Wigan Athletic 1-1 Liverpool Vital Latics member centrelink1 gives us his thoughts on the team and ratings of the players:
Al Habsi – 6 : Didn’t have much to do all match. Nothing he could do for the goal, but, though it didn’t count, I think he could have done better with Kuyt’s effort.
Stam – 7.5: Great game. Defended well, got into some really good, advanced positions and put in some killer balls.
Alcaraz – 6: Came out and broke up Liverpool’s play on a few occasions, and looked composed when on the ball, but had himself a few iffy moments.
Caldwell – 7: Perhaps out-positioned for Torres goal, but he played a good game, was the better of our CB’s, and was good in the air.
Figueroa – 6.5: A tough one to rate, because he was good going forward, and provided a lot of support down the left. He didn’t once get beaten by Maxi, who was poor, but some average decisions late on and some suspect defensive play to allow crosses into the box too easily. Couldn’t resist a long shot, which wasn’t a bad one, but Reina may be a bit good for that.
Thomas -7.5: One of the best games I’ve seen him play. Made countless challenges and didn’t give the ball away. Did his job to a tee, and well and truly earnt his place in the starting 11. Offered cover for defenders who had pushed up the field.
Diame – 7: Not quite as good as Thomas at breaking up play but some really clever bits of skill (first half on the left wing, or his shot which was well saved) earn him a good rating.
Cleverley – 7: Good, hard working, and composed. Was involved in a few good passages of play, without doing anything superb.
N’Zogbia – 8: Man of the match. Unlucky not to have scored, as Hugo probably didn’t need to be offside. Brilliant trickery, great pace and a really good application from N’Zogbia.
Gomez – 6: Played a decent game without being superb. His distribution from dead ball scenarios was frustrating, but he looked composed on the ball, and even made a few challenges and forced a few throw-ins (One in particular with Kelly)
Rodallega – 7.5 : His control and touch were superb, and he took his goal well. He looked good on the ball and was involved in passing play well. Possibly at fault for being offside for N’Zogbia’s disallowed goal. Pivotal to the team at the moment.
Subs: Didn’t see enough of either.
TACTICS: A very different Wigan to that of recent weeks. Emphasis on getting into advanced positions and crossing into the box, generally low crosses along the ground. Perhaps we didn’t have enough players committing forward, but it was a good tactical change. Wigan dominated midfield and were the better team. Gomez and Thomas are really, really coming about, and have now established themselves as starters (Thomas seemed to be losing this towards the end of last season).
The only question now is about whether we can keep this up.
Another note I’d like to add is that di Santo may struggle with leading the line, and Hugo seems to have that covered now.
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