Before this afternoon’s game, all the talk was of Robin Van Persie. I have no idea why, because he was perhaps the single worst player on the field today — worse even than vast majority of the Latics players — kicking thin air and falling over at the slightest hint of physical contact. For this reason, here at JWAW towers we shall henceforth refer to him as ‘Van Pantsie’.
As it transpired, his team-mates more than made up for things, and Arsenal could most likely have beaten Wigan with ten men today. It was a relative unknown that grabbed the headlines in the form of Thomas Vermaelen as Arsenal’s Belgian central defender bagged himself a brace. After the second goal went in just a few minutes after the half time break, Wigan went completely flat and there was an air of resignation; after the third goal, even more so.
Latics did manage to find some passing form in the latter parts of the first half and looked to be coming back into things as the 45 minute mark approached, even if they could, and maybe should, have been at least a couple down. There were more chances for Wigan — albeit after the fact — in the last twenty minutes of the game as Arsenal looked to sit back and relax, and rightly so, they earned it.
Paul Scharner managed to bundle the ball home with a few minutes left on the clock, but was ruled offside, and this pretty much summed up Wigan’s eminently forgettable day out in London. Hugo Rodallega had a couple of clear cut chances that both ended in the arms of the goalkeeper, and if he had stuck at least one of them away at 2-0, things may have turned out different. As it happened, Latics were comprehensively beaten once more.
Again, however, it’s worth remembering that you don’t lose any points for getting hammered, at least not under the current rules of the Premier League. As I said last week, this is Roberto’s settling in period, and nobody really expected good things from today’s match. It’s a steep learning curve for any new Premier League manager, let alone one with ambitions as high as Martinez. At the risk of repeating myself, be patient, people.
Image courtesy postproduktie.nl.