Wigan Athletic were promoted to the Premier League in 2005, capping off an unlikely fairy tale for the unfancied Northern club. A predominantly Rugby League town’s meteoric rise from the lower reaches of the Football League to the riches of England’s top flight was a feat that you would find hard to find elsewhere. Since then, their first season aside, their ‘dream’ journey continues against all the odds, some say. Some are impressed by the ‘magical’ job Roberto Martinez manages every season. Somehow, someway, the miracle worker that is Martinez, keeps Wigan’s heads above water. They have gained many admirers for their ‘Barca like’ slick football, their ‘futuristic’ 3-5-2 formation and the fact they still survive with the likes of Gary Caldwell and Franco Di Santo in their ranks. I, however, am not one of those admirers. In fact, Wigan frustrate me.
Year on year, Martinez’ side are hailed as the side that survive against all the odds. I understand Wigan aren’t blessed with the biggest of budgets, but they will have been in the Premier League for eight years when they inevitably survive on the last day of the season this year to finish 17th. Eight years is a long time for a club that are now season on season settling for 16th and 17th. I find it hard to believe that a club that has been in England’s top flight for so long accept survival each year. Maybe it’s time for Dave Whelan and his honest, old-school, British way of running the club to step aside. Maybe then Wigan can step up the ladder to the dizzy heights of 11th and 12th. What has happened to the money the club have received for players such as, Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios? Both went for massive sums of money and yet have been replaced by players such as, Dave Jones and Jean Beausejour. How can Lactic fans accept such replacements? If Wigan continue to accept and welcome such mediocrity they will get what they deserve, relegation.