Wigan Athletic 0 West Ham United 1
Saturday, 2nd February 2008
by Gordon Thrower
From the sublime to the ridiculous. Having won well against the Scousers in midweek (the queue for the book of condolence at Liverpool Town Hall is now believed to be 400 yards long) we travelled in confidence North West to Wigan – where you’re never more than a foot away from the stench of rank hypocrisy.
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Player RatingsRobert Green
Few saves to actually make though his positioning was a bit suspect for the goal. There again he?EUR(TM)d have been perfectly placed if Kilbane had got his header right!
Hoofed it long too often and got wound up too easily by Brown?EUR(TM)s habit of falling over without contact.
His distribution left a bit to be desired ?EUR" though it hardly helped that Etherington was crocked and Ljungberg disappeared from sight on his side.
The improvement continued. In a game like this you need your central defenders to keep it simple and he did so. The pick of the bunch albeit on a poor day.
Did ok against the donkey-like Heskey, though again some uncertain distribution.
Apparently the stats before this match gave him a completed pass rate of over 94%. I shudder to think what the stats are after, which just goes to show: 1) how bad the pitch was, 2) that Mullins was not at his best and 3) stats like this are a load of rubbish.
Battled and battled but ultimately muscled out in the middle.
Annoying. Had an early shot but failed to force the game on the right. Then, when moved over to the left to replace the injured Etherington, he played on the right, the centre in fact just about anywhere but on the left where he was supposed to be. Leaving Linda hopelessly exposed.
Looked lively to start with but didn?EUR(TM)t recover from the knock that ultimately curtailed his participation in the game.
Lumping it in his general direction is not a proper tactic. However you would hope for more in the way of effort.
Had a game which was, for the most part, equally as poor as Ashton?EUR(TM)s, though if he lost the ball at least he tried to get the thing back.
(replaced Etherington, 48) Seemed to be affected by the pitch mre than most which meant his usual accurate crossing went out of the window.
(replaced Cole, 68) Good to see him back though he ought to have done better with the chance that came his way.
(replaced Noble, 73) Picked up a harsh booking, won some, lost some and never really stamped his authority on the match.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Robert Green, Lucas Neill, George McCartney, Anton Ferdinand, Matthew Upson, Hayden Mullins, Mark Noble, Freddie Ljungberg, Matthew Etherington, Dean Ashton, Carlton Cole.
Booked: Matthew Upson 39 Lee Bowyer 81 Lucas Neill 90 .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Scharner, Taylor, Kilbane, Valencia, Palacios, Brown, Heskey, King.
Subs not used: Pollitt, Bramble..
Booked: Taylor (11).
Sent off: None.
Man of the Match: Anton Ferdinand.