One city, two teams, and two very contrasting games. That is what we have seen the past few days from Wigan Athletic. It was a Saturday to forget, followed by a Tuesday night that Mauro Boselli won't forget for a long time to come. So what does it all mean for Wigan as it stands?
Well we are through to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, cup runs are always good for morale, especially when they consist of your second team. Which for the most part the game on Tuesday did, it saw seven changes from the team that lost 2-0 to Fulham. But were they all good changes?
Well on paper they do look the better options. Bringing in Callum McManaman and Ryo Miyaichi seems to have done them both a world of good, as they look to continue their impressive forms. For me one if not both should be given the nods head of this weekends game. We need pace and that bit of spark on the pitch and we missed that against Fulham.
That said we also missed a goalscorer against Fulham. The man who came on in that game, who we hoped would score, was Mauro Boselli. Yet the Argentinian would miss and open net, before fading out of the game entirely. Yet given a full 90 minutes against West Ham, and he looked like a totally different player. Looking for the passes down the channels and to get his head onto crosses in the box. Rewarded with two goals, he now is our top goalscorer in all competitons. Will that get him into the starting line up?
There are a lot of if's, but's and maybe's. Yet that is the way I like it. At the end of the day we need to have that kind of wonder of who will play from game to game. It keeps the players on their toes, and after the showing against Fulham they need to be.
Especially in the midfield area.
For once we looked awfully flat in the midfield. Shaun Maloney was our only really gun-hoe player, who looked like he wanted to do everything for the team. James McCarthy was unfortunately not given the chance to get forward, as he was clearing up the messes of the rest of the midfield.
So you wonder why Jordi Gomez and Ben Watson were given the nod. Shown in against West Ham, both David Jones and James McArthur could more than handle themselves in the middle of the park, and for me are both head of Ben Watson in the midfield pecking order. A return of the second James to the line up for the weekend should be in order.
That said we were weak even on the flanks. Jean Beausejour looked out of ideas, while Emmerson Boyce wasn't give the chance to get on the ball. Switching he players round to the ones who played on Tuesday (Ronnie Stam and Maynor Figueroa) may work. Both are very comfortable in the wing back positions and know when to get forward and back.
As you can tell, or maybe not. I am building up to what my line up for the team should be for the forth coming Sunderland game. That however will be saved for tomorrow when I take a look at our opposition.
In the mean time, it looks like a case of balancing two things, as we steam forward in the cup; while we start to slow down and cool on our league form. Getting the balance right is now going to be the hard part.