Remember the Great Days with the Latics

by | May 6, 2021 | News

It’s not always been this way

Latics may have been fighting for their EFL League One lives for most of this season, and eventually winning that battle with a game in hand, but it hasn’t always been this way.

There was a Premier League heyday of sorts under Paul Jewell, Steve Bruce and Roberto Martinez.

It has now been 15 years since we climbed to those dizzy heights and played in the top tier of English football for the first time, even staying there several years.

Those relative glory days contrast sharply with this season, but long-time caretaker boss Leam Richardson has the manager’s jobs for keeps.

While it looks as though we can breathe a huge sight of relief about the current campaign, Wigan Athletic have had their moments in the sun at the top table. Now seems as good a time as any to reminisce about that.

Nobody is going to claim that we are the most successful football club ever, but on our day we have gone head-to-head with some of the best sides in the Premier League of modern times and won.

This will seem hard to believe now as Latics successfully stave off relegation to the fourth tier, but we have a terrific record against the mighty and mega-rich Manchester City.

Not only did Wigan enjoy the most famous day in our history when defying the odds and lifting the FA Cup after the mother of all giant-killings in the final in 2013, but we twice did the double over them during our stay in the Premier League.

The Latics are a real bogey team for Man City, as we’ve also knocked them out of the cup on two other occasions in 2014 and 2018.

En route to the FA Cup triumph, we also won at Spurs when they still played at White Hart Lane and away at Goodison Park over Everton. Martinez would go on to manage the latter after leaving Latics shortly after the fairy tale success.

Some seven years earlier, we edged Arsenal on away goals over two legs to reach the League Cup final. Taking a lead into the second game of the tie forced the Gunners into playing a number of their Invincibles squad including Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.

Despite struggling to replicate the top 10 Premier League finish made in our first-ever season in the English top-flight, there were still other high points of our eight-year stay.

In 2008-09, top teams didn’t relish coming to the DW with us holding Liverpool to a draw and beating City, Everton and Tottenham. That ability to pull off a famous home win was carried into the following season too.

In that campaign, each of Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all left the DW empty-handed. There were notable away victories at Anfield and the Emirates in 2011-12, meanwhile, plus a first-ever Premier League win over Manchester United.

Wigan’s experience of and stay in the top tier of English football proves that anything is possible. Maybe we’ll get back there someday.

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