Opinion: Second dismal performance hints at long run in
Feature by Paul Farrington
Updated Wednesday, 6th February 2013
First it was Sunderland and then it was Southampton. The last two fixtures at the DW Stadium have been hopelessly one sided and two games in which we would have targeted a maximum six points have yielded just one.
In short we have no-one to blame but ourselves.
Firstly the players. Southampton arrived at the DW Stadium and the eleven players that took to the field were determined to win the game for their manager. Each and every player gave 110%, chasing down the Latics possession all over the park and upsetting what little rhythm we every get into.
On the other hand the players in blue and white were ambling around and playing at 60% content in the knowledge that the sub-standard possession football would see us through in the end.
We supposedly play the Barcelona way, but the Spanish side certainly would not allow an away team to be so dominant in the desire stakes. All eleven Wigan players expected to win the game, but none were willing to work for the win.
If the players cannot find the desire to dig deep and perform at the same level as their opponents were only going in one direction.
In the managerial dugouts and Martinez was out-smarted once again. Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland set up demolished our 3-4-3 formation with class. Gary Caldwell was isolated against Fletcher who bagged a brace whilst Sessegnon and Johnson were given free reign to supply ammunition to the striker from behind Jean Beausejour and Ronnie Stam.
It was very different against Southampton, but equally their set up highlighted once again that teams have got wise to our one dimensional 3-4-3 style of play.
Southampton employed a defensive unit that ensure Franco di Santo was left isolated and Shaun Maloney given no time and space to have an effect on the game. We were nullified in one simple step.
Similarly James McCarthy, James McArthur and Roger Espinoza were over run in the centre of the park whilst both Ronnie Stam and Jean Jean Beausejour were over-run as Southampton doubled up on the wings.
Then with a combination of Lambert, Lallana, Rodriguez and Puncheon allowed to run at the heart of our defence the Saints were unlucky not to have scored five or six.
At the other end it was two defensive mistakes from set pieces that allowed us a glimmer of hope and an undeserved point.
It is very easy to criticise and very easy to be negative. But there is a point whereby positivity must stop and you need to look in the mirror and ask if you truly want to stay up. Thattime has come for our players and our manager because on view of our last two home games we’re going down without a whimper.
We needed a miracle last season and on view of this season were going to rely on the same again this year. A second miracle in as many years, if present evidence is anything to go by, it doesn’t seem likely.