What a crazy last six or so months it has been for the fans of Wigan Athletic. The joy of lifting the FA Cup on May 11 was quickly tarnished somewhat by the relegation of the side to the Skybet Championship, and then the departure of much-loved manager to Everton.
The atmosphere was upbeat however, and Chairman Dave Whelan was in a buoyant mood as he appointed Owen Coyle to take charge of team affairs for the new season, which included a Europa League adventure added onto an already-congested League fixture list. It started well for the ex-Burnley and Bolton Manager as the team collected eight points from the first five games, and they were mid-table in the domestic League by mid-October and with five points in the Europa League.
The end of November saw Wigan go on a terrible run, losing game after game as they dropped down the table like a stone. It was too much for Whelan, and he and his manager agreed to go their separate ways. I must admit that I was a bit shocked when it happened. Six months is certainly not long for someone to take over a side that was just relegated, get their heads right and juggle a European competition also.
The new manager appointed really makes sense to me though. He is a young manager at only 45, and used to play for Manchester City and Southampton among many European continent teams. Uwe Rosler took charge of his previous club Brentford two years ago, and led them to their highest finish in six years in his first season.
He was so close to helping his side win promotion in his second season, but the team was eventually defeated in the playoff final against Yeovil. When he left to take the job at Wigan, Brentford were third in the Skybet League 1 and looking good. With Rosler, I think Whelan now has a manager who will take no nonsense from his players.
His first game in charge was the last Europa League commitment for Wigan, and they might have won if not for a very card-happy referee who sent off Chris McCann for handball, gave a penalty and stacked the cards against Rosler’s side. I think that is a good thing that they no longer have these ridiculous commitments, and fans will see exactly what Rosler can deliver to the DW Stadium as he is in charge of his first League game today.
He had stated before that his desire was to manage in the Premier League, and I think he has a real chance of achieving that aim with Wigan.