Wigan Athletic: From FA Cup joy to Premier League heartbreak

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Roberto Martinez’s Wigan team managed to upset Manchester City to win the FA Cup on Saturday but were relegated from the Premier League after their 4-1 loss to Arsenal on Tuesday evening. 

Think of their fans who were still celebrating their team’s FA Cup triumph when they heard the news that they well be playing in the nPower Championship the next season.

But this was not unexpected. Wigan Athletic were always considered a relegation threatened team. From the past two seasons, their survival battle always kick started during the January-February period. 

Wigan were successful in saving themselves last season by using this method. But this season was not completely normal for any team. Newcastle United, who finished fifth last season, were in the relegation battle till the 37th match day. 

Queens Park Rangers, who have three Champions League winning players, were at the bottom of the table for most of the season. Caught in the midst of this were Wigan, who, unfortunately couldn’t make the cut for next season’s Premier League football.

But this season still had a lot of positives like the FA Cup victory. They also managed to find some stars in their diminished season. Arouna Kone, their top scorer led the team from the front and scored some stunning goals. 

Paul Scharner, on loan from Hamburg, also managed to give their defence some kind of stability. Shaun Maloney’s stunning free kicks also helped Wigan’s cause but in vain. But the find of the season for Wigan was Callum McManaman, who managed to make stunning runs through the middle and was also capable of supplying crosses when required.

Roberto Martinez also managed to establish his reputation as a tactician which brought him in the running for the gaffer’s position at Everton which will be vacated by David Moyes at the end of this season. He was seen to be taking crucial decisions during important times throughout the season. It depends upon him whether he will remain at Wigan or will look at opportunities elsewhere.

The most important thing for Wigan to look forward to next season will be European football, courtesy of winning the FA Cup. They are not the first team from the Championship to play in Europe. In the 2011-12 season, Birmingham City played in the Euro Cup while they were in the Championship courtesy of a Carling Cup win the previous season.

Wigan managed to do a great job in the FA Cup, but their primary aim next season must be promotion to the Premier League.


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