There are many ways in which one can try to excuse this dropping of two valuable points, but fundamentally one has to acknowledge that we were 2-1 up against ten men and we yet again surrendered a lead with some poor poor defending. It is the manner of this second Wigan goal and the fact that our own manager admitted that no one bothers to take charge of our organisation at set pieces that sealed it for me, it's so frustrating and it has been going on for so long now that it is no longer excusable in any way.
There were quite a few changes as expected and I don't blame the manager for this in itself. Problematically Eboue could not cope with N'Zogbia and this resulted in lot of danger down our defensive left side all night long. Our weak squad was exposed yet again in terms of midfielders who can get stuck into a fight, Wilshere and Song were rested, this left no one who was capable of mixing things up in a fairly robust fashion. The squad is not good enough, Denilson and Diaby are not good enough defensively, this was plain to see again, as it has been many times in the past.
It may be harsh to blame Fabianski for the second goal, but in my opinion it is undeniable that a more commanding keeper would have done far more to prevent that goal. Fabianski was again caught in two minds, in no man's land. He is never going to be good enough to be our first choice keeper and the sooner Szczesny becomes our regular number one the better.
Added to this was some terrible refereeing from Lee Probert and officiating from the linesmen. The Wigan penalty was never a foul, even if it was a foul, it was definitely outside the box, N'Zogbia was slowed down more by wind resistance that the minutest of touches from Koscielny. The way in which Caldwell spoke to the referee and intimidated him just before N'Zogbia's red card showed just how little balls and control Probert had. The final nail in Probert's coffin was his failure to give us a stonewall penalty as Nasri's freekick was blocked by the most blatant of deliberate handballs in the box. Piss poor from the officials all round.
I am not going to try to pin this defeat on the officials though, Wigan looked extremely dangerous throughout, they could have had more goals than the two they came away with tonight, our defence seemed all over the place at times. We are simply not good enough at the back, part of this is our keeper's lack of aerial power, part of this is down to the individuals at the back, a massive part for me is the lack of defensive players in our midfield who are able to shield and assist the back four. The buck stops with the manager and our persistent leakage of sloppy goals is symptomatic of a problem that he has failed to address for too long.
Maybe I'm being negative but frankly I feel it is fully justified, the negativity I am trying to express is about the manner of our capitulation and the way in which we are doing this on a worryingly regular basis. The win against Chelsea was only three points, we have seen almost the same amount of points pissed away tonight due to our complete inability to defend a simple set piece. The frustrating thing is that it wouldn't take much to transform us into a more solid defensive outfit that could hang on to leads, I just hope the manager stands up and takes note of where we are going so badly wrong defensively.