Wigan currently find themselves drawn towards the bottom of the Championship after 11 games. They are in 19th position and are only three points off the relegation zone after indifferent form has seen them struggle to break away from the bottom half of the table.
While their form isn’t a major concern just yet, as they have been picking up just enough points of late, it is the Latics attacking issues which will be giving Paul Cook a headache.
Wigan are the second lowest scorers in the Championship this season and have only scored nine goals in their opening 11 fixtures of the season, over half of which have come in the last five fixtures.
Here are the attacking areas Wigan need to address this season.
Shots on Target
In their eleven matches so far, Wigan have averaged ten shots per game. Incredibly, only 3 shots per game have been on target. In their last fixture against Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan only managed to have five attempts on goal and three were on target.
This will be big concern for Cook as the chances that do come their way aren’t finding the target, let alone converted. This, combined with the fact they have conceded 16 goals already this season, is leaving Wigan with a poor goal difference already.
Strikers who can score
Eight strikers have made appearances for Wigan this season, either in the starting eleven or from the bench. Out of those eight strikers, only one has scored, 17-year-old Joe Gelhardt.
The remainder of Wigan’s goals have come from midfielders and defenders, and centre back Cheyenne Dunkley is the team’s current top goalscorer this season with three.
If they are to move away from the relegation zone, Cook needs to find a way of getting his strikers scoring goals. While players from other areas of the pitch may occasionally find the net, this will not be enough to improve the teams poor goal difference so an on form striker is essential.
Build up play for Wigan and creating chances is also a concern. The Latics average around 47% possession per game, but their passing accuracy percentage for the season is particularly low at 69.8%.
This perhaps wouldn’t be as much of a concern if Wigan had a solid defence to rely upon, but their 16 goals conceded this season shows that the loss of possession is proving to be costly for Cook’s team.
Wigan are also showing a lack of creativity when forming chances. They make an average of 0.5 assists per game and six assists their nine goals have come from crosses or corners. If they are to score more, Wigan will need to be more varied in their approach and build up play to be more successful in attack and need to find a way of play which suits their attacking players.