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Olé

Match Report: Cometh the hour and 15 minutes cometh the Fam

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Only saw 30 minutes onwards. From what I saw we were the better side. We defended pretty comfortably and created some good chances. 

But the long balls were clearly a tactic. It worked. But not how I want us to play going forward. If we do then no point in bringing in technical midfielders like we do.

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12 minutes ago, The Original OTIB said:

Fam and Andi were crap first half. Amazed how history is being rewritten tonight. Any win is great but reality checks needed.

I got the impression Fam was instructed to conserve energy first half, didn't bother pressing.

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6 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Only saw 30 minutes onwards. From what I saw we were the better side. We defended pretty comfortably and created some good chances. 

But the long balls were clearly a tactic. It worked. But not how I want us to play going forward. If we do then no point in bringing in technical midfielders like we do.

Trust me, we were abject in the first 30 minutes!

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37 minutes ago, Olé said:

The lead up to this "must win" fixture for our of sorts City has been dominated by a clamour over the identity and number of strikers we need to sign. A much needed but smash and grab victory at Wigan left no doubt that while vast improvements are needed, man of the match Diedhiou up front is the very least of our problems.

Away at one of the poorest teams in the Championship Lee Johnson talked about his side being bright and busy but for well over an hour the under pressure manager must have seemed close to the end as his team were totally outplayed by a sharper passing Wigan side that kept the ball for long periods, City's only plan to hoof long.

The slick hosts dominated possession and it was just a propensity to shoot straight at Bentley that kept the game level. For 75 minutes City looked outclassed by one of the relegation favourites. But one player - Diedhiou - battled consistently and out of nothing he and sub Paterson provided the  rare quality and instinct to steal the win.

City went into the fixture without captain Brownhill for the first time in months due to surprise injury, and with boss Johnson promising a buzzing performance after a recent poor run, the small away following would have hoped for much with Eliasson in a 4-4-2 with two wingers away at struggling hosts. Instead they got one way traffic. 

Wigan moved the ball slickly and were in total control for the first ten, possession saw them camped in the City half, working the ball crisply in the channels: a damning indictment for their opponents who had no such passing and hit aimless long balls - indeed their only respite a Hunt free kick on halfway that didn't beat the first man.

City's first and only chance came after the ten minute mark as Eliasson's first driving run on the left won a corner and Weimann characteristically came short to meet the ball, his header blocked and hacked clear. It was one of the away sides few corners to even beat the first man. And it was rare threat as Wigan continued to dominate.

But midway through the half Diedhiou got into space on the right and unleashed a brilliant Eliasson-esque cross into the box, Weimann racing in to flash a header that was tipped wide. At the other end Wigan tore through the middle, Windass brought down a long ball, squaring to Joe Williams whose low shot on the run deflected wide.

As poor as City had been they could have had a sensational lead just inside the half hour as yet another pointless long ball to no one in particular got half cleared to the edge of the box, that man Diedhiou taking down the ball and unleashing a volley that  lashed into the postage stamp top corner - only to find Watkins had been offside.

Minutes later Eliasson switched across to the right and collected a throw in, beat his man and crossed into the middle - where Diedhiou headed just over at close range, stretching. But these were rare moments of danger, more keep ball followed swiftly from Wigan, repeatedly picking diagonals in behind City, our defence overworked.

At halftime Johnson's men had achieved a pitiful amount of possession as they tried (and failed) to galvanise their mid season slump and would've been under incredible pressure - Paterson on for the anonymous Watkins. And yet for the next 20 minutes it was more of the same as their impressive hosts repeatedly carved open City's right. 

On 47 a brilliant break off the Wigan left saw Robinson tear clear, the ball flashed across the box twice, back and forth, City keeper Bentley holding Dowell's hooked shot from the edge of the box. In minutes the home side found more space behind Hunt, Robinson racing clear again, testing stopper Bentley again at the near post. 

It continued to be one way traffic against anonymous City - on 54 minutes Dowell became the latest to roam free on the left, sweeping a cross to the far post where full back Byrne headed wide. Soon after the latest left wing foray saw Windass link up with Dowell, collecting an inside pass and drilling a shot straight at grateful Bentley.

On the hour Johnson withdrew teenager Massengo - combative but often overrun - for his fellow midfielder Nagy. And almost immediately City's only impressive player, Diedhiou, took a long ball in his stride and struck a wicked dipping 25 yard shot on the run - our first on target - which the keeper tipped over for a series of corners.

On 70 Rowe replaced Korey Smith yet still impressive Wigan pressed - and inevitably another break down the left by Dowell saw a deep cross to the far post met by Garner his diving header forcing a reflex Bentley save. The keeper would then hold a Dowell free kick and soon after Gelhardt curled over after combining with fellow sub Garner.

Into the final quarter hour and little sense that City could get anything from their trip to the North - they certainly weren't owed anything. So it was miraculous in the 77th minute when that man Diedhiou threaded the ball beyond a defender and Paterson, forgotten until returning from the bench, raced clear and slipped it under the keeper.

An improbable lead secured right in front of their away following and against their classy hosts, felt fortuitous. In just over a minute it would become incredible as sub Paterson turned provider, making room in midfield and dinking a short pass behind the defence, Diedhiou breaking the lines to angle the ball first time bottom corner.

This time delerium from the bank of away fans as their talisman had a goal that his performance - as literally City's only stand out performer - hugely deserved, a smash and grab away win confirmed in a quiet final 10 minutes, easing pressure on under fire Johnson although Wigan's dominance and superiority on the ball leaves much to fix.

 

Bentley 7 In truth Wigan attempts on goal were tame or they would have been well out of sight, but Bentley handling flawless

Hunt 4 Exposed repeatedly for an hour in particular the first 20 minutes of the second half, punted nothing long balls forward every time he got it, awful football 

Dasilva 6 A few nice touches and runs they were reminiscent of his quality of last season but like Hunt also regularly narrow and exposed by Wigan's quality passing through the channels 

Williams 6 Had a lot to do and did it well but distribution - mainly punting long balls at the opposite box - was horrible to watch

Baker 7 The better of the two centre backs, doesn't always get the start but his record must be pretty good now

Smith 7 Tidy and sensible in a deep role, strong on the ball and picked simple short passes but zero attacking threat as part of a midfield that offered little in the opposition half

Massengo 6 Combative and feisty in spells but also often bypassed or crowded out by a better organised Wigan in a game our midfield rarely got into

Watkins 4 Completely anonymous - had no effect whatsoever

Eliasson 6 Created a couple of chances and service to him was worse than awful but by his own high standards didn't really affect the game as much as he could

Weimann 5 Also completely anonymous, although hard to blame him on 30% possession and long balls punted towards the Wigan keeper 

Diedhiou 8 Our best player by a mile - a stunning goal disallowed, an assist, a goal and two of our three shots on target, was only player who was "busy" in the first hour

 

Paterson 7 Actually runs at people and has an instinct for a decent through ball that we don't possess besides Palmer - a much needed upgrade over Hunt and Williams hoofing it long

Nagy 6 Tidier than Massengo but didn't make much of a difference to a midfield that was routinely bypassed

Rowe 6 We looked more organised and solid in midfield with his energy off the ball

Agreed 100%. Fam was good first half but unplayable in the second.

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Great review Ole. One question: you mentioned the wonder strike that was chalked off but any thoughts on our first? About time we caught some luck but looked a tad as if Paterson was just off when the ball was poked through - neat finish though.

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Smash and grab ?

Must have been watching a different game.

I saw a home team with absolutely no cutting edge in the final third and didn't really trouble the City defence and an away team struggling for form and confidence and a bit ragged but still comfortable in the game. Wigan may have had the majority of possession but they did sweet FA with it - and City deserve some credit for that.

The better team won imo - not that either team were up to much on the day.

Smash and grab ? Definitely not, deserved at least a point and got three.

 

 

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Very poor game, watching via Robins TV. However Pato made a big difference when he came on, and unlike road runner actually looked to link up with Fammy, the result of which were two excellently taken goals. AW may run around all day, and he has a decent goal tally, but offers next to nothing as a striking partner with FD.

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I must say, it's both heartening, but also troubling, that at the middle part of the season we've been singing the praises of Paterson, Watkins and Diedhiou. These three are players that I'm almost certain that we need to replace, and yet here we find ourselves, dependant on them. Weird.

Edited by mozo

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59 minutes ago, Olé said:

The lead up to this "must win" fixture for our of sorts City has been dominated by a clamour over the identity and number of strikers we need to sign. A much needed but smash and grab victory at Wigan left no doubt that while vast improvements are needed, man of the match Diedhiou up front is the very least of our problems.

Away at one of the poorest teams in the Championship Lee Johnson talked about his side being bright and busy but for well over an hour the under pressure manager must have seemed close to the end as his team were totally outplayed by a sharper passing Wigan side that kept the ball for long periods, City's only plan to hoof long.

The slick hosts dominated possession and it was just a propensity to shoot straight at Bentley that kept the game level. For 75 minutes City looked outclassed by one of the relegation favourites. But one player - Diedhiou - battled consistently and out of nothing he and sub Paterson provided the  rare quality and instinct to steal the win.

City went into the fixture without captain Brownhill for the first time in months due to surprise injury, and with boss Johnson promising a buzzing performance after a recent poor run, the small away following would have hoped for much with Eliasson in a 4-4-2 with two wingers away at struggling hosts. Instead they got one way traffic. 

Wigan moved the ball slickly and were in total control for the first ten, possession saw them camped in the City half, working the ball crisply in the channels: a damning indictment for their opponents who had no such passing and hit aimless long balls - indeed their only respite a Hunt free kick on halfway that didn't beat the first man.

City's first and only chance came after the ten minute mark as Eliasson's first driving run on the left won a corner and Weimann characteristically came short to meet the ball, his header blocked and hacked clear. It was one of the away sides few corners to even beat the first man. And it was rare threat as Wigan continued to dominate.

But midway through the half Diedhiou got into space on the right and unleashed a brilliant Eliasson-esque cross into the box, Weimann racing in to flash a header that was tipped wide. At the other end Wigan tore through the middle, Windass brought down a long ball, squaring to Joe Williams whose low shot on the run deflected wide.

As poor as City had been they could have had a sensational lead just inside the half hour as yet another pointless long ball to no one in particular got half cleared to the edge of the box, that man Diedhiou taking down the ball and unleashing a volley that  lashed into the postage stamp top corner - only to find Watkins had been offside.

Minutes later Eliasson switched across to the right and collected a throw in, beat his man and crossed into the middle - where Diedhiou headed just over at close range, stretching. But these were rare moments of danger, more keep ball followed swiftly from Wigan, repeatedly picking diagonals in behind City, our defence overworked.

At halftime Johnson's men had achieved a pitiful amount of possession as they tried (and failed) to galvanise their mid season slump and would've been under incredible pressure - Paterson on for the anonymous Watkins. And yet for the next 20 minutes it was more of the same as their impressive hosts repeatedly carved open City's right. 

On 47 a brilliant break off the Wigan left saw Robinson tear clear, the ball flashed across the box twice, back and forth, City keeper Bentley holding Dowell's hooked shot from the edge of the box. In minutes the home side found more space behind Hunt, Robinson racing clear again, testing stopper Bentley again at the near post. 

It continued to be one way traffic against anonymous City - on 54 minutes Dowell became the latest to roam free on the left, sweeping a cross to the far post where full back Byrne headed wide. Soon after the latest left wing foray saw Windass link up with Dowell, collecting an inside pass and drilling a shot straight at grateful Bentley.

On the hour Johnson withdrew teenager Massengo - combative but often overrun - for his fellow midfielder Nagy. And almost immediately City's only impressive player, Diedhiou, took a long ball in his stride and struck a wicked dipping 25 yard shot on the run - our first on target - which the keeper tipped over for a series of corners.

On 70 Rowe replaced Korey Smith yet still impressive Wigan pressed - and inevitably another break down the left by Dowell saw a deep cross to the far post met by Garner his diving header forcing a reflex Bentley save. The keeper would then hold a Dowell free kick and soon after Gelhardt curled over after combining with fellow sub Garner.

Into the final quarter hour and little sense that City could get anything from their trip to the North - they certainly weren't owed anything. So it was miraculous in the 77th minute when that man Diedhiou threaded the ball beyond a defender and Paterson, forgotten until returning from the bench, raced clear and slipped it under the keeper.

An improbable lead secured right in front of their away following and against their classy hosts, felt fortuitous. In just over a minute it would become incredible as sub Paterson turned provider, making room in midfield and dinking a short pass behind the defence, Diedhiou breaking the lines to angle the ball first time bottom corner.

This time delerium from the bank of away fans as their talisman had a goal that his performance - as literally City's only stand out performer - hugely deserved, a smash and grab away win confirmed in a quiet final 10 minutes, easing pressure on under fire Johnson although Wigan's dominance and superiority on the ball leaves much to fix.

 

Bentley 7 In truth Wigan attempts on goal were tame or they would have been well out of sight, but Bentley handling flawless

Hunt 4 Exposed repeatedly for an hour in particular the first 20 minutes of the second half, punted nothing long balls forward every time he got it, awful football 

Dasilva 6 A few nice touches and runs they were reminiscent of his quality of last season but like Hunt also regularly narrow and exposed by Wigan's quality passing through the channels 

Williams 6 Had a lot to do and did it well but distribution - mainly punting long balls at the opposite box - was horrible to watch

Baker 7 The better of the two centre backs, doesn't always get the start but his record must be pretty good now

Smith 7 Tidy and sensible in a deep role, strong on the ball and picked simple short passes but zero attacking threat as part of a midfield that offered little in the opposition half

Massengo 6 Combative and feisty in spells but also often bypassed or crowded out by a better organised Wigan in a game our midfield rarely got into

Watkins 4 Completely anonymous - had no effect whatsoever

Eliasson 6 Created a couple of chances and service to him was worse than awful but by his own high standards didn't really affect the game as much as he could

Weimann 5 Also completely anonymous, although hard to blame him on 30% possession and long balls punted towards the Wigan keeper 

Diedhiou 8 Our best player by a mile - a stunning goal disallowed, an assist, a goal and two of our three shots on target, was only player who was "busy" in the first hour

 

Paterson 7 Actually runs at people and has an instinct for a decent through ball that we don't possess besides Palmer - a much needed upgrade over Hunt and Williams hoofing it long

Nagy 6 Tidier than Massengo but didn't make much of a difference to a midfield that was routinely bypassed

Rowe 6 We looked more organised and solid in midfield with his energy off the ball

Excellent write up

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16 minutes ago, BTRFTG said:

Great review Ole. One question: you mentioned the wonder strike that was chalked off but any thoughts on our first? About time we caught some luck but looked a tad as if Paterson was just off when the ball was poked through - neat finish though.

I think Pato was level (just) when the ball was played. Pic taken from @IAmNick’s clip.

 

396B465D-9927-4C9D-8264-687234CCC2F2.png

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1 minute ago, Up The City! said:

Sky News said Fammys stunning strike was chalked off because of a foul in the build up?

I think the ref decided there was a foul by Watkins. 

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2 minutes ago, mozo said:

I must say, it's both heartening, but also troubling, that at the middle part of the season we've been singing the praises of Paterson, Watkins and Diedhiou. These three are players that I'm almost certain that we need to replace, and yet here we find ourselves, dependant on them. Weird.

I've been a big critic of Diedhiou for two seasons now, but his performances lately have been a revelation.

Watkins ? Three games in which he's done well and I don't think anyone is going overboard.

Paterson - 45 excellent minutes. But we all know how inconsistent he is and is not a guaranteed starter.

We are far from dependent on any of them imo and I'm not sure where you are coming from with that assertion tbh.

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1 hour ago, Olé said:

The lead up to this "must win" fixture for our of sorts City has been dominated by a clamour over the identity and number of strikers we need to sign. A much needed but smash and grab victory at Wigan left no doubt that while vast improvements are needed, man of the match Diedhiou up front is the very least of our problems.

Away at one of the poorest teams in the Championship Lee Johnson talked about his side being bright and busy but for well over an hour the under pressure manager must have seemed close to the end as his team were totally outplayed by a sharper passing Wigan side that kept the ball for long periods, City's only plan to hoof long.

The slick hosts dominated possession and it was just a propensity to shoot straight at Bentley that kept the game level. For 75 minutes City looked outclassed by one of the relegation favourites. But one player - Diedhiou - battled consistently and out of nothing he and sub Paterson provided the  rare quality and instinct to steal the win.

City went into the fixture without captain Brownhill for the first time in months due to surprise injury, and with boss Johnson promising a buzzing performance after a recent poor run, the small away following would have hoped for much with Eliasson in a 4-4-2 with two wingers away at struggling hosts. Instead they got one way traffic. 

Wigan moved the ball slickly and were in total control for the first ten, possession saw them camped in the City half, working the ball crisply in the channels: a damning indictment for their opponents who had no such passing and hit aimless long balls - indeed their only respite a Hunt free kick on halfway that didn't beat the first man.

City's first and only chance came after the ten minute mark as Eliasson's first driving run on the left won a corner and Weimann characteristically came short to meet the ball, his header blocked and hacked clear. It was one of the away sides few corners to even beat the first man. And it was rare threat as Wigan continued to dominate.

But midway through the half Diedhiou got into space on the right and unleashed a brilliant Eliasson-esque cross into the box, Weimann racing in to flash a header that was tipped wide. At the other end Wigan tore through the middle, Windass brought down a long ball, squaring to Joe Williams whose low shot on the run deflected wide.

As poor as City had been they could have had a sensational lead just inside the half hour as yet another pointless long ball to no one in particular got half cleared to the edge of the box, that man Diedhiou taking down the ball and unleashing a volley that  lashed into the postage stamp top corner - only to find Watkins had been offside.

Minutes later Eliasson switched across to the right and collected a throw in, beat his man and crossed into the middle - where Diedhiou headed just over at close range, stretching. But these were rare moments of danger, more keep ball followed swiftly from Wigan, repeatedly picking diagonals in behind City, our defence overworked.

At halftime Johnson's men had achieved a pitiful amount of possession as they tried (and failed) to galvanise their mid season slump and would've been under incredible pressure - Paterson on for the anonymous Watkins. And yet for the next 20 minutes it was more of the same as their impressive hosts repeatedly carved open City's right. 

On 47 a brilliant break off the Wigan left saw Robinson tear clear, the ball flashed across the box twice, back and forth, City keeper Bentley holding Dowell's hooked shot from the edge of the box. In minutes the home side found more space behind Hunt, Robinson racing clear again, testing stopper Bentley again at the near post. 

It continued to be one way traffic against anonymous City - on 54 minutes Dowell became the latest to roam free on the left, sweeping a cross to the far post where full back Byrne headed wide. Soon after the latest left wing foray saw Windass link up with Dowell, collecting an inside pass and drilling a shot straight at grateful Bentley.

On the hour Johnson withdrew teenager Massengo - combative but often overrun - for his fellow midfielder Nagy. And almost immediately City's only impressive player, Diedhiou, took a long ball in his stride and struck a wicked dipping 25 yard shot on the run - our first on target - which the keeper tipped over for a series of corners.

On 70 Rowe replaced Korey Smith yet still impressive Wigan pressed - and inevitably another break down the left by Dowell saw a deep cross to the far post met by Garner his diving header forcing a reflex Bentley save. The keeper would then hold a Dowell free kick and soon after Gelhardt curled over after combining with fellow sub Garner.

Into the final quarter hour and little sense that City could get anything from their trip to the North - they certainly weren't owed anything. So it was miraculous in the 77th minute when that man Diedhiou threaded the ball beyond a defender and Paterson, forgotten until returning from the bench, raced clear and slipped it under the keeper.

An improbable lead secured right in front of their away following and against their classy hosts, felt fortuitous. In just over a minute it would become incredible as sub Paterson turned provider, making room in midfield and dinking a short pass behind the defence, Diedhiou breaking the lines to angle the ball first time bottom corner.

This time delerium from the bank of away fans as their talisman had a goal that his performance - as literally City's only stand out performer - hugely deserved, a smash and grab away win confirmed in a quiet final 10 minutes, easing pressure on under fire Johnson although Wigan's dominance and superiority on the ball leaves much to fix.

 

Bentley 7 In truth Wigan attempts on goal were tame or they would have been well out of sight, but Bentley handling flawless

Hunt 4 Exposed repeatedly for an hour in particular the first 20 minutes of the second half, punted nothing long balls forward every time he got it, awful football 

Dasilva 6 A few nice touches and runs they were reminiscent of his quality of last season but like Hunt also regularly narrow and exposed by Wigan's quality passing through the channels 

Williams 6 Had a lot to do and did it well but distribution - mainly punting long balls at the opposite box - was horrible to watch

Baker 7 The better of the two centre backs, doesn't always get the start but his record must be pretty good now

Smith 7 Tidy and sensible in a deep role, strong on the ball and picked simple short passes but zero attacking threat as part of a midfield that offered little in the opposition half

Massengo 6 Combative and feisty in spells but also often bypassed or crowded out by a better organised Wigan in a game our midfield rarely got into

Watkins 4 Completely anonymous - had no effect whatsoever

Eliasson 6 Created a couple of chances and service to him was worse than awful but by his own high standards didn't really affect the game as much as he could

Weimann 5 Also completely anonymous, although hard to blame him on 30% possession and long balls punted towards the Wigan keeper 

Diedhiou 8 Our best player by a mile - a stunning goal disallowed, an assist, a goal and two of our three shots on target, was only player who was "busy" in the first hour

 

Paterson 7 Actually runs at people and has an instinct for a decent through ball that we don't possess besides Palmer - a much needed upgrade over Hunt and Williams hoofing it long

Nagy 6 Tidier than Massengo but didn't make much of a difference to a midfield that was routinely bypassed

Rowe 6 We looked more organised and solid in midfield with his energy off the ball

Hi Olé

just out of interest as not seen the game

if he punted the ball

was there a reasonable option to pass

or was he just clearing his lines?

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Hi @Olé

Great report as usual. Couple of observations, tactically speaking. 

You mentioned the 4-4-2 with wingers. Quite difficult to take the game to the opposition with that when they have a 3 of some kind in there.

Especially away from home- good for counter attacking maybe or perhaps strong counter pressing.

Rowe..sounds like he brought something to the midfield. Part of a possible solution in a 3 do you think? At least for the short to medium term. 

Lastly you mentioned Wigan being 2nd bottom but whenever I've seen them well often anyway, their performances have tended to outstrip their results...one of those, deceptively awkward away games tbh. Outplayed WBA a month or so ago a lot. 

Not saying we don't have a lot to work on, we clearly do but hopefully this win will provide the first stepping stone, building block- a platform for a bit of momentum.

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4 minutes ago, Up The City! said:

I didn't watch the game and only listened to the final third on the radio, but did Wigan actually do anything with all their possession and 600 odd passes?

no.

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2 hours ago, Olé said:

The lead up to this "must win" fixture for our of sorts City has been dominated by a clamour over the identity and number of strikers we need to sign. A much needed but smash and grab victory at Wigan left no doubt that while vast improvements are needed, man of the match Diedhiou up front is the very least of our problems.

Away at one of the poorest teams in the Championship Lee Johnson talked about his side being bright and busy but for well over an hour the under pressure manager must have seemed close to the end as his team were totally outplayed by a sharper passing Wigan side that kept the ball for long periods, City's only plan to hoof long.

The slick hosts dominated possession and it was just a propensity to shoot straight at Bentley that kept the game level. For 75 minutes City looked outclassed by one of the relegation favourites. But one player - Diedhiou - battled consistently and out of nothing he and sub Paterson provided the  rare quality and instinct to steal the win.

City went into the fixture without captain Brownhill for the first time in months due to surprise injury, and with boss Johnson promising a buzzing performance after a recent poor run, the small away following would have hoped for much with Eliasson in a 4-4-2 with two wingers away at struggling hosts. Instead they got one way traffic. 

Wigan moved the ball slickly and were in total control for the first ten, possession saw them camped in the City half, working the ball crisply in the channels: a damning indictment for their opponents who had no such passing and hit aimless long balls - indeed their only respite a Hunt free kick on halfway that didn't beat the first man.

City's first and only chance came after the ten minute mark as Eliasson's first driving run on the left won a corner and Weimann characteristically came short to meet the ball, his header blocked and hacked clear. It was one of the away sides few corners to even beat the first man. And it was rare threat as Wigan continued to dominate.

But midway through the half Diedhiou got into space on the right and unleashed a brilliant Eliasson-esque cross into the box, Weimann racing in to flash a header that was tipped wide. At the other end Wigan tore through the middle, Windass brought down a long ball, squaring to Joe Williams whose low shot on the run deflected wide.

As poor as City had been they could have had a sensational lead just inside the half hour as yet another pointless long ball to no one in particular got half cleared to the edge of the box, that man Diedhiou taking down the ball and unleashing a volley that  lashed into the postage stamp top corner - only to find Watkins had been offside.

Minutes later Eliasson switched across to the right and collected a throw in, beat his man and crossed into the middle - where Diedhiou headed just over at close range, stretching. But these were rare moments of danger, more keep ball followed swiftly from Wigan, repeatedly picking diagonals in behind City, our defence overworked.

At halftime Johnson's men had achieved a pitiful amount of possession as they tried (and failed) to galvanise their mid season slump and would've been under incredible pressure - Paterson on for the anonymous Watkins. And yet for the next 20 minutes it was more of the same as their impressive hosts repeatedly carved open City's right. 

On 47 a brilliant break off the Wigan left saw Robinson tear clear, the ball flashed across the box twice, back and forth, City keeper Bentley holding Dowell's hooked shot from the edge of the box. In minutes the home side found more space behind Hunt, Robinson racing clear again, testing stopper Bentley again at the near post. 

It continued to be one way traffic against anonymous City - on 54 minutes Dowell became the latest to roam free on the left, sweeping a cross to the far post where full back Byrne headed wide. Soon after the latest left wing foray saw Windass link up with Dowell, collecting an inside pass and drilling a shot straight at grateful Bentley.

On the hour Johnson withdrew teenager Massengo - combative but often overrun - for his fellow midfielder Nagy. And almost immediately City's only impressive player, Diedhiou, took a long ball in his stride and struck a wicked dipping 25 yard shot on the run - our first on target - which the keeper tipped over for a series of corners.

On 70 Rowe replaced Korey Smith yet still impressive Wigan pressed - and inevitably another break down the left by Dowell saw a deep cross to the far post met by Garner his diving header forcing a reflex Bentley save. The keeper would then hold a Dowell free kick and soon after Gelhardt curled over after combining with fellow sub Garner.

Into the final quarter hour and little sense that City could get anything from their trip to the North - they certainly weren't owed anything. So it was miraculous in the 77th minute when that man Diedhiou threaded the ball beyond a defender and Paterson, forgotten until returning from the bench, raced clear and slipped it under the keeper.

An improbable lead secured right in front of their away following and against their classy hosts, felt fortuitous. In just over a minute it would become incredible as sub Paterson turned provider, making room in midfield and dinking a short pass behind the defence, Diedhiou breaking the lines to angle the ball first time bottom corner.

This time delerium from the bank of away fans as their talisman had a goal that his performance - as literally City's only stand out performer - hugely deserved, a smash and grab away win confirmed in a quiet final 10 minutes, easing pressure on under fire Johnson although Wigan's dominance and superiority on the ball leaves much to fix.

 

Bentley 7 In truth Wigan attempts on goal were tame or they would have been well out of sight, but Bentley handling flawless

Hunt 4 Exposed repeatedly for an hour in particular the first 20 minutes of the second half, punted nothing long balls forward every time he got it, awful football 

Dasilva 6 A few nice touches and runs they were reminiscent of his quality of last season but like Hunt also regularly narrow and exposed by Wigan's quality passing through the channels 

Williams 6 Had a lot to do and did it well but distribution - mainly punting long balls at the opposite box - was horrible to watch

Baker 7 The better of the two centre backs, doesn't always get the start but his record must be pretty good now

Smith 7 Tidy and sensible in a deep role, strong on the ball and picked simple short passes but zero attacking threat as part of a midfield that offered little in the opposition half

Massengo 6 Combative and feisty in spells but also often bypassed or crowded out by a better organised Wigan in a game our midfield rarely got into

Watkins 4 Completely anonymous - had no effect whatsoever

Eliasson 6 Created a couple of chances and service to him was worse than awful but by his own high standards didn't really affect the game as much as he could

Weimann 5 Also completely anonymous, although hard to blame him on 30% possession and long balls punted towards the Wigan keeper 

Diedhiou 8 Our best player by a mile - a stunning goal disallowed, an assist, a goal and two of our three shots on target, was only player who was "busy" in the first hour

 

Paterson 7 Actually runs at people and has an instinct for a decent through ball that we don't possess besides Palmer - a much needed upgrade over Hunt and Williams hoofing it long

Nagy 6 Tidier than Massengo but didn't make much of a difference to a midfield that was routinely bypassed

Rowe 6 We looked more organised and solid in midfield with his energy off the ball

Got to stop the obsession of playing the clumsy,,slow Williams ahead of Moore.

Joke time..

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2 minutes ago, Robert the bruce said:

Got to stop the obsession of playing the clumsy,,slow Williams ahead of Moore.

Joke time..

To be fair, Williams and Baker were in complete control today.

But thats not to say against better more mobile opposition it would be the same..

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Good report as ever, the amount of chances Wigan created was worrying, thankfully their forwards were awful. At the end of the day, 3 points, and that’s the important bit.

An enjoyable day out, with the possible exception of the first half!

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20 minutes ago, bcfc01 said:

no.

It is notoriously difficult to play against a team that just want to pass it around but not actually want to do anything with all that possession. If you press them, close them down and all that then if you dont win the ball back then you are falling into their trap of moving you put of position, out of shape to create space for them to pass it. 

The best option is to just sit back, keep the shape and let them have all that possession Nd then hope to hit them on the counter. Of course it's boring for the fans to watch and the game becomes a bit of a chess match but it's better than conceding right?

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1 hour ago, bcfc01 said:

Smash and grab ?

Must have been watching a different game.

I saw a home team with absolutely no cutting edge in the final third and didn't really trouble the City defence and an away team struggling for form and confidence and a bit ragged but still comfortable in the game. Wigan may have had the majority of possession but they did sweet FA with it - and City deserve some credit for that.

The better team won imo - not that either team were up to much on the day.

Smash and grab ? Definitely not, deserved at least a point and got 

This is how I saw the game, other than Bentley's deflected clearance in 1st half, Wigan didnt look like scoring.

I admit was more relaxed at 2-0 but dont think I am rewriting history 

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25 minutes ago, Robert the bruce said:

Got to stop the obsession of playing the clumsy,,slow Williams ahead of Moore.

Joke time..

In a medium and highish line he has and will have problems.

35 year old CBs often do. Especially in a side who don't exactly boss the ball like us...worth rewatching his red card v Brentford and the run up to it on the highlights, reaffirms this.

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2 hours ago, eardun said:

I think Pato was level (just) when the ball was played. Pic taken from @IAmNick’s clip.

 

396B465D-9927-4C9D-8264-687234CCC2F2.png

Yes, would agree with that trying to take un un-biased view, recorded the highlights on EFL Quest, and paused at the moment of the pass a couple of times, and would say that, at the time the ball was played, Pato was, at the worst,  level and  certainly not offside, did not seem to be an issue of debate with the pundits.  

Having said that, in real time , it had a definite suspicion of offside, so shows what a difficult job the much-maligned linos have.

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6 hours ago, Up The City! said:

I didn't watch the game and only listened to the final third on the radio, but did Wigan actually do anything with all their possession and 600 odd passes?

 

6 hours ago, bcfc01 said:

no.

 

Apart from 17 shots on goal? 

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12 minutes ago, NickJ said:

 

 

Apart from 17 shots on goal? 

Exactly, if Wigan had any players who had their shooting boots on we would have been in trouble. 

I agree that it never looked like Wigan were going to score, but that was almost totally down to their inability to finish rather than our defence not giving them any chances. If they could cross the sheer amount of times they got in behind hunt would have lead to something. 

To say that we were the better side is a massive distortion, we made 4 chances and 3 of them were almost entirely down to Fam doing it on his own, other than the one cross for Fam that he could have scored with were it not behind him. 

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8 hours ago, eardun said:

I think Pato was level (just) when the ball was played. Pic taken from @IAmNick’s clip.

 

396B465D-9927-4C9D-8264-687234CCC2F2.png

The linesman has done an excellent job there. It looked offside on TV

8 hours ago, reddoh said:

Hi Olé

just out of interest as not seen the game

if he punted the ball

was there a reasonable option to pass

or was he just clearing his lines?

At least a couple occasions he had time and space

7 hours ago, Up The City! said:

I didn't watch the game and only listened to the final third on the radio, but did Wigan actually do anything with all their possession and 600 odd passes?

They got crosses in and won a few corners. Lots of interceptions around the box. They didn't create many chances but I'd say we were having to work hard in defense and it was a concern. We weren't coasting.

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10 hours ago, Olé said:

The lead up to this "must win" fixture for our of sorts City has been dominated by a clamour over the identity and number of strikers we need to sign. A much needed but smash and grab victory at Wigan left no doubt that while vast improvements are needed, man of the match Diedhiou up front is the very least of our problems.

Away at one of the poorest teams in the Championship Lee Johnson talked about his side being bright and busy but for well over an hour the under pressure manager must have seemed close to the end as his team were totally outplayed by a sharper passing Wigan side that kept the ball for long periods, City's only plan to hoof long.

The slick hosts dominated possession and it was just a propensity to shoot straight at Bentley that kept the game level. For 75 minutes City looked outclassed by one of the relegation favourites. But one player - Diedhiou - battled consistently and out of nothing he and sub Paterson provided the  rare quality and instinct to steal the win.

City went into the fixture without captain Brownhill for the first time in months due to surprise injury, and with boss Johnson promising a buzzing performance after a recent poor run, the small away following would have hoped for much with Eliasson in a 4-4-2 with two wingers away at struggling hosts. Instead they got one way traffic. 

Wigan moved the ball slickly and were in total control for the first ten, possession saw them camped in the City half, working the ball crisply in the channels: a damning indictment for their opponents who had no such passing and hit aimless long balls - indeed their only respite a Hunt free kick on halfway that didn't beat the first man.

City's first and only chance came after the ten minute mark as Eliasson's first driving run on the left won a corner and Weimann characteristically came short to meet the ball, his header blocked and hacked clear. It was one of the away sides few corners to even beat the first man. And it was rare threat as Wigan continued to dominate.

But midway through the half Diedhiou got into space on the right and unleashed a brilliant Eliasson-esque cross into the box, Weimann racing in to flash a header that was tipped wide. At the other end Wigan tore through the middle, Windass brought down a long ball, squaring to Joe Williams whose low shot on the run deflected wide.

As poor as City had been they could have had a sensational lead just inside the half hour as yet another pointless long ball to no one in particular got half cleared to the edge of the box, that man Diedhiou taking down the ball and unleashing a volley that  lashed into the postage stamp top corner - only to find Watkins had been offside.

Minutes later Eliasson switched across to the right and collected a throw in, beat his man and crossed into the middle - where Diedhiou headed just over at close range, stretching. But these were rare moments of danger, more keep ball followed swiftly from Wigan, repeatedly picking diagonals in behind City, our defence overworked.

At halftime Johnson's men had achieved a pitiful amount of possession as they tried (and failed) to galvanise their mid season slump and would've been under incredible pressure - Paterson on for the anonymous Watkins. And yet for the next 20 minutes it was more of the same as their impressive hosts repeatedly carved open City's right. 

On 47 a brilliant break off the Wigan left saw Robinson tear clear, the ball flashed across the box twice, back and forth, City keeper Bentley holding Dowell's hooked shot from the edge of the box. In minutes the home side found more space behind Hunt, Robinson racing clear again, testing stopper Bentley again at the near post. 

It continued to be one way traffic against anonymous City - on 54 minutes Dowell became the latest to roam free on the left, sweeping a cross to the far post where full back Byrne headed wide. Soon after the latest left wing foray saw Windass link up with Dowell, collecting an inside pass and drilling a shot straight at grateful Bentley.

On the hour Johnson withdrew teenager Massengo - combative but often overrun - for his fellow midfielder Nagy. And almost immediately City's only impressive player, Diedhiou, took a long ball in his stride and struck a wicked dipping 25 yard shot on the run - our first on target - which the keeper tipped over for a series of corners.

On 70 Rowe replaced Korey Smith yet still impressive Wigan pressed - and inevitably another break down the left by Dowell saw a deep cross to the far post met by Garner his diving header forcing a reflex Bentley save. The keeper would then hold a Dowell free kick and soon after Gelhardt curled over after combining with fellow sub Garner.

Into the final quarter hour and little sense that City could get anything from their trip to the North - they certainly weren't owed anything. So it was miraculous in the 77th minute when that man Diedhiou threaded the ball beyond a defender and Paterson, forgotten until returning from the bench, raced clear and slipped it under the keeper.

An improbable lead secured right in front of their away following and against their classy hosts, felt fortuitous. In just over a minute it would become incredible as sub Paterson turned provider, making room in midfield and dinking a short pass behind the defence, Diedhiou breaking the lines to angle the ball first time bottom corner.

This time delerium from the bank of away fans as their talisman had a goal that his performance - as literally City's only stand out performer - hugely deserved, a smash and grab away win confirmed in a quiet final 10 minutes, easing pressure on under fire Johnson although Wigan's dominance and superiority on the ball leaves much to fix.

 

Bentley 7 In truth Wigan attempts on goal were tame or they would have been well out of sight, but Bentley handling flawless

Hunt 4 Exposed repeatedly for an hour in particular the first 20 minutes of the second half, punted nothing long balls forward every time he got it, awful football 

Dasilva 6 A few nice touches and runs they were reminiscent of his quality of last season but like Hunt also regularly narrow and exposed by Wigan's quality passing through the channels 

Williams 6 Had a lot to do and did it well but distribution - mainly punting long balls at the opposite box - was horrible to watch

Baker 7 The better of the two centre backs, doesn't always get the start but his record must be pretty good now

Smith 7 Tidy and sensible in a deep role, strong on the ball and picked simple short passes but zero attacking threat as part of a midfield that offered little in the opposition half

Massengo 6 Combative and feisty in spells but also often bypassed or crowded out by a better organised Wigan in a game our midfield rarely got into

Watkins 4 Completely anonymous - had no effect whatsoever

Eliasson 6 Created a couple of chances and service to him was worse than awful but by his own high standards didn't really affect the game as much as he could

Weimann 5 Also completely anonymous, although hard to blame him on 30% possession and long balls punted towards the Wigan keeper 

Diedhiou 8 Our best player by a mile - a stunning goal disallowed, an assist, a goal and two of our three shots on target, was only player who was "busy" in the first hour

 

Paterson 7 Actually runs at people and has an instinct for a decent through ball that we don't possess besides Palmer - a much needed upgrade over Hunt and Williams hoofing it long

Nagy 6 Tidier than Massengo but didn't make much of a difference to a midfield that was routinely bypassed

Rowe 6 We looked more organised and solid in midfield with his energy off the ball

Excellent as always. Re the players ratings....first half they were all (except FD) 3’s for me, overall I’d agree with your ratings, which when compared with those in the EP make sense, the EP ratings were laughable! 

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Just watched the highlights on the main site and one thing struck me. Considering all the comments about the dressing room unrest etc, how great was it to see the bench all celebrating Pato's goal so wildly?

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9 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

you mentioned Wigan being 2nd bottom but whenever I've seen them well often anyway, their performances have tended to outstrip their results...one of those, deceptively awkward away games tbh. Outplayed WBA a month or so ago a lot. 

Agree, I like their manager and have been impressed by them home and away last couple of seasons. Felt a bit sorry for them yesterday, they move the ball really well, quick diagonals out to the wing and then work the ball from there via overlaps or inside passes, and their strikers whilst tame finishers, are decent at holding it up and recycling possession.

As a team they're easy on the eye and you could certainly see an identity and a quality. I know they lost but I don't buy this story that as such their football is pointless and we should be happy with our lot, I want to know why they are yet another team that is more organised and technically proficient enough to retain the ball and work it end to end - and we aren't.

Because a) surely when we punt these whoosh balls forward like we did all day yesterday we are hoping to find our man in space and build from there, exactly as Wigan were consistently doing, rather than rely on the loose balls and half clearances that insued from our long balls. We got the right outcome but Wigan had the right method.

And b) one mistake from our two CBs in the first 75 minutes (and let's be honest we've been making those for weeks) and Wigan have a presentable chance and we probably never get into the game. Our CBs were excellent at showing Wigan away from goal  - Windass regularly had to turn and lay it back for a tame shot edge of the box.

But I wouldn't call it huff and puff, they had a technical quality to retain possession around our box and try to work our defenders out of position (bit did not). Perhaps I'm biased as I like possession and passing but surely that's a better platform/identity for the things City want to achieve, and if so why can we consistently not manage it?

We drunk before and after with a Wigan season ticket holder and he said it was the best they've played this season so I'm glad I wasn't seeing things. He's not stupid and bemoans the lack of cutting edge, but for 75 minutes they demonstrated more quality and certainly more idea and ambition to win the game and I find that worrying.

Oh, and your question re: 4-4-2 and two wingers becomes sort of moot - I mentioned it in relation to the starting line up before the game, in the game itself we were more of a 4-0-2 as bar Korey Smith tidying up deep, we utterly bypassed our midfield, certainly we did not have the means to build through the middle until Nagy and Paterson.

8 hours ago, Up The City! said:

It is notoriously difficult to play against a team that just want to pass it around but not actually want to do anything with all that possession. If you press them, close them down and all that then if you dont win the ball back then you are falling into their trap of moving you put of position, out of shape to create space for them to pass it. 

The best option is to just sit back, keep the shape and let them have all that possession Nd then hope to hit them on the counter. Of course it's boring for the fans to watch and the game becomes a bit of a chess match but it's better than conceding right?

I agree and our centre backs did a fine job of shepherding their forwards wide or to the edge of the box such that most attempts were taken from 20 yards rather than 5 or 10, but it's very unfair to say "not actually want to do anything with that possession", in my opinion they had a very clear attacking intent in everything they wanted to do.

As someone else pointed out they had 17-some odd shots and it certainly felt like they were able to engineer sustained periods of attacking possession whenever they won the ball in defence, in a way that is fundamental to shifting play into positive areas, a route we simply can't execute. Nothing to do with sitting in, just quality with the ball. 

2 hours ago, Spud55 said:

Exactly, if Wigan had any players who had their shooting boots on we would have been in trouble. 

I agree that it never looked like Wigan were going to score, but that was almost totally down to their inability to finish rather than our defence not giving them any chances. If they could cross the sheer amount of times they got in behind hunt would have lead to something. 

Well as above our centre backs do take credit for showing Windass and co onto their back foot and into layoffs to the edge of the box from where attempts were more routine for Bentley - typically 20 yard daisy-cutters - but yes any kind of cutting edge and we'd have been well beaten, I'm sure LJ's box entry stat for Wigan would tell you that!

I feared the worst when Joe Garner came on and he had the best chance, got in a lot closer and met a deep cross far post diving header, exactly the sort of goal we always concede at places like Wigan and Preston. But that was late in the game, prior to that Wigan had been the superior side (Dowell, Robinson, Windass) but had no easy chances.

Edited by Olé
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9 hours ago, Robert the bruce said:

Got to stop the obsession of playing the clumsy,,slow Williams ahead of Moore.

Joke time..

It's driving me mad how determined Bentley is to give Williams the ball when he can do nothing with it. Clearly due to LJ's desire to play it out from the back but completely unfair on Williams who just needs to concentrate on his defensive role.

We used to do exactly the same with Flint (via Fielding) and it often resulted in a poor pass or lost possession.

Allowing Bentley to launch it upfield would be a safer tactic even with a high risk of turnover. At least it would happen in the opposition half.

Unfortunately this is why our coaching, planning and stats analysis is failing us. It's absolutely clear that Williams should not receive a short ball from Bentley but we do it game after game.

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Thank @Olé - how you remember that much detail and in the right order is beyond me!

I agree with your perception of the first half (and more) that Wigan bossed us: I've read the alternative view that it was a typical City away performance where we give up possession but remain organised and don't get hurt. I felt yesterday that we never dictated what happened when they were in possession, and that they were simply quicker, more direct, more effective than us, and if they had a clue where the goal was we'd have lost. If our tactics were based on them being unable to score then that's foolhardy in any game - never mind one where there's a Windass on the pitch!

Hunt: what can you say...just dire. I don't know what's happened to the Hunt we saw earlier this season. You captured exactly the same moment I would have done to summarise his game, that free kick. How can a professional footballer, taking a free kick on the half way line, and aiming to pump it high into the opposition box, manage to hit a disinterested, nominal wall of one?! I think the Wigan player was the most surprised person in the ground. It says something for Pereira's inconsistency that Hunt is still starting, and quite honestly either Bailey Wright or Korey Smith would do a better job at RB at the moment. It was no surprise that so much of Wigan's threat came down their left.

Talking of Korey: I thought the City bench were heading for a repeat of that the Brentford game where they were so slow to get Moore on after the sending off. Korey was signalling to the bench that he needed to come off a good 5 minutes before having to just sit down to make the point. How did they not see that, and/or why did they not react quicker? Another "let's see what happens" moment? It really could have cost us having him as a passenger at that stage of the game.

Massengo: I don't know what we are doing with the lad at the moment, but while it may be improving some aspects of his game (I can only assume that's the intention) it's certainly not helping his overall game. he seems to be obsessed with staying close to his man, and then when the ball comes to him with getting it under control and his body behind the ball. Nothing wrong with that, but there were times yesterday where it seemed evident that his natural instinct was a little flick to take one or two opponents out of the game and create space in front of himself. But you could see hime having second thoughts, controlling the ball, getting his body shape right, and even though he generally did that OK the outcome was either winning a free kick (which allows Wigan to get organised) or him facing the wrong way and only a backwards or sideways pass being on. He seems terrified to use the flair, or the ability to drift into space, both of which we saw earlier in the season, for fear of getting caught out. Which, from time to time he will, but that's worth it for the times it comes off. This isn't a dig at LJ, but its almost like we're trying to turn him into a replica of LJ as a player: I say that as someone who liked LJ as a player, but recognising that he had limitations - he was a safe, uninspiring but solid second tier defensive midfielder - HNM has the potential to be very much more than that.

Weimann seemed to have another game like Sheffield, with those 9 touches or whatever it was. I said to my friend at half time that we'd probably notice Weimann a bit more second half when they were kicking towards us - in truth I forgot he was on the pitch! Just anonymous. At the best of times his runs confuse his team mates as much as they do the opposition - on days like yesterday it's as though he's running around playing a different game to everyone else.

Which brings me to Diedhiou and the question about our transfer window endeavours: if we do get another striker in, who's place do they take, because on the evidence of the past few weeks, and yesterday more than most, if the answer is Fam then that's a travesty. It was so evident yesterday that our problems lie just about everywhere between Bentley and Diedhiou! He was, simply, the difference between the two teams (Paterson too!). Two superb finishes - and the pass for Paterson's goal was one that, had it been Kasey Palmer we'd have all been talking about as the reason why palmer needs to play every week. Not just that but he has such a passion about him - I just love the way the goals meant so much to him, and the sheer amount of work he puts in for the side - and he's a big guy so he has a lot of weight to move around. The though that someone like Nketiah, who clearly has no interest in Bristol City, could arrive and immediately take his place, is unthinkable.

Incidentally, great as Fam's assist was, there was one better one I saw yesterday - Bakinson for Plymouth.

Scores: think you're generous to Hunt and Williams, but otherwise agree. It annoyed me more than a bit that Williams could walk straight back into the side after the most thoroughly unprofessional display he put in v Brentford, and when we had a perfectly good alternative.

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11 hours ago, Olé said:

This time delerium from the bank of away fans as their talisman had a goal that his performance - as literally City's only stand out performer - hugely deserved

 Bentley 7 In truth Wigan attempts on goal were tame or they would have been well out of sight, but Bentley handling flawless

Baker 7 The better of the two centre backs, doesn't always get the start but his record must be pretty good now

Smith 7 Tidy and sensible in a deep role, strong on the ball and picked simple short passes but zero attacking threat as part of a midfield that offered little in the opposition half

Diedhiou 8 Our best player by a mile - a stunning goal disallowed, an assist, a goal and two of our three shots on target, was only player who was "busy" in the first hour

Thanks for the report Ole.

I was wondering why you lavish such praise on Diedhiou - 'only stand out performer', 'best player by a mile', yet he only gets one more mark than 3 others?

Worth a 9 perhaps?

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27 minutes ago, italian dave said:

Thank @Olé - how you remember that much detail and in the right order is beyond me!

I agree with your perception of the first half (and more) that...

[...]

...great as Fam's assist was, there was one better one I saw yesterday - Bakinson for Plymouth.

Scores: think you're generous to Hunt and Williams, but otherwise agree. It annoyed me more than a bit that Williams could walk straight back into the side after the most thoroughly unprofessional display he put in v Brentford, and when we had a perfectly good alternative.

Excellent post, agree completely.

For all his limitations, it's clear that Fam cares very deeply about his own performance and our results. He plays with his heart and we, as fans, need to show how valued he is. When he's confident he is at his best.

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Does anybody think the sudden improvement in fammy might have something to do with the club being after another striker and maybe within the players circle they know who that might be, just a thought.

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11 hours ago, marcofisher said:

I got the impression Fam was instructed to conserve energy first half, didn't bother pressing.

Yes but there were a few times Weimann seemed to be annoyed Fam didn’t press with him including second half where it did seem we were trying to press as a team a bit more. 

11 hours ago, bcfc01 said:

Smash and grab ?

Must have been watching a different game.

I saw a home team with absolutely no cutting edge in the final third and didn't really trouble the City defence and an away team struggling for form and confidence and a bit ragged but still comfortable in the game. Wigan may have had the majority of possession but they did sweet FA with it - and City deserve some credit for that.

The better team won imo - not that either team were up to much on the day.

Smash and grab ? Definitely not, deserved at least a point and got three.

 

 

It is a tough one because Wigan were much better than us outside of that final pass or shot. So smash and grab probably a bit far but for 75 minutes you would say if there was going to be a winner it would be Wigan. 

11 hours ago, Frenchay Red said:

Very poor game, watching via Robins TV. However Pato made a big difference when he came on, and unlike road runner actually looked to link up with Fammy, the result of which were two excellently taken goals. AW may run around all day, and he has a decent goal tally, but offers next to nothing as a striking partner with FD.

Pato come on at HT and we still struggled a bit. Wasn’t until, imo, Rowe and Nagy come on that the linking up seemed to happen. Agree about Weimann but after those subs we seemed more 4231 or 4141 with Weimann more a 10. He(and Pato not Eliasson so much)seemed to be able to anticipate Fam a bit more. I’d like to see more of this in the future I think. Don’t discount Nagy and Rowe(Brownhill as well will do it) not just sitting deep but making runs beyond those 3. Nagy was maybe deeper but will push forward a bit to be an option. Rowe a few times popped up in and around the box to be a threat. 

11 hours ago, Up The City! said:

Sky News said Fammys stunning strike was chalked off because of a foul in the build up?

When it first happened I thought a foul. He gives a push in the back. Then everyone said offside which if he was then agree with that too. While he doesn’t play the ball he shoves the defender playing it so affects the play. Harsh if anyone slates him for it. He is probably thinking they will get ball back and maybe counter. No one would have foreseen Fam hitting one top corner from 30 yards. 

10 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Hi @Olé

Great report as usual. Couple of observations, tactically speaking. 

You mentioned the 4-4-2 with wingers. Quite difficult to take the game to the opposition with that when they have a 3 of some kind in there.

Especially away from home- good for counter attacking maybe or perhaps strong counter pressing.

Rowe..sounds like he brought something to the midfield. Part of a possible solution in a 3 do you think? At least for the short to medium term. 

Lastly you mentioned Wigan being 2nd bottom but whenever I've seen them well often anyway, their performances have tended to outstrip their results...one of those, deceptively awkward away games tbh. Outplayed WBA a month or so ago a lot. 

Not saying we don't have a lot to work on, we clearly do but hopefully this win will provide the first stepping stone, building block- a platform for a bit of momentum.

First, I think this win can do the world of good. For the talk of over coaching(agree btw) they did seem a bit down. That first goal visibly made a difference in body language. 
 

I like Rowe in there as more the box to box type and Weimann more 9.5/10 role. Slightly deeper than Fam and could anticipate things a bit better. Rowe had high energy and work rate. Thought he got involved a bit buzzing around Fam and Weimann. Think he can play it but would prefer Brownhill in that role most times.  

10 hours ago, Up The City! said:

I didn't watch the game and only listened to the final third on the radio, but did Wigan actually do anything with all their possession and 600 odd passes?

They flashed a few dangerous crosses across the box. They had 1 very good chance with Garner who should do better. Otherwise no. They were very fluid and energetic up to our penalty area where their quality broke down massively. 

9 hours ago, Chappers said:

Good report as ever, the amount of chances Wigan created was worrying, thankfully their forwards were awful. At the end of the day, 3 points, and that’s the important bit.

An enjoyable day out, with the possible exception of the first half!

Didn’t think they created much. A lot of hopeful crosses but nothing real worrying. There were concerns though. They completely outplayed us for 75 minutes. That said with 1 win in 7 and away against a team fighting relegation 3 points is excellent regardless of performance. Hopefully they can take that into Shrews with something on the line. A win there I think would really perk the club up. 

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12 minutes ago, pillred said:

Does anybody think the sudden improvement in fammy might have something to do with the club being after another striker and maybe within the players circle they know who that might be, just a thought.

Maybe. That and the fact he was replaced already. After the Afobe injury he understandably took a few games to get up to speed but I can’t remember his last bad game that I have seen. Still think we need another goal scorer but Fam has a part to play no matter what

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Is it fair to say that Hunt has been in wretched form since (and including) the Shef Wed game? 

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1 hour ago, pillred said:

Does anybody think the sudden improvement in fammy might have something to do with the club being after another striker and maybe within the players circle they know who that might be, just a thought.

Probably, but this shouldn't be the case.

With Diedhiou it seems to be feast or famine. Unfortunately, mainly the latter.

We need more feast from the Beast.

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3 hours ago, italian dave said:

Thank @Olé - how you remember that much detail and in the right order is beyond me!

I agree with your perception of the first half (and more) that Wigan bossed us: I've read the alternative view that it was a typical City away performance where we give up possession but remain organised and don't get hurt. I felt yesterday that we never dictated what happened when they were in possession, and that they were simply quicker, more direct, more effective than us, and if they had a clue where the goal was we'd have lost. If our tactics were based on them being unable to score then that's foolhardy in any game - never mind one where there's a Windass on the pitch!

Agree ID.  The switch to 4141 made them go a bit longer, but it was still evident that Wigan could pass and move the ball far better than us.  The much maligned xG shows that Wigan didn’t create any chances better than ours, just lots of hopeful ones.

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in fact, the shots Wigan took look a pretty similar mix to shot maps we saw earlier this season, shots from distance, a few blocks, and headers under significant challenge in the box.

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What concerned me yesterday was our ability with the ball.  But at least we defended properly.


Hunt: what can you say...just dire. I don't know what's happened to the Hunt we saw earlier this season. You captured exactly the same moment I would have done to summarise his game, that free kick. How can a professional footballer, taking a free kick on the half way line, and aiming to pump it high into the opposition box, manage to hit a disinterested, nominal wall of one?! I think the Wigan player was the most surprised person in the ground. It says something for Pereira's inconsistency that Hunt is still starting, and quite honestly either Bailey Wright or Korey Smith would do a better job at RB at the moment. It was no surprise that so much of Wigan's threat came down their left.

Was as poor a game with the ball as I’ve seen from him.

Talking of Korey: I thought the City bench were heading for a repeat of that the Brentford game where they were so slow to get Moore on after the sending off. Korey was signalling to the bench that he needed to come off a good 5 minutes before having to just sit down to make the point. How did they not see that, and/or why did they not react quicker? Another "let's see what happens" moment? It really could have cost us having him as a passenger at that stage of the game.

Unrelated but he was key in opening 20-25 mins in sniffing out / intercepting balls around our box.  He was wasteful with the ball, but his experience was vital early in yesterday.  Hope he’s ok, still got a role to play, even if bit-part.

Massengo: I don't know what we are doing with the lad at the moment, but while it may be improving some aspects of his game (I can only assume that's the intention) it's certainly not helping his overall game. he seems to be obsessed with staying close to his man, and then when the ball comes to him with getting it under control and his body behind the ball. Nothing wrong with that, but there were times yesterday where it seemed evident that his natural instinct was a little flick to take one or two opponents out of the game and create space in front of himself. But you could see hime having second thoughts, controlling the ball, getting his body shape right, and even though he generally did that OK the outcome was either winning a free kick (which allows Wigan to get organised) or him facing the wrong way and only a backwards or sideways pass being on. He seems terrified to use the flair, or the ability to drift into space, both of which we saw earlier in the season, for fear of getting caught out. Which, from time to time he will, but that's worth it for the times it comes off. This isn't a dig at LJ, but its almost like we're trying to turn him into a replica of LJ as a player: I say that as someone who liked LJ as a player, but recognising that he had limitations - he was a safe, uninspiring but solid second tier defensive midfielder - HNM has the potential to be very much more than that.

A symptom of a team that never gets enough passes to create space for a player.  His receipts yesterday were never in a position to take advantage and get the ball out of his feet.  He played it safe, and his pass % was the highest of any City starting player.  I saw it as a disciplined performance, even if I want more from him.  What was key for me and probably missed by most was his partnership in the “block” with Weimann behind Diedhiou (4141), as for me that was the thing that allowed us (although still not great) to get players around big Fam, and with forward momentum rather than being too far away from the ball.  He wasn’t vintage, but he did a lot of work for the team in his hour.

Weimann seemed to have another game like Sheffield, with those 9 touches or whatever it was. I said to my friend at half time that we'd probably notice Weimann a bit more second half when they were kicking towards us - in truth I forgot he was on the pitch! Just anonymous. At the best of times his runs confuse his team mates as much as they do the opposition - on days like yesterday it's as though he's running around playing a different game to everyone else.

Can’t disagree, not good yesterday, but still got his head up to make the key pass to Pato to open up Wigan for Fam’s goal. As above unselfish work with Massengo in the block.

Which brings me to Diedhiou and the question about our transfer window endeavours: if we do get another striker in, who's place do they take, because on the evidence of the past few weeks, and yesterday more than most, if the answer is Fam then that's a travesty. It was so evident yesterday that our problems lie just about everywhere between Bentley and Diedhiou! He was, simply, the difference between the two teams (Paterson too!). Two superb finishes - and the pass for Paterson's goal was one that, had it been Kasey Palmer we'd have all been talking about as the reason why palmer needs to play every week. Not just that but he has such a passion about him - I just love the way the goals meant so much to him, and the sheer amount of work he puts in for the side - and he's a big guy so he has a lot of weight to move around. The though that someone like Nketiah, who clearly has no interest in Bristol City, could arrive and immediately take his place, is unthinkable.

Bar Shrewsbury, where even though he scored, I thought he was poor, he has been playing much better.  I wonder what it must do to the forward line’s confidence to hear MA and LJ constantly talking about getting more strikers in.  Both Weimann and Diedhiou have 9 goals apiece this season.

Incidentally, great as Fam's assist was, there was one better one I saw yesterday - Bakinson for Plymouth.

Cool and composed wasnt it?

Scores: think you're generous to Hunt and Williams, but otherwise agree. It annoyed me more than a bit that Williams could walk straight back into the side after the most thoroughly unprofessional display he put in v Brentford, and when we had a perfectly good alternative.

Seemed a strange selection of Williams over Moore, as Wigan have been anything but long ball of late...although maybe LJ foresaw Kieffer Moore coming back in.

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3 hours ago, mozo said:

Is it fair to say that Hunt has been in wretched form since (and including) the Shef Wed game? 

He was good against Luton, admittedly not up against much opposition.

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4 minutes ago, Northern Red said:

He was good against Luton, admittedly not up against much opposition.

The question for me about Hunt is defensively. It's easier to ignore that when we're winning and he's whipping in this vicious goal creating crosses. 

For me he is one of the question marks over our defence, one that conceded the joint highest number of goals in the top half of the table.

1)  Two players have been unable to secure the RB birth.

2) A last minute free transfer of an OOC Williams has been the main stalwart and has the most appearances of any of our defence this season.

3) A 'rookie' in Moore and Baker, who was very much back up last season, are now key players.

Obviously the injuries to Kalas and Dasilva have played a major part, but 40 goals conceded is not good enough. 

For all the talk of forwards, if I were MA and LJ i'd be looking very hard at that defence too. 

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Rob, Italian,

Interesting and well made points. Having all watched the exact same 90 mins i find the angle of reporting hard to comprehend. Whilst not disagreeing with your comments 90%+ of what you write is negative towards our team or complimentary to the opposition when there was so much to write about that was positive, eg the organisation in the first half, the FACT we didnt concede, the tactical substitutions working again, the superb goals and so on.

One could really highlight every aspect of Fam's brilliant performance and be clear how he deserves nothing but praise.

Oh, and Italian if you didnt see Weimann's exquisite, lobbed 30 yd pass for Pato in Super Fam's goal then watch it again on the screen!! Weimann deserves credit for that pass alone as winning goals are crucial

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