Well it was always going to happen. Play Tomkins at right back in the Prem and you are going to struggle. Stoke tried Huth there and paid the price. Centre backs are centre backs for a reason. They lack the acceleration to play on the flank of a defence. So it was open season for Wigan today every time they came down our right and we were all over the shop every time they did so.
Going forward we were little better mind you. Once again Benayoun failed to gamble and missed a goal scoring opportunity as a result, a Jarvis cross bypassing him for the sake of a full committed stretch. Carroll headed one wide and made a hash when trying to get on the end of a cross, missing the ball completely. He did set up Nolan well twice, but Captain Kev's shot was tame in the first half and comfortably blocked in the second.
So it came down to the last five minutes and the James Tomkins show. With Allardyce switching to 3-5 -2, Tomkins suddenly ended up in the opposition box when he should have been part of the back three and had a shot deflected onto the bar before meeting a McCartney cross, after a clever back heel by Nolan, and planting a header beautifully into the corner. But 93 minutes into the game, it was something a futile riposte after a mediocre team performance for much of the match.
Mind you, Allardyce's substitutions did not help. Withdrawing both Noble and Diame seemed perverse and left us with nobody in centre midfield. And when you need a goal to get back in the game, who is the last man you should turn to? Cole has now gone 16 Premiership games without a goal but Allardyce still told him to get stripped off. Even Carlton looked surprised!
Maiga came on at half time and was poor. Too often he looked to run at men rather than pass and two reasonable breaks were wasted as a result. And O'Neil is not going to instill fear into the hearts of opponents either is he?
All in all, a disappointing day at the office. But thankfully, most of the teams at the foot of the table drew or lost so, as we move into a nightmare run of games, we still have a buffer - and with Demel out for three weeks and only McCartney or O'Brien to play at left back, we are going to need it!
Player ratings: Jussi 7; Tomkins 5, Collins 6, Reid 6, McCartney 5; Noble 5, Diame 5; Nolan 6, Benayoun 4, Jarvis 6; Carroll 5 Subs Maiga 5, Cole 5, O'Brien 5