Thursday, 25 October 2018

Away Day Hoodoo

This feels a little awkward to be honest, questioning the team after the midweek loss at Millwall, but considering it was the 6th defeat from seven away days, 7 from eight if you count the EFL Cup defeat at Rotherham, there is a definite trend to be considered.

Our performances and results at the DW Stadium are electric, unbeaten and 17 points gained from a possible 21 is promotion form, so where does the problem lie?

At home we play a high energy, high pressing game that keeps us on the front foot, on Saturday against West Brom we never allowed them to settle in possession at the back and harried and harassed what is undoubtedly a very talented team so much so that, barring the opening 20 minutes, they never had a look in. It was a typical Paul Cook side performance.

Move on to Tuesday and the energy, drive and fire had vanished, lumping aimless long balls up field, not closing down space or players and allowing what can only be described as a very poor team in Millwall to somehow muster over 20 attempts at goal, certainly leaves you scratching the old head as to what brings on such a transformation in our play away from home.

If at the start of the season I’d have been told that following 14 games we’d be 12th on 20 points I would have been delighted, and I am, absolutely delighted, but we need to sort out our away day blues as a priority.

We have certainly missed the pace and directness of Gavin Massey. 
Will Grigg and Michael Jacobs are also big losses at this time but Cook needs to find a solution to this and keep us in the top half of the table as we approach winter.

I have every confidence that we will break the away day hoodoo, it is just a little frustrating and disappointing at the moment.

Up the tics!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Meet The Ref - Sheffield United v Latics

We are back in action at the end of a busy week on Saturday when Sheffield United will be hosting us at Bramall Lane, to ensure that the play is within the laws of the game Hartlepool referee Tony Harrington will be officiating.

Harrington, who is in his 6th season on the National List and part of the Select Group 2 professional officials, has been in charge of six Latics games previously, he had three games in our last Championship campaign, the 1-2 away win at Huddersfield back in November 2016, he had a great game that night failing to be conned by the theatrics of the Huddersfield players as he waved away two stonewall penalty appeals, good lad, he was also in charge of our 2-1 win over Wolves at the DW Stadium in the September, he issued six yellow cards that evening, three to each side, Jordi Gomez, Shaun MacDonald and Nick Powell picking up the bookings for us, Will Grigg banged home the winner right at the death.

The 3rd game that season was a very disappointing 0-2 home defeat to Aston Villa, that was the first game of Graham Barrow’s final reign as boss having taken over from the inept Warren Joyce the week before.

The other three games all came at the DW Stadium, a 2-1 Championship win in November 2013, there was also a goalless draw against Brentford in October 2014, again in the Championship and last season’s final game in League One when we picked up the title but got smashed by Barnsley 1-4 with Chris McCann seeing red late on.

Of Harrington’s 9 games this season 8 have been in Championship, the other one coming in the EFL cup.

Tony Harrington Card Watch 2018/19

Games – 9
Yellows – 28
Reds – 1

Sheffield United v Wigan Athletic
Referee –
Assistants – Paul Hodskinson  and Geoff Russell
Fourth Official – Andy Halliday

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Adam's Player Ratings - PNE 4 Latics 0

PWU Podcast’s Adam Pendlebury was left bitterly disappointed following yesterday’s 4-0 away defeat at bottom of the table Preston.

A fantastic away following of 4,000 supporters were left scratching their heads as the Latics simply did not turn up. Poor performances galore and we appeared to be bullied all other the park, not what was expected, anyway over to Adam for his comments and player ratings:

Paul Cook has been fantastic the past 16 months and all the players on the pitch away at Preston have contributed in some way to our success in winning the League 1 title and making a good start to life in the Championship.
Some more than others granted!

Today though was so poor and my ratings below reflect it.

Out of ten I would say most players were 3 or even 4 under par with some even worse. I suspect we won’t rate so low again this season, I have every faith.

Starting XI
Walton 4 - uncharacteristic error and poor kicking
James 9 - will be England’s best ever player!
Kipre 6 - ok performance
Dunkley 3 - caught out of position a lot and clearances poor
Robinson 1 - had one of those horror games!
Morsey 5 - worked hard but little quality
Gibson 5 - calm on the ball and good range of passing but reckless
Windass 3 - anonymous throughout and careless in possession
Jacobs 5 - didn’t do much wrong but couldn’t impose himself on the game.
Grigg 5 - service poor and couldn’t get in the game
Powell 5 - everything he tried came to nothing but at least he tried something 

Burn 3 - off the pace
Garner 4 - not much to say
McManaman 7 - did more attacking in 20 minutes than the rest of the team in 90. Still has short bursts of magic.

Man Of The Match 
Only one candidate Reece James

 Adam Pendlebury

Friday, 5 October 2018

Big Game Preview - Preton North End v Latics

In the final game before the latest international break, I didn’t miss these in League 1, we travel the short distance up the M6 to face Preston North End at Deepdale.

The prospect of a ding-dong Lancashire derby really has whet the appetite and close on 4,000 Wiganers are making the trip to cheer the Latics on to what they hope will be their second away win of the campaign.

Whilst we sit a comfortable 9th, level on 17 points with 6th placed Brentford, Preston are floundering at the foot of the table 6 points and a -10 goal difference, not the start that the Lillywhites were envisaging.

Recent weeks have seen Paul Cook tighten up the defences with just one goal conceded in the last three games - that was a hotly disputed 84th minute penalty away at Norwich – the gung ho approach of the first few games appears to have settled down, though I do suspect that Saturday’s game will be a very open affair.

With Preston desperate for points and the Latics smelling blood we should hopefully see a full bloodied game with a cup tie feel about it, a great atmosphere awaits and this is a game that all Latics fans are looking forward to.

Up the tics!

Team News

Wigan Athletic
Gavin Massey is still a long way off with his hamstring injury but Dan Burn, Sam Morsy, James Vaughan and Will Grigg are now all declared fully fit and raring to go creating somewhat of a welcome headache for manager Paul Cook.

I can see both Grigg and Morsy coming into the starting XI whilst Vaughan and Burn will probably have to make do with a place on the bench.

Latics possible:
James, Kipre, Dunkley, Robinson
Morsy, Evans
Windass, Powell, Jacobs

Man To Watch

Nick Powell will surely be up for this one, and no doubt up to his sh*thousing best, should be a great battle between himself and the Preston defensive midfield line.

Preston North End
Josh Harrop, Billy Bodin, Callum Woods and Sean Maguire are all missing with injury and Darnell Fisher is likely to have a late fitness test but is a doubt.

Brandon Barker is likely to return following a bout of illness that he’s now recovered from.

Preston possible:
Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Hughes
Pearson, Johnson
Browne, Robinson, Barker

Man To Watch

Ben Pearson former Manchester United youngster and will be well known to Nick Powell, tough tackling and highly rated, should be a great duel with both Powell and Pearson on Saturday, there could be cards!

Any Previous?

Latics and Preston have met 45 times down the years.

Latics 14 wins, Preston 17, draws 14.

Meet The Ref

Lee Probert (Wilts) take a look at our Meet The Ref article by clicking here


I predict a high scoring game each week, mostly tongue in cheek, but I do feel that this will be one of those that will see quite a few goals, possibly a red card or two also, I’m going for a 2-3 away win for the Latics.

Up Next

Latics v West Brom
DW Stadium