On a rare, possibly unexpected, note was that I do not blame the forwards for failing to find the Net that sat untouched behind Al Habsi's goal. The lack of support from the midfield was clearly evident in respect for creating chances going forward and this is unusual. The omission of Lennon and Bale truly had a greater multiplier effect on the side as Modric and Rafa were thrown out wide.
Wigan played well. I dare say that, had we walked away from the DW today with 3 points, it would've been a flattering one. But, nonetheless, for a side looking to reach Europe's elite competition once again, today's game only shone a favourable light onto Eastlands. Leaving their fate, more assuringly, firmly in their own grasp.
Jenas needs to leave any talk of England back home, where hopefully he'll leave his passport, when the other boys depart for Madrid. He slowed the game down to about my mother's walking pace and didn't bring anything to the side today. Whereas Sandro, once more, played out his skin. Read the game like a child's easy-to-read book. And left us in awe at the phenomenal amount of potential the Brazilian just continues to show.
Although Modric oozed brilliance once more in place of Bale, it doesn't take much to see that he is best utilised in the middle of the pitch. I'd have started Niko on the left and left Luka sitting alongside Sandro. I also felt for JD when his number was lit up and he was taken off. When he was given the ball it was wide of the pitch, not ideal for any forward.
We're going to have to string more than two passes together to stand any chance in Madrid. I'd hope to see Jenas left out and, hopefully, Bale and Lennon thrown back into the side.
Thoughts on today?