THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

3 March ~ Wigan fans were promised a top-ten finish before the season started. I know, because I was sitting six feet from Roberto Martinez when he said it. If ever such a prediction was going to come back and bite him, it would be in the two fixtures against the club he left to take the job at Wigan. Swansea fans still see him as a Judas, in the same way that most Wigan fans still see him as one of our own. It must be with some smugness that today's visitors look at their comfortable position in the league table and us slap bang bottom of it.

The first game between the sides this season finished goalless and did not prove that Martinez was a fool or a genius to leave a club that had been rising for some years to join one that always seems to have the word "struggling" attached to their name.

Despite differing fortunes since then, all is not lost for Wigan. It would be nice to get a win, which could take us off the bottom and up to the giddy heights of 16th. If we can find a goal from somewhere – anywhere.

Although Wigan have won just one game at home all season, we have lost only six out of 13. This would be mid-table form had we not drawn six home matches. The team would warrant an FA investigation for the number of recent draws were anybody still doing the pools.

The Wigan defence seems more settled than it has been for a couple of years. The introduction of Jean Beausejour has added some much needed flair to a previously impotent left wing now that Charles N'Zogbia is at Aston Villa.

A lack of goals has been the constant thorn in the side. In our last home game, we faced a Villa side that could be considered the worst team to visit the DW in a few years. Villa would have lost by four or five had they been playing anybody but us.

Defeat today would be another significant step towards the end of our time in the Premier League, although you will not hear Roberto Martinez saying that. It is quite clear that, if we go down, he will bring his disturbingly optimistic post-match interviews along to the Championship.

Relegation would be a disappointment, but not a disaster. Nobody thought we would last seven years in the top flight; we have been preparing ourselves to go down for the last six seasons. We have Wolves, QPR, Bolton and Blackburn to thank for keeping us in the fight to stay up at all. In any other season, having 20 points would have seen us cut adrift long ago. But they are still letting us play for a bit. God bless them. In today's game, frankly, I would take anything that shuts up the Swansea fans. Paul Middleton

Comments (2)
Comment by jonmid 2012-03-03 18:37:45

Why is whenever WSC does about a club in crisis or in trouble inevitably they lose?

Comment by TheRedMax 2012-03-05 13:03:02

Possibly because the very reason that they are in crisis is due to having a regular losing habit?

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