Wigan played with 3 centre backs with their wingbacks providing the width down the flanks. The image (left) of their average positions show the centre backs (red) and wingbacks (yellow). The Latic’s kept a pretty high line leading to us being caught offside with great regularity. Their attacks were focused most down the left flank with Beausejour as left wing back Wigan’s most potent player – creating 2 chances – 1 of which leading to the calamitous second half opener for the Latics.
As noted in the preview, Wigan have a weakness in the air with only Swansea winning fewer aerial duels per game. Despite this, they won 69% of the aerial duels against us yesterday. Sadly, when we did play more direct balls the accuracy wasn’t great (just 36% accuracy) and the longer balls were directed too close to Caldwell, a player who has limitations on the deck but is Wigan’s best header. As a result of this, Caldwell won 100% of his headers (11 out of 11). The decision to push our best header (Fellaini) further forward following Cahill’s injury was probably done to improve our ability to hold up the ball in the final third. Stracqualursi was very good on the ball (92% pass completion 2nd only to Gibson on 93%) but the Argentine lost all of his aerial duels.
3. Pienaar is still Ace
The South Afircan schemer played like he had never been away and his link up play with Baines – a feature of our play down the years – was class throughout. The below image is an example of the dynamic with Pienaar (circled) cutting inside taking his marker with him, enabling Baines to steam up the line.
We didn’t produce much but between them the pair crafted 6 of the 7 chances we created. Pienaar ‘s pass completion was 89% – comfortably above our team average – and in the process made 70 touches, second only to Fellaini (100)
Whilst our play outside the box was OK, we found it difficult to work the ball into the box. The chalkboard (left) shows our passes completed with only a few balls played successfully into the Wigan 18 yard box in the 90minutes. As noted in previous posts, we tend to score most of our goals later on in games with 46% coming in the last 15 minutes of games. Anichebe’s headed finish from a delicious Baines delivery made the Nigerian our top scorer with 4 goals despite limited game time this season.
Wigan’s goal sprung us into action and we really need to be more proactive; we have conceded first in 62% of games this season with just 1 first half goal in our last 13 league games. We need to attack teams from the off rather than being reactive. It wasn’t a great display by us on a shocking pitch and a draw was a fair result on the balance of play. Beating the league’s top side and then failing to beat the league’s bottom side in one week pretty much encapsulates life as an Evertonian.