Ahead of City v Wigan, our Kathy had a chat with Paul Kendrick, Sports reporter for the Wigan Observer/Wigan Post. And. compared to some Q&As gone by, they were super nice to each other…
I’m old enough to remember Wigan being a non-league side. Since those days it’s been a dramatic ride for you with various promotions and relegations. The pinnacle must have been the FA Cup triumph? It’s one of those ‘Did that really happen?’ moment to the likes of myself. Tell me about that day.
Utterly amazing from start to finish. And one that quite a few of us are still struggling to believe happened. For such a small club like Wigan to beat the richest club on the planet is a fairy-tale story that would get laughed out of Hollywood for being so far-fetched. But the best thing was the fact it was such a deserved victory.
On the balance of play, Wigan were clearly the better side and no-one could argue with the result. For the winning goal to come in the very last minute, from a player who’d spent most of the season out with a broken leg, just added to the drama.
And on a personal level, to see my little boy, Joseph, being carried out by the captain, Emmerson Boyce, to highlight our ‘Joseph’s Goal’ charity (sadly he has a life-limiting disorder, for which we are trying to find a cure) made it even more unforgettable.
Roberto Martinez – your best ever manager?
Yep, I would say so. Some of the fanbase would say Paul Jewell for taking Wigan up to the Premier League and keeping them there. But I think what Roberto achieved – four years in the Premier League (while slashing the budget), winning the FA Cup, beating all the big clubs AND playing in such an attractive brand of football – gives him the edge.
In 2015 Dave Whelan handed over control of the club to his grandson. ‘B list rich fan steps aside in favour of younger family member’. This all sounds very familiar to City fans. The grandson subsequently sold out to a Hong Kong consortium. How do you feel about that? Delia has made no secret of her plans to hand over to nephew Tom in the next few years. There is a large groundswell of opinion among Norwich fans who would dearly love for him to do what happened to at Wigan.
Was it a good idea? Should we or not?
To be fair, while David Sharpe took over as chairman, Dave Whelan remained the owner and as such would have ultimately made the decision to sell the club. It’s fair to say the opinion among Wigan fans is split on whether the takeover is a good idea or not.
On one hand, the idea of new investment coming in is clearly exciting. But on the other hand, there’s obviously several cases of foreign takeovers leading to disaster.
The fact is the Whelan family felt they’ve put in enough money over the years and it’s time to hand over – and you can’t really argue with that. They’ve given Wigan fans two decades of amazing memories that, when they took over, was just a pipedream. For that, Wiganers will always be very grateful.
I find it hard to imagine what it must be like sharing your town with another major sport. I’m sure lots of other people already know the answer to this (I don’t so I’m asking!)
Do the rugby league club and yourselves arrange fixtures that don’t clash to accommodate each other, and crowds don’t suffer?
Are there any Wigan folks who follow both, or is it strictly either or?? Do you follow both? If so which would you choose?
Both clubs submit dates to the EFL and RFL that the other is playing on so there’s never usually a fixture problem. The football/rugby town debate in Wigan is one that’ll never go away sadly.
There are some people in the town who follow both, and there’s a lot who follow one sport and are at least ambivalent to the other – not actively supporting, but wanting a Wigan side to do well.
But there’s also a fair few (on both sides) who support their team and dislike/run-down the other (for reasons going back decades), which I think is a real shame…but probably not going to change any time soon.
Who should we fear tomorrow?
Nick Powell has been getting most of the plaudits and it’s not hard to see why. Several opposition players and managers have picked him out as the best player in the Championship and I wouldn’t argue with that.
Who do you fear? I did Q&As several times last season and the answer was always James Maddison. He’s gone now so I’m interested to hear your view.
First of all, I’m glad Yanic Wildschut is out on loan, because the number of former players who’ve done damage to Wigan over the years has been ridiculous. Of the current squad I’d say Jordan Rhodes looks the most dangerous – a proven goalscorer at this level. (You’ll take heart from the fact he’ll probably start on the bench, Paul – Ed).
Last, score prediction, please?
Norwich 1 Wigan 2.
Cheers to Paul for his time.
Despite Schteve McClaren’s assertions otherwise, City were good value for the points at Loftus Road to make it three league wins on the spin. Tuesday’s cup victory over Wycombe maintains the momentum and provides DF with a selection headache with two strikers, in form and in the goals, vying for a place up front.
What a nice ‘problem’ to have.
Are we on the verge of something special or was it just a very good week (and a half)?
Penney predicts: Wigan seem a very hard-working side with no little skill and the boy Powell is class. Despite all that I think it’ll be a Pukki party. 2-0 City.
Andy assumes: Wigan are sneakily good and I think they’ll hold us to a point. 1-1.
Gaz (G) guesses: Are four league wins on the bounce too much to ask? Tempted to say yes, but my gut instinct has been cr@p of late and so I’m going 2-1 City.
Cookie concludes: Don’t tempt fate… don’t tempt fate… don’t tempt fate… ah sod it, City to win 2-1.
Stew suspects: Promoted teams are dangerous in the early weeks, and our run has to end sometime. But not this weekend. Quality to tell – 2-0 City.
The oppo’s opinion: Norwich 1 Wigan 2.
Siri says: ‘Please update your operating system’. 3-0 City.
Join the ‘fun’ by adding your predictions in the comments below.