I’ll come clean: I wrote the following passage at around 1PM in anticipation of another Latics defeat. I wanted to try and get this post out of the way as soon as possible, as I predicted I would be too depressed to write it at 6PM. How wrong was I, eh?
Dear bloke on the radio (your name escapes me, please forgive me),
I write in reply to your opinion that ‘Wigan will go down this season’. Whilst there is a very good chance we shall be fighting in the lower half of the league – in fact I’d say it’s a certainty – we at the club are wholly and entirely behind our manager and understand that it will be more beneficial for us in the long term if we could, under Roberto Martinez, develop a style of play that will be more effective against the best the Premier League has to offer.
It is painfully evident that right now we do not have the resources to achieve said results, hence our recent drubbings at the hands of Manchester United and Arsenal. Given time and patience, however, I am hopeful Roberto can turn Wigan from also-rans to European competitors at the very least.
I’ll admit we aren’t likely to trouble said top six this year, however. Our season resumes against Hull next week, and a win from that game would put us on twelve points. Bearing in mind we have played three of the big four, Everton and Aston Villa in our first seven games of the season, I’d say this would be something of an expected outcome for a club in our position.
I accept that your opinion is a valid one, especially on account of recent results. But please bear in mind that there are a couple of teams still riding their luck in mid-table that will be in the mix for relegation come May. There are more than thirty rounds of matches to come yet, so things are far from resolved.
Person who, on the whole, does not represent the majority of Wigan Athletic fans. Maybe.
I think the above ‘letter’ accurately sums up my thoughts at this moment in time. As for the match today, well, who saw that one coming? 3-1 Latics was 17/2 before the game — at least according to the Daily Mail (spits) — and I’m sure a Titus Bramble first goal longer odds than that at around 25/1.
Latics looked a completely different team from the one battered by Arsenal, as in the first half they dominated in terms of chances and shots on target. ‘There’s only one’ Titus Bramble managed to stick one in from a set piece on 16 minutes following a decent spell of possession for Wigan. It could have been more, had Petr Cech not made a top-notch block on an Emmerson Boyce shot, and Paul Scharner been slightly more composed in front of goal.
Cech turned from hero to villain five minutes into the second half. After Didier Drogba somehow managed to knee one past Chris Kirkland and into the bottom of the net, the game changing moment came on 51 minutes. Rodallega found himself through on goal once again, but had his boot clipped by the Chelsea keeper, who was unfortunately the last defender and saw red. After a protracted period of appealing and complaining, Hugo smashed the resulting penalty past sub keeper Hilario and Wigan were on their way.
But it was not all plain sailing from thereon in – Chelsea kept pushing forward, but were left open at the back on numerous occasions. The nail in the coffin came two minutes into stoppage time, as Paul Scharner managed to poach one at the back post from a Figueroa cross. By this time, Chelsea were actually down to nine men as Ashley Cole was stretchered off and Ancelotti had no substitutes remaining.
Then it was party time at the DW, an atmosphere not reached at the ground since its renaming. Yes, we may have had a sliver or two of luck, but as those Match of the Day types always say, you have to capitalise on it. Speaking of which, second on Match of the Day, anyone?