Are you bored of all the summer silliness flying around in the media? Then JWAW has a little something extra for your no doubt thinly populated supper time reading list.
Serial Latics and European football writer Andre Smith has offered to plug the gaping crevasse with a little something to get you in the mood for the Community Shield. Yes, that traditional curtain-raiser we normally do not care about! But Wigan did win the FA Cup last year, and I shall take every single opportunity to repeat that with glee.
Note: JWAW does not endorse content of external links, nor has it received compensation, monetary or otherwise, for the contents of this post. Agh, I hate writing stuff like that but some people tend to get tetchy when they think you’re including guest posts for an extra five quid or whatever. Speaking of which, can anybody lend us a fiver?
The Community Shield it is. And more to the point Owen Coyle’s second game in charge of Wigan. Or to put it more accurately, in charge of Wigan Athletic Football Club. You know the one, the Wigan Athletic Football Club that plays in the Barclays Premier League. While there will be questions about his appointment, the first one has to be, Coyle being paid per word?
Coyle’s attention to detail when pronouncing names in absolute full perhaps reflects his focused approach to management. Like his predecessor, Roberto Martinez, Coyle is no technical area wallflower. The ex Bolton boss will be screaming, whistling, remonstrating and generally having convulsions, quite possibly even before the referee’s tossed coin hits the Wembley turf.
So Wigan Athletic Football Club have installed a passionate manager. But the real concern will be, is he a man who can get as much out of his charges as the last guy did? Martinez will soon be revealed, for how good really he is, at Everton. At Goodison Park he’ll have a mix of high grade players and those on the cusp of being high grade. The relegation of Wigan was arguably down to a combination of things, perhaps foremost was the decision to pursue the FA Cup. But by the time Wigan came to the very death of their season, in the final fight to stay up, they were exhausted and it was this that sealed their fate.
Facing Manchester United in the Community Shield will see the phrase ‘baptism of fire’ used by just about every football hack from wherever you’re reading this to Wembley Way – and back again. That said, unless there is a major exodus of Wigan players, it would be somewhat naive to subscribe to the view this will be a very public mauling.
This will be Wigan’s last hurrah before going off to face the grim reality of The Championship. With a modest preseason, Coyle’s charges should be physically refreshed and mentally they will have come to terms with relegation and all its unenviable consequences.
But what of Wigan’s support? The likelihood is that they too will have had some time to adjust. Wigan Community Shield tickets will be just as valuable a currency as if they had never been relegated. This won’t be a game that either the players or the support will shy away from. This game is the FA Cup winners versus the League Champions. Nobody should forget that.
So how will Wigan acquit themselves? Well, for a start, if they approach the game with a David vs Goliath mindset, Dave Whelan may as well phone the score in and save everyone the bother. This is where the players and indeed the spirit of the club will come into its own. While Coyle will be looking to avoid a drubbing, and will undoubtedly be telling the boys to keep focused, keep individual errors to an absolute minimum; the team will know that they can beat anyone. They weren’t given the FA Cup, they went out and won it.
So if you’re Wigan, this is a game to look forward to, and ensure you get your tickets here, so you don’t make the same mistake as those who didn’t go to the FA Cup final, because they didn’t think there was much point. Wigan will of course have the goodwill of the ‘anyone but United’ brigade willing them on. Good vibes and an incredible team spirit will serve up a memorable game.
JWAW: Many thanks for that, Andre, and congratulations on becoming the author of JWAW’s first ever guest post! Plenty there for us to get the juices flowing in this hectic off-season. I fear that post-cup optimism is waning with every passing day, so it’s good to focus our minds on the actual football once again, and the Community Shield tie is another excuse to celebrate.
For my own part, as you know, I was unable to make the FA Cup final and my stomach still churns when I think back to that lost week of Paracetamol-induced hallucinations (or was it all real?). Another Wembley date beckons, and though it will never live up to that momentous day, it will at least partially plaster over the wounds. But not entirely. Nggh, must finish post on positive… hey, erm, I found 10p outside the Post Office in Wigan last week!
Oh, and if you (yes, you, dear Latic fanatic!) fancy doing a guest post, perhaps in return for a reciprocal article or link to your own blog/site, I’ll most likely be up for it. I would like to get back into the whole salt ert’ th’earth blogging ‘community’ thingy, and now we’re free of the cold commercial abomination/spectacle that is the Premier League, it will be great to return to the warm, welcoming obscurity of… the multi-million pound Championship. Er, hmm.