Wigan. May this be their year for the drop

by admin

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

The Premier League table is starting to take some sort of shape. Six games in and the expected top four already is the top four (Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Man City), Blackburn, Sunderland and Bolton are in the middle, and Wolves, Wigan and West Ham are towards the lower end. There’ll clearly be a few movers up and down over the next few months – West Brom Liverpool and Everton the obvious candidates for change.

Indeed, we’re already at the point where the Match of the Day crew are confidently saying that teams such as Everton and West Ham are ‘too good to do down.’ Newcastle fans will testify that such talk is meaningless.

But instead of who might go down (Wigan, Blackpool and West Ham for my money), how about who should go down. Which three teams would the Premier League not miss?

Wigan are again on my list. Other than a plethora of Latin American footballers, I really can’t see what they bring to the division. Their average gate is the lowest in the league, and so far this season is almost 10,000 under capacity. Perhaps this isn’t surprising from a town where football isn’t the main sport. They’ve scored less than one a game, and conceded one-and-a-half over the course of their top-flight life. The stadium is named after the Chairman, and if you’re going to do that then at least do it properly and call it the Dave Whelan Shrine. DW seems like a bit of a cop out. But most of all, it’s just impossible to get excited about a fixture involving the Latics. They just provide two games where the opponents hope to pick up six points and maybe a hatful of goals. So, although I kinda like Roberto Martinez, I’d be happy to see Wigan sitting in 20th place come May.

One place above them I’d put Blackburn Rovers. In some respects they’re a bit like Wigan, in that you can’t really see them achieving very much beyond mid-table obscurity and maybe a cup run. Allied to that they play with Chris Samba up front, and their most talented player, David Dunn, is always injured. They’ve also paid El-Hadji Diouf, Sam Allardyce, Robbie Savage and Craig Bellamy at various points over the last few years. Other than that Pedersen volley from a few years back I can’t remember one moment when Blackburn have excited me.

Finally, and this is a bit personal, Birmingham City. I admire what Alex Mcleish has done since he went there – a calendar year unbeaten at home is a fine achievement. However, I went to St. Andrews in 2002 to see them play Wolves, and it was just about the coldest, windiest day I’ve ever experienced (though possibly not as chilly as Fulham reserves v Spurs reserves a couple of years ago). It was so cold that I filled in a form for a credit card so that I could get a free scarf, then in the second half a bit of the stadium fell off when the wind reached near hurricane strength. Not entirely fair, I admit, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience, and since when have football fans been rational!

So, if I had my way, fans of Wigan, Blackburn and Birmingham would be weeping into their pint glasses at the end of the season, though I’m sure there are plenty of other sides who fans would like to see the back, if just for one year.

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  • http://www.mudhutter.co.uk Sean Livesey

    Possibly the laziest piece of claptrap I have read this season and as such doesn’t deserve anymore of a reply.

    Lazy writing at its finest!

  • Mark

    “The Premier League table is starting to take some sort of shape. Six games in and the expected top four already is the top four (Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Man City)”

    Seems an odd time to claim this just as 3 our of those 4 failed to win this weekend. I don’t think there’s any particular shape to the league at the moment with only 3 points (oine win!!!) separating 7th and 18th place with the bottom 2 very capable of pulling out of those positions.

    If you think ‘some sort of shape’ means ‘not much shape’ then maybe your statement is true.

  • Adam

    drivel. give up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jafinch1 Jamie

    Got to agree with Sean on this so many things you can pick at in this. It’s amusing the lack of knowledge in this and reasons for backing it up who you think is for the drop. pmsl

  • Wilky

    You need to keep opff the weed it is doing your head in

  • http://www.mudhutter.co.uk Sean Livesey

    Just read more of this, you want Birmingham relegated because it was cold? Dear god man! You truly are a writer of the highest quality…

  • Leylander

    Maybe you wnna stick yr thumb up yr clouter mate. I will have Wigan for the drop but Blackburn and Brum ? Your such a moron to think these two clubs will drop. Both are established, both clubs frighten the living daylights out of the big 4 and any southern based clubs who are afraid to come north of watford. Anyhow, like many have said its all drivel.

  • Lefty

    OMG this is shabby. Why is it linking to newsnow? Give up man, or start again under a new pseudo name so you don’t have to live with the shame of this piece.

  • Mary

    Just because Wigan don’t have the most fans means they should not be in the Premier League!!! Doesn’t that mean they add a bit of a difference that should be added?? Otherwise how boring would it be?? Surely the ‘Blackpool’s make it all more interesting?? Why should money rule everything?? When a team like Wigan can beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool last year, money doesn’t mean everything. Perhaps players wanting to play football for just that and not for the money means something!!!!

  • Mike

    Typical lazy “journalism” at it’s worst!

    Why does average attendance have anything to do whether a team should go down? Do those “10,000” fans deserve their team to go down because they chose to support their local club instead of watching one of ‘the big four’ on TV?

    How do you know what the “main sport in Wigan is?”. Has it not entered your tiny mind that the club being virtually unknown during a time when Liverpool and Man Utd (both within 20 miles or so) have dominated the sport (and the likes of City, Everton, Bolton etc etc also being famous clubs) might have something to do with the Latics’ small fan base? Or that the town only has a population of around 85,000 (less than a third of one-club Newcastle)? I can also only assume you didn’t even bother to check the average attendances of the rugby and football, because otherwise you’d know that the Latics have been averaging much higher attendances than the Warriors since before they even reached the Premiership.

    I didn’t even bother with the rest of the article. You aren’t a real journalist. Give it up.

  • Gaz

    I’d be happy to see Wigan bottom come May too. We would finally be free of week in week out inaccurate, illiterate and just plain abusive articles about our club and be able to get on with life in a real, competitive league. Oh, that rugby town where the rugby league team gets more fans than the premier side would be no more and the people who believe this to be true would be free of the humiliation of being easily and quickly proved wrong (take a trip to the wiki article on the DW/JJB stadium if you doubt me).

    I won’t shed any tears for leaving the plastic fantastics in the Premier League behind, I yearn for the days of cheap tickets, admirable fans and Saturday 3pm kick-offs all year round once more.

  • Andy

    The article was absolutely pathetic but I thought the comment below in one of the replys was brilliant…

    “Why does average attendance have anything to do whether a team should go down? Do those “10,000″ fans deserve their team to go down because they chose to support their local club instead of watching one of ‘the big four’ on TV?”

    couldn’t have put it better if I’d tried. It must be wigans fault that they have Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Everton, Bolton and Blackburn all within a 25 mile radius.

    Any journalist who had done their job properly would see that Wigan are the youngest club in the league and that if you compare their rise in fans percentage wise to other clubs over the last 10 years it’s actually higher than the other 19 teams. 10 years ago they averaged 1500 fans. Now they average 15,000. So when yu look at it properly it’s not actually that bad is it??

  • Dave

    Why is it that these forums only talk about Premier League football????

    Its tedious and boring.

    Lets have some blogs on other leagues

  • http://Sky daveboy

    In the 1950-60’s Wigan was a rugby town but not any more In that period Wigan Rugby’s crowd averaged 20000 the Latice Average was 4000 IE 500% more than the Latics . Just look at the last 8 sewasons or more that average has been wiped out and now you have Wigan Rugby averageing 12000 and The Latics 18000 or a swing to football with the correct shaped ball of 570%

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    @Dave what like this one that hardly know one commented on???


  • MYTH

    Birmingham won’t go down your reasons are ridiculous. They’ve got a squad easily capable of reaching the top 10 like last year if not higher. Even if that’s not achieved the lowest they’d expect to finish is about 15th. No way are Birmingham going down. Also neither are Blackburn though for entirely different reasons. Blackburn are a club with long tradition in the league who perhaps don’t deserve to still be in the league but after all these years it’d be odd for them to suddenly drop out. I just can’t see that happening though they need to improve for next season. I don’t agree that West Ham are too good to go down. NOT AT ALL!!! They have one decent player Scott Parker and then the rest our cloggers.

    As for the guy that says that Wigan averaged 1,500 10 years ago and now they get 15,000 so the percentage is higher than all of the other 19 teams. Must be a deluded moron. As is the reason we live within a 25 mile radius of Blackburn, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Bolton. Well for god sake Blackburn and Bolton are hardly competition are they! The two Manchester clubs well surely the majority of their support comes from the City? Irrelevant anyway since teams across the country are fighting for fans with Manchester United. Bizzarely as they are one of the most unlikeable teams in the league! In fact United are known for plastic fans.

    I’d agree that Wigan should go down though on football terms. For me – Wigan, West Brom, and West Ham. In that order.

  • Molineux Blue

    Categorical proof that, if you sit a chimpanzee in front of a keyboard for long enough, it will eventually type a few paragraphs of jaded, blinkered tripe.

  • dexylongshot

    West Ham won’t go down, there have been in good form for the past 3 games. Look at the start they had, they have already played Chelsea, Man U & The totts,as well, 3 of the leagues finest (apparently). Anyway, it is far to early to start saying who exactly will be up there and who will be relegated, start doing that in mid season.

  • Gripper

    I think Wolves ought to be relegated for throwing stones at Notts County coaches last wek. How petty, how 80s.

    Pathetic club, even more pathetic fans. I’d be embarrassed to blog that guff. Diddums, did Blackburn have a couple of players who you don’t like 4 years ago? You forgot to take a scarf when you went to watch a game on a windy february day – who would have thought that would have been a cold one? Not a Wolves fan, too busy wondering which 78-year-old to throw a brick at.

  • Wigangold

    A very thoughtful piece. Well done.

    I cetainly agree that they bring very little to the Premier League. In fact they bring very little to football in general.

    Also many of their fans smell.

  • The Doog

    MYTH, okay so the numbers included in a few posts are a little exaggerated but let’s say in the early to mid nineties Latics averaged around 2500 and now average around 17500. I still make that a 600% increase in support over just 15 years.

    As for who the people of Wigan support, well I guess you’ve never driven around Wigan on match day. You can’t compare the West Midlands to Lancashire/Greater Manchester as Wolves, Bilston, Dudley, West Brom, Birmingham North and Birmingham South are very much polarised in terms of who the area supports, but if you want a West Midlands comparison try finding a Walsall supporter in the Saddler’s center.

    As for Dexy no comment…

  • Rachel

    Dear Mr Banks,
    You seem to be a hickle confused.
    1. Wigan – the league position is decided on points won, not by the exact or average crowd numbers. Are we ok with that, shall we proceed?
    2. Blackburn – relegating a team because their football isn’t exciting would be self-defeating for your own team of twinkle-toed sunbeams, would it not?
    3. Birmingham – do you not get out much, does mummy still dress you? What’s your temperature gauge then, how cold is too cold to survive in the barmy warmth of the premier league?

  • Adam Webster

    Martin, I have to say that was not even close to being credible.

    Yes, Wigan might go down (infact I went for them Blackpool and West Ham for the drop) but Blackburn and Birmingham will be well safe. Birmingham have a very good manager and money to spend after Carson Yeung’s buyout. Blackburn still need investment, but the Williams family will ensure that the club is passed on to the right person (rules out Mr. Syed then).

  • Heskeys Lovechild

    What a load of tosh!

    You know absolutely nothing about football… and if 2002 was the last time you visited one of your main rivals then i’m afraid your well out of touch with todays premier league!!
    How can you call cause for relegation when your reason is 8/9years old… are you 8/9 years old?

    As for my boys wigan… I couldn’t put my feelings any better than Gary did… and I’m certain to say I join all the other ‘15,000’ latics fans when we would quite happily celebrate come may if we’re in position 20!!! The league is an overpriced, marketing joke! A board of fat greedy old men are sitting somewhere in London laughing at millions of hard working football fans as they generate money from a company that can’t even partner the FA!!

    Give me cold St. Andrews with a bit of the stadium blowing off every week… because only real football fans will turn up!!!

    You t@sser!

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