A pig of an afternoon. Two hours of underperformance on the field accompanied by rising anger off it, the nadir of which was the crowd’s reaction to Defoe being given the hook when he was replaced by Adebayor with half an hour to go. All very ugly.
The key moment in this game was when Sandro knacked himself and needed to be replaced. The clanging sound you could hear from that moment on was Wigan knocking on a hollow midfield in a display that reminded me mostly of our performances against the two Manchester clubs at the start of last season we were so lightweight.
That was 22 minutes in but there were signs that things weren’t as you’d hope well before than as we yet again started at a snail’s pace of a tempo. Why we don’t start with more energy and purpose I’ve no idea but it’s going to be our undoing. We hadn’t created much to that point but neither had we been threatened. The game hadn’t yet taken any sort of shape, or indeed provided any entertainment.
Frustration in the North Stand was already apparent, at that point we didn’t know how lucky we were though as after Sigurdsson replaced the injured Brazilian we were always the worse of two average sides.
55 minutes in an under pressure Friedel flapped at a corner and Watson buried the rebound. Caulker and Bale came close to grabbing an undeserved equaliser; ineffective impotence was the general pattern though.
The boo boys cut loose once again at the final whistle; how they think that’s helpful I don’t know. You can already tell that Walker’s confidence and performances have been affected by the abuse he’s been receiving, the last thing we need is more fragile egos dented.
We need players back before next weekend; our midfield can’t survive with none of Dembélé, Parker, Sandro or even Livermore. Most of all though we need a system that suits the players we do have available.
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