Wigan Report

My trip to the ground did not get off to the best of starts. Driving up the A20 I suddenly realised I hadn’t put my season ticket in my wallet. Luckily the ticket office happily issued me with a replacement.

But the day soon improved when an on fire Dean Ashton fired us two ahead in the first fifteen minutes. It has to be said that Wigan had had the better of the opening exchanges, and somehow you just knew that West Ham would revert to type and fail to get the all important third. And so it transpired.

We put together some neat one to one play, and always looked dangerous in their penalty area, but just couldn’t find the third. Wigan were by far the better side in the second half and were unlucky to come away with nothing.

Let’s face it, we were lucky to come away with all three points, but having said that, so what? It was a reasonable performance for the first game of the season and we should be grateful it was rather better than last season’s first game against Man City.

While I think of it, it was a bit odd seeing seven subs on the bench. I have to admit I wasn’t aware of that particular innovation. But it’s great, and means that a couple of the youngsters get some big match experience, even if all they do is get splinters in their arses … although I doubt there are many splinters on those new Recaro seats!

So, let’s have a look at some of the individual performances. Deano obviously gets the headlines, but he contributed far more than his two goals. He was really mobile and chased everything. I just hope he hasn’t injured too much. Carlton Cole did well in the first half. He won a lot in the air and constsntly harried. Freddie Sears looked very bright when he came on for Deano. He has beefed up a bit and is more difficult to shake off the ball. In midfield, Mark Noble was hugely disappointing and Scott Parker wasn’t his usual self. Their failure to control the agenda allowed Wigan to dominate the centre of the pitch. Matty Etherington had a storming first half but faded badly in the second. Julien Faubert was my man of the match. He put in 100% effort, was great on the wing, wasn’t afraid to shoot and had a few good dribbles. I reckon he may get 10 goals this season. In defence Lucas Neill was his normal self. He managed to get bypassed on at least half a dozen occasions. Sadly, Behrami was even worse. He was run ragged by the Wigan left winger and must have wondered what had hit him. If right back is his best position then … well, let’s not be too harsh, it was only his first game. In the centre Upson was stalwart and Davenport performed well too. And Greeny was superb.

All in all, a satisfactory start.

Green 8
Upson 8
Davenport 7
Neill 5
Behrami 5
Noble 5
Parker 6
Etherington 7
Faubert 9
Ashton 9
Cole 6


16 Responses to Wigan Report

  1. anyotherbizniz says:

    Pretty good call on the performances – the midfield was really poor apart from Faubert. My one disagreement is that I wasn’t convinced by Matty’s performance in either hal). Up front we were brighter, but at the back we were shaky on both flanks and Behrami had a stinker – our worst player.

    I’m not a Curbs basher but I thought his decision to bring on LBM at left back (switching Neill to RB and pushing Behrami to right mid) was one of the strangest managerial decisions I have seen for a long time.

  2. HammerMalta says:

    Being the fisrt game of the seoson it was an equal performans West Ham the first half with 2 goals Wigan took control of the second with 1 goal , that`s the difference.What i`ve noticed 2 good Wigan players in Wilson Palacios and Amr Zaki that we should put interest in.On the whole 3 points for a starter COME ON YOU IRONS!!!!

  3. Liam says:

    After todays perfomance we can see that with a few decent signings we can really push on, Valon Behrami diid have a poor game but will become one of our star players in months to come! Also as soon as Noble and Parker start ruling the midfield it will give him (Behrami) a bigger chance to adapt and show his real attributes as today done him no justice.
    But i have it on good authority that those injections of “Decent Signings” are on there way.

    CF – Sergio Garcia – Real Zaragoza – £8.5million
    RB/CB – Bruno Saltor – UD Almeria – £3million
    LB – Jose Manuel (Mane) – UD Almeria – £4.5million

    The transfer of Bruno Saltor will be concluded on the 20th August for £3million
    The transfer of Sergio Garcia will be concluded on the 26th August for £8.5million
    The transfer of Jose Manuel will be concluded on the 31st August for £4.5million

    Which totals our total summer spending to £21million.

    Everyone please watch this space.

  4. Andrew says:

    psychic liam?

  5. richo says:

    Good to get the three points, Totally agree with your match ratings Iain, Faubert and Deano were great however watching our midfield being dominated by Wigan was worrying. Still, got the result we wanted and hopefully bigger and better for the rest of this season. Come on Irons!!!

  6. chris says:

    How did we get away with that!!! Who cares a wins a win,sometimes the best teams play crap and win, so so what!! gunna keep my fingers crossed behrami comes good,hope we buy some muscle in centre mid,we look lightweight,gunna keep everything crossed deanos ok!! if hes not we got to buy!! my spud brother in law is coming for sunday dinner 2 day cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. brooking still the best says:

    Liam, I hope your right about the signings, I feel we are in real need 0f some fresh faces.
    All said it wasnt to bad yesterday, 3points of Wigan, who we have not beat at home in ages is a decent start! Maybe the performance in the 2nd half wasnt as good as it should have been but thats being picky. Yeah, if we had thrown 2points away after being 2 up would have given everyone reason to have a dig. We never so lets keep positive and get behind the team! C.O.Y.I

  8. mac says:

    What is it with Deano and Bellamy? Why are they always destined to get injured? Game one and they´re both on the table. And do we know what the specialist medical team we had brought in came up with in their assessment of last year’s catalogue of injuries?

  9. jon.london colney says:

    i hate to say it but biriani was shocking at southampton as well.hope he settles in quickly as were gona need him big time.

  10. Plaistow54 says:

    Last year you know, that was a game where we would have dropped points. We hung on for three. That’s got to be good. Palacios run all over us in the middle. We better fix that. Whatever Bruce said at halftime worked. Wigan came out determined to salvage the game. Deano’s first goal was typical of him at his best. He turned & beat Kirkland on his near post. That ain’t easy to do. To sell Ashton at any price would be shear lunacy. I thought Ashton, of course, Davenport & Cole played well. For me Cole was my man of the match. How many times did he clear at the back? This is a man that less than a year ago some were booing. For the life of me, i can’t understand how he makes some to sell lists. He just seems to want to play for us & he doesn’t suffer many injuries. Three points, but some work to do. Nothing wrong with that.

  11. Stevie the K says:

    Agree in general but I was less enthusiastic about Davenport. Lucky not to have incurred a penalty shot there which might have cost them two points (or more!)
    Still, it’s a win and there’s still time in the transfer window.

  12. Thucydides says:

    Good win. A bit of a culture shock for Behrami i think, seeing as he is used to the plodding pace of Serie A; welcome to the Premier League Valon. As for Noble i don’t know what his excuse was. Palacio owned him all day long. Davenport and Upson looked good, Cole carried on from last season, contributing all over the field. Glad to see he’s finally getting the credit he deserves. At least it keeps the whingeing minority away from their keyboards.

    On a side note, is Liam some kind of insider? If he is does he know if Sergio Garcia wil be bringing his own golf clubs? Does it also mean that Tiger Woods is on his way too?

  13. Paul Nixon says:

    Wigan are tipped to be a mid table team this season: this is n’t the WIgan from last season – they are pacey, dynamic and thinkers. They have a strong team. Make no mistake, this is a good result. I expect to see Wigan top a few so called “top teams”.

    BTW: where are thos SPUD fans now?? 🙂 We await your excuses…not that Middlesborough are a bad side so far.

  14. Bazhammer says:

    Very good goal to start, Deano beating Stalteri on the spin, and an opportunist effort by Deano for the second and we were flying. At that point we were top of the league!, and sorry to the man four rows down to me in the Centenary lower who ended up wearing my half eaten burger.
    I thought Davenport played very well ( never really rated him), Deano, Green and Cole.
    Faubert is the one I’ve been waiting on to show true quality, and it looked like he was getting back to the player I’ve been most excited about. He needs a good run in the team, but he is quick, never gives up and hits the ball like an exocet missile.
    Sad to see it drop away in the second half, but happy with the win. Looking forward to Blackburn at home in a couple of weeks for obvious reasons, but yesterday they did look very handy coming back at Everton.

  15. DevoDevo says:

    Without Ashton & Bellamy we won’t score goals, simple.

    Personally can’t see where you could dish out any 9’s on that performance.

    Thought Upson was excellent and very composed.

  16. Leech says:

    If Noble + Parker deserved a 5 for that, what does it take to get the scores 0-4? Ure allowed to go below 5 u know :>. Hth

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