Monday, 12 March 2012

Norwich City 1-1 Wigan - Latics show signs that they are up for the fight

Roberto Martinez’s men showed signs of significant improvement in a spirited performance, but will leave Norfolk kicking themselves having dominated and created the better openings in what was an entertaining encounter.

After last week’s horror show at the DW against Swansea you got the feeling that the Latics were going to bring their stay in the top flight to an end come May. 

Roberto Martinez & Victor Moses
The big issue for Wigan is that they are yet again involved in a scrap for Premier League survival in what is now their sixth season in the top flight.

Taking the next step forward is key for Wigan if they are genuinely to be considered as an established Premier League team, you get a feeling if they were to drop back into the Championship they would struggle to come back.

The job that Dave Whelan has done has been nothing short of remarkable to take this small town living in the shadow of the likes of Manchester United into the promise land and maintain their presence.

The big question is can they take the next step up. Investment is a huge issue for them, with the likes of QPR coming up and spending big and with Swansea and Norwich proving to be a more attractive choice for players, getting genuine talent through the door in is an issue.

As for the yesterday’s game they will be left wondering what might have been as they were by far the better team.

A sloppy clearance from the usually reliable Ali Al-Habsi put the defence on the backfoot only ten minutes in, as Wes Hoolahan evaded Gary Caldwell and co to smartly score on his 150th appearance for the Canaries.

Despite the setback Martinez’s men stuck to their game plan and grew into the game more and were unlucky to not to level before half time.

The Spaniard as he does in every game kicked every ball and unlike last week his decision on substitutes paid off when brought on former Celtic man Shaun Maloney. He proved to be instrumental in the Latics taking a share of the spoils at Carrow Road. He was lively throughout and was on hand to put through Victor Moses, who coolly rounded John Ruddy to level things up.

Maloney was on hand again late on as he played the perfect ball to substitute Mohammed Diame who blasted over with the goal and three points at his mercy.

Shaun Maloney
Wales international Steve Morison nearly broke Wigan hearts as he was denied by Al-Habsi who produced a stunning one handed stop and managed to clear the incoming danger.

As mentioned earlier an improvement at home is going to key for the Latics as their next three games on the road involve Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. Despite their manager’s belief that he has the team and characters in it to stay up, they will look at this game as two points dropped. 

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