It’s not very often that I use the word diabolical when describing a Wigan Athletic performance but that’s exactly what they delivered at a wet and windy Bloomfield Road as Roberto Martinez’ men were well and truly humbled by Championship side Blackpool.
CARLING CUP SECOND ROUND – BLOOMFIELD ROAD – Wednesday 26th August 2009
BLACKPOOL Demontagnac 3 Burgess 19 Adam 33 Taylor-Fletcher 67
WIGAN ATHLETIC Amaya 90
To say Roberto Martinez was not a very happy man following his side’s Carling Cup exit at the first hurdle would be a massive understatement.
Following the game the Wigan manager said: “Certain players did not perform, it is clear this is not what we expected. There are certain standards that are not acceptable in our club, and the players should know that. We were never in contention to win – and now we are out of the League Cup.”
His sentiments matched the mood amongst the Wigan fans who travelled the 40 miles or so to the Fylde coast – many of those couldn’t even bear to watch the full 90 minutes and indeed missed debutant Antonio Amaya netting an injury time consolation goal for the visitors.
The writing was on the wall for Latics with only two minutes on the clock when former Walsall midfielder Ishmel Demontagnac scored his first goal for Blackpool since his summer move to the club.
Ben Burgess teed up the 21-year-old who then smashed the ball past Mike Pollitt in the Wigan goal from just outside of the area.
The goal should have been a wake up call for Wigan but they never got going and were constantly on the back foot from then on and went further behind just over a quarter of a hour later with Ben Burgess this time turning goalscorer after Charlie Adam had split the Wigan defence allowing the big centre-forward to race in to fire a low drive beyond Pollitt’s reach.
Wigan did have a couple of moments themselves but to be honest never really looked like scoring. Ben Watson’s free kick soared over the woodwork shortly after Blackpool’s second and moments later young James McCarthy drilled another free kick straight at Blackpool keeper Matthew Gilks.
Wigan’s resurgence was shortlived however and Pollitt did well on more than one occasion to keep the scoreline down – until the 33rd minute that is.
Paul Scharner brought down Billy Clarke in the area prompting referee Michael Oliver to point to the spot. Charlie Adam stepped up to take the penalty but was denied by Pollitt who got down well to block only to see all his hard work undone when the Blackpool midfielder stroked home the rebound.
Martinez had made no fewer than nine changes to the side that had suffered defeat at the hands of Manchester United at the weekend, only Paul Scharner and new boy Mohamed Diame remained from the starting line up, but the players that did start should have had enough quality to challenge – it just wasn’t there however.
Scott Sinclair, making his first start since arriving on a season long loan from Chelsea, did show flashes of brilliance but it was all to no avail as his fellow team mates failed to follow his lead and appeared lacklustre to say the least.
Sinclair tested Gilks either side of the break as he looked to narrow the deficit but it the result was put out of Wigan’s reach with just over 20 minutes of the game remaining when substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher, a 56th minute replacement for the dangerous Ishmel Demontagnac, got the better of Antonio Amaya before rattling the ball into the far corner.
This prompted a large number of the Wigan following to make their way to the exit and the mood of those remaining was summed up towards the end of the game when calls of “Book him, book him, send him off” were targetted at Marlon King after the Jamaican striker had brought down an opponent.
Wigan’s consolation arrived as the seconds of time added on ticked down with Antonio Amaya getting his head on the end of a Ben Watson corner in what was literally the last action of the night’s proceedings.
Martinez was left fuming at the result and commented: “The biggest disappointment is the fact we were never in the game. We gave the game to Blackpool and our supporters don’t deserve that.
He continued: “There are no excuses – that wasn’t good enough as a team and individually, and we have to learn some important lessons from this. Certain standards are not acceptable in our club, the players should know that. As a professional footballer you need to be ready for the chance when it comes along.
“Obviously, we’ve played a few games in the league and there have been some good performances, but this was an opportunity for some of the others who haven’t been involved to show what they can do, and it wasn’t good enough.
“Maybe the players’ minds were focused too much on showing what they could do individually because we never played as a team. They did not have to work hard for their goals and it is very disappointing.
“We were never in contention to win the game and now we are out of the League Cup, which I am very upset about.”