Date: 29th January 2015 at 5:00pm
Written by:

It is hard to imagine now but just two short years ago Wigan Athletic beat Manchester City 1-0 to win the F.A. Cup for the first time in their history.

Shortly afterwards however they descended to the dreaded Championship and in this league it is sometimes easier to fall further down into the depths of football oblivion than it perhaps is to climb back up again.

I remember a friend of mine who was a Coventry City supporter, boldly boasting when his club left the top flight after 34 years in 2001 that they would return to the Premier the following season. I warned him that it was not as easy as he thought.

And look what a sorry state they are in now 14 years later. These days they find themselves three points off the relegation zone in eighteenth place in Division One and without a parachute payment in sight. To use a heady metaphor they appear to be in free fall.

Their rapid descent from the pinnacle of English football has seemingly happened to them at break neck pace.

The blues have been stuck in the middle for longer than any of us care to remember. That is why, this time – in what feels like a life-time, we must take the opportunity that is presented to us.

I cannot remember a season in this division where things have been so close, or where at this stage in the campaign not one but TWO automatic Premier births are still up for grabs! And like one of those long hot summers these occasions occur exceedingly rarely.

As for The Latics, it must be heartbreaking for their supporters. Under Paul Jewell they were everyone’s favourite to go down when they made it to the promised land but they defied football logic and consolidated their position for seven long glorious years.

In the end, even Roberto Martinez could not save them from the drop and like Fulham Norwich and Cardiff are discovering at the moment, when you fall you quite often fall far.

Now they have the controversial Malky Mackay running the show and he has put most of their cup winning team into the January sales!

The newspaper Wigan Today had a good take on recent events today. ‘ The man who scored the FA Cup-winning goal, the man who put the corner in, and the man who won the corner in the first place – all on their way.’

It would perhaps be easier to explain who won’t be playing at Portman Road on Saturday for Wigan than who will!

Midfielder Ben Watson has moved to fellow Championship club Watford for an undisclosed fee, whilst West Brom from the Premier have purchased Callum McManaman for around 5 million pounds.

Shaun Maloney has also departed to pastures new, as he swapped England for the United States with MLS side Chicago Fire and for another fee that remains a guarded club secret.

To make matters even worse Malky Mackay has won just one game out of eleven since he took over last November and The Latics find themselves in 23rd place in the Sky Bet Championship, having also sold this week midfielder Adam Forshaw to Middlesbrough.

They are eight points off the safety zone and not one single player from that Wembley Cup winning side are likely to be playing against the Town this weekend because gone too over the last few months have been James McArthur, Jordi Gomez and Jean Beausejour.

Being a Wigan fan these days is not much fun and we have to ensure it stays that way on Saturday with another home important victory.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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