Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday February 24 2012
There is a lot more than 100 miles of M6 Motorway connecting Wigan Athletic to Aston Villa, with Alex McLeish bringing his side to the DW Stadium this Saturday Vital Latics thought it might be a good idea to take a quick look back to see exactly what the connections between these two famous clubs are.
Employed by both:
Warren Aspinall, Lee Butler, Bobby Campbell, John Deehan, Gareth Farrelly, Emile Heskey, Shaun Maloney, Alan McLoughlin, Charles N'Zogbia, Brendan Ormsby, Nigel Spink, Kenny Swain and David Unsworth
Back in 1985 when 17 year old Warren followed in the footsteps of his brother Wayne and made his debut for his home town club he quite literally had the world at his feet.
Aspinall was a prodigious talent and he had a temperament and confidence to match, it was quite obvious that this young lad could go as far in the game as he wanted.
A year after making his Latics debut Aspinall was snapped up by Howard Kendall's Everton and he would make 7 first team appearances for the Toffee's the following season on their way to the league title.
But it was obvious, even to outsiders, that all was not well with Aspinall, talk of attitude problems and heavy gambling were commonplace with him and he was shipped out of Goodison Park the following season when he signed for a struggling Aston Villa team.
From Villa Park Aspinall has made stops around the country on a nomadic career that has seen him don the shirts of Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Swansea City, Carlisle United, Brentford, Colchester United and Brighton.
Since joining Aston Villa during the summer N'Zogbia hasn't been in top form, now whether that's got anything to do with how he is being played or if he just hasn't settled in at his new club yet is open to debate, what isn't is that Charlie is a top, top player who can be a match winner against anyone.
At Wigan we saw how good the little Frenchman is, we saw it regularly during his time with us, some fantastic performances that you could say he won matches single-handed for the Latics, he maybe only small in size but he's a big player and sooner or later he will find his feet and reproduce the form he showed at the DW down at Villa Park, hopefully though not this Saturday
Charlie was a Latics match winner
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Ex-Villa fullback Kenny Swain managed the Latics disastrously in 1993 and almost got us relegated from the football league.
Another ex-Villa player John Deehan was the first part of the Dave Whelans 10 year plan for the Latics when he replaced Graham Barrow as manager at Springfield Park in October 1995, he went on to lead the Latics to the third division title in 1997.
We are the Champions - John Deehan with the 3rd Division trophy at Springfield Park
Goalkeeping coach Nigel Spink was a European Cup winner with Aston Villa back in 1982
Ten minutes into the 1982 final against Bayern Munich, Villa's first choice goalkeeper, Jimmy Rimmer, was injured and substitute keeper Spink was called into action, having only made one previous appearance in the first team. Spink performed superbly, keeping a clean sheet, and Villa won the game 1-0.
He went on to make 460 appearances for Villa
He joined the Latics from Birmingham City in December 2007 following Steve Bruce up the M6 and he worked wonders with Latics first choice keeper at that time, Chris Kirkland who put his superb form down to the coaching of former Villa man Spinks.
Spink of course followed Steve Bruce up to Sunderland in May 2009, but he left Sunderland when Bruce got the sack just before last Christmas, he has now been working at Bristol City since the New Year
Pies R Us, Nigel Spink Catching pounds instead of balls now a days
Latics and Proud
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Date:Friday February 24 2012
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