TALKING SPORT - New player, same errors, but plenty of positives

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LOSING 2-0 to the European champions is hardly a disgrace, but the way Latics put the game on a plate for Chelsea was painful.

While the national spotlight was on the new faces in the London outfit, Roberto Martinez’s summer-signing Ivan Ramis had a debut to forget.

And the fact both goals took place inside the first six minutes ensured the bulk of the game was a complete non-event.

The hype and excitement were extinguished.

They were the type of errors which littered last season until they got their act together.

Wigan were never going to claw their way back from that.

Still, if there’s a positive to be had, it’s the way they played from then on.

The passing flow and organisation going forward which served the side so well towards the back end of last season was still there.

Their next game won’t be easy, especially with Southampton riding on the high of their promotion to the Premier League – not to mention their gutsy effort against Man City. They’ll be desperate to put on a performance in their first home game.

Wigan can ill-afford to present them any gift-wrapped chances.

THERE was something strange about Wigan’s win last night.

Maybe it was seeing Bradley Wiggins in the changing rooms while the theme tune from Baywatch blurred out. Or the sight of Danny Cipriani walking with Sam Tomkins to the players’ bar.

Or maybe it was the fact that Wigan’s attack was scratchy and they still scored 38 points. The fact that everyone was pleased – with the win, and to see Pat Richards back – but not satisfied.

It’s hard to be critical when a team wins easily and sits on top of the league ladder. But when we’ve seen Wigan beat Saints three teams and post half-a-century at Headingley, they’ve raised their own bar.

ONLY met Conor Sammon once.

Seemed like a nice chap. And all the lads on our sports desk are gutted to see him join Derby, not least Paul Kendrick, who will finally be forced to give his dozens of fish puns – ‘I’ve just been to grill Sammon’, ‘I’ve got Sammon in the can’, ‘Derby have poached Sammon’ – a rest.

AS soon as England manager Roy Hodgson said football could learn from the humility and class of the Olympics, it was the invitation for something to go horribly wrong.

At least the man who stepped out of line by pushing an official was Alan Pardew, a man easy to dislike at the best of times.