A bad, nay, disastrous afternoon for the Latics at Fratton Park as our up and down season continues to both surprise and frustrate. If the Hull performance was bad, then today’s game was woeful, a million miles away from the team that beat Chelsea and even Burnley earlier this season.
The loss of Maynor Figueroa for the next couple of months is definitely a huge blow, and will no doubt lead to a rethink for next weekend’s fixture against Fulham.
For today’s game, an obvious replacement may have been Erik Edman, but Martinez instead chose to bring Sinclair into the left midfield position. Wigan’s makeshift left back, Charles N’Zogbia, did all he could under the circumstances, but asking a naturally forward-minded midfielder to play full back was, in truth, always doomed to failure.
It wasn’t just N’Zogbia’s fault, however. All of the Latics back line failed to deal with Portsmouth’s attacks, and indeed the whole squad had a day to forget. That’s not to take anything away from Portsmouth, who seemed as though they just wanted the game more, and finished the afternoon well deserving of their victory.
They had much the better of the first half, almost completely blocking out a lacklustre Wigan for the first 30 minutes, and taking the lead on 35 minutes via Dindane. A decent period of possession for Wigan did lead to a couple of chances, but nothing of note. The home side doubled their lead via Nelson Piquet Jr. (at least I think that’s his name) three minutes into first half stoppage time, and Latics really did have Hunger Hill to climb in the remaining 45 minutes.
Worse for Wigan, Portsmouth weren’t done yet.
Martinez all but conceded defeat with more than half an hour left, taking off Hugo Rodallega and bringing on Olivier Kapo in a switch of tactics. From then on it was horror viewing – somewhat appropriate on Halloween. As has been seen so many times already this season, Latics just capitulated and conceded two more goals without offering much resistance as Dindane completed his hat-trick with a penalty on the stroke of 90 minutes.
It all caps a memorable week for Pompey, but is the culmination of seven days to forget for Wigan Athletic. Still, it could be worse – you could be Liverpool, who went down three-one to Fulham and had two men sent off this afternoon. Oh dear, don’t we have Fulham next weekend? Gulp…