Date: 1st February 2009 at 10:52am
Written by: J_Mo

Vital Latics regular J_Mo compiles his findings on the goings on at Villa Park yesterday and gives each player their own special report, lets see what he has to say:

Player Ratings

Kirkland – 6
Couple of decent saves and commanded his area well. Wouldn`t have been at fault for any of the goals had the defenders not been there to clear off the line.

Melchiot – 7
Solid as usual from the Latics` skipper. Got forward whenever he had the opportunity.

Boyce – 7
Dealt well with everything that came his way.

Bramble – 7
One or two nervy moments, but some key tackles later on more than made up for it.

Figueroa – 8
Looked unconvincing early on, but went on to be Latics` best defender. His header just before half time forced the best save of the game from Friedel.

Scharner – 9
Relished playing in the holding role and was everywhere. Gave us drive in the midfield and made some superb goal line clearances.

Brown – 6
Worked hard, but didn`t look comfortable playing out of position on the right in the second half.

Cattermole – 7
Like Brown, he got through a lot of work in the midfield. Couple of nice touches helped us keep possession.

De Ridder – 5
Ineffective, and should have done better with what was probably Latics` best chance of the game. Unsurprisingly substituted at half time.

Mido – 6
Was isolated for much of the first half, and wasn`t much better in the second.

Koumas – 5
Effort was there, but seemed invisible for a lot of the game. Set pieces could have been better.

Rodallega – 7
Probably Latics` most threatening attacking player. Could well turn out to be a really good signing once he gets a few games under his belt.

Watson – 7
A decent debut from the former Palace man, who looks more than capable of making the step up to the Premiership.

Summary:

Manager Rating
Steve Bruce – 8

Had a game plan to avoid defeat today, and got his tactics spot on, thanks to a little bit of luck along the way.

Rob Styles – 7
Other than giving a ridiculous back pass decision against Kirkland, he had a decent game, and tried to let the game flow.

And finally?
Emile Heskey – 6

Got a positive reception before the game from the Wigan fans. Was contained well by Latics` defence though, and wasted his sole chance, heading straight at Kirkland.

Summary:
A few nervy moments caused by goalmouth scrambles, but a good result for the Latics. We even had a couple of chances to steal all three points, but I`m sure most of us will be happy with the draw, which our defensive efforts more than merited.

Highlight of the day was the guy making noises like a strangled llama. Could be nothing new to some of our regular away fans (maybe?), but I found it amusing at the time?

Overall, superb for us to remain in 7th despite all the recent transfer activity potentially affecting our performance on the pitch.