Having to do it ourselves

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Another casualty, another academy casualty of the ridiculous excesses put in place by our former owners be that IEC or Phoenix 21? Perhaps.

This time in the form of Callum Lang, it isn’t as direct as those experienced previously but it’s still part of the same family of sad tales.

There’s two trains of thought on this.

Number one) Lang put in a transfer request due to the club being unable or unwilling to offer a new deal on the same terms as he had received under Phoenix 21 which was accepted by the club as a way to reduce a wage bill still amongst the highest in the division.

Number two) Lang and the club decided to part amicably after a frustrating season that saw Lang struggle for goals and form.

I tend to sit a bit between both trains of thought, there’s no doubting that Callum Lang has had a fantastic career with Wigan Athletic.

But sadly over the last eighteen months that form had dipped so dramatically for one reason or another that a change seemed a logical solution.

That could be down to not being suited to Maloney’s style of play, perhaps it was due to a change in position but even playing in his favoured position last season he struggled.

That’s no slight on Lang as many struggled last season. It’s just the nature of football.

The club and player seemed to have handled the matter well and I’ve no doubt Lang will go on to have a successful spell with Pompey – that was outlined by his goal on his debut earlier this week.

It’s not often you get supporters being so complimentary to a departing player and in return that departing player stating his emotion on leaving his club as has happened with Lang. I think that shows how he was thought of with us.

Shaun Maloney speaks about Callum’s character and I don’t think we can underestimate the toll that last season took on these players.

Lads like Lang playing when they weren’t being paid or knowing when they would get paid.

It can’t have been easy and for that he’ll always have a place in the hearts of Wiganer’s but arguably more so for his goals on the way to League One survival in 2021 and then promotion the following season.

But we move on, and this is the ideal time for the next generation of youngsters to step up – be that Chris Sze or Josh Stones.

Away from the departure lounge someone I am glad to see the back of is human blimp Steve Evans. If ever a side were in the model of the man it was Stevenage.

We fell right in to Evans trap on Saturday and I hope they manage to make it up in the play offs so we never have to face them again.

More refereeing ridiculousness with fouls ignored for our opponents as Evans and his assistant shouted and balled at the officials from the first minute to the final whistle and perfectly legitimate goals for us chalked off.

So is the way in this League One campaign.

We’re not going to get any help from the officials so we’ll have to do it ourselves.

Sean Livesey

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