Regaining the feel-good factor

Relegation can dampen the spirits of even the keenest football supporter. But three such occurrences in just five years, combined with a profligate waste of some £74 million of parachute payments is a real downer.

Morale had not been particularly high for Wigan Athletic fans over these recent weeks. But then came the announcement  that local lad Jordan Flores had signed a new two year contract. It came as a bit of a surprise as there had been no news about the player for weeks.

Always good to reward one of our own” were David Sharpe’s words as he announced the new contract on Twitter. In one instant it brought visions of a future where Wigan Athletic would at last have faith in home-grown talent, rather than incessantly bringing in loan players. It raised the feel-good factor, at least for a while.

But the warm feeling started to wither somewhat as the tweet above appeared on Twitter. The article went on to quote the chairman as saying:

“There’s going to be a couple of changes before the start of the season. There’ll be a couple of players hopefully coming in, and maybe a couple of players leaving.”

Those words of Sharpe caused the alarm bells to ring. Did he really mean just two of the likes of Dan Burn, Will Grigg, Sam Morsy, Max Power or Nick Powell will be going and the others staying?

A couple of years ago Latics had been relegated to League 1, but the chairman’s optimism over the summer of 2015 was uplifting. The famous quote about “smashing League 1 with 100 points” was a trifle overexuberant, but it set the tone over a summer of huge changes in the playing staff. Most of the high earners were sold off, paid off or loaned out, but the chairman played his trump card in paying up to £1 m for Will Grigg.

The end result was that the budget had been massively cut, but with the parachute money the club was still able to offer above-average salaries to attract players more than good enough for the third tier. Sharpe’s positivity continued into the season and at the midway point he paid somewhere approaching £1 m to sign Yanic Wildschut on a permanent contract. The Dutchman and Grigg proved to be crucial signings as Caldwell’s team won the division title.

Sharpe made efforts to keep the bouyant feeling obtained by winning League 1 by offering season tickets at levels well below the market rate. In the meantime Gary Caldwell started to bring in many more new players than he had previously predicted. The manager clearly did not believe the squad was good enough to survive in the Championship after all. There was no £1 m signing this time around, but ex-players Jordi Gomez and Nick Powell were brought in as marquee players on relatively high salaries.

Caldwell’s team had a poor pre-season and his tactics in the early league games were conservative. The manager had reportedly wanted Callum Patterson from Hearts to solve the problematic right back position, but Wigan’s bids had fallen far short of the Scottish club’s valuation. Midfield player Conor Hourihane of Barnsley was also apparently on Caldwell’s wanted list but nothing resulted. The woeful decision by Sharpe to replace Caldwell with Warren Joyce was to ultimately lead a demoralised squad to relegation. The possession football we had seen under Caldwell evolved into “fightball” under the ultra-defensive Joyce.

According to the Premier League website Wigan Athletic received £16,298,146 in parachute payments last season. Transfer fees paid out in summer 2016 were relatively modest. In January they jettisoned two of the highest wage earners in Jordi Gomez and Adam Le Fondre. Speedy winger Nathan Byrne was sent on loan to Charlton. The sale of Yanic Wildschut to Norwich was reputed to be in excess of £7 m including add-ons. It was rumoured that the wage bill at the start of the season was around £17 m. Joyce himself remarked on how he had reduced that wage bill by the January comings and goings. But the end-result on the field of play was the loss of a proven goal scoring centre forward, a creative midfielder who had previously proved himself to be a top Championship player and two wide players with searing pace. Some fans at the time had remarked that it looked like Latics were planning for relegation even in January.

After his disastrous appointment of Joyce, Sharpe wisely took his time in searching for the right man for the coming season. Paul Cook has a fine managerial record and his teams play the kind of good football that went out of the window under Joyce. However, after the initial hype of Cook’s appointment, including the angry reactions of Portsmouth fans, it has been surprising that we have not seen much of the new manager in the media since then. When Cook was appointed, Sharpe had said that “The squad is in very good shape; it doesn’t need major surgery but he may want to do a few bits if a couple of players leave but the core of it is very good and that was a big attraction to him.”

Since Cook’s appointment a couple of players have already left. Matt Gilks went to Scunthorpe who were able to offer him the kind of contract that Latics were unable or unwilling to provide. Jake Buxton was a rock in defence last season, but has already left the club by mutual consent.

The departures of Gilks and Buxton can be seen as indications of the club lowering its budget, which it clearly needs to do, given its huge potential loss in revenues. Despite what the chairman is saying it would be a surprise if only two more of the present squad leave before the season starts on August 5th.

The question is how Sharpe is going to use the remainder of the substantial revenues that came in last season? Will they be used to service the club’s debt? Or is he really planning to keep all of last season’s squad that remain, bar two?

At this stage there is not the level of optimism among the fans that one would expect with  a new manager coming in who has an impressive track record. The loss of parachute payments weighs heavily in our minds. Will Cook receive the level of financial and personal support from the chairman that is needed to get Latics back to the Championship?

Sharpe’s gesture in offering an extended contract to Jordan Flores is certainly good PR and we can only hope that it is a sign that home-grown talent will be given a better chance to succeed than we have seen in recent years. However, the chairman needs to enunciate his broader strategy.

What is his vision of what he wants for the current season and how he will achieve it? If he were to say that it was to be a period of austerity for the club, with any profits from last season used to pay off debts, few could argue with him if he is looking at the club’s long-term sustainability. If he were to say that he will have to make major cuts in the squad since the club needs to cut its cloth according to projected revenues, then once more it would be hard to argue against.

David Sharpe has a difficult task ahead of him. Like all of us he has made some good decisions and some bad ones. Perhaps his most redeeming quality as Wigan Athletic chairman is that he considers himself a fan, first and foremost. Moreover he is eloquent and very comfortable with the media.

The coming season will be the acid test for the young chairman. Should he take a gamble and back the new manager with a war chest to get the club back to the Championship? Or should he look at financial consolidation and future sustainability?

Without the parachute payments the feel-good factor has dropped alarmingly. How will the chairman deal with it?

 

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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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Latics fans react to Forest result on social media

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Another sterile performance from Wigan Athletic resulted in a 0-0 draw with an undistinguished Nottingham Forest side. Latics did not have a single shot on target.

Forest manager Gary Brazil summed things up by saying: “I thought we handled them well. Only Bogle got into the game. It wasn’t a game for the purist. There was a lot of duels and fighting and a lack of quality with both teams in the attacking third. The biggest thing I take away from it is the clean sheet, and I take a positive from the fact a team fighting for their lives has made it tough to get a result and we were resilient. I don’t recall our goalkeeper having to make a save, and I thought the back four and goalkeeper were really good.”

We had had some hints from Warren Joyce that he was not going to change his ultra-cautious approach, despite the fact that it has not been producing results. Yesterday morning before the game he was quoted by Wigan Today as saying: “Just throwing the kitchen sink at it, you’ll get absolutely battered because you’ve got no way, no method of play. The opposition is always there to try and stop you as well. There are some good sides in this league and some good players but we’ve hurt them and stopped them creating chances. That’s what you’ve got to do – that’s the idea of football.”

The manager is sticking doggedly to his belief that the Latics team’s “scrapball” approach is the best way ahead. Moreover in the week he hardly raised his level of credibility by saying: “It’s not an easy situation for players coming into this side because any player we’ve signed has been signed because they’ve not been playing at other clubs.

But Mikael Mandron had been playing regularly at Eastleigh and he made his first start yesterday. However, he was replaced on 58 minutes by Gabriel Obertan, who had only a smattering of games for Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. Once again Joyce had chosen the defensive option of playing central midfielders in the wide positions, but he later switched Max Power for the return of Alex Gilbey after 5 months out through injury.

There are only 12 games left for Joyce’s new players to make their mark. Omar Bogle, Matt Gilks and Ryan Tunnicliffe are already established, with Jamie Hanson showing his versatility by playing at right back yesterday. James Weir has had a couple of appearances, Marcus Browne one as a late substitute, but Alex Bruce, Jack Byrne and Josh Laurent have not yet appeared.

Will the new players have sufficient impact to steady a sinking ship? Will Joyce amend his negative tactical approach? More than that – will Joyce remain Wigan Athletic manager?

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

vitalkitchensink

Colin Prunty on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams noted pigeons:

Memory (only memory) from this game was in the first half and that group of pigeons in the Latics final third in a little group grazing what little grass was on the pitch. They were never disturbed and there isn’t much else you can say to that is there?

Owdmon on Latics Speyk commented

I have not posted on here for quite a while but after today`s abysmal performance i came on here to share my thoughts, but after reading the forum nearly all of them have been well documented in the above posts, but here i go anyway. When Joyce was appointed i saw it as a poor decision by the club , but i would give him time and support him up to and just after the transfer window, allowing him to bring his own players in and given them time to blend. A few weeks ago i thought he had proved me wrong after we had a couple of back to back wins. Well since the Utd game unfortunately things have gone back downhill drastically, with totally inept performance`s, team selection and tactics. After today performance I`m afraid to say my first instincts of him where correct, this guy is totally out of his depth .

The final straw today were his tactics of playing two upfront but with no width to give the pair any service and when Obertan a natural winger came on he played him up the middle then he took Bogle who looked our must dangerous player, off. I can`t attend the fan`s forum on Wednesday but can someone please ask him if he his Owen Coyle in disguise.

Sean (DJKENNO) @KennouUTJ  gave his view on the entertainment:

Worst game of football ive ever seen

WN5 on Latics Speyk commented:

If you thought the second half at QPR was bad,this was worse. Today we managed to reach new levels of turd. Other than a Max Power cross Latics failed to make the Forest goalkeeper work, thankfully for us, Forest are just as garbage and Matt Gilks was a total bystander bar 1 good save from a deflected effort.

Ultimately I thought the performance was dire, how Joyce can set up at home with Power and Tunnicliffe as wide men is baffling. Morsy looks a shadow of the player of a few weeks ago due to being moved into a holding midfield role -WHY!? I get the argument about the pitch but I thought our style of play was equally as poor. There were various times were the likes of Hanson, MacDonald and Buxton opted to hoof the ball into the channels rather than try and build a move.

Another horrendous setup from Joyce. Taking Bogle off for Will Grigg shows how inept he really is. Anyone with eyes can see Grigg is a poacher- why bring him on when you aren’t creating chances? How Tunnicliffe lasted the 90 was beyond me, no way on earth is he a better option than Kellet or Colclough – both of whom would offer attacking flair although Mr Joyce doesn’t seem to like that.

Absolutely no improvement from the Caldwell days. In fact we probably look less like scoring than we did back then!!

Lowey on the Cockney Latic Forum cannot understand Joyce’s intentions:

What I cant get my head around with his tactics is that they must be completely foreign to him too no way he employed anything remotely like them at United. Pack your bags Warren

Philip Moss @mossylatic tweeted:

WJ: “On another day some of the chances go in.” – no, they wouldn’t because NONE of them were on target.

Cupwinners on the Cockney Latic forum commented:

Today was the perfect opportunity to gain 2 points on 3 of our nearest rivals. If we lose next week the vengaboys will have proved that getting rid of your manager can save your season.

For me he has to go, totally out his depth. If Sharpe thinks he’s worthy of keeping his job he needs to go to specsavers, that was as poor as I’ve seen even under Malky and Coyle so please go and thanks for……………. I give up

He added:

While walking over the bridge I heard 3 different groups of fellas all saying the exact things. No width, all midfielders doing the,same job, Why did he bring Obertan on and play him up front when he’s a wideman, Why take off Bogle when were desperate for goals ?, 7 minutes won’t make make a sod of difference. I’m sorry but I don’t blame any player. This manager thinks that if he floods the midfield we can stifle the opposition. Zero shots on goal is embarrassing.

And why the F bring on Gilby for 35minutes when he hasn’t played for months on end with bad injuries. 10-15 minutes would have been enough. Joyce, you did a fantastic job at Utd but it’s time to throw the towel in at Wigan and fook off, your out your depth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out were your going wrong.

Andrew @ndrewwafc also mentioned pigeons:

It is genuinely worrying when a flock of pigeons spent more time on the right wing than any of our players.

Filmoss on the Cockney Latic forum said:

I was fairly hopeful of him being a success when he first arrived but the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say and it is now quite patently obvious that the guy is clueless and out of his depth!

Dave Carter on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams said:

Depending how his contract is structured, we may not be able to afford to pay him up

Trevor Silcock on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams responded:

Dave we may not be able to afford to keep him on, I’ve been one who thought he was the right guy to take us forward how wrong was I,love the club and always will but that today was bloody disgraceful SACK HIM lets move on

Adam Melling @AdamMello89 also commented on the entertainment:

Us and forest should be automatically relegated for arguably the worst game of football thats ever taken place Terrible display #wafc lots of effort but no game plan. Grigg ready to come on at 66 mins but only on pitch at 83! WJ out of his depth.

Th10 on Latics Speyk commented on Mandron’s performance:

I thought he was the only positive from today. He won headers and his hold up play was good. For me once he went off was when the Forest came into the game more. I know I’m clutching at straws here, but I wanted to say I think he did well today. Was far more involved than assombalonga was for them and he did more today than Craig Davies did in 18 months!

King_deZeeuw06 on Latics Speyk responded:

Totally agree any chance of winning the game was over when he went off. Him and Bogle were a real handful he probably won more headers than any striker we’ve had since Heskey! Very impressed just needs some better service.

True Believer on Latics Speyk added:

The lad had some good points but was raw. However a fine prospect for the future and given our problems up front this season worth a punt up front in the next couple of games. The problem today was the lack of a winger to give both of the strikers service, it meant that one or the other was chasing down balls out wide. I would like to see them play closer together and be competing for crosses and knock downs as I think this is what they would thrive on.

OnLoanfromEnfield on Latics Speyk looked at Joyce’s past and present:

Or perhaps he spent 10 years hanging on the coat tails of others and knew his time was up ? The ‘sound’ foundations that he put in at United u23s are there to see since the beginning of their PL2 season …… If anyone else watches them on a regular basis, you will know what I mean. The correct job for the Coach was assistant manager job at Villa …. Our foolish Chairman (like so many others) then gets burned by hiring this Ferguson legacy and all the ex cronies that come along with that. How many of these United protégés have achieved anything ?

The Fan Forum and the Radio Show tomorrow will be interesting … only because people will be too polite to ask anything and will lap everything up. The club is trying to treat fans like mushrooms by opening up …. Something that has was totally been lacking since the summer. (I could be wrong here as I only know of one F.A.B so far. But if there has only been one F.A.B meeting there has to be another meeting with fan respresentatives … these are the EFL rules and not the club being generous.)

At the base of Dave Whelan’s statue … it should really read …. “I wished I had bought Manchester United”

#uptheexUnitedrejectsonthecheapTICS

I don’t think we are going to be relegated as the players still have a fighting attitude. There is trying not to lose and trying not to lose.

studz
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