The formation we played against Tottenham one is not easy to decipher. It’s hard to work out who was playing in our defensive positions, the look of it was that we had added an extra midfielder to counter act the threat of Gareth Bale. Well it worked.
The forward did score early on, but the goal wasn’t his own making. The Wigan defence passing the ball stupidly around at the back saw Joel play the ball of to Maynor Figueroa. The defender then played it back to our keeper, with Bale charging. Instead of kicking the ball away with his left, the keeper used his right and kicked it straight to Bale.
The ball hit the top of his boot and slammed into the top corner of the goal. What are you playing at? That was the feeling in the ground. Tottenham hadn’t managed to work an opening before then, and we had looked comfortable in the midfield.
But here is where we have to give credit to our players. Goal behind and we knew we couldn’t be, the first burned in their bellies and a captain charge was what they needed. A shot, a block saw Shaun Maloney have the chance to whip in a corner. The Scott’s man delivered and so did Emmerson Boyce, the defender getting above everybody to head Wigan level.
The noise level went up a notched, as did Wigan’s efforts. It wasn’t a first half to savour though. Neither side really managed to work much of an opening. The best falling to Tottenham when a Tom Huddleston free kick from the wide Wigan left rattled the post.
The half would not end well for Wigan, as Maynor Figueroa would have to go off. The Honduran who had already made a last ditch block for a cross, then dived in to a tackle to win the ball superbly of the foot of Kyle Walker. Yet the stretch was too much and the player grabbed his groin in pain. The stretcher followed and it looked to be bad, could it be a tear?
Ronnie Stamm his replacement had little to do as the first half drew to a flat close.
The second half though saw Wigan bounce into life. The players rallied by their manager sprung into a frenzy of attacking the Tottenham goal. Callum McManaman on one side and Shuan Maloney on the other, as the two tried to work an opening.
In the end it was the young Englishman who grabbed his first ever Premier League goal. A clearance saw the ball spin widely into the air, Callum tried to control it but it bounced too far in front, instead of take another touch, the winger unleashed a volley. Goal bound the ball flew past Hugo Llorris in the Tottenham goal much to their dismay and the Wigan delight.
It had taken less than five minutes in for Wigan to get the goal, and we now had our tail feathers up. Chance, after chance, was created. Jean Beasuejour getting to the touch lien couldn’t find the right pass, and when they did Arouna Kone couldn’t convert the two chances he really had.
One the ball looping of Matthew Dawson saw Kone on goal; the striker tried to place the ball into the corner, and got it horribly wrong as the ball flew to Llorris’s hands. Not getting a goal from these chances you feared would costs us.
With seconds to go to half time a Tottenham free kick got the goal. Beausejour battling with Walker, saw the full back fall. Yet it was the other way replays show, even at the time I felt it was harsh. Walker had his arms around Jean and as our winger used his body strength down went the full back. A very harsh one!
The ball in past the side of the wall and hit the side of Emmerson Boyce, none else reacted to the flick and it spun into the corner of the goal. Such an awful way to concede and Wigan’s hopes of a win looked to have gone.
A late flurry of chances proceeded; with Tottenham having the better of them but they couldn’t convert. Joel making amends for his earlier error as he kept the ball out of the Wigan goal. Wigan at the other end lacked that final clinical piece which has been our down fall so much.
To be downhearted would be a falsehood. Wigan were the better team, we controlled the game and if we maintain such a display for the rest of our league games, then maybe survival for the Latics is still on.
Keep the Faith!