What an embarrassing performance, the only positive from the game was that Norwich didn’t manage to build upon their early goal, because make no bones about it the Latics were there for a hammering.
A more poor, lacklustre display from a Wigan Athletic side is difficult to muster from the memory banks, we look a team that has already accepted our fate and there is absolutely no fight or urgency in this side. Last week’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday was poor, but this took it to a whole new level.
Team selection left many scratching their heads, what we thought was the Rösler curse of rotation and playing players out of position appears to be carrying on into the tenure of new boss Malky Mackay, two left backs and just one centre back to start, James McClean playing the ‘target man’ role and Shaun Maloney once again stuck out wide on the wing. Both McCann and Watson starting in the engine room when they are clearly no more than 50% following their lengthy layoffs is a travesty to both the team and the two players in question. And when will we start a game with a striker in the side? For all his graft Marc-Antoine Fortune is no centre forward, Delort and Riera must be truly shocking in training if neither can get a look in with this bunch of miss firing frontmen.
The games only goal came after five minutes, by which stage we could have already conceded two, Gary Hooper was causing havoc by dropping off the front line and nobody knew what to do with him, Norwich attacked, the ball was knocked to Hooper who laid off to Howson 18 yards out and the midfield man fired home, 0-1.
Norwich looked rampant, their movement on and off the ball was excellent, well they moved, I think it may have been a case of our static midfield actually making them look much better than what they were. James McClean for the first 30 minutes played through the middle and our attacking outlet was to pump balls to his head for the Ireland international wingman to try and head on. People in the stands were actually laughing at the preposterousness of it all, it was a joke.
When McClean did win a header there was no one to pick up the second ball, this was really Sunday League stuff, how Norwich didn’t smash us in the opening half is a complete mystery, they dominated the play, bossed the midfield and got stuck in, throughout the whole of the game we committed five fouls, FIVE free kicks given away, that stat is enough to make me shake my head, we are falling at a rapid rate of knots out of the division and no player is willing to get stuck in enough to fight for the team, the club, the fans, the manager and most importantly themselves, absolutely disgraceful.
Maloney went off ill shortly after half time to be replaced by Don Cowie, Maloney wasn’t the only one who was sick. A midfield that was crying out for energy and buzz was finally injected with some when Roger Espinoza was brought on, problem was it had taken until the 82nd minute for the manager to realise the need for this and with the side a goal down it was a forward player, of sorts, Fortune who made way. Andy Delort was thrown on with 90 seconds of the game left, you have to feel for him, he might be crap but he has scored goals in his career, the striker we have playing at the moment is crap and has never scored goals.
The final whistle went without the Latics raising the heart beat of the home spectators once, a shocking performance that speaks volumes about the problems at the club, we look in turmoil both on and off the pitch, the only players to come away with any credit were Perch and Taylor who both worked their socks off, the rest, I’d rather not comment.
Latics – Carson, Taylor, McCann (Delort 88), Watson (Capt), Maloney (Cowie 47), McClean, McManaman, Perch, Barnett, Figueroa, Fortune (Espinoza 82)
Unused subs – Al Habsi, Huws, Boyce, Forshaw
Norwich City – Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin (Capt), Cuellar, Olsson, Howson, O’Neil, Tettey, Johnson, Hooper (Murphy 64), Jerome (Lafferty 70)
Unused subs –Rudd, Turner, Hooiveld, Redmond, McGrandles
Give The Kid A Chance Malky
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic