Vital Latics brings you the Wigan Athletic fans ‘Hopes and Fears’ series as we build up to the seasons big kick-off against Chelsea.
Wigan Athletic supporter and Vital Latics member, Stan_disher gives us his thoughts on the coming season, over to you Stan:
Although I’m of a mature age, I have only been supporting Wigan Athletic for the last 11 years. I am very much a JJB/DW Stadium man although I did attend one or two games at the old Springfield Park. Mainly, it has been a successful period with a few dark episodes scattered about. League One winners with 100 points, a glorious promotion to the Premier League and top ten + a League Cup Final in our first EPL season all immediately spring to mind along with heart stopping moments at Bramall Lane in 2007 and against West Ham in 2011 at the DW.
During those 11 ‘interesting’ years, I have to say that the period between February and May 2012, in my opinion, was the best I have seen from our team in terms of football quality and determination. A first win against Man Utd in addition to beating an in-form Arsenal team at the Emirates and a demolition of high flying Newcastle at the DW Stadium were the highlights from a team threatened with relegation. But it wasn’t just the winning, it was the way in which the team won those games and many others. The slick passing, controlled attacking, steadfast defending and a willingness to put bodies on the line. Much better than I have seen at any given point during those eleven years.
But let’s not forget the part played by the fans. Believers at last. Galvanised as one with the team. A good-feel time with ‘Meet and Greet’ at the roots. Blackburn 2012 will live in my memory forever. The players responded, as they should, and produced a template for the future at our wonderful club.
So what about 2012/13? What will it bring for a set of fans who, understandably, have probably never expected quite so much from their heroes? Well, my expectations are certainly high but not set in concrete. Football is one of those games that can kick you in the teeth just as you are feeling at your best. Gone are Hugo & Momo and one or two others have moved on with Victor also rumoured to want away from our club. Will they never learn that high salaries don’t guarantee success and that those splinters get sharper as the time without regular football extends. Not many find greener grass.
Strangely though, I’m not too concerned about those that have left or are leaving. I must admit, I’m not yet over the moon about our replacements or the number of players that we have currently brought in. I’ll reserve judgement till I’ve seen them play a few games. But the one thing I have learned during the last few seasons is that we have a manager who knows what he is about and that I have a growing trust in him. I like the way he presents himself and the way in which he represents our club. He very rarely brings in players who end up rocking the boat and spoiling our progression. A player’s attitude means everything to our manager and long may it continue.
I guess my own hopes are many in number. For our young team of last year to show that they have learned from the exploits of those fantastic weeks at the end of last season and matured sufficiently to give themselves a strong start to the season. I hope that we are mid-table, or higher, with a good points tally at the end of November in preparation for those difficult and busy winter months. I also hope that we can kick off 2013 with a good run in the FA Cup. Oh, and please can we have a goalscorer.
I also hope that more of our fans realise that if they stick with the team through difficult times, then glorious times will eventually materialise.
As for the fears, well, other teams may work out how to combat our formation, I hear that Mancini is planning to use 3 4 3 at Man City this year. But you know what, I don’t care if they work out how to stop us, because I know that our super intelligent manager will devise other formations and will ultimately find the right blend to take us forward yet again.
And with a growing band of ‘Believers’ I think the players will once again respond. Roll on Sunday & 3 points.
Previous Hopes and Fears 2012/13:
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