On the basis of the stats from our last four games it looks like it. Not all is as it seems however…read on
In the last four games, Latics have accrued 8 yellows and a red against 3 yellows and based on statistics you would say yes.
However the stats don’t tell the full picture.
At Liverpool the first Yellow for Valencia was clearly ,where Dossema’s booking for a first half tackle on the Ecudorean could easily have been a red card except that Liverpool players don’t get sent off at home.
One booking at home to Villa, on a day when Latics players seemed to have forgotten how to tackle, never mind foul was the only game that we have picked up less bookings than our opposition in recent weeks.
In our last two games we have picked up five bookings against none for our opponents and certainly on Saturday the three bookings for Wigan were for tackles no worse than those by Pompey in appalling conditions which went unpunished.
So are we a dirty team?
I don’t think so, sure we play with commitment but very few of our bookings can be from ‘bad tackles’ Valencia’s second at Anfield possibly the only exception.
Whilst bookings initially have little impact, with a squad as small as ours we cannot afford any suspensions. Valenica’s absence against Villa cost us dear.
A very physical game is expected on Saturday and Cattermole et al cannot afford to take a backward step but this must be tempered by the need to tackle in a hard plus fair manner.