Passing, when I say that word to do you what do you think? Barcelona, Arsenal, Swansea maybe. Yet who in world of football thinks about little Wigan Athletic? Well the back end of last season we were the team to beat, now its more of a case of you must beat us, as we can't pass the ball or more to the point over pass it.
Last weekends game was a shocking showing of how a team can play good football, too much. We have seen it time and time and time again here at Wigan. The Latics holding the ball passing it about, their is confidence, their is swagger and none can get it off us. However we can't score with it.
The solution. Well we thought we had found it, in a more direct Arouna Kone. Against West Brom, he was arguably our best player on the pitch with or without the ball. Their is just something about him, that natural striker instinct that makes him that bit more dangerous. That was what got him his goal, and had his team mates been more clincal others could have followed.
Yet they shouldn't have had to come when we were 2-0 down. In the first half an hour of the game, West Brom were lucky to get a touch in our half. We had total control of the ball and were putting out any of their striking threats, the problem was we didn't have any. It was because the movement up front was poor, it was the lack of ideas in the middle of the park.
Our midfield for once was the let down. Not one of our three central midfielders had a good game. Shaun Maloney was nowhere to be seen for large parts of the game. James McCarthy tackled anything and everything but was lost when trying to run or pass the ball forwards, then there was Ben Watson. The ginger midfielder who had one of those games where he looked like a bumbling idiot, not the classy midfielder we know he can be.
That was the disappointing thing about the game, players who have two fantastic games, just suddenly shut off. The stand out star for me was Ivan Ramis, who yet again dealt with everything with a cool calm head, and a bit of Spanish style, more of that is needed.
To change our ways, we really need to see the return of James McArthur. We have missed the Scottish international who really gives us a bit of impetus in the middle of the park when games are tight. We saw that a lot towards the end of last season, and he did it against West Ham United getting the winning goal.
So this weeks homework for the boys in blue will have consisted of:
- Some creative work. Free choice whether it is righting a novel, or something arty, just getting your brains thinking out of the box.
- Some motivational work. Screaming at yourself in the mirror, so generally getting a bit more Scottish in our approach (determined right to the bitter end).
- Learning what a goal is, where it is and how to score them. This is a none optional piece of work!
The Deadline is the 17th November where the outcome will be presented in a demonstration at Anfield.
Good luck to all involved!