Wigan Athletic picked up their first home win of the season with a 1-0 victory over play off chasers Blackburn Rovers. Here are 5 things we learnt from the game!
1) Crisis? What crisis?
A lot has been said about our home form recently and each game was met with more desperation for a win. Add in the fact it was a local derby and live on Sky Sports and you’d be forgiven for expecting a lot of nerves from the players and staff. Thankfully for Latics though we put in a wonderful resilient performance and were fully deserving of the 3 points. Now this monkey is off our backs we can kick on, or so I’m hoping!
2) Learning from our mistakes!
After the previous 2 games Latics fans were desperate for a change in style and they received just that. Just the 51 long balls (Wyscout data) and a much higher success of 65% made for more more enjoyable viewing and was so much more effective from an attacking point of view. We also played some really nice passing football at times and it created the types of opening we haven’t seen in recent matches. Fair play to Leam for changing it up and fair play to the players for putting in the kind of performance they did!
3) Whatmough can he do?
Jack Whatmough has been immense ever since he joined Latics so its not necessarily something we learnt yesterday BUT this was an even bigger challenge than the ones he’s excelled in already in his Latics career. He started in the middle of a back 3 where he was commanding, calm and solid as a rock, but ended the game in the RCB after a tactical change with Jason Kerr. On the right of the 3 his role became stopping rovers’ hotshot Ben Brereton Diaz and again he did so superbly well. He’s genuinely one of the best CBs in the division and we need to get him tied down to a new deal soon!
4) We’ve found our new front 3…
The back 5, when used in that way, is a really good system and I think the front 3 we saw start the game yesterday is the front 3 we should see for the foreseeable. Wyke as the target man is levels above the others in our squad when it comes to linking the play, Keane is your natural poacher and another aerial threat and Broadhead is the nippy poacher there to finish the chances he gets. It’s balanced, fluid and they looked really good together yesterday. They also all have pretty ‘like for like’ replacements in our squad which helps with rotation too.
5) Very welcome visitors!
Blackburn Rovers at the DW Stadium, or in other words easy points for Latics! Rovers’ record at our home ground is unbelievably poor and their run without a win at Latics was extended to 13 games last night. Its strange how often these little quirks come about in football and even with Latics winless at home this season it just felt like the perfect game to change our fortunes. If only all our home matches were as big a foregone conclusion as games against the men from Ewood Park!