July 15, 2024

Don't look back: A hole too large for Martinez to fill?

You may well say I am not qualified to comment on yesterday’s game considering I wasn’t there and didn’t even watch it on telly or listen to it on WISH.

And you’d be right, especially since I have yet to watch any highlights or take in any post-match reaction save for Martinez’s brief comments for Ceefax. To tell you the truth, I’m dreading doing so, and will wait a few days for my disappointment to wane (if it ever will) before bringing myself to watch any sort of match action.

Still, in the interests of playing devil’s advocate, let’s go ahead and offer some sort of critique based simply on the scoreline.

Well, I tend to think a 4-0 loss would say it all, really. Kind of glad I wasn’t able to see the game to save myself from yet more embarrassment along the lines of last season’s defeats at the hands of Notts County, West Ham, Wolves and Portsmouth.

You can’t help but analyse yesterday in the light of results from the preceding season. The ‘long term plan’ Martinez and Whelan have set out sees the two campaigns merge into one, big ordeal (and yes I will call it that) whereby the club takes numerous blows to the solar plexus in the hope it gets in one or two telling blows of its own. The main problem lies in the fact our opponents need to be absolute pants for that to even threaten to happen.

If, in the long term, such tactics save the club from total extinction and keep us afloat for a few more years, then fine. After all, you never know the extent of what’s going on behind the scenes, and as a mere supporter, you don’t necessarily expect to be made privy to the inner workings of your football club.

As a follower, the only thing I can comment on is what I can see, and by goodness it doesn’t look good. We knew we were in for a much tougher season this time round, and to all intents and purposes we were rather lucky there were so many poor teams in the league last campaign. 2010 will be much different, and must be the year for Bob’s bunch to come of age or suffer the consequences.

Dave Whelan
What's going on inside that business brain of his?

Progress? I see little, really. In all fairness, it’s been consistently average to poor over the course of Roberto’s reign, highlighted by the fact we were even worse yesterday than last year’s defeat to the Seasiders in the Carling Cup. Granted, nobody at the club really cares about that competition (not least Roberto) because the Premier League is where the real profits are at.

From what I’ve heard, though, it seems that this Latics side can only play one type of football, a weak, powder puff, one-tactic side that has no real depth, guts or desire. I don’t know how much of these comments are close to reality, but on the basis of last season, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were true. Aside from the win over Arsenal, which was the odd flash in the pan you experience as bottom-of-the-league-dwellers, 2009/10 finished rather disappointingly to say the least.

Something isn’t quite right, obviously. Is it the management setup? The players? The fact Little Wigan have far outstayed their welcome amongst the elite that is the Premier League? If you were to ask me, I’d say it’s a bit of each.

But all is not yet lost. There is still plenty of time to turn things round, and I have no doubt the talent is there to keep us up, just about. It’s just a question of deploying it in such a fashion to actually grind out the results, because, as I’ve said on numerous occasions, it isn’t the performances that will see us through to a seventh season in the Prem, but the points. Sadly, there are certain individuals in the DW’s corridors of power that only care about the former. Makes you wonder how much longer they have at the club.

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