The 12th man column: ‘Players looked lost and bewildered’

Warren Joyce found his new side a goal down inside a minute
Warren Joyce found his new side a goal down inside a minute

Now the dust has settled on Warren Joyce’s baptism of fire, Latics fans have their say...

On the Latics official website, there remains a statement announcing the departure of Gary Caldwell.

Within that announcement David Sharpe comments: “We need to identify a new manager who can have an immediate impact”.

Well Sharpey, your words rang true – but I suspect not in the way that you envisaged.

Warren Joyce stood on the touchline, six minutes into his debut game cutting a forlorn figure, and he must have been thinking: “What have I let myself in for”?

The capitulation, against an admittedly decent Reading side, in the opening half was embarrassing, possibly the worst performance of a Latics side for quite a number of years.

Barry Worthington has urged Joyce to switch the training gear for a suit

Barry Worthington has urged Joyce to switch the training gear for a suit

Without doubt we could have gone in at the break five goals down, Reading were cutting through us with ease.

There was no fight nor spirit in the players, they looked lost and bewildered as to where they were supposed to play.

We were a side devoid of pace, aggression and organisation - we looked a real mess.

The second half saw a slight improvement, but nothing to suggest that there was anything to be optimistic about.

We must use this time wisely or they will be in serious relegation trouble

Kieran Makin

Whatever has happened behind the scenes needs to be sorted out quickly.

If this means an overhaul of the coaching staff then get it done.

Joyce comes with a very good reputation throughout football.

He is talked about as a top coach who has a knack of developing players and getting the best out of them.

Observing him taking the warm-up before Saturday’s game, and his demeanour in the technical area, I suspect he is very much his own man and won’t suffer fool.

I’d be very surprised if he isn’t already working on bringing an assistant and a couple of coaches in to the club.

We are still in touching distance of safety and, with 30 games remaining, it would be daft to talk about relegation.

Joyce has enough time at his disposal to get us playing well, winning games and climbing up the table.

The sooner that starts to happen the better for my nerves.

On a final note, Joyce, stood on the touchline, shorts on, socks down to his ankles, looking every inch a football coach.

But not a football manager.

Come on Warren, you’re a manager now.

Barry Worthington

Have we all forgotten about the 3-0 home defeat to Reading yet?

If you haven’t, then do it now, because there’s nothing worth remembering.

It was so bad that, for the second time this season, I’m looking forward to the international break.

I understand that for Warren Joyce a 3-0 drubbing in your first game is far from ideal, especially in front of your home fans.

However, it could be a blessing in disguise for him, because he now has two weeks to separate the best from the rest based on the evidence of that performance.

When a new manager comes in, you expect the players to raise their game so they can show the new boss what they can do.

Instead our players looked as if they were still sulking about Gary Caldwell’s departure, which is quite frankly a joke. That’s football, get on with it you’re professionals.

If I’m being brutally honest, I’m not totally convinced that Joyce picked the team last Saturday.

Which leads me to my next point, the ex-Manchester United man 100% NEEDS to bring in his own backroom staff.

Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for Graham Barrow, but I sit in the West Stand and I’m convinced Barrow and Joe Parkinson didn’t once stand up off the bench and communicate with Joyce.

In my opinion, the only way this appointment can work is if Joyce brings in his own people.

Only then will he gain the respect of his newly inherited squad so he can change their attitude and mentality from the lackadaisical one we saw last weekend.

For me, the problems are much deeper than the managerial position.

We must use this time wisely or else this team, which I still believe is good enough to stay in the Championship, will be in serious relegation trouble.

Kieran Makin

None this week. Nope!

No highlights whatsoever, regular or “alternative” (previous word to be used in conjunction with physical air quotes), as even media cheese-meister Robert O Martinez would struggle to weave a pleasant narrative.

Only joking!

I’ve got 400 words to fill so let’s type semi-indiscriminately and hope the resultant splurge is engaging, but not in a Gnome Chompsky ‘colourless green ideas sleep furiously’ way.

Those mind-numbing moments in full Jake Buxton hurling himself to the ground just seconds after the first Reading goal.

Invisible tortoise on the pitch?

He can’t have been zapped by laser vision, as Superman hasn’t been at the DW Stadium for a couple of weeks now…

Luke Burke breaking his backside bone as he fashioned a planet-sized butt-crater in the DW surface.

Thank you, Max Power, for the misplaced pass that felled our favourite US actress!

…Wait, I did say Brooke Burke there, didn’t I?

The first half reaching a world record yawns per minute (YPM) rate of 29.7.

That ‘groan’ from the stands was actually the sound of 2,000 people yawning simultaneously. Where are the Guinness World Record guys when you need them?

Ali Al Habsi breaking the Solar System record for number of touches in a football match, reaching his 2 millionth by the hour mark.

The ex-Tic must also receive credit for creating something from nothing – namely 2 whole minutes (120 seconds) of time wasting-induced first half injury time.

That’ll teach him to wave his arms wildly and occasionally point at passing pigeons.

Adam Bogdan failing to save a penalty as some Reading pranksters coated his boots with that stuff they use to keep industrial toffee apples from disintegrating.

Hungry defenders invading Bogdan’s six-yard box to lick his boots, much to the Bogmaster’s great bemusement.

He still has no idea what those meddlesome Reading players did to his Nikeys [sic].

The East Stand roaring uncontrollably as Bog Man executed a textbook-perfect stomach save in second half stoppage time.

The poor guys were absolutely determined to have a good time.

The referee mercifully blowing his final whistle five minutes early.

Or at least it seemed that way – ES7 was totally deserted by the 86th minute.

That’s enough! Since this is just getting silly (or sillier), I’m off to search for kings buried beneath car parks in Wigan.

Hey, it worked for Leicester and it’s working for Reading, so why can’t we be next?

Dan Farrimond

Warren Joyce’s managerial debut got off to the worst possible start in a 3-0 defeat to Reading.

Garath Mccleary’s double in the opening FIVE minutes, basically put the game to bed. I wasn’t at the game against Reading but, from what I’ve read on social media about the team’s performance, it can’t really get much worse.

However, now it’s the international break, it’ll give Joyce the time he needs to get his ideas across to the players.

Hopefully by the time the next game comes around, Joyce will know what players are up to the task and which aren’t.

Because so far this season, it’s evident that a few are way of the pace and out of their depth in this league.

I feel the game against Barnsley, even at this stage of the season, is a must-win game for us.

With the likes of Huddersfield, Aston Villa and Newcastle coming up in the next few weeks, it’s important we try and build some momentum going into these tough fixtures.

Joe O’Neill

As Baptisms of Fire go Warren Joyce couldn’t have been given a hotter reception on Saturday.

Two goals down within four minutes and a Latics side that looked a shadow of the side from a week earlier in the win over Cardiff. Saturday’s defeat was the heaviest of the season and the first time Latics have lost by more than a one goal margin. It was also arguably the worst performance of the season.

If Joyce was in any doubt to the task facing him Saturday would have given him a clear indication as to what’s needed. Joyce shouldn’t face any of the blame for Saturday’s defeat but we have to hope he can get his ideas over to the players quickly - too many more performances like that and we’ll be looking at an instant return to League One.

The international break has come at the right time for Latics and should give the new manager valuable time to get to know his squad. It’s very unusual for a manager to come in to a club and have every player signed by the previous manager but that’s what Joyce will have to get around and hopefully the players loyalty to Gary Caldwell doesn’t damage our chances under the new manager.

I see that Red Bull are reportedly interested in buying an English club to add to theye portfolio of football clubs across Europe. One would hope they don’t cast a glance towards this tiny part of Lancashire. Despite their undoubted riches winning the FA Cup as Wigan Athletic was far more satisfying than winning it as Red Bull Wigan could ever be.

Sean Livesey