Following reports that Graeme Jones has turned down the Swansea job, it looks as though Wigan will survive through to the start of the European Championships with their management team intact. That such high-profile clubs are even interested is somewhat surprising, especially given the club’s situation not six months ago – the dramatic upturn in fortunes since then has certainly left an impression on many high-profile observers.
Yet for all the attention surrounding Latics’ own Catalonian chief, naturally exacerbated by the media’s insatiable appetite for a dramatic story, one always felt it likely he would remain right here at the Dee Dubya. Though I have no doubt Liverpool’s interest was real, our Bob was always going to be further down the (seemingly inexhaustive) list of candidates, if not only due to his relative inexperience and average results record. Of course, that didn’t stop The Reds appointing Brendan Rodgers, but a good debut season in the Premier League can do wonders for your managerial career – just ask Paul Lambert.
Truth be told, a good portion of the reactionary nonsense in the press has been carefully and methodically stoked by Uncle Dave. Well, did you expect anything else? We’re all aware of his shrewd business sense, and he wasn’t about to miss out on an opportunity to further promote his brand. I’ll admit it hasn’t done much good for our stress levels, but I believe Wigan Athletic has actually emerged the other side a stronger commodity for it. A month’s free publicity, and we haven’t kicked a ball in anger for weeks? Yes please.
Most importantly, it’s all been wrapped up in a matter of weeks rather than months. One senses Mr Whelan has one eye on a scouting trip to Poland and the Ukraine, which might not be as glamorous as Miami or Barbados, but this is football, serious business. Bobby, bored of the Soccerdome, wants a £1.5million indoor training pitch. A lot of stuff needs to be ironed out before we take to the pitch in August, and the squad is in need of bolstering for another tough Premier League campaign.Chris Kirkland, Dave Whelan, Graeme Jones, Hugo Rodallega, Mohamed Diame, Roberto Martinez, Steve Gohouri