"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? - Martinez still undecided on Wigan future Wigan Athletic without Dave Whelan does not bear thinking about at this moment in time.
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." - Whelan: Martinez D-Day approaching 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.
No sooner had the dust settled on Wigan Athletic's FA Cup semifinal success over Millwall a month ago than a notion started circulating that the Latics could become the first club to win the FA Cup and suffer relegation the same season. Deep in their hearts, most Wigan supporters suspected that the combination of defensive injuries and late=season fixture congestion would probably make the dream double of survival and FA Cup a step too far. By the time a ball was kicked in the FA Cup final, just about every Latics supporter in the world had been asked what they would prefer: stay up or win the Cup?
Wigan Athletic said goodbye to the Premier League through an entertaining 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. Latics' display had the hallmarks of what we have seen so often this season – bouts of champagne football interspersed with mediocre defending. The GBP;24 miliion Darren Bent had opened the scoring in the 5th minute, breezing past Paul Scharner before shooting in off the post. Wigan equalized in the 20th minute through a superb header from Emmerson Boyce from an excellent cross by Roger Espinoza.
It was billed as the grand finale to a topsy-turvy season for Wigan Athletic. The home match with fellow strugglers, Aston Villa, was to be crucial in determining Latics' future in the Premier League. But sometimes things just don't work out as you hope they will. - Wigan set for mass player exodus Wigan Athletic go into their last match at the end of a remarkable eight-year stay in the Premier League. They come out of it stronger than when they went in. Latics now have a strong identity, a sound infrastructure and a much-increased fan base.
The week that brought Wigan Athletic its greatest moment in football has ended in sadness as the club's eight-year Premier League history has been placed in the to-be-continued pile along with so many others. Few Wigan supporters will feel anything but overwhelming pride Tuesday night despite being relegated, as an injury-plagued and thoroughly exhausted squad gave Arsenal a real scare amidst rainy scenes at the Emirates. With the scores equal in the second half, it was Wigan playing the better football, narrowly failing to take the lead on several occasions before an Arsenal counter-attack swung the match and ultimately put Latics down, 4-1.
When you watch it again, it is hard to tell that Ben Watson's FA Cup-winning header actually happened in slow motion. But from my bright red Wembley seat about 15 yards away, I can assure you that the world stopped for a magical 10 seconds as the ball sat up, suspended in mid-air, spinning. Then the world moved forward again, in freeze-frame snapshots. Joe Hart's acrobatic leap and disbelieving eyes. Arouna Kone's realization. My wife and brother-in-law, wearing moustaches and sombreros, shaking me with unbridled joy.
Last summer, Indonesia played a friendly against Inter Milan in the Senayan Stadium in the centre of the Jakarta. One expected to see the red and white colours of Indonesia in a ground that holds 65,000 people, but probably around 70 percent of the crowd wore the blue and black replica shirts of Internazionale. They had not traveled from Milan, but had traversed through the horrendous traffic of this huge city, wearing shirts that they had in their wardrobes. Inter shirts are popular in Indonesia, as are those of arch-rivals AC Milan.
The greatest performance in Wigan Athletic's history saw an incredible 1-0 victory over Manchester City through substitute Ben Watson's 91st-minute header. This was no fluke -- Wigan played the better football and were deserved winners. Just over three weeks ago, Latics had gone to Eastlands and had been the better team. That day, the result went against them. On Saturday, they got what they deserved and left Manchester City shell-shocked. -Wigan stun Man City to win FA Cup -Analysis: Jolly - Brewin - Stein - Burley -More video reaction: Martinez - Boyce - Whelan - Scharner Latics had been buoyed by the return of excellent Antolin Alcaraz, joining Emmerson Boyce and Paul Scharner in the centre of defence.
On such a historic occasion for Wigan Athletic, it seemed in a strange way inappropriate to focus on lineups, tactics and the XI that turned out to represent the club in its first ever FA Cup final. But it is the biggest game in the club's history, so we decided to write this up as an add-on. If you haven't already, please do give our preview a read. In the meantime, here is the traditional match preview. - Wigan out to upset odds - Tyler: Handicapping the big relegation races While defending champions Manchester City were busy resting eight of their starting XI during their 1-0 victory over West Brom -- a team Wigan had spectacularly, but only just, beaten three days prior -- Wigan suffered yet another season-ending injury.
Wigan Athletic's team for their debut match in 1932 against Port Vale Reserves. Photo courtesy of Ron Hunt and WiganWorld. * This post was co-written by Tony and Ned Brown -- father and son writing team -- from the perspective of Tony, the father. My father loved Wigan Athletic Football Club. Hardly a minute would go by after the final whistle before he would launch into talk about the next match. Conversations - and in some cases, monologues -- about lineups, tactics and referees were a feature of my life as long as I can remember.
The defensive lapses that got Wigan in trouble in the first place resurfaced at the worst possible time to sink them into the deepest waters yet as Swansea ran out unlikely 3-2 winners at the DW Tuesday. Despite twice taking the lead and appearing in control against an organized but relaxed Swansea side enjoying the comforts of mid-table football, Roberto Martinez's team now finds itself three points behind the pack with two games to go. -Jolly: Credits roll on Wigan's 'Great Escape' An incident following a late double substitution summed up the ill fortune Wigan have suffered during the season with respect to injuries, as Ronnie Stam lasted a mere 10 seconds before hobbling off with a suspected broken leg -- leaving his team to play the final 15 minutes a man down.