Wigan Athletic: Mid-Table or Down, the Latics Will Never Be Boring
The Latics may finish comfortably in the middle of the table.
It seems likely that, once again, they are set to be the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde club of the EPL.
One thing that will not be leveled at the club, however, is the tag of being boring.
After watching the opening day match against Chelsea, it is clear that no matter who Wigan is playing, they seem bound and determined to deliver the most exciting matches of the Premier League season.
Even if their crowd could be confused for the guest list at a funeral parlor, Wigan play an attacking style of football that no one else is currently brave enough to attempt in the EPL.
Roberto Martinez has his 3-4-3 system implemented well already this season. It has its ups and certainly its downsides, as the Chelsea match showed in full.
Within the opening seven minutes, the Blues were already two goals to the good after Eden Hazard had run fellow debutant Ivan Ramis into a tizzy.
But after Frank Lampard’s penalty, Wigan began to settle down and boss the match. Part of this was due to Chelsea beginning to back off, but at least part of it had to do with Wigan’s concept of attacking play.
The Latics, over their last 10 Premier League matches, held possession for an average of 50 percent of the time.
That number was helped by their heavy possession advantages over clubs like Blackburn and Stoke, but to be level after that kind of fixture list says something about what Wigan are trying to accomplish.
During that stretch, the Latics ran off seven wins and three losses, indicative of the fact that matches Wigan are involved in are not likely to be drawn anymore.
This is what is great about watching their matches: Wigan are involved in matches where there are winners and losers.
Since their change to Martinez’s 3-4-3, Wigan have drawn only three of 15 matches, with all of them coming within the first five matches of its implementation.
Stretching back to last season, the Latics have been involved in 10 straight matches where there was an outcome for either side, something that raises the level of interest in a match.
Perhaps more important, however, is the way that Wigan have gone about attacking the opposition.
As ZonalMarking looked at, Wigan are willing to attack with a whole cadre of players at any given moment in the match.
Against Chelsea, often times eight men were involved in the visitors' half of the pitch during attacks. While they proved unsuccessful, Wigan, when they go on the attack, really go on the attack.
Perhaps the one thing that might make or break their season is their ability to turn in chances, particularly from crosses.
Because of the width of the Latics in the 3-4-3 system, Wigan will send the ball in frequently from the wings.
New signing Arouna Kone was brought in for this reason, mind, and will need to be applying a better finishing touch than the header he missed wide late in the second half.
Even if Wigan lose Victor Moses to Chelsea before the transfer window shuts, Wigan will be in a comfortable position in the table by season’s end if they can continue what they started last term.
Until then, expect more thrills and spills than a Benny Hill collection before the season reaches its climax in May.
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