Wigan Athletic once again showed their fighting qualities, pulling back Burnley’s two goal lead with a Will Keane penalty after 42 minutes. The visitors had been far superior in the opening half hour, their silky football contrasting with repititious long balls launched from defence by Latics.
Early in the second half Keane squandered a golden opportunity. Soon after the visitors made it 3-1 with a goal that had offside written all over it. It was a hammer blow from which Latics were never going to recover and Burnley’s superiority was emphasized with two more goals in the final minutes.
Leam Richardson chose a cautious starting line-up, opting for three at the back but with a 3-5-2 formation, rather than the usual 3-4-3. With three holding midfielders was he trying to nullify the effect of Brownhill, Cork and Cullen in Burnley’s engine room? In the event Brownhill had an excellent game, finding the freedom to score two well-taken goals. Callum Lang and Will Keane received poor service, mainly spending their energy chasing hopeful long balls or aimless punts up field.
Burnley lost many of their best players over the summer following their relegation from the Premier League. However, both Brownhill and defender Charlie Taylor were regulars in their top tier side last season and played yesterday. Burnley have spent some £13 on new acquisitions over the summer. New manager Vincent Kompany has imposed a possession-based style of play. However, their record prior to this game was W1D3L1.
Following a valiant performance at Norwich, Latics were found wanting in this encounter against another team coming down from the top tier. The gulf in class between the two teams in this game looked huge, not only in Burnley’s clinical finishing, but in the flowing football they played.
But Richardson’s teams show resilience and a good performance against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday would not be a surprise. Wigan’s primary goal this season is to avoid relegation. Providing the manager can continue to keep up his squad’s morale they can probably accomplish that goal.
However, the long-ball style of play that helped Latics get out of League 1 is not the best approach for consolidation at this level. At some point flair players need to be nurtured and a more sophisticated style of play developed. Wigan defenders, facing an opposition press, launch “hopeful” long balls. Most teams in this division better handle the high press.
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 included:
I think Leam got the starting formation completely wrong. Far too defensive and too much respect shown to the opposition. THREE strikers and TWO excellent attacking midfielders on the bench.
When he made the changes, albeit far too late, we looked a much better team. We need a big reaction on Tuesday. Today was probably the worst performance for over two years and was very, very hard to watch, not least the repeated missing of clear cut chances……
To write it off as ‘Premier League vs League One’ is a bit demeaning and selling us massively short to be honest. Burnley had only won one of their first five, and that was only 1-0 against a Huddersfield team who’ve had an awful start. They’ve failed to win any of their last four and shipped 3 at home against Blackpool last week. Nowhere near good enough and I’m sure Leam and the staff will be communicating that to the players behind closed doors.
I’d rather Leam make changes than be a manager who’s too stubborn but today was a tinker too far. Five at the back and no target-man was just bizarre. We setup and started playing like we were already 4-0 down and it showed in the first 30 minutes of the game.
Leam’s loyalty to Lang and Keane is admirable – and I can see why he’d want to reward them for their contributions last season – but how many more largely anonymous performances can they put in before some others get a go? Likes of Broadhead, Wyke, Aasgaard, Fletcher (who wasn’t even in the squad again) and even Humphrys must be sat there wondering what they have to do to get a start. Zero room for sentiment at this level if we’re serious about stopping up and Lang in particular needs to be told “you’ve got to get going otherwise you won’t get a look-in.”
I’d drop them both on Tuesday, start one of Magennis or Wyke with Broadhead in there and Fletcher as an option off the bench (if fit). Need to go back to the flat back-four with Bennett back at LB because McClean is a much better attacker than defender at this level and Whatmough-Kerr-Tilt was simply took many cooks in the kitchen today. They were getting in each other’s way and you can tell they’re not used to playing all at once.
Everything that could’ve gone wrong did go wrong today. It will be fascinating to see how they respond against another ‘promotion candidate off to a slow start’ on Tuesday. Can’t just dismiss it as ‘well they’ve got lots of money and a really good squad’ or we’ll get smashed again. The type of negative mindset that Jewell used to trot out in the press before we played top 4 sides in the first couple of Prem seasons and it felt like we’d already been beaten before the games had even started.
True Believer wrote:
TBH I am not overly worried about today’s loss as it is still very early in the season and it was against one of the teams that I would imagine will not be in the bottom half of the division and therefore not a direct opponent.
I think we have to be realistic about this season and be looking to win the games against teams with a similar target as ourselves (avoiding relegation). Any points we pick up against any of the top teams should be viewed as a bonus and losses put down to experience.
Definitely going to be knee jerk comments here. Clearly different class in attacking areas at the moment. They scored all 5 out of 6 on target. Our finishing was terrible.
At 85 minutes we had 3 times as many shots as Burnley. Aside from the 3 goals they struggled to create anything. The first goal was clearly a foul and the 3rd was miles offside and then we are chasing a 2 goal deficit wrongly.
Liam made a mistake going from 3 centre backs to 2 for the last 15 minutes as it left us wide open to the counter as we overcommitted men forward to desperately tried to get a goal back. 2 goals when we were exposed defensively numbers wise and their pace and our sloppy play allowed the scoreline to be something the game didn’t reflect. Would imagine if it was level with 15 minutes to go, Liam doesn’t make those subs and have more players back in defence.
Frustrating as people will just look at the scoreline and think we got battered for 90 minutes, which absolutely wasn’t the case.
Always going to be days like this, even if we signed 11 new players in summer, all who are championship standard, your going to have a bad game or two at some point in a season.
I found Burnley impressive to be honest, liked the rotation in possession, Cullen moving into left back allowing Vitinho and Tella to essentially go 1v1 against Kerr and Darikwa then Gudmundsson staying wide on the other side. Roberts and Brownhill’s positioning themselves in the inside channel as well just dragged us over isolating Tilt. I don’t we will see many teams coming to us this year with this sort of setup. Shades of a City setup with arguably two different sorts of attack going on.
I did feel from our point of view, looking to turn their centre halves was a good idea. Neither were dominating however we just didn’t manage to execute it well enough bar probably the last 10/15 of the first half. Keane not taking that chance early in the 2nd half turned out to be massive in hindsight.
5 down 41 to go I suppose, review it and narrow the focus on what we didn’t do or perhaps something Burnley did well which we could evolve/adapt our system or approach
Disappointed about today however looking forward to Tuesday night now.