Wigan Athletic continued to struggle on their own turf as they slumped to a 1-0 victory against Reading at the DW Stadium. Here are 5 things we learnt from the game…
1) Not a happy home life…
Who would’ve thought the words of David Brent would make it into one of my articles but there we are! This season Latics have really seemed to struggle in their matches at the DW and its so frustrating because our form away from home is the best in the league. There could be all sorts of reasons for our poor home form; a lack of atmosphere anywhere outside of the East Stand, the fact teams are happy to sit in and force us to break them down, and probably now the desperation to secure a win on our own patch. Whatever the problem it needs resolving quickly and I think the fans can definitely play a big part in that.
2) A worrying absence…
Ryan Nyambe’s omission from the 18 man squad understandably sparked worry amongst Latics fans and their fears were justified by the result. Its not to say that Darikwa was poor as he wasn’t by any means but we just look inherently more solid with Nyambe at RB. There may not be data to back it up but for me I always feel more confident with one of the best defensive full backs in the league in our side. We’re lucky that Darikwa returned in time and fair play to him for what was a very decent first game back.
3) Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race!
As expected Latics had a lot of the ball yesterday but to say we did little with it is the understatement of the year. We lacked intensity and the tempo was far too slow which ultimately made us very easy to defend against. The most damning statistic is that we made 95 backwards passes yesterday, 40 more than we average per 90 this season. We seemed to lack invention, craft and creativity and against a well drilled Reading side it cost us the points unfortunately.
Also, Aesop’s Fables and The UK Office quotes in 1 article, tell me somewhere else you’d get that!
Loyalty is great. Having trust in your players is also excellent. But my question is at what point does all the credit that last season’s top scorer Will Keane earnt become irrelevant? Yes he was great last season and yes he still has moments in games where he shows his class but I don’t think he’s playing well enough to keep him in the side. We’ve seen Tom Naylor get dropped which shocked many people so Leam has it in him to leave Keane out, and with players like Broadhead and Scully ready to take his spot I think we ought to see him dropped for a couple of games.
5) Not all doom and gloom!
Whilst its been a pretty negative article so far I must stress that the first block of fixtures this season have been positive for the most part. 13 points from 9 games is solid enough and if we win our game in hand we’d fly up to 5th so there’s definitely no reason to be fretting. If we can find a solution to the drab home performances we’ll be a real side this season and I have every confidence in those at the club to work those problems out. The international break will give us the chance to regroup and work on some things so that’ll be useful too. See you all in a fortnights time!