Latics lacking a scorer – and that’s so vital
NOT too long ago, Wigan looked dead and buried. Now, after three away wins on the spin capped by a fantastic midweek performance at Norwich, they’ve given themselves a chance.
But beating big teams on the road will do them no good at all unless they sort out their atrocious home form. This is a side who haven’t won at home since August.
That desperately needs to be addressed and unless Malky Mackay can engineer three or four wins in a row at the DW, their prospects remain bleak.
I’m looking at the Latics’ remaining games and six of them are against teams in the bottom half of the Championship, including a huge clash away to Rotherham this weekend. That’s an opportunity they have to seize.
But when I look at Rotherham, I see firepower and players who can hit double figures. On their day, they can score against anyone. Wigan can’t, and that’s why I fear for them.
We’re into March now and James McClean – a midfielder – is their topscorer with six goals. The next person on the list has two. That’s nowhere near enough and tells you exactly where the problem lies.
Without someone who can score on a consistent basis, you can’t win games. And right now, I’m not sure Malky – who took over from Uwe Rosler in November – has that clinical scorer in his ranks. I don’t think Marc-Antoine Fortune’s the answer. He’s been there long enough and not done the business. Sheyi Ojo’s come on loan from Liverpool. He’s a lively, creative player but he’s only 17. You can’t expect too much.
Malky brought in Leon Clarke and called him a proper centre-forward. Unfortunately, he got injured after six games and is still out. Without a new loan signing, where are the goals going to come from?
Seeing Wigan on the brink of relegation to League One ten years after promotion to the Premier League is incredible.
This is a team that spent eight years in the top flight, won the FA Cup in 2013 and just last season came within a whisker of bouncing straight back.
But it just shows how important it is for teams who get relegated from the Premier League to go back up in season one. If they don’t, they get lumbered with a lot of players on huge contracts and are forced to rip everything to pieces.
I remember speaking to Malky when he got the job and he said then that getting rid of the high earners was imperative.
It’s a situation that can really affect morale at the club. If you’re one of the higher-earning players, you’re thinking ‘Are they trying to ship me out?’. If you’re not, you’re thinking ‘Am I about to lose some quality teammates?’ It creates a lot of uncertainty and all distracts from the job in hand.
It’s really sad. Wigan is a rugby town but the club has done so well in recent years to win the townsfolk round. Now it looks as though that fabulous journey could end right back where it started.
TONY Mowbray was
attractive, famed for playing
his time atWest Brom passing football in and Middlesbrough.
of relegation-threatBut after taking charge
we’ll be week, I don’t think ened Coventry this a place
There’s a time and seeing much of that. of
and a scrap at the foot for the beautiful game League One isn’t it.
Tony, results and points Needs must and,for the
between now and are the only currency three
Get those and the end of the season.
signed will surely month contract he’s
he can put be extended and then
his stamp on the team. LOAN STAR: Jordon Ibe shone at Derby
FURIOUS: Neil Lennon