The Latics were outplayed by Manchester United and consequently were beaten 2-0, but what will the DW Stadium faithful take away from the game?
Although the side were beaten, a number of things can be pinpointed from the game.
McClean a threat
New signing James McClean stepped out for the Latics for the first time on the left wing after his switch from Sunderland. Although Wigan spent long periods of time without the ball, when they did win it back the Republic of Ireland international looked one of the side’s more dangerous players going forward.
McClean was not afraid to take on opponents and showed a directness that will give Wigan fans encouragement. With promotion back to the Premier League the real goal, McClean’s addition will give Wigan an extra threat going forward.
Change in style
Under Roberto Martinez, Wigan were urged to get the ball down and play, even from the back and under pressure. This led to some exciting passing football at times, but also resulted in mistakes and the turning over of the ball in dangerous areas.
With Grant Holt’s summer signing and Coyle replacing Martinez in the hotseat, a change in tact may be on the cards. Wigan looked to get the ball forward to the former Norwich forward at the earliest opportunity and at times abandoned the passing football instilled in them by Martinez.
Whether this was just the result of being under pressure against a superior side remains to be seen, but if Wigan do adopt a new more direct approach it is not necessarily a bad thing.
McCarthy quiet throughout
James McCarthy is one Wigan player that is being linked with a transfer to a Premier League club, with the Republic of Ireland international one of Wigan’s most consistent performers last term. With the transfer window open for another couple of weeks, where the former Hamilton Accies man plays his football this season remains to be seen.
Although McCarthy has shown in the Premier League that he is a gifted player, the midfielder was very quiet throughout in a game dominated by the likes of Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley. McCarthy needs to continue his education before he is ready to play for a top-six team, and Wigan would not be the worst place in the world to do so.
Maloney key in providing something different
Shaun Maloney was another who struggled to get to grips with the game, but regardless of this the Scotland international will be an important man in Wigan’s promotion attempts.
If the Latics do persist with a more direct approach, there is a danger that the talented forward could be bypassed in the process. Maloney will give Wigan a cutting edge with his vision and ability on the ball – something a lot of Championship teams will not be able to cope with.
Wigan fans will not be too discouraged by the defeat at Wembley, and will feel that the 4-0 victory they recorded on the first day of the Championship season holds more importance.
image: © illarterate