Date:Tuesday December 31 2013
Vital Latics member Neil Weaver, aka Whittleblue takes a look back over the past year:
2013. What an eventful year it's been for Wigan Athletic. We started with a classy Spaniard, then opted for a calamitous Scot and finally settled on an efficient German. The relegation trapdoor finally opened but not before, in typical little Wigan fashion, David beat Goliath to lift the oldest and greatest domestic Cup in World football. Oh and we made our European debut.
The spectre of relegation finally caught up with us, despite the best efforts of players and manager. As the old adage goes I guess the league table doesn't lie so effectively we weren't good enough. Unlike most relegated clubs there was nothing wrong with the ability of the manager, the effort and application of the players. The primary reason was injuries to key defenders, in fact to most of the defence at one point or another. Even the replacements that came somehow picked up knocks.
The defining game was Swansea at home. The club Captain played on virtually one leg such were the injuries, but the fragility in this area eventually told. I think most of us knew at the final whistle we were done for.
Despite this set back we all ventured of to Wembley to witness our club grace the FA Cup final against the billionaires of Man City. I confess I went with more hope than expectation, though the pride I felt witnessing the club I'd followed for 28 years was overwhelming. To go on and win the thing in injury time no less was just incredible, indescribable. I still have the image in my head of Watsons header hitting the side of the net and then it was just pandemonium, grown men were hugging and weeping.
Whatever our great club goes on it achieve I don't think this moment and this achievement will ever be eclipsed.
The mastermind of this triumph left to further his career and I hope he left with everyone's thanks and best wishes. The chairman thinks he'll one day manage Barcelona and who would argue or let alone begrudge him that.
Despite protestations Owen Coyle was the man chosen to succeed him. I would in hindsight say it was a disastrous appointment but I think the majority had the foresight to see he was totally the wrong successor for all manner of reasons. Thankfully the chairman came to his senses rather quickly and dispensed with his services, none of this email ultimatum resign or be sacked nonsense.
Uwe Rosler is now the man to lead the club and I think most are excited about the future under his stewardship.
In addition to Bob's departure many a fine player has left us, too many to mention. However it would be wrong not to mention James McCarthy who is developing into a fantastic player having served his time under us and Paul Scharner who returned on loan, helped us win the Cup and then soon after retired. I think that's called going out on a high.
Of course the Cup triumph ensured we embarked upon our maiden European campaign. The game in Bruges, whilst not outstanding, was just a brilliant experience and won't be forgotten. We didn't progress through the group but departed with our heads held high.
At the end of the year we sit in mid table, not quite out of the play-off race but I think it's fair to say the January transfer dealings will go a long way to determine where we will ultimately finish come May. Who knows a return to Wembley may be the cards.
So will 2013 be remembered as the year we lost our Premier League status or the year we won the FA Cup? Personally the despair of relegation was swamped by the euphoria of winning the FA Cup and so will be remembered as a year of triumph against all the odds. Follow that 2014.
That day in May
Date:Tuesday December 31 2013
Vital Latics Wembley Coach Raffle Winners (Wednesday April 16 2014)
Any Previous? - Latics v Reading (Wednesday April 16 2014)
Meet The Ref - Latics v Reading - Craig Pawson (Wednesday April 16 2014)
25 Years - You'll Never Walk Alone (Tuesday April 15 2014)
Stephen Crainey Man Of The Match In Cup Semi (Tuesday April 15 2014)
Vote For Your Vital Latics Player Of The Season (Tuesday April 15 2014)
What The Bosses Said - Latics 1 Arsenal 1 (Monday April 14 2014)
Vote For Your Latics Man Of The Match v Arsenal (Sunday April 13 2014)
It's Been Wonderful - Latics 1 Arsenal 1 (Sunday April 13 2014)
Stats: Wigan Athletic v Arsenal (Sunday April 13 2014)
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|3. Derby County||42||22||9||11||27||75|
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