The full Premier League debut of a young man who has come through the Wigan Athletic ranks and if the week before was anything to go by looked every bit like it was his time to shine.
Sadly, as is often the case with Wigan Athletic the only way we seem to make the biggest headlines is when we do something wrong. Yes it was wrong, it was a terrible challenge and McManaman should have seen red for it. In some ways, the fact he didn’t has only served to further incur the wrath of the Geordies and an armchair footballing nation looking for an axe to grind at our club.
Because he is a youth product and English, I dearly want Callum to make the grade and hope that this whole incident does not linger on for too long. The signs are that Haidara has not suffered any lasting injuries and on that basis any ban received should be standard for McManaman. Seeing that he has got off with it would incur mass fury if it happened to us so you cannot blame Newcastle fans for kicking off about it, not that death threats and vile abuse are acceptable under any circumstances, it’s just a game you stupid little pricks.
Back to McManaman and we love a player with fire in their belly and the young Scouser has certainly got that in abundance. We can only hope that he will learn from this incident and the media frenzy which followed and learn to channel his aggression in a more controlled manner. Sounds a bit like another young Liverpudlian who started off at Everton and doesn’t seem to have done too badly since doesn’t he?
It was at least a change to see the referee get it wrong in our favour on Sunday. Whereas he got it wrong for both of the big decisions, I wouldn’t feel guilty if I was Maynor Figueroa right now given the Honduran was sent off nine minutes into the game at St James Park for an innocuous shoulder barge.
If it’s any consolation to Newcastle fans, those three points might just help us climb out of the rut we are in and we can resume normal service again next year with the customary defeat up in the North East and a dramatic home victory at the DW Stadium. Here’s hoping.
And here’s hoping that there are lessons learned all around and we can start to put this hysterical matter behind us now
First published in the Wigan Evening Post on Wednesday 20th March 2013
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