Losing to Chelsea is something you have to expect when your a Latics fans. We may have done it once under Martinez but its a hard feat to do once, let alone twice. So is it good we played well for so long? Yes, then what is there to complain about? The League Position.
The performance and the attitude of the players on Saturday was brilliant, none can complain about that. They work hard as a unit, and played some good football when they got the chance to go forward. It was a typical Roberto Martinez away performance, when on the ball retain possession and build your chances, when your not get everyone behind the ball and work hard to defend.
Now for the first 60 minutes or so it worked well. Okay we were 2-1 down, but we had come back from 2-0 and were starting to build into the game to fight our way back into it. Listening to the game, I felt confident that we might manage to snatch a draw from this one, and that point could have been important.
As it was, Frank Lampard saved Chelsea with his third goal. Once that went in Wigan heads dropped and the fight went our of our performance. Not surprising when he scored with three minutes to go. What hurt more then was allowing Chelsea to score a fourth. We should have just shut up shop and taken the 3-1 defeat, yet players looked little bit lost and we were too open.
Its the little things we miss in this side. We miss Antolin Alcaraz for one thing in the defence. Last season when we started our run, he was there solid and stable throughout the entirety of it. Having him and a fit Ivan Ramis either side of Gary Caldwell would surely see us have a much stronger defence. It would also allow Maynor Figueroa to push out into the left wing back position, and replace a Jean Beasejour who has had a dire season.
The other player we really miss is Victor Moses. Last season he gave balance to our midfield being the vocal point on the right hand-side, and allowing Shaun Maloney a free role. This season without Victor, teams mark Maloney and we find we have to force the ball down the left hand-side due to our lack of balance in the middle.
Its frustrating to watch as you can see week after week acres of space on the right hand side or our wing back and none looking to spread the ball and the play to that side. It could be our downfall to be very predictable and easy for teams to defend against.
We have lost our spark and our sponanuality, something that kept us up last season.
Speaking of lasti season in the same game week (week 25), Latics were beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at the Reebok and starting our long slog to survival. This season we have yet to kick-start our survival, the three games prior to this were all winnable and we only walked away with two points.
We next have Reading away in the League, lose that and we will be down.