Tales of Cups and European Tours
Wigan Athletic fans are still pinching themselves after they qualified for their first ever FA Cup semi-final against Millwall on Saturday 13 April. Not only have the Latics achieved one remarkable milestone in their history, but they could go one stage further and be playing in Europe next season.
March 19th, 2013
With Manchester City awaiting the winners of the Manchester United or Chelsea tie in the other semi – and all three sides looking likely to qualify for Europe via the league – it means the Europa League spot for the FA Cup will go to either the Latics or Millwall.
If they can overcome Championship side Millwall at Wembley, they will face the mouth-watering prospect of playing some of Europe’s top teams next season. To see Wigan Athletic at the San Siro, Estadio De Luz or the Amsterdam Arena would be a memorable experience.
The prospect of Wigan in Europe will no doubt be upsetting for some media pundits and supporters of big-city clubs who don’t like the idea of a small-town club having a share of the limelight.
When Wigan were promoted to the Premier League very few people believed that they could survive in the top league for more than one season, but now after an amazing eight seasons they are only 90 minutes away from competing in a European competition.
It would be an exceptional achievement for a club that only got into the Football League in 1978 and promoted to the Premier League in 2005 to join Europe’s footballing cognoscenti.
The irony of Wigan in an FA Cup Final and a European cup competition would not be lost on the fans, as earlier in the season the manager Roberto Martinez was accused of not taking the cup competitions seriously!
Let’s Hang On www.lets-hang-on.com
[Photograph of Wembley Stadium, 2008. Photographer Jbmg40 – licensed under Creative Commons.]