Bad day at the office for Wigan

Scott Parker lunges at Maynor Figueroa
Scott Parker lunges at Maynor Figueroa

THE transfer window slammed shut without any activity at Wigan Athletic - on a night when their survival hopes took a further setback.

Roberto Martinez’s men tumbled to a 3-1 defeat to high-flying Spurs at White Hart Lane, a defeat that leaves Latics rooted to the bottom of the Premier League ladder with 15 games remaining.

If that result may have been expected in most circles, the lack of transfer activity caught many by surprise.

Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega was being linked with several Premier League clubs throughout yesterday.

Instead, the striker – whose contract expires at the end of the season – will remain at Wigan and help them avoid the drop.

Martinez had publicly spoken of his intention to bolster his squad with two recruits. But moves for Fulham striker Andy Johnson and Watford defender Adrian Mariappa fell through, and the Spaniard refused to panic buy as the clock ticked down to the 11pm deadline.

His attention will now turn to Saturday’s home game against Everton after last night falling to their fourth straight Premier League defeat at the hands of Spurs.

Martinez handed a debut to Jean Beausejour, the Chilean international signed last week from Birmingham – their only signing during the January transfer window.

And though they showed early signs of promise, Gareth Bale put the home side ahead in the 29th minute. Luka Modric then turned provider to scorer five minutes later, sending Spurs 2-0 up at half-time.

Bale underlined his class by adding a second in the 64th minute before James McArthur pegged a goal back for Wigan.

Conor Sammon missed a golden opportunity in the dying minutes.

Rodallega was an unused substitute at White Hart Lane. Earlier in the day, he had been scheduled to join Fulham in a swap deal for Johnson, only for the latter to pull out of the deal.

Chairman Dave Whelan said: “I’ve no idea why Johnson said no. I think he didn’t fancy coming north. It would have been a good deal for us, but that’s football.”

Latics also surfaced as favourites to land Watford defender Mariappa. A bid was accepted and they received permission from the Hornets to talk to the 25-year-old, only for a possible move to break down.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was unhappy with a number of aspects of last night’s game. Firstly, he was far from content with his team’s performance in the first half.

“It was really disappointing,” the Spaniard said.

“First half we weren’t anywhere near as good as we could be. We allowed Spurs to really punish us. The performance wasn’t anywhere near good enough where we should be at this stage of the season.”

Martinez was also angry that the game took place just hours before the transfer window shut given that one of his players, Hugo Rodallega, has been the subject of intense speculation.

“I don’t think it was a good idea. It becomes a bit of a circus,” he said.

“One of my players was in the middle of that speculation and it’s not the right way to approach one of the most important games for this football club like this.

“An individual’s career should be second to that of the football club. It’s just ridiculous, it affects human beings.”

Martinez also lambasted referee Lee Probert for not sending off Benoit Assou-Ekotto for a late high challenge on Franco Di Santo.

“It was a red card,” the Wigan manager said.

“It was high. It’s another big decision and it seems it’s the normal thing - big decisions against us.

“I was shocked and surprised when Lee Probert didn’t show the red card because he was in a great position.

“We were very fortunate because Franco escaped the tackle with minor injury and I’ve seen broken legs from that.”