The mischief-makers have been out in force during the international break creating speculation and unrest around Latics new manager Warren Joyce and the Euxton training camp.
Tales of training ground bust-ups and changes to the coaching staff cannot have helped morale at a time when the new manager was looking to build team spirit and get a positive response from his players after the poor display against Reading.
Latics defender Dan Burn was the subject of an unverified report about a training ground bust-up.
The 6ft 7in centre-back was singled out as the scapegoat for the home defeat to Reading by a Sun journalist who suggested the player could be on his way out of the club following a disagreement with Warren Joyce.
The former Fulham defender was reportedly upset after being blamed by Joyce for all three goals in the Reading defeat but it seems unlikely that the manager would blame Burn for all three goals.
Of course, the problem with this story is that it was reported by one of the most unreliable national newspapers, which is renowned for making things up and so has little credibility.
The other unverified report was started by the same journalist and was soon picked up by other newspapers and spread via the Internet and social media.
The story was that former Manchester United player Paul Scholes was about to be offered a coaching role with Latics along with United coaches Jimmy Ryan and Paul McGuinness. This would, in turn, lead to the departure of Latics stalwarts Graham Barrow, Joe Parkinson and Peter Atherton.
Scholes hasn’t coached since retiring from the game and doesn’t hold a UEFA Pro Licence coaching badge but this hasn’t stopped the speculation that he might be joining Joyce.
Such was the level of interest in Scholes coming to Latics that some fans even suggested that the 42-year-old could still get a game at Wigan.
These types of rumours inevitably have a detrimental effect on the players and coaches at the club and will certainly not have helped the preparations for the game at Barnsley.
The Tykes had a good start to the season but are now on a poor run of form, winning only once, losing five and drawing three of their last nine matches.
Latics also need to get back to winning ways quickly and a victory at Oakwell could move them out of the bottom three.
It is to be hoped Latics’ plans will not have been too adversely affected by the rumours and speculation and they can get the first win under Warren Joyce on Saturday.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 18th November 2016.