DAVE Whelan has leapt to the defence of one of his star players who stuck the boot into Wigan.
Midfielder Mohamed Diame described the town as a “c**ppy” place with no atmosphere and criticised local girls for covering up during the day.
In an interview with the French magazine So Foot, Wigan comes out unfavourably in several respects as he compares it with his previous footballing base: the Spanish capital Madrid.
He complains about the cold and also that he misses going for a quiet walk after training as he used to when playing for Rayo Vallecano.
Asked what life in Wigan is like, Diame says: “Do you want to know the truth? There’s nothing. It’s c**ppy. The town’s really small, there’s no atmosphere! I go there to train, I go back home; that’s all I do.”
Prompted to draw comparisons with Madrid he said he was happy there, adding: “After training you could go for a peaceful walk, it was never really cold but here...forget it. When it snowed here I felt like it was minus 15 and I was going to turn into an ice cube.”
Asked if it’s true or false that all English women are ugly, he immediately states that that is a myth. Then he adds: “I’m not going to lie. When you go out in the day time it’s rare to see really stunning girls, unlike Madrid where you seem to see nothing but.
“On the other hand when you go out in the evening, that’s something else. You get the impression that the girls hide themselves away all day in order to bloom at night.”
But his chairman laughed off the criticisms, promising to treat “Momo” to a night out in King Street towards the end of the season.
Mr Whelan said: “He has not done anything wrong. He said that Wigan in winter is colder than Madrid and the girls wrap up because of the cold.
“The winter we have had has been miserable and cold just like it has been across the rest of the land and winter is not the best time of year to see England. We have to agree with him on that.
“Momo has come from a massive, beautiful city to sign for Wigan which has come from a mining and cotton background and it has been tough over the years. But Wigan is a very happy town with a great rugby team and wonderful football team. We have come a long way in a short time.
“As for things to do round here, he lives in Cheshire somewhere. We will have to take Momo for a night out in King Street towards the end of the season to give him a proper taste of the place!
“He is a perfect gentleman, a super lad. He trains hard and works hard and coming from Madrid was a massive, massive step. If every footballer was like him the world would be a better place.”
Wigan’s Mayor, Coun Michael Winstanley, said: “Wigan is a winning place with a winning mentality. It is the only place in the country with both a Super League team and Premier League team.
“It is the greenest borough in Greater Manchester with plenty of wide open spaces for nice walks, not least Haigh Country Park. It also has a night life in the town that can rival anywhere in the North West.”
Elsewhere in the So Foot interview, Diame says he has settled in well with his teammates and although he is beginning to pick up some English, mainly talks to his French and Spanish colleagues and uses sign language to converse with the home grown players.