Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday September 23 2011
Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur are situated 205.4 road miles apart geographically, down the years they have also been quite a few miles apart in terms of stature. Spurs being one of the bastions of English football, steeped in football history, League Champions, FA cup winners etc, whilst the Latics are the new kids on the block, making their name primarily in the non-league world before embarking on a road trip to the top table that saw two Associate member trophy wins, a Division 3 championship win, League 2 run away champions and Championship runners-up before facing Spurs for the first time in November 2005.
So it isn't surprising then that there aren't that many connections between the two clubs.
On the playing front the only ones that I can recall are:
Dave Beasant, Mark Bowen, Michael Brown, Pascal Chimbonda, Erik Edman, Mido, Wilson Palacios and Reto Ziegler, maybe you know one or two more.
There is an excellent article by our mates over at TNS looking at our former loanee Reto Ziegler, he played for both us and Spurs, coming on as a sub in our Carling Cup final defeat to Manchester United in 2006, you can read more on 'Rita' at www.thisnorthernsoul.co.uk
In my humble opinion Wilson Palacios is the best footballer to have played for Wigan Athletic, he joined the Latics in January 2008 when then boss Steve Bruce brought the Honduras international to England on a permanent deal, for the princely sum of £1 million from Deportivo Olimpia.
Wilson was an instant hit and his all action midfield play endeared him to the Latics faithful, always playing with a smile on his face he packed his game with energy, quality and enthusiasm that earned him many plaudits and just as many suitors, so it was no surprise when Harry Redknapp came calling with a big fat check to tempt the Latics to part with their prize asset.
January 2009 Wigan Athletic were chasing European qualification, sitting comfortably in 7th spot in the league just behind Everton and Arsenal with a game in hand, following the 1-0 win against Spurs and the performance of Palacios in that game the inevitable happened.
A £14 million offer for a player who`d only cost £1 million 12 months previously was too much for the club to reject and though it appeared that Wilson was reluctant to leave the Latics, he did as we know and he signed for Spurs on the 21st January, of the following 18 Premier League matches we won only 3, that`s how important Palacios was to the Latics last season.
Erik Edman is another player that enjoyed a bit of time at both clubs, in August 2004 Edman signed for Spurs from Dutch club SC Heerenveen and made 31 appearances that season, scoring a wonder goal at Anfield in April 2005, it was a surprise when Spurs accepted an offer from Rennes for Edman in August 2005 and a year after joining he left.
The Sweden international joined the Latics in January 2008 for £500,000 from French club Rennes and slotted immediately into the team looking like a class signing and helping to steady a leaky defence as the Latics made a successful recovery in the 2nd half of the season following a dreadful start that had relegation written all over it.
Unfortunately the Sweden international suffered a horrific knee injury at the end of March 2008 that was going to keep him out of the first team for almost 18 months.
His last appearance for the Latics, ironically enough, was in November 2009 at White Hart Lane when he was destroyed for 90 minutes by Aaron Lennon as Spurs thumped us 9-1
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Date:Friday September 23 2011
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