Tag: Wigan Athletic

The FA Cup (Briefly?) Shines Again

Taking the world’s oldest football tournament and smacking it over the head with a rubber chicken has become something of a national sport in itself in recent times. With the FA broadly as silent as ever and no sophisticated media machine drip, drip, dripping us into believing that This Is Important, it’s become a punching bag, a useful outlet onto which anybody with an opinion, regardless of its value, can express their hopes or fears for The State Of Things. Time does move on. We can all agree on this. But while many, many people are satisfied to look...

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Content To Be Consumed: The FA & Its Cup In The Twenty-First Century

In the year of its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary, we might have expected that the Football Association would want to make this year’s FA Cup Final a special one. In some respects, they have got a match that has a number of interesting enough back-stories. One of the competing teams is the former non-league club, the first ever to appear in the finals of both the FA Trophy and the FA Cup, and one which, although it has resided in the Premier League for the last eight years, fills the role of the underdog quite neatly. And then, on the other hand, we have the club fuelled by the petrodollar-rich billionaires, but this club is not yet jaded by the notion of winning trophies year in, year out. Wigan Athletic versus Manchester City is an FA Cup Final with a little bite to it. All of this, however, reckons without the awesome powers of the Football Association to do their best to debase the very competition that bears their name. Their decision to play this season’s final at 5.15 in the afternoon would be funny, if it weren’t for the obvious ramifications of such a decision. Supporters from both Wigan and Manchester will have to make a round journey of around four hundred miles to get to this match, and the later the kick-off time is, the more...

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That Was The Weekend That Was: Do You Really Care About This Any More? Really?

In many respects, none of them desirable in any way whatsoever, it was perhaps appropriate that the greatest achievement so far in the history of Wigan Athletic Football Club should have been knocked off the back pages of the weekend’s papers by excesses of a few drunken Millwall supporters harbouring some sort of perceived slight and a Newcastle United supporter attempting to headbutt a police horse. After all, Wigan Athletic is something approaching the Premier League’s forgotten football club, the one whose most notable contribution to the Premier League is to act as cannon fodder for those who believe that the size of a club’s support is something for which those that do attend their matches should be ridiculed. On Saturday evening, however, manager Roberto Martinez and his team achieved something quite remarkable in playing their way to their first FA Cup final. Elected into the Football League in 1977, Wigan Athletic are now the first club to have reached the finals of both the FA Trophy – they were beaten by Scarborough in the 1973 final, a result which feels like light years ago now – and the FA Cup, and all of this has been achieved while putting together a run of form which has given the club a fighting chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League at the end of this season. Against Millwall on...

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Match Of The Past: Wigan Athletic

Having been elected into the Football League in 1978 and spending the next quarter of a century in the bottom two divisions, finding inclusions for Wigan Athletics turn on our Match Of The Past series hasn’t necessarily been easy. However, we have managed to find six matches from the years between 1982 and 1997 for you this evening, starting off with their last home match from the 1981/82 promotion season, when the cameras of Granada Television (and a young Martin Tyler) were persuaded to Springfield Park for a match against Mansfield Town, and next up is a trip to Wembley from 1985, as Wigan take on Brentford in front of a crowd of almost 40,000 people in the final of the Football League Trophy.  Next up comes a double-header from the semi-finals of the Division Three play-offs and a two-legged semi-final against Swindon Town, with the first leg at Springfield Park and the second leg at The County Ground. Finally, we have two matches from the 1990s. By 1993 Athletic were on their way back to the bottom division, but our match features them winning at Leyton Orient, and finally comes a match from another promotion season which this time ended with Wigan winning the Division Three (now League Two) championship title. This match is from the 1996/97 season, and is a trip to The Deva Stadium to play...

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