Category: News Written by Jakarta Jack
“I have one ambition left in my life and that is to get Wigan back in the Premier League."
So said Dave Whelan just over a week ago.
It seems like the FA Cup win has put a new lease of life into the Wigan owner, 76 years old. At times Latics supporters have pondered on Whelan’s ability to keep motivated, given all that he has achieved for the club and his advancing years. How much longer can he keep it going?
Wigan Athletic without Dave Whelan does not bear thinking about at this moment in time. The good news is that he is committed for the short term at least.
Although Latics are going to lose around half of their current squad there will be enough quality players remaining to provide a strong backbone for a promotion push.
Funds gained by selling prize assets – such as James McCarthy, Arouna Kone and Callum McManaman – are likely to be ploughed back into the acquisition of new players. Young players who have been carefully nurtured – the likes of Fraser Fyvie, Roman Golobart, Lee Nicholls, Eduard Campabadal, Jordan Mustoe, Daniel Redmond, Nouha Dicko – are going to be pressing for first team action next season.
Despite relegation and the impending departure of so many players there remains a mood of optimism at the club. But then for a third consecutive summer there is uncertainty over the future of manager, Robert Martinez.
In most clubs the manager would lose his job for his team being relegated. Martinez has certainly had his critics during his four year stint as manager. However, the support he got at the victory celebrations on Monday showed how highly he is held in regard by so many fans. Not only did he keep Wigan above the relegation zone for three years on a budget that was “shoestring” in comparison with the competition, but he also built an infrastructure that will serve the club for years to come.
Who could blame Roberto Martinez if he decided to move on? Every manager needs a challenge and the Spaniard has certainly had lots of those already at Wigan. But now the parameters have changed. What would he have to realistically aim for if he were to continue?
Current media reports present a picture of the main focus of discussions between chairman and manager being on youth development and training facilities. Martinez rightly wants the chairman to commit to advancement in those key areas before deciding if he, in turn, will commit to the club for a further period of time.
Whether Martinez stays or goes, Latics have need more quality young players coming through the ranks. Even as a Premier League club, Wigan Athletic’s under 21 and under 18 teams have been playing in the second division of the Professional Development League this year, with clubs from the Championship division. That the under 21 team reached a mid table position is no indictment on the coaching or management at that level. It is the lack of quality coming from youth level that is the concern. Although it can be argued that results are not so important in younger age ranges, it is no coincidence that the under 18 team has lost a lot more matches than it has won this season.
Roberto Martinez is right in his insistence on a good youth development programme. It has been wonderful to see Callum McManaman come through the ranks with such impact. Before him it was Leighton Baines. But if the club is to be sustainable in the upper leagues in years to come it is going to need quality young players coming through teh system more frequently.
Lots of exciting work remains ahead for the formidable duo of Roberto Martinez and Dave Whelan. Next season begins with Wigan Athletic playing in the Community Shield at Wembley. Then the efforts will begin to put up a good show in the Europa League and to get promotion back to the Premier League.
We will find out early next week if Roberto Martinez is up for these new challenges. The vast majority of Wigan Athletic fans will be hoping that the Bob and Dave partnership will continue in the near future at least. They have done so much together, but there is still much more that needs to be done.
thanks to www.threeamigoswigan.com
Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 11:51
Category: Latics Blogs Written by Jakarta Jack
A wonderful article by the Guardian on Monday quoted Trevor Silcock, 63, arriving at the FA Cup victory parade with three generations of his family. He recalled going to Springfield Park with his father and grandfather.
"This is the greatest day of my life," he said, before adding: "After the kids being born, that is."
Trevor has to be the same person who was in my class in primary school. I have not seen him since he was ten. I recognized his name and age straight away and envied him for being able to be there for those cup celebrations. I left Wigan and have worked in many places since then. Living in different countries has been part of my way of life, but my heart has always belonged to my home town.
When Trevor and I were at school the rugby club would sometimes parade the Challenge Cup through the town centre. I can remember seeing it, but try as I might, I never felt an affinity for them.
Being brought up in Warrington Lane in the south of Wigan, I was constantly surrounded by rugby fans. Sometimes our teachers would take us up to St Patrick’s field – a bastion of rugby league - to play games, including football. It might have been regarded as heresy by the management of that wonderful amateur rugby club which has provided so many top players to the professional game.
I wish I could have been in Wigan’s town centre when the Latics paraded the FA Cup. To coin an overused description it was “unbelievable”.
But why should it be any different than the local rugby league club’s celebration parades?
Let’s try to be fair. Wigan are the best supported team in the rugby league and have won the Challenge Cup 15 times in my lifetime. Their record is unparalleled in their sport.
But then again let’s get things into perspective. Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup by beating a Manchester City team that was put together by mega-money. It was David against Goliath. In terms of relative economic power the rugby team have been the Goliath compared with the teams they have beaten. Wigan’s rugby team attendances average around 16,000 compared with a division average of less than 10,000.
The town of Wigan can support two teams. The rugby support remains constant, but in the past there have been so many football fans who have traveled to Liverpool or Manchester to support the big clubs. Most of the younger generation of football fans now prefer to go to the DW Stadium. Despite a difficult season and relegation Wigan Athletic averaged over 19,000 this season.
Through their eight years in the Premier League and winning the FA Cup, Latics now have a legacy that will keep them in good stead for years to come. Their success has helped dispel that old myth that Wigan is a rugby town.
Latics might not ever win the FA Cup again, but it will be remembered in Wigan for generations to come. I only wish I could have been there with Trevor to revel in the emotions of the celebrations.
thanks to www.threeamigoswigan.com
Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 11:48
Category: Club News Written by ATL11
So the move back from London is done, last box made it back to Wigan this morning.
There is some logic to my return; it’s got to do with Builders! The Extension is almost done at the back of my own HQ & the Big Blue Ribbon will be cut soon. Oh we’ll feature the Builders again later.
So to the TNS Offices, yes I know we haven’t been for some time, what with London, all I can say is its bloody mess. All I got on my return was a ‘Welcome back lad’ from Steve, who quickly buried his head back in to his
Sky Sports Rothmans Football Year Book. Bert the Janitor was quiet in the corner making an Effigy Doll of Tony Pulis, muttering something like ‘No soddin way is he coming here’...
More about the TNS team later.
Anyway I digress, to Wigan Athletic News. Well there isn’t any, like Brenda & her empty chair, the News has been pushed back a week.
Bob & Big Dave are still thrashing out Terms, the good News is Bob isn’t packing his bags. Apparently Bob wants to stay if Dave can pop in to B&Q and buy a few things for the Academy and the Training Ground, to spruce them up. I’ve heard Eggshell paint is on offer at £7.98 for 5 Litres.
Though I don’t think Eggshell, will do it! Think it’s more a ‘State of the Art Building’ & some better Indoor & outdoor Training pitches. So why we are on about this, I did mention my Builders, they should be free in the next Month, if you want them to start on the new Academy Building? I know Pete is a staunch Evertonian & he doesn’t want Bob at Everton, so he’s willing to build the whole thing at reasonable rates.
As for the turf, I relayed my front lawn last year and picked up a handy tip from Alan Titchmarsh, using a Kitchen knife to cut the turf into shape. So Bob & Dave I’m willing to offer my services to lay a new Pitch if that’s what’ll take to keep Bob here at Wigan?
So overall, it means the Wigan Athletic fans will have to continue to sit on the edge of their seats for a few more days.
Other news has seen a few players leave due to their contracts including Robles, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Scharner, Stam and Di ‘Flecto’ Santo. As soon as we hear who’s going to replace them we’ll let you know. Just hope when Dave comes out of B&Q, he not got a bloke called Colin from Aisle 16 who he'll sign on as the new Left Back.
Album cover is ‘Combat Rock’ from the Clash, with their Aptly titled song “Should I Stay or Should I Go" - Thanks
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 20:34
Category: News Written by BarStaff
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:15
Category: News Written by BarStaff
The Football League fixtures for the 2013/14 season will be released on Wednesday June 19.
The season will kick-off on Saturday August 3 and will conclude on Saturday May 3 2014 with the Play-Off Finals being held at Wembley Stadium on May 24-26.
The 2013/14 Christmas and New Year programme will include matches on Saturday December 21 and Sunday December 29, as well as Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:50