Wigan Athletic vs. Arsenal  0 - 1


Jones feels Wigan deserved better

24 December 2012 06:39

David Jones believes his Wigan Athletic side were unlucky not to take anything from their home clash with Arsenal.

Arsenal took home the three points on Saturday courtesy of a contested second-half penalty scored by Mikel Arteta.

The home side have struggled for form of late and the defeat leaves them in the relegation zone on goal difference.

But Jones believes that if his side can replicate the form they showed against the Gunners, particularly in their control of midfield, then they will soon pick up the points they need.

"It's tough to come away from the game with a defeat when you consider the way we played," Jones told the official club website.

"We can take great heart from the performance because you expect Arsenal to have a lot more possession when you play them but, I think we controlled the game ourselves for long periods.

"We didn't try to force things from early on and we just kept the ball and drew Arsenal out until we could see the chance to go forward.

"The result obviously wasn't there but, if we can keep improving and get a good rhythm going then I'm sure the points will mount up."

Jones personally had an impressive display in an adapted three-man Wigan midfield, countering the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Arteta, and the Welshman admitted he felt far more comfortable in the position than the defensive role he has occupied in recent weeks due to the Latics' injury problems in the area.

"It was a slightly different formation due to the injuries in defence and it was nice to be playing in a three man midfield in the centre," he added.

"It helped us in having as much of the ball as we did and we maintained a lot of pressure which enabled us to get the ball forward and out to the wings with almost every move.

"I feel most comfortable in the middle. I think it brings out my natural instincts on the pitch and it allows for a bit of flair and creativity, as well as making sure we retain possession of the ball.

"It's good that we are getting a few players back from injury because we have had players out of position in a few games which is always a challenge.

"That has simply been down to the misfortune of the injury situation and you could see today how much more comfortable players were in their more natural positions."


Premier League preview: Wigan v Arsenal

20 December 2012 15:41

A cloud of doom and gloom has surrounded Arsenal in recent weeks but they could end the weekend in the Premier League's top three.

The future of Arsene Wenger, Arsenal's most successful manager, has been brought into question but the club's situation is not as bad as it appears heading into Saturday's trip to Wigan.

From their past seven Premier League fixtures, Arsenal have tasted defeated just once.

In that period, the club has netted 16 goals, including two five-goal hauls against London rivals Tottenham and most recently Reading, who they trounced 5-2 thanks to a Santi Cazorla hat-trick.

And despite negativity surrounding Emirates Stadium, Arsenal could leapfrog Tottenham and Chelsea into third position, depending on results.

Wenger is hoping the team's impressive performance at Madejski Stadium on Monday can spark a surge up the table; however they will face a difficult task at lowly Wigan.

"Football rewards teams (that) play quality football and that's what we want to focus on," he said.

"We now go to Wigan. It's another difficult place but we can do well again. Hopefully we'll get some confidence from the (Reading) game."

Wigan may sit third-from-bottom with 15 points from 17 games so far but it is nothing short of what we have come to expect during the first half of the season.

Roberto Martinez's troops stunned Arsenal in their most recent meeting, winning 2-1 at the Emirates last season courtesy of strikes from Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez.

The Manchester-based outfit have only lost once in three meetings with Arsenal on home soil, although that defeat was a 4-0 thrashing.

But their recent form is also a cause for concern, having collected a mere four points from the possible 21 on offer.

Wigan's Irish midfielder James McCarthy is likely to miss the match with an ankle injury sustained against Norwich last week, while vice-captain Antolin Alcaraz (groin) is not due back until the new year.

As for Arsenal, they have no fresh injury concerns with Abou Diaby (thigh) Lukasz Fabianski (ankle) and Andre Santos (abdominal) still recovering.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25