Not to be a party pooper, but I feel I must interject at this point. Remember a time long ago when we all cared about the league? Nah, me neither.
I don’t think I quite emphasised the importance of the Swansea game to Wigan’s Premier League survival. Hey, we all had other things on our minds last week so I suppose you could forgive a momentary lapse of concentration… or three. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bang on for 2,000 words about how the lack of Ramis and Alcaraz reduces the Wigan defence to a gibbering wreck, though to a certain extent I believe this to be true.
Instead, I shall speak at (moderate) length about this evening’s game and how Saturday afternoon affected it. Best get out your digestive biscuits and dunking beverage of choice for this one.
They say Wigan are the first team to win the FA Cup by accident, but I prefer to describe it as ‘everything falling into place’. The right draws, the right team selections, the right bit of luck here and there – three elements that have sadly been missing from Wigan’s league line-up at crucial points in the season. Antolin Alcaraz was supposed to miss the rest of the season, but he made a miraculous return to lead his team to FA Cup glory.
If Callum McManaman had been producing these kinds of performances in the first team from day one of the 2012-13 campaign, we might probably have been safe by January. And if Lionel Messi played for Wigan, we might have won the FA Cup. Oh, wait…
Screw the ifs, because barring a trip to the Large Hadron Collider, you can do precious little to change the past. Wigan had one more chance to fend off the Grim Reaper – if they could pull off an amazing win at Arsenal, that required points total of 41 would seem less of a pipe dream and a bit closer to reality. But the margin for error was negligible; quite simply, nought but perfection would suffice. Gulp.Arsenal, Premier League, Report