Date: 25th November 2008 at 5:26pm
Written by: Baskerville

The last home game our vital editor missed resulted in a 6-1 win to Wigan over Stoke City. Whilst last night’s Worbo’less game didn’t result in the same score line, it was no less important or less welcome.

Steve Bruce made changes for last night’s game, opting to bring Heskey back in up front to partner Kapo, dropping Camara to the bench. An enforced change due to the unjust suspension of Boyce, saw Taylor drop back into the right back spot, with a rare start for Brown in centre midfield and Palacios being shunted into the unfamiliar left wing spot.

Everton started the brighter, with Latics seemingly unable to string two passes together. Taylor was placed under pressure and conceeded two early corners.

Everton could and should have taken an early lead when a qucik break due to poor defending, put Saha one on one with Kirkland but the Wigan keeper pulled off a superb save to keep the game goaless.

Latics slowly came back into the game, largley due to the industriousness of Cattermole and the creativity of Valencia, although for most of the first half Everton passed the ball around the better but created few chances agaisnt a defence in which Bramble was once again superb.

Latics first real chance fell to Taylor when a free kick from the right back narrowly sailed over the bar with a relieved Everton keeper. Palacios should have scored his first goal for Wigan but headed over an open goal when it seemed easrier to score.

The majority of the first half wasn’t a great advert for Premier League football and there was a debate as to whether both sides would be booed off when on the 44th minute, Cattermole created a mazing run beating three men and having his shot brilliantly saved by Howard.

From the resultant corner, a bullet header from Scharner was blocked by Howard, although it was questionable whether the keeper knew anything about it.

Half time brought the replacement of the ineffective Kapo with Camara who was welcomed by massive cheers from the Wigan faithful.

Camara repayed this faith when a beautiful diagonal pass from Brown found Valencia on the right who beat the offside trap and slid the ball into the centre, where Camara tucked it home for Latics’ first home goal in over 370 minutes.

Latics understandably grew in confidence and with the effervescent Brown providing an able foil for Cattermole, Wigan seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure from an ineffective Everton strike force.

Sitting back has its complications and Everton almost sneaked what would have been an unjust equiliser when in time added on Cahill shot over the bar to the relief of the Wigan players and fans alike.

Wigan 4-4-2
Kirkland, Taylor, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Brown, Palacios, Cattermole, Kapo (Camara 46), Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Kilbane, Koumas, De Ridder, Cywka, Routledge.



Everton:4-4-2
Howard, Neville (Baines 85), Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Cahill, Fellaini, Arteta, Osman, Saha (Anichebe 65), Yakubu.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Castillo, Rodwell, Jutkiewicz, Gosling.

Player Ratings

Chris Kirkland…8/10
One superb save and another superbly competant performance from Chris

Ryan Taylor…7/10
A great first half but faded after the break. He will have benefitted from 90 minutes of football.

Maynor Figueroa…7/10
Looking better going forward

Titus Bramble…8/10
A tower in the centre of defence

Paul Scharner…7.5/10
A slightly eccentric performance from the animated Austrian

Wilson Palacios…6/10
SHould have scored, looked uncomfortable on the left wing

Michael Brown…7/10
Totally committed wholehearted performance

Lee Cattermole…9/10
Once again an excellent leader

Emile Heskey…6.5/10
Clearly not fully fit

Olivier Kapo…5/10
Poor

Antonio Valencia…8/10
Latics most creative outlet once again

Henri Camara…7/10
A great poacher’s goal. Has lost soem pace over the last two years

Manager Rating
Steve Bruce…7/10. Has work to do if he is going to mould the players into a team

Rob Styles…8/10
I never thought that I would say this but he had an excellent game. No bookings tells its own story