again….I’m not saying we should always win, I just want to be entertained.

 Si @king_dezeeuw06 tweeted:

@DavidSharpe91  sorry but you’ve got to sack WJ. We tried to back him but hes just clearly miles out of his depth – our football is appauling

Paul Kendrick @PKendrickWIG commented:

Sorry but can’t find any kind of positivity today. Could still be out there, with Bristol City on the coach, and wouldn’t have scored.

Laticus on Latics Speyk said:

This manager needs to do the decent thing and resign.

Stewart Hart @No1fan tweeted:

Taking off Obertan summed up our time under Joyce. First time since Yanic left we had genuine class up top. Looked fit and up for it.

Tony Moon on The Boulevard of Broken Dreams replied to a comment by saying:

To be fair Dave Carter as I said, I could take that, but the way we’re playing is a throwback to John Beck & Dave Bassett…. though they did it better

 Jonnysuffolk_Latic on Latics Speyk commented:

 If I were Joyce I wouldn’t resign, Sharpe has to sack him. Joyce’s tactics are atrocious, but he’s gone through surgery and has got back to the touchline asap, I don’t doubt he has given his all to the job so he shouldn’t be expected to resign. Sharpe (or Whelan) is the one who gave him the job, he’s the one who chose the inexperience, unproven manager when we clearly needed the opposite, he must be the one to admit the mistake.

 SJL @livesey99 tweeted:

Can’t wait to be rattling around in that souless breezeblock next season. 5000 watching Joyce setting up for a point against Southend

Coach 43 on the Cockney Latic Forum opined:

 Must go now, tactics far too negative for the whole season and can’t believe how low the skill level has dropped. This was a must win game and we wouldn’t have scored if still playing now. Saw Skem v Frickley Athletic in a cup game last year and they played better football. Uncle Dave looked quite shocked at the end of the game so hopefully will have a quiet word.

Craig Aspey @AS_caspey tweeted:

Play with intent to win, play with passion, play the hardest you can and do it every game.If you’re still second best then that’s forgivable.

PieArmy on the Cockney Latic Forum noted:

I think we must remember that the vast majority of football managers are not highly educated men, and quite often they will make two statements that completely contradict each other:

Quote: “Ryan wasn’t really playing during his loan spell, so he had a lot of work to do when he came back.”

Fact: He actually made made 14 starts and 9 sub appearances in the 25 games played. He even played on 30 Dec!

Now if WJ had said something akin to “During the last 6 weeks of his loan spell Ryan wasn’t getting enough game time which has impacted on his fitness level” then he would not look so much of a buffoon.

But then again, I would suspect Colclough has had more game time this season than a certain Mr Grigg, who now plays 2nd fiddle to someone who was playing non-league football last season, and is anything but on fire. If anyone needs a proverbial kick up the backside its him!

 WN5 on Latics Speyk added:

Wigan 0-0 Preston
Wigan 0-0 Forest
Blackburn 1-0 Wigan
Wigan 0-1 Bristol City

If that’s not sackable then what is? An absolute disaster of an appointment. Sharpey should also be held to account!

 JonWigan on the Cockney Latics forum said:

The tactics today couldn’t be further away from Caldwell’s. The approach today was hoof it toward to Omar “offside” Bogle and hope we can pick up the 2nd ball. Piss poor as a tactic, p.ss poor as a manager. Has to go!

 Whittleblue on Latics Speyk concluded that:

Another must win game against a relegation candidate, another disgrace, woeful, utterly pathetic performance.
Bristol City’s recent record is sh.t, fans are chanting for the manager to go yet there was only one team that appeared capable of winning it by building a small amount of momentum and pressure that we couldn’t muster. I couldn’t care less whether it was or wasn’t a corner or if it was offside or not, a point in any case was not enough – it was the total lack of attacking intent whatsoever that completely pisses me off.

I didn’t think we could stay up but I thought we had reasonable fixtures and playing with some intent you just never know. On the basis of recent games I’m unsure why I thought that, are players aren’t great in certain areas but I at least hoped if we were to go down we’d go down fighting so it gave us a chance. I must have been deluded. For f**ks sake you can’t keep playing in the same unadventurous manner when you need to win, those tactics, the game plan, the performance was just utterly perplexing and completely soul destroying. Enough is enough.

Snowblind on the Cockney Latic Forum said:

 The problem we have as fans is there’s not a glimmer of hope in the current situation, there is nothing we can get behind and have a bit of faith in.

I really think we are down, it’s too late now.

C’mon WJ you’re a decent fella, do the right thing, walk away it will hurt our club to have to buy you out.

 Peter Millward on The Boulevard of Broken Dreams said:

Kenny Swain’s team tried to pass a ball. They were just terrible at it. To be fair, he was signing players from the Crewe second team at the time but, like Joyce, he wasn’t a manager either

Lowey on the Cockney Latic Forum commented:

The question for me is no longer can he keep us up but do I want to watch any more of this negative sh.te. Easy answer for me.

Don’t score, don’t look remotely like scoring and play not a jot of football.

David Green on The Boulevard of Broken Dreams added:

The damage is already done lets get the season over with joyce then start ln league1 with an experienced manager who can recover the damage and sort this sh.t out

Danny_de_Zeeuw16 on Latics Speyk focused on the January window:

Warren Joyce has had a go and proved to be worse than caldwell. He has bought some terrible players into the football club and his negative cage the players up tactics has wrecked any hope of survival. I agree that we should have stuck with the side that got us up. But also that it was the January transfer window that killed us off and for that sharpe should take the blame for penny pinching.

We lost yanic who was our only inventive player who could produce something out of nothing. Ok he could be quiet and disinterested in some games but when you look at his impact on our attacking game, even when he sometimes only put in 50 per cent he was still too much too handle at this level. He was a phenomenal talent who could bail out his teammates a goal or an assist or even a crazy run to relieve pressure and get us up the pitch. So we got a 7m which on the face of it looks a good price but the timing left us with no chance of a replacement. We could still of sold him if we had stayed up and sold him if we had gone down, I’d argue for the same money if not more. If we had kept yanic then I really believe he would have been the difference against sides like Bristol and Blackburn etc which would now see us looking cosy like burton. Instead we have now brought in players who are not upto speed fitness wise or even upto scratch or a young player in Bogle who needs time to bed in.

When you look at his yanic replacements and signings

Obertan – looked good yesterday no idea why he got subbed. Actually has a bit of go forward. For me looks fairly rudimentary but if we play him wide right he will hurt lesser teams. Why has it tasked so long to play him???? He’s a professional athlete he’s fit enough he should be starting.

Connolly good young player but cannot be expected to play every single game. Starting like a house on fire and now he’s gassing and showing vulnerability in his pace and positional awareness. He will be a good un

Gilks I like him good solid keeper

Bruce – decent player but where is he and why are we paying for him if he’s injured? We have decent depth at centre back that’s a waste of money and cheaper 4th choice would ha e been better.

James weir – powderpuff player who has decent technical ability but lacks the fight or physical attributes. A nothing signing he’s a squad depth player and he doesn’t suit the style of play.

Bogle – great talent but he’s one for the future. You can’t pin your hopes on him he’s not ready yet. Get onside for gods sake

Mandron -league 1 at best, solid in the air but nothing we should be looking at. He’s a poor mans Craig Davies.

Tunnicliffe bloody awful he’s league 1 at best. Why on earth is he here? Jobs for the boys

Jamie Hanson – committed player decent cross might be one for the future but he looks like a right back who’s being forced into centre midfield. He never attacks

Laurent- no idea I need help on this one

Jack Byrne- looks a decent centre mid from when he was at Blackburn

Marcus Browne – barely played

Why did Joyce take colclough back to put him on the bench.

Time for a new manager or even barrow till the end of the year with a view of attracting the right man next year. We cannot show we accept mediocrity at this club

 LostockHallLatic on the Cockney Latic Forum said:

 This was a big game in our disastrous season and after Tuesday I was hoping that we would grasp the game by the scruff of the neck and go all out to win. Alas no, he turned a draw into defeat. Not spoken to a single fan who is happy with his cautious, try to sneak something style. No doubt he’ll reel off the excuses without having the balls to admit he’s got it wrong. I’m almost resigned to life in Div 1; so young Sharpie needs to act promptly, otherwise season ticket sales for next season will be non existent !

Joyce Out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Latics fans react to victory at Birmingham on social media

An opportunist goal from Dan Burn gave Wigan Athletic a much needed three points at St Andrews last night.With just ten games to go, Latics remain second from bottom, but they moved closer to the pack directly above them in the table, just one point behind Bristol City in 22nd place.

Warren Joyce fielded a much more positive lineup and Latics were lively in the first half before falling back in stubborn defence in the second.

It was an uplifting victory that keeps Wigan within range of escaping relegation. Saturday’s  home match against relegation rivals Bristol City is crucial.

Although delighted with the victory Latics fans are now wondering if their side can pull off another one in quick succession. Joyce’s less negative starting lineup, with Gabriel Obertan and Michael Jacobs playing wide and Alex Gilbey in advanced midfield produced a more attacking approach in the first half at least. However, to some extent it was forced on him by injuries and suspensions reducing his selection options. It is to be hoped that he will not once again resort to the ultra defensive approach we were seeing prior to the Birmingham match.

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), Instagram and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen.  Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below.

 

Jeffs right responded to Whittleblue on Latics Speyk:

Hope not. Hope that Obertan is ready finally because at last we have a replacement for Yanic. Been crying out for a winger since he left. A winger with pace and who could supply decent passes over that period could have contributed so much over the last few weeks. At least 5 points lost there.

King_dezeeuw06 on Latics Speyk opined:

I think those are fair points Whittle i fear you may be right; we’ve seen so many false dawns over the years we’d be silly to get too carried away but we’ve also seen plenty of unlilely great escapes too so i dont want to not embrace the hope either.

Every revival has to start somewhere and I’m just hoping we have it in us. Looking at the form table Bristol and Wolves have fallen apart in recent weeks and Brum are in total free fall too. So i think there’s still plenty of twists and turns coming in the relegation battle i just dont know if it will be a happy ending or end in tears.

I’ve not got blind faith but I’ve got some hope back after last nights results so I’m going into Saturday cautiously optimistic.

Nathan Wilkinson on The Boulevard of Broken Dreams commented:

 It’s the hope that kills you.

 adding:

 Saturday now reminds me of 2010 home game against Burnley… loser goes down

 David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91 tweeted:

Congrats to the big man @Danburn3 on his 1st goal for the club & also @JoshLaurent37 on his debut. Them & all the lads were top draw tonight

JimmyC on the Cockney Latic Forum commented:

Good first half, deep and nervous in the second but great 3 points. Birmingham were rubbish ref was even worse. Even brum fans were calling him. Two centre backs were terrific again, solid back four. Gilbey looks good but not match fit, missed him! We were creating chances and looking like a team. More of the same and we just might stay up.

 True Believer on Latics Speyk said:

I am certainly not seeing any false dawns in last nights performance, we were indeed the better of two poor teams. The difference between the two being the defence. We were certainly no great shakes going forward but at the back we look tight. I am however rejoicing in the fact that we picked up 3 points whilst others around us dropped points. We can only hope that the result gives the squad a boost and helps to settle their nerves and improve the confidence. I will take scruffy results if it means we stay up, however I still think the manager needs to look at his squad and put out a team with positive intent against Bristol. Still Believing, Up the Tic’s

Stephen Warnock23 @StephenWarnock3 tweeted:

Congrats to @JoshLaurent37 making his debut tonight. Many more to follow I’m sure. Great to have @agilbey8 back. What a performance from him

 Leylandlatic4ever on the Cockney Latics Forum added:

An ugly win by all accounts but who cares, a win is a win…good stuff chaps
Shame the 3 B’s all got a point. Just makes Saturday’s game a step above a Must Win game! Win on Saturday we’ve still a real chance of staying up; lose and we’re in real sh!te, especially if the games in hand go against us.

Some frightening away games left…Newcastle, Brighton, Reading, Ipswich…some dodgy homes as well Villa, Barnsley, Leeds etc…

 SJL @Livesey99 tweeted:

Dead and buried on Saturday. Open mutiny in the stands and they go and pull that out of the bag tonight. That’s as Wigan as you’ll get

Blackmamba on the Cockney Latic Forum stated:

Bristol city game absolutely huge now. Biggest game for two seasons?!

 

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