The Wigan Observer alternative football awards

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shows his frustration towards the fourth official on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium against Wigan Athletic and (below) Blackburn boss Steve Kean
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shows his frustration towards the fourth official on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium against Wigan Athletic and (below) Blackburn boss Steve Kean
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THE ‘Smashing the stereotype’ award for pre-match entertainment: Swansea welcome the Premier League to the Liberty Stadium back in August with a set from Max Boyce before the clash with Latics.

The ‘He’s a bit tasty’ award 1: Sergio Aguero for bagging a brilliant hat-trick against Latics back in September. Class on toast, and proof that not all Argentinian strikers are a waste of space.

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean

The ‘Storm in a teacup’ award: The national press for whipping up Dave Whelan’s weekly Monday chat with Roberto Martinez into a ‘summit meeting’ after the home defeat by Swansea in March. The subsequent show of solidarity merely strengthened the pair’s bond.

The ‘He’s a bit tasty’ award 2: Gylfi Sigurdsson for two fantastic goals for Swansea at the DW at the beginning of March which, everyone thought, appeared to consign Latics to relegation. Everyone was wrong.

The ‘I see it, but I don’t believe it’ award: The Liverpool squad who warmed up for their clash at the DW in December in ‘Justice for Suarez’ t-shirts. Misjudging the public mood only by several stratospheres.

The ‘What is he doing?’ award 1: Andre Marriner and his two assistants for failing to spot Morten Gamst Pedersen taking a corner to himself and laying on an equaliser for Blackburn in the 3-3 draw in November. Latics receive an apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley.

The ‘Yep, you really are a real tactical genius’ award: Steve Kean, who left the DW with his arms in the air after masterminding Blackburn’s come-from-behind point in November......by sending Paul Robinson forward for a late corner and telling his side to ‘lump it long’. He’ll go far.

The ‘What is he doing?’ award 2: Phil Dowd for sending-off Conor Sammon at Manchester United for...well, you tell me. Latics receive an apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley.

The ‘Sorry to see you go’ award: Steve Bruce, whose Harrods store card was finally revoked following Wigan’s victory at Sunderland in November that was worth triple points for all Tesco club-card holders.

The ‘What is he doing?’ award 3: Assistant referee Dave Bryan for missing not one but two offside goals in Latics’ 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in April. Latics receive an apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley.

The ‘Do your research’ award: The journalists who tried to blame Wigan’s freak goal against Everton on the fact the DW Stadium was a dual-use surface...24 hours before Warriors played their first game of the Super League season.

The ‘Is this really happening?’ award 1: Shaun Maloney fires home a beauty against Manchester United in April. And, after chalking off an earlier goal from Victor Moses for...well, you tell me, referee Phil Dowd incredibly doesn’t disallow the goal.

The ‘How much, guv’nor?’ award: The Wigan fans who paid £4.50 a pint in that delightful Thames boozer at Fulham in April. And didn’t let it choke them.

The ‘Is this really happening?’ award 2: Latics go 2-0 up at Arsenal inside eight minutes. I nearly choked on my ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ ice cream (courtesy of the finest press hospitality in the Premier League).

The ‘Is that really a chicken on the pitch?’ award: The Blackburn fan who decided to play fowl in his attempts to make the Rovers owners look silly this month. And gave us all a damn good laugh in the process.

The ‘You haven’t really thought that through, have you mate?’ award: The Blackburn fan who, five minutes into the second half of his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Latics, marched on to the field towards the dug-outs and threw his season ticket...at Roberto Martinez.

The ‘Was that really Boycey?’ Goal of the Season award: Emmerson ‘Pele’ Boyce, who smashed a beauty past Mark Schwarzer at Fulham in April. And then raised the bar even higher against Wolves last weekend with a swerving, dipping volley from outside the box.

The ‘There you are son, put it in’ Cross of the Season award: Jean Beausejour for the most inviting cross in a (half) season of inviting crosses, that was duly nodded home by Antolin Alcaraz against Stoke in March. Even I’d have put that one away. Probably.

The ‘How did he get to that?’ Save of the Season award: Ali Al Habsi, at either Wolves or Aston Villa.

The ‘Graceful loser’ award 1: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for refusing to give Latics any credit whatsoever for their 2-1 win at the Emirates in April.

The ‘Graceful loser’ award 2: Arsenal captain Robin van Persie for refusing to shake the hand of opposite number Gary Caldwell after the same game.

The ‘Seemed a good idea at the time’ award: The burly Wolves fan who decided to break the line of stewards at the end of last weekend’s game, right into hundreds of Wigan supporters. It wasn’t big. And, judging by what happened, it certainly wasn’t clever.

The ‘Only At Wigan Athletic’ award: Goes to everyone at the club who encouraged fans to give the team a standing ovation at the eight-minute mark against Wolves to celebrate eight years in the Premier League. Which was ever-so-slightly ruined by Matt Jarvis sticking one into the top corner less than halfway through. If ever an incident summed up what it’s like to follow Latics, that was it.