Arsenal vs Wigan and Reading vs Manchester City: Open Thread

For Wigan Athletic, it’s win or bust today. A draw won’t be good enough since the Latics would have to overcome Sunderland’s 11 goal difference on Sunday, so if Roberto Martinez’s side fail to beat Arsenal, we shall be saying goodbye to Wigan after eight consecutive seasons in the Premier League.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be desperate for a win today to take the pressure off them and to put them in control of their own destiny when they face Newcastle on the final day of the season.

Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny, Sgana, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Rosicky, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla

Wigan starting XI: Robles, Kone, Alcaraz, McCarthy, Maloney, Gomez, McManaman, McArthur, Boyce, Espinoza, Scharner

In the other match today, interim manager Brian Kidd will take charge of Manchester City in their game against Reading at the Madejski Stadium in Berkshire.

For the TV and Internet times, check our schedule.

Before, during and after today’s match, join the conversation in the comments section below.

53 thoughts on “Arsenal vs Wigan and Reading vs Manchester City: Open Thread”

  1. I don’t know if anyone here watches the skysports feed but the intro is just superb. I hope NBC comes up with a nice intro unlike you know who…

  2. C’mon Wigan, I really hope the team stays up, I still remember the first day theyhad in the premier league. Though Chelsea will batter them but they showed how good they were until Crespo scored a 90 something minute goal. Do it for Bobby Martinez.

  3. A Wigan win and that would mean the relegation battle goes on and the top 4 also goes on with advantage to Spurs. Best of both worlds. A Wigan draw or loss means only Arsenal and Spurs games of interest on Sunday. C’mon Wigan!

  4. Arsenal are really up for this game and you wonder how long before tiredness takes its toll on Wigan who start with the same lineup as Saturday.

  5. Terrible defending from a corner by Wigan. The writing’s on the wall for Wigan. Cannot see them come back from this one. Arsenal look more likely to score again.

  6. Am I the only one with a FS2Go feed going utterly crazy (skipping back in time, etc.)

    Well actually I probably shouldn’t ask. Who in their right mind other than me would be watching City at Reading?

    Or, rather, should read “who in their right mind would be watching….”

  7. Wigan are growing into the game and a few poor passes outside the box have let them down. They don’t look as sharp as they did on Saturday.

  8. What a second half we have in store. Both sides HAVE to go for the win.

    Wigan have to win or else they are effectively relegated even with a draw.

    Arsenal have to win to be in the driver’s seat to finish 4th. A draw would mean they would have to beat Newcastle and hope for Spurs to draw or lose to a Sunderland side that will know anything other than a big loss will keep them up.

    Hoping for a last minute decider.

  9. no way this match ends in a draw. Helps neither team at all. If still deadlocked with 10 mins left, this match will go crazy.

  10. Terrible goalkeeping by Joel and Wigan now have a mountain to climb to avoid relegation. Pity since they were going for it.

    OK it’s now over. 3rd goal for Arsenal. Sunderland and company must now be relieved.

  11. Wigan looks to be DONE and DUSTED. 4-1 to the Arsenal in the 71st minute.

    Projected match-ups for your DVR:

    ESPN2 & ESPN Deportes – Newcastle vs Arsenal

    FOX Soccer & FOX Deportes – Tottenham vs Sunderland

    FOX Sports Net – ? (Chelsea vs Everton ?)

    FOX Soccer Plus – ? (Chelsea vs Everton ?)

  12. Anyone want to take off on John Champion for referring to the Wigan keeper as “Joel” instead of “Robles”…..just like Gus? 😉

  13. Arsenal may have won today but it’s far from kision accomlished for them for that 4th spot. Spurs should beat Sunderland easily now that Sunderland have nothing to play for and are safe. Newcastle could be spoilers and hold Arsenal to a draw or even beat them. Wonder how Wenger would feel that the French contingent at Newcastle might derail Arsenal’s CL spot.

    So Newcastle vs Arsenal, Spurs vs Sunderland and to some extent Chelsea vs Everton are the only games of interest on the last day.

    1. I agree it’s not over yet, but Newcastle has no more to play for than Sunderland, so why would you expect Sunderland to roll over against Spurs and Newcastle to come up with a great performance against Arsenal? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

      1. Oh, and the Newcastle manager saying publicly he didn’t really care now if Arsenal beat them 4-0 probably wasn’t the best way to inspire his team.

      2. Except Pardew doesn’t like Wenger and I’m sure he’ll try his best to mess Arsenal up. Will be a very open game as a draw might not be enough for Arsenal.

        The last home game of the season for Newcastle and they will want to give their fans something to cheer about.

        This is going to be a tough game for Arsenal. Tougher than Spurs against Sunderland.

    1. So if Wenger got sacked, The Manchester United Manager will still be the longest serving manager in the EPL.

  14. Goodnight Vienna to Wigan. But how much improved are Arsenal since Christmas. Nobody chanting Wenger Out now. Expect them to go on and knock Spurs out on Sunday.

      1. Just Asking, this was one of those days where the vast majority of the soccer viewers were hoping that Arsenal would lose so it’d be a more entertaining final day of the season. Arsenal played well today and deserved the win.

        The Gaffer

        1. I guess this was also one of those days they decided to focus on Arsenal winning less trophies than Wigan. It also explains the other of those days where majority of viewers ridiculed Gunners in their second CL leg against Bayern.

  15. The color commentator is the first pundit I’ve heard who has questioned Matrinez’s coaching abilities. I agree with his analysis. We’ll see, if Roberto moves on to a bigger club. I’ll be surprised if he winds up at Everton.

    1. The reason Martinez hasn’t done better at Wigan is that every year they lose their best players and then he has to try and get quality players on the cheap. I think his net spend is a profit of 800K pounds. It then takes the side time to settle and usually that means after January.

      I’m convinced that if he went to a bigger club with more money to spend and one that does not lose their best players that he would do very well. He was the one that instituted the playing style at Swansea before Rodgers got there. I think he’s a better manager than Rodgers and given an opportunity to manage a bigger club he will succeed. As a Liverpool supporter I’m willing to give Rodgers time to get things right but I believe Martinez is a better manager. He can also boast a trophy something Rodgers is still to achieve. Both are young and have time to set their mark. If Martinez went to Everton it would make the Merseyside derby even more interesting.

      1. “The reason Martinez hasn’t done better at Wigan is that every year they lose their best players and then he has to try and get quality players on the cheap.”

        I’m not sure this is anything more than conventional wisdom.

        Last week I posted Martinez’s line-ups from last May and this past September. They are almost exactly the same. No need for time to “settle in”. No reason to be asleep at the wheel until the very end of the season….but they were.

        The commentator pointed out that Wigan have finished worse in each of Martinez’s seasons. Small club, small budget, whatever. That just shouldn’t happen.

        Roberto is obviously a likable guy. That does not necessarily make him a great manager. There are some red flags there that I think will warn off the likes of Everton.

      2. Who in particular are these great players they’ve lost? The only one that immediately leaps to mind in NZogbia, and you could easily make a case for addition by subtraction with that guy.

        1. Leighton Baines, Antonio Valencia, Wilson Palacios (in his prime) — just to name a few.

          The Gaffer

  16. The reason Joel dived with his feet first that allowed Arsenal to score the 2nd goal is that while at Athletico Madrid he had a terrible head injury that set him back a few years. He was regarded as a better keeper than De Gea at the time.

    Did you know that during the 8 years that Wigan have been in the EPL and always relegation-bound that they have won more trophies than Arsenal who have always finished in the top 4 (assuming they do it again on Sunday). I think that’s correct. Crazy heh?

  17. North London v the North East….

    I do NOT expect Farsenal will drop points v Newcastle…

    A Shame.

    avb will break Spurs points record in his first season with no URL at the end….

    Onwards and upwards!

    Looking forward to next Season..this IS over.

      1. Can’t rely on Newcastle…

        More chance of CFC loosing and is winning 17-0 than Newcastle getting a draw or winning….

        If we win….no matter what I will be happy and look forward to next season.

        AVB has moved is forward…

        1. Dust
          i am all in on Sunday for your Spurs over Sunderland and Toon to shock the EPL Pappa to get two goals.COYS!

  18. Goodbuy, Wigan! It’s been real and you will be missed!

    And, yet, amazingly, we get to “enjoy” anti-footballing sides like Stoke and Sunderland commit crimes against football in the Premier League yet another season…

    Life is unfair…

    1. “And, yet, amazingly, we get to “enjoy” anti-footballing sides like Stoke and Sunderland commit crimes against football in the Premier League yet another season…”

      All people have to do is beat ’em and they’ll go away. Playing pretty football and getting relegated is not a formula for success in the Prem. Who is happier today…Wigan fans or Sunderland fans?

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