Something is rotten in the state of Wigan. While new manager Steve Bruce help end an eight-match losing run against Manchester City on Saturday, it’s clear that some of the Latics players weren’t happy about the tactics employed. Indeed, it says something when the Wigan goalscorer Paul Scharner has chosen to speak out regarding the ‘hoofball’ strategy employed by the home team in the north-west derby. As reported in the Telegraph:
“I’m very happy we stopped the losing run, but at the same time, I have to say it’s difficult to play when we play long, 50-50 balls.
“This was our strategy, to play the long balls to Heskey and Bent. I’m a very positive thinker, but if we don’t change to playing football, then it will be very difficult.”
Quite what his manager will have to say about the Austrian airing such views in public is another matter. It was quite clear from Bruce’s pre-match comments that he had identified Emile Heskey as the player who could help save Wigan from the drop. Naturally, it therefore follows that Wigan’s tactics are likely to be of a long-ball variety.
Bruce was never renowned at St Andrews for playing an attractive brand of football and, when your team is floundering in the relegation zone, it’s never easy trying to play your way out of trouble. Expect Scharner to be called into the manager’s office in the next day or two!