Wigan claimed a famous 1-0 FA Cup final victory over oil-rich Manchester City at Wembley yesterday.
The underdogs richly deserved their victory and were the better of the two teams. The Latics got their reward for an excellent team performance.
An underdog has not won the FA Cup final since 1995 when Everton defeated Manchester United 1-0.
Wigan went into this clash as clear underdogs with odds of 8/1 and higher listed at Unibet and other big bookmakers. And not many neutrals gave the Latics a chance of claiming the famous old trophy.
However, Roberto Martinez’s men had different ideas and looked more like the favourites in the clash. City arrived expecting just to lift the trophy and got a short sharp shock from the Premier League strugglers.
Although the whole Wigan side put in an outstanding performance, one player stood out Callum McManaman. The youngster has been much-maligned for a dangerous tackle on Newcastle full-back Massadio Haidara.
It was a poor tackle, but the youngster should now be able to move on from the incident and yesterday’s performance proved that he could compete against top class opponents. Repeatedly he took on the City defence and caused them problems.
The 22 year-olds Wigan career lifted off in the early rounds of the FA Cup and he is now a regular in the Premier League team. The exciting young winger has the potential to become a very good player in the future.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was very astute in the way he set-up his team in yesterday’s clash. He decided to leave McManaman and Arouna Kone up field and attack City’s flanks. The tactics worked a treat, as McManaman saw a lot of the ball and cause problems.
Martinez was very aware of how City can be very narrow at times and like any good boss exploited what he saw as City’s weakness. It is these sorts of decisions that have made the Spaniard so highly-rated.
The Wigan chairman Dave Whelan believes that the 39 year-old will stay with the Latics, despite speculation mounting that he is top of Everton’s wishlist to replace David Moyes. The former-Swansea boss has ruled out discussing his future until the summer.
Much will depend on whether the Latics survive the drop this season. The Latics face a vital game at Arsenal on Tuesday night, by then though they could be in major trouble, if Newcastle and Norwich win their games today.
However, after their victory over Manchester City Wigan will believe that anything is possible and the Latics claimed a victory at the Emirates Stadium last season. With morale high amongst the Wigan players, they could yet still pull off the great escape.
Not to deride Wigan’s victory, but Manchester City really did produce a lacklustre display. The Citizens did create chances, but they did not do enough to deserve victory.
According to reports Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini maybe replaced by Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini in the summer. The FA Cup final defeat will only add to the speculation that the Italian boss is set to leave Eastland’s this summer.
The City owners will no doubt be unhappy at not claiming silverware this season and Mancini could pay the price for that failure by losing his job. Failure is not an option at the Etihad Stadium these days.
Wigan’s victory in the FA Cup final could have a major influence on what happens next season for both Manchester City and Wigan. As previously mentioned the defeat could cost Roberto Mancini his job.
For Wigan, it could be just as important. The win could inspire the confidence needed for the Latics to beat the drop. That would mean keeping their best players, but even more importantly could mean keeping their highly-rated manager.
Martinez deserves all the credit he gets and deserves a chance at a bigger club and after the FA Cup final triumph the Spaniards stock will be even higher.
Wigan winning the FA Cup was the biggest shock since Wimbledon defeated Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final. It was unexpected and frankly deserved victory. Wigan’s win shows that the magic of the FA Cup still survives.
Will Wigan now survive the drop from the Premier League?