Talking football: Is your Wigan Athletic cup half-full or half-empty?

Wigan Athletic's visit of Birmingham City this weekend will mark the halfway of the Championship campaign.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 3:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 5:23 pm
Paul Cook, Leam Richardson and Anthony Barry

And there’s definitely a ‘glass hulf-full’ and a ‘glass half-empty’ divide starting to emerge among the Latics fanbase.

I don’t think even Paul Cook would try and dress up a run that’s seen the side win only once in the last nine matches.

Of course there are mitigating circumstances – Cook believes the side aren’t getting the bounce of the ball, while injuries are continuing to dog the squad.

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But last weekend’s defeat at Ipswich was the 10th in 12 matches in all competitions on the road this term, and that is clearly not good enough.

That said, it’s important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and there is a flip side to this equation.

Since the start of the season, and despite the downturn in results over the last couple of months, Latics have never been closer to the drop zone than the six-point buffer they currently enjoy.

And a win against Birmingham this weekend – which would continue one of the best home records in the division – would see them reach 28 points at the halfway mark.

There is not a single Latics fan who would not have taken that at the beginning of the season, when the aim was merely to consolidate back in the Championship.

Let’s not forget, Latics have been relegated on each of their last two campaigns in the second tier – and with a considerably larger budget than they are currently playing with.

Perhaps they started too well – being as high as third place in late September.

Raised expectation levels may have contributed to the current downer, but the squad has shown what it’s capable of.

And as it gets back to full fitness, hopefully we’ll see a return to that early-season form.

Best wishes to Graham Barrow after the Latics legend was named full-time manager of National League high-flyers Wrexham.

Having enjoyed success in every tier of the footballing pyramid, it’s clear he still has the passion to get his hands dirty and make a difference.

Fingers crossed the Red Dragons will be a Football League side again next term.

Reece James – Wigan Athletic’s stand-out performer this season – can get even better, according to the player himself.

A frightening thought for the rest of the Championship.

And even more so for the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and anyone else hoping to get a game at right-back for England in the next 15 years...

On the field, Paul Pogba is one of the classiest footballers on the planet.

Off the field, as this social media message – posted within minutes of Jose Mourinho’s departure from Manchester United – shows, seemingly as classless as they come.

The post was quickly deleted, and some of his defenders have tried to suggest it was a misunderstanding.

Gary Neville, though, hit the nail on the head.

“I don’t fall for this coincidence, scheduled Tweet nonsense, it’s garbage, absolute garbage,” he said.

“To dance on the grave of the manager who’s just been sacked is out of order.”

It’s a shame respected senior United pro’s like Neville, Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand aren’t still in and around the dressing room.

Pogba, for his own good, could certainly do with being taken down a peg or two from within.

Perfect storm for punsmiths at the weekend as Gareth BARRY and Kieran GIBBS were West Brom’s goalscorers in the 2-1 win over Sheffield United.

A real ‘Tragedy’ for the Blades!

Worth remembering amidst the merry-go-round at Old Trafford that David Moyes’ initial contract as Manchester United manager still has six months to run!