Date:Monday October 17 2011
A rally call from the Sheikh
I'm struggling to put into words how disappointed I am with the performance yesterday. From reading half of the threads on Vital Wigan forum made in the last 24 hours, it's obvious I'm not alone. The whole team let themselves down, and I think we're all feeling frustrated.
But one thing gets me about us, the Wigan fans. Why do we feel we have to be pigeonholed into two camps? Surely there should only be one side you have to take, that of Wigan Athletic?
Enough opposition fans want to see us relegated, they think we bring nothing to the league. They have a go at our fans, saying we're a plastic football club. So why do we have to bend to their opinion? Even if we go down this season (and if we play like we did yesterday, that's a certainty), why can't we have a bit of pride in ourselves.
Forget what's happening on the pitch, in the boardroom, in the dugout. Let's make the Premier League want to keep us here, because we, the fans, are a credit to the league. Short of taking a machine gun into Christopher Park and mowing down half the team that's the only thing we can directly change.
Now I'm not saying let's all applaud everything that goes on every Saturday, obviously that would be stupid. But there's nothing wrong with shouting encouragement, singing players' names, and just generally making noise. I get that we're frustrated at times, but it's important that we don't just give up on the team. There are still 30 games left until May, and it's the position after game 38 that really matters - not after game 8.
I realise this has become a little rambling, but I guess what I'm trying to say is best summed up by that age-old phrase:
'UNITED WE WIN, DIVIDED WE FALL'
In essence, this petty squabbling, this in-fighting, this negative atmosphere - it has to stop, otherwise we're done for.
Remember back to when we first got promoted - nobody expected anything from us, let alone to stay up. Every week we turned up to the stadium, made one hell of a racket, and we were rewarded with our best ever league finish, despite having (on paper) a very poor team.
Look at Norwich this season - not one of their players is Premier League quality on paper. Not one. But watching Match of the Day last night their game made me long for those days of Paul Jewell, Henri Camara and Jimmy Bullard. The Carrow Road crowd was incredible, making huge amounts of noise and and the team responded phenomenally well.
I know some people say 'Well the team are playing poorly, why should we have to raise them?'
Well perhaps we have to be more proactive - if the team aren't giving us anything to shout about, let's bloody well change that. We can't directly affect things on the pitch, but we can make one hell of a noise when we want to.
So what we really need to do is forget about whether you're a 'happy clapper', or whether you want the entire management team lined up and shot, we should be providing a united front for whichever overpaid jokers turn up on a Saturday afternoon.
Judge them at 5pm, not at ten to three. For the two hours that the game is in play we should just be Wigan Athletic, forget judging the players, the manager, the rest of the fans. The only way we'll stay up this season is if we're all united behind the club. Weirdly, it's well summed up by our old club motto:
'PROGRESS WITH UNITY'
Latics and Proud
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Date:Monday October 17 2011
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