Date: 2nd January 2009 at 10:58pm
Written by: Baskerville

Steve Bruce made seven changes to the team that beat Bolton on Monday,three enforced and four volountary and saw his lack of squad depth painfully and cruelly exposed.

In came Camara,Kapo and Brown for Zaki, Heskey and Cattermole with Bruce opting to rest Melchiot, Pollitt, Taylor and Figueroa replacing them with Boyce, Kingson, De Ridder and Kilbane.

Of the seven changes only Camara, Brown and Boyce looked worthy of a place ina premier league team with the others merely an embarassment.

It is testimony to the other seven players therefore that Latics were in the game, right until the death against an awful Spurs side, who must surely be there for the taking when we play them at the JJB, in just over a week’s time.

The first half saw lots of effort and commitment from Latics but very few chances, the best falling to Camara in the fifth minute when he headed narrowly wide.

At the other end Kingson looked comfortable but was in truth very rarely tested. Latics passed the ball around well with Scharner and Bramble looking in control at the back and Brown and Palacios industrious in midfield. Up front Camara worked hard but was given very little chances.

Half time came and in truth the game so far wasn’t a great advert for the magic of the F.A.Cup.

The second half started in muCh the same way as the first, however the game was changed by the pace of Campbell and the clumsiness of Kingson. Campbell beat the offside trap and raced into the penalty area, he appeared to be going wide and Bramble was racing back to cover.However a clumsy lunge from Kingson clipped Campbell, who fell theatrically and Mr Wiley awarded a penalty which Pavlyuchenko buried with ease.

Latics attempted to hit back quickly but Scharner’s shot was blocked by Pavlyuchenko.

Latics were again hit by a sucker punch. A quick clearence by Gomes from a Wigan set piece fell to O Hara, who broke down the left, where Figueroa was missing and fired past Kingson who flailed at the ball without touching it. The ball hit the post and fell to Modric who on his knees and he headed the ball into an empty net.

This goal was controversial, in that Figueroa was lying injured in the Spurs penalty area. Mr Wiley didnt stop play but previously had stopped play, when Zakora was injured in the lower abdomen.

Latics didn’t give up and Camara’s industry was rewarded, when Cwyka shot on the turn, which came free to Camara who fired past Gomes.

Latics pushed for an equiliser, however Spurs sealed the victory, when Pavlyuchenko shot straight at Kingson from outside the area, who contrived to miss it, to seal a miserable performance on his debut.

Player Ratings

Richard Kingson…4/10
Nowhere near Premier League quality. A debut he will never forget for all the wrong reasons.

Emerson Boyce…7/10
A usual ‘ steaddie eddie’ performance.

Kevin Kilbane…5/10
Looked off the pace .

Paul Scharner…8/10
A totally commited performance from the big Austrian.

Titus Bramble…7/10
Solid as a rock.

Antonio Valencia…6/10
A quiet performance but still Wigan’s most creative outlet.

Micheal Brown…6/10
Kept trying all night and didn’t get booked.

Wilson Palacios…6/10
Kept trying and got booked again.

Daniel De Ridder…4/10
Must be released in the transfer window. Has nowhere near any of the attributes needed for a Premeir League player.

Olivier Kapo…3/10
His most telling contribution was jogging off when substituted. Another one to go this month please

Henri Camara…6/10
He may want away but at least he tried and deserved a goal for his effort.

Thomas Cwyka…6/10
Looked sharper than soem of his more illustrious team mates.

Maynor Figueroa…6/10
Had little chance to shine.
Good to see him back on the field.

Manager Rating
Steve Bruce….5/10 His gamble of using squad players backfired badly, exposing his lack of depth within the squad.

Need to increas the qua;lity of the squad
Too many players Kapo, De Ridder, Kilbane, Kingson are not good enough to be at the club. Bruce needs to bring in quality replacements as well as holding onto the quality players such as Zaki and Valencia.

The fans
Fewer than 200 made the long trip to London and have a right to feel short changed by the decision not to feel the strongest possible side, thereby proving how much influence and power, the Premier League has over the other domestic competitions.