Still No Home Win

Some post-match thoughts;

1) Christ, what a terrible match that was. It's not like Wigan were even much better - I read on Sky Sports that there were three shots on target over the entire match, and I can't say I find that especially difficult to believe. I suppose from the moment we heard it was on Sky we should've known it was guaranteed to be crap - they do have a habit of picking classics like Middlesbrough vs Bolton or Birmingham vs Blackburn - but some vague effort or attempts at exciting football wouldn't have gone amiss. I can think of two genuinely interesting passages of play; one where we broke and Taylor missed a chance in the first half, and then Wigan's second goal. Other than that it was a complete pile of shite.

2) I'd like to say "full credit to Wigan" but I can't. Because we just made it so ridiculously easy for them. The one key factor that they had over us was the speed of their breaks; whilst we'd potter about and take the best part of five minutes to get the ball from keeper to striker, they'd do it in three or four passes. And when your defence is getting out-paced by Jason Roberts, it's probably time to be slightly concerned.

3) Silva up front on his own - why? I think it was summed up best at one point in the first half when he won a header against Henchoz and then had to chase his own flick on. He's going to run himself into the ground and put in as much effort as is humanly possible, but at the end of the day he's not the tallest and the strongest and there's only so much he can do. He needs a partner and we need to find out who it's going to be pretty damn soon, especially at home where playing with one striker just invites defensive thinking and gives the opposition defence an easy run for the afternoon.

4) Speaking of Silva, I'd say he was one of few players who could walk away with their heads held up high. Even usually reliable characters let themselves down; Griff for example seemed to be content to hack away at the opposition and try to get himself sent off all afternoon whilst Priske was seriously at fault for the first goal (which, sadly, I predicted was going in just as the cross came in - bugger). The aforementioned Uruguayan shouldn't be too disappointed with his work rate, and Linvoy looked pretty solid at the back too. One thing you can always say about him is that you know what you're going to get and that he's not afraid to tank it into the stands if need-be. And finally, Laurent Robert deserves some credit. He was playing out of his skin in an attempt to make an impression and in his brief time on the pitch whipped in a few dangerous balls, played some decent passes and even made a last ditch sliding tackle to save 3-0. And who would've thought we'd be saying that. Pretty much everyone else was shocking - the stars of last week such as Taylor and O'Neil were anonymous whilst LuaLua showed he hasn't lost any of his skills from his pre-malaria days by coming on and... sulking on the touchline.

5) Rather disappointingly, I suppose this kind of cancels out the Sunderland match last week. You don't get points for stupid scorelines or yardage of goals, so all we've got in the bank from The Stadium Of Light is three points. And if you can't follow that up by getting anything at home, which you'd have to consider your "bread and butter", then you might as well not bother in the first place (not that I'm complaining if we keep on winning away, of course). Sadly when you look at our next four fixtures it's enough to send anyone scurrying for something strong from the drinks cupboard.

6) The future of Alain will inevitably be called into doubt again as it is every time we dare to lose a game. Personally I can't see the point in changing things round as whoever we were to bring in would be stuck with the same players until January, and the last thing we need is more instability. Not to mention the fact that I can't imagine many people would see us as an attractive proposition given our poor PR in recent months. Hopefully they'll be no knee jerk reactions despite the continual change of heart of the crowd who were all too happy to sing the manager's praises last week and want him out again this week.

7) That said, full marks to the fans who were singing their hearts out even after the game was done. Can't say it especially interested me today as I was feeling thoroughly miserable by the final whistle and was in no mood to sing and shout but at least we're making some effort from the previous weeks of silence and booing our own.

8) Urgh, that match really was awful.