In a game of two halves, Latics shambolic defending characterised the first and their fighting spirit was foremost in the second. Wigan were woeful in the first half with misplaced passes, defensive blunders and a lack of attacking ideas. Spurs dominated possession creating numerous chances and scoring twice through Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale.
Wigan’s defending had been poor last week against Everton but this week the defensive blunders verged on the farcical. The first goal was handed to Spurs on a plate after only three minutes as first Caldwell played a poor pass to Figueroa who then played an even worse ball into the path of Adebayor who fed van der Vaart to finish in clinical fashion. The second goal came on 23 minutes from a corner as Bale headed home unchallenged by his marker Figueroa.
However, the second half was a different story. Ronnie Stam replaced the ineffective Jordi Gomez and Wigan started the half in positive fashion. Roberto’s teamtalk had certainly done the trick and instigated a spirited response from his players. Wigan no longer allowed Spurs time on the ball and Mo Diame in particular gave the Spurs midfielders a torrid time. It was no surprise when Wigan’s man of the match pulled one back after Assou-Ekotto had failed to clear.
Wigan’s passing and movement was much improved and they could sense that they had the upper hand. Unfortunately just as Wigan were building up a momentum, Steve Gohouri was red carded for a second bookable offence. His challenge on Gareth Bale was reckless rather than malicious but it was a fair decision by the Referee.
Both sides still had chances to win the game before the end, a deflected free kick by Younes Kaboul hitting the Wigan bar and James McArthur having a golden opportunity to play in Ronnie Stam for the equaliser, but it was not to be.
Wigan’s second half performance showed the spirit within the camp which augurs well for the future. But there are still major questions about our defensive capabilities. Alcaraz and Boyce have been sorely missed and Figueroa and Caldwell continue to struggle. A significant improvement will be required in this area if we are to get anything from our next game at Villa Park.