Date:Monday December 31 2012
2012, some year
As a Latic supporter at the turn of the year, the 12 months ahead appeared quite daunting, struggling in the bottom three, we needed points in January to kick start our season and get us some confidence ahead of what was going to be a massive Spring-time.
What actually happened was quite remarkable, five defeats saw January disappear with a whimper, but that was the lull before the storm, like a rip roaring tornado gathering it's strength February served up a taster of what was to come.
A satisfying home draw against Everton was the prelude to one of the most memorable days of my life a week later. The local derby away at the Reebok against Bolton was always going to be a big game, a planned walk from the DW Stadium to the Reebok prior to the game in support of local girl Emma Hoolin was expected to be a well attended affair, the numbers that turned up though blew away expectations, the support for the walk, and the Latics that day was nothing short of mind blowing
On route to the Reebok the Latics team coach made several unscheduled stops whilst the players applauded the supporters on what was a terribly bitterly cold day. Word from the Latics camp was that the sight of the marching band of Latics fans had inspired the players to put in a mammoth performance, they did. A fantastic performance gave the Latics the three points and we were off and running
The 15 games from February to the end of the season saw the Latics lose just three times, of the final nine games we won seven, the season had been turned on its head
A new concept had also been created, it was dubbed the 'Meet & Greet', rather than gather outside the ground to shout abuse at the players and ridicule the manager, as so often happens when clubs are stuck in a relegation dogfight, Latics fan Carl Davies thought it might actually help matters if the fans gathered to greet the players and showed them that we are right besides them in the fight against the drop. Did it work? Did it ever
The response from the players at the first Meet & Greet (West Brom) was unbelievable, the look on their faces was a joy to behold, the performance during the game itself was also a joy to behold, the most one sided 1-1 draw I have ever witnessed
The fans and the team never looked back, a great togetherness carried us through to achieving safety on a wet and windy Monday night in Blackburn, Antolin Alcaraz scored a late header to condemn Rovers to relegation and the Latics to another season of top flight football.
The euphoria that ended the season was hopefully going to carry us on through to the new season, losing Victor Moses though to Chelsea was a big blow, even bigger was the amount of injuries suffered by our centre backs in the first third of the new campaign. Again we find ourselves at the wrong end of the table when, all being equal we should be challenging in the top half.
Poor refereeing, loss of key personnel and plain bad luck have cost us, still us Latics fans wouldn't have it any other way, would we?
New signings Arouna Kone and Ivan Ramis are excellent additions, the final game of the year at Villa showed just how good we can be when once we're back to full strength, both Kone and Ramis were very good in that game, both scored.
Again we have a new year to look forward to, hopefully this time we can reach mid-table and secure safety long before the nail biting starts, but whatever happens I'll be back here on the 31st December 2013 wondering what the next 12 months have in store for my beloved club
Happy Memory from 2012
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download. In this the last recording of the year the panel is decimated by man flu, luckily Barry, Dan and Paul are on hand to carry the flag.
The podcast is longer than usual but with a lot of content to get through that isn't surprising. We look ahead to the local derby on New Year's Day against Manchester United (33:22), we all know this game is their cup final. A nostalgic look back at 2012 (40:48) brings this week's podcast to a conclusion
If you would like to get involved in the podcast or have any topics that you'd like to be discussed please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org marking your email PWU Podcast
The podcast can be downloaded from itunes or via our hosting site www.buzzsprout.com or by simply hitting the play button on the embedded player below
All the PWU Podcast team would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you so very much for your support on this project
Latics and Proud
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Date:Monday December 31 2012
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