Wigan Athletic fan, PWU podcast pundit and Vital Latics member Kathryn Hodson, aka Wigan Blue, reflects upon 'Wigan Time', you know that period of the year after the clocks go forward, but before the season ends, over to you Kathryn:
The clocks have gone forward I started to think about why the time of the year is officially known as Wigan Time.
Was it the following one of the greatest matches at the DW when Fergie time was nowhere to be seen and Maloney curled one into the net?
The teams determination to stay in the Premier League season after season and getting results from the opposition who according to match of the day 'were having an off day'?
Or may be that it has just been mentioned on the podcasts since the clocks went back?
The promotion season 2004 - 2005 was going so well, until there was a stumble at Nottingham Forest followed by two loses against West Ham and Sunderland. We didn't get the automatic promotion spot until the final match of the season against Reading. The whole stadium was on tenterhooks until the final whistle. What a game it was…and Jason Roberts continued to play with a broken leg!
2005 saw us down by Christmas according to anyone who knew anything about football. Rodney Marsh said Wigan didn't deserve to be in Premier League and we wouldn't get more than seven wins - we'd done that by November! Were you watching Rodney Marsh? We only had one win during Wigan Time that season (against Aston Villa) but we did achieve our highest league position ever (10th).
2006 - 2007 was a classic Wigan Time season. Many fans complained when Jewell went defensive at Liverpool, when we were already two goals down. We were hanging on for dear life against Middlesbrough when Mark Viduka slipped and scored from a free kick in the last home game. Little did we know that it would be just one goal, an awesome Heskey performance and some dodgy FA goings on for West Ham that kept Wigan up and relegated Sheffield United on that rain swept day on 13 May.
The next season was a breeze, well nearly. A new manager (Bruce) brought in some players I'd thought I'd never see at the DW - De Ridder, Kapo, Marlon King and Richard Kingson. Even with these players on board we managed a respectable 11th in the table and guaranteed to stay in league by mid March. Also who can forget 'walking like an Egyptian' for our two players (I'll use that loosely) Zaki & Mido.
The 2009 -2010 season, we were dead and buried….again! The team went on a late surge that included a 1-0 win over Liverpool. In the 3-2 win over Arsenal the crowd erupted wildly, and shouts and screams could be heard in the foot hills of our neighbours Bolton. It's a good job Premier League survival was guaranteed before we played Chelsea at the last match away at Stamford Bridge - this was one on our heaviest losses 8 -0 and no refund for fans!
2010 -2011 was my favourite, mainly for the pay back for West Ham's somewhat dodgy circumstances in 2007. We lost just two matches in Wigan Time - Chelsea and Sunderland. The three goals in the second half of the final match at the DW had the West Ham faithful crying into their jellied eels and Sky Sports commentators going mental. I think it also had something to do with the plane being flown over the DW, paid for by Millwall fans, around the time we fed the fish and he scored! We still had to win at Stoke, and we all know what happened there!
2011-2012 Again Wigan just two matches lost Chelsea (which was somewhat controversial as the two Chelsea goals were off side) and Fulham. However we did beat three of the top clubs - Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in the run in plus a drumming of Newcastle. This is when we all started to believe, well after the Blackburn match when Ali caught a chicken and Alcaraz made sure we had another great escape.
2012 - 2013 we were down just as Wigan time kicked in, may be not mathematically but with numerous injuries the luck wasn't with us. Not in the league - the FA Cup run though was a different story altogether. After getting quietly to round six (away at Everton) three goals in three minutes shocked the Toffee's and everyone else come to that. Millwall wasn't easy but the infighting in the Millwall stands got more attention than the score. The big day arrived, City thought they had it in the bag, Boyce carried Joe and the man recovering from the broken leg (Ben Watson) headed the ball into the net! FA Cup Winners......but then relegated at Arsenal.
We always have some drama at this time of year and I`m sure we wouldn't like it any other way. I wonder what 2014 will have in store?