Wigan 0-2 Fulham

Fulham playing Wigan means one thing: Clint Dempsey will score a goal. Those of us bold enough to put money where our mouth is were able to turn £3 into £13.38. Thanks, Clint; thanks Wigan!

Perhaps the result was a bit hard on Wigan, who had most of the ball and spent much of their time in Fulham’s half, but when you’ve lost six on the spin you need a spot of luck, and that was missing today. Victor Moses – a player I’ve long hoped might end up at Fulham – hit the angle of bar and post with a big dipper of a volley; Maynor Figueroa hit the post with an absurd long range strike that veered back towards the goal as if Wasim Akram had bowled it.  Other than this they were there or thereabouts, although Mark Schwarzer wasn’t overworked.

Wigan feel like a good team’s B side, with lots of interesting players who aren’t quite what they might be: the aforementioned Moses will be a decent player for someone someday, I like Figueroa, and Ben Watson goes underappreciated because of where he plies his trade. Hugo Rodellega is an enigma, but an enigma with some pedigree of scoring Premier League goals.  They’re not the only ones.

But somehow they’re less than the sum of their parts.  Perhaps a couple of good centre-backs would make the world of difference; perhaps for all his pleasant traits, Roberto Martinez isn’t quite the man to lead this team on to better things.  Who knows?  But it does look like this odd club is teetering on the brink of a relegation that now feels overdue.

Fulham weren’t all that today, but did enough. Danny Murphy banged a long ball over the top for Bobby Zamora, who squared for Dempsey to make it 1-0.  Simple.  Fulham’s second, also at the end of a half, also involved Clint Dempsey being clear, but this time the ball-carrier, Dembele, rolled the ball into the bottom corner past a curiously compliant Al-Habsi.  Perhaps the keeper expected Dembele to do the right thing and lay the ball off. Whatever, the shot wasn’t exactly unsaveable.

So yes, we did enough. Danny Murphy enjoyed a welcome return to form before making way for Dickson Etuhu (who didn’t give the ball away once), Andy Johnson looked lively-ish wide on the right, and while Dempsey and Dembele were quite quiet, both scored.  Bobby Zamora isn’t the menhir up front we’ve previously enjoyed, but he set up Dempsey’s goal and is contributing in other ways.  He really is a fine all-around player, even if he is only using about half of his talents in his current role.

These points matter and the team will be relieved to have won them.

4 thoughts on “Wigan 0-2 Fulham

  1. I’ll do the moaning bit first…

    Moan:

    We’re a managers dream right now to play against. So predictable.

    Step 1: Put a tall, big centre back on Bobby and hassle him out the game.
    Step 2: Put a pacey enough full back on Johnson and cover the channels.
    Step 3: Get all your midfield to close down Murphy at once, tackle him hard and wind him up.
    Step 4: Put on your pacey winger down the right – Riise doesn’t stand a chance.
    Step 5: Let Dembele do his tricks – he’ll just end up going round in circles and he never shoots.

    The above hasn’t changed all season and that’s why we’ve been poor.

    BUT…

    Non-Moany Bit:

    -We scored two goals away from home and kept a clean sheet!
    – Bobby became a left winger temporarily for the goal – unpredictable you see ay??
    – AJ became a right winger all game…hard worker but don’t we have Ruiz, Duff, Dembele etc who can actually play that roll properly?? But again, i guess it was something different
    – Dembele ran forwards and shot at goal, yay!
    – ummm we scored two goals away from home!

    The Solution:

    – Briggs for Riise
    – Ruiz to start, yea maybe its risky – but give him a free role behind the striker and lets see what happens!
    – Dembele back on the right – and tell him he’s only allowed to run forward until he gets to the box then he can cut inside on to his left foot.
    – Maybe put Dempsey back up front – he scores goals – so let him score more. Was happy enough to do it last year.
    – Let Johnson go in Jan.
    – Use the long ball to Zamora as a surprise – focus on the wings and use his strength and height to score goals from crosses.
    – Buy a player with pace.

    that is all…

  2. Wigan very unlucky not to win / draw, but then we have been very unlucky in many games this season (including Everton last week). Shame for them, hurray for us.

    We need to do better though.

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