Wigan Athletic: Talking football - Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water...
There’s been a fair bit of doom and gloom on social media this week following Wigan Athletic home defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday.
And - while acknowledging it's not a completely accurate barometer of the fanbase as a whole - I’m not altogether sure why.
First thing’s first, Wednesday – despite a slow start – will be a force to be reckoned with this term, given their Championship-standard squad.
Secondly, Latics literally gifted them both of their goals with uncharacteristic mistakes at the back.
Thirdly, one look at the stats shows that even the 2-1 scoreline was perhaps harsh on the home side, who had the upper hand in every single area apart from the one that matters.
On another day, Latics at worst draw that game, and we all reflect on what would have been a pretty decent point.
But defeat has led to all kind of knee-jerk reactions, including ‘Player X/Y/Z needs dropping, he’s been useless for weeks’.
Not something many thought to bring up during the five-game win streak, but now all of a sudden blindingly obvious to all and sundry.
It’s worth listening to Leam Richardson at times like this.
Because just as he refused to get carried away when Latics were flying, he’s also not going to suddenly take everything to pieces and start afresh following one setback.
He knows Latics are still very much a work in progress, and this first quarter of the campaign was always going to be one of consolidation rather than freewheeling at the top of the table.
That there’s been such a feeling of disappointment at losing a first game since the season-opener at Sunderland, with the side slipping down to second, shows just how far Latics have come in such a short space of time.
The most important challenge, as Richardson is always stressing, is the next one in front of you.
And that takes Latics down to Gillingham this weekend and a reunion with Steve Evans.
It’s fair to say the conduct of the Gills boss in the fixture at Priestfield last March didn’t go down too well with members of the Latics staff.
But with a much more quality and quantity in his squad now, it’s over to Richardson and Latics to give Evans something more to moan about in the technical area.
Any Latics fans making the trip down deserve a pat on the back...they’ll settle for three more precious points.
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