Comfortably into the second half of the season, and with every Tom, Dick and Harry tipping bottom of the league Wigan Athletic to crash down into the Championship, it is a lonely and desperate time for the blue and white struggler’s from up north. Wigan, lead by suave Spanish smiler Roberto Martinez, have taught many teams a lesson about what the beautiful game can look like even without the best players in the world.
Unfortunately, with the 5-0 drubbing from a weakened Manchester United and the 3-1 defeat to fellow relegation candidates Queen’s Park Rangers recently, hearts seem to have dropped as teams that should be dropping in below the ever feared safety line, are taking the ‘beautiful yet cheap’ approach to the next level, with Swansea and Norwich learning how to play well and with dignity, yet still keep results ticking over. Yet what does the future look like for Wigan? Are they doomed to what could be a few depressing years in Championship football, or are the shining lights of lady luck going to reward them with Premier League, and not to mention financial security for one more agonising year at least.
Having watched the 2-1 defeat to my local, boyhood Swindon town, crammed into a seat between my father, an ex-rugby player (Former prop may I add) and another, equally large man, the enjoyment of witnessing the triumphant day was worth the two hours of cramming my 6 foot 2 inch frame into the increasingly uncomfortable seat. However, as good as Swindon were, it seemed Wigan were as equally bad.
Although not a full strength team, the Wigan fans came expecting a rare away win. The likes of Al Habsi, Ben Watson and Franco Di Santo are very capable players, yet there seemed a lack of flair from the away team, putting away a sloppily conceded penalty, with very little else creative to draw from the game. It seems that the rest of their season appears built upon this also, and although much improved against Premier League opposition, the negatives seem to outweigh the positives for the Latics.