A minor speed bump in a successful streakBy: Nick | November 2nd, 2010
Wigan’s defeat at Fulham on the weekend brought an end to a six game run without a loss, one of the most successful periods under the largely inconsistent tenure of Roberto Martinez. The highlights included a vital 2 – 0 win over Wolves, while this result was also emulated in the Carling Cup over Swansea. Other notable results came the Latics’ way in a couple of draws (that unfortunately should for the most part have been turned into wins) coming away to Newcastle and Birmingham and of course to Bolton at home. All in all, it has been a solid couple of weeks for the team and has slightly eased my fierce relegation concerns. So for me, it didn’t really matter that Wigan’s performance on the weekend was decidedly poor, because previously they had finally delivered on a promising run of consistency . Lets just treat the loss as a minor interference in what is hopefully to be a safe and entertaining season. After the game at Craven Cottage, coach Martinez claimed that the reason for the side’s defensive and lacklustre performance was in response to a testing run of three games played within a week. Although there is no denying that this would have been a highly difficult task for a side that lacks experience in juggling commitment, a little more resolve and grit on the park would have definitely made this fan a little happier. To be brutally honest it was a rather lethargic display, with the only notable performances coming from Charles (legend) Nzogbia and the reliable Ali Al Habsi, who ensured that the game didn’t turn ugly.
On a brighter note, amazingly Wigan have reached the quarter finals of the Carling Cup, a feat that hasn’t been replicated since their inception into the Premier League, way back in 2005. It should be interesting to see what next stands in their way, but it will almost certainly be a stiffer test then the likes of Hartlepool and Preston North End. Like every Wigan fan I was more than pleased that Mauro Boselli was finally able to make his mark, scoring the first goal in the win over Swansea. More is expected of a player of his calibre (and price tag!). Although it would be a dream to see the Latics progress even further in this competition, if that ultimately translates into the surrendering of winnable matches (ie Fulham) than it may be for the best to call it quits. Afterall, I would prefer to be sitting comfortably in the league, than to be in a precarious position, and still have survived in a tournament that to be honest does not mean much.
All of the team’s focus should now be on bouncing back from the Fulham loss and getting results against Blackburn away and against a resurgent Liverpool side soon after at home. Currently we are placed a lowly 17th on the ladder, but this is only on goal difference, where a couple of wins in the next couple of matches could lift the position up to around tenth. Either way the next couple of months will be a grueling test for the Latics and it will be fascinating to see how it all plays out. Lets just take it one game at a time.