Wigan Preview & Open Thread

I’m writing this a little earlier than usual as I will be driving down to Somerset and then Plymouth today.

Make no mistake, Wigan are a much more formidable team than they used to be. They haven’t lost at home since October, so if we sneak a win tonight it will be a mark of how far we have come. Wigan have tended to be one of our bogey teams, especially at Upton Park, although I think we did win up there fairly recently.

Clearly, the one enforced change will be the replacement of Valon Behrami. Conventional wisdom suggests that Mark Noble will come in as a straight swap, but after Savio’s bright showing on Sunday perhaps Zola might decide to give him his first start. No, to be honest, I don’t think so either.

Otherwise it will clearly be the same lineup that started against Man City.

I think the key to this game will be the performance in midfield. Wigan are a battling side so we need to have Scott Parker and Kovac at their best in the centre. They have Mido back, and he always gives us trouble, so Tomkins and Upson will need to be on their guard, especially as Zaki is also due a goal.

I’d be happy with a point, to be honest.


126 Responses to Wigan Preview & Open Thread

  1. Seb Deery says:

    We have a good chance of winning this if we play as we did on Sunday, Behrami will be a loss but his form had dipped slightly and Noble should be itching to get involved again. I think Savio will come off the bench again but he should start instead of DiMichele (through no fault of his own) I think we need some pace for the counter.

    Contrary to Iain’s blurb our record against Wigan isn’t actually too shabby, especially at the JJB but it will be a close run affair- I see this being a stepping stone for our run in and a way of building upon a solid performance against Man Citeh- another 1-0 to the Irons with Nobes or Coley knocking in the winner. COYI

  2. Bill, Sydney, Oz says:

    Sh*t!! I’m going to have to go to the doctor again! I agree with everything Ian has said.

  3. chris says:

    No sorry,savio and collison out wide for me.
    parker with Kovac or Noble not bothered.
    Wigan are quite a big side so maybe Kovac to start.

  4. aussie graham says:

    Love watching live televised games lets hope the performance is as solid as it was at the weekend we can improve COYI!

  5. Paul says:

    Kovac please. Noble if he’s got his vision back; but Savio on early – it’s refreshing to see a direct, accurate, canon-shot at goal.

    Let’s be direct and come out of the blocks attacking. I know it’s a lot to ask, but 3 points please.


  6. Aussie Iron says:

    Kovac, to start for me with Noble. Savio looks good but not to start yet. COYI

  7. Ozuptonparker says:

    Can’t decide between Kovac or Noble to start but like the looks of Savio let him and Ilunga run down Wigans right Kovac may be a little off the pace still up against Valencia and N’Zogbia.
    Zola needs to decide wether Noble bosses the midfield and Parker breaks down play or viki verka.
    Don’t want to see another season slowly peter out when we’ve worked so hard to get where we are
    gonna have to IQ it GFCBA

  8. englandsnumber6 says:

    Got 0-0 written all over it…… id take a point now.

  9. E1 says:

    I’ve got this one as a draw, a win would be great and if everton loose we will put some presure on them for 6th spot and who knows what that may lead to by the end of the season.

  10. Roymondo says:

    I agree, a draw would be a good result as this lot are not easy to beat at their place.
    I think Zola will play Noble in a straight swop for Behrami but I would prefer a five-man midfield for this one with Savio and Collison wide and Noble, Parker and Kovac giving us presence in the centre. Sounds a bit negatives but there are enough runners in that midfield to get up and support Cole when we attack. It means no place for DDM but, as I’ve said before, he really doesn’t produce anything away from home.
    I’m sure that I will be wrong though!

  11. TRNC Pete says:

    I think it will be a tough game, but if our defence is tight then we could nick it 1-0. If we concede early I think we’ll struggle to get back into it. All the results went well last night for us I think, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all beating teams below us. So a win tonight should put enough light between us and the bottom on the table… and who knows what might happen if Everton loose!!!! COYI

  12. Dujon says:

    Behrami is out for the season. oh no!

    It will provide a great opportunity for some young players to gain experience/show us what they’ve got.

  13. chris says:

    Was Curb’s right,has zola left the squad a bit thin,
    everyones dropping like flies!!
    our subs bench will contain our youngsters.
    good or bad thing guys?

  14. englandsnumber6 says:

    Its better to have quality in depth than just a massive squad like curbs had, we have enough cover in midfield and i think it makes the right players play better rather than aquad players who sit on the bench getting lazy.

  15. richo says:

    Hi everyone, haven’t been on for a while…great victory against the citizens hopefully we can back up with another result against a good Wigan side. Seems the general consensus is to hope for a draw, i’m a little more optimistic and think if we can keep a clean sheet we could nick a victory.
    What’s the word on Behrami??? Hope your wrong Dujon…

  16. richo says:

    Agree with englandsnumber6 on our squad…quality over quantity, would like to see the addition of natural left and right wingers who can cover in the middle and at the back, we also have our obvious shortcomings up front…i’m sure Zola has his plans for the next window though and I have faith he’ll get it right.

  17. Lee says:

    Setanta are indeed reporting that Behrami is out for the season. But they seem to be reporting the original story from The Sun, where they have him quoted as β€œThe season has gone down the drain for me. I now have to wait a day or two before I know whether I need surgery.”

    Not being reported anywhere else.

  18. Dujon says:

    It is actually being reported on the official Premier League website. The “I’ll be out for the season” statement came from Behrami’s mouth as well.

    I believe it is a good thing Chris. So many talents coming through. Right now we can field a very good first 11, with a bench full of top quality youngsters with bright futures ahead. I believe they can adapt.

    Westham 1-0

  19. djclipz says:

    lawrenson really does make me laugh… i hope we just prove him wrong and 2-0 to us instead!! Cole needs a goal again!! Go on my son!!!!

  20. Hammerhead says:

    I have got a gut feeling we are going to win 2-1.

    Hope i’m right.


  21. Delmo says:

    Morning all. Just got this feeling that tonight is our night, Ok Wigan very good run at home but all they are is a Straing and powerful team who did set pieces very well before Taylor went to Newcastle and Palcious went to spuds.

    As long as we dont enter a battle and stick to our guns of quick passing and movement. The only worry I think is if Valencia is fully fit and starts.

    Apart from that can see 2-1 west ham, Cole and maybe a goal from a set routine with Upson.

    Maybe a bit rose tinted, but that is half the fun of being a hammer…….always Half full never half empty.

    Come on you Irons!!!

  22. Delmo says:

    straing = strong…..should really re-read post before posting,

  23. D. McCailey says:

    The trouble with Noble, Parker and Kovac in the middle is the lack of width, which we suffered with in the Boro game. I’d play Collison on the right, Savio or even Lopez on the left with Parker and Kovac or Noble in the middle.
    I read that Kovac apparently only had 1 weeks preseason before he joined us which could explain his dire first 45 against the Boro – if that is the case could another full 90 in quick succession be too much for him at this stage?

    Another option would be to play Cole up front on his own with a midfield of Savio, Parker, Kovac, Noble and Collison.

  24. Hockley Hammer says:

    Hello to you all, been reading your comments for a while now. Recently plucked up the courage to join in.I think tonight will be a battle, the sort of game that we would have laid down and died, in the past. But not anymore. We seem to have a bit more grit and the will to win. I would keep Kovac in the side, his hieght and strength will be needed and bring in Noble. Keep Savio on the bench. Happy with a draw, great if we could win it.

  25. James says:

    I would like to see Savio start on the right or left, That would be my only change.

    Wish we had Behrami tonight but I am sure we can battle on without him.

    3-1 to the hammers, COYI

  26. E1 says:

    Nothing official regarding Behrami as far as zola is concerned they are awaiting further tests before they will know how long he is going to be out.
    He will be a big miss but the midfield is not an area we are short on cover for, so hopefully we can keep rolling on. I’m still sticking with 50 points 7th place. COYI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do think 5 across the middle with cole up front is our best option for this next game if we are going there to win it. If we are going for a draw then noble to replace behrami and stay as we are. IMHO

  27. Daveip1966 says:

    Let’s recap:

    Away in the North West – oh dear
    Behrami out – oh dear
    Expectations way up after a one-nil at home – oh dear

    Colour me a pessimist, but I’ll be very happy with just a point tonight

  28. DevoDevo says:

    Kovac will be a big player for us in time and has to start. Collison and Savio on the flanks for me with DM retaining his place.

    As long as we continue to work hard (as against City), we are more than capable of taking a point if not all 3.

    All the games seem to be important at the moment, but a win would open up a gap between us and the Europa pursuers and with West Brom up next we might even start to look at catching Everton.

  29. brooking still the best says:

    Does anyone know of any live streams for tonight?

  30. Jackster101 says:

    for my English Coursework, i have to look at the language of the official programme and OLAS. could anyone tell me when the first programme and OLAS, were published. Thanks

  31. E1 says:

    A blackburn win would do us a favour tonight and come may when we play the toffee’s as devodevo says we could well challenge for that 6th spot.
    Bottom line whoever is out there tonight needs to play out of their skin.

  32. Eric says:

    Savio blinder from 20 yds out. Agree with E1. Everyone on the pitch has to show up. COYI!!

  33. SwedeHammer says:

    Even though we have a bench full of quality youngsters. Loosing Behrami is a major blow. He has been an inspiration to other player with his “terrier” and never giving up attitude all over the field.
    I too think we should line up with a 4-5-1 formation. If we can hold it the first 30 we are going home with at least a point.

    COYI from LA

  34. Jackster101 says:

    i don’t think we should be putting too much pressure on savio. savio to score from 20 yards etc. i feel we are expecting too much from him. A player i do like however is terry dixon, remember seeing him about 2 years ago, thought he was like a Wayne Rooney, but he was put under immense pressure, played too much and injured himself seriously, just good he got his career back, and even happier that he is here at West ham.

    West ham 0 – wigan -0

  35. Mile End Paul says:

    Live Feed – I live in France and I usually go for http://www.atdhe.net. Saw MCFC game at weekend on this and they are listing game as being on tonight

  36. Goatygav says:

    Cheers for the URL Mile End Paul.

    COME ON YOU IRONS!!!!!!!!

  37. D&G says:

    I actually cant see us getting anything from this game. Behrami is our engine and without him we are very weak in midfield now.

    I will be VERY happy with a draw but really cant see it, we are going to get bossed of the pitch in midfield and yet again where are our goals coming from?

    Thank god our midfield can score!

  38. Rob says:

    behrami does not deserve that injury at all, he is one of the most hard working players i have ever seen in claret and blue.

    tonight i think zola will start nobes, but i think this is a mistake as we would be playing 4 centre mids (but im not the one with the uefa coaching badge so i think zola knows a hell of a lot more than me!)

    i would start either savio or stanislas tonight, to give us a spark from the of, something for wigan to think about.

    despite their great season i still dont rate wigan as highly as several of you obviously do. they dont have any great players and bramble is one of the most inconcistent players ever!

    i think a win should be targeted, and i think zola will have the same mentallity

  39. hammeredCalv says:

    we have done quite well on our travels so far this season, i think we can win this comfortably tonight,2- nil ! We just need to sustain our form from city game. I would stick with same starting line up as city game apart from the obvious nobes for behrami, Savio gets the second half !!!! COYI !!!

    ps thanks for the live stream Paul.

  40. thegeneralmuz says:

    hate to say it but i see wigan win,they got players coming back and us losing behrami dont help,cole looks like he’s struggling,hope i’m wrong!

  41. SwedeHammer says:

    That kick had disaster written all over it. Not three games in a row. I would have tossed out the computer..

  42. DevoDevo says:

    Anyone found a decent feed?

  43. DevoDevo says:

    I’m about 10 minutes behind on that one, Swede! Thanks, anyway.

  44. SwedeHammer says:

    It’s a bit skippy..but it’s live..They are looking very good on midfield. Cole all alone with keeper had three choices and picked fourth..

  45. SwedeHammer says:

    Get in there!!! Goal of the month!!

  46. Goatygav says:

    Carlton Cole – Have some of that!!!!


  47. Goatygav says:

    Aw shucks – Scotty Parker in the book.

  48. Goatygav says:

    WHAT!!!!? Cole OFF???!!

  49. Goatygav says:

    That’s gotta be rescinded. Didn’t take his eye off the ball for a millisecond.

    Come on lads – let’s shut up shop.

  50. brooking still the best says:

    This ref is an idiot, ruined a good game

  51. brooking still the best says:

    lets get to half time

  52. lotf says:

    commentators on bbc london are going mental about the ref. but as it’s 2 yellows we can’t appeal can we?

  53. DevoDevo says:

    Where do these young refs hget off? Absolutely clueless, odds on he’s never played the game in his life.

    Wonderful goal – absolute class. Hope Scotty doesn’t get a 2nd yellow in the second half.

    I’d bring Savio on now for DDM so we have some pace up front.

  54. Kim says:

    That poxy ref makes Dean look brilliant. Take his badge away – arrogant pig

  55. brooking still the best says:

    phew, be lucky to get away with this. poxy ref

  56. djclipz says:

    i hope we can hold on, and i hope this ref is demoted to non league football too. Shocking!!! He didnt even touch boyce, was never looking at him and was challenging for the ball. I think he has alreayd booked half our team too!!! Ruined!!

  57. E1 says:

    Start of a good game
    Great goal !!!
    THEN SHIT REF ruins it for the paying public what a real Mess.
    Fingers crossed we can hold out and get what we deserve.
    It was all looking so good AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  58. djclipz says:

    idoit. the guy is an idoit

  59. brooking still the best says:

    typical wigan cheats, their chairman has brought the ref! lol

  60. SwedeHammer says:

    Would started to look like a top game has been spoiled by a dick that is not qualify in my kids league in LA!!! This will be heavy on the ol’ nerves..

  61. lotf says:

    a lot of other teams manage to play almost better with 10 men than 11, as everyone else really steps up and keeps their concentration. hope we can do the same.

    also, this is the second game in a row that Parker has lost his temper with the ref. hope it’s just unbridled passion for west ham.

  62. the headmaster says:

    watching on bensports tv. Very harsh on CC. Will be a good point but who knows – backs to the wall!! coyi

  63. E1 says:

    Bruce’s moaning about not getting decision payed off they are trying to make up for Saturday’s referee mistake, so unfair how many more games is this bloke going to mess up.

  64. boleyn local says:

    Apparently you cannot appeal on 2 yellows,well that what the commentater said on the live stream I am watching.Class movement of the ball for the goal,though Rooney or Ronaldo will get goal of the month for a tap in.

  65. brooking still the best says:

    refs at it again, neil this time

  66. Goatygav says:

    10 v 10 now.

  67. DevoDevo says:

    Parker be lucky to play again this year. Fkn joke this is.

  68. lotf says:

    guess cattermole was pretty p’d off after the neill challenge. hope parker is ok, seems like he will be, at least it’s 10 v 10.

  69. brooking still the best says:

    hmm, evens it up i guess

  70. DevoDevo says:

    He’s back on LOL!

  71. Goatygav says:

    What’s all that about him giving the fans some?

  72. lotf says:

    gave em a look and mouthed the c word apparently!

  73. Kim says:

    Is the ref Mike Dean’s devil spawn?!!!

  74. brooking still the best says:

    this refs far too card happy, idiot idiot!

  75. SwedeHammer says:

    aaahhh lost my feed!!!

  76. SwedeHammer says:

    Pleeease be quick with the comments!! Got no coverage!!

  77. brooking still the best says:

    hpe all their chances go to bramble

  78. brooking still the best says:

    ooo unlucky Noble

  79. brooking still the best says:

    is it time for Savio?

  80. brooking still the best says:

    we should be 2 up, hope it don’t cost us

  81. alan says:

    Collison off twisted knee

  82. Paul M says:

    savio on for Di Mic, should be a lively finish now

  83. Jolly says:

    Arse….just lost collison

  84. Goatygav says:

    We need our Italian Physios to work theri magic. Our first team are dropping like flies at the moment.

  85. SwedeHammer says:

    Just got back on to see Collison on his back!!
    What the hell??? Another blow??!!
    Hope this is not as bad as it looks

  86. Paul M says:

    collison still on !!!

  87. Paul M says:

    I’m well behind guys, Collison off looks nasty

  88. alan says:

    In the car with the radio (parked up ) on so sorry if the updates are a little slow

  89. Jolly says:

    This is the worst feed ever….why are there never any decent links for West Ham games????

  90. alan says:

    Is collison still on??

  91. Jolly says:

    That’s the one i’m using….to be fair it’s just started to be ok….but for the last 80 minutes it’s been shocking

  92. D. McCailey says:

    No went off on a stretcher.

  93. brooking still the best says:

    their starting to look a tad dangerous now

  94. alan says:


  95. Jolly says:

    Great play by savio, nobes has to make it 2 from there!

  96. Goatygav says:

    Cheers D McCailey. Any Italian relatives in your family?

  97. D. McCailey says:

    No only Scottish πŸ™‚

  98. Goatygav says:

    6 mins!!!

  99. D. McCailey says:

    6 minutes added time!

  100. Jolly says:

    Fulham still 0-0 so we could be 7th and 4 points clear!!!

  101. Goatygav says:

    Travelling Hammers in good voice!

  102. Goatygav says:

    Anyone reckon M-O-T-D will talk about how ordinary our goal was?

  103. brooking still the best says:

    6 mins, where did all that come from?

  104. Jolly says:

    Red cole Cattermoel, injury Parker, injury Collison and subs = 6 mins

  105. Goatygav says:


  106. D. McCailey says:

    No I reckon MOTD will focus on Stuart Atwell and barely analyse the football at all!

  107. Goatygav says:


  108. Paul M says:

    1-0 well done lads

  109. D. McCailey says:

    Hard place to go – job well done! COYI

  110. Jolly says:


  111. Paul M says:

    7th and looking good. Shame about the injuries though hope colly is OK

  112. Matt says:

    Great result, great goal, europe looks likely, got to remain focused…
    feel for collison tho, hopefully nt as bad as it looked

  113. brooking still the best says:

    what a result, great goal, great away performance. Our injury situation is very worrying, colly looks like he is going to be out for a long time. He will be another big miss.

  114. DevoDevo says:

    Brilliant stuff, you Irons!

    Hope Colly is OK -didn’t look good.


  115. djclipz says:

    Great result!! Match looked like was goin to be really good. idoit ref, but we got the result in the end!!!

    So sad for collison though. 2 in one week!!!!

    Goal of the season!!! lol


  116. SwedeHammer says:

    Bad ratio thought, 2player/2 win. What happens if we go for 9 straight?

  117. E1 says:

    Collison don’t look good be a while before he gets back, just our luck we go on a run and we start to drop like fly’s Bugger !!
    And only 6 pts behind Everton.

  118. NC Hammer says:

    Thank goodness Savio seems to be coming into form. And it looks as though Kovac may be getting some increased time soon. Lopez actually got onto the pitch and Stanislaus and Payne were both in the squad. I guess we’ll be seeing them on the pitch as well.

    Can we recall Faubert from Madrid?


  119. Martin of Surbiton says:

    Now that was a really, really, really good result. The injuries are worrying of course, but the confidence in the camp must be sky high after a top class goal and staying firm and in control following Carlton’s absurd dismissal. Needless to say, it was made easier after Cattermole was quite rightly sent off, but we looked pretty damn secure throughout.

    I wonder if the pr*t Lawrenson has the intelligence to understand what’s happening here. COYI.

  120. KP says:

    Tremendous six points in five days. After our february horribilis, I think any of us would have taken 4 pts from those two fixtures. Bring on the Baggies!

    Feel sick for Valon and Colly though, hope Colly’s knock isn’t too bad.

    Back to the plus side, nice to see Savio looking well up for it — the boy showed a lot of heart along with his undoubted pace, poise and skill.

    Oh, and our winner, what a joy to behold. It was like a Barcelona goal, we strolled rings around them, passed it into the net. Loving our football this season.

  121. phil says:

    Lawrenson and intelligence don’t even belong in the same sentence, so don’t hold your breath Martin!
    Great result though. Despite the gutting injuries to Collison and Behrami in short succession, there do appear to be alternatives. Kovac is settling in, Savio is looking really promising and Lopez looks good.

  122. Martin of Surbiton says:

    Phil, now you have put Lawrenson and intelligence in the same sentence πŸ˜‰ Let’s agree not to do it again.

    Meanwhile GZ is quoted as saying “We have to understand the referee is a human being and can make mistakes. He needs our support. You can have a bad day but we need to support them as they are here to help the game.”

    What a diplomat! Arguably he and Steve Clarke got it wrong against Middlesbrough. but that has been unusual this season. Bring on the Baggies. COYI

  123. phil says:

    Well spotted Martin – put me in the same sentence as Lawrenson!

    Zola’s far too diplomatic, I kind of like him for it though. Meanwhile I’m waiting for the MOTD highlights – graveyard slot again.

  124. Daveip1966 says:

    Cracking result, just saw it on guardian football.

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