Five things we learned from Wigan Athletic v West Ham
Paul Kendrick assesses what we learned from the fabulous 2-0 victory over West Ham that sends Wigan Athletic into the fifth round of the FA Cup '“ and has the town dreaming of another trip to Wembley!
1 This town’s love affair with the FA Cup continues! For the second round in a row, a Premier League side arrived in Wigan, and were sent back down south with their talks between their legs after a sound beating. If anything, the performance against West Ham was even better than Bournemouth, who at least had their chances. The Hammers created nothing, failing to muster a single save out of Christian Walton.
2 Joe Hart must be sick of the sight of Wigan Athletic! Especially right-wing corners, and bullet headers into the top left-hand corner of his net! Just as at Wembley in 2013, the England goalkeeper had no chance of keeping out Will Grigg’s header, which was planted home with every bit as much power and precision as Ben Watson’s. At least Pablo Zabaleta – sent off in the FA Cup final – was on the field to see it. Until his half-time substitution, that is...
3 The DW Stadium was rocking again! Thanks to fantastic ticket prices, the Wigan public turned out in big numbers to cheer on their side. The mood inside the stadium this season has suffered from a dip in crowds. But a packed away end laid down the gauntlet, and the home fans responded with the best atmosphere since the Barnsley game two seasons ago. And boy did the players do their bit out on the field as well!
4 Nick Powell is some player! Yes, we all knew that already, but it seems the rest of the country is now finally aware of the fact. The highlights reel put together on Match of the Day underlined what a talent he is, and why Sir Alex Ferguson paid £6million for his services back in 2012. But with the transfer window about to close, we could certainly have done with the ‘heads up’ to any Championship (or Premier League) looking for an X Factor signing for the second half of the season...
5 David Moyes got his wish! The West Ham boss had angered plenty of Wiganers in the lead-up to the game by suggesting Latics fans would have preferred their side to have retained their Premier League status than win the FA Cup in 2013. Which is of course utter tosh. And perhaps explains why he is still waiting to win anything of note in his career. At least now he can concentrate on the league now...while Latics continue with their assault on two fronts.