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Wigan Athletic Year Review 2011 - Month By Month



When the end of December comes around, I am one of those people that tend to look back on the dying year with a tinge of sadness, not this time, personally it's been one bad mother trucker and I will be more than happy to see the arse end of it!

2011 for the Latics though has been a year of extreme highs and some very deep lows, so rather than reminisce over my misfortunes that I wouldn`t wish on anyone, I thought I`d take my mind off matters and look back at how our beautiful football club have made their way through the past twelve months, so without further ado, oh and please play the youtube clips where embedded, they may be appropriate to the text, cheers:

January



The month and year started with an absolutely dismal performance at the DW when Newcastle came to town on the 2nd and left with a 1-0 win and three points after some comical defending allowed Shola Ameobi the simple task of side-footing into an empty net from a yard out.

In the news Federico Macheda was linked with a loan move to the Latics.

Draws against Bolton and Fulham and defeats to Arsenal and Villa saw the Latics finish the month in the bottom three (18th) on 22 points

January also saw the Latics taking part in the FA Cup, a 3-2 away win at Hull in the 3rd round set up a mouth-watering 4th round derby game against Bolton at the Reebok, the game at Hull also saw the emergence of Latics youngster Callum McManaman who gave a man of the match performance rounded off with a superb goal.

An understandably buzzing Callum McManaman said about his Latics debut: 'I was made up to start, but I don't even remember the goal, it's all just a blur and hasn't even sunk in yet.'

'I usually play on the wing, but I was happy to play anywhere to get my first start in such a big game.'

'The first I knew about it was when the gaffer read the team out at 1.30, I was made up to be in the starting line up - especially in such a big competition as the FA Cup.'


The game at the Reebok ended up in a drab 0-0 and a replay at the DW in February was needed to sort out who would go through.

On the transfer front Argentine striker and record signing Mauro Boselli went to Italy to play for Genoa on loan for 6 months, whilst Conor Sammon joined the Latics on a 3 year deal from SPL side Kilmarnock for 750,000.

Other news in January - Momo Diame, do you like my town? Diame was misquoted in the press apparently, putting the record straight Momo said: 'I cannot believe what's happened,' he said, 'I don't really think there's anything to apologize for because I never said the things I'm meant to have done, and the way it's been reported is just a joke.

'Ze Ingleesh girls are so lovely'

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic



February

One win (Blackburn) two draws (WBA & Liverpool) and just one defeat (Man U) saw the Latics actually drop further down the table to 19th spot by the end of the month, though the points tally was an encouraging 29, there were signs that 40+ would be needed this season to avoid relegation.

We were dumped out of the cup by Bolton in the 4th round replay and, though I hate to say it, maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

Other news - Won Cho-Hee left to join China Super League side Hengda, after his contract at the Latics had been cancelled by mutual consent, Roberto Martinez said: 'We wish Won Hee all the best in the future, he was a wonderful character and a great professional who always gave his all for us.'

There was a fans forum in February, Latics boss Roberto Martinez was obviously getting the fans up for the challenge ahead and he used it to do just that, Martinez said: 'I think we are in a key moment of the season, the first 2/3rds of the season has shaped the squad, the experience now for the young players is invaluable, the next 12 games, on paper are extremely difficult, I`m looking at the amount of points that we are going to get from those games.

'If we can keep everyone fit and available we will be fine.'

'I think one thing we need to remember, we are privileged to be part of Wigan Athletic, I think we can talk about wanting more fans and this and that, we are unique in what we have done and we need to appreciate that a bit more, it's not about the extra people that we are going to get, it's what we are and that's why now, I can guarantee you that the next 12 games are so massive that they should be treated as just one game, if you don't love the football club enough then you can come out and express your emotions. If you really love the football club you can act as though its one game, at the end of the 12 games if you`re not happy then you can be as critical as you want about the football club or the players or myself, but now for the next 12 games is the time to make the difference and help the players to get through these, the football club will never look back, never.'


March

Latics played just two Premier League games in March, a 1-0 away defeat to Manchester City on the 5th, Ali Al-Habsi made one of only a few mistakes last season, allowing a tame David Silva shot to squirm under his body, saw Martinez's men slump to the foot of the table

At the DW on March 19th Birmingham were in town, what a shock when the Brummies took the lead on 8 minutes, but this rallied the Latics on, a great ball by Ben Watson picked out Boycie who flew to the by-line before sending in a low shot, the ball was parried by Ben Foster and an in-rushing Tom Cleverley slammed home.

Tom Cleverley scores against Brum

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

The Latics pressed for a winner and with time running out, deep into stoppage time, Maynor Figueroa let drive with a right footed strike that flew into the top corner, what a buzz that goal gave the DW.

Latics finished the month bottom but those three points from the Birmingham game and the way that they'd been won lifted the whole club. Plus, although bottom of the league, Latics were only six points behind Newcastle in 11th spot, had the league ever been so tight?

AprilApril is always a busy month in football terms and this year was no different, the Latics had five fixtures, only two of which were at home, they started the month off with a good hard fought draw against Spurs, 0-0, this was followed up by a 1-0 defeat away at Chelsea, a foul By Torres on Al-Habsi wasn't spotted by the ref (nothing changes) and Malouda smashed home.

Say's it all


Next up, Blackpool



What a fantastic day, result, performance, simply outstanding

Charlie shoots - he scores

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

The Blackpool result lifted us out of the bottom three, next up Sunderland and when we went one up through a Diame thunderbolt, that was it, we were staying up, whoops, four Sunderland goals didn't half pop the party balloon. A 1-1 home draw against Everton, after Hugo's crazy handball giving Leighton Baines the chance to snatch an equaliser from the spot with just 8 minutes remaining, left the Latics in the bottom three at the end of the month, just three games left, could we do it?

May

Three games, so many permutations, quite simple though, win all three and we'd be safe. First up, Villa away, a large Latics following saw a Charlie special as we took the lead, unfortunately Villa equalised and the game ended 1-1. Still in the bottom three, 36 points on the board, two games left, next up West Ham



What a game, the best ever? In my opinion the greatest football match of all time, not for technical stuff, but sheer emotion, relegated on 45 minutes, another chance on 93, still takes my breath away!

Charlie!

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic



Sammon!

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

A fantastic win, but still in the relegation zone, one game to go. Too many permutations, five clubs for two spots, simple for the Latics, go to Stoke and win, easier said than done!

What a great day at the Britannia, results went our way and we won the game to boot, another season of top flight football for Wigan Athletic

Hugo!

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

We are staying up

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Other news in May - Dave Whelan promised to buy Ali Al-Habsi from Bolton once the transfer window opened, Al-Habsi won the player of the season award following a superb nine months between the sticks



Tom Cleverley returned to Manchester United following the end of his season long loan, but we certainly made an impression on the young lad, Cleverley said: "I'll be back at United next year but Wigan will be the first result I'll look for and the club will always be close to my heart.'

'This year at Wigan is definitely one of the best of my career.'


June

Aston Villa made an approach for Latics boss Roberto Martinez, although he was given permission to speak to Villa, Martinez said he was going nowhere and was given a new deal by the Latics, Martinez said: 'Over the last two years the Chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him.

'I haven't finished my job at Wigan Athletic; there is much work still to be done, I don't know how long that will take but such is the belief that I have always had that I would only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new Manager.'


The new season fixtures were released and Latics didn't have to wait long to face the new boys, all three promoted sides would face Martinez's men in the first three games of the season.

Villa bid 9 million for Charles N`Zogbia on the 30th June

July

Daniel de Ridder left for Grasshopper of Zurich, Charlie went to Villa, Steven Caldwell left for Birmingham, Jason Koumas was released and he`s still looking for a club. Mike Pollitt signed a new one year deal, whilst Dave Jones signed on a free from Wolves.



New club sponsors 12Bet announced

Bet the girls wish they were somewhere other than Wigan!

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Plenty summer transfer speculation, the Latics were off on their preseason training camp and tour minus Hugo Rodallega and Antolin Alcaraz who were both involved in the Copa America.

August

Mauro Boselli rejoins former club Argentina side Estudiantes on a season long loan, Nouha Dicko comes in from French club Strasburg, the 19 year old looks a good prospect. Other signings this month include Albert Crusat from Almeria and Shaun Maloney from Celtic.

Dicko promise

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Chelsea youngster Patrick van Aanholt joins on a season long loan deal.

Latics start the season undefeated following draws with Norwich and Swansea and win against QPR, Latics striker Franco Di Santo also finds the back of the net with two crackers at the DW against QPR.

Franco in early season goal form

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

September

The first game of September and the Latics taste defeat for the first time this season, at the hands of Manchester City, unfortunately it starts an almighty run of straight defeats that turns early season optimism into despair.

Further defeats this month to Everton and Spurs leaves the Latics in 15th place in the table. Crystal Palace also knock Martinez`s side out of the Carling Cup

October

The run of defeats continues, Villa, Bolton, Newcastle and Fulham, nothing goes right on the pitch, individual errors cost the team dearly, the Latics are now rock bottom and stuck on five points.

Martinez, is as positive as ever and calls for unity between the fans and the club, he gets it, unlike our Lancashire neighbours Blackburn who's fans turn on their boss Steve Keen.

Stand by your man

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

November

The run of defeats finally came to an end in November, but not until we'd registered our 9th in all comps, 8th in the Premier League against Wolves at the start of the month, marooned at the foot of the table Martinez kept belief, he tinkered slightly with the team selection and he tinkered with the formation, Blackburn came to the DW Stadium in mid-November and but for an incompetent performance from referee Andre Mariner, they would have been blown out of sight.

Incompetent

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

As it was the 3-3 draw bucked the trend. Jordi Gomez scored and suddenly there was renewed belief. A win at Sunderland in the next game lifted the Latics off the bottom of the table

Sometimes it's best when you say nothing at all

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

November wasn`t a bad month.

December

The month started with a lacklustre home defeat to Arsenal, but this was shaken out of the system with a great win at West Brom, Jordi Gomez on the scoresheet again as the Latics came from behind to win 2-1 and move out of the bottom three, albeit temporarily.

Gomez finding form

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Good home draws against both Chelsea and Liverpool saw the Latics put in two good performances.

The away loss at Manchester United though was all about the performance of referee Phil Dowd, who wrongly sent off Latics striker Conor Sammon and awarded a penalty to United for a foul that took place outside the area, at the moment we sit in 18th spot with 14 points from 18 games

Fittingly we finish the month off and consequently the year at the same venue we finished last season, the Britannia Stadium. A similar result against Stoke and we would finish the year off nicely.

The past twelve months have seen 37 Premier League games, winning 8, draws 12, losses 17 giving us 36 points

So that's it, a year gone by, I take this opportunity to wish every single one of you who reads this, no matter who you are, where you live or who you may or may not follow, a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!





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The Journalist

Writer: worbo Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 30 2011

Time: 2:28PM

Your Comments

Some great memories, that West Ham game was simply sublime
worbo
Brilliant article Worbo, the Stoke game seems so far away now!
diameslovechild
Top stuff - listening to the Wish FM commentary on the west Ham game would get the hairs standing up - if I hadn't listened to my version just yesterday :-)
thorpyness
 

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