Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday November 12 2010
Wigan Athletic supporters have been issued a rallying call from club chairman Dave Whelan 'Please come and get behind us... no-one can complain about the entertainment on offer`, and you know what, he`s right.
On Wednesday a fantastic feast of football was served up in front of the 2nd biggest crowd of the season so far at the DW Stadium, 16,754, not bad you`d say for a team in the bottom three facing a mid-table side, but when you consider that it was a local derby, it was Liverpool, and that the away end was packed solid, with overspill of away support dotted around the rest of the ground then it doesn`t look too good.
There are all sorts of reasons blamed for falling support, the main one being financial and I fully appreciate and understand that, on the list of priorities in family life football isn`t near the top, but I also think it goes much deeper than that, though this is just a theory of mine.
When Roberto Martinez took the reins of the club there was an outrageous amount of screaming from Latics fans on websites and message boards as to how poor a choice he was, they guy hadn`t even started his job and people were after getting him sacked.
For the most part of last season there were moans, groans, outlandish comments, forebodings of doom and gloom, never ceasing writings of how bad we are, the tactics, the formation, the players, at the ground there were boos, derision screamed at players, sometimes even before they had made it on to the pitch, to be honest at one point I nearly said bollocks to all this, it was unbearable, not the team or the players or the club but the fans. No wonder supporters have been driven away and people have switched off with such negativity abound
This season we went on a run of one defeat in ten games, quite a good little run by anyone`s standards and we were playing some half decent football along the way, all quiet on the message boards, suddenly two defeats, Fulham and Blackburn, and they are back again, the know it alls, the tactical genius`, rubbishing the team and the manager...`we`re going backwards`...`he`s getting sacked at Christmas`...`he doesn`t know what he`s doing`...etc. etc. etc.
Come on people get real.
I have been accused of loving Martinez, well I don`t, what I do is support him
I like his ideas, how he wants to play football and his vision for the club, but I don`t agree with every decision he makes, sometimes I wonder why he`s made a certain selection, his substitutions frustrate me, but he is the manager of the Latics, he knows the players, he knows how he wants to approach certain games and as long as he is the manager of the club that I do love then I will support him.
So my theory, and it is only a theory, maybe just a bugbear of mine, is that the moaning minnies on internet sites put people off going to games much more than the team that they moan about, so come on, give it a rest, do what you spout you do and SUPPORT the club, get behind the lads and encourage others to get themselves down to the DW Stadium for an experience of Premier League football at non-league prices, the best value football experience in the whole of the United Kingdom
Dave Whelan speaking to the Wigan Evening Post says on the matter: "I was really happy with what I saw on the pitch on Wednesday, and the standard has now been set.
"If we play like that for the rest of the season, we`ll be all right.
"And we have been playing like that for most of the campaign, to be fair.
"Certainly, no-one could complain about the entertainment on offer, but I was a little disappointed again with the size of the crowd - as I have been for the season as a whole. If (supporters) want Wigan to continue to have a team in the Premier League, then they have to come out and support us.
"Seeing empty seats in the stadium disheartens me, it disheartens the board, it disheartens the team and it disheartens the wonderfully loyal spectators who do come along to watch us.
"We really, really need support in greater numbers if we are to continue to compete at this level, and we are going to try and do some more special promotions to get more people in here.
"At the same time, we have to make sure we also look after our season-ticket holders, who are very special people.
"But my message to the people of Wigan is: Please come and get behind us."
If I have upset anybody with my comments then I don`t apologise, tough shit
Latics and Proud
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Date:Friday November 12 2010
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