By our Special Correspondent Jamie Aspinall.
When the fixtures were released, there are certain away days you mark down as ones to look especially forward to.
Like Blackpool away last year, Swansea away was one of the trips I thought would not only be great as a new place to visit but also somewhere we could come away with a result. We almost got one, but that was only down to the last 20 minutes of the game when we eventually decided we fancied taking part.
For all of Swansea’s attacking, fluent football they had the similar problem to us, that they do not look dangerous in front of goal.
After watching Match of The Day I was reminded of the chances Swansea created but whilst at the game these chances never seemed very threatening at the time. The hope was always there that if we could step it up a gear we could quite easily take the three points that our first half display certainly didn’t warrant.
When we eventually did find our higher gear, it was surprisingly Gomez who struck an out-of-the-blue looping shot onto the post in front of the Wigan fans. This woke up the Wigan fans and spurred on a succession of chances on to Vorm’s goal.
Victor Moses was next to find his effort twanging off the woodwork. He received a defence splitting pass onto which he twisted his way past the last defender and then laced a shot over the keeper but it lacked enough dip to find its way under the crossbar. The rebound must have shocked Jordi Gomez into life as he was first to react and managed to get in front of Williams, who stamped towards the ball but was too late, spinning Gomez to the ground.
Newly promoted team number two, penalty number two. Apparently the Swansea goalkeeper Vorm had been advised by the Swansea backroom staff which way he should dive, as they had only ever seen Watson hit the ball to his left. Their research paid off as Watson’s predictable shot was met by Vorm’s gloves.
My friend had said before the penalty was taken that after us hitting the woodwork twice and our generally below par performance that it was probably not meant to be. It would be fair to say that we would have been a little lucky to have taken the full 3 points.
Our first half performance was extremely disappointing; one of the major culprits again being Di Santo. Martinez is an intelligent manager, who adopts a considered approach but maybe sometimes he is too patient.
It was clear for all to see that Rodallega or Sammon would have offered more of a threat against a team we were capable of beating.
Gomez does offer the ability to find a goal from nowhere on the odd occasion, but the persistence of playing Di Santo and Gomez together on a regular basis is rather baffling, particularly after their lacklustre performance and early withdrawal against Norwich.
The majority of Wigan fans, in my opinion, possess a lot of patience but we will voice our opinion when we feel something is not right. Wherever I sit around the ground I always hear the same unrest about these two players being selected, so hopefully Martinez will not wait too long before he makes a change.
At the end of last season, when we desperately needed to pickup points for our survival, Martinez seemed to listen to the changes the fans wanted and often reverted to a 4-4-2 formation as his last ditch, gung-ho approach and it worked as an alternative. It frustrates me that his patience does not wear thin sooner, forcing him to make these profitable changes.
Rodallega made his way onto the pitch later in the second half, notice how I talked earlier about all of our chances coming late in the second half – there must be a correlation? He may not have been in the starting line up due to transfer interest but if this is the case we may as well use him whilst we still have him.
It is hard to find strikers in the market at the moment and I can sympathise with Martinez for that, but if there are more influential strikers sat on the bench and they prove this when they come on then it is a problem that the manager has to address.
The Liberty Stadium was a new venue for the Wigan players to adjust to and the home fans filled their stands, creating a tough atmosphere. This will have no doubt contributed to the difficulty of the occasion for the players; therefore, a point away from home has to be seen as a positive.
We have made a steady start which we can build on, but we need to build quickly. Stronger teams would have punished us in our two opening games so it is essential that we play our most effective team and learn to be more ruthless in front of goal. Two worrying moments were the departures of McCarthy and Alcaraz with suspected injuries. We will certainly need these two in order to field our strongest team and hopefully they are nothing serious.
It was not the great trip out I had hoped for and did not compare with Blackpool away but we are still unbeaten, so maybe we just need to keep being patient, but not too much so.