Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWigan: The Darkest of Horses - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Wigan: The Darkest of Horses - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Wigan: The Darkest of Horses


Wigan Athletic, it’s fair to say, are not what you would describe as a fashionable club. They have only ever won The Second Division Title, The Third Division Title, The Auto Windscreens Shield Trophy and The Freight Rover Trophy (whatever that is). Their average attendance is just 18,000 and they currently lie in 19th place in the Barclays Premier League Table.

However, some credit should head to the Western rim of Greater Manchester, because they continually upset the odds and perform admirably given their resources.

This is a side that was promoted, as Championship runners up, to the Premier League in 2005. As they prepared for their first ever campaign in the top flight, few gave them a realistic chance of survival. The, then, manager Paul Jewell, however, was unfazed and guided the Latics to 10th place and Carling Cup runners up.

Some achievement for a club that only turned professional in 1977, their second season in the top flight was a much tougher affair. Heading to Bramall Lane to face fellow strugglers, Sheffield United, on the final day, Wiganers knew that anything less than a win would see them relegated back to their second tier.

A 2-1 win in South Yorkshire saw Wigan prolong their stay in the top flight. A 14th place finish followed in 2007/08 and an 11th place finish the season after that.

16th place finishes in 2009/10 and 2010/11 mean that the DW Stadium outfit are in their 7th season in the Premier League, many still expect them to be relegated, but I’m not so sure.

This is a team that has won their last two matches; 2-1 at Anfield against Liverpool and 2-0 at home to the notoriously resolute Stoke City.

They are in the relegation zone on goal difference only, and although their next 3 matches are against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, Roberto Martinez’s men finish the campaign against fellow relegation candidates Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

I am sure that I’m not the only one who quite fancies the Latics to survive, and if they do, you’ve got to give them enormous credit.

A club owned by a local, patient chairman, and managed by a calm, intelligent Spaniard who wants to see football played in the right way.

This is a side with a habit of upsetting the odds in a quiet and efficient manner; don’t be surprised to see them do it again.

George Powell

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