Vital Latics Top 50 - Gary Caldwell
Vital Wigan members and posters have produced a Latics Top 50 Footballers list and there are some great players on that list and their names really do conjure up some fantastic memories. The members of Vital Latics have also created some very unique pen-pictures of their hero's, these are being published in no particular order:
I will get this out of the way before I continue with this piece: Gary Caldwell is probably my favourite player from the modern era of Wigan Athletic, despite his less than perfect first six months.
Signed during January 2009 for around half a million pounds, his first season in Wigan colours saw him sent off as many times as he scored. Add to that the fledgling change in philosophy in the manager`s chair that resulted in some rather ropey defensive displays and some fans were questioning his position in a Premier League team.
However, the next season saw him quite rightly appointed captain, and from here on in his leadership and commitment could not be faulted. A proper British centre back, rarely beaten in the air or in a 50/50 challenge, it`s a testament to his organisational skills how poor Wigan`s defence has looked when he`s been missing.
He will always have his detractors, saying he`s too slow or too clumsy to fit in to the pace of the Premier League, but in all honesty his performances in recent months must surely have quelled even his most vocal dissidents.
Never more so has he been needed that during Wigan`s incredible run to safety from March 2012, in particular the sublime victory at the Emirates over Arsenal. Faced with an onslaught of attacks from one of the most potent attacking sides in the division and the hottest striker in the world, Caldwell brought a reassurance and a stoic resistance to the back line that proved to be a matchwinner.
He is perhaps the purest defender Wigan have employed since the great Arjan de Zeeuw, which is high praise indeed: having watched his performances in the last six months, I`m sure the great Dutchman would approve.
Latics and Proud
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