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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!