Tag Archives: EFL

Footballing rivals: Wigan Athletic’s biggest rivals and why

According to GiveMeSport Wigan Athletic’s main rivals are Bolton Wanderers. Bang on, shame we won’t play them till 2089. Followed closely in second by Preston North End, then the irrelevant ‘derby’ Blackburn Rovers.

I personally don’t believe in all this having two or three rivals, you have one derby and that’s that. For us it’s Bolton, and if you turned up to a Wigan vs Bolton matchday, you’d know why.

Preston is always a feisty affair and is more of a traditional derby that has died down over the years. While the Blackburn fixture is nothing, when Wigan and Rovers went head to head in the 2017/18 season for the League One title, there was a lot of back and forth between the two sides. Nick Powell or Bradley Dack and all that.

Anyway, a couple of my best memories from playing Bolton. My favourite has to be James McArthur netting a late winner at The Reebok, that was a massive win for us and the first time I’d seen us win there. Uwe Rosler’s first home game was special. Wigan 2-0 up cruising, only for Bolton to score two quick goals, before Callum Mcmanaman made it 3-2.

Finally, in all seriousness, we won’t be playing Bolton for a very long time. They’ll likely be relegated to League Two and we’ll be playing Championship football, if not European for the next few years. At least we beat them 5-2 in the most recent fixture, give them a good send-off.

I’m not even going to talk about the Preston games. I’m never going to Deepdale ever again. Been three times, we’ve lost 1-0, 4-0 and 3-0. Arguably the three worst Wigan performances I’ve ever seen. So we’ll leave it there.

33y/o making the difference at Wigan Athletic

In an interview with Wigan Today. Wigan Athletic captain Sam Morsy has hailed the impact of Charlie Mulgrew as ‘frightening’.

The 33-year-old was a somewhat surprising addition when signing on a season-long loan from rivals Blackburn Rovers on transfer deadline day. He was their Captain for a spell, before falling out with manager Tony Mowbray.

The Scottish international offers the typical defensive qualities that you expect – strong, physical, a leader and has formed a solid partnership with PFA player of the month Chey Dunkley already.

However, he brings that extra dimension to his game, with his superb set-pieces. Corners, free kicks or penalties, Mulgrew can do it all.

Morsy said: “It’s a new weapon that we haven’t really had in previous seasons – a set-piece specialist. Obviously we’ve played against him a few times over the years, and the delivery he has is frightening.”

“If you’re looking for someone who’s going to come in and provide so many assists and goals…he’s like a £10 million attacking midfielder.

Rochdale need one player to turn it on in order to surge up the table

Rochdale currently sits 19th in League One, after picking up just one point from their last five League One games.

Although, their league position doesn’t reflect their performances. Whenever I’ve watched The Dale this season, they’ve been by far the better side. Brian Barry-Murphy has a young side playing positive, attractive football.

Even if Rochdale don’t mount a serious challenge for the top six, they can still be proud of the football they are playing, which provides hope for the future.

For example, the home game against Sunderland was one-way traffic. Rochdale dictated possession, opened up Sunderland time and time again, but couldn’t find the goal. The Black Cats had a couple of shots and scored both.

If Rochdale is competing and outplaying a side of their quality, they have nothing to worry about. A little more luck and quality, they’d have won that game comfortably.

The majority of their goals have surprisingly come from midfielders Callum Camps, Stephen Dooley and Aaron Morley. The focus for the rest of the season must be to start feeding striker Ian Henderson with more chances. The 34-year-old scored 20 goals last campaign, a brilliant return for a side that struggled for most of the season.

Their season rests on Henderson. If he can hit a hot streak and bag double figures, who knows, they could even make a late run for top six. If I was a Rochdale fan, I’d be happy with the start they’d made.

Although they’d like more points on the board, they’re playing good football and once Henderson starts banging goals in, they’ll fly up the league. It’ll be interesting to see if the owners back the manager in January, do they have the ambition to push for the top six?

Wigan Athletic will be hoping this break can lead them up the table, agree?

Wigan Athletic started their 2019/20 Championship campaign poorly, and indifference of results is not helping matters at the DW Stadium

Paul Cook has come under criticism from Wigan fans, following a string of results that saw them briefly drop into the relegation zone. His side has won just one of their last 25 away games in the Championship, not many managers would survive that.

However, let’s not forget Cook won the League One title with the club at first attempt. Then guided the club to safety in the Championship, something they hadn’t manage to do during their previous two attempts. So, he’s earned himself time.

Wigan spent the most they’ve ever spent in a transfer window, since the Premier League days. With that brings pressure, if a manager has better players at his disposal, fans expect better results and performances, that hasn’t quite worked out for us so far, but there’s plenty of time left in the season yet.

I said at the start of the season that mid-table would be a success, I reiterate that now and think we’ll achieve it. I’ve been critical of Cook too, but it’s because I demand and think we can be a good side. Our squad of players is good enough to finish 10th-14th in this division, without a doubt.

Last season we were outstanding at home, it’s important we continue that if we want to progress. Jamal Lowe and Kieffer Moore are playing well, I’m confident the goals will come. Hopefully, they can fire us on towards mid-table ahead of the January transfer window, then we can look to strengthen again.

Many positives out of Bolton’s draw with Blackpool

Bolton Wanderers faced Blackpool last night and managed a 0-0 draw. The Football Manc Cave weighs in.

For the first time in a long time, I feel confident as a Bolton fan. I feel like I can actually bare to watch a game. I’m not comparing this to the times we were in financial difficulties, I’m talking about the past 5 years or so. Bolton is actually an exciting team to watch again.

Last nights game was highly anticipated as Blackpool are in the top quarter of the League One. Bolton had already proved that they can match top teams performances following the point from Sunderland, so I was actually excited for this game. I must admit, I expected a few goals but I’m happy.

I predicted the Bolton line-up yesterday and I was only one player out, I guessed that Keith Hill would choose either Dennis Politic or Thibaud Verlinden, and not start them both but he did. I think Keith Hill has been quite anxious about playing both of them together due to any potential injuries to either, as they can interchange in the same position

Dominant in attack

Bolton actually dominated the game. We had chances, made attacks and tried to score. That’s all fans have wanted to see for a long time. Looking at Liam Bridcutt, Jason Lowe, Dennis Politic, Ali Crawford, Will Buckley, Thibaud Verlinden and Daryl Murphy and how they have clearly been working hard on how to play together is so refreshing.

Keith Hill has worked wonders with his team. The defence we now have is also so much better to watch. There were times last night when I worried but I clearly didn’t need to be. Joe Dodoo also made his Bolton debut last night when he got brought on in the second half. A few of his chances looked promising so he’s one to watch for us.

Defensive Bolton

Stating Yoan Zouma has worked a treat. He gave away a penalty against Sunderland and I have said all along that if he didn’t keep on getting starts then his confidence would get knocked. However, Hill has kept him in that starting line up and he did a great job last night.

Josh Emmanuel is also developing and adjusting very well. Jack Hobbs is proving himself to the fans as he is constantly getting into the league team of the week and, even bagged himself, man of the match, last night. The defence clearly had a great game because Remi Matthews had a relatively easy night which is something I like to see.

Injury to the Captain

Liam Bridcutt has been an absolute delight to watch. His skill and hard work on the ball have made it easier to watch us attack and push forward as a team.

Unfortunately last night, after a bit of a stumble, Blackpool forward, Armand Gnanduillet landed awkwardly on Bridcutt’s chest and for a moment it looked like he was going to be okay as he breathed through the pain and came back on to the pitch. However, he was then seen crouching and passed on the Captain’s armband to Lowe. He really didn’t want to come off, and no fan did either. It was revealed later on that he fractured his collar bone.

This is a huge blow because he could be out for up to 8 weeks. Just our luck.

Either way, I’m going to be gutted when some of these players have to return to their parent clubs. They’ve all been a huge credit to us and helped us in our journey to start to rebuild.

I love Keith Hill’s strategy’s, determination and mindset. He has said that we will beat the bookies and he’s already doing that, so I am excited about the future of our club.

One thing that did baffle me last night was when Dennis Politic got substituted. He looked to the fourth official to check that it was actually him being subbed and gave a bit of a smirk which to me said he didn’t agree with the situation either.

I do understand that he’s a younger player who’s fitness needs to be put first and I am behind Hill, although, last night, it looked to me like Politic had a lot more to give. I think he would have benefited more from taking Verlinden off who was already on a yellow card.

That aside, we got a point, against Blackpool. We beat the odds again and I couldn’t be happier!

Bolton fans happy with their progress ‘Decent performance, improving every week, up the whites’

Bolton Wanderers are making strides under new manager Keith Hill. The Whites have lost just one of their last four league games and came close to toppling title favourites, Sunderland.

It’s clear they are struggling to score goals. However, Hill has his side organised, disciplined and fighting for everything – which will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season.

As the famous saying goes, if you can’t score then don’t lose. I think the goals will come, Daryl Murphy will hit the net if given chances. It’s down to their creative players like Joe Dodoo and Will Buckley to create his opportunities.

Bolton was the better side last night, without threatening Blackpool’s goal regularly, but at least they’re heading in the right direction.

Let’s see what their fans made of it…

More away woe for Wigan Athletic fans – ‘I actually give up, how is he is still in the job with that away from and our performances have been awful’

Another away defeat for Wigan Athletic. Hey ho, it’s football, of course, we lost on the road. That’s one win away from home, in our last 26 attempts. Jokes aside, that’s inexcusable and Paul Cook is under huge pressure.

I’m a realist. I don’t expect Wigan to be challenging at the top end of the Championship, or win a majority of away games. However, I expect us to compete, create chances, give the fans something to be excited about and score some goals. I wouldn’t complain if we lost 2-3 to a good side, then picked up the odd win here and there.

We offer no threat whatsoever. Just so negative and boring to watch it’s unbelievable. Frustrating is the word because the majority of teams we’ve lost to this season haven’t even been good. We’ve gifted them three points. It needs to change, now.

Let’s see what other Latics fan thought after another defeat…

Rochdale fans have that sinking feeling following defeat – ‘Shocking performance and another embarrassing result, should be beating teams like this’

After a promising start to their 2019/20 campaign, Rochdale have dropped precariously close to the relegation zone in League One.

Brian Barry Murphy’s side lost 3-2 at Wimbledon on Saturday. The positive being striker Ian Henderson is back amongst the goals, as he scored both of Dale’s goals late on, nearly snatching a point for his side.

It’s important Rochdale keep implementing their attractive style of football in League One. I think they’re a good side with plenty of goals in their team. On the flip side, Murphy needs to find a solution to his leaky defence as it’s costing them points.

Let’s see what the Dale supporters thought of their performance on Saturday…

Salford City fans keen to push on – ‘Let’s keep it up now and get some wins under our belts!!!!’

Salford City won their first away game of the season, thanks to a 0-3 victory at Walsall.

After a poor start to their maiden season in the EFL, Graham Alexander will look to push on following this superb result.

The Ammies were expected to be challenging at the top end of the table, however, are struggling in the bottom half. Perhaps this result can be the catalyst for a string of positive results, leading up to the Christmas period.

Let’s see how their fans reacted to finally winning an away game…

Fans react over Carabao Cup draw – ‘Tough draw again for Man City…the run continues’

There are some huge ties to come in round four of the Carabao Cup. The standout ties are undoubtedly Chelsea vs Manchester United and Liverpool vs Arsenal.

The two last ranked teams Colchester United and Crawley Town will face each other, with one guaranteed to reach the quarter-final. While Oxford United will host Sunderland after both knocked out Premier League opposition in the third round.

Manchester City will be favourites to win the cup again, after drawing Southampton at home. Wolves will face Aston Villa at Villa Park, in a Midlands derby.

Let’s see how everyone reacted to the draw…

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