Post match there have been some ridiculously ill-considered comments from Wigan fans about Roberto Martinez, but the real reason for this latest set back were some shocking individual defensive mistakes.
The facts are that Antolin Alcaraz and Steve Gohouri’s three howlers are the main reason why Wigan lost this match, in what was otherwise a closely fought encounter.
Martinez will be devastated by the current catalogue of individual defensive mistakes. Against Spurs the Latics defence pushed the self destruct button by giving their opponents a two goal lead and this time Alcaraz and Gohouri showed a remarkable naivety by gifting the Trotters three more goals.
The first goal came after just four minutes as Alcaraz lost possession while trying to dribble past two Bolton attackers and then just as Wigan had drawn level through Momo Diame’s excellent strike, Gohouri presented Kevin Davies with the ball, before David N’Gog scored Bolton’s second. Very few teams can expect to compete at the top-level when the opposition are regularly gifted goals.
Wigan were the more positive team at the beginning of the second half as Rodallega and Figueroa replaced Gohouri and Watson. There were some excellent interchanges between Rodallega, Moses and Diame. Indeed Victor Moses had several good chances and could have scored on three occasions.
However, an equaliser was not to be as the Latics just ran out of steam. Bolton created a couple of clear-cut opportunities and Gary Caldwell conceded a penalty as he was adjudged to have pushed Boyata. Fortunately Ali Al-Habsi guessed correctly to save Kevin Davies penalty before Alcaraz once again recklessly presented the ball to Chris Eagles to make the game safe at 3-1 to the Wanderers.
It is fair to say that some of Wigan’s players have been under performing and injuries to Alcaraz, Rodallega and Boyce have restricted the manager’s options.
However, Martinez should not be held responsible for the crazy individual mistakes that have peppered the opening fixtures. Now is not the time to panic with only eight games played. The individual players are well aware of their errors and the manager will make it clear that they must wipe out such basic mistakes.
With Alcaraz, Rodallega and Boyce returned to the team the manager now has more options available and if we can eradicate the individual mistakes, there is no reason why we can’t make progress up the league table.