Fulham's Danger Man?
Well another game has past, another three points lost, and what did we learn? Well we need to score before the opposition does that would be a good start (it would also be good if we scored end of). Going into this weekend the team know there is already a gap opening up around us, and to stop us coming adrift we need to kick start our season, at home against Fulham.
This game in the past, has usually thrown up some boring clashes at home for Wigan Athletic. One thing that that recent Wigan games have shown is, that we can't play boring. So I ask, is a boring 1-0 not better that an exciting 2-1 defeat? Because at the moment we are getting the latter.
Going into the game, Wigan will be looking to come in after what was a strong performance against Newcastle away. They have been a hard team to break down this year, and on several occasions we forced their keeper into some excellent saves. So we must take heart from that.
On the injury front we have concerns over Franco Di Santo and James McCarthy. But are they really that big of a miss? Okay so Di Santo is our leading goalscorer, but all three have been lucky in one way or another, and apart from them he has very rarely managed to trouble the keeper. As for James McCarthy, a long lay off is needed for the player, who has really struggled to perform at his best in the past 12 months.
So what about Fulham?
Well they go into the game having only lost two league games, yet having only won one, and if you were to take out that win (a 6-0 drumming of QPR) then they would only have scored five goals this season, one less than us. Are they there for the taking?
Knowing Wigan we are likely to fall yet again.
Fulham also go into the game with a more or less full strength side, and last weekend saw their summer signing Bryan Ruiz score for the first time. They will be looking to bounce back fast.
So who do Wigan after to watch out for. There are so many good player that Fulham have going forward, all of who can score goals from anywhere. But Danny Murphy pulls all the strings for them.
The ex-Liverpool player has really found a home at Fulham, having joined in 2007. Murphy sank into the midfield role and now has captain of Fulham, takes control of the centre weekly. His long sweeping passes causes defences to look over their shoulders constantly, while his ability to smash a ball home from a free-kick or open play make him a deadly player.
Murphy also has a defensive side to his game, and tracks back well to cover his back for, before setting players off with the ball around him. Making him a tricky opponent for the centre of midfield. The best option you have to stop a player like him is to close him down, stop him from getting the ball at his feet with time. Make him make mistakes.
It will be a tight game, now way around it. Both teams need three points. The game is going to be won and lost in the midfield. Who ever comes out of the traps quickly and gets control of the ball in the middle will have the game.
Lets make sure that it is Wigan who get out quickly and attack from the outset. We showed against Newcastle that we can start games well, and play well and tightly for 80 minutes. Now we need to step it up to the full 90 minutes and chuck a few goals in too.
That is after all how you win football matches.