Reflections on Wigan vs Newcastle Game

After watching the game again on TV this afternoon, here are the reflections we have on the Wigan Newcastle game this afternoon, which Wigan Athletic won 1-0.


Damien Duff – played well today on Newcastle’s left wing

  • Damien Duff had a good game and looked a good player this afternoon. As the games go by we think Duff will only get better. After his performance today, he will no doubt start against his former club, Chelsea, on Saturday afternoon in London.
  • The back four were extremely solid today and it was one of the best performances by the defense for a long time. Faye and Taylor were very strong at the back in the center, and this could be a budding partnership for the future. They are both no-nonsense players.
  • The goal was a good goal by Ryan Taylor but it was to the side that Shay Given was covering. When Taylor took the kick Shay seemed to move to his left and the ball crept inside Shay’s right hand post. To us there had to be some questions about Shay’s positioning for the goal.
  • The team seems far too regimented and reminds us of the Russian football teams of the communist era. Organized tremendously well, but no creativity whatsoever. Maybe Sam should just tell the players to go out and enjoy themselves. They’ll probably play a lot better.
  • It’s hard to believe we had even less creativity than Wigan today, when you consider the players we have like Emre, Duff, N’Zogbia and Milner in the side. We had no cutting edge in attack today. Viduka had an indifferent game today following his heroics on Sunday.
  • Surprisingly, Titus Bramble had an easy and solid game at the back for the Latics. He headed off the line in the second half when Wigan got themselves into a defensive tangle. Viduka kicked the ball over his head, and it was going into the net before Titus got back and nicely headed off the line.
  • Newcastle don’t play with enough urgency during the first half. It’s almost like they are seeing time out, and wait to try to win the game in the second half. If we started attacking from the start maybe we could actually be ahead at half time.
  • It was a flat performance from Newcastle United today, and Wigan just about deserved their win. We will need to do a lot better against Chelsea on Saturday – they actually have some great players in their side.

Comments very welcome.

17 comments so far

  • Johann

    Dec 26, 2007 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #1

    As always I disagree with a few things.
    I don´t think Duff actually had a good game. Just think about what he does. He gets the ball and then just dribbles for a very long time and gives it a way or passes to a teammate and then all the opposite players are there to defend. The point is nothing comes from him at all!
    Agree with most of the other comments especially that Taylor and Faye are a very good combination. That´s our best partnership for sure. But interesting to see Titus Bramble play so well. He has nearly played well in all the games when Kirkland has been behind him.

    The Given thing is absoloutly correct. I have never thought that he was a world class keeper but he is clearly gone backwards. The goal was totally on him. He should have saved that. Not that fast and not that high in the corner. It was his corner. And what the f**k was he doing with Taylors backpass? Playing in the garden holding the ball up? Oh well the thing is with Given as well he has always had a terrible defense in front of him, at least must of the time and he has got a lot of chances to save again and again but now the defense is getting more solid and then the opposite get one chance and score. He was good against Fulham though but wasn´t really tested by a terrible team!
    Enough for now. And Eve if people are ever going to listen to your opinions you have to stop talking about Given in every sentence you make. When I read your comments I feel like you are expecting some one to critize given and trying to prevent that! Oh my ! 🙂

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 26, 2007 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #2


  • Nobby's dad

    Dec 26, 2007 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #3

    Duff, Zog and Milner are NOT creative players. We’ve had one creative player in the past few years and that was Nobby.

    Before his transfer BSA wasn’t playing him…..says it all really.

  • Hammy

    Dec 26, 2007 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #4

    just to add to Tom_Toon’s comment…


  • Gareth

    Dec 26, 2007 at 11:29 PM

    Comment #5

    This could take a while…

    First, I feel my disapproval of the amount of critisism of the team on Sunday is vindicated because 1) Derby were within minutes of repeating the trick against Liverpool today (and could have won it themselves late on) and 2) today’s performance was so much worse by Newcastle. Vindicated, but of course far from satisfied – read on…

    It’s not much of a surprise that the team is a shambles when Allardyce always put the blame squarely on the players’ shoulders when we lose – it’s always them under-performing, obviously nothing to do with his selections / tactics / inexplicable hard on for Smith. Very quick to pat himself on the back when we win though – anyone remember him commending himself with lightning speed about the substitutions in the Everton game? Good work on the team spirit building Sam!

    Coming back to Smith – why? He brings nothing to the team in any position. We have better ball winning midfielders. He brings zero creativity in midfield going forward. He should never be allowed anywhere near the right side of midfield. He performs best up front, but, crucially, scores no goals and is reluctant to even shoot – so, quite frankly, what’s the point?

    I’ve always thought that people who blindly shouted for Shearer as manager were a little foolish as we don’t actually know if he’s any good at managing – but given Allardyce has the credentials and is ballsing it up anyway, I’m not sure if an understanding of the job and the fans isn’t the most important part after all. At least he’d definitely be afforded the time that everyone says a manager needs…

  • shirts

    Dec 26, 2007 at 11:37 PM

    Comment #6

    Nobby was good and we miss him, but I disagree.

    Duff, Zog & Milner are or COULD BE creative players, but they need a manager with vision to foster that and they need players RUNNING OFF THE BALL to play to. It seems the whole attack is just standing around, waiting for most of the time. We need better passing on the ground and movement to match it.

    Is it me, or is Smith all bluster and no results, aside from charging around like a maniac? And Geremi & Butt are basically the same player, aren’t they? I can see the value of one of these players in the side, but do we need two, let alone three of them, playing at once?

  • ChrisL

    Dec 27, 2007 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #7

    I hope we’re not going to become one of these teams that only perform against the big teams.

  • wsq

    Dec 27, 2007 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #8

    he goes into the game thinking “we need to keep up with their tempo”

    okay.. why not
    Let them worry about our tempo for once!!

    good luck keeping up with ronaldo and gang.

  • Dragoner

    Dec 27, 2007 at 2:06 AM

    Comment #9

    FINALLY, givens poor form is finally addressed.

  • Magjp

    Dec 27, 2007 at 4:37 AM

    Comment #10

    I don’t understand why OOOOOHHHHHHHHJH WHY does he need to play Smith!!!

    Well, if Smith is the number one name on the Team sheet, then he better play as a Striker, not a midfielder. Let him play with Viduka upfront.
    what do you guys think of

    Beye, Taylor, Faye, Nzogbia,
    Milner, Butt, Emre, Duff
    Smith, Viduka

    I had prefer Martins ahead of Smith, but I dont think Sam will drop Smith yet. May be we should ask Ashley to put on a Viduka or an Owen Shirt, then Sam might see that Smith is not the owners favorite afterall, Coz I don’t see any other reason Smith should be in a team ahead of Martins.

  • Len

    Dec 27, 2007 at 6:38 AM

    Comment #11

    My sympathy goes to Mike Ashley. He seems a good bloke and doesnt deserve this. My bet is Chris Mort is already lining up our next manager.

  • Mick G

    Dec 27, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #12

    I’ve always been one to say give S A achance, but it is obvious now that a change is needed.He always blames the players just like Gullit, but if you play players out of position and then ask them to play in a system that isn’t suited to most of them, then what should he expect.After his latest outburst of slagging of his players I think he will be on his way.None of them will want to play for him again.He as lost the changing room, the plot and all credability.I’ve had my doubts about Shearer as manager but team him up with Venables for a season or two who knows what could happen.

  • Eve

    Dec 27, 2007 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #13

    Johann what’s your bloody problem, have you got some sort of hidden vendeta or something like. When did I mention Given, when?? In a passing comment maybe. Once??

    You do realise know one listens to you, the ONLY time you come on here is to have a go at Given, the ONLY time. Oh and by the way, unlike myself, every single sentence you say actually has Given’s name in it. Like did he do something to you, did he turn ya down, did ya find out he was married. It’s getting really annoying and really childish.

  • scott 9

    Dec 27, 2007 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #14

    i agree magjp i cant understand why he plays (smith0
    hes not better than emre
    hes not better than eny of our strikers (besides shola)
    however shola does score more goals)
    hes not better than barton
    hes not better than butt
    hes not better than geremi
    hes not better than faye
    so why does he play i think theres something in his contract saying he is entitled to so many games we do0 stupid things like that when we realy want a player

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