Jekyll and Hyde

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Saturday – ‘we’re winning the lot’.

Tuesday – ‘Bloody rubbish Wigan, tha won’t see me again’.

I’m paraphrasing of course but there was this reaction and more on the old hashtag in that 76 hour period between that amazing opening day win and the disappointing penalties defeat to Wrexham.

We truly are a Jekyll and Hyde fan base. One moment delighted to still have a club and supporting the lads no matter what to deriding all and sundry because they’ve lost in the EFL cup on penalties.

It’s the curse of the modern day football fan of course, there’s no context anymore and everything is black and white. Good or bad. Of course football is far more nuanced and complicated than that and yes Latics aren’t the only club to suffer this paradox but it doesn’t half make for some entertaining internet time.

As for the Wrexham match, I wasn’t there – being the part timer I am these days (I’ll never forget the 99 double header though) when we beat Wrexham twice in the Northern area final of the Auto Windscreen Shield on our way to Wembley and then again a couple of weeks later in the league as Ray Mathias’ side marched in to the play-offs.

I suspect that Shaun Maloney won’t be too fussed with our departure from the competition. The Milk, Coca-Cola, Worthington, Carling, Carabao or whatever they’re calling it this season has never been top in Latics minds.

Apart from that one season in 2005 when we reached the final. It’s not got the gravitas of the FA Cup and frankly with our threadbare squad progression and an extra game in my opinion at least is something we could do without.

Yes Latics weren’t anywhere near their best on Tuesday but neither were Wrexham, despite what Sky would have you believe about their fairytale.

The fairytale of a budget that far exceeds ours, meaning on the eve of the season they can take our captain for a quarter of a million pounds and one would imagine a serious payrise.

More on McClean, Jimmy Mac has never given anything less than a 100% for Wigan Athletic.

He was one of the few to come out of last season with any credit and it’s an un-doubted blow to lose him in the way we did but on the flip side we’ve made a profit on a player who’s 34 years of age, got what one would think was the highest wage off the books and all in a position we’re well stocked in and McClean has gained more security than we could offer him.

Someone said that they hoped the new approach to running Wigan Athletic didn’t come to back to bite us on the a*se and I can promise them that the previous approach we saw to running Wigan Athletic in 2021-23 was far more likely to bite us on the a*se than this approach ever will.

So if we leave the recriminations of McClean’s departure and the defeat to Hollywood FC behind us it’s been an un-doubtfully successful week for Maloney and his Latics team.

To go to the league favourites and earn a win like they did all whilst playing the sort of football Maloney had promised we would was so impressive. It gives me hope that we can compete this season and indeed get ourselves to safety, which is the first target this season.

Next up in our quest to reach positive points is Northampton, if we can get a positive result on Saturday we’ll really be motoring.

So let’s turn it Blue and White on Saturday and help Shaun and the lads get us back to where we’re mean to be.

Sean Livesey

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