Opinion: West Brom offer 90 minute lesson
Feature by Paul Farrington
Updated Tuesday, 13th November 2012
Take the three goals out of Saturday's game with West Brom and you would think it was the Latics who are flying high in the Premier League.
However it is goals that count and that is the reason West Brom offered the Latics a footballing lesson on Saturday.
For as flowing and aesthetically pleasing as the Latics were to watch, West Brom were efficient and organised. The Baggies were not the most gracious to watch but they were so wonderfully well drilled it was near impossible for the Latics to work out clear gaps.
Steve Clarke has carried on the good work of Roy Hodgson. His team contain no superstars but rather embody a terrific team spirit and commitment to win. Right from the opening minute on Saturday it was clear that the Latics were going to see plenty of the ball as Clarke’s side sat back and refused to be broken down.
Lining up at the other end of the pitch was a Latics team determined to strive for victory through playing football and displaying possessional supremacy over the Baggies.
The game needed a Latics goal to bring West Brom out of their own half. Instead it got the opposite with Roberto Martinez’s side once again displaying the frustrating lack of concentration that is starting to be a real blight on an otherwise solid outfit.
Within a matter of minutes we were two goals down as first James Morrison arrived onto Chris Brunt’s cross and then Billy Jones fired in off Gary Caldwell’s backside. In a vein similar to that experienced on the trip to Swansea, the Latics had given themselves a mountain to climb.
Arouna Kone gave us hope before half time with a wonderfully timed goal to give optimism to players and supporters alike before a second half barrage from the Latics to test the Baggies defence.
And therein lies the point of this piece. Wigan Athletic are now playing some lovely football and really beginning to dominate matches against the best teams in the country. But at the same time we are also susceptible to conceding silly goals.
Individually there is more quality within the ranks at Wigan Athletic than there is at West Bromwich Albion, but collectively the defensive teamwork and organisation makes the Baggies so hard to beat. If we are to progress to the next level we need to maintain our attacking flair but at the same time develop our defensive steel.