HomeNewsToothless Latics in stalemate again

Toothless Latics in stalemate again

Latics booed off after second home stalemate in succession.

SKYBET CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE - DW STADIUM - Saturday February 25th 2017
 

WIGAN ATHLETIC

0-0
NOTTINGHAM FOREST

When you are sat in the bottom three and staring down the barrel of relegation, the chance to play one of the sides around you is a big deal and is usually a game that you need to win.  Somebody should probably have told Warren Joyce that.  

The draw last week against Preston was probably the end of the patience and support that I can show for Joyce when, in a similar situation, the ex Man Utd youth boss left two wingers and a striker on the bench to bring on James Hanson and David Perkins.  That was after he had started the match with a midfield four that consisted of four central midfielders and not a single attacking player to support Omar Bogle and Will Grigg.  Playing two strikers either in a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1 has absolutely no use if you don't play attack minded players to support them.  Too many times in that game we saw Bogle and Grigg isolated and the same thing happened again yesterday with Bogle and Mikael Mandron.  The second half didn't get any better either as substitute Gabriel Obertan was used through the middle as opposed to what most would consider his natural position on one of the wings. Then of course there was the decision to replace Omar Bogle with Will Grigg as opposed to adding another striker to the mix with six minutes to go in a game where we need to find a goal.  Did their goalkeeper actually have a save to make in the entire match?

Now don't get me wrong, I don't agree with the boos that greeted the full time whistle and I can fully understand why Will Grigg launched the ball into the crowd, but at this stage of the season and in the position we are in that isn't going to do us any favours.  Fans (myself included) are losing faith in Joyce, they are losing faith in several members of the team and Grigg should have known better than to antagonise the situation any further by doing what he did but it did show that the players are sharing in the frustration that we have as fans.  Will Grigg I can imagine shares it more than most having been used as a scapegoat for our lack of goals.  The Northern Ireland man has spent most of the season running his balls off for very little reward.  The service to him has been poor, the support has been non-existent and he is being asked to play a role that just does not suit him.  I have said it time and time again that Will Grigg should not be asked to drop deep because he simply doesn't have the pace to get back into an attacking position.  If a 4-4-1-1 formation is what Warren Joyce wants to play then it is Omar Bogle who should play in the hole.  He has the pace, strength and aerial ability that Grigg lacks and would be in a far better position to flick the ball on or hold the ball up.  Not just that though, but we need to have wingers or players with pace and the ability to cross a ball out wide otherwise our attack is slow and stifled.  Although I am not sure if it can be stifled any further than 11 shots and none on target.  Is it any wonder we have only scored in just over 50% of our games.

The basis of the three wins we picked up at the turn of the year against Burton, Brentford and yesterdays opponents Forest was fast paced attack and not allowing the other side to settle on the ball.  We even played that way at Old Trafford in the cup and troubled United, but since that game we have reverted back to a slow paced attack and allowing sides to come at us.  Why the change?  The only difference that I can see is the loss of Yanic Wildschut but he didn't play a role in the Brentford or United games so why were they different to the style of football that we now seem to be playing?

I said before the game yesterday that we needed a minimum of 10 points from the run of five games that sees us play Forest, Blackburn, Birmingham, Bristol City and Aston Villa and with results going the way that they did that draw yesterday is not the worst result in the world but the way that we are playing at the moment and the 'avoid defeat at all costs' approach that Joyce seems to be implementing as opposed to actually going out to win the game (or at least that is how it looks) then I can't see things getting any better certainly not before it is too late.

Highlights

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Matt Gilks
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 11,254
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WIGAN ATHLETIC NOTTINGHAM FOREST
35 Gilks 43 Smith
26 Hanson 2 Lichaj (C)
33 Burn 42 Worrall
3 Buxton 13 Fox
23 Warnock (C) 3 Pinillos
16 MacDonald 16 Clough
19 Tunnicliffe 24 Vaughan
8 Morsy 11 Osborn
6 Power 18 Carayol
39 Mandron 45 Brereton
14 Bogle 9 Assombalonga
SUBS
46 Roberts 26 Evtimov
4 Perkins 8 Cohen
7 Gilbey 15 Tshibola
9 Grigg 19 Ward
11 Obertan 41 Cash
12 Connolly 48 Ahmedhodzic
47 Weir 50 McCormack

 

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