Tag Archives: DW Stadium

Wigan Athletic fans need to give Cook and the new boys time, agree?

There was quite a meltdown following Wigan Athletic’s defeat to Leeds United on Saturday, with some even suggesting Paul Cook is not the man to take this club forward. Outrageous, this early.

We are three games into a 46 game season. Give them 10 games, see where we are in the table and how good or poor performances are, then we can start talking about who has a future here.

A majority of our signings this summer have played very little or no even Championship football – Kieffer Moore, Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams just a few examples. Moore was outstanding on Saturday, that’s a huge positive. We have a striker that bullies opposition defences, Lowe looks dangerous, Windass was brilliant against Cardiff.

Why all the negativity?

I accept Preston was terrible, it was, I was there. The effort, quality, everything about the match was just poor. No excuses, we must do better than that. I was critical myself of Cook last season, particularly his tactics away from home, however at the end of the season I was happy with our position and points total, so he did his job. To reach the next level, yes we need to do better, Cook needs to improve, just give him and the team time.

This current squad excites me, the potential is there. Don’t jump on their backs and expect too much too soon, building partnerships on the pitch takes time. After that Cardiff game, a majority were saying aim for play-offs, now it’s suggesting Cook should go after losing to Preston and probably the best team in the league. Don’t overreact, back the side.

Our next three league games are Middlesbrough, QPR and Barnsley. They are the sort of games we should be picking up points from, not Leeds with 10 men for 70 minutes.

Wigan Athletic fans still happy despite loss to Leeds Utd ‘Just beaten by a good side with a touch of help from the ref’

Wigan Athletic was handed their second Championship defeat of the season after Leeds United defeated The Latics 0-2 at The DW Stadium.

This was Wigan’s first league defeat at home since New Years Day, some record. A shame it had to come to an end against Leeds, I guess they got the revenge they were desperate for.

The Latics travel to Middlesbrough and Charlton now, before facing Barnsley back at home at the end of the month.

Let’s see how Wigan fans reacted to their side’s loss at the weekend…

Leeds United hunting for revenge against Wigan Athletic today

Oh, Gavin Massey runs down the wing for me. The Leeds United documentary is out on Amazon now, watch it for the meltdown when Wigan Athletic destroyed Leeds’ promotion charge.

Stuart Dallas says Leeds are “chomping at the bit” to face Wigan tomorrow. The Latics pulled off a shocking victory on Good Friday despite being a man down for 76 minutes and conceding the opening goal. You couldn’t write it.

I’ll be honest, I thought Leeds deserved to go up last season. They were the best team to visit the DW Stadium, by a country mile. It was like playing a Premier League team. However, Sheffield United stuck with them all season, won 0-1 at Elland Road and held their nerve in the run-in.

Leeds lost their star striker Kemar Roofe to Anderlecht in the summer but did strengthen with the loan signings of Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah. Their squad is full of talented, technical players that will dominate most Championship sides. Wigan has to be up for the fight today and attack Leeds with pace and confidence. If we turn if like we did last week at Preston, it’ll be a cricket score, although I’m confident that won’t happen at home.

I’m expecting a feisty affair today. Leeds will bring 75,000 fans, Sam Morsy is back and Leeds will do everything to beat us. We’ve got a very good home record, while Leeds are still the best side in the league in my opinion. The first goal is massive if Leeds grab an early lead they are brilliant at keeping the ball. Whereas, Wigan score a lot of goals at home and might just shock a few. Game on.

With Wigan Athletic’s midfield looking like this, Leeds Utd stand no chance

Wigan Athletic host Leeds United tomorrow, with both hoping to bounce back from disappointing results.

The Latics lost 3-0 to Lancashire rivals Preston North End, while Leeds drew 1-1 at Elland Road against Nottingham Forest, in a game they largely dominated.

I thought we lost the game in the midfield last week, whether that was down to personal or Paul Cook not matching up against Preston’s three-man midfield is another question.

Anyway, let’s have a look at how I think our midfield may look tomorrow against Leeds.

Wigan’s Midfield

Sam Morsy will come straight back into the side after he missed the first three matches with a hamstring injury. A vital part of our team will enjoy a big match vs Leeds on return. He just leads by example, with his pressing, energy and desire. A massive miss at Preston. Alongside him, I’d go with Joe Williams. I thought he was very good during mid-week vs Stoke City. A tough tackler who will support Morsy in midfield. I feel we need more protection to our defence, if we play 4-2-3-1, that’s four attacking players on the pitch. That’s enough to hurt teams, the two behind them are there to recycle the ball, and win it back when you lose it.

On the right side, I’d go with Jamal Lowe. Again, he impressed me against Stoke. Gavin Massey will be pushing for a start, but I just feel like a big-money signing (in Wigan terms) will give that crowd an extra lift. Lowe has bags of pace and energy, what a time to score your first goal, hint hint.

On the other wing will be Michael Jacobs. Although he was poor at Preston, everyone was. Jacobs was outstanding on the opening day vs Cardiff City, so deserves another chance now he’s back to full fitness. One of the players who are brilliant at home, playing higher up the pitch, away from home he seems to struggle due to that lack of blistering pace.

In the central attacking midfield spot should be Josh Windass. He ripped Cardiff apart on an opening day win, grabbing a goal and assist. At Preston he seemed to play as a second striker, it didn’t suit him as we had nobody to play him through on goal. Windass is better dropping deep and running at defences with pace, I expect Moore to make his home debut and link up well with Windass.

Wigan Athletic desperate to find cure for away woes

Wigan Athletic’s start to the 2019/20 season has suggested they are in for more of the same. Good home performances, but poor away.

The Latics won 41 points at home during the 2018/19 Championship campaign, the 10th best in the division. While winning just 11 points on the road, the joint worst in the league.

No other team had a bigger points difference, in terms of home/away points. Wigan’s was 30, while Brentford’s was 28 – who were the closest to The Latics.

You could argue that as long as you hit a points total you’re happy with, by the end of the season, it doesn’t matter where or how you get to that target. Although, if your home form suddenly goes out of the window, you are in big, big trouble.

I’m not going to pretend I know why our form at home is so much stronger than it is away if I did know I’m sure Paul Cook would be on the phone. However, Saturday’s performance at Preston was terrible, there’s no point covering it up. If we want to progress this season we have to do better on the road.

I do worry whether our squad has enough experience, fight and grit to succeed away from home in this division. Preston started with a midfield three on Saturday, we had Lee Evans and Lewis McLeod who just got overran and outbattled all day. Without trying to sound harsh, why did Cook expect any different to happen? These two aren’t defensive midfielders to start with, they are good technical footballers, not Sam Morsy who is brilliant at winning the ball back.

The midfield battle

The game of football is won and lost in midfield, on Saturday you could see from minute one that we were never winning that midfield battle. I wonder whether it’s time to pack the midfield, play with two quick, wide wingers and a target man up front. A 4-3-3.

Josh Windass was an absolute passenger on Saturday. We were too deep to play him in behind, and couldn’t get the ball off Preston most of the time, due to the lack of numbers in midfield.

Whatever happens, going forward, we need a serious shakeup. We can’t afford to just rely on our home form again, it’s not fair on travelling supporters.

If Wigan Athletic start these 3, they easily beat Stoke City

Back to the DW we go. Thank god after Saturday. It’s only a League Cup tie, however a good opportunity for players that haven’t started yet to showcase themselves for Wigan Athletic.

Wigan Athletic host Stoke City in the first round of the League Cup. Latics return home after losing 3-0 to Preston on Saturday, while Stoke City have started the season poorly, losing 3-1 to Charlton Athletic in their second league game.

So, a return for Nick Powell may be on the cards. However, let’s take a look at a few players that may start for the home side…

Jamal Lowe

This is a perfect time for Lowe to start his first Latics game. There’s little pressure on the match, of course, we’d like to win, but it’s not a competition we’re likely to win, so it’s a bit of a free hit. I felt we were crying out for a Lowe type player on Saturday, someone with pace and quality around the box. We just lacked creativity on Saturday, all too pedestrian and predictable. Let Lowe have a go, he may well earn himself a starting spot vs Leeds United on Saturday.

Callum Lang

It’s likely Lang will be loaned out again, following the arrival of Bright Enobakhare on deadline day. However, I think the youngster has earned himself an opportunity to start a competitive game for Latics. Stoke’s defence looked very poor vs Charlton, perhaps this will be an open game and a one with plenty of goal scoring opportunities. Lang is a natural finisher, what better way to start his career, than with a couple of goals on home debut.

Joe Williams

Williams arrived from Everton during this summers transfer window, with a big reputation. He’s known for his tough-tackling and hard work, we could’ve done with that on Saturday. Although Preston had an extra man in midfield, that Cook didn’t match up against, we got completely dominated. Lee Evans and Lewis McLeod aren’t defensive midfielders in my opinion, especially away from home, good footballers yes but tough midfielders that can win battles, I’m not so sure. Williams sounds better suited to them affairs, let’s give him a chance and see what he’s got.

‘That performance was atrocious and unacceptable’ Wigan Athletic show no signs of change or adaptation following defeat

That it. I’m never going to Deepdale ever again, in my life. That was my third visit to the place, never seen Wigan Athletic score, let alone get a point.

On a serious note, Saturday was just Wigan Athletic in a nutshell. It’s the hope that kills you. A brilliant performance the previous week vs Cardiff City, followed by that ****show at Preston, backed by 3,000 travelling supporters.

It’s easy to get carried away, it’s only three points and the second game of the season. However, that performance was atrocious and unacceptable. It was possibly worse than last season’s performance at Preston, why haven’t we changed and adapted?

I still really worry for our squad away from home. We just haven’t got that fight and grit in our squad to match home teams. Preston wasn’t brilliant on Saturday, they just outfought us and benefited from our terrible mistakes.

For example, their first goal came after four consecutive corners. That just allows their fans to get behind them, the home side gains momentum and it was a matter of time before we succumbed to the pressure. That’s when you need a leader to just clear the ball, relieve the pressure and rebuild. We don’t have that commanding defensive player.

Home v Away for Wigan

It’s startling to see the difference between our performances at home and away. You could be watching a different team.

In my opinion, Cook needs to change it up away from home. For example, Michael Jacobs is excellent at home, when he’s given time on the ball and starts higher up the pitch. Away from home, he’s a passenger. He isn’t quick enough and doesn’t get time on the ball as he does at home.

The way to play away from home, pace on the counter-attack. We didn’t have any on Saturday, master of our downfall.

Anyway, we got our annual drubbing at Preston. Things can only get better.

Wigan Athletic’s transfer window: How did Cook do?

There was mass panic for Wigan Athletic fans a couple of weeks ago. Now the promotion bus has been started, and we’ve got our best squad since the Premier League days. How times change.

On a serious note, I can’t give IEC (new owners) enough credit. They have absolutely backed Paul Cook, when they arrived and said the aim was to reach the Premier League, a lot of us thought it was wishful thinking, perhaps not. I’m not saying we’ll go up, a mid-table finish is more realistic, but on paper we have a squad capable of beating any Championship side, proven last week when we beat Cardiff City.

So, kick-off in goal. David Marshall. A former Premier League player and Scottish international brings a wealth of experience and still very capable at this level. In defence, we’ve added Tom Pearce, Charlie Mulgrew, Antonee Robinson and Dujon Sterling. It’s looking like Cook fancies playing three at the back at times this season, Mulgrew is solid on the ball and fits into a back three, while Sterling and Pearce are good options at wing-back.

Joe Williams and Lewis McLeod add quality into our midfield, both Cook type midfielders. Tough tacklers, work hard and recycle the ball. The Jamal Lowe deal finally happened, it just took a while for Pompey fans to realise that players would rather play in Championship than League One. With Pilkington injured for a month, it’s a huge opportunity for Lowe to make his mark.

Onto the forwards, Cook chased a target man all summer. After moves for Sam Gallagher and Jordan Hugill went west, we turned our attentions to Kieffer Moore and signed him. 36 goals in two seasons, left Oakwell with a glowing reputation, there’s big pressure on him to score us goals.

Finally, Bright Enobakhare signed on loan from Wolves on Thursday, again comes with glowing reviews from Coventry City fans that watched him last season. A bright, (no pun intended) quick, skilful player that will help us out next season.

Rid of the deadwood

So, what a window. We’ve got rid of deadwood and replaced them with real quality. We actually have squad depth, Championship standard players on the bench. For instance, Pilkington is out of today’s game with an injury, we have Massey and Lowe waiting in the wings. Last year it would’ve been Gary Roberts or a half-fit Callum McManaman. I’ve nothing against either of those players, but if this club wants to move on, we needed better.

I think we’re all excited for this season with this squad. Stick by them, there’s a lot of new players. Cook has been backed, now its time to perform on the pitch.

What will Wigan Athletic’s new striker offer different to the rest

Wigan Athletic completed the signing of Wolves striker Bright Enobakhare on a season long-loan on Thursday. The striker penned a new one year contract at Molineux, before heading to the DW Stadium for the 2019/20 campaign.

The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at League One side Coventry City, scoring six goals in 18 appearances.

Latics signed other attackers Jamal Lowe and Kieffer Moore in this summer’s transfer window, and Enobakhare will be fighting Josh Windass for the number 10 spot. Although after Windass’ MOTM performance against Cardiff City last night, the youngster may have to wait a little while for his chance.

So, what will he offer different to what Wigan already have?

Pace and flair

Latics’ current wingers are good players but have different attributes to Enobakhare. Michael Jacobs and Anthony Pilkington caused havoc last week, with their movement and quality in the final third. Neither has blistering pace or beat a number of players and score, which is fine, it’s good to have that variation. From what I’ve seen and heard of Enobakhare, he’s very raw but has bags of talent.

I imagine he’ll be the type to thrive when given an opportunity. Demand the ball and show us what you’ve got. Use your pace, skip past defenders, score and create goals. That’s a good option to have. You can rely on Jacobs and Pilkington to work hard and produce quality most weeks, but if we’re ever lacking that bit of creativity, Enobakhare will be there to provide some.

You don’t always need pretty, attractive football. Sometimes it just takes one player to have a good day, and they can win the game on their own, we know that from having Nick Powell twice.

What can Blackburn Rovers defender bring to Wigan Athletic?

Wigan Athletic faced a nervous overnight wait, to find out whether the loan signing of Blackburn Rovers defender Charlie Mulgrew was completed in time. Thankfully, it was.

The Latics completed three deadline day signings, Mulgrew, Tom Pearce from Leeds and youngster Bright Enobakhare on loan from Wolves, which rounded off a successful transfer window for the club.

Mulgrew will presumably be drafted straight into the squad for tomorrow’s game vs Preston.

Let’s take a look at why Paul Cook has opted to sign the former Scottish international…

Can fit into a back three

Cook has tried the 3-5-2 formation throughout pre-season and switched to that style last week in the late stages of the match vs Cardiff City. We only had three central defenders on the books, prior to Mulgrew signing, and Fox was the only one that is confident playing out from the back.

It’s important for the three defenders to be comfortable receiving the ball, and have the ability to carry it out of defence and start attacks. Mulgrew can do that. Although his best years may be behind him, he could slot into the middle centre back role, still win balls into the box and play us out of danger.

Set-piece specialist

In all my years watching Wigan, I’ve never seen us have a player that can consistently take a good corner. Mulgrew SCORED three direct corners last season, he must be pretty good. When Blackburn was promoted in 2017/18, finishing 2nd behind us, he scored 10 goals. The majority from free-kicks and penalties. Although you don’t play a centre back because of his attacking threat, it’s always an added bonus.

I’m seeing it now, starting tomorrow his first touch in a Latics shirt will be a 40-yard free-kick into the top corner, if dreams come true.

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