WIGAN, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Gary Caldwell of Wigan celebrates scoring with a header during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers at the DW Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Even before the game my expectations of it had dropped. When I looked at the team sheet and saw two names I dread to see there. Steve Gohouri and Jordi Gomez, it felt like it was game over already. Neither of them has had a good start to the season, so what merits them being in the side.So we kicked off, and within 60 seconds of the start, Wigan were already 1-0 and to be honest we deserved to be. A punt up field by Blackburn saw Yakubu run on to it, Gary Caldwell just fell away as he made chase. Allowing the striker to slid it past the oncoming Ali Al Habsi. You had to think it was all about to happen again.
But somewhere in the brains of our players something magical seemed to happen. We started to play football.
For the next few minutes, Blackburn were lucky to get a touch on the ball as we past it about looking comfortable on the ball. Moses coming close to scoring and even Gomez has a shot which just whizzed wide of the far post. The goal was coming, and it came in the most of unlikely of places. Gomez who was playing on the right hand side, after a tackle by the Blackburn defence the player swooped in to smash the ball home. Okay Martinez got that shout right.
Only minutes before we equalised we should have had a penalty. It was to be the first of many poor shouts by the officials. Victor Moses going past two players cutting in, has he broke free into the box. Mortan Gamst Pederson came across and took him out, referee said play on. Yet replays show quite clearly that Pederson didn’t touch the ball.
So game on, and it looked like Wigan were getting into full swing. Finally the team was coming together to give us the kind of play we have been looking for.
Moses as always was having a great time getting past the Blackburn defence going from left to right, and opening up the play. But still he couldn’t get his first goal of the season that he so richly deserves, for his playing.
It wasn’t long before goal number two for Latics came along. David Jones floated the ball into the box, finding Gary Caldwell in the box to header home, his first of the season. We all started to believe that this was going to be our game today. We were still pushing with only minutes to go of the first half, Victor Moses getting into the box and heading the ball just over after a great cross from Connor Sammon who was having a great game holding the ball up. Bring on the second half, we were looking on top and more goals for Latics would surely follow. Yet it wasn’t going to be that easy. Jones though only two minutes into the second half, smashed a ball agonizingly wide of the far post after a great control of his chest. Better from Wigan.
Then it looked even better. David Dunn making a stupid tackle on Diame, was already in the book. His second yellow of the day saw him see red, and take the walk of shame leaving his team 2-1 down and with only ten men. The game seemed to be wrapped up for Wigan. But it wouldn’t happen; two very controversial decisions by the referee would see Wigan draw the game.
The first coming from a Blackburn corner, Yakubu appeared to have touched the ball allowing Pederson to run into the box and ball the ball across of Hoillet to tap in. None touched the ball, it wasn’t active and so the goal shouldn’t have stood. Two goal decisions the referee had missed.
The third came in the last minute of stoppage time. Another Blackburn corner saw Paul Robinson come up. The ball came back out of the six yard box towards him. Now he stooped down to head it, while Jones went to flick it away with his foot. Penalty given, the question has to be asked why? Our player won the ball. So someone got hit in the head. Play on; I wouldn’t expect anyone to get a penalty for that. But Yakubu stepped up to slot home making it 3-3. In between all that Albert Crusat got his first goal for the club. Ali kicking the ball long found Rodallega who layed the ball off for the nippy winger who poked the ball underneath Robinson, who had made two excellent save before the goal, that should have been an easy one. Well it was a good game, and it is the best I have seen Wigan play all year. But it still isn’t enough. We can’t blame the referee for goals given or penalties not. At the end of the day when you control the game for well over 60 minutes of it you should kill the other team off with goals.
Yet again goals were our weak point.
However had the first sloppy goal from our defending not gone in, it could have been a very different game in all. We still lack strength at both ends of the pitch. Martinez’s decision to play a 5-2-3 seemed to work really well, once Boyce and Alcaraz are back in the side. It could be a really strong mix of players.
Crusat though should and must start next weekend he looks like he could really help us at this crucial part of the season.
The signs are looking better, but it is a tough run of fixtures we are coming into. Keep it going lads is all we can say, and keep the home atmosphere loud and positive.