2012/13 Wigan Athletic Season Review: August to December

Michael Regan

Part one of the season review, and here we look at the first half of the season. As Wigan's new players looked to adapt quickly to life in the Premier League could we manage to get points on the board? And could we manage to play that gorgeous free flowing football, the truth was a harsh reality.

August

With the rumors surrounding the Victor Moses saga, the club was preparing for the opening game against his eventually employees Chelsea. So with the start of the season with a home tie against a team hoping to challenge for the title we had to be at our best. Yet for the opening six minutes it was a time to forget as our new Spanish defender was torn to pieces.

It was a game for Ivan Ramis to forget, yet Wigan came back and looked solid and dependable for the rest of the game. The signs for the season looked good. That came true as we managed a 2-0 win over newly promoted Southampton; Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo getting a goal a piece in a partnership which would prove very fruitful at the start of the season.

That was followed up by a league cup win over Nottingham Forrest as Latics swept them aside 4-1. Antolin Alcaraz featured in that game getting a red card for two bookable offenses. That would be the last we would see of the defender for some time.

September

Full of hope yet Latics only managed a draw in a month with some winnable fixtures. Twice pegged back against Stoke City as we failed to keep the Potters out, yet the performance as a whole was a good one. Then this lead to an away game against Manchester United, we never get anything at Old Trafford and that proved to be the case as we lost 4-0.

Yet two league games in the month and both we lost out by one goal. First a 2-1 defeat against Fulham, we knocked several times on the door, yet we couldn’t find that finishing touch, while against Sunderland away from home we out played the opposition, but a harsh red card on Jordi Gomez sent us down to ten men and allowed Martin O’Neil’s side to win the game 1-0.

There was some good news though, a 4-1 battering of West Ham United away from home kept spirits high as we continued our march in the League Cup, Ivan Ramis scoring his first goal for the club.

October

October proved to be a tricky month, and playing well in all three league games it was hard to see how we only picked up four points. A dominating performance against high flying Everton saw us only pick up a point at home.

Then a 2-1 defeat against Swansea City when it could have been so much more and we finished a few early chances. Yet instead we have to put up with Emmerson Boyce’s sublime back heeled goal that had it been any other player would be shown over and over again.

Yet our final league game of the month was a much happier affair. As we ran riot at the DW Stadium against West Ham United, however it was the same story as we couldn’t put our chances away, luckily we managed to get away with a 2-1 win.

More league cup action then followed with a home tie against League Two Bradford City. You had to be confident going into this game and felt maybe this could be our year in the League cup. Instead we couldn’t manage to get that elusive goal. Ivan Ramis had head in, yet was ruled for offside, instead the game went to penalties and we lost out 4-2.

November

A month with all league action saw us get six points from a possible 15 as we slipped further and further down the table. The two wins coming against Tottenham Hotspur and Reading. The first a lovely away performance with a Ben Watson goal proving the difference, while against Reading a second half Jordi Gomez hat-trick had us all enticed.

Our three defeats of the month coming against a stubborn West Bromwich Albion as they played with the big boys of the league; a 3-0 battering by Liverpool as we struggled to get out of first gear, while we lost Ben Watson to a broken leg, a influential midfielder who had been at the heart of some of our good moves so far.

The final game of November was at home against Manchester City. A 2-0 defeat the result, yet Wigan hand over fist were the better team and you couldn’t help but get that feeling that maybe this season wasn’t going to be a good one.

December

Four winnable games, mixed in with two tough ones, if any month was going to change the course of our season it would be December. Yet when we needed a big turnout, we were left with misery and the nagging feeling that lady luck wasn’t smiling on us.

First a daft red card for Maynor Figueroa against Newcastle United, while the returning Gary Caldwell could only manage a half ads we lost 3-0. Then against QPR a make shift defence was in place as we fell to a 2-2 after being the better side for the majority of the game.

Our defensive option got even less as we lost both Adrian Lopez and Ivan Ramis against Norwich City, as lost 2-1. It was somewhat surprising then that we managed to only lose 1-0 against Arsenal with only two recognised centre backs, yet neither Manor Figueroa or Emmerson Boyce are comfortable in the roles.

A 2-1 defeat at Everton was also harsh as yet again Latics played well. We were hitting to form but not finding the goal. That all changed though with the last game of 2012 as Wigan turned on the style. The return of two key players, Gary Caldwell and Ivan Ramis, prompted Wigan to beat the stricken Aston Villa 3-0 and boost the morale of the team going into 2013.

At the half way point you felt we could do better and the signs of potential were there. The problem was keeping everyone fit enough to field a full strength side at the moment. Yet going into the New Year with Gray Caldwell and Ivan Ramis getting back to full fitness you hoped we could start to make a run out of the bottom parts of the Premier League table.

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