The TNS Top 50 All time Latics players: Number 46 – Gary Caldwell

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You mean that Gary Caldwell? Well yes of course we do. It’s fair to say that Gary didn’t exactly endear himself to the Latics faithful when he first arrived at the club in January 2010. He struggled to adjust in an awful Latics defence playing against some of the top teams in the country having been more used to playing for an Old Firm team where the odd shirt tug or bit of foul play against some numpty from Motherwell or Dundee is very often waved away. A string of red cards, dodgy defending and the odd own goal appeared to be symbolic of his career and he didn’t exactly get a glowing reference from his dearly departed Celtic fans.

 

Had we done this poll two years ago, old Calamity Caldwell would have arguably received a red card from the voting masses as he struggled to cope with the English game. Yet his transformation was underway and when the big games went our way it was Gary Caldwell playing like a captain that got our team playing it’s way out of trouble and in the 2011/12 season you could argue that no-one benefitted as much as Captain Caldwell from the shift to three at the back early in the New Year.

Suddenly released from the responsibility of marking a Drogba, a Aguero, a Kevin Davies (arf) he stepped up to the mark as the supreme organizer at the back Beckenbauer style and cemented his place as not only the captain of the team but the driving force behind Wigan Athletic’s resurgence. Typically his crowning glory was not his steely defending but finding himself in the penalty box at the Kop End at Anfield, shimmying around the £35m pound man Andy Carroll and slotting home the winner in a famous victory. Caldwell is Superman indeed and as if to underline that he picked up the Wigan Athletic 2011/12 Player of the Year award just a few days after leading  the team to safety at Blackburn.

Gary was signed by Roberto Martinez for a fee of £1,000,000 from Celtic on 13th January 2010. The Latics manager managed to dissuade him from joining Middlesbrough along with another three of his Celtic team mates (Barry Robson, Willo Flood and Chris Killen). Boro, who were managed by former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan had all but agreed a deal before Martinez got his man. He made his Latics debut on 16th January 2010 in a Premier League away game against Wolverhampton Wanderers which the Blues won 2-0.

As at the end of season 201/12 he had made 75 Premier League appearances, netting on five occasions.   He and Steven are the only brothers to have ever appeared in a first team fixture for the club.

That’s all for today. The next three will be coming up tomorrow and Monday and I promise that it will be three very different players with you who were memorable for three very different reasons. All will be revealed…..

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The TNS Top 50 All time Latics players: Number 45 – Simon Haworth

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The TNS Top 50 All time Latics players: Number 47 – Mike Pollitt

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