Will ‘Griggson’ Fire nanananananana: benched. Matchday programme headliner Adam le Fondre: up top. To most onlookers it must seem inconceivable that Griggson Fire would not be the first name on the Wigan teamsheet.
Le Fondre was missing for most of the match. Incidentally, missing just like Grigg has been since joining Latics last season – however, when the chances do come, Will is usually there to strike the back of the net.
On 30 minutes Le Fondre had his chance to show why he was in the starting 11. Jacobs fed the on loan striker to feet who went through on goal – albeit at an angle – with only the ‘keeper to beat. His lofted effort sailed over. And that was that; the one good chance he had all afternoon was missed.
Adam’s rabbit-like movements continued to be seen and his squeaky voice could be heard in the distance (speaking of squeaky voices, David Perkins was surprisingly an unused sub).
The Brewers’ visit to the DW Stadium last season was a hit and run affair – the only goal of the game coming directly after a Wigan corner. Eight of the home side’s starting 11 for today’s game were yet to join the club.
Lining-up in a 4-3-3 formation, Wigan were unable to play around in the final third as they would have liked. Burton’s midfield sat deep when required, allowing attacking midfielder Nick Powell no time on the ball.
Yanic Wildschut’s dribbling throughout the 90 minutes was standard Yanic: as if the ball were attached to his right foot via a loose piece of string. Sometimes what he did came off, most of the time it sadly didn’t. If he were given the task of navigating past one player things would be different; though once doubled up on, the Dutchman continuingly struggles.
Dan Burn’s goal saving clearance following a 45 yard strike on the unmanned Wigan goal brought out the Dan Burn lover in all of us. It wasn’t quite the standing ovation Jussi Jaaskelainen received following a terrific double save last season – during a time when Jussi himself was struggling – but enough to fill the defender with confidence. Wigan’s clean sheet was not a convincing one despite Burton having scored in all five of their away fixtures this season. It was given rather than earned.
With 65 minutes played Graham Barrow gave out the signal for Wigan to ‘take the two,’ and into a 5-3-2 formation they went with Wildschut alongside Le Fondre. The change almost had an immediate impact when Powell headed wide from close range, waking up the Latics fans who were half asleep by this point.
After standing up for 90 minutes like a trendy teenager waiting at a bus stop, Nigel Clough and his Nike trainers left with a well earned point. A Wigan win would have been the revenge the away dressing room door deserved after receiving a bashing at half time from Nigel.
When asked about his team’s inability to score this afternoon, Wigan boss Gary Caldwell replied: “I accept responsibility for that.”
The Scotsman continued: “I’ve just told the players that if you draw your home games, you have to win away.” With a trip to Leeds United on Tuesday evening, Caldwell faces a big call on who he chooses to opt for up front.