Highs and lows of Caldwell’s time at Latics

Gary Caldwell and Emmerson Boyce lift the FA Cup
Gary Caldwell and Emmerson Boyce lift the FA Cup

Gary Caldwell’s six-and-a-half year link with Wigan Athletic came to an end this week. Here are 10 games – five highs and five lows – from his time as both player and manager...

HIGHS

Lifting the FA Cup at Wembley in 2013: Caldwell didn’t get off the bench for the Wembley triumph against Manchester City, but he was an important member of the squad at the time. He described the achievement as “magical”. He hoisted the cup with Emmerson Boyce, who was captain for the 1-0 win.

Winning goal at Liverpool: Caldwell scored the winner at Anfield in a 2-1 victory in 2012 (see video attached), and was mobbed by his team-mates. “It will live with me forever,” he later said. Latics also enjoyed victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United during his time at the club.

Great comeback: As a manager, three goals in nine frantic minutes gave Latics a 3-2 win at Chesterfield last season – a remarkable finish to a match which kept them on course for promotion.

Winning at Walsall: He masterminded a stunning 2-1 win at promotion-rivals Walsall last season, arguably his greatest victory as manager.

‘We, are, going up...’: In the penultimate game of last season, Wigan Athletic travelled to Blackpool and won 4-0 to secure promotion to the Championship at the first time of asking. They lost the following week but with other results going in their favour, they won the title.

LOWS

Costly error: Just before the FA Cup Final in 2013, and with Latics trying to stave off the threat of the drop, it was an error by Caldwell which led to Itay Shechter’s goal in a 3-2 win, sending Latics a step closer to relegation.

Wembley woe: In 2014, and as a Championship club, Latics pushed Arsenal all the way in a gripping FA Cup semi-final to send the game to penalties. Caldwell stepped up first for his team, and missed. He sunk to his knees. Arsenal went on to win the game and, in the final, beat Hull City to lift the trophy.

Gary Caldwell sinks to his knees after missing with his penalty attempt against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in 2014

Gary Caldwell sinks to his knees after missing with his penalty attempt against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in 2014

Being relegated: It would be harsh to blame Caldwell for their relegation to League One, given he had just five games in charge after Malky Mackay was sacked. But his fifth game in charge, a 3-0 loss at Brentford, was certainly a low point – Latics’ last match in the Championship.

Bore, draw: At home, against fellow promoted side Burton, a tepid 0-0 draw proved a golden opportunity missed.

Farewell: A 1-0 defeat against high-flying Brighton is hardly a shocking result, but it proved Caldwell’s last match in charge last Saturday.