Wigan Athletic - A View From Afar
Arsenal fan Daniel Costello, known as freshman to Vital regulars, contacted me a little while ago asking if he could write a piece on the Latics from an opposition point of view, a sort of outside the box look at the club and of course I said yes, now I think Dan sees Latics as his second club and we are proud to have him following our fortunes, even it is from a distance, so without further ado over to you Daniel:
Let's go back to the mid 90's... Wigan had just been purchased by Dave Whelan and straight away he stated his ambition to reach the Premier League. The majority of us ridiculed him, thinking he had no chance of taking the small club of Wigan Athletic to the top league in England. Back in those days we would only here about Wigan in the cup games they would play, its amazing how in such little time the club has managed to turn itself around.
The 05/06 season would be Wigans first in the Premier League. With many people expecting them down the bottom of the table, they would again prove their critics wrong by finishing 10th in the league. By this time many fans of opposing teams would start to recognise Wigan as a threat, instead of the team expected to crash out early in the cups. Big name signings such as Emile Heskey and Chris Kirkland just added to that underdog fear factor Wigan possessed.
When Chris Hutchings was sacked by Dave Whelan he brought in Steve Bruce, a man known by most for his days as a defender for Man U. What Bruce did for Wigan would go on to change how outsiders saw Wigan Athletic. During that season Wigan under Bruce managed to draw with Liverpool at Anfield, a great accomplishment. Thought it would be the next season that Bruce would really make his impact...
Lee Cattermole and Amr Zaki would be brought in to help boost the squad. The 2008/2009 season helped make the constantly growing reputation of Wigan Athletic only stronger. Amr Zaki was scoring a lot for the club and there seemed to be a lot of confidence amongst the Latics. No longer could teams travel to the JJB, now the DW stadium, with no doubts to whether or not they would walk away with the 3 points. Being an Arsenal supporter I can remember last seasons match against Wigan at the Emirates. It was that day that I truly saw how good this Wigan side could be.
Arsenal managed a narrow win but to the Latics credit they played very well and could have easily ended up with a draw. Wigan managed to get as high as 7th on the league table, which just showed how far they have come as a club.
It was a very different side to the one that played under Bruce but as we have seen this season Wigan on their day can beat any team in the premier league. Martinez's tactics I think are very good and after a while the team will be more consistent and the beautiful passing play will work wonders for Wigan Athletic.
The club is very different to how it was 10 years ago, and I can only see it improving from here, making Wigan Athletic no longer a weak club, but a club with a lot of potential that sparks fear into the eyes of opposing teams.
By Daniel Costello (freshman)
Thanks Daniel, I feel also that we are a club with potential, lets hope that the potential gets realised.
Vital Wigan are running a competition for three lucky members to receive a Latics WN1 T-Shirt signed by the boss himself Roberto Martinez.
So how do you get to win a T-Shirt signed by the gaffer? Simply answer the following question.
Where is the new Latics WN1 situated?
A - The Galleries
B - The Grand Arcade
C - The Royal Arcade
Send your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org, be sure to mark your email T-Shirt comp, include your name and a postal address and T-Shirt size required (these will be passed onto Wigan Athletic who will distribute the prize) and Vital username.
Closing date is Friday 4th December 5pm
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