Talking football: Glass half empty or half full?

Leon Barnett

Leon Barnett

10
Have your say

WIGAN Athletic have drawn their last four matches, but is your glass half-full or half-empty?

Unbeaten in four...or without a win in four?

Everyone will have their own idea of how to interpret data like that, but one thing’s for sure.

It could easily have been more of a return and, in the words of manager Gary Caldwell, really ought to have been four wins.

Yet again at Bury on Saturday, Latics had to go two goals down before they became a real threat to the home goal.

That’s five times in six league games on the road Latics have fallen two goals behind.

Twice that’s the way it’s stayed.

At Chesterfield, Latics pulled off a miraculous win.

At Port Vale, they felt the pain of a last-gasp defeat.

On Saturday, the were forced to settle for a point, despite Tim Chow hitting the post with 94 minutes on the clock.

Undoubtedly the late sending-off of home defender Chris Hussey helped to tip the balance back in Wigan’s favour.

For the final 12 minutes it was attack against defence as the home side tried, unsuccessfully, to hold on to their two-goal cushion.

Controversy surrounded the red card, with Graham Salisbury – who was accused by Bury boss David Flitcroft of ‘making up his own rules - appearing to forget he’d cautioned the left-back in the first half before eventually brandishing red.

Both Hussey’s indiscretions were for fouls on the lively Michael Jacobs and, as the saying goes, if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

The free-kick count of 16-3 against Bury spoke volumes, and I’m prepared to wager well over half of those were for fouls on Jacobs.

Wigan’s wing wizard exacted his own revenge by setting up both his side’s goals in a frantic finale.

With a bit of fine-tuning, he could be helping to inspire deserved victories rather than come-from-behind draws.

Yet again, Latics shot themselves in the foot at the back.

The defence will want to see footage of Bury’s first two goals about as much as Leon Barnett will want to see his own ‘You’ve Been Framed’ clip, where he fell over a Gigg Lane wall while trying to take a throw-in (if you’ve not seen it – and what have you been doing all week! – it’s on the internet)!

Once again, thankfully, Latics showed their potency in attack when it mattered most.

And if they can finally work out a way of translating on-field dominance into

tangible rewards on the scoreboard – how many times have we heard that this season? – they’ll start to move up to their rightful position in the

table.

*****

Massive congratulations to Wales for reaching the 2016 European Championships – their first major finals in a whopping 58 years.

Credit, too, to an England side that became only the sixth country to end a Euro qualifying campaign with a 100 per cent record, yet has seemingly already been written off by its own media and most of the public.

With Northern Ireland also through and the Republic of Ireland in the play-offs, Scotland could well be the only home nation not at next summer’s huge party in France.

Their bid for political independence may have stalled, but it seems sporting independence is alive and well north of the border.

*****

I wouldn’t like to

say the standard of press facilities has dipped since Wigan Athletic dropped

out of the Premier League.

I will merely relay to you this conversation from half-time at Bury last weekend.

“Excuse me mate, is there any press food at half-time?”

“No. There is tea and coffee. ..

“But there’s no cups left.”

*****

“WE weren’t dominating in possession, but had

total control out of possession.”

Five days on from the 2-2 draw at Gigg Lane and

I’m still no nearer fathoming what Bury boss David Flitcroft is going on about after Saturday’s game.

Any ideas?