This weeks Wigan Evening Post 12th Man feature has two contributions from Vital Latics:
The Jinx Is Broken
Well, well, well, on the evidence of Saturday’s performance against Brighton at the DW Stadium Gary Caldwell has taken the club back two years, and doesn’t it feel great.
To see the team knock the ball around on the floor, putting passes together, no hit and hope stuff was a joy to behold, just what utter trash we have been served up this season was evident as the Latics played composed football and actually used the midfield.
Caldwell even changed the formation and tactical set up when we were searching for a winner in the second half, he didn’t resort to hoof ball, he used his nous and we came out on top to give hope in the dying embers of the season.
It was also fantastic to see Tim Chow get a start, he repaid the faith Caldwell showed in him with a goal – from open play – getting into the box to get his head on a lovely cross from Jermaine Pennant, Chow got the DW Stadium rocking.
Now we have broken the home jinx wouldn’t it be great to follow it up with another win against Wolves, a must win game for both clubs, sure to be an exciting contest, can we do it? Of course we can, we just need to stay positive, the fans will have a big role to play to, there is a planned ‘Meet and Greet’ for the supporters to get down early, give the lads the pre-match buzz, and then get behind them 100% when kick off arrives.
Whatever happens though the future looks brighter than it did three weeks ago, it feels we have our club back, the Latics soul has been refilled with belief and that is the vital component as we attempt to get moving again in an upward direction.
An Open Letter To The Players
The video you saw last week and which was published on the club’s website this week, has moved many a fan to tears. It went right to the heart of who we are and stirred massive emotions.
The clip showed that this club has a long, long history of battling against the odds. It truly is in our DNA. However, a five minute video cannot show everything, so it is perhaps also important for you to know that it was a battle even to establish Wigan Athletic at all.
Many, many people had given up on professional football in Wigan by the time the club was founded in 1932. Five previous clubs had gone to the wall. So on the 9th May, when the Mayor of Wigan, Cllr. W.A. Hipwood presided over a meeting to establish Wigan Athletic, how many people, do you think, said, ‘you’re wasting your time’? How many people had given up?
When application after application to join the Football League was rejected (33 times over 45 years), how many people thought, ‘it’s not going to happen’? On the 34th occasion an application was accepted. Director after director had kept the dream of league football alive by refusing to give in to the inevitable.
When the club nearly lost Springfield Park in 1946, there were many negative voices which predicted the end for Wigan Athletic. When the main stand burnt down in 1953, the same voices were there again. Latics fans raised the money to buy back the ground and a new, better stand was built. No-one gave up.
Even after reaching the Football League, adversity was not far away. Bankruptcy loomed in 1983 as the directors wanted to put the club into administration despite all that had been achieved. Fans who cared set up a Latics Lifeline fund and kept the club alive. Children brought their pocket money, pensioners their life savings.
Without people who believed, without people who were prepared to fight for Wigan Athletic, this club would have not been in existence for Dave Whelan to take over in 1995. We owe these fighters as much of a debt as Whelan himself.
People who believe in the impossible, like Dave Whelan, are the latest in a long line of Wiganers who don’t know when to give up. It was the Wigan belief in miracles that got us to the Premier League, kept us there for eight years, got us to two cup finals, won us the FA Cup and got us to play in Europe.
We don’t need a miracle from you though. We just need you to win two games. But win them and you will join the list of Latics who defied the odds, who did not lie down and die and who climbed mountains to keep this club going. You can go down in Latics history. But are you ready to?
Will you show the determination of Marc-Antoine Fortune to beat a defender and get a cross in? Will you show the fight of Emmerson Boyce to clear from the line time and time again? Will you run six yards to block a shot when your body has given up like Jason Pearce? Will you be determined enough to get into the box for a lost cause like James Perch? Will you be kicked time and time again but still get up like Kim Bo-Kyung? Will you make mistakes but still want the ball like William Kvist? Be honest with yourselves when your bodies are crying out for rest. Can you give more?
You are fine players and you are easily good enough to win these last two games. Make us proud. Make us dream. Let your families be proud of you too. Most of all be proud of yourselves and when your football careers are over look back on this time as one of your best times. Do not leave the pitch with regrets that you could have given more. Do not dwell on mistakes either, they will only drag you down. Be only positive and believe that you are good enough no matter what you face on the pitch.
This club was born in and as a product of adversity. It has lived through adversity all its 83 years but will not die in adversity.
It never, never, never gives up.
Check out the latest PWU Podcast
Contents: Sunny intros (0:00); Brighton rocks including Statman (1:40), 50 Shades of Caldwell (3:00), Chow the Main Man (8:30) and Caldwell’s Meet and Greet feat (9:30); keep believin’: motivational video time (12:20); two left games and? still in it?! (13:10); Pete Reece`s open letter to the players of Wigan Athletic (21:10); next up: Nouha Dicko’s Wolves (23:20) and Wigan Time predictions (30:30)
The podcast can be listened to by clicking the embedded player below or downloaded to listen at you leisure by visiting www.buzzsprout.com