The final game of a kind start to the season and one that many of you will be feeling a bit more positive about, post Villa.
No one is gonna get carried away by one game against, it has to be said, able but poor opposition but there was plenty to admire about that performance. Just a shame we couldn´t put them to bed but that is a symptom of not having a recognised striker on the pitch. Not trying to discredit the efforts of Cahill and Osman there either, who were largely excellent.
Wigan got turned over by City last game out but there´s no shame in that as plenty will suffer a similar fate this season, including probably us the game after this. Prior to that they hadn´t had a bad start with two draws and a win albeit against limited opposition. If you´re looking for direct comparisons, they beat both Villareal and QPR at home within a week of us playing the same fixture.
They do remain a more than winnable fixture and one which we´ve struggled with more than once before although tit haired Scharner not playing for them is very welcome indeed. It´s a short ride on the trains and buses for those Wigan fans to give it a local feel as we draw plenty of support from those parts too. I´ve always liked the Wiganers, good folk. They´ll turn up in their Joe Bloggs jeans and cutting edge of 1997 fashion sense and it would be amiss of me not to make reference to how wonderfully mucky and easy their women folk generally are, it´s a matter of taste if you prefer them to the fanta skinned pyjama wearing fascists you find prevalent in our parts.
Roberto Martinez always comes across as a genuinely nice guy and wins plaudits galore from the beauts in the media for sticking to his footballing principles. He´s basically Sam Allardyce´s antimatter. He did keep Wigan up last season on the last day and is hoping to build this year although the the loss of N´Zogbia won´t help too much. They do have some really handy players. Victor Moses never fails to impress up front and will have to be watched closely. Di Santo looks like one of the local hotel entertainers you´d find in Cancun flirting with your seventeen year old daughter and trying to take her to Coco Bongos against your express wishes. She wants him too, which pains you to the core. The two James´, McCarthy and McArthur are quality performers on their day and Rodallega is apparently boss but that´s mainly down to how much the media have speculated he´s worth rather than what he´s done on the pitch. Nailed on the winner for that like. They do have a plethora of average players highlighted by rent-a-grock-pen-liability Gary Caldwell so we have to get right at them from the get go.
It was nice to see Everton turn up on Saturday and really have a go, desperately unlucky with the result but it´s a starting block and a 200% improvement on the two games prior. Key to a lot of it I thought was having a play maker in the traditional Cahill slot like Osman, having Cahill behind the striker against teams like Wigan generally doesn´t work if they defend deep. Cahill did play the furthest forward forward role very well indeed although the Greek lad coming on did give some food for thought. Hmm saganaki. Osman was able too and back to that similar type of form he displayed in the latter months of last season, no coincidence he was playing in a central offensive role again. A lot of who starts up front will depend upon two things, if Saha is fit and how the rest of them do in training in the week.
The midfield done well with a powerful performance from Fellaini. It´s been pointed out for some time that the balance between him and Arteta never happened. It´s early days with him and Rodwell but a key sub plot of the season will be if they develop an understanding. Coleman was a distinct highlight with his constant willingness to take on their full back and provide a fast breaking outlet. What is exciting a lot of us at the moment is the prospect of having real width and pace in our midfield for the first time since the mid nineties. Drenthe, like an angry wasp with one huge bicep, up the flanks could add a new dimension and a better option than the poor man´s Sheedy or Anichebe. Anyway, we make false dawns an art form so we´ll see. As long as Hibbert preferred to Neville then the defence should be reet.
The few outbreaks of optimism above count for absolute sh*t really unless we get three points against Wigan as the next time you´ll look at a league game and be confident on winning it will be deep into November. Three points would be most welcome.