A few months ago now I wrote a preview for the FA cup final suggesting that Wigan would win the FA Cup final.
Now I’m not being smug about that – for I was surprised as everyone else. Wigan won the cup final with style and tenacity - but unfortunately it was too late for them in the league. Far too many goals conceded and points dropped meant that they became the FA Cup holders but were also relegated.
The consequences of that victory will be seen throughout the season as the squad will now be stretched through taking part in the Europa League on top of the gruelling championship campaign (even though what is quite often not mentioned in these circumstances is the financial benefits of qualification).
But another consequence of the famous cup final victory happens this Sunday – as Wigan return to Wembley to take on Manchester United. Could Wigan complete a Wembley double over the Manchester clubs?
Wigan had the perfect start to the season last weekend by taking apart Barnsley 4-0 away from home in a fantastic performance. And there is also no question that they have made some impressive signings (James McClean this week could potentially be a masterstroke).
But whilst the squad (I think) is actually an improvement on last season (especially whist they still have McCarthy and McArthur at the club) I’d still have to question whether they have had enough time to gel together before facing the Champions.
Manchester United have had a mixed pre-season that has been rather over shadowed by the latest Rooney saga. Some great performances by some of the younger players in the squad have drifted under the radar in friendlies as the press have chosen to focus on another poorly handled Manchester United transfer mess (courtesy of Rooney).
But the Community shield gives Moyes the perfect chance to win over some of the more sceptical fans. The pressure it seems is without question on Manchester United. But pressure is something that they thrive under. Or at least used to.
Wigan do have a chance at Wembley this weekend. If they can play as the underdog correctly (like they did against City) they have a real chance to cause a massive upset.
If anything – this could be one of the times that pressure at United is not helpful – but it is understandable and I think United will come out on top in the end. But I don’t think that Wigan will make it easy – and it won’t be a whitewash.
Manchester United 2 – Wigan 1 (With Wigan either scoring first or equalising)
image: © illarterate