• FT

    Wigan

    0

    Arsenal

    1

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    Man City

    1

    Reading

    0

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    Newcastle

    1

    QPR

    0

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    Southampton

    0

    Sunderland

    1

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    Tottenham

    0

    Stoke

    0

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    West Brom

    2

    Norwich

    1

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    West Ham

    1

    Everton

    2

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    Liverpool

    4

    Fulham

    0

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

The DW Stadium

Attendance: 21754

* Local time based on your geographic location.

0 - 1

FT

Arsenal

  • Mikel Arteta 60' PEN
Watch Live on: ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So long.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Have a great Christmas everyone!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And on that note, I'll say thanks to everyone for joining me today in the Boot Room.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Thankfully his hair cushioned the blow!! Could have been a longer ban!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yeah, a three-match ban for his headbutt on Shawcross.
    He was lucky because Halsey said he saw the other two incidents but didn't choose to take action.
    Halsey lets WAY too much go. Not only in that game, but generally. He keeps his whistle in his pocket.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    Isn't he on a 3 game penalty?

  •  

    [Comment from VHANDA ]
    SAY all you want but wenger is sitting in 3rd

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Being linked with PSG or one of the Big Four.
    Not sure where he'll go but he won't be at Everton next season.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    where will Fellaini wind up next Ravi?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Thanks, Sean R.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC) ]
    There isn't exactly a scintillating matchup in the next hour... West Ham Everton could be if not for the fact that most of the best footballers are out injured or suspended for headbutt-related reasons...

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    We somehow clung on. Hoping for Stoke win now.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: It wouldn't have been harsh if so.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    I thought Wigan deserved at least a point

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Thanks, Zipguy.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    For all the doom and gloom that surrounds Arsenal... They are in 3rd (for now but still)!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    C'mon Stoke City!!!

  •  

    [Comment from cgeorge ]
    Nothing temporary about it.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Hey Spurs, Arsenal are ahead of you in the table ;)

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Thanks, Ryan.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Thanks El Rob.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal might have edged it based on the second-half display but Wigan was the better team in the first half.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Arsenal has won three straight league games for the first time since March.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arteta with the lone goal from a pen won by Walcott.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal temporarily moves into the top three.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: FT: Wigan 0-1 Arsenal.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Oh, dear...what is that from Al Habsi...goal kick into touch...will kick off a few more seconds.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC) ]
    Replay showed a pen should've been given.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Koscielny with a clearance (on for Cazorla) and McArthur's follow up is wide. That could be Wigan's last chance.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Gomez is making an instant impact...curious if he would have come on 10 minutes earlier

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Oooh, could have been a penalty as Arsenal defender's hands were out a bit.

  •  

    [Comment from Nate ]
    Where are those 4 minutes coming from? There have hardly been any stoppages this half!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: First one...maybe, on Gibbs. He puts his arms up and it hits him...had plenty of time to get out of the way.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    Kone really should have buried THAT chance first half.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: No go!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wigan want another pen after another Gomez shot is blocked!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: 4 added minutes.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wigan want a pen after a deflected shot goes into the box...but nothing given.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And a change for Wigan: Maloney off for Gomez.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yeah, he and Kompany were good last season...a change of heart for Mancini with Nastacic's arrival.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    And Lescott? Is he moving on in January for sure now? He can't seem to get a game in.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Coquelin lucky there. Dithered on the ball but ref called Maloney for making a challenge from behind.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Moved there when Ramsey came on.

  •  

    [Comment from Nate ]
    Why do I keep seeing Cazorla back in defense on the left?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Rekik a surprise but Kompany and Milner coming off injuries...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Nastasic, Rekik, Barry, Javi Garcia, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Tevez. Subs: Wright, Kompany, Lescott, Milner, Dzeko, Sinclair, Razak.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    Teams news out of Manchester holds a few surprises, eh?

  •  

    [Comment from cgeorge ]
    You won't win anything with boys.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wigan corner.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Jan 23 or 26.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    When will Arsenal's Boxing Day match be rescheduled?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Stam on the right has been effective getting into good spots. But again, his cross is not right. Picks the wrong option and lets Arsenal clear for a corner.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris ]
    Podolski is arguably the worst defender on this team, so I think it makes sense (defending Wenger's every move today...).

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: 10 minutes remaining.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Push Di Santo up front.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    How does Wigan adapt when Kone leaves for AFC?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So, Arsenal brings on a 21-year-old to try to help preserve a one goal lead.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    sorry..."when"

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Podolski off for ...Coquelin.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    Probably right there, Ravi, re: Wilshere...though that's not saying much. Arsenal are the new Aston Villa!

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    @ Raza--then Henry comes back on loan in Jan....

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    I have never seen crossing this bad!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I actually think Wilshere has been Arsenal's best player.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    When will Theo realize he is not Henry??

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: The only thing I'd say is Arsenal don't play on Boxing Day, so he could have stayed on.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris ]
    Maybe he's taken Ox off due to his increased playing time recently. Can't play every minute of every game, rather take him off and keep him healthy.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Jordi Gomez scored a hat trick. Does that make him ok, too?

  •  

    [Comment from Adrian Peterson ]
    Ramsey scored the winning goal against ManU the last time we beat them. He's ok in my book.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: McManaman on for Di Santo.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    Oxlade-Chamberlain has been mediocre, Ramsey might bring a more level-headed approach.

  •  

    [Comment from spurs ]
    great substitution. very adept.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Why take the best player off??

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Not far off from Walcott, a yard over the bar.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Another good shift for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. How it must bristle him to be replaced by Aaron Ramsey.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    So, there goes what little width we had...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Walcott and Cazorla standing over the ball. Good spot, 25 yards out.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: The Ox off for Ramsey.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Boy, Wilshere has been making friends with the pitch today. Goes down to win a FK.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    No..Man City at least pay the player's wages...

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Wigan has conceded six penalties this season, most in the Premier League.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal fans may not be happy: Ramsey is about to come on.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    Re: the Malaga suspension by UEFA- could Man City be next? Pleasepleaseplease...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wigan with so much time in the box, and Jones' shot from 20 yards leaves the keeper totally stranded - but goes half a yard wide!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Ooh, that was close from Wigan.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Walcott to take an Arsenal corner to chants of Theo, Theo. Don't think it'll make any difference in terms of him signing a contract.

  •  

    [Comment from Czuch Norris ]
    Do Arsenal know that you can't take goals from previous games and apply them to the current game in case of a late equalizer?

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    I agree with Jay, Beausejour needed to get the hook 20 minutes ago.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Latter.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    So, be honest here Ravi..copying and pasting Szczesny's name or typing it every time??

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Poland.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    What country is Szczesny from?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I agree. I think we'll see at least one more goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Late Predictions? 2-1... we're gonna see some late goals!

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob ]
    I reckon Wenger is letting Theo get his "I'm a central striker! I am, I am!" out of his system.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay ]
    Beausejour has been awful today. Martinez needs to make a substitution.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty ]
    Have to admire Wenger's ability to look aggrieved when he's getting all the calls.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good save though to deny Kone, with his legs.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Figueroa's shot from distance safely to Szczesny.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Walcott's touch is terrible today!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hashed clearance from Mertesacker, for another corner.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Time outs would be useful when officiating Suarez. Help him cool off a bit.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Sky saying Di Santo was ordered off to remove an earring...by not taken off or spotted before the game?

  •  

    [Comment from MLK ]
    Wenger has had that timeout idea for a while.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Maloney with the cross off Mertesacker for a corner.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    So, was this ref a former NHL ref and put Di Santo in the penalty box? hahaha

  •  

    [Comment from Czuch Norris ]
    5 for fighting?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Moss making up his own rules!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Seemed like it.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Di Santo got put in timeout?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Now Di Santo is back on and the Wigan players furious with Jon Moss.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Right idea by Theo after Arsenal had loads of space on the right. Cross from the Ox, Theo tried to leave it for Wilshere but fortunately for Wigan, a defender gets a heel on it and it's away to safety.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: He's just waiting to come back on.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    United get ghost penalties. This was a foul. Good call.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Di Santo was ordered off the pitch for a second and no one really seems to know why.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt ]
    I thought only United got soft penalties?

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Here's an idea Nate..don't foul in the penalty area!!

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    should be 14!!! with 3 more points to Arsenal!!!

  •  

    [Comment from spurs ]
    why reward the defense for a foul doesnt make sense...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: But he missed a key one at the end of the game vs Fulham.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good conversion rate, eh?

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Mikel Arteta has converted 13 of his 15 career Premier League penalties.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Thank the football gods that Wigan are playing like Reading did!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Interesting idea, Nate.

  •  

    [Comment from Nate ]
    Penalties are far too automatic for my liking. They should allow a defender at each post, maybe reduce the success rate to 50% or something

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Wasn't thrilled when we signed Arteta.. but he's become one of our more consistent players!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Beausejour tries to make instant amends. Wigan come charging forward and I don't know what he was trying there. A shot or cross from the left?

  •  

    [Comment from Maxwell ]
    Now this game really opens up!

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    I like those Goal Nets, which are painted in white and blue.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    *RELIEF*

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    GUNNERS!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Wow a penalty. I didn't know those were still being called. (I'm a Liverpool fan.)

  •  

    [Comment from Ziich ]
    arteta come on

  •  

    [Comment from Nate ]
    Not much doubt about that one!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Into the corner.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: 1-0!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arteta to take.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Cazorla to Walcott, who then gets tangled up with Beausejour, who gives away the pen.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Soft I think.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: To Arsenal.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: PENALTY!

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    De Gea just seems so timid in the box, not physical enough for the prem

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: That's poor from Wilshere. Tame, tame ball with Walcott in a promising position. Pass straight to a Wigan defender.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Just like last year Spurs fan! Mind the Gap when Arsenal passes you AGAIN and gets champions league football!

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    and AVB will collapse soon..

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    How did that work out for you last year spurs? A lot of season left.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    Let me try this again: This match has 0-0 written all over it.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    De Gea has some of the fastest reflexes I've ever seen.

  •  

    [Comment from kharon ]
    ravi, you dont buy a world class keeper and not play him. it was a transfer mistake

  •  

    [Comment from Nate ]
    Wigan kicks ball away after the handball. RvP got a red card for that exact play against Barca!

  •  

    [Comment from spurs ]
    doesnt matter, still higher in the table than arsenal.

  •  

    [Comment from Spurs Fan ]
    Lloris is better so I don't know if I would like that

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Of course. No question about it.
    Fergie knows he needs to fix the goalkeeping position.

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    Has Man United's signing of De Gea to replace Van Der Sar been a bust so far or no?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Totally uncalled for, too.
    Friedel was doing just fine.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Still can't believe Spurs dropped Friedel to the bench...but I'm a gunner so..I like it!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Poor cross from the Ox on the right...now it's Arsenal's turn to misfire.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Much more life in Arsenal in the second half.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Ruddy has been very good, too.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Going back to the keepers, I'd say Hart, but he hasn't been perfect this season.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Amounts to nothing. Off the wall from the German.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: McArthur gives away a FK when he clips the Ox. Looks like Podolski wants it. To the keeper's left, 30 yards out.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Not yet.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Have Arsenal forced any tough saves from Al Habsi?

  •  

    [Comment from kopite23 ]
    what happened to al habsi? top 3 keeper in the prem last year

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yes!

  •  

    [Comment from Maxwell ]
    Does David Villa score that?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: In the Prem?

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    Ravi, who do you think is the hottest goalkeeper right now?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: In truth, Ryan, it was a comfy save. Al Habsi has barely been tested.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    and once again Arsenal will be foiled by a keeper having the game of his life...why always against Arsenal!!???

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Oh come on!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Decent save.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And there's Walcott's first real chance! Cut back from the Ox and his right footed shot is blocked by Al Habsi.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    @analyseFooty Yep. Arsenal's struggled on crosses all season. Missing RVP...down 3.6 pts from last season.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good work by Mertesacker to see off Maloney in the box as Maloney was about to cross. Now that's how you close down a cross.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Check out the Guardian's Web site.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    Do you have a URL for "The Secret Footballer"?

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    Ibra's not modest enough to write a book under a pen name, though he does have plenty of practice referring to himself in the third person.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Ooh boy it would be desperate times for that to happen!

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    .@IanDarkeESPN just dropped "potamology" (study of rivers). Pretty sure that's never been said on ESPN before.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Ravi any point of bringing in AA23?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So that explains it: Sky says Giroud not in the squad due to illness.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Second half underway.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric ]
    If only the author was either: A) Joey Barton or B) Mario Balotelli. Now THAT is a book I would read

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Definitely not Ibra since this player has played in the Prem!

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    It is Ibra!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: We don't know, although there are some pretty good clues.
    I won't mention who I think it is.

  •  

    [Comment from kopite23 ]
    who authored it?

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    Sounds like a book I'd like!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: :)

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    That does sounds really interesting... Ill give ya my address. Just mail it to me Ravi!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Blogger turned into a book.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    I thought the secret footballer was a blogger?

  •  

    [Comment from kopite23 ]
    hilarious if it was mancini

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I think it cost around £13, which is about $19 if my conversion is right.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I finished the book in four days.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: It's an unnamed footballer who writes about his experiences in a book. He talks about dressing room dynamics, dealing with the media, money, agents, etc. Some GREAT anecdotes.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    no what's that?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: If you guys need some last minute gift ideas for soccer fans, I recommend The Secret Footballer. Have you heard about it?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Great stats.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Ineffective crossing in the 1st half: Arsenal completed 1 of 7 crosses. Wigan completed 1 of 15.

  •  

    [Comment from Jared J. ]
    Probably Rafa...

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Good Question! Pep to Arsenal after Wenger steps down after this season.

  •  

    [Comment from GOD ]
    Brian Mcdermott or Alan Pardew. Both useless.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I think Adkins has weathered the storm.
    Big game for the Saints today vs. Sunderland.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Adkins perhaps. Should be O' Neill.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Here's my halftime question: Who's the next manager to go in the Premier League?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Look at United's wingers: Valencia and Young. Now that's world class.

  •  

    [Comment from Carl ]
    Fair enough, Arsenal do have pace down the wings. But they need to use it effectively.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Mild today in the UK but mostly wet all over. Currently it's 8 Celsius.

  •  

    [Comment from john_iowa ]
    has anyone asked what the temp is in Wigan?

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    So this looking a typical Arsenal side which will eventually capitulate

  •  

    [Comment from David C ]
    Anyone seen Santi Cazorla in that first half?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yes, at Spurs.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    Is Parker under contract?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Torres is coming alive but with Sturridge set to leave the Blues need cover. If it's Falcao, it's more than cover!

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    does Chelsea need to go out and get a striker in the transfer window?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: 0-0 at halftime.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And there's one of the differences between Arsenal and one of the big sides. The Ox is a talent in waiting, but wouldn't be a starter with United, Chelsea or City.
    A heavy touch goes out for a Wigan throw in after he lost possession near the corner flag.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    Wilshere reminds me of a little terrier. Good player.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Two minutes of added time in the half.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: With halftime approaching, keep your questions coming for Macca and Darke. Send them to #FCBootroom on Twitter...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Horrible, horrible pass from Beausejour. It's like a backpass to Szczesny from the left instead of a cross.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    So 50/50 then! hahaha

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    I'll try to say this just once today: Arsene Wenger's jacket is ridiculous.

  •  

    [Comment from David ]
    The only foul there was blowing the whistle to stop Wigan's attack.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Agree with the yellow? It seems like you cant even tackle correctly without getting carded in todays game

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I will believe it when it happens. How many times in the last five years have Arsenal been linked with high profile players then not landed them?

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    What's your take on the rumor about Villa on loan in Jan?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wilshere now down. McCarthy with a karate chop, unintentional, to Wilshere.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Have to see how the end of the season shapes up with regards to other teams.

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    any thoughts of where Martinez could go if that happens

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Not even a foul; and Wigan asking for a red

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wilshere got the ball but took out Maloney with a sliding challenge. Back in the day, that's no card.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wilshere into Maloney, and the Arsenal man gets a yellow.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Oooh, the two No 10s clatter into each other.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    It is a new rule... One player must keep egg on head at all times! haah

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Pinball in the box following an Arsenal corner, ball ultimately cleared by McCarthy.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: If they go down, I think he'll finally go.

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    Roberto Martinez has always been loved by Wigan supporters for his loyalty but if he cant save Wigan this season and a premier league team comes calling should he stay or go?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Playing it safe!

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    HAHAHA...you left out the most important part!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A bandage on Maloney's head.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    What is on a Wigan's players head? An egg perhaps?

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    I don't know about good positions on a cross against a 6 foot 7 tall huge german defender

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: More space for Beausejour on the left...and the official gets it wrong when he calls offside.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Props to Gibbs for not crumpling after that last...strike!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Maybe one will come good.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Has been very poor indeed. But the positive is that they've been in positions to cross.

  •  

    [Comment from Jared J. ]
    What is up with Wigan's crossing?!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: That's about right!

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy ]
    Wasn't Benitez a coach for Liverpool when Torres was hot and then got traded to Chelsea? Then Benitez replaced the previous coach for Chelsea, and Torres got hot again?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: McArthur attempts to cross from the right but it heads straight into Gibbs' uh, sensitive, area...ouch.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    Hope you eat crow on that CL prediction for The Arsenal, Ravi!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: His finishing is better than his first touch.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    His pace alone though can change a game... One mistake and he's gone! and lately Walcott has been finishing quite well!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: There was Walcott. He was found by Cazorla, shifts the ball to his left foot but his shot is blocked by Boyce.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I wouldn't put anything past United.
    But Arsenal, no chance.

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    Do you think that Arsenal or Man United are good enough to get to the Champions league Final? Especially having to meet Bayern and Real in the round of 16

  •  

    [Comment from evan ]
    theo hasn't really made an impact on this game at all

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    With the current front 3/4 of Theo, Santi, Podolski, and Oxlade, Arsenal really should look to counter.

  •  

    [Comment from James Young ]
    Wigan is looking pretty good. Lacking the final ball though

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Have to agree... too bad, but it seems to be a 2 horse race!

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    Fact: Chelsea will not win the title, but still be considered contenders.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I think a big man little man combo up front might work, but Wenger wouldn't stray from his 5 in midfield.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: That's the question mark -- what can he do with his back to goal?
    I think playing him as a lone striker away from home isn't bad in this sense: On the counter he's lethal.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan ]
    I don't think Theo holds the ball up well enough to play the lone striker. What say you, Ravi?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Stam with more space on the right (Gibbs a little lazy trying to close him down) but his cross is ballooned out of play.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: No.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Does anyone catch the Manchester teams for the title?

  •  

    [Comment from Guest ]
    Wigan will tire soon..Arsenal 3-1

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    Very good game for a neutral. Not a bad way to start football Saturday.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wilshere struggling with an ankle injury it seems after getting some cleats right into the ankle (or slightly above it).

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Another good Wigan move, though it leads to nothing. Maloney wiggles out of danger and the ball eventually finds its way to Stam on the right. Runs to the byline and gets in a cross, gathered by the keeper.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Just missing a goal or two.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex M. ]
    It's been a good game so far.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A winner!

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    Seinfeld references nice man

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: They've always been like that under Roberto Martinez. They're often called a poor man's Arsenal.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Wigan does play some impressive soccer for being a low tabled team!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arteta's free kick cleared by the D for a throw.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Remember that line, folks?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I never met a man who knew so much about nothing...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wigan concede a free kick when Beausejour blocks off the Ox.
    Did you know in French Beausejour means: Good stay?

  •  

    [Comment from James Young ]
    I've been impressed with the quick pass and move game from both teams. Like long ball football sometimes though.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    This match has 0-0 written all over it. (I've learned that saying that is a sure way to start the goals flowing)

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I've been very impressed with Kone this season but that's the part of his game that needs improving: finishing.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Mertesacker is too slow! haha

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    Oh boy, what a chance

  •  

    [Comment from Guest ]
    no good

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A wonderful, wonderful ball from Di Santo to Kone, who then sprints past Mertesacker. In alone vs. Szczesny he sends his left footed shot wide.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Bad miss from Kone!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: One winger, I'd say, in the Ox. Podolski unnatural there, cuts in. He prefers to play up front.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Why arent Arsenal exploiting the width? They have a man up on the flanks

  •  

    [Comment from Nitro ]
    I see Wigan winning this game, Arsenal midfield is too weak.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Maloney took a knock on the head, drawing blood. He's bandaged up but still the blood trickles.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Funny.
    Did you guys know the rehearsal draw was exactly the same as the real one? The odds of that happening were 5000-1.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    Ravi, can you ask McManaman who told him to fix the CL draw? And tell him it was obvious.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Of course, Walcott hasn't signed yet, and the longer it goes without an announcement, the more worrying for Gunners fans.
    Not that Walcott is outstanding, but he stands out more on this current Arsenal team.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Nah, no chance. They're young players with something to prove. If anything it should help them as they know their futures are locked up.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Think there could be any let down from the Arsenal players that just signed their new contracts? maybe get a little complacent...

  •  

    [Comment from Charles ]
    A lot of dangerous runs from Wigan

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Uh...tricky one...ask me? :)

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    I'm not on twitter, Ravi. What am I supposed to do?!

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Podolski's clearly determined to shoot at sight today

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wilshere takes a tumble near the box...no free kick given and nothing sought from Wilshere.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Podolski lets fly with a shot from the left but it flies into the stands. Radar off.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Despite having a CM/CAM at CB, Wigan's getting plenty of chances. #WengerBall

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Macca looked snazzy during the Champions League draw.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A reminder, folks, to think of some questions for Macca and Ian Darke. Send them to #FCBootroom on Twitter. Some will get answered.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Nothing better!!

  •  

    [Comment from kharon ]
    mertesacker is too slow and i think he should not move too high up.

  •  

    [Comment from shaun ]
    the weather looks like it does here in the Northwest. Love watching soccer this early in the morning.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I picked Swansea, Reading and Wigan at the start of the season. Looks like Swansea will be ok; replaced possibly by QPR, though still a long way to go yet.

  •  

    [Comment from shaun ]
    which clubs do you see getting relegated? what should we be looking for in that battle?

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Very open game right now... could see this turning into a high scoring game!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: They won't lose them. Senegal didn't qualify.
    Man City: Y. Toure. A huge miss.

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    speaking of Cisse, with African Nations Cup coming up which team will be hurting the most from losing their players to the tournament. I feel like with Newcastle's recent poor form they cannot afford to lose both Cisse and Ba. what are your thoughts?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Cazorla uncharacteristically doesn't have enough weight on a cross, looking for Walcott in the box. What happened, Saint Santi?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I don't believe so.

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique ]
    Will there be boot room for the later games today or no?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Kone in general has been a great signing.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wrong option from Kone with Wigan countering. He makes a driving run, but approaching the box, with Stam free on the right, he shoots instead of passes. Stam is upset.

  •  

    [Comment from kharon ]
    i think wigan will win. 2-1.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Al Habsi is a very, very good shot stopper. However, in the last month or so he's made mistakes in almost every game (howlers or not pushing shots away from the danger zone).

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good save by Al Habsi...space in the middle for Arteta. Arteta passes on the right to the Ox, and his drive to the near post is palmed away.

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from rphjas ]
    wigan will have a hard time with arsenal

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    2-0 Arsenal... Walcott and Cazorla! I know... I'm getting wild with the predictions!!!! haha

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal caught a break - its Boxing Day fixture against West Ham was postponed due to an expected subway strike.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: They'll have to think ahead, yes. For smaller teams like Wigan they'll feel it more because of less depth.

  •  

    [Comment from shaun ]
    will the teams have a different strategy with this busy 2 weeks personnel wise?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Mine: Wigan 1-4 Arsenal

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Darn, forgot: Predictions, people!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Five minutes done and both teams as expected keeping things on the ground. Di Santo with a cross into the box and Vermaelen (who hasn't been great this season) clears.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I have a sneaky feeling Cisse will score at Newcastle.

  •  

    [Comment from James Young ]
    Looking forward to today match from Rochester NY USA. A QPR Fan here so hoping for an Arsenal win

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: His wife actually did a U-turn and took it back. I still think he'll go, but his high wages are a sticking point. Fergie said no buys in the winter, City don't need him, Arsenal wouldn't buy him (wages), Chelsea don't need midfielders.

  •  

    [Comment from BadgerMarks ]
    Wesley Sneijder's wife has apparently come out and said they are leaving Italy in Jan. What are the chances he could come to the EPL, and to what team could he go to?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal corner after some good work from Sagna.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Walcott is great up front for at least one reason, and we saw it at Reading. By playing on the shoulder and because of his pace, the central defenders have to hang back. Thus, there's more space in front of the defense for Cazorla and Wilshere to exploit.
    It was no coincidence Cazorla had so much joy at Reading.

  •  

    [Comment from MLK ]
    Back in the day, I put all Cs on my Chemistry CXCs.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88 ]
    Come on Arsenal dont mess it up today

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yeah, Walcott through the middle. Giroud, strangely, isn't even in the squad. I find it strange that when he had started to play better, he's been dropped.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean R. ]
    Any word on Giroud? Injured or taking a breather... hasn't been playing too much! Walcott through the middle again?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: OK, here goes: Dave, you know your stuff, man. You're prepared, you'll go into it refreshed after taking a breather (by watching football) and worse comes to worse, you can always guess! Is it multiple choice?
    I loved those.
    B, B, B, B, B ...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Of course...I did my PHD in it.

  •  

    [Comment from USA_Dave ]
    Philosophy of Natural Science. I've heard its your expertise

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Martinez: "It's a big challenge because we're facing an outstanding team. We need to be ourselves. We need to get on the ball and create problems for them. It should be a normal open game between Wigan and Arsenal."

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: No worries. I think it will very difficult for Wigan today.
    Some nice fixtures for Arsenal at the right time after Bradford. Reading and Wigan are teams that aren't rough and tumble, thus allowing Arsenal to pass the ball around.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    oops. Nevermind. I was told McCarthy was out...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Dave, what is the topic?

  •  

    [Comment from USA_Dave ]
    Rav, I've been up all night preparing for an exam, I'm taking it in an hour, give me some encouragement!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Sounds like a plan.
    Go to bed after the game!

  •  

    [Comment from MLK ]
    Two hours sleep after a night of partying and I'm up to watch my Arsenal.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: McCarthy is playing. Must have been some confusion, though, as I too had heard that he wasn't.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby ]
    Let's not forget McCarthy is missing, too. Wigan could be in trouble here.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal hasn't had it all its way vs. Wigan recently: 3-2-1 in the last six.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Teams:
    Wigan: Al Habsi; Stam, Boyce, Figueroa, Beausejour; McCarthy, McArthur, Jones; Di Santo, Kone, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Caldwell, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Fyvie, Golobart

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott. Subs: Mannone, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Coquelin, Ramsey, Arshavin, Gervinho.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Some big misses for Wigan today: No Caldwell, Ramis or Alcaraz in defense; Arsenal are unchanged, which means Theo Walcott should be playing up front, as he so desires.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Mr. @r_ubha is in the #FCBootroom today for Wigan vs. Arsenal. He'd love it if you joined him: j.mp/UYIsz6

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Start thinking of some questions for Macca and Ian Darke and send them to #FCBootroom on Twitter. Some of them will be answered during the game.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Arsenal coming off a 5-2 mauling of Reading after previously getting embarrassed by Bradford; Wigan has lost five of its last seven.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I'm with you for Arsenal's visit to the DW Stadium and Wigan. Arsenal can rise to third in the standings with a win, while Wigan can escape the relegation zone.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hi, everyone, and welcome to the beginning of the busy Christmas programme in the Premier League.

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Wigan Athletic

  • 14(3)

  • 25

  • 17

  • 50%

    50%

  • Arsenal

  • 11(4)

  • 16

  • 9

Match Stats

  • Wigan Athletic
  • Arsenal
14(3) Shots (on goal) 11(4)
17 Fouls 9
4 Corner kicks 4
5 Offsides 1
50% Time of Possession 50%
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 3