Community Shield Preview
Today we're pleased to welcome the expert opinion of former Wigan and new Hull City Superblogger Ian Aspinall, as he focuses on the upcoming Community Shield game between the Latics and Manchester United.
August 9th, 2013
There are those that say that the upcoming Community Shield game between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic is just another friendly, but it is, of course much more than this, it is English football’s Super Cup Final. It is a contest between the champions of the Premier League and the FA Cup winners and its significance shouldn’t be underestimated.
Both clubs have new managers in post this season, with Owen Coyle having taken over from Roberto Martinez at the DW Stadium and David Moyes taking over the hot seat from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
Coyle and Moyes will want to start their managerial careers at their new clubs with a first trophy. A trophy so early in the season can only boost both the team and manager’s confidence.
David Moyes in particular, will want to quickly overcome the stigma of never having won a trophy with Everton. Despite achieving a good level of success with the Merseysiders over the last twelve years, he was never able to deliver the trophy the Goodison faithful wanted.
The pressure on him to succeed at Old Trafford will be that much greater following the Ferguson era. Winning trophies is the norm for the Red Devils but not so far for Moyes.
Owen Coyle has also never won a domestic trophy in England but he was successful in steering Burnley to promotion to the Premier League via the play offs in 2009. His main aim this season will be to get the Latics back into the Premier League at the first attempt. He also has the added bonus – or is that distraction – of qualifying for the Europa League.
Following the departure of Martinez, his backroom staff and several key players, Coyle has had to do a major rebuilding job during the close season. He has managed to bring in ten players in quick time and put together a side capable of challenging for promotion.
James McClean, Leon Barnett, Juan Carlos Garcia, Grant Holt, Marc-Antoine Fortune, James Perch, Scott Carson, Stephen Crainey, Thomas Rogne and Chris McCann should all perform well in the Championship. He has also managed to hold onto seven of the players who started in the FA Cup final-winning team.
Wigan emphatically defeated Barnsley 4-0 in their opening Championship fixture and will want to make a good impression at Wembley. Coyle is confident in his own abilities and will want to defy the odds and pull off a surprise victory.
In contrast to the Latics, United have only made one signing; Uruguayan full-back Guillermo Varela. Moyes has had a frustrating close season with Wayne Rooney determined to leave Old Trafford, Barcelona’s Thiago preferring Bayern Munich to United and the signing of Cesc Fabregas now looking unlikely.
As with the FA Cup Final against Manchester City, the imbalance in resources will once again make Wigan massive underdogs. United’s record against Latics is, not surprisingly, impressive with fifteen wins and only one defeat.
But Wigan’s first ever victory against United was not only an historic day for Wigan fans, 1-0 at the DW Stadium in 2011/12, but it cost United dearly and led to their local rivals City winning the Premier League.
Latics fans may be outnumbered by their local rivals’ fans at Wembley, but they will relish the prospect of visiting the national stadium for the third time in only five months. If they were to pull off another historic win they will have bragging rights in the North West for a very long time to come.
Photograph of the FA Community Shield by Seth Whales licensed under Creative Commons.