Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson produced two great goals to push Wigan closer to the precipice of relegation. Wigan have only won one game at home this season and the goal shy Latics have only scored 23 goals in total, making them the lowest scorers in the Premier and Football Leagues.
On this occasion Roberto Martinez must take responsibility for his poor team selection but ultimately it is the players who let everyone down with their worst performance of the season.
Due to the late return of some of the players from international duty (including Victor Moses who only returned from Rwanda on Friday afternoon), Martinez adopted an uncharacteristic 5-3-2 formation with Conor Sammon and Franco Di Santo starting upfront. These two had a torrid first half, as neither player seemed capable of holding onto the ball, never mind threatening the Swansea goal.
The Wigan midfield looked all at sea with James McArthur, James McCarthy and Jordi Gomez all struggling to contain the sharper passing of Swansea’s Leon Britton, Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair.
Swansea had several chances to take the lead in the first half, Man of the Match Sigurdsson put Dyer through but Ali Al Habsi saved well and then former Wigan loanee Scott Sinclair had his attempt cleared off the line by McCarthy.
Wigan did have a couple of half chances when Jean Beausejour crossed for Di Santo but the forward failed to make contact with the ball and later Emmerson Boyce’s header at the back post was well stopped by Vorm.
But just on the stroke of half time Sigurdsson gave Swansea a deserved lead. Steven Caulker fed the Icelander 20 yards out and his unstoppable curling shot found the top corner of the Wigan net.
This Wigan formation and personnel clearly wasn’t working, it was essential that changes were made at half time. Martinez duly introduced Mohammed Diame and Victor Moses for the ineffectual McArthur and Sammon.
Wigan initially looked invigorated by the changes but on 54 minutes Moses recklessly fouled Dyer and Sigurdsson produced a stunning free kick to double the Swans lead.
On 60 minutes Wigan had an opportunity to gain a foothold in the game when Dyer was rather harshly sent off for a high challenge on Jordi Gomez.
With Swansea down to 10 men surely Wigan would impose themselves and make their numerical advantage count. Hugo Rodallega was introduced as an extra attacker but despite a lot of huffing and puffing and a few half chances Wigan rarely looked like they could penetrate the Swansea back line.
As the final whistle approached boos rang out from the home fans and the Stadium quickly emptied.
The pressure on Roberto Martinez is mounting, with many irate fans calling for his head. However, despite owner Dave Whelan’s criticism of Martinez’s team selection on BBC Radio 5 Live, I expect Martinez to remain in charge.
Unlike some people I don’t believe sacking the manager at this stage of the season would be beneficial. Despite all the doom and gloom around the DW Stadium the gap between the bottom five clubs is still only 2 points, so there is still a chance that Wigan can escape the drop. It will require a massive improvement on this performance, but it is not yet impossible.