Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday August 18 2012
The Wigan Evening Post has re-launched the 12th Man feature on the eve of the new season, surely all Latics fans are excited by the prospect of carrying on from where we left off in May, I know I am, here is my contribution for this week, the season opener:
The ending to the last season has left most Latics fans dreaming of what can be achieved this time round. The fantastic victories against Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle, coupled with the exhilarating football that we played have given genuine hope that a good season is in store.
The bulk of the squad that played their part in the rip roaring success of the last campaign are still at the club, exciting new additions have given us some real strength in important areas and above all the manager, Roberto Martinez is still at the helm guiding the club through one of the most significant periods in its history.
So we stand on the cusp of the new season, Chelsea, the European champions will be at the DW Stadium on Sunday to kick it all off for our EIGHTH consecutive Premier League campaign, and I firmly believe we have the best chance we have ever had to compete at the top table.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that we will be challenging for the title, but comfortably finishing mid to top half isn't only a realistic target this time round it is most definitely achievable
Franco Di Santo, Shaun Maloney, McCarthy and McArthur, Gary Caldwell and Al Habsi form the backbone of the team, success was built around them towards the end of last season and I'd expect those players to be our big performers once again. The new lad Ramis looks a rock and he will definitely make the back line even more tighter, but last season's success wasn't just built on the pitch it was also built off it
The fans played a massive part. Getting behind the team when the chips were down helped the club pull themselves off the floor, the support was recognised from the top, Whelan to Martinez to Caldwell all commented on how inspirational the supporters had been. Meeting the players when they arrived at the DW Stadium to show encouragement gave them the confidence and belief to turn in the performances. 'No coincidence' said Gary Caldwell after the West Brom game in reference to the great show of support helping to fashion a turn-around of results.
It is so important to replicate that support this season, so important to be patient through the inevitable 'bad patch' and so important to be there from the start to show the players that last season wasn't a one off.
On Sunday get yourself down early, meet at the corner of the East and South stands for 11:30am and let them players know that Wigan Athletic fans are the best there are, let's get the party started early, lets get that belief back and enjoy a fantastic season
See you all Sunday
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Date:Saturday August 18 2012
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